Sunset Sugar Gliders

Before you adopt

This checklist is meant to be a guide for new owners in preparing for their new gliders' arrival.  While not everything is absolutely necessary to have right away it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with all of these items.  I have provided some links where you can see items I may be describing or, in some cases, directly linking you to the vendors web-site.  Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or would like more information.  I am more than happy to help.

These two links are the absolute best for current and reliable information on everything sugar glider related.  Please visit these two web-sites if you have not already.  They are invaluable resources to have. 

This is a link to a large list of sugar glider vendors who make toys, cage sets, pouches, and many other sugar glider items.  All of the vendors in this list have products that have undergone safety testing.  

1. A good cage. 

Having a cage that is secure, safe, easy to clean, and spacious enough for your gliders is a must.  The minimum recommended cage size is 24'W x 24'L x 36"H.  The bigger the cage, typically the better, but do keep in mind that it will also be important to be able to easily reach all the areas of the cage for cleaning or reaching a glider.  It is important that the bar spacing is no larger than 1/2".  The absolute best cage that I have found is the HQ Brisbane Sturdy Cage.  This cage is exceptionally high quality and can be found at a very reasonable price.  The best place I have found to order from is Petco.com.  These cages can also be double stacked if you would like to add more gliders to your household without adding additional space. 

2.  A travel cage. 

You will need to have a travel cage that can be moved easily.  This will be important for traveling with your gliders and especially important to have around for emergencies.  It can double as a carrier cage for trips to the vet as well as a quarantine cage.  Please remember that it is not safe to drive with your gliders in a pouch on your body should you get into an accident.  Keep them safe and secure by having them in a travel cage. 

3.  A good approved diet and all items required to prepare it at home. 

Their are many approved diets to choose from and each of these require specific ingredients and may need specific items to prepare them such as a blender, ice cube trays, and freezer or storage containers.  Please do your research as diets can be a much debated area of glider care.  As a general consensus (supported by overwhelming evidence) a pelleted diet as the main source of nutrition for gliders is not healthy.  A good glider diet will have a protein component (usually a liquid) along with an assortment of fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables with a calcium:phosphorus ratio of 1.5-2:1.  A diet high in phosphorus can lead to hypocalcemia which can cause metabolic bone disease and a host of other health issues.  Here at Sunset Sugar Gliders we feed our own gliders and wean all our joeys onto the Green Original HPW diet, also abbreviated GOHWP.  You can find out more about the various diets created by visiting glidernursery.com or sugarglider.info.

4.  A bonding pouch

A bonding pouch is used to carry your gliders on your person securely.  Many are zippered and have mesh windows.  If you are outside with your glider please have them in a closed bonding pouch.  It is too easy for a startled glider to get away from you and get lost.  No matter how bonded to you your gliders may be it will never be worth the risk.  Many vendors make these pouches safely, but you may run into one or two that are making less than ideal pouches.  Please check reviews before placing your order. 

5.  Cage sets. 

Cage sets are made from fleece and designed to be comfortable and safe for your glider to play on and, in the case of the pouch, to sleep in.  They often consist of a pouch (or two), a bridge, vine, and hammocks.  They can be found in many different styles and pieces.  Like the bonding pouches these are also made by many great on-line vendors.  You should ideally have at least two of these.  One can be placed back in the cage while the other is in the wash.  I recommend using an unscented hypoallergenic detergent and avoid placing your fleece in the drier, instead lay each piece out flat to dry.  This can preserve the "life" of your fleece.  Check your cage sets at least once a week for wear and every day if possible.  A loose thread or hole chewed out by gliders can become very dangerous.  Be prepared to replace these when necessary. 

6.  A safe wheel. 

Many vendors make wheels that are safe for your gliders.  Avoid buying from a pet store as most of the wheels that can be purchased there while perfectly fine for hamsters and other small pets, have been found to be unsafe for glider use.  Gliders do not run on a wheel like most small animals.  Instead they "hop" and "leap".  The wheels known to be safe are listed below.  Click the name to go to the vendors web-site.  I am not a fan of the wodent wheel, while it has been a popular wheel for a long time the risk of tail injury (with or without the additional axle guard), restriction of movement, difficulty to clean, and the fact it has no where for the feces or urine to go when they eliminate makes it one of my least favorite wheels and I do not feel comfortable using it for my gliders nor will I send a joey to home that plans to use one.   

7.    Safe, fun glider toys. 

Many things can be used for gliders to play with including some children's toys.  Fisher Price toys made for toddlers are great interactive toys as well as some cat and parrot toys.  A warning about cat toys: DO NOT purchase anything that has been or could possibly have been in contact with catnip as this is highly toxic for gliders.  Please use your best judgement when buying toys for your gliders and when in doubt ask! 

Many vendors also make glider toys that are guaranteed to be safe.  I recommend getting a variety of toys, including foraging toys (you hide treats and food in these), and re-set toys (meant to be destroyed and put back together).  The more enrichment you can give them the better and don't forget to swap toys out often for variety!  


8.  An exotic vet.

A glider knowledgeable vet is an absolute must.  Gliders are marsupials and require a veterinarian that is going to be able to correctly diagnose and treat them.  Also keep in mind that when emergencies happen it is usually at night when most clinics are closed.  For this reason it is important to also be aware of where your closest emergency vet clinic that treats sugar gliders is located.  An emergency vet fund is important as exotics can often be costly to treat.  Regular vet care for sugar gliders typically includes a yearly wellness exam and twice yearly fecal tests. 

                        For a state-by-state listing of Sugar Glider Experienced Veterinarians please click HERE.

9.  Dishes, water bottles, and glider kitchens.

Glider safe feeding dishes are usually separated with place's for the liquid component and the fruits and veggies.  These can be hung on the side of the cage or set on the floor.  Many people use "glider kitchens" to keep the mess contained.  Gliders can be very messy eaters!  Kitchens are usually made from the plastic igloo shaped small animal hides or plastic Tupperware containers with a glider sized hole cut out of them.  It is also a good idea to have two water bottles per cage.  While you should check bottles nightly for clogs or leaks it doesn't always happen and a good way to prevent accidents is to have a back-up already in place.  We use both a water bottle and a water silo (found in many pet bird sections of your local pet store) for both variety and safety.

10.  Treats.

Treats can consist of so many things but some good one's to have on hand include meal-worms (live are an absolute favorite!), pine nuts, yogies (tiny yogurt drops), *baby food, *yogurt, *pure maple syrup, and freeze dried fruit and vegetables just to name a few. 

* These are "licky" treats.  Just dip your finger in them and let your gliders lick them clean.  Don't forget to re-load in time!

11.  A quick pop-up tent.

Perfect for playtime the most commonly used brands are the Genji and the Sansbug.  These tents pop open in 3 seconds and fold up neatly in just a couple minutes.  Tent time allows you to play with your glider in a secured area.  Toys can be hung from the top of these tents and others can be placed on the floor.  Pop it open, deck it out, and let the fun begin!


The following are other items I highly recommend having on hand:

  1. A gram scale -used to keep track of your gliders weight (essential for a breeders tool-kit).  Often times one of the first indicators something may be wrong is an unusual change in weight.  It is recommended you weigh your glider weekly at home.
  2. A glider emergency kit -just like we should have first aid kits on hand for ourselves it is also important to have one on stand-by for our suggies.  You never can predict an emergency and having a well stocked kit can mean the difference of life and death for your glider.  If you do not have a kit please consider putting one together.  Click HERE for a comprehensive list of items to be included.
  3. A glider e-collar and several size e-jackets -a good thing to have regardless of if you have an emergency kit or not.  These can be invaluable at keeping a glider from self mutilating and causing more damage to themselves.
  4. A necropsy shipping kit -As much as we would like our suggies to live forever, we know it's just not a reality and accidents do happen.  Please help save lives by having your glider sent to the The Sugar Group for a necropsy or having your results sent it.  You can order your necropsy shipping kit HERE.  
  5.  For breeders it is also a good idea to have a joey rejection kit on hand as well.  This can happen at any time and it is best to prepare in advance.  Click HERE to order yours!