Where do I put the food bowl?

I have seen some people placing food bowls at different levels in their cages. Some would place plastic plates at the bottom of the cage, so the glider would be eating on the cage floor. Some would put it a foot higher while some go up to 2ft high…. which is better? I practice the 2ft high feeding bowl height…. to me, the height gives them security during feedings and it is natural. I also give each glider their own stainless steel bowl to avoid squabbering and to give each glider a sense of personal space.

I like what some people do overseas, where they use a glider kitchen. I really think the hanging ones look marvelous.

I like this one, which uses those containers with a locking mechanism for the lid as it would be easier to dismantle and with the clear plastic, easy for us to view our gliders munching away. Great idea.

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Plastic or Stainless steel?

Which is better? The stainless steel cup or the plastic cup for feeding sugar gliders? Some of us may just use the cups or feeders that comes with the cage for our gliders. Sure, no problem with these feeder cups if we feed only dry food. Since our gliders mainly take fresh food, for hygiene sake, the best to use is a stainless steel cup or bowl.

Plastic cups can easily get stained from certain fruits such as red dragon fruits. Another thing that we must worry is that bacteria can hide in the cracks or scratches in the plastic feeders. Some may say that the bowls can be disinfected, but then is it safe? A disinfectant may be an answer but what if the bowl or cup isn’t washed properly, wouldn’t that be dangerous when a glider ingest it? Stainless steel bowls are easier to wash as you can scrub it clean and douse it with hot water. You can’t do that with plastic as heat from the hot water could cause some reaction to the plastic. I have seen dogs getting skin infections around their mouths due to plastic allergies as well.

Where to get a stainless steel hanging cup? Well, just head on over to the pet store near you that carries products for birds or sugar gliders.

  • Pet Family
  • Pets Wonderland
  • Fluff Pet Store
  • Petsmore
  • Zoological Pet Suppplies

If you can’t get a stainless steel hanging cup/bowl, then you can email me about it. I can get a high quality stainless steel bowl for about RM13, large enough to fit a large orange and this is the best size for 2 gliders.

Travel with your glider buddy.

When we have bonded with our gliders, then we tend to bring them where ever we go. Is that not true? We may carry them in our pockets or inside our shirt or in a pouch if it is just for the day. So in this article, I will touch on a few things about traveling with your glider.

The basic necessity would be to have a bonding pouch. You can make your own, provided that you use the right material such as fleece or any material with no loose threads. I get my bonding pouches from SuggieStuf, all handmade with love by my friend, known as krynzpeaches. These pouches have a mesh for ventilation, a strap with a stopper to go around our neck and a zipper to keep our gliders safely inside the pouches.

When we go out of our home, we should always carry our gliders in their bonding pouches. It is for their own safety as gliders are very curious animals and will try to jump at anything that they feel there is a need to explore. Even my most bonded glider will jump to any tree if I stand next to it for too long.

How about traveling back to hometown or out station? Should you bring along or send to a boarding facility? If the traveling is just for a few days and it has nothing to do with work or business, then bring your gliders along. They would be lonely and depress without you. If you so happen to be on a business trip, have to travel by air or will be backpacking a lot, then I would suggest boarding your glider at a boarding facility or with family or friends. It would be less stressful for the gliders since you won’t have much time for them when you are busy with work or traveling and if traveling by air, it is not wise to sneak a glider into a plane.

If you are traveling with your glider for more than a day, then you will need to have a traveling cage. Why? Gliders do not like to be zipped up in a bag or pouch for too long a period and will try to chew their way out. This would damage the bonding pouches and you will need to spend more money on buying more bonding pouches. Get a cage that is foldable and easy to carry. For gliders that are not chewers, I would recommend getting a Flexarium by Exo Terra. A Flexarium is a lightweight cage, made of PVC and nylon mesh, easy to assemble and saves space. The Flexarium comes in a few sizes, the smallest one would be the most ideal as you can install it in a few moments and it fits perfectly in a car. The Flexarium can be found at Pet Lovers Center(Sunway Pyramid), Pet Safari(Ikano) and also through a few pet shops by placing special orders. The smallest is roughly 2ft and cost below Rm100.

If a Flexarium is hard to come by, then the other best option would be getting a travel cage that is easy to fold away and assemble in a few minutes. I personally use small bird cages. Some websites have suggested hamster cages but those appear to be too small and is not really foldable. Some hamster cages are rather hard to assemble.
It must not be too small, find a cage that is comfortable enough for 2 gliders in a short period. Saw a few of these cages but with pointed roofs for sale at Pet Safari.

So how about food? Well, just pack a few fruits and mealworms with you. Jar babyfood is also ok for traveling, as well as dried organic fruits. Don’t forget their water bottle as well.

GliderYUMMIES will soon be offering travel kits and travel treats in the near future.

Sugar Glider Accessories

I realize that some people get joeys on impulse or without planning. Then they would panic because they have not gotten anything ready for the new joey or glider. What do they do next? Some would follow what the staff at the pet shop would say, “Purchase a cage”…. ok…. you then thought of cage…. but size? Then what else is needed? Some end up buying hamster cages and coconut hides or bird nesting box for gliders to sleep in. Well, I’m sorry to say but if you have done this already, then you gotta fork out more money into providing a better lifestyle for your glider.

What do we need to have before we purchase a sugar glider?

You would need a large cage. Do not go for those 3 storey hamster cages. Those are just not good as there is not enough space for climbing and jumping around. A glider should have a spacious cage to live in.

This is a 18″ x 14″ x 36″H cage. Not very spacious, I would say this is ok for a single or a pair of gliders but you cannot cage them 24/7 in such a small cage. Give your gliders about 2 hours of free roaming time in your room but of course make sure you glider proof your room.

Now this cage is superb! Measuring at 28″ x 21″ x 51″H, it is pretty spacious for 2 gliders and can fit 4 comfortably. I actually have this cage with 4 gliders but my gliders get free time around my room, all but 2. Kinta is still a bit shy while Kimba is a total hyper and moody guy so letting these 2 around my room would be a handful. Kiah and Kapi are pretty good.

Choose a cage wisely. You are gonna be keeping your gliders for the next 10 years or more, so it is better to invest in a large cage. If you get a large cage from the start, then you don’t have to worry about the price of metal in the future. Metal prices are going up up up!

Next would be bowls. Now you can use either ceramic or stainless steel. I personally prefer stainless steel bowls than plastic hanging bowls because it is more hygienic and easier to clean. Ceramic bowls are good too but you can only place it at the bottom of the cage for if it falls from a height, it may hurt any glider that is under it or the bowl may break.

A stainless steel bowl. This is small so each glider should have 1 bowl.

Bigger than the stainless steel bowl, this can hold more food.

Try to get hold of this bottle. Critter Canteen, doesn’t leak and it is hygienic to use a bottle than leaving a bowl of water. If you can’t get this bottle, then try not to get those cheap bottles that cost RM6 or less as these bottles would leak. Invest a bit, and it would go a long way.

As for accessories, one can always search on the Net for SuggieStuf. Yes, you can Google to find out. SuggieStuf is made by a fellow glider owner which also happens to be one of my glider keeper friends, popularly known as KP online. She has her own website now http://suggiestuf.com

Above are the popular handmade sugar glider bonding pouch and sleeping pouch. The bonding pouch comes normally in black with a nylon mesh as a window for ventilation. The sleeping pouch is blue, and has no zipper but has 2 hooks for you to hand in your cage.

This is the cage set that KP makes. My gliders love sleeping in the tunnel and jumping about on the hammock. The pouches and cage stuff are all made from fleece and have been sewn in a way that it is safe for gliders. Please do not use other type of materials if you wish to DIY such things as towels or cloth that appear fuzzy can be a danger to your gliders as they have sharp nails that can get tangled in loose string. Fleece is a warm soft fabric that is washable and easy to maintain.

Try not to use wooden bird houses or coconuts as they are harder to wash and clean. Gliders musk and can cause staining, and it is hard to get rid of this stain if it soaks into wood. Another reason is that gliders tend to be protective over their sleeping place. It is hard to get a glider out of a coconut when it is scared, so this would cause some difficulties in training and taming. It is better to use a sleeping pouch.

Now this is a wheel that is best for gliders. Wodent Wheels! This is the Senior version, which is just the right size for gliders. It may be a bit pricey, around RM96 for one but it is safe for your glider and is a comfortable wheel that doesn’t hurt their backs. I have one, will be getting maybe another 1 or 2 more for my gliders. It is really fun to see a glider run in it’s wheel. It gives them great exercise, strengthens their muscles and it gives the glider something to do. In the wild, a glider can cover 7 acres of forest in 1 night.

Now what else should I mention? Bedding for the cage tray. Now don’t go and use wood shavings for hamsters. Firstly, it would just dirty your space as wood shavings are light and it can be messy. Use either newspaper or certain types of cat litter. Now if you use newspaper, you have to do a daily change to keep the environment clean and free from ants. If you use cat litter, it can last up to a week with minimal smell.

This is Breeder Celect. A cat litter that is made of recycled newspaper. Pelleted form, it is safe for both your pets and the environment. Use this to help Mother Nature.

An optional cage accessory would be having a glider kitchen. Some gliders may be messy eaters and I know, it is a chore to clean up those little bits of food that have been flung out of the cage by these little critters.

This is the LIving World Dome- medium size. This is perfect as a glider kitchen and it is only RM8.80 at Pet Shack. But if you are looking for a transparent one, then the best is DIY it yourself. I will do a post on DIY stuff for gliders later.

Picture credits go to Pet Shack and KP from suggiestuf.com

In a future post, I will touch on branches and ropes to use in your cages that are safe for your gliders.