Scent Mask

A scent mask is something used to cover the natural scent of an animal. With sugar gliders, a scent mask can be used when doing introductions. You can apply a scent mask to every animal in a cage to cover their own scent and also to overpower their noses. They should then not easily detect the newbie. The goal is to get all animals into the same nestbox or bag to sleep together in order for their scents to merge. One mast take caution when doing introductions and watch the cage for one or two active nights, but after that, the introduction should be a success. Colonies almost always accept or reject a newbie very quickly.

Mouthwash is a strong and safe scent mask for gliders. You can put 100% or diluted mouthwash into a small spritz bottle and then apply one or two spritz to the rear end of every animal. You could also dab some onto your finger and spread on top of the head for good measure. You certainly want to keep it out of the eyes, ears and nose.

I often use scent masking along with a fixation device when I merge sugar gliders. Their tiny brains do not allow them to multitask. If you can get an animal to fixate on one thing, then other things can go on around without them paying much attention. It is much like when you give a timid glider a treat and it is happily munching away, you are more able to pet or touch the animal then when it is concentrating on you.

I often use a bath or being wet as a fixation device for sugars. They do not like baths and they generally fear water. When wet, they are stressed and want nothing more than to be safe and away from the threat. This is the perfect time to inject a new animal to the cage. So I will often wet them all, introduce them during the stressful fixation situation, and then scent mask them all for good measure. This has yielded good and very quick results for me.

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Last Edited August 9, 2008