Many people are drawn to the allure of owning an exotic pet such as a sugar glider. They are different and unique, and many are incredibly cute and endearing. But, do they make good pets, and how complicated is sugar glider care?
The answer is both yes and no. They are complicated creatures to care for, and have very different needs compared to a dog or a cat. For someone who is unwilling to learn and care for them correctly, they will not make good pets. For someone who is willing to take the time with them however, they can make incredible pets who you can share an amazing bond with.
Let's go over some of the cons of sugar glider pet ownership first. For one, they have teeth! Sugar gliders can definitely be bitey if they are not socialized and used to human contact. Their teeth are sharp and their bites can and often will draw blood. Being bitten can be frightening as well, because when sugar gliders are scared or feel threatened, they make a very loud noise called crabbing and lunge to bite. The crabbing is a very unique and hard to describe sound, similar to the sound of an electric pencil sharpener.
They make many other noises and vocalizations as well. They often bark, which is a loud sound similar to a puppy barking. They jump from one side of the cage to the other, run in their wheel, and chatter at each other all night. The kicker to this, is that sugar gliders are nocturnal, which means all these loud noises are happening in the middle of the night. Having their cage in your bedroom is likely a bad idea because of this.
They also have a distinct musky smell if their cage is not cleaned often enough, and they tend to be very messy. They throw food that is not to their liking, and they go to the bathroom wherever they like, which is often on you!
Sugar glider ownership does have many pros as well though! They are extremely cute, and have very inquisitive and funny personalities. They love to play with their toys. Many people even give them toddler toys in their cage, because they love to climb all over them and explore. Straws make really good cheap toys, as well as feathers. They will pounce and stand up on their back legs and swat at them while playing.
The biggest pro however is that sugar gliders form amazing bonds with their owners. Once bonded, they love nothing more than curling up with their owners to cuddle and nap. They love to sleep in pouches that you can carry, or even in your pocket! They can learn to glide back and forth to you and across the room. They will groom you, and come running to the cage door whenever they see you. They love taking treats and running all around on your body when exploring. For someone that is looking for a pet that really truly enjoys their company, that they can form a loving bond with, sugar gliders are a great option.
So as you can see, while sugar glider care can be complicated at times, it is definitely a rewarding experience!