How to Take Care of a Sugar Glider



Are you looking to adopt and care for a sugar glider? Use our comprehensive guide to find out all the information you need ready to adopt a sugar glider today.

Sugar gliders are marsupial creatures that are native to parts of Australia and Indonesia. Over the past 15 years, there has been a shift towards introducing sugar gliders as exotic pets. They are perfect for those people who want something a little different from a cat or a dog.

However, a sugar glider needs that extra bit of care and attention if you are planning to have one in your home. Sugar gliders keep odd hours and need a specialized diet, as well as the right environment and facilities.

In this article, we will explain everything there is to have a sugar glider in your home. Sugar gliders can make excellent loving pets if you just take the time to learn their habits and needs. Read on to find out more.

Sugar Gliders and Their Food 

Some people assume that sugar gliders are herbivores and eat vegetables and pellets, which is a common misconception. 

Sugar gliders are omnivores and will typically try anything that you give them, not that you should try this. In the wild, they have a diet that primarily consists of trees, nectar, but also smaller animals and plants too. 

With domestic sugar gliders, they can eat fruits, vegetables, and pellets that are made of calcium, honey, and cereals. As their name suggests they love anything sugary and sweet, however, they should aim to have 75% protein and 25% from fruit and vegetables.

The natural sweetness and sugar from fruits and nectar are always the things they will try and gravitate towards, however, ensure that they are getting a variety within their diet. And whatever you do, do not feed them actual sugar that is found in chocolate, sweets, or confectionary items. 

If you want to learn more about sugar glider food, click the link to learn more. 

Sugar Gliders and Their Home

A sugar glider's cage or home should be as large as possible and also as tall as you can have in your home. Sugar gliders in their natural habit use a thin membrane that they have from their wrists to their ankles to jump and glide through the air, moving from tree to tree. 

If possible you want to have the space to replicate this in your domestic sugar glider cage. For a single sugar glider, the cage should be at least 20"x20"x30".

The cage should have a wire mesh or one with metal bars so that your sugar glider can't get caught on the wiring or can squeeze through.

Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals and sleep in the daytime so they want to be in a room that is quiet and spacious, with not too much noise or disturbances within it.

For example, if you are spending a lot of time working from home in your living room, this wouldn't be a good space for your sugar glider. You should also try and avoid housing them in direct sunlight and in a room where the temperature is above 30 degrees Celsius. 

Sugar gliders also need a self-contained nesting area where they can sleep. A wooden box, a pouch, or a birdhouse are all good examples of a nesting area they can enjoy. 

Sugar gliders really enjoy lots of stimulation and toys to play with so ensure you have plenty of balls, tunnels, ladders, and chew toys for them to interact with. 

Sugar Gliders and Socialization 

Sugar gliders are naturally social and inquisitive animals, but they take a bit of time to get used to new surroundings. If you have adopted them from a previous home, they might be a little unsure of you or the people in your home.

Give them space and time to settle in before overwhelming them with lots of fuss and attention. If a sugar glider becomes stressed or agitated then they can sometimes lash out and bite if they feel threatened. 

Once they have had a bit of time to adjust you can reward them with treats for good behavior and even buy a pouch so you can carry them around and bond with you. Once a sugar glider is used to you and your behavior they can be very affectionate.

Other pets do not mix well with sugar gliders and they can become easily frightened by other animals, especially if they are much larger. It's best to have a sugar glider as your only pet if possible.

Sugar gliders can also benefit from having another sugar glider around for socialization. They can often get lonely if they are on their own. However, the maximum you should have is two sugar gliders at any one time as they can get territorial if they are in a larger group.

Sugar Gliders and Their Health

Sugar gliders can be prone to certain diseases, so it's worth looking out for these things and making modifications to their diet and surroundings to prevent any complications.

Constipation or diarrhea 

If a sugar glider doesn't get enough fiber in its diet then it might find it tricky to pass stools and go to the toilet. Although if they eat too many citrus items, they could end up with diarrhea. This is potentially life-threatening as it could cause severe dehydration in a sugar glider. Make sure to monitor their food intake. 

Calcium deficiency 

If a sugar glider doesn't get enough calcium they can suffer from the inability to move and paralysis. Make sure that your sugar glider has plenty of food rich in calcium to prevent this.


Sugar gliders, just like cats or dogs, can get lice, ticks, and fleas. If you suspect that your sugar glider has any of those, consult your vet so you can take the appropriate action required.

Thinking of Buying a Sugar Glider? Where Can I Find Out More?

We hope this article on the comprehensive guide to owning and looking after a sugar glider has covered all of your burning questions.

With a bit of research and forward-thinking, you can easily make the changes in your home to accommodate a sugar glider's lifestyle and help it settle in accordingly.

Owning a sugar glider can be such a worthwhile experience, all you need to do is learn its patterns of behavior. If you enjoyed this article, check out our other blog posts!