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Beady eyes, long tails, cute paws, and a tiny size have made Sugar Gliders one of the most sought after exotic pets in a number of countries. These tiny marsupials, with their fuzzy feel and absolutely adorable looks, have been reigning the territory of our hearts ever since we’ve laid eyes on them.
If you ever saw a Sugar Glider at a friend’s place or on that busy Subway while walking to your office, you may have thought you could use a companion as ‘chocolate some’ as a Sugar Glider.
Since these are exotic pets, you obviously know they aren’t going to come off cheap, and they are nowhere next to inexpensive when it comes to taking care of them.
So, here is a manifested guide to know how much Sugar Gliders cost to buy and take care of…
How much do Sugar Gliders cost?
Considering both buying and petting expenses, Sugar Gliders are pretty premium priced. Since these pets aren’t available in just any pet shop down the lane (unless you are thinking of backyard breeders, which we HIGHLY discourage), buying a Sugar Glider from a professional breeder or an exotic pet shop if your city has one can cost you anywhere between $300 – $800 dollars.
The drastic gap in the range is mainly dependent on the age of the Glider and the reputation of the breeder or the exotic shop. For an old Sugar Glider (over 12 weeks), you can expect to pay about $250- $300 on average; however, the babies that are 8 to 12 weeks old are sold for over $400.
The cost of the SG also depends on its health, color, temperament, or physical attributes; thus, if you want to buy a Sugar Glider, contact multiple breeders (licensed, and we can’t stress enough about it) or shops before settling the deal with one.
These creatures do not come ‘on the cheap,’ and just in case you found a breeder that offers you an unbelievably low price, it’s not your lucky day. There are high chances that the animal is inbred or illegally imported (remember what we said about the plastic bottles) or carry some diseases or health issues, which is why the breeder is trying to get rid of it as soon as he can.
There are high chances of inbred or unethically bred Sugar Gliders to carry Salmonella or suffer from genetic diseases that they will never be able to recover from in the future.
To be succinct, DO NOT SEEK TO BUY A SUGAR GLIDER IN CHEAP!
|Average Price In U.S. STATES|
|Arkansas||$200 – $450|
|Colorado||$250 – $600|
|Delaware||$500 – $800|
|Illinois||$150 – $300|
|Indiana||$450 – $600|
|New Jersey||$550 – $800|
|Louisiana||$350 – $500|
|Maryland||$450 – $600|
|Michigan||$400 – $700|
|Nevada||$280 – $350|
|Ohio||$300 – $600|
|Oklahoma||$450 – $750|
|Oregon||$300 – $500|
|Texas||$500 – $700|
|Utah||$400 – $700|
|Virginia||$160 – $350|
|Washington||$250 – $600|
|Wisconsin||$180 – $300|
|Average Price In Other Countries|
|Canada||$350 – $500|
|South Africa||R 1500 – 3500|
|U.K||£500 – £1000|
|Where To Buy Sugar Gliders In USA|
|NWA Sugar Glider Addicts||Rogers||Arkansas|
|animal Kingdom Grooming||Pueblo||Colorado|
|Bravo Pets||Palm Beach||Florida|
How much does it cost to take care of a Sugar Glider?
Buying a Sugar Glider isn’t where your responsibility ends. They are equally premium-priced when it comes to their maintenance and care.
A Sugar Glider needs to jump, run, glide, climb and do everything that it usually does in the wild to stay healthy. This means it needs a large space and an expensive gigantic cage when it’s not roaming around in the house.
It also has a specialized diet and needs to be left under a professional’s watch if you are going out for a while. The additional vet bills again spike up the price of petting and taking care of a Sugar Glider.
How much does a cage for a Sugar Glider cost?
Considering the fact that we are talking about large vivariums and not a typical guinea pig cage, a medium-sized cage to provide ample space to your Glider can cost around $40 – $60 dollars, but the prices can escalate if you opt for a mammoth-sized cage (which wouldn’t be so mammoth for your Glider).
To eradicate the monotony from simple four-walled confinement, it is suggested to add accessories and toys to the cage, such as hiding holes, hammocks, and climbing posts. These additional accessories can be purchased from any pet shop and cost an extra of $10 – $25.
Whether you pet a Sugar Glider or not, these marsupials are better left alone in their natural habitat amidst the rustling leaves and the grassy grounds where they can not only live like an animal deserves to but also grow up and interact with their own pack.
How much does it cost to feed a Sugar Glider?
Given a ball-park estimate, it costs about $5 dollars a month to feed your Sugar Glider, a diet that contains only veggies and fresh fruits. However, in order to provide daily meals of high nutritional density, you also need to pack in protein in their diet, either plant or animal-based, which makes an additional cost of $15.
The Sugar Glider also needs to be provided with calcium multivitamins so it doesn’t fall prey to bone fractures and health issues associated with calcium imbalance. These supplements can cost $8 – $10. A special pellet for Sugar Gliders, ideally Glider Complete, costs $31.99 for 5 lbs and can be an easy and highly nutritious meal for your Glider that rounds up all nutrients in one.
What are the additional vet bills that you may have to incur for a Sugar Glider?
A one-nighter emergency room in a hospital for a sick Sugar Glider is charged at approximately $400. A five-day intake program, on the other hand, can cost anywhere between $1000 – $1500, which includes a 24-hour watch on the sick Sugar Glider and emergency treatments.
What should you feed a Pet Sugar Glider?
The Sugar Glider’s diet should compose meals that contain calcium and phosphorus in the ratio of 2:1. They should consume 15-20% of their body weight daily, and an ideal Sugar Glider food consists of pelleted kibbles that make up ⅓ of their meals, Leadbeater mixture, or any nectar or sap mixture that gives them enough nutrients without balancing out on the phosphorus.
Since calcium is one of the most crucial minerals that an SG should never be deficient in, it should be given a calcium-based multivitamin supplement daily. Apart from this, the meal should comprise fruits and vegetables that are preferably not canned and fresh. You should also keep some special kibble made just for Sugar Gliders available for them at all times.
They should always be given a treat of insects rich in protein or powdered with protein every other day.
What fruits to feed your Sugar Glider?
Ideally, you can feed your Glider a mixed fruit meal of apples, avocados, figs, grapes, mangoes, pineapples, and pears. Mixing these up refrains the Glider from picking out a favorite fruit.
Peaches, oranges, and cantaloupe are also equally great options for an SGs meal.
What vegetables to feed your Sugar Glider?
Sweet potatoes, sugar corn, tomatoes, DSLVs, or dark green leafy vegetables make for great meals for a Sugar Glider.
Hard-boiled and shelled eggs are the best and easiest options for a protein-rich diet for a Sugar Glider. Yogurt and cottage cheese can be relatively inexpensive protein options. Sugar Gliders, being omnivorous, also enjoy feeding on cooked lean meat cut into slices.
Tofu is a great replacement for cottage cheese to fill the protein requirement of Sugar Gliders.
If you are trying to go for easier alternatives, say, dog, or cat food, we’d stop you right here. Dog and cat foods may be a high source of protein, but they are sparingly designed to be consumed by Sugar Gliders and do not check into all the nutritional requirements of these tiny marsupials.
What treats to give to your Sugar Glider?
Earthworms, crickets, and other live insects that are easily attainable make great treats for your favorite exotic pet. Keep in mind to not feed your Sugar Glider an insect caught outside in your lawn or one that has been feeding on pesticides.
Insects should only be used as treats on a gap of 2-3 days because of their high-fat content, which can be counterproductive if fed daily.
There are insects, and then there are NUTS that are the star-treats of Sugar Gliders. Unsalted and raw nuts are ideal treats for Sugar Gliders.
What supplements to give to your Sugar Glider?
Any calcium-enriched multivitamin supplement would be good to go for a Sugar Glider. However, a reptile multibit supplement is a preferably better option for Sugar Gliders.
No, Carol, they are not reptiles!
Is it Illegal to own a Sugar Glider?
Well, the legality depends on where you stay.
Native to Australia, Sugar Gliders are banned as pets in all parts of Australia, the simple reason being the fact that they are wild animals and shouldn’t be kept captive. Making them peer at the outside world where there’s lush, and branches from within a cage are utterly inadmissible and immoral, which is why the Australian government doesn’t allow the export or sale of Sugar Gliders as pets.
In the U.S., Sugar Gliders are considered novelties and can be kept as pets legally in almost all cities and parts, except for the states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania.
There are special regulations in Georgia, New Mexico, and a few other states that you should read through and abide by before you venture out to buy a Sugar Glider. Some cities such as California, Minnesota, NY, and St. Paul have also banned their residents from keeping Sugar Gliders as pets.
The United Kingdom, on the other hand, has been seeing surging demand for Sugar Gliders as pets. With almost no prohibitions or license required to buy or pet Sugar Gliders, it is easier to consider buying Sugar Gliders as novelties in the United States.
A number of countries have illegalized the owning or buying of Sugar Gliders, and some have made it only borderline legal to enjoy Sugar Gliders as pets in your home.
With all that said and done, why is it so hard to find a pet shop selling Sugar Gliders? Due to regulations on the import of Sugar Gliders, myriad countries have banned the export of these beady-eyed marsupials, which is why they are sporadically found in pet shops.
Apart from this, the neglect and abuse of Sugar Gliders in the U.K. or the U.S. result in the banning, hefty fine, or prison sentence of a certain timeframe, which is why most breeders and sellers do not risk themselves with these novelties (for good).
How to check the legality of Sugar Gliders as pets in your state?
Laws for breeding, selling and petting a Sugar Glider or any other exotic pet for that fact keep varying from year-to-year and place-to-place. If you want to buy a Sugar Glider in your state and you aren’t sure if they are legally sold or allowed to be owned by your state government, here’s what you can do:
- Look up online, and if you are still in ambiguity, wanting to know further, call local government agencies and ask them about the legalities. You can call the city hall or county office to request further details on whether you can own a Sugar Glider where you live.
- The best and the easiest way to be sure is to go to a local pet shop and ask them if Sugar Gliders are legal around the place. If you feel misled, you can contact a local official and find out more.
- If you are still unsure (you shouldn’t be to this point), scrutinize and contact your province or state government or get in touch with a state official who can inform you of the jurisdiction of the state and legalities regarding Sugar Gliders or any other novelty pets.
Why Should You not Buy Sugar Gliders?
1.Most Sugar Gliders are bred and sold with cruelty.
No, it’s not about the legalities, it’s not about the affordability or the adaptations, but in the end, it all boils down to how they are farmed and bred. Due to legal issues and regulations levied on their import, export, and handling, many breeders resort to illegal and immoral methods to breed these pint-sized adore balls.
According to PETA, a significant portion of Sugar Gliders live in hellish conditions before being sold to the owner, and a lot of exporters bottle them, literally, in plastic bottles before selling them in some dodgy backyard sale.
When these breeders should be reported for cruelty and mishandling, a number of novelty-obsessed people buy Sugar Gliders from breeders like these, which eventually leads to increasing demand and freedom to treat these delicate marsupials like stuffed toys.
The relatively low production of Sugar Gliders because the females give birth only once or twice in the whole year to only one to two baby SGs, leads to unethical breeding of Sugar Gliders.
Overbreeding often results in trauma, shortened lifespan, stillborn offsprings, and infertility in the mother Sugar Gliders. The baby Gliders born through overbreeding or inbreeding are highly vulnerable to mental instability, genetic disorders, dwarfism and increased risk of diseases, the fracturing of bones, and a weak skeletal structure.
Think of this as pedigree dog breeding.
Buying exotic pets or Sugar Gliders accelerates the rise of such breeders who, in order to make some hard cash, treat animals with sheer harshness and cruelty. However, if you still want a Sugar Glider, one way to go with this would be to only purchase from professional and licensed breeders who guarantee the safety of both the parents and the offspring.
To put a stop to the cruelty that these marsupials are met with, we encourage adopting a Sugar Glider from someone in close vicinity or a shelter instead of buying them.
2.Sugar Gliders are expensive to buy and pet.
Do you know what is synonymous with ‘exotic’? For us, it’s a truckload of money (just an analogy). Earlier the chinchillas and now Sugar Gliders, the demand for exotic pets keeps changing, but the one thing that remains constant is the -burn-a-hole-in-the-wallet price tag that comes attached to them.
Not only are Sugar Gliders expensive to buy, but they are also expensive to keep. There are multiple reasons to such as:
- A specialized diet
- A specialized vet care
- A huge place and access to a gargantuan cage
- An additional partner (not necessary, but SGs like to live in colonies, and if not a colony, they love a partner SG)
3.They are nocturnal animals.
Sugar Gliders are nocturnal marsupials who prefer to sleep during the day. If they are unable to adjust to your schedules, they will keep lazing and slugging around during the day and forage for their toys and make all the noise they can in the world at nighttime.
However, just like cats (that too are nocturnal), Sugar Gliders can be trained to sleep at night and possibly bless you with some good-night sleep instead of doing acrobatics in the house. If you do not train your Sugar Glider to transform its sleep mechanisms, it will possibly be asleep during the day and look for darker and quiet environments to sleep.
If they are not given a dark and quiet environment to sleep in the day (unless trained), the disturbed sleep pattern can seriously affect their health.
What can you do? The best that you can do is carry these pint-sized babies in your pocket where it isn’t just dark but also snuggly so they can catch some zzz’s.
If you’re worried about them pooping or peeing in your pocket as you sit in a restaurant or visit a friend’s home, let us tell you that they are super clean animals who do not like to mess up where they sleep or eat. Though they can’t be potty-trained, they surely keep themselves squeaky clean by not defecating in their cafe or your pocket, for that fact.
PS: They may urinate or defecate if they are frightened or injured while you carry them, so there’s that.
4.They are highly social and active animals.
There are social ‘butterflies,’ and then there’s the Sugar Glider. Sugar Gliders are extremely social animals who need attention more than your dog does (no offense!). Just like other pets who yearn for attention, except for the cold and desolate ones, Sugar Gliders, if left unattended, fall into depression, which can lead them to fall sick often or potentially die a premature death.
A lot of pet owners are completely oblivious to the fact that buying an exotic pet or ANY pet isn’t where it ends; giving them ample attention and nurturing them with care is of paramount importance to keep them healthy and happy. Sugar Gliders are no exception.
If you work a 9 to 5 job or have chores that exhaust all your time, you should not consider buying a Sugar Glider. These, apart from care, also need specialized attention in terms of diet, sleep, and health, which is often looked over by many owners that eventually induce illness or even death to the poor animals.
If you can not provide enough attention to your Sugar Glider or you do not have an alternative to leaving it on its own for extended periods, locked up in a cage, you can buy an additional Sugar Glider, so they can keep each other company.
What we mean to say is, ‘If they can’t buy your attention, you have to buy them a companion.’
In the wild, Sugar Gliders live in packs or colonies; thus, isolating a Glider from its natural habitat and pack is somewhat unjust. However, there is no hard and fast rule that you have to have a pair when you are buying a Sugar Glider. It can do well on its own, but in that case, it will need a significant portion of your attention.
There are certain signs that say your Sugar Glider needs a companion:
- It doesn’t eat its food.
- It keeps sleeping all the time, whether the day’s burning bright or during the night.
- They do not move a lot.
- They keep sitting in one place instead of playing at times when they were usually the most active before.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s highly probable that the Glider is depressed and is in need of a companion.
This means putting a dent in your pocket and buying another exotic pet. So, what do you do? Don’t buy the first one, to begin with!
5.They need massive space to live and play.
This is a hard pill that most Sugar Glider owners can not swallow. Just because Sugar Gliders are small, it doesn’t mean you can make a snuggly home for it in a worn shoe-box that you found in the basement.
No! Sugar Gliders are marsupials who jump and climb branches, gliding from tree to tree in their natural environment. In the wild, they reign their own kingdom and have stellar space to play and live in.
These little acrobats, as mentioned, are highly active and should not be refrained from jumping, climbing, and of course, ‘GLIDING’ and running within their own space.
When they are locked up within the four walls of your home, we aren’t going to advise you to write your house’s deed in their name (just a joke), but they do need ample space to be able to live comfortably without feeling claustrophobic.
This translates to the fact that Sugar Gliders need cages that aren’t just the regular rat or degu cages. Sugar Glider owners, who care enough about their pets, should build an indoor cage resembling an aviary or large vivariums that are at least 4 feet high and double up in width. It’s simple – the larger space, the happier the Glider.
Since most households can not offer this much space to their Gliders, it is highly advisable to not buy them and confine them in a small apparatus, which in turn is a great compromisation to not just their play but their health in general.
6.Sugar Gliders have a specialized diet.
In the wild, Sugar Gliders consume eucalyptus gum, sap, and nectar. They also feed on a substantial amount of honeydew, and these omnivores regularly feed on bird eggs and small insects rich in protein.
In proportions, Sugar Gliders consume 75% gums, sap, and nectar, including honeydew. The rest, 25%, is composed of insects and flesh, which translates to baby birds or eggs of small birds.
With such a refined spectrum of diet, it is almost impossible to reiterate and duplicate their diet in captivity. If the nutrient requirements aren’t met, the Gliders suffer from a number of health conditions.
Improper diet makes Sugar Gliders prone to diseases and bone fracture.
So, maybe you thought missing out on a proper meal (we’ve discussed what proper meal is for Sugar Gliders in captivity on the top) one fine day would really do nothing to your Glider. Maybe you craved an all-junk Sunday, abandoning a clean diet, and you thought maybe your Sugar Glider could use some fast food too.
THAT’S WHERE YOU’D GO WRONG!
An improper diet, one potentially rich in phosphorus and low in calcium, can lead to the leaching of calcium from the bones of the Sugar Glider. Scientifically speaking (yes, Einstein), Sugar Gliders, if deprived of Calcium in their food and fed with more phosphorus, will have softened bones which will be highly vulnerable to fractures.
Apart from susceptibility to fractures, Sugar Gliders, if fed an improper diet, are prone to metabolic bone diseases and innumerable other problems that come in parallel with calcium and phosphorus imbalance.
With that many troubles that come stringing behind the absence of a strategic meal diet, you do not only have to be utterly careful and cautious, but you also can’t leave them to just anybody else when going on that much-dreamt trip to Hawaii.
Unless you are in contact with a professional watcher to take care of your Sugar Glider while you’re away, forget going on holiday!
Fun Facts about Sugar Gliders
- Sugar Gliders lean back and emit chattering sounds in order to warn their opponent when they get angry, and they strike the opponent with full force if the warning attempt is unsuccessful.
- A Female Sugar Glider can simultaneously produce two types of milk in each nipple suitable according to the ages of two different Joeys or baby Sugar Gliders.
- Sugar Gliders have a unique mechanism that helps them to move freely between trees; they have a gliding membrane between their wrist and ankles, which during a flight, which they can control in aspects of shape and size. This allows them to change the position of limbs and glide in the direction they want to.
- A Sugar Glider can glide up to 45 meters, and with the help of their sharp claws, they cling onto nearby branches after finishing the glide.
- Male Sugar Gliders have a special scent gland that is found on their forehead and chest; they use their scent to mark the members of the group for identification.
- Sugar Gliders have a wide variety of vocalizations, and they can produce barking, crabbing, chattering, and hissing sounds to communicate.
- With the help of their 180-degree flexible ankle bone, the Sugar Gliders can easily climb down vertical tree trunks headfirst.
- Sugar Gliders have a grooming comb made up of two webbed toes located on their hind limbs.
- The Sugar Gliders got their name because of their love for sweet foods (not refined sugar), which includes honey, sap, and acacia gum. Their gliding membrane forms the other part of their name.
- Sugar Gliders are nocturnal marsupials; their large eyes help them to see at night, and their ears help them to locate prey in the dark.
- During the daytime, they sleep in their personalized nests made of leaf twigs.