There is SO much fun to have with Sugar Gliders. They love to play, glide, and run in wheels. They love to take apart toys (also known as reset toys) and carry them off to their pouches. They love to have fun with YOU!!
It is pure enjoyment just to sit and watch your little one explore their cage when you add in new toys.
Be sure to visit our Toy Shop to see the large variety of toys we offer.
The bond one creates with a Sugar Glider is like no other. These furry little critters wrap you around their opposable thumbs and love you for all of their lives.Getting to that point though is not always the easiest thing to do. Even hand raised joeys (joeys that are handled from day one out of pouch), can come to your with just a bit of an attitude (normally that attitude is nothing more than fear) and require what Sugar Gliders like the best from you...TIME!!
Bonding methods for one Sugar Glider may be different for another, as each Sugar Glider has its own temperament and personality. Some will greet you with happy clicking and want to glide right in for love, others seem to be shy and distant.
In the wild, our Sugar Gliders live in colonies of approximately 7-9. They are VERY social and VERY territorial animals. Therefore, one of the first things that is an important step, is getting your Sugar Glider used to your smell. This can be done in a number of ways.
First of all, you can cut some fleece squares (known as *blankies*) for your glider and wear them on your person to get your scent all over it. I often encourage new owners to sleep with a piece of fleece close to their skin for a couple of nights, or under a shirt all day long while you work. After doing so, place fleece squares in the Sugar Glider pouches/nest box. This will allow the Sugar Glider to smell you the whole time it sleeps. Allowing the Sugar Glider to do this, will teach it that the smell of you is not a threat, and can find comfort with you.
Another way is to carry your Sugar Glider with you during the day while it sleeps. A pouch that closes up securely is highly recommended. Often times the pouch is worn under your shirt, this method brings it closer to your skin and the Sugar Glider gets the smell of you. You can find sugar glider safe pouches that can hang inside their cage as well in our bonding pouch store.
In the beginning, if the Sugar Glider shows fear when you have them in their pouch (this will be shown by crabbing or lunging), it is advised to take the pouch and sit on the couch, placing the pouch in your lap or held against you. Sitting quietly, and gently rubbing the pouch. The whole time you are doing this, speak softly to your Sugar Glider, assuring him/her that everything is going to be ok.
Take the initial session with a scared Sugar Glider slow. After about 10-20 minutes, place the Sugar Glider, while still in its pouch, back into its cage, making sure the glider is now able to get out of its pouch if it so chooses to, and allow the glider to rest. Each day, at the same time or as close to it as possible, follow the same procedure, making the time periods a bit longer each time. Time, consistency, Patience, and Routine will teach your Sugar Glider it is able to trust you.
If your Sugar Glider happens to get out of its pouch and runs from you, do NOT chase after it. This will cause a set back and fear to an already frightened little animal. Try to offer its pouch to it, if it will not go into the pouch, grab a blankie from inside the pouch, or a small towel and cover the glider and scoop it up and place it back into the pouch. By using this method, the glider does not see you and therefore will not associate you in a *chase and catch* situation.
Now that you have your Sugar Glider trusting you a bit during the day, it is time to interact with your new pet during its waking hours. This is definitely a fun and regarding time. I do encourage you to wear long sleeve shirts and long pants, socks and shoes (often times Sugar Gliders like to bite on toes!!), and limit the type of lotions you use. If a Sugar Glider likes the smell of your lotion, hand soar, etc., you may experience them trying to taste you!!
I recommend getting a pop tent to set up. The Sansbug tent or Genji tent is the most popular and recommended. It doesn't have to be extremely large, but enough room for you to get into along with your Sugar Glider. The first few nights you may want to take a book in with you to read, or set up your tent in front of the television. Take along a few glider safe toys and treats.
Place a sheet on the floor of the tent, as the rustling of the tent floor uncovered may cause your Sugar Glider to become frightened.
After getting your tent all set up, it's time to get your Sugar Glider(s). Remove them from their cage while they are still in their pouches, I normally take mine out about 1/2 hour prior to them waking up at night, and carry the whole pouch into the tent with you. Wake your Sugar Glider(s) up by softly talking to them, rubbing their pouch and then open the pouch and offer one of those treats you brought in. Once they are awake, it wont take long for them to want to come out and explore. Keep in mind, as soon as they wake up and come out of their pouch, they will need to urinate and defecate, so be sure to have something such as a paper towel, or towel on your lap so they don't go on you.
The idea of using a tent for play time is, it allows the Sugar Gliders to interact with you and learn that you are not a threat. They will learn that you are their safety zone and before you know it, the bond you have with your gliders is an amazing thing. The first time they get startled and come back to you because they know you will protect them, is the day they put that final tie around their thumb and claim you as all theirs and one of their colony.
Enjoy the bonding process. Remember, it wont happen over night. Time, Patience, Consistency, Routine and Love will build a bond like no other. Just don't be in a hurry and try to rush things.
People often ask me how we at Critter Love are able to open a pouch and have our gliders look happy to see us instead of being crabby. It's simple I say, they know that every time that pouch opens they are going to be greeted with a treat.
Normally, it is either pine nuts or papaya treats or yoggie drops. Critter Love does not believe in the so called *licky treats* for the simple reason a Sugar Glider will lick until it is all gone, then they will bite down trying to find *the source* of the good stuff.
Critter Love believes this will encourage a Sugar Glider to bite your finger once the good stuff is gone. Critter Love recommends for you to actually hold a piece of food in your fingers, one they can take from you and while eating it, you can pet them and show them it is not your hands that they need to nibble on.
Visit our Treat Page to find some treats for your Sugar Gliders, so the next time you open the pouch, they will be happy to see you too!!