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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and
Glider Wanna-bes! Welcome to the April edition of the GliderVet
This month's issue is a continuation of last month's Special
Edition. We've shared lots of information on how to bond with
gliders, but how do you know when you've reached the Promised
How do bonded sugar gliders act? But before we glide in, we have
a couple of special announcements to share with you.
First off, temperatures are rising! Are
yogurt drops your sugar gliders' favorite treat?
If yes, you may want to stock up now. We ship our products in
those big brown trucks and in the heat of summer, you may end up with
stuck-together blob of yogurt drops instead of the tiny tasty morsels
that fit in sugar hand's so well.
We have a three pack special available here.
So don't have a "meltdown" this summer and run out
of treats. After all, we are discussing bonding right now and bribery
with treats is a great way to enhance that process.
Speaking of meltdowns, we had a computer meltdown
this month and lost a very important list.
For those of you who've been on our special color list, I'm sorry to
say that it's been "corrupted".
If you have an interest in possibly acquiring one of those rare and
special color gliders sometime in the future, please
(Sorry, no longer available). Whenever we have a special birth
event, we email everyone on this list to let you know what gliders are
So simply send me an email saying "add me to the color list".
There is of course no obligation to be on this list and you can opt out
at any time!
We do have two female white face blondes available
at this time. These two adorable little gals
had already been placed in a home just this month; they are now about
15 weeks out of pouch.
But we need to help their keeper, Gail, find them a new home.
Gail has been having some rather severe allergic reactions to the
While it's not typical for folks with animal
allergies to necessarily react badly to gliders, it does happen from
time to time.
We typically recommend to folks who have known animal allergies to
spend time with gliders before making the commitment.
Gail has a rather unique situation in that her allergies were not
apparent with animals in the past, so she had no reason to think that
she would respond unfavorably to keeping gliders.
She loves little Lucy and Ethel a lot, but is unable to handle them as
frequently as they deserve to be.
If you are interested in having the opportunity to have your own white
faced sugar gliders, please
(Sorry, no longer available) and we will help work out
all the details.
Please remember that this newsletter is intended to express the
wishes of the whole sugar glider community.
Every article published in this newsletter is a result of someone just
like you taking the time to write us with thoughts, ideas, stories and
Send your comments to us here.
If you ever want to find earlier issues of GliderVet News, you can access our
archives here. Fun pics of sugar gliders
sent in by our customers are found here.
If you are looking for sugar glider tested and approved products, check out our
ever expanding store here.
Are you new to sugar gliders or just in the early stages of trying to decide
if one is right for you? Questions you can ask yourself to help make this
very important and long term decision are here.
A very confusing area for those considering glider ownership (and for
some current owners too!) is diet. See what our vet has to say here.
And if you decide that a sugar glider (or two!) would become future members of
your household, then you might want to check out Arnold's great deals on starter kits,
with or without cages.
How Do You Know When Your Gliders are Bonded?
This is Part Six of the series on Bonding with Sugar Gliders. The other
parts are here: One, Two,
This is a question we hear frequently here at SunCoast and we will
share our experiences with you on just the type of responses you can
expect to see with these little wonders.
Bonding happens in stages. As we've said in the past, bonding is all
Gliders can learn to trust you a little, trust you a lot, or somewhere
Keeping this in mind along with the fact that they all have unique
personalities, we will generalize the type of behaviors that bonded
gliders will exhibit.
I keep four gliders as my family members - Arnold (of course),
Janine, Buddy and Naomi.
My boys are always the first out to greet me. While we speak of
Arnold a lot, all of these gliders are well bonded and live together in
the same habitat.
And their personalities are like North, South, East and West.
Arnold or Buddy are always the first to stick their heads out of the
pouch when I come to their home.
Even in the daytime, if I go in an open the cage and start speaking to
them, the boys pop up like little jack in the boxes.
Arnold is the showboat of the group. While he is the smallest, he
is usually the first to wakeup, the first to eat and the first to want
to come out to play.
He's not really an alpha personality, as this colony of fuzzbutts all
share in their meals and toy usage quite well.
Now you might be thinking at this point, "well geez, you're in the
business, so you just kept all the nicest gliders for yourself!"
Fact is, three of my four pals were kept because they were
"misfits". Arnold and Naomi were abandoned before their eyes
Arnold has three feet - he had to have surgery when he was about six
months old due to a product testing event
gone awry. This was before we sold our own pouches, and this
event is in
fact the reason we started developing our own glider
Janine is blind in one eye. Buddy is the only glider I kept
because he was irresistibly adorable and cherub-like as a joey.
He is a giant now and so very gentle.
Arnold and Naomi were both bottle fed as youngsters, a practice we
don't recommend unless the animal's life depends upon
Naomi is my moody little girl. She has a definite cycle and PMS
is part of it.
Normally she is quite docile and loving, but periodically, don't wake
her, or expect to crabbed at.
And if you're a stranger, she may even bite if in the wrong mood.
I, of course, started working with Arnold and Naomi at very young ages
as I needed to feed them initially on a two hour cycle.
If I had to rate their levels of "bondedness", Arnold would be the best
and Naomi the least.
She is still a total joy to be with, but I say this for one important
Please do not get caught up in the hype of hand fed babies being the
I started bonding with Janine and Buddy at older ages and they are both
awesome as well.
Here's a summary of traits of each of these four critters:
Arnold will come to me when I call him. He won't bowl me over
like my dog will, but when I call, his little radar ears start spinning
around, he hops to position himself toward my direction, he poses for a
moment, then he starts boinging.
What's boinging? It's my word for an exaggerated hop, something
like the old cartoon character Peppy La Pew would do.
It is so amazingly cute. At night, Arnold isn't very fond of
He likes to run around a lot, but checks on me frequently. He
likes to play in my hair, run in and out of my shirt, he rarely sits
On an exceptional evening, he will sit between me and the arm of the
couch and hunker down.
If I pet him, sometimes he will grab my finger with both hands and
direct me to where he likes to be rubbed.
He's an armpit boy. Isn't that funny? He loves to be petted
under his front legs.
Then when he's had enough love, he's off on another adventure.
The room we
play in has had the doors removed, but rarely will he attempt to leave
room. This room has become part of his extended territory and he
covers every square
inch of it.
Buddy will usually come to me when called, but he has an unusual
habit of liking to run low around the room.
My other three gliders tend to stay on the couch or go up curtains, or
jump from chair to chair, but Buddy is my floor runner.
Sometimes he likes to play hide and seek and will go under the couch or
under pillows, but he loves to be held and scratched behind his ears.
Naomi is my moody girl. Sometimes she loves to be held and petted,
sometimes she likes to find a spot on the bookshelf and just watch what
the other's are doing.
She never comes to me, but always tells me where she is. If I
call her, she will pop her head up and stay where she is.
I have to go to her and she will crawl on my hand and stay with me for
She's the princess of the group.
Janine is my brooch. She's the least active of my gang and readily comes to me.
Wherever I put her on my body is where she tends to stay. If I put her on my chest, that is where she will sit.
She totally loves full body massages. She prefers to be up higher on my body than in my lap.
Most gliders are not content in a lap, but rather on a shoulder or under your hair.
I've met lots of people who's gliders love to ride in the hoods of their hoodie pullovers.
Having gliders is like having two pets in one. During the day,
they tend to want to snuggle up somewhere on your body or in their
bonding pouch and go back to sleep.
Three of my four will do just that. Arnold tends to stay awake,
but stays on my body.
Even his activity level is noticeably different. He's more
content just to hang
out during the day.
If I leave the play area when the gliders are out at night, Arnold
does not want me to go.
He will jump on me and stay on my person until I return to the
playroom. Then he will immediately glide off of me to the same
spot on the couch every time, and start
Some interactive things we do are put the gliders up on the curtain rods, step back, and beckon them down to us.
This is a great way to capture those great "gliders gliding"
My boys are more adept at gliding between two people, whether
they know the people or not. We start off close and take a small
step back between each "glide" and see how far we can get them to
Naomi will only do this with people she knows. Janine would
prefer not to jump at all (she's a bit on the lazy side).
I get a lot of people asking if the gliders just fly around the
house when let out.
Gliders don't fly and a glide is really a glorified jump. When they
jump, they put their front feet forward and back feet backward which
stretches the patagium (gliding membrane).
Their jumps are very fast, but you will see them stretched out the
higher and longer the jump is.
It's hard to see a lot of great glides in a one story house; they can't
Can gliders learn tricks? To be perfectly honest, I've not really
worked hard on tricks, but I have done a couple of things with Arnold
and I feel quite confident that gliders can learn some minimal tricks
with a bit of effort.
Arnold will do "high five" and he used to do another trick. We
haven't tried it in awhile, but when the movie "The Green Mile" came
out, one of the characters had a pet mouse that would push an empty
spool across the floor.
I got Arnold doing that in less than ten minutes. There were
major treats waiting for
Gliders tend to be attracted to new things. So it was easy to
get his interest in the spool to try this.
I thought he could, because whenever he is in my office with me, he
loves pushing pens and paper clips and anything he can off the desk
onto the floor.
I think he also likes the way the computer keyboard feels under his
little feet, but I discourage that due to poor potty
habits! Sometimes he's on it quicker than I can do anything about
I take him off, he jumps back on. Gliders are extreme creatures
of habit and tend to repeat behavior patterns.
One evening I was sitting in my yard with two friends. Arnold
was just a youngster and I used to take him outside to play at dusk
- I don't do that anymore. His curiosity got the best of him and
he went straight up a tree one evening, this was one time he didn't
come when called and thank goodness my neighbor had a really really
Anyway, Arnold did the following maneuver four times in a row; this
showed me just how smart they really are.
He ran down the front of my shirt and out my sleeve. He jumped to
the person on my left (which he knew) and ran in her sleeve, across her
back and out of her other sleeve.
He then jumped to the person on her left (who he didn't know) and ran
over the top of her head, down her leg which she then lifted and
pointed in my direction and he glided back to me.
He repeated this four times in a row! I know I just repeated
I guess Arnold trained me well...
Expect the unexpected with gliders! And expect the process to grow with time.
It may take several weeks or a month to bond, but like fine wine, the bonding and interaction gets better and better.
Arnold and gang have been around for quite a few years now and they still find new ways to interact with me.
The first sign that your glider is bonding is when you come to the
cage and they come toward the door to greet you.
This is more likely to happen at night, when they are already awake,
but really well bonded gliders will come out even during the day and
come to the door to greet.
Offering treats several times a day when you first start is
great. You don't want to overdo it with treats so the diet stays
I will often give treats that are actually part of dinner. For example,
on mealworm night, I will offer the worms by hand.
So while it's a treat to the gliders, it's part of a balanced nutrition
Non bonded gliders tend to run away from you when you approach the cage.
We've offered lots of advice to how to get from Point A to Point B and remember that it is a process.
Once they start approaching you, you know that process is moving on
the right track.
Rarely do we encounter "aggressive" gliders. But if the glider
pounces on your hand when you open the door and bites like it means
business, you may have one with a more aggressive nature.
This would be more likely with an older glider than a joey, and will
take time and patience to befriend such a critter.
But even the feistier gliders can be made friends with if you start
them off young.
Most gliders react from fear and tend to run away. Approaching you with
curiosity is a great sign that your process is off to a good
When you are first bonding you may encounter the situation of the
glider jumping from you and bolting away.
When a glider first jumps off of you, don't panic. The patagium
(gliding membrane) will spread out and they tend to land with a
This is perfectly normal. Don't give chase. Just stand still and
approach them slowly to scoop them up and bring them back to you!
If you give chase, you are likely to find out just how fast they are
and just how quickly they can find a place to hide that may be most
inconvenient for you to get them out
Always keep your gliders secure when you take them out of your
home. You can take them places with you while you are bonding and
certainly after they are bonded.
We recommend the use of a zippered bonding pouch
for maximum safety. Gliders early on in the bonding process, keep
the pouch zippered and open it only in spaces where their potential
escape won't pose any problems.
If you are having issues getting past some nippy behavior or if you have new pet anxiety and are hesitant to hold them at
first, use a "bonding blanket". Cut up an old sweatshirt that you've worn.
This is made of fleece and shouldn't snag their nails. You can also use an old baby blanket or scraps of fleece.
Cut it to a square smaller than a face cloth. Make sure it has your scent on it.
Put this in the sleeping pouch
with the gliders so that it becomes "theirs".
Now when you go to take them out during the day, you have the blanket
over your hand and you can scoop up the gliders (one at a time) in
their own blanket.
You only need one blanket as you will be handling the gliders
If you are still having problems getting your gliders remain calm in
presence, you may want to try our Original
Bonding Potion to relax them.
The hardest part is just getting started and letting the process
begin. Once bonding starts to happen, they will train you well to take
care of their every need.
The more time you spend with them, the closer they will get to
you. They will each express their trust in you in their own
We trust this article will help you understand more clearly what bonded
behavior is like!
'Til next time, in good health for you and your gliders, we sign off
in appreciation of all of you who share great glider adventures with
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Your resource for safety first, expert
advice on our sugar glider friends!
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That's it for this month's GliderVet Newsletter. I hope you liked what
we had to offer! If you have any stories, questions, pictures, suggestions
for topics - anything glider - you would like to share or see covered in the
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SunCoast Sugar Gliders
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