There are many options for finding a pet sugar glider and we’d be happy to provide some information to help start your search. Unfortunately there are some breeders or companies driven strictly by profit that sell animals to impulsive buyers. If you haven’t already, be sure to do plenty of research beforehand to make sure you are prepared for the time and responsibilty needed for keeping an exotic pet.
Sugar gliders are sometimes found at pet expos, flea markets and mall kiosks across the U.S. These are a popular way to be introduced to gliders, educate the public and promote their ability to be great pets. That being said, If purchasing from one of these venues, make sure you are doing business with a reputable source that is focused on education rather than sales.
We encourage everyone to first look into adoption. Search the internet (Google, Facebook, Craigslist) for someone looking to rehome their glider. You’ll likely be adopting an older glider rather than a baby, but you will have the benefit of rescuing an animal in need and providing them a safe and loving home environment.
Another option is to check with pet stores in your area. The big-box stores (Petco, Petsmart, etc.) don’t carry exotic pets but a smaller locally-owned pet store might! Again, search the internet or yellow pages to find an exotic pet store near you. If there are no exotic pet stores in your immediate area, there may be one in a larger city nearby. Experienced employees will be able to answer any remaining questions and guide you through the adoption process. Plus, the stores should carry all the proper supplies for your pet. Call the store directly to check on the availability of sugar gliders. Even if they don’t have some in-store for immediate purchase, they may have helpful contacts or be able to find one for you.
If you can’t find a glider within the local area, a final option would be to outsource. The contacts listed below are reputable exotic pet breeders with the highest standards of care. Most provide routes for pick-up or can ship exotic pets directly to you using American Airlines. They provide same day delivery service to your closest major airport.
Kansas City, KS
Sugar Gliders R Us / Kathy Woodson
(615) 631-9819 or SugarGlidersRUs@aol.com
*Please note that these recommendations came from other glider owners / customers. Exotic Nutrition does not sponsor the contacts listed above.
Recently, the USDA lightened their requirements for USDA licensure. The old rules required that anyone breeding and selling Sugar Gliders must be licensed. The new rules allow up to three breeding females without licensure. This has had a huge impact, not so much in the amount of Sugar Gliders being sold, but more the amount of Sugar Gliders being sold by unlicensed and many times inexperienced people that pass along misinformation.
Since Sugar Gliders are exotics that require time, attention, and species-specific diets, many people are sold Sugar Gliders without being given proper information. Consequently, they do not realize what they are getting into and often times get rid of them shortly after.
Breeding Sugar Gliders properly will not likely bring a profit. Over time, the costs of proper diet, vet bills, bedding, toys and pouches will not usually be covered by the price of joeys. Most small scale breeders will not actually profit in the long run if they are taking care of the animals properly.
What about Sugar Glider Mills? There are such facilities breeding many hundreds of gliders in 1' x 1' cages without enrichment. These megabreeders pull the joeys away from their parents, often too early, for a quick sale. They cannot provide detailed information and socialization for each joey born, so the joeys are usually held for the first time after they are pulled from their parents.
Sugar gliders are sometimes found at pet expos, flea markets and mall kiosks across the U.S. These exhibitors prey on impulse buyers. They attempt to put everything together in a neat, easy, ready-to-go package. You get the glider, cage, pouch and a years supply of food all in one (expensive!) bundle. After a 10 or 15-minute discussion on care, they send the baby Sugar Glider and their new owners on their way.
How can you tell you are dealing with a reputable breeder? There are several ways to get a good idea. The least of which is whether they have a USDA license. While a USDA licensed breeder is a good start, even these "glider mills" pass the USDA standards. You want to find a USDA licensed breeder that exceeds the USDA requirements.
A good breeder should:
1. Show you the glider's habitat area. If they won't they may have something to hide.
2. Have reasonably clean cages. USDA requires they be cleaned every two weeks. The bottom line is that breeding Sugar Gliders have an odor, but it should smell musky, not rank and filthy. Food dishes and crocks should be clean. Water bottles should be full. There should not be old food sitting at the bottom of the cage.
3. Be able to handle joeys and parents without wearing gloves. If the breeder has to wear gloves to handle parents, they do not have a good relationship with their gliders. If they have to wear gloves to hold the joeys, they probably have not been handled. Sugar Glider joeys sometimes bite, but you should not require gloves to handle a joey that has been well handled.
4. Be able to convey proper information about diet. Do your research first. Know about diet and make sure the breeder is feeding the adults and joeys properly (you want healthy joeys).
5. Be able to give proper information about habitat, handling, bonding, vet information, emergency care, etc.
6. Do not pull joeys away from their parents before they are 8 weeks old.
7. Discuss the issues of one Sugar Glider or two. Sugar Gliders do better in pairs. Some people prefer to get one, bond with it then get the second, but Sugar Gliders do best in pairs and should convey this information.
8. Act in the Sugar Glider's best interest. If it looks like it's all about money, go elsewhere.
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Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not able to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please contact an accredited veterinarian if you have a pet emergency.