Are Sugar Gliders High Maintenance? {3 Factors You Must Consider}

Caring for an animal requires some give and takes patience to receive the benefits of companionship. Are sugar gliders high maintenance?

The following information will allow you to be the judge who makes the ultimate decision.

This article is for you and anyone wondering about how much care is required for these lovable marsupials.

Are Sugar Gliders High Maintenance?

Sugar gliders require little upkeep as animals because they groom themselves and sleep through most of the day.

  1. For many hours each day, owners who care a lot about their sugar gliders may slice exotic fruits, collect live insects, and prepare quite elaborate and pricey meals for them. It becomes exhausting or expensive for some.
  2. Others report they can’t stop the barking sounds throughout the night for these nocturnal creatures who are active when they are asleep.
  3. Some sugar gliders bond so well with their owners, it’s like their relationship is on cruise control while others have extreme difficulties with skirmish sugar gliders biting, hiding or not eating enough.

Are Sugar Gliders Hard to Take Care Of?

As pets, sugar gliders are a challenge to maintain properly. They require a lot of patience and close, focused attention.

  1. They are not readily trained to use the bathroom, but they can live contentedly in an enclosure, which will help to minimize some of the mess they make.
  2. They also require specific care for their food to be in order to keep their nutrients in proper balance.
  3. They are nocturnal, so they aren’t as much fun during the day and they really don’t get along with other pets that you may have.

These are the negatives of having a sugar glider as a pet. You need more than one sugar glider to suit the social demands of one sugar glider.

Are Sugar Gliders OK Alone?

Especially if they are kept in isolation, sugar gliders need to interact with their human companions for at least:

  • one to two hours each day.

They are very communicative animals that prefer to congregate with other sugar gliders when they get the opportunity. As a result, they enjoy themselves more when they are in groups of two or more.

What Problems Do Sugar Gliders Have?

Many infectious and malignant conditions that are known to affect mammals, such as dental abscesses, toxoplasmosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma, can affect sugar gliders.

The most important piece of advice is to always wash your hands, especially beneath your fingernails, before touching your sugar glider in order to prevent unintentionally spreading bacteria.

​By providing a safe environment for sugar gliders, you may prevent common causes of harm or death to them.

Keep sugar gliders away from open water sources to prevent drowning tragedies which include:

  • toilets
  • sinks
  • bathtubs
  • buckets 

Keep sugar gliders away from pesticides, insecticides, and rodent bait.

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Toxic Plants For Sugar Gliders

Keep sugar gliders away from trees and plants such as:

  • Pine
  • Cedar
  • Fir
  • Box Elder
  • Boxwood
  • Oak
  • Red maple
  • Walnut
  • Cherry
  • Almond
  • Laurel
  • Apricot
  • Nectarine
  • Plum
  • Peach trees
  • Holly
  • Azalea
  • Mistletoe
  • Catnip
  • Rhubarb
  • Sweet Peas 

All trees that grow fruits are toxic to sugar gliders because they can irritate their lungs. Avoid any pesticide-treated plants as well as plants that have had chemical, fertilizer, or toxic treatments.

Health Conditions with Sugar Gliders

Having a malnourished sugar glider can result in:

  • Back-limb paralysis
  • Blindness
  • Dehydration
  • Cataracts
  • Obesity
  • Seizures

Throughout the first week after adoption, we advise taking your sugar glider to the veterinarian for a checkup.

Yearly checks are adequate unless medical attention is necessary. Blood tests and a stool examination should be part of these visits. Where feasible, males should be neutered to prevent antisocial behavior and self-mutilation.

Emergency Care For Sugar Gliders

Watch for several changes that require medical attention:

  • ​pneumonia can be identified by drainage from the nose or eyes.
  • diarrhea brought on by dietary adjustments
  • ailments associated with stress, such as eating disorders, self-mutilation, and young-person cannibalism
  • hair loss is usually caused by inadequate diet and vitamin consumption.

Do not wait to make an appointment with your sugar glider veterinarian if your pet feels ill. Watch out for these indications below:

  • a diminished appetite
  • lethargy
  • nasal discharge or sneezing
  • eye discharge
  • itchiness
  • lumps

​Any action that is indicative of low blood sugar in a sugar glider is a sure clue that something is amiss. When sugar gliders are unwell, they frequently stop eating.

They could become weak and sluggish as a result, which might cause tremors or seizures. Low calcium levels may also be responsible for these symptoms which can be life-threatening.

Sugar Glider Care Tips

If you just want to keep sugar gliders healthy, they require more work. They live for up to 15 years, so they require and deserve a much greater level of commitment.

  1. Sugar gliders are cute, but they will pee on you very often It’s not a large quantity of pee, but expect it to happen.
  2. Sugar gliders require fresh fruits every day. Caring for sugar gliders requires planning and access to fresh food daily.
  3. You will need a veterinarian who regularly works with exotic pets. Find the vet before you adopt any gliders.
  4. Sadly, sugar gliders have been overbred for the pet trade and can be in poor shape upon arrival into your household, and you will need to be prepared for immediate veterinary care.
  5. You may or may not feel that this level of devotion and care qualifies as high maintenance. If the glider is for a child, you must be prepared to do the work of care and husbandry yourself.
  6. Gliders are not suitable first pets for children or young teens. They require more space and a larger time commitment than hamsters. They are colony animals and would do better with at least one cage mate.
  7. Sugar gliders also need a fresh food diet. Unlike many other pets, they need a specially formulated diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins and vitamins/minerals.

They require daily time to bond with. They do bond with their owners, but this takes time. I would say that a sugar glider is higher maintenance than a cat in some ways, but lower maintenance than a dog. If you have dogs, then sugar gliders really aren’t that high maintenance in comparison.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.