Where can you get sugar gliders?
While there are companies, like SunCoast that have websites, most of the small breeders seem to have gone to using Facebook pages instead. It’s pretty easy to search Facebook by your location and I think you may have good luck finding someone is your area. It’s truly beneficial to get to meet your sugar gliders personally before making that big decision to bring a pair home. It’s also very beneficial to meet the person or people who are raising the sugar gliders you are interested in.
Do you get a good vibe from them?
Is there sugar glider area clean and relatively odor free?
Are their food dishes and water bottles clean and filled with fresh food/water?
Bottom line is this, trust your gut!
Pet or rescue?
When finding the right breeder for you, be clear that you are looking for the best pet experience, and not willing to inadvertently “rescue” sugar gliders. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with rescue work, I’ve done a ton of it myself. Having done rescue and having run a top-notch breeding program, I can tell you that these are two different things. Rescue gliders take a lot more time and patience. Even well raised baby sugar gliders take time and patience, but it’s a much easier path to start with well-raised baby sugar gliders than taking in older gliders unless they are well handled AND you have the chance to experience that first hand before committing to offering a forever home. This should not be a spontaneous decision because sugar gliders deserve better than that.
I’ve met so many people over the last twenty-plus years that I can honestly say I’ve heard thousands of stories about different families sugar glider experiences. Not all of those experiences are what I would call good stories. A common theme, that I think worthy of mention, is to emphasise how important it is to not become an inadvertent rescuer. Please do not reward (by buying from them) anyone for running a poor breeding program. This is NOT a rescue and the consequences often end up poorly for the sugar gliders. They can be sickly (vet bills cost a lot for exotic animals) AND you just gave money to people who will keep doing what they’re doing as long as that financial gain keeps coming. We stop poorly operators by withdrawing financial support.
Speaking of veterinarians, get one BEFORE you ever bring new sugar gliders home. Find a vet that treats sugar gliders (not all vets treat sugar gliders). Most people don’t bother to try to find a vet until they need one, and all too often it’s too late. When sugar gliders look sick, they tend to be really sick.
Here’s what you want to look for when bringing home new sugar gliders:
Are they bright eyed and bushy tailed?
These are two of the best indicators of a quick visual health check. If the tail fur is not bushy, but flat or matted looking, please don’t buy those gliders. Often less bushy tails can mean that the joeys are too young and not fully weaned. Buying too young babies can be immune compromised because their immune system is established from nursing. Be wary of sellers who try to convince you that getting them super young is best. Sugar gliders tend to be easier to bond the younger they are. But you want a baby that is least 8 to 9 weeks out of pouch minimum. Younger than that can lead to health issues down the road. Hand rearing sugar gliders is not recommended unless it’s a matter of life or death. We cannot come close to replicating the natural act of nursing and weaning.
Mother Nature knows best.
So let’s say you have no luck on Facebook, and find a breeder you like from a website, but they are located far away from you.
It is safe to ship sugar gliders?
Yes, it is safe to ship sugar gliders.
The airlines are very strict about how they are crated, temperatures are monitored and they are hand carried from counter to counter. BUT, shipping is quite expensive and you lose the advantage of getting to meet them in person first. Sometimes that’s the only option and if you are comfortable with the breeder and able to independently confirm their reputation, go for it.
Do you have to get at least two of them?
Yes, and here’s a link to our newsletter archive explaining why in more detail.