Travelling with your glider

When it comes to short travels, like going back to your hometown or kampung, if you are not taking a plane or public transportation, it is best to bring your gliders with you. Even if it is a short vacation and you are staying in a hotel, it is still safe to bring because gliders are pretty small and they do not make very loud noises like dogs would. So you can safely and carefully travel with your gliders. But what sort of cage? Should you be bringing your 3ft cage with you? How about food? How about toys and the Wodent Wheel?

When travelling short term, like say less than 2 weeks, you can happily bring your gliders along with you. Pack a travel pack for your gliders and also a good portable cage that you can easily dismantle and travel with. I honestly rarely travel on vacation so there hasn’t been a need for me to bring my gliders along, and with 30 gliders it would be too stressful for me hahaha….

Anyway, here is a list of things to bring:

  • Carry your gliders in their bonding pouch. They would feel safer in their pouch.
  • Bring some snacks. An apple or pear or some cut up fruits in a little container would do the trick. You can bring their favourite insects as well.
  • Other snacks include yogurt drops, dried fruit pieces (Make sure it is organic and preservative free) and pellets if your glider eats them.
  • Water bottle. Gliders should always have their water bottle available for them. And during long travels, our suggies can get dehydrated so always offer them a bottle cap of water once a while.
  • Wet wipes. This is to clean up any poop or pee on them and also on you.
  • A few hanging bird toys. Get those with bells or with colourful attachments.
  • Food bowls for their food.
  • Some fleece pieces for blankets. Air conditioning in hotels can be cold for them.
  • Their sleeping pouch.
  • A packet of instant food like HPW Diet Ready. All you need is warm water to make this HPW for your gliders.

Then you need a first aid kit in your pack.

  • Have a syringe ready. This is for cases where your glider may suddenly need you to syringe feed.
  • A bottle of Gatorade. This is in case your glider gets dehydrated and needs vitamins and minerals to hydrate the body.
  • A little calcium supplement. This is to sprinkle on the food if you are just feeding fruits.
  • Some cotton. This is for cases where you need to clean your glider’s delicate eyes or face. Tissue can be rough and damage the eyes.

Now how big should the cage be? Well, it can be up to you. Some people would get the collapsible cage like the ExoTerra Eplorarium. Some would get simple small bird cages. Do not get the tiny ones. Even a hamster cage is ok too. Here are some examples:

This is the typical 1.5ft cage. I would recommend this, I think shops are selling this now for around RM60 to RM75. This is half the size of the usual 3ft cage.

 

 

This is the standard small bird cage. Slightly smaller than the 1.5ft kind. As long it is more than 30cm in length, it would be ok for a 2 week stay.

An Explorarium is great. A little costly but it is portable. But beware, if your glider is a chewer, it may be able to chew itself out. The mesh is a thin nylon mesh, not a good travel cage for destructive and chewing gliders.

Never EVER EVER get this cage. It is too small. I know some sellers are selling sugar gliders along with this cage as a “free” cage or package deal. This is even too small for hamsters! I know it is cute but never ever buy this. Your glider would suffer.

Hamster cages like this is ok, not the best choice but still ok. Get the most basic hamster cage, without the tubes and holes on the side. A plain cage with a platform is good enough.

If you have some money to spend, another good travel cage would be a doggy or cat travel backpack. I know, you may be wondering “Hun! You’ve gotta be joking right?”…. Hahaha…. no I am not joking. I have seen one of my friends with this bag and she bought it to carry her 4 gliders. I checked the bag myself, and it is really safe. The mesh is not the soft nylon but the solid kind that can withstand cat calws. And it is easy to carry around, just like a backpack. Large enough too for 2 gliders to stay for 2 weeks. Just that for cleaning, you need to put some fleece blankets and paper towels in to absorb pee.

Of course, always check if the bags have secure zippers, no holes and openings and no loose strings or threads in it before you purchase.

Alright, this is all just a basic guide. Just remember, when you travel locally, just make sure you have packed your glider stuff properly. And do not leave your gliders unattended in the hotel room. Coz most hotels do not allow pets, so…. play smart….. keep their cage hidden in the wardrobe when you are not around. Still, the best way to travel with your glider is to travel during the day, not the evening or night. When they are asleep, they are less stressed.

 

Disturbing way of keeping a glider

The internet is a great place to gather infomation and research…. but then many are spreading the wrong information about sugar glider care. I was really sadden, shock and disappointed with the way people are keeping and selling sugar gliders these days. The suppliers and glider mill sellers, not to forget the stubborn middleman sellers are spreading the wrong information to newbies.

I know a sugar glider is a hard to resist pet to keep. The heart can melt once our eyes lay upon the cute innocent face with huge dark eyes. Underage joeys always look very babyish and fragile and that just makes us buy them on impulse.

Here are a few samples of the WORST cages and habitat set up for a pair of sugar gliders. I really pity their health.

A sugar glider is NOT a hamster or mouse. It should never live in a hamster cage and use a hamster wheel.

They should never be kept in a glass tank like that. They are not show animals. They need freedom and stuff to grab for climbing. They are aboreal, need cage bars and perches.

They are 100% NOT REPTILES!!!!! Honestly, this kind of set up makes a glider depress and uncomfortable. The UV light here can destroy the glider’s eye sight. It is very hot and strong too. I know coz I use the same light for my snakes. And look at those wood shavings….. this causes respitory problems. Come on people, do not just follow what pet shops suggest. Pet shop people normally have no interest in doing research or reading, they are only trying to market their products. When a newbie sees this, automatically they would buy the same tank, same items from the shop that is displaying these items for gliders. Don’t be like the saying “Monkey see, Monkey do”.

Then I came across 1 advertisement in mudah.my and it made me laugh….. the advertiser tried to sell a sugar glider as a petaurus australis, saying that his glider is different from normal sugar gliders coz it is the smallest sugar glider species. Let me just copy and paste:

Dikenali Sugar Glider
Mempunyai 4 jenis baka..
Sugar Glider Petaurus Australis paling kecil dalam dunia dan paling jinak.
Berbeza Dengan Sugar Glider yang terdapat dalam pasaran malaysia, besar mcm tikus hitam..
Petaurus australis ni kecik je.. sebesar 4 jari..
sangat jinak..

Each RM400

Oh my gawd….. this guy says it is only as big as 4 fingers….. How about the picture of it?

Underage joey….. typical. You see, it is all just a marketing gimmick to get newbies or clueless people to fall into a trap of buying a glider.

Again, my article here is for the public to read and educate themselves. Please do not be fooled by price and marketing skills of sellers. These days people (as in the suppliers, glider mills and middleman sellers) are trying to compete with each other, as well as hobbyist breeders. It is disgusting, the way they are selling them. Price of course very cheap and attractive, but I would advice not to buy from these people because the breeding gliders suffer alot and never get to live to their senior years. A pity for those gliders because they will die from sickness and hind leg paralysis by the time they are 4 years old or younger.

What plant is safe for a Suggie? ~Part 1~

I too ponder with this question. Which plant is suitable? Trees like apple is not available here and our tropical trees are toxic to gliders. We must take into account that gliders are tree sap eaters, so it will be natural for the glider to chew the bark.

I do have a website that gives a guide on what is safe and what is not, but I have never had the time to Google the plants to get pictures. So today, my post would be on plants and trees that are safe for gliders that we can find in Malaysia.

JUST A NOTE:

Beware of pesticides, some plants may have been heavily sprayed with pesticides, fungicide and poisonous fertilizers.

Great website MoonDance Sugar Gliders

This is the Albizzia tree. I have seen it in Malaysia. It is categorized as non-toxic.

Picture is from http://www.icangarden.com

This is also another plant that I have seen quite often locally. Beware of pesticides. This I saw sold at most plant nurseries and even shopping malls. It is called Pilea cadierei or Aluminum Plant.

Picture from http://www.dkimages.com

This is Asparagus Fern. An ornamental fern. A very fine looking type of fern that is safe when eaten. Can be found at most nurseries.

Picture from http://www.goldenseed.net

Common Bamboo is also safe for gliders. Use it to decorate the cage for gliders to climb about.

Picture from http://www.bbc.co.uk

This is a very common local fern. Can be found on tree tops. Called Bird’s Nest Fern.

Picture from http://www.nehrlinggardens.org

Canna Lily, I even have this at home but didn’t know it is safe for suggies till today. Well, I don’t think this plant would make a good perch for a glider to be on, but then it is safe.

Picture from http://flickr.com/photos/flaviocb

Well, this is only PART 1. I will update with PART 2 later because it takes time for me to look for the pictures and discription and also locating info on the toxic level of the plant.

Can suggies live with other pets?

This is one question that I often see popping up here and there by people who are interested in getting a sugar glider. Well, if you were to put them in the same cage then of course it is a BIG NO!

Sugar gliders can easily adapt to sounds, like dog barks, cat meows, maybe the sound of your stereo or TV, it just takes a bit of time. My suggies are immune to dog barks. They can sleep through loud noises at any time of the day. I do have dogs at home, 1 labrador, 1 boxer and 1 cavalier king charles spaniel.

A glider needs to be safely in a cage of it’s own if you have other pets at home. Dogs, well, they are more likely to try and scratch out the tasty food droppings that’s left on the cage pan than to eat your gliders but don’t take it for granted that you can leave your pet glider safely with your dog without any supervision. Come dogs like terriers were bred to chase rats and other rodents, so gliders do fit the bill since they LOOK like a rodent. My boxer won’t just chase, he would in fact try and kill any rodent, so when I take my gliders out, I have to be extra careful.

Cats on the other hand are professionals at trying to get hold of small animals. Some cats are able to knock over cages, getting their paws through the cage bars and even opening the cage. Yes, my cat did that, he opened my glider’s cage and killed my 1st male glider, Jarrah(RIP). Today I am extra careful, using wire and cable ties to fasten all cage doors securely. I use small little locks and snap keychains to lock the cage doors that I normally use.

So how about a hamster with a glider? Well, a hamster can either hurt a glider, or the glider hurt the hamster. I have notice that some adult gliders do readily eat pinkies if they are offered one so small or young hamsters can be harmed if an adult glider that gets near it. I got this glider that is quite friendly with hamsters but this is because I introduced small animals to my glider when she was a joey. This made her friendly towards hamsters. You can do this but I think it is better not to do such odd introductions at all just to be safe. Some hamsters and rabbits can be aggressive and they may attack a glider.

How about fishes? I think it is more likely for the glider to end up swimming in the aquarium than to get attacked by fishes, unless the fish is an arapaima or some large mammal eating fish. Do be aware that gliders are not swimmers, so some may drown in water that is too deep for them.

Parrots are a no no since they have curved strong beaks that can do a lot of damage. Parrots are able to crack open hard nuts, so imagine what it would do to a glider…. wow… horrible to think about it….

Well, just for fun, here are 2 pictures of my old sugar glider with my dog and hamster. Don’t try this at home if you have not trained your glider or your pet to accept each other.