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Your resource for safety first, expert
advice on our sugar glider friends!
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This Month in the GliderVet Newsletter
Greetings Glider Groupies, Glider Newbies and Glider Wanna-bes!
Welcome to the March edition of the GliderVet News.
Weíve been covering some heavy (and important) topics lately, and due
to the nature of the information,
Arnold has been pre-empted from his usual place of prominence. So
this month, weíll be catching up on some of those great emails that
Arnold gets on a regular basis.
As usual, he will do his best to make learning about gliders fun and
easy Ö so easy even a caveman can do it!
So glide on in for Arnoldís Q & A session, where he strives for 90%
and the other half just plain pure fun! (Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk)
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.
Dear Arnold - Is freezing food OK?
Hi! Just wanted to share a helpful tip we've learned with
Roxanne. I buy fresh fruit and yogurt and freeze it so I can give
a small bit at a time and not waste so much.
I chop the fruit up into small pieces and mix it all together in a
I dump a small container of yogurt in a freezer bag and squish it
flat. Throw them both in the freezer, then come dinner time I
break off a piece of frozen yogurt, grab a few pieces of fruit, and let
them thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes and serve.
Not only do I not have to worry about variety, but we no longer have
hardly any waste.
With 2 food bowls for her, she works on the stuff that's "OK" while the
defrosts - she knows what it means when I open the freezer now and
perches on my shoulder waiting, impatiently, but
still....have seen her sit and stare at the freezer like she's trying
to figure out how to get in there
Hope someone can use our idea!
Rebecca, with a little help from Roxanne
Hi Becky Boo and Roxy Roo!
Arnie Poo here...
Thanks so much for yer email. That is a cool, errrr, I mean a
really cold idea!
Ya see, here at my house, we have enuff suggies around that there isnít
much waste, but when ya have only two liíl sugah boogahs, itís a great
idea to freeze yer fresh stuff to use later.
And of course, ya already know that variety is important and that
proteens other than just yogurt should be given us too.
Ya can freeze boiled chicken and weíve even frozen the boiled egg
concoction that we get once per week.
This is also a great idea if you need glider sitters while you are
Put yer foods in individual plastic cups from Sammyís Club and then put
the whole meal in a
ziploc bag so yer housesitters donít neglect us in any way! And make
sure your housesitter has a good list including treats (which we
absolutely need to have).
One of the biggest sad stories we hear is that peeples tell their
sitters what to feed, but forget to emphasize that we DO get
Ya donít need to freeze the water, but DO remind everyone to check ours
My Mum keeps me canned bugs in the fridge to keep 'em fresh. Hmmm - me wonders what a frozen bug would taste like.
Do you think it would be like a cricket-cicle?
Thanks for the chilliní news!
Dear Arnold - Introducing Gliders In a Tent
Hi!! Just wanted to let you know how Roxanne and Riley are doing.
I was really concerned about Riley being OK with an older glider who is very set in her ways (and spoiled rotten).
But, amazingly enough, they are doing wonderfully.
Our first experience together was in the tent.
My son and I brought them both in, zipped it up, and turned them
loose. Riley followed Roxanne everywhere and things seemed to be
going so well I decided to go ahead and make sure there would be no
issues over food.
I handed Roxanne one of her favorites, a cricket (Riley was still just
staring at them at that point, wasn't sure what to do with them).
She promptly hopped over to Riley and was chewing up pieces of cricket
and then hand feeding him.
It was so sweet.
I gave her a second cricket and she shared that one (one bite for
me, one for you).
After a week of sharing, I can now hand them each one and Riley
immediately goes straight for Roxanne.
He just holds his (not an easy feat, the little buggers are squirmy)
and Roxanne shares hers, he gives her his, and they share that
He seems to think he's supposed climb on her back and ride around too!
They bathe each other, you just wouldn't believe.
They are truly best of friends now, in just over a week. They
"share" everything, including me.
Roxanne lets Riley get settled under my shirt then she joins him,
arranging his position to suit her, and then they snuggle with me
It's been amazing watching the bonding process. I'm so glad I've
gotten to watch them learn to love each other as much as I love them
Hiya Rebecca Shepley,
You AGAIN! Nyuk nyuk nyuk. I donít usually share so much
of my space with just one other suggie, but since you are talkin' about
sharing in this email, well I reconsidered
Do ya think if I come over they would share with me too!?
After all, sharing is a really good thing, specially when Iím the one
being shared with.
My Mum just gives me canned crickets most of da time - I havenít had a
good squirmer in at least six months!
I do get live mealies tho.
I think ya did a real smart thing letting Roxeanne and Riley get to meet each other in a tent for the first time!
Little Riley sure is a cute little booger. I got to kiss his nose before he left
SunCoast and Iím glad that his new friend is treating him so well. If only Iíd known this.
I may have had to sneak in that bonding pouch you left with!
Now I get paid the big buck(et)s (of worms) to say smart stuff - and
I just wanna say that when gliders are becoming new friends, having a
good controlled environment with a peeple person there in case they
start pulling each others hair like bad kids is sooper important.
Usually when ya have an older glider and a younger glider, ya should
usually wait until they get close in size and I remember ya tellin us
that Roxy was a petite gal and Riley rather big for his age.
It sounds to me like she was really lonely and that she might have
always wanted a son like Riley
Awesome job Rebecky! Keep up the great work and thanks for writing to me two times!
Arnold, The Squire of Squirmy
Dear Arnold - Crabbing
I was brushing my teeth with my electric toothbrush when my sister
came bursting in the door, she looked at me all confused and said "I
thought you had those gliders in here with you."
I have never heard anyone compare my sugar gliders' crabbing to an
electric toothbrush before.
What can I say? Your toothbrush makes your smile pretty!
Suggies make your smile pretty too!
Spending time with your toothbrush at least twice a day is
important! Spending time with your suggies at least twice a day
Foaming at the mouth is unattractive! Foaming on your suggies is
Four out of five veterinarians will tell you that sugar gliders and
other animal pals are good for your health!
Four out of five dentists agree!
Other funny things weíve heard about our ďget away from me, ya bother me kidĒ sound, or as you peeps like to call it
- ďcrabbingĒ are as follows:
A old car engine that wonít start
A broken electric pencil sharpener
Aliens from outta space
Barking (which should not be confused with the very cute barking sound we also make)
This infamous sound is kinda unique to us and we only do it to show our displeasure with sumptin' going on.
Make us happy, make us chirp! Hereís a link so ya can hear a crabby
here, and then click the word "crabbing".
Now listen again with yer speakers up really high! And now that youíve run away like a scaredy baby
- GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH!
Keep on smilin', Marissa! Me Arnie is no member of the C.R.A.B
club. That would be the Coalition for Ridiculously Aggravated
Does Suncoast Sugar Gliders Sell Single Sugar Gliders? ===========================
When we started this website and began accumulating information for
inclusion, some of it was from our own experience, and some of it
was from the experiences of others. Since I have dedicated my
life to the care, nurturing, learning and teaching about sugar gliders,
I feel fortunate to have a constantly ringing phone and voluminous
amounts of email with messages from people worldwide.
Many of these people are, of course, interested in adding sugar gliders
homes; others are seeking advice for their particular situations at
hand, while others are simply wishing to share their experiences and
observations of their own sugar gliders.
This has given me an incredible opportunity to learn a great deal about
gliders and the point of this newsletter is to share such information.
An area that still puzzles me is that a large number of sugar
gliders are still being sold as solo pets and misinformation abounds in
regards to keeping gliders with buddies of their own kind.
From our own research and a tremendous amount of shared experiences, in
most cases, I will say
unequivocally that sugar gliders are not well suited to being kept as
Yet most pet stores, flea market vendors, show vendors and small
breeders are more than happy to sell single sugar gliders and often
advise this is the best way to keep
them, saying gliders with glider friends will never bond to you.
You can take my word for it, or we can look at this logically.
Sugar gliders are colony animals in the wild.
Their tendency is to stay in colonies that interact nearly
constantly. If you have ever had the opportunity to see how a
colony sleeps together (and that can even be the smallest colony size
of two), you canít tell where one animal starts and the other leaves
They are a clinging mass of fur and tails and noses and paws.
Dogs are also pack animals, but they donít sleep in the orderly tangle that gliders do.
And I call it an orderly tangle because my gliders tend to occupy the same position in the giant ball of sleeping fur.
Arnold, who is the smallest in his foursome, is always on the bottom of the pile.
I can actually put my hand in the pouch and without seeing them, know who is who by position.
When I first started pursuing my passion for sugar gliders, I admit
that I did adopt out some of my babies to homes as solo pets.
I let myself get talked into it because the person worked from home and
was always there, or was homebound or was employed in a manner that
allowed the glider to be with them constantly.
Unfortunately, more often than not, it doesnít work out well for the
single-kept glider in the long run for many reasons.
For example, there is almost always a problem when the primary
caretaker human cannot be present.
Solo-kept gliders tend to become overly dependent on a single person
for all of their needs being met, including those very important
You never know when you may end up hospitalized or have to leave town
on short notice due to a family emergency.
Even if you have a bad case of the flu and canít get out of bed,
this solo glider is highly prone to depression with behavior disorders
that can escalate into
its early demise. I truly hate to be morbid, but single kept
gliders become overly dependent on their primary caretaker, and that
personís absence often spells trouble for the innocent little
What kind of trouble? Specific behavior patterns we hear about
are refusal to eat (leading to death by starvation),
over-grooming to the point of self mutilation and a couple of reported
cases where the
sugar gliders basically committed suicide by disembowelment.
What often happens is that people experience some lifestyle change that makes the relationship with a single
sugar glider no longer feasible on a several hour per day commitment. And
introducing older single gliders to new companions later in life can be challenging.
I think, given enough time away from other gliders, some gliders lose a true sense of their own nature.
As social as gliders are, they are also territorial, so getting a companion later in life may not work out.
This is a distinct possibility and one that should be considered when the animal is still young.
Fact is, keeping two or more gliders is no more difficult than
I actually believe that keeping multiple gliders is a lot easier.
If they have a large cage, toys for stimulation and each other, they
can be quite happy.
I donít feel guilty if I canít spend several hours with mine because I
know they have each other.
I often get told by keepers of single gliders that they know their glider is happy.
But my question to that is ďHow do you know?Ē What do you have to compare it with?
If you are not familiar with a normal, well adjusted glider's behavior patterns, activity
levels and food consumption levels, it is a really hard argument to make about an animalís happiness and contentment.
Even those people who are able to spend many hours daily with their pet, the
solo sugar glider is not able to snuggle up with another glider and be part of that orderly tangle of fur and tails.
I have strong feelings that this part of nurture is integral to their nature.
Several years ago I found real peace in my position on gliders being
kept as solo pets.
Mother Nature created these animals as colony dwellers, to live and
play and forage amongst their own.
Who am I to tell Mother Nature she did it wrong and we can do it
better? When it comes to placing our joeys in new homes, we let
Mother Nature remain the boss on this topic.
We will not sell single sugar gliders unless the family already has at
least one glider and is prepared to properly introduce them into a
I have said this before, but it is worth repeating. Keeping exotic pets is a privilege we have, not a right.
And if we choose to exercise this privilege, we should do so in a way that honors the animalsí true nature.
In other words, it is inadvisable to try and make them into something they are not.
The risk for depression and behavior disorders is too high and it is unfair to their needs as they were created.
The analogy of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole fits well here.
I appreciate the opportunity to editorialize this month. I
tend to avoid
this type of presentation in this newsletter, but one of our missions
SunCoast is to raise the standards in the breeding and pet industry and
I feel that this statement is necessary if we are staying true to our
'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
----->=< ---->=< ---->=< ---->=<
Your resource for safety first, expert
advice on our sugar glider friends!
>=<---- >=<---- >=<---- >=<----
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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