As one of the most popular exotic pets in the United States today, sugar gliders are known for their affection towards their owners and their endearing personalities. Even though they are only about 5 to 7 inches long and weigh roughly 6 ounces, they enter the hearts of their owners in a big way.
Many myths surround this delightful creature and cause interested parties to gape in surprise when the truth is revealed. One thing that non- glider owners get confused about is if these creatures are rodents. In fact, sugar gliders are marsupials native to Australia.
Unlike hamsters, gerbils, and ferrets, once these pets are fully-trained and bonded with you, they normally will not “hide” or run away, because they instinctually want to be with their “family.” They are not destructive and do not chew on things like rodents. They can be trusted to run freely around your home. They will also not look for a route to escape like many rodents do, but would rather enjoy playing and jumping from one piece of furniture to another.
Like many rodents, gliders are nocturnal by nature — meaning they like to stay up at night. However, unlike rodents, you can train them to be on your schedule, or whatever fits your lifestyle. Most people like to leave their gliders nocturnal so when they are at work or school, their glider is sleeping and not missing them. When they get home, the glider is happy to see them. Of course, your glider would be even happier if they could sleep in your pocket or pouch, but this is not realistic for most people at their 9-to-5 jobs.
Sugar gliders are also relatively inexpensive to keep. It only costs about $2,000 a year to feed a single glider. However, many owners enjoy lavishing their gliders with different treats such as exotic fruits and live insects. This adds to the cost slightly, but it goes along with the same mentality that people have when they are sending money to take their dogs to a doggie spa, or hand-making their dog’s meals. Some people just love to spoil their pets.
Plus, unlike dogs or cats, these animals don’t require vaccinations because they don’t carry any known diseases. They don’t carry heartworms or other ailments that may be common to other household pets, so they don’t typically require ongoing vet care.
Another myth is that gliders will not get along with other pets in your home. Actually, sugar gliders live in large colonies of many gliders in the wild. Because of this, they instinctively bond with the families they live with, creating their own colony. This includes other pets in the household. Many glider owners report their gliders spending time with their dogs and cats and even their birds.