Sugar Glider Starter Kit


You've done all the research, you've weighed all the pros & cons, you've found a reputable breeder and everything is settled. Your joeys will be coming home soon. This is when most new sugar glider owners freak out. Here are the bare basics that you'll need.

Cage:

The smallest cage recommended for sugar gliders is 36"x24"x24" (or 40"x21"x21"). You are going to want your cage to be either PVC or powder coated with 1/2" bar spacing or less.

A removable, separate poo tray is a must. Shelves are good to help simulate branches of trees. Until you know if your gliders are chewers or not, keep any wood 'branches' out as the splinters can be dangerous. You should also be aware that some woods and plants are toxic so please be aware of these items before exposing your sugar gliders to them.

You're going to want to ziptie any unused doors shut (especially if you think the gliders will be able to figure out how to open them). You also need to look for swinging doors that are large enough for you to easily reach to all corners and remove/put in the wheel.

Note: Some people think joeys need small gaps because they're not fully grown, don't have all of their adult strength, and are still getting used to what their capable. If you want something temporary, try wrapping PVC mesh (can be found at Lowes & is typically called pet or garden fencing or builder's mesh) with small gaps around the inside of the cage using zipties to secure.

Food:

If you haven't already decided which to feed your gliders, you need to do your research now! There are many recommended diets out there used by reputable breeders and rescues. The most popular are HPW, Blended, BML, LGRS Suggie Soup, Candy's, Leadbeaters, & Priscilla's. Pellets are not to be used as the main portion of the diet and some believe they should be avoided at all costs.

No matter what diet you choose, you are going to need...
  • a blender
  • ice cube trays (or freezer safe container, but ice cube trays make measuring & serving easy)
  • mortar & pestal (optional, but helpful)
  • food processor (optional, but helpful)
  • a 'kitchen' made from a plastic bowl with lid, needs to be large enough for the food bowls & sugar gliders (not necessary, but definitly helpful in keeping the cage & surrounding area clean)
  • 1 or 2 water bottles to hang on the side of the cage

You are going to also want a stock of treats. Here are some suggestions:
  • yogies (yogurt drops, can be found at most pet stores)
  • live bugs like mealies &/or crickets (note: research these before you use them)
  • dried fruit
  • seeds &/or nuts (no seasoning)
  • applesauce (try to avoid added sugar & seasoning - this is great for bonding if you have them lick it off your finger)
  • organic, vanilla yogurt (dab a bit on your finger & have them lick this off as well)

Note: I suggest starting with 1 fruit & 1 veggie (with a CA:PH ratio of 1.5:1 or better) per week so you can test to see which your gliders like best. Later these can be blended & frozen for ease of storage & serving. That way you know that your gliders are geting the nutrition that they need & are still enjoying their fruits & veggies.

Toys & Accessories:

For in the cage vine-like items are fantastic along with foraging toys. Inexpensive foraging toys can be openable Easter eggs and/or a bucket/bowl of cut straws &/or fleece strips that they can dig into to find the hidden treat.

A wheel is a must. The Stealth and Wodent Wheels are recommened by most and are recognized as "glider safe".

For toys that allow you to interact with them, anything with feathers are fantastic (avoid catnip if you use cat toys as it is toxic to them).

You'll also want at least two sleeping pouches made of no-pill fleece & with hidden seams. One of these should be double lined if you live in an area where it dips below 45 degrees F in the cold months.

You'll want at least two bonding pouches as well. Again, no-pill fleece and hidden seams are a must. You'll also want one of these to be double lined.

Cleaning Supplies:

Any wipes without any bleach are great for cleaning the cage, toys, & kitchen. You can also use vinegar & warm water. Dawn dish soap is safe as well. If your gliders are sensitive to some detergents, you might want the baby-friendly detergent for when washig their pouches.

Also, baking soda in the bottom of the poo tray over the black and white newspaper or other lining helps keep the scent down.

Other:

Here are some things that you might also want:
  • humidifier (especially for the cold months where the heat is on, drying the air)
  • space heater (especially for the cold months)
  • handwarmers & a small, zippable fleece pouch to put it into so the gliders cannot get to it (great if you're traveling with them during the winter)
  • an emergency care kit (The Glider Initiative has a great one that you can suppliment as you see fit)
  • a joey rejection kit if you are going to be breeding
  • a travel cage (you're going to want enough room for them to play when looking at size, but smaller is ok since this is temporary - again: PVC/powder coated, 1/2" bar spacing)
  • a hospital cage (something very small to reduce movement; same requirements)


Last Edited February 17, 2011



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