I distinctly remember the day my little girl asked me, ‘Do Sugar Gliders Make Good Pets?’
She was putting little frogs from the yard in her baby doll playpen when she made the inquiry, and I honestly couldn’t help but laugh.
As a mother of four children, three of them being boys, I was certain when I had my little girl that there would be lots of pink and frills and bows in abundance.
Little did I know that my darling child had other things in mind, like playing in the dirt, and climbing trees with her pets of choice including geckos, bearded dragons, hairless rats, and sugar gliders.
Sugar Gliders as Pets
I started my search for sugar glider information, and my first bit of research brought me to this little snippet:
“They make excellent pets for people who take the time to learn about their needs before acquiring them. As they are extremely social animals that get depressed when housed alone, sugar gliders should never be kept singly as pets but rather should be housed in pairs. ” 
So, not only would I need to get one sugar glider, if we decided to do so, but I would need to get two. My main question still remained, and I typed the question into Google: Is Sugar Glider a Good Pet?
Just look at this cute little guy.
@ishtariii The sugarglider is timid, needs to carry on the training to them, the courage big will glide naturally.#pet #sugarglider #foryou #HolidayTikTok ♬ I Believe I Can Fly – Charlie Grönvall
From what I could see, they were palm-sized possums that looked like flying squirrels with great big eyes, I had to admit, they were adorable. But should we get one, er… I mean two, as pets?
Here is the information I gleaned from the world wide web, and after owning sugar gliders, I can attest to the fact, that the wisdom bestowed upon me was factual and worth sharing with you.
Here are some sugar gliders as pets facts I learned:
- They are classified as exotic animals (check your city/state laws to see if it is legal to own one where you reside)
- Sugar Gliders are nocturnal animals. During the daylight hours, they may not be active creatures but that will change when nighttime rolls around.
- They need a sugar glider friend to be happy; a single glider may suffer emotional distress
- According to the NC State Veterinary Hospital, a proper diet for pet sugar gliders is a necessity 
- The lifespan of a sugar glider is comparable to a cat or dog (12-15 years) 
- They require an exotic veterinarian, so before getting your pair, make sure there is a vet in your area that knows how to care for them.
Learn more about sugar gliders in this cool video from the San Diego Zoo.
ALSO CHECK: Is It Possible to be Allergic to Sugar Glider?
Sugar Glider Mini Care Guide
Since sugar gliders are so incredibly cute, it may be easy to think of them like any other domestic pet, such as a kitten or puppy, but it would be a mistake to do so.
They are social creatures, and pet owners notably enjoy having them, but captive sugar gliders are still to be considered wild animals.
Specialized care must be given to keep these intelligent animals happy and healthy. Medical issues that arise may not be common ailments you are used to with other pets.
Keeping a list of glider-savvy veterinarians handy just makes good sense.
Ensuring they have a proper cage, a good deal of care, and a lot of love is important.
The adorable sugar glider appreciates a good place to snuggle in and hide and may easily enjoy becoming a pocket pet.
They are very active animals who like to play (especially at night). We purchased lots of toys and they were worth their weight in gold.
Ensuring they have a balanced diet. Sweet foods are their favorite, but they can easily become malnourished gliders without the proper dietary requirements in place. Make sure to research proper nutrition.
Learn other sugar glider care tips and the pros and cons of owning a sugar glider from a vet in this video.
Training a Sugar Glider
What about sugar gliders training? This is an essential part of keeping a glider as a pet. Here are some basics to get you started.
- You probably technically cannot potty train a sugar glider but you can get it used to a bathroom routine, which is similar to potty training
- A cloth pouch will give you time to bond which will later help with training your sugar glider
- Baby Gliders are easier to train than adult gliders
- If you adopt adult sugar gliders, begin training after a short bonding period (rather than waiting until their routines are set)
- Pet clickers can be helpful for training your sugar glider
Is it cruel to keep sugar gliders as pets?
The NC State Veterinarian Hospital, tells us that keeping a single pet glider can be detrimental to their health. Sugar glider owners can rest assured that if they are kept in groups of 2 – 6, it is not considered cruel to own these pets. 
Are sugar gliders illegal?
Sugar gliders are illegal in some states. Pet stores should not carry them if they are not legal where you live but check for restrictions prior to purchasing, just to be sure.
Should I get a male or female sugar glider?
It is recommended to have at least one male and one female but knows that they are likely to mate at some point if you do. Neuter the male to prevent reproduction. 
Do sugar gliders make good pets? That is entirely up to you. There are pros and cons, just as there are with any type of pet ownership.
Ensure that they are legal to own in your city and state, research how to provide them with proper care, be sure to purchase in pairs (or small groups) and get ready to enjoy many years of bonding with these adorable pocket pets.
In our house, my daughter was our sugar gliders’ favorite person, and when she grew up and moved out, she took them with her.
I’d say that is proof enough for me that they can be an excellent pet choice, for the right person.
Now that you’ve read this article, have you considered taking in a sugar glider as a pet? Please let us know your thoughts down below!
- 1 “Guide to Sugar Gliders as Pets | PetMD”. The Best Pet Health & Care Advice from Real Vets | PetMD, PetMD 22 Dec 2017. https://www.petmd.com/exotic/care/all-about-sugar-gliders#:~:text=Sugar%20Gliders%20as%20Pets,-Sugar%20gliders%20are&text=They%20make%20excellent%20pets%20for,should%20be%20housed%20in%20pairs
- 2. “Caring for Your Pet Sugar Glider”. NC State Veterinary Medicine. https://cvm.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Caring-for-your-Sugar-Glider.pdf
- 3. “4 Exotic Animals That You Can Own Completely Legal”. Dr Fox Vet. https://drfoxvet.net/4-exotic-animals-you-can-own-that-are-completely-legal/
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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