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Sugar Glider Pregnancy: Symptoms, Stages, and Proper Care

Did you know that a SUGAR GLIDER PREGNANCY has an expectancy timeline that is very short?

Wondering what to do in case your glider becomes pregnant?

I’ve been there multiple times! Let me share some tips and tricks I learned along the way!

Read this EXTENSIVE Guide to know what to do BEFORE, DURING and after your fur baby gets pregnant!

At What Age Can a Sugar Glider Get Pregnant?

According to the Merck Veterinarian Manual, the female reaches puberty between 8 and 12 months old. (1)

This is the prime time for pregnancy to take place if there is a male between 12 and 15- months of age housed with the potential mama.

Here’s a clip of an actual pregnant sugar glider.

@garfieldrwrr Pregnant mommy 😍 #sugarglider ♬ Si Gendut – Agus Gobang

How Often Can Sugar Gliders Get Pregnant?

sugar glider being held

Gliders can have two or three litters a year, and they have an average of two joeys, or baby gliders, per live birth.

How many babies can a glider have in a year becomes a question you have to ask yourself if you don’t want to end up with an overabundance of these little treasures. 

When you have reached the maximum number you would like from sugar glider pregnancy, it is imperative to have the male gliders neutered.

VCA Animal Hospitals recommends that you “castrate (neuter) male sugar gliders, particularly if housed with other sugar gliders of either sex.” (2)

How Do I Know If My Sugar Glider is Pregnant?

child thinking if about sugar glider pregnancy

Different types of sugar glider breeds exist, in fact, 17 of them have been found. Signs of pregnancy in each, however, are basically the same. You may be asking, how do I know if mine is pregnant?

The top 5 indicators are listed below.

5 Sugar Glider Pregnancy Symptoms

#1 You may see her doing what is called a ‘licky trail’ where she licks from the cloaca to her pouch.

According to Rick Akelson, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, “The cloaca is a common opening for the rectum, urinary bladder and genital system,” (3).  

#2 You have detected a different attitude or lack of tolerance (or other behavior changes).

sugar glider being wrapped by a hand

Though these pets can be a little cranky from time to time (especially during nap time), when they are expecting, they may be even more prone to acting out, proving irritable, and the like.

#3 She can be seen grooming her pouch more than usual.

If the female who is expecting is licking her pouch more than she usually does, it is a sign of pregnancy.

#4 She isn’t as inviting in her sleeping quarters anymore and may even be protective of it.

The female who is expecting baby gliders may not want you or anyone or anything in the area where she will be giving birth.

#5 If the mama is looking pleasingly plump in the area where you know her little joeys to be might be growing, that is yet another sign of female gliders being pregnant.

This video shows you one of the signs a pregnant glider might display.

How Long is the Sugar Glider Pregnancy?

How long is the pregnancy? Surprisingly, the gestation period goes by fairly quickly! 

“The gestation period, or length of pregnancy, is about 15-17 days (compared to 60-65 days for dogs and cats and 270 days for people). Female sugar gliders usually give birth to 1 – 2 babies at a time,” (3).

Though they are nocturnal animals, they will birth during daylight hours.

Sugar Glider Pregnancy Stages

Though the female glider pregnancy goes by so quickly, there are stages associated with it. (3) Those stages are as follows:

  • Mating –  The male will climb on top of the female and grab onto her neck. They often mate in the great wide open.
  • Gestation Period –  The gestation period usually lasts 15-17 days, and 1 to 2 babies, or joeys, will be born.
  • Pouch Migration –  How long are they in the pouch? The teeny tiny newborns migrate to the pouch were they will remain for 70-75 days, at which time they will leave the pouch for full independence.

Tip: do not handle babies until their eyes are opened. This usually happens around 3 or 4 weeks of age.

 Here are two adorable babies, check them out!

What to Do When A Sugar Glider is Pregnant?

You have to think of care procedures, feeding tips, and warning signs when pregnant. 

Proper Care Tips:

  • Keep the area your pet spends the most time in very clean. You won’t have to bathe them. They are very clean on their own.
  • Ensure proper temperature in the room.
  • They prefer a warmer environment, around 75ish-degrees, but can be still be comfortable with the room thermostat being as low as 65-degrees Fahrenheit.
  • That is good news for those who like to run the air conditioner. They are actually pretty flexible with the temps. Just make sure the air conditioner doesn’t blow on the glider environment.
  • Non-toxic shredded paper or manufactured bedding seems is the favored bedding.
  • Providing a peaceful location during pregnancy is important
  • You also want to make sure a breathable pouch is hanging in the cage for when they want to rest in seclusion.

Feeding Tips:

  • Be sure to serve a balanced meal and check with a veterinarian for the proper diet for any exotic pet, especially when they are pregnant.
  • They eat two times a day.
baby sugar gliders

Once the joey is born, the baby’s food will be provided by the mother. The food source for the newborns will be from the mother’s teats, located inside of her pouch.

My neighbor has a sugar glider leucistic, often referred to as ‘black-eyed whites’, and honestly, it is cute enough to have its own social media page.

I’m not sure that’s on my neighbor’s current list of things to do, but it surely should be.

His exotic pet is expecting and these are all things he is doing to ensure his glider is comfortable and safe while she is expecting.

Warning Signs:

  • The stress level may be higher when they are expecting, so they may display restlessness or annoyance. Make sure to keep their environment peaceful to help them relax.
  • If your little friend does not seem as friendly as normal, this could serve as a warning sign that she is expecting. Respect this and don’t force your glider to interact.
  • They do eat more when they are pregnant. Keep track of what they eat, so you can spot changes.

Warning signs after pregnancy: 

  • A foul odor from the pouch can indicate an infection in the teats. Consult an exotic veterinarian immediately.
  • If there is ever any sign of illness, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately.

How Does a Sugar Glider Give Birth?

sugar glider looking though something

The glider will begin the licking trail when it is time to give birth. This simply means that she starts licking from her cloaca to her pouch.

When the babies are born, they will follow this saliva trail to their mother’s pouch.

A significant part of them giving birth is that the newborns will travel to the pouch where they will spend months maturing before they can come out into the public eye.

So what do sugar gliders look like at birth? They will be born with pink skin, and closed eyes. Their fused ears will look like nubs on the side of their head. They will be very tiny and should not be handled.

How Long Does It Take For Sugar Glider To Give Birth?

The birthing process is fairly quick and may not even be noticed by its owner. What you may or may not notice is the presence of moving babies in the mama’s pouch.

@lucya_puspita My baby sugar glider 🥰🥰 #babysugargliders #sugargliderindonesia #fyp #fypシ #foryoupage #foryou #xyzbca #cuteanimals #fmp #petcheck ♬ sonido original – !sss¡

Part of the birthing process is for the baby marsupial to make its way to its mother’s pouch. Traveling from the live birth site to the pouch takes about 5 minutes. 

The mother should not assist in the process of moving from the birth site to the pouch, lest the very tiny joey is damaged.

How Does The Sugar Glider Pouch Look After Pregnancy?

Well, honestly it is hard to detect pregnancy at all.

  • The pouch may display a subtle fullness that wasn’t there before.
  • The same is true after the joey is born.
  • The one indicator humans might detect in the pouch after pregnancy is that the “licky trail” the mama made from her cloaca to her pouch may be visible.
  • You might notice some movement as the joeys move around the pouch

Note: These pets like to remain in the pouch for months after birth. It is best not to interfere with them at this stage.

Here are a pair of baby gliders emerging from their mama’s pouch.

Names for Baby Sugar Gliders

What should you do after a successful birth? Well, name the joeys of course! sugar glider names for pairs are fun.

Beauty and Beast. Hansel and Gretel. Cinderella and Prince Charming. You get the idea. There are many names you can mix and match if your pet’s birth results in two joeys.

Clever name pairings create a great conversation piece as well.

FAQs 

How Long Are Sugar Gliders in the Pouch?

They stay in the pouch for approximately 75 days

Are they safe during pregnancy?

Yes, they are very safe during pregnancy. The gestation period is very short and you might not even realize she was expecting until the babies are born.

What do they need when pregnant?

Gliders need a clean, comfortable and private space, with good food and water.

How often can they get pregnant?

It depends on the circumstances, but some domestic pets eating a lot of protein can get pregnant multiple times a year.

How many joeys (baby gliders) does a female glider birth at a time?

A female glider produces 1 – 2 joeys each pregnancy.

How long do gliders live?

Gliders have a long adult life with the average life span being 10 – 12 years

Conclusion

Sugar glider pregnancy has an expectancy timeline that is very short. Should you happen to notice yours is expecting, be sure to keep her comfortable, well-fed, and watered.

Should you miss that she was even pregnant, it will be okay because those are all things as a good exotic pet owner, that you will be doing anyway.

Owners should not handle the newborns until their eyes are open and they have started to wean. They are extremely tiny before then, and very vulnerable.

Consult a qualified veterinarian for the proper way to handle the joeys once they become old enough to do so and enjoy your new pets!

What to Know About Pregnant Sugar Gliders

Seeing a sugar glider giving birth is truly an amazing experience, and if you happen to see one happening yourself- Please share with us how it went down in the comment section!

Resources

  • 1. “Breeding and Reproduction of Sugar Gliders – All Other Pets.” Merck Veterinary Manual, www.merckvetmanual.com/all-other-pets/sugar-gliders/breeding-and-reproduction-of-sugar-gliders.
  • 2. “Sugar Gliders – Owning.” Vca_canada_corporate, vcacanada.com/know-your-pet/sugar-gliders-owning#:~:text=Neutering%20is%20relatively%20straightforward%20(although. Accessed 8 May 2022.
  • 3. “Sugar Gliders – Owning.” Vca_corporate, 2009, vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/sugar-gliders-owning.
Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

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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