People have long been drawn to sugar gliders as pets- take one look at their small, fuzzy bodies, pointed noses and big eyes and you will see why, said Tom Harford Columbia, who has a Ph.D. in zoology and teaches science to middle school students.
Thomas Harford Columbia’s passion for the proper care and keeping of exotic pets like sugar gliders has caused him to dedicate his life to educating people on keeping exotic animals. The rewards of owning exotic animals are great, but proper care is important. Below, Tom Harford Columbia answers some of the most frequently asked questions about caring for a pet sugar glider.
What is a sugar glider?
Sugar gliders are small marsupials that are native to Australia. They have a membrane that allows them to “glide” (hence the name) and adult sugar gliders typically weigh around 5 ounces.
What do sugar gliders eat?
Sugar gliders love sweet things (again, hence the name), said Thomas Harford Columbia. Fresh fruit and vegetables are their favorites, as well as cooked meat, eggs and yogurt for protein. As a treat, sugar gliders enjoy insects like crickets and mealworms. Insects are high in fat, so they should only be used as treats. The majority of a sugar glider’s diet should consist of protein, fruit, and vegetables, Tom Harford Columbia said.
How long do sugar gliders live?
Sugar gliders can live for up to 15 years in captivity, Tom Harford Columbia said.
What habitat do sugar gliders require?
A sugar glider requires a larger cage than many other small animals. Because they enjoy climbing, the bigger the better when it comes to choosing a cage, Thomas Harford Columbia advised. A tall cage is the best option and it should be made of wire mesh or metal bars. Sugar gliders will also need a nesting box, climbing branches and toys.
Do sugar gliders like interacting with people?
Sugar gliders do enjoy playing with people, according to Tom Harford Columbia. Many sugar glider owners purchase a “snuggle sack” that they wear with their sugar glider in it, as a little pouch for their pet. Sugar gliders are social animals and it is recommended that two are housed together so they do not get lonely.
Is there anything else I should know about sugar gliders?
Sugar gliders are nocturnal and they do make noise, so plan for this when choosing where in your home they will live. They can be vocal and loud and bark, squeak, and chirp.
About Thomas Harford Columbia:
Tom Harford Columbia was born in Upstate NY. Thomas Harford has a wife and four children and currently resides in Albany, New York. Tom Harford has long had a passion for exotic animals, working in pet stores, breeding animals, earning a Ph.D. in zoology, working at a zoo and now teaching science to middle school students. With all this experience and knowledge of exotic animals, Tom Harford’s passion is exotic pets and educating people on the proper care and keeping of exotic animals. His children have owned and cared for many of their own exotic animals, including hedgehogs, sugar gliders, chameleons, pythons, chinchillas and more. Tom Harford Columbia volunteers part-time at a local zoo doing animal education with children. He also still owns many exotic pets of his own. Thomas Harford Columbia wants his articles to focus on specific exotic pets and teach people the basics of their proper care and keeping. Responsible, informed care of exotic pets is vitally important to him.
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