Contrary to what many people believe when looking at them, sugar gliders are not rodents. Sugar gliders are small marsupials that are originally from Australian rainforests. They have been bred in the United States for about the last 15 years as the interest in keeping them as household pets has increased.
Because sugar gliders have some advantages over other pets of a similar size, they have become very popular as pets. They have a much longer lifespan than similarly-sized pets like gerbils and hamsters. Sugar gliders live for an average of 10-15 years if they are well taken care of. They do not smell when they are fed a proper diet which is a huge advantage over many other household pets.
Sugar gliders are also very intelligent animals. They can learn their name, do tricks, and come when they are called. They are also extremely loyal and bonded to their human family. A bonded sugar glider will not try to escape from a family member, even when in new environments. Because of this, they have many benefits of owning a dog with a much smaller body size.
Sugar gliders are fairly easy to care for as well. They do not require bathing. Sugar gliders meticulously clean themselves, so their owners do not have to worry about keeping them clean.
Young sugar gliders do not require a large cage, but one may be necessary as they grow older. Sugar gliders need plenty of room to play, jump, and move around. Because they are small (about 5-7 inches fully grown) even a “large” sugar glider cage will be a manageable size.
Because of advances in nutrition in the last decade, sugar gliders are fairly easy to feed properly. Sugar glider pellets provide the vitamins and proteins a sugar glider requires. Owners can feed fresh fruits and vegetables as long as they make up 25% or less of the sugar glider’s diet.
Sugar gliders are one of the most cost-effective pets because they do not require veterinary care. They do not carry diseases or have other issues that would require them to be seen by a medical professional.
Most states have no restrictions on owning a sugar glider as a pet. 41 states allow sugar glider pets.
In some states, it is legal to own a sugar glider as a pet but there are restrictions within the state. Minnesota allows sugar gliders statewide, but they are illegal within the city of St. Paul. This is similar in New York and Utah where sugar gliders are not legally allowed in New York City and Salt Lake City although they are legal in the rest of the states.
There are only three states where it is completely illegal to own a sugar glider as a pet. Alaska, California, and Hawaii all ban sugar gliders. This is because they do not allow exotic animals out of concern for the effect on the native animal populations of their states.
Sugar Glider Legality
|Minnesota||Legal||Exception: Illegal in St. Paul|
|Missouri||Legal||Exception: Illegal in Sedalia|
|New Jersey||Permit Required|
|New Mexico||Permit Required|
|New York||Legal||Exception: Illegal in New York City|
|Utah||Legal||Exception: Illegal in Salt Lake City|