Sugar Gliders As Pets: Exploring The Pros and Cons

Sugar Gliders as pets can exhibit high levels of energy, playfulness, and ferocity that, at first, might be a little daunting and scary. It is why it is no surprise that pet owners, especially first-timers, would be a tad bit hesitant in taking one in. 

For those planning on getting sugar gliders as pets, it would be best to first consider the pros and cons of owning one. 

The Pros Of Having Them As Pets 

  • Sugar Gliders Have Long Lives

Most pocket pets fall under the mammalian rodent category, which means they have an average lifespan of only a couple of years. That is not the case with sugar gliders.

They are marsupials that can live up to 15 years if given the proper care and attention they need. Their lifespan is comparable to a cat or dog, making them also part of the family. It also means that adding a sugar glider to the family requires commitment and dedication as it causes long-term change!

  • Sugar Gliders Are Playful Creatures

One of the main characteristics of a sugar glider is its playful nature. Creating a bond with them also translates to earning their loyalty and trust. They are incredibly affectionate creatures, making them fantastic companions for people who live alone or do not get much chance to socialize or interact with others.

  • Sugar Gliders Are Inexpensive To Care For

Generally, sugar gliders are not expensive to care for compared to most pets. They do not require regular visits or checkups to the veterinarian. They also do not need deworming sessions or vaccinations.

Their diet is also easy to keep up with and is generally inexpensive. 

The Cons Of Having Them As Pets

  • Sugar Gliders Are Nocturnal

Sugar gliders are nocturnal creatures. They are most active and energetic during the night. Though, that does not mean they won’t interact with their owners during the day. 

Due to their nocturnality, light sleepers are advised to keep their cages out of bedrooms. They make loud noises at night since they like to run on their wheel, eat, and scurry around their cages. They also hiss, crab, chirp, and bark!

  • Sugar Gliders Have Specific Nutritional Needs

As their name applies, they glide like squirrels and prefer sweet-tasting things. They would eat only sugary food if they could get away with it. 

It would be completely up to the pet parent to give them a balanced diet of fruits, protein, and vegetables. Keeping track of their diet is an excellent way to keep them healthy and strong.

  • Sugar Gliders Needs An Exotic Veterinarian

One of the main hardships of having sugar gliders as pets is searching for an exotic veterinarian. These little critters need the right animal doctor to receive appropriate healthcare treatment. 

For those living in small communities, looking for an exotic vet will prove to be a real challenge. It will be a massive problem if the sugar glider needs immediate or emergency medical care. The sugar glider could be in a life-threatening situation if there is no experienced vet nearby. 

It is also worth mentioning that an exotic vet visit typically costs more than going to a regular vet.

  • Sugar Gliders Are Illegal In Some States

Having sugar gliders as pets is not legal everywhere. Since these tiny marsupials are exotic animals, their ownership qualifies under a geographic area’s regulations, laws, or statutes. Some states require a permit to take them in, while others don’t. 

Currently, sugar gliders are illegal in Hawaii, Alaska, and California. They are also illegal in Salt Lake City (UT), St. Paul (MN), and New York City (NY). Pet owners need a special permit or documentation in Utah, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania.  


Sugar gliders can be an excellent choice for pets, though they are probably not for everyone. Owning a sugar glider is a huge decision that can affect someone’s life for the next ten or so years. So, it would be best to consider everything first and weigh the pros and cons before deciding!



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