PLEASE READ BEFORE PURCHASING ANY GLIDER SUPPLIES!!!
I can not count how many times an owner has come to me, excited to bring home their glider only to find out that all the research they have done so far is outdated or unsafe advice. Websites like Exotic Nutrition, Pocket Pets, Amazon, etc do not care about the safety of your gliders, they are there to simply make money. The items these sites sell are not safe. Sometimes you can get lucky and find a few safe cages or treats on these sites but for cage sets, toys, and wheels you need to be contacting vendors that specialize in sugar glider safety. These vendors take the time to make the items by hand to ensure they are not only 100% safe for your gliders but that they also provide some time of enrichment for your gliders. A ladder provides nothing more than something for your glider to pee on but when you get toy made specifically for sugar gliders then they will have moving parts, hiding spots for treats, reset rings or trinkets for them to carry around; they stimulate your gliders so they are not bored. The best place to buy these items is from vendors on Facebook or that sell on Etsy. You still need to do your research though because there are still people out there that will sell you unsafe items or rip you off. I recommend people only buy from vendors that are listed as being approved vendors, this means that their items have been tested to be safe and they are not known to rip people off.
!!DO NOT BUY ANY EXOTIC NUTRITION BRAND FOOD SUPPLIES!!
The minimum recommended cage size for a single or pair of Sugar Gliders is 30" x18"x36" or 24"x24"x36". Get the largest cage possible and remember that if you have more than two gliders the cage should be bigger than the minimum recommended size. The cages that we use here at Lucky You Gliders are 30" x 18" x 36" or larger in size
Taking the bar spacing of cages into consideration is very important. Bar spacing should be no larger than 1/2", preferably with bars going in a horizontal direction. If the bars are spaced more than 1/2" apart, you risk the chance of your gliders escaping.
If your cage is made out of wire it should be Powder, PVC or Epoxy coated. It should never have exposed or uncoated galvanized wire (silver wire) or be rusted. When uncoated wire is used, you run the risk of your glider being prone to urinary tract infections along with the fact that the uncoated wire is not easy on their feet.
When deciding on a cage, ensure that all doors can be locked or secured to prevent an escape. Zip ties are often used on smaller doors that remain unopened, doors that you do not need to open on a daily basis. If your cage has larger doors, alligator clips are used to keep the gliders in, but are easily removed for cage access.
Be sure to place your gliders cage in a warm room that is free from drafts and excessive foot traffic. Never place a cage directly in front of a window or vent. Heating and AC vents should never be near the cage, including over or under the cage. Ensure that the cage is placed in a room with good air circulation.
Some of the most popular cages available are the HQ Sturdy cage and Midwest Critter Nation cage. There are lots of different cages to choose from but they are not all of the same quality. Some of the cheaper cages are made cheaply and rust easily.
Safe bedding for the bottom of your cage includes:
- Fleece pads cut to the size of the drop tray (simply shake these out each day and wash every few days)
- Aspen shavings
- Puppy training pads (only if your glider cannot reach them or be in contact with them)
- Black and white newspaper
- Carefresh pet bedding
- You may also decide to use nothing in your trays
I personally use kiln dried Pine pellets. You can find these in the equine section of most farm stores. A 40lb bag usually runs around $6.00 so it's much cheaper than other beddings and works just as well.
**Please remember that for safety reasons, your glider should be unable to reach their bedding or get into contact with it. Fleece is the ONLY exception.**
- Pine or Cedar shaving or chips (can cause respiratory distress the vapors that are released when urinated on).
- Cat litter (can cause respiratory problems from dust and can cause internal blockages if ingested).
- Corn cob bedding (can produce mold when damp which in turn can produce deadly aflatoxins)
A gliders favorite toy will always be their wheel. It provides exercise for them as well as the joy it gives them, but there are a lot of wheels out there are that not safe for them. Almost are all wheels sold in the pet stores are not safe for them. None of the Wodent Wheel, Silent Spinners, metal wheels, or hamster balls are suitable for sugar gliders. The #1 marketed wheel for sugar gliders is the Wodent Wheel and it is the most dangerous for them. Wodent Wheels have a cross bar through the middle that has caused numerous tail injuries and even death because the gliders patagium can get caught in the cross bar. A lot of people will remove the stand from the Wodent Wheel, lay it flat, and fill it with pom poms for the gliders to play in. It's really the only good use for a Wodent Wheel. There are several safe wheels out there that have been made just for sugar gliders. Below I will include links to where you can purchase safe wheels.
SAFE WHEEL VENDORS
Free Runner: http://www.myfreerunner.com
Raptor Wheel: http://www.mygliderwheelsandmore.com/
Sugar gliders that live freely in the wild, usually choose a hollowed out tree as their nesting place. In captivity, that is a tough thing to duplicate so we need other alternatives for their safety and enrichment.
Pouches are the most favored, but there are a few things regarding pouches that must be considered to avoid injury/accidents. Loose strings and improper stitching are the leading cause of most of these accidents/deaths. Checking all pouches daily, and replacing worn pouches immediately will help reduce these incidents. In addition, there are a few other suggestions for safety. Fleece is currently the most common and safest fabric being used, since fleece does not fray on the ends causing loose strings. The higher quality of fleece will last longer than the less expensive. Pouches should be lined inside not allowing exposed seams, and stitches tight. Examine the loops that hold the hardware for attaching to the cage also, and avoid anything like cording/rope. Fleece allows a little "give" should a glider's nail get stuck, allowing them to get free more often than not. Cotton and flannel fray terribly, and should be avoided as lining. Using pinking shears to cut cotton/flannel, will help the fraying issue between layers. Should a glider's nail catch on these fabric choices, there is no "give", and far greater chance of the nail getting entangled. Faux fur and sherpa are other fabrics to avoid. The advantage of pouches are they can breathe and absorb, and are easily replaceable.
You must be overly cautious with the glider that dig's if using fabric sleeping pouches. They are known to chew or dig to get inside the lining of the pouch and thus trapped inside. Adding fleece blankets to the pouch will sometimes help. Choosing another option such as a nest box or chin house may be better for you and your glider. A specially designed unlined pouch is another option, but again, you must be very vigilant with these digger's.
As with any fabric product for glider's, nails MUST BE MAINTAINED for the greatest safety, as well as the health of you glider.
When choosing what is best for your glider and yourself, buyer beware. There are many safe products available, as well as unsafe. Research what works best for you and your glider.
THANK YOU Karin for this valuable information.
Toys or parts that should only be used during supervised playtime if used at all include but are not limited to:
*Toys with openings that are small enough to have a glider become entangled by his/her limbs, neck, or tail.
-Jingle bells. It's best to use liberty bells or cow bells as gliders' nails may get stuck in the small openings of jingle bells.
-small metal or plastic chain. Larger plastic chain would be best to use, but chain with openings of ¼“ or similarly sized risks limbs becoming entangled.
*Toys that are wide enough to get stuck in.
-cardboard toilet paper or paper towel rolls.
-Wire hamster wheels with an axle that could catch a limb, neck or tail. Also be aware that with these wheels the running surface spaces are large enough for a limb to slip through and become injured.
*Toys that gliders could choke on or ingest that should be used with caution during supervised playtime only.
-Cardboard (Never use cardboard with glue)
-Bean bag stuffed animals or toys.
-Tennis balls or dog toy with tennis balls attached.
*Toys with strings that could get tangled around limbs or throat or get caught in nails.
-Rope or rope perches that have frayed. This may include nylon, sisal, cotton, etc...
*Toys that are made from unsafe fabric such as terry cloth, socks, long length fake fur. These can cause loops that could loop around toes, feet, legs, neck, body, etc...
*Toys that are possibly toxic or may contain toxic material.
-Glue on paper towel and toilet paper rolls.
-Wind Spinners are known to have a toxic substance that will make gliders ill.
-Cat toys sometimes have catnip on them or in them, which is toxic to gliders.
Thank you to GliderCENTRAL for this valuable information.