Another Exciting (and Long!) Episode of … DEAR ARNOLD

Note: Some of Arnold’s fan mail may be edited cause Arnold wants some of them to be shorter so he can have more space all to himself!  Yuk Yuk Yuk!  And now … for more “thinking outside of the pouch” advice … here’s Arnold!

Dear Arnold,

Well I just have a question for you.  I have had a wonderful few minutes holding a glider of a friend of mine.  Boy oh boy did it do some crabbing…LOL….

I have ferrets and my question is are there any animals or breeds that the glider just should not be around??  Or do they meld well with any animal?  My lil’ buddy’s name is Pounce and he is just a big wus and doesn’t show aggression to anyone or anything, in fact if ya have a ready supply of cool whip, he’ll be your best friend…LOL

Anyway…if anything I hope this email made ya giggle, but I’m really looking for an answer to my curiosities…thanks for taking the time to read this for me and I look forward to hearing from you.

Dear Terri,

Yikes!  Gliders and ferrets are not a good mix my amigo.  Ya see, ferrets are natural hunters and gliders are just real friendly and when they try and make friends … BAM!  The ferret pounces!  I know this is just a ferrets way to play, but it could make a glider play possum, for real and forever!   And then if this happens, you might get mad at your ferret and its not cool to whip a wus.

Now if I may go on.  You see, us sugar gliders hear rumors that we are really small.  Not sure what that means.  Me therapist says that we are in touch with our inner orangutan.  But we’ll swing more into that topic at a later time.

The cool whip-per snapper!


Hey Arnold –

There is one bit of information I have not been able to find. What is the average / healthy weight and size of a sugar glider depending on their age?  I have two that we got in December when they were 8 months old.  At the vet one was 107 oz (Chuck) and the other 102 oz (Bob).  But over the past month and a half, Chuck seems to have gained weight, while Bob has remained the same. So I am wondering what weight they should be at at 9 months??

Thank you!

Hi Melissa,

Hmmmph … don’t really like this weight question!  Methinks too many folks are hung up on their weight from watching Oprah and Dr. Phil!  Ya know, its not how much ya weigh so much as how ya look and how ya feel.  Now to your pal Chuck who is weighing more, is Chuck porking out like a roast?  Or does he still have a svelte and athletic look?  Here’s a good and true story fer ya.  

Me, I only weigh about 85 grams and I’m a big strong boy.  Then my buddy, who’s name is Buddy, weighs like 200 grams.  But don’t call him fat or he’ll sit on ya!  Nyuk nyuk nyuk … but, the twuth of the matter is that Buddy is just a really big and strong guy.  He’s not a fat dude at all and I’m not a skinny dude.  So ya see why I don’t likes the question.  Too many people would start to starve their gliders so they can be more like me, which is like awesome!  Or they would stuff ’em up like little piggies to be more like Buddy.  But not all gliders can pull off Buddy’s weight and still get airborne like my groovin’ dude can!  So don’t worry about their weight so much.  Just be a good little nutritionist and keep them healthy, which means not too fat, not too skinny, but just right!

Arnold, your light-weight lover boy


 Hi There Arnold!

I’m currently looking into getting some type of pet and recently came across your site (indirectly) while looking for chinchilla information. After reading most of the content and looking at several other sites I’ve just about given up even thinking about a chinchilla 🙂  However, there is one big “but” that I couldn’t seem to get a straight answer on.  On your page about considering getting a sugar glider you specifically mention pet allergies.  This was initially what attracted me to chinchillas as I’m allergic to cats (although dogs don’t bother me at all strangely).  Is being allergic to cats the end of any hope for having sugar gliders of my own?  I have a ton more questions but I’ll actually save those until you can hopefully answer that one. 

Thanks in advance 🙂


Hi Steve,

I think I might be allergic to cats too.  And I’m fer sure allergic to ferrets!  But here’s the answer to your question.

 I don’t know.

An allergy of cats would not indicate an allergy to gliders as well, but does not preclude it either.  You see, allergies are quite individual, so there is no real relationship either way and only one way to tell for sure!  See if you can find a glider exhibit locally and visit with them for awhile … see how you feel!   It would be terrible to bring some glider friends home just to find out that you can’t get snuggle with ’em.



Dear Arnold,

I was wondering around how many hours do these cute suggies usually sleep a day because my little baby Mimi (6 months old) sleeps over 13 hours a day and plays with me a couple during the night time, is this normal or should she be sleeping a lot less and if so how should I wake her from her sleep without disturbing her too much? 

Sleeping Beauty

Dear Sleeping Beauty,

Mimi only sleeps fer 13 hours?  Wow!  I can do a lot better than that.  Me likes to snooze all day while the big light in the sky is off, then I wake up and eat and play and then I take a nap, then I wake up and potty and have a drink and play, then I take a nap.  Then when I know all the hoomans are sleepin, I call choir practice and we have a barkfest for awhile, then when the hoomans check on me I go back to take a nap!  Our beauty rest is important.  Methinks I sleep even more than the labradorable retriever that lives here, but its hard to say fer sure, ‘cuz I’m sleepin’ all the time.

Yer Pal Arnold
The well rested wonder


Dear Arnold,

I was wondering about Pinkies (baby mice).  I have read several sites that insist on feeding pinkies to Sugar Gliders as a source of protein.  I know that many people do feed their gliders pinkies, but I have also heard that doing so can cause their fecal matter to have a more pungent and noticeable odor.

I will be purchasing two Joeys soon, and I want to make sure ahead of time as to how to approach this issue.  I am very comfortable with all the fruits and veggies.  I have no concerns about the canned crickets or worms that you sell.  And I fully understand that vitimins are a must, and foods high in phosphorus must be given in small amounts.  I need help with the “to feed or not to feed” Pinkie issue.

Thank You,


Dear J,

I have never been fed pinkies, nor do I ever want to even consider it … and this is true for all SunCoast Sugar Gliders.  As chief spokesglider for this company, we’d be proud to put the health of our gliders up next to anyone else’s!  We’ve discussed this with our very knowledgeable vet.  Insects are a primary source of free range glider nutrition.  Small vertebrates will be consumed in the wild, but more likely baby birds … there are much better alternatives in my opinion than feeding pinkies.

Happy with bugs, and don’t need the blood

(J Again) 

Thank you for answering the pinkie question, because in all honesty, I really didn’t want to have to do it.  Not that I am against feeding pinkies to animals that honestly do live on mice and rats.  I just can’t picture myself (and neither can Matthew) giving such sweet little creatures another little creature to feed on.

All of you at Sun Coast Gliders have been extremely helpful.  You truly are the best source on the net for Sugar Gliders.


 Hi J (again),

Ya making me blush and if I’m not cute enuff already …. Geeez … 

I luv you and Matthew.



Hi Arnold!

How are you? I was over my Aunt Jo’s house yesterday, and I was talking about how much I wanted a Sugar Glider, my Uncle Bob overheard me and said, “Hey, I was looking at them on the web, and then I heard that the pet store down the road had one.  I went over to see it, and it was a nasty thing, probably because it was scared.”

I told him about you guys, and how I’d much rather have a baby, and from you guys.  He agreed and tried to talk my mom into getting us (my sister and I) one.  That night I had a dream, that I had a sugar glider and I named it Splenda, isn’t that funny?


Dear Gabriella,

Hehehehe … that IS a splendid story!  Really, its very sweet!  Are you sure your not making this up or at least “sugar coating” it?

Thanks Sweetie, you’re a real honey!



Dear Arnold,

I picked up my glider to play with her.  When I picked her up, I noticed that she had a baby joey (tail sticking out of her pouch) in her pouch. Could I have harmed the baby?  I assume you should not handle a glider with a baby joey in her pouch, am I correct?  Is it harmful to the baby to handle the mother while baby is in the pouch?

Thank you!

Dear Poochie Pouch,

You should be ok.  If mommy is fine with you handling her and that is what she is used to all will be fine.  She may get a bit more standoffish for a couple of weeks and if that is so, then just give her some space.  Of course, you don’t want to handle her rough or nuttin, but you would never do that anyway!  Right?  And now that ya know, just be extra careful and if she’s seems to get a little fussy, let her get sum sleep.




RE:  Lucy, ya got some ‘splainin’ to do!

Greetings from Idaho!  My girlfriend and I have just found a wonderful home, but my human is very new at this and wants to make sure everything is great for us.  Is it normal for my companion, which is younger, to cling to me like a leech?  Sometimes it seems to annoy
me, but I am a little crabby anyways.  I am getting better, though. Just a couple of questions to help my human.

Lots of Love,
Ricky & Lucy

Dear Ricky and Lucy,

I’ll ‘splain it to ya!  Ya see, Lucy .. if you are older than Little Ricky, he does that leech thing ‘cuz he thinks yer cool and well, he won’t want me to tell you this, but he’s also scared.  Yikes!  Li’l Ricky is a scaredy boy and now the whole world knows!  Shhhhhh now … we can still keep this between us.  Now the crabby thing is anudder story – girl, can we talk?  You gotta get over yersef.  There is no reason for you to be a fuss budget.  That is the other Lucy, ya know, the one that hangs out with Charlie Brown and you are not that Lucy.  You are good Lucy.  Just keep telling yersef that and in no time you will be in a better mood and then Li’l Ricky won’t be scared no more and all will be right again.  I love ya Lucy!



Dear Arnold,

Hi, I am a new sugar glider owner, I have 2 males.  What is the best thing (stuff) to put in the bottom of their cage for droppings, etc.  We have been using shredded paper


Hi Lisa,

Do I know you?  Your name is quite familiar to me!

Anywho, nuff of that.  I don’t know if its considered “the best thing”, but I use newspaper in the bottom of my cages as it’s the most convenient and cheapest thing (and we also like to recyle).  Now in me personal palace which you can see here, I have my subordinates use aspen shavings because newspaper is not round like my palace.

And while I’m at it, lemme tell ya  a little story about the olden days.  You may find info on the internet saying no no to newspaper.  But remember that the internet has now been around for awhile and some people set up websites and don’t update them.  We update ours all the time.  Cuz if ya don’t, ya end up with old outdated information.  Back in the olden days it was wise to avoid newspaper cuz it had stuff called lead in the ink.  But now the ink is made of soybeans.  Soybeans are safe, lead makes ya dead!  See?

And if ya have a round cage like me, and want to use some wood shaving stuff, we like the aspen.  Don’t use cedar.  It can make suggies sick.  

Wood you like to know anything else?

Aka the Australian Oak!


Dear Arnold,

About the fruit flies you guys talked about in a previous newsletter

I assume it’s the fruit we feed them that attracts files but how do they get here?  There are no fruit flies in the fruit when you purchase it….LOL.  Just curious.


Dear Valerie,

Wow!  What a concept.  Buying fruit already loaded with bugs!  Hmmm …. If that is not how it happens, then perhaps it should.  Like mealworm loaded melons, and cricketed carrots.  Ooooh, I can see it now … grasshopper guava!  Gosh I’m getting hungry.

But me supposes I should just answer your question and the fact is that it really “bugs” me that I don’t know.  

Me, I think fruit flies just appear, when you least expect them, just to irritate the hoomans.  They don’t show up for us suggies ‘cuz they are far too small to even make a decent snack and they have a most annoying way of just buzzing around like little knuckleheads all day!

The Glidin’ Gourmet


Dear Arnold,

My Sugar Babies and I will be moving to a new place that will include stairs and a loft that overlooks the living room.  Up ’till now their most adventurous glidin’ has been from the top of a door, or bookcase.  Do I need to be worried about them jumping from the stairs or loft?  Do they need to do some training and work up to it, or will they only jump when they know they’re ready?

Of course I will make sure that there are only soft couches and non-pointy, non-electrical, safe-to-land-on objects on the potential airstrip.  I would love them to get some real hang time, but don’t want them to do something that they might not be ready for.

Whaddya think?


Hi Emily,

You are really smart for a hooman!  Methinks you have it all figured out perfectly!  And we’ve had lots of cool second story and loft emails sent to us.  I would trust they won’t do anything to intentionally harm themselves.  Suggies are just smart that way … and hopefully they will go for some real hang time!

Happy Glidin!