Sugar gliders are small mammals that typically reside in the tall trees of Australia and New Zealand. Because of webbed wrists and ankles, they can glide through the air to reach trees as far as 300 yards away. While they are the size of a squirrel, they only weigh three to five ounces. Because of their small size and unique appearance, sugar gliders are one of the more popular exotic house pets.
Does PetSmart Sell Sugar Gliders?
PetSmart does not sell sugar gliders in their stores like other small mammals such as Guinea pigs and ferrets. The retailer hasn’t provided an official statement, but it is most likely because sugar gliders are not legal to sell nationwide. PetSmart has over 1,600 stores in all 50 states, which may make it difficult to determine which stores can legally offer sugar gliders as pets.
Another possibility is that sugar gliders require much more care than cages, food, and bedding. While PetSmart offers many of these essential products, they are still exotic animals. Turning to a licensed and experienced breeder or rescue ensures you have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the species when deciding to adopt one.
Where Can You Find a Sugar Glider?
While you won’t be able to pick one up at your local PetSmart, you may still be able to adopt one in your state. Several states ban ownership completely, like Alaska and California, and others may require you to get a license before owning an exotic pet. One of the best ways to be sure is to contact your local animal services or animal control department.
If you want to purchase a sugar glider, expect to pay $200–$500 per pet. Remember that sugar gliders live in colonies in the wild. Ideally, your sugar glider won’t be living alone.
Once you’ve determined that it’s legal to own a sugar glider and it’s within your budget, there are several ways to find one. Then, you can head back to PetSmart to select many of the essential items you’ll need to care for it.
- Free: Because sugar gliders require more care, some pet parents may decide to rehome theirs for free or a small rehoming fee if they cannot care for them properly. They may also already have much of the equipment and other supplies you’ll need.
- Animal Rescue: If a pet parent can’t rehome their sugar glider directly or if one is found neglected or abused, they may find their way to a rescue. These sugar gliders may be available to foster for a short time before you adopt, but you may have to meet specific home or income requirements to qualify. Some rescues require an adoption fee.
- Breeder: Local breeders are often the most knowledgeable about sugar gliders and can answer any questions you have before adopting. However, they are also typically the most expensive option. Some breeders may have a long waitlist.
- Exotic Pet Retailer: It’s still possible to find a sugar glider at a retail store, but it will most likely be an exotic pet retailer specializing in unique pets. You may need to locate one of the stores for some of the more unusual items you’ll need when caring for your new sugar glider, like some of their food.
Sugar Glider Care and Supplies at PetSmart
Once you’ve decided that a sugar glider is the right pet for you and you’ve found one to adopt, PetSmart can be an excellent resource for equipment and supplies. You’ll have an initial investment, routine supplies, and unexpected needs when caring for your pet sugar glider.
Let’s look at what you can expect to find at PetSmart.
Initial Care and Supplies
A large, multi-level cage is best for sugar gliders. Be sure to choose the right size cage for the number of pets calling it home. They like to climb and have room to explore or find their favorite niches in which to hide at night. Bedding, substrate, or cage liners are needed to line the bottom of the cage for cleanliness. Remember, you’ll need a nesting pouch for each pet and an appropriate number of water and food bowls.
|Nesting Pouch (per pet)||$10|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10–$20|
Much of a sugar glider’s food should be fresh, like fruits and nuts, and you’ll also need a quality-made Leadbetter’s Mixture. This mixture was designed originally for possums and, as their diet is very similar to sugar gliders, offers the sweet sap, fruit, and nutritional supplements that are difficult to replicate in commercially available food. You can make this yourself with a quality recipe.
A kibble or pellet diet from PetSmart can make up a small portion of your sugar glider’s diet to supplement the fresh food diet you provide. Vitakraft VitaSmart Complete Nutrition is a great option.
The cost of fresh food will depend on the season and the number of pets. You can make the Leadbetter’s Mixture ahead of time and freeze it to save prep time and money. Feeding two sugar gliders a healthy diet should average $400-500 per year.
Many pet owners choose to use shredded paper for their sugar glider cages. While this is an option, the ink or other products on the paper could be toxic. Magazine paper should never be used in small mammal cages for this reason. Non-treated wood shavings or other commercial substrate is best.
Aspen bedding or a combination of litter and bedding can help control odor, especially if you have multiple pets. Paper bedding can be found in many colors to help add charm to their homes. This cost should average $10/month or $120/year. You might invest in soft and reusable fleece cage liners. The initial investment is a little higher but saves money (and mess) in the long run!
Sugar gliders love to climb in their cages the same way they would in the wild. Natural tree branches are a great way to simulate their environment while helping them stay fit. Toys designed for birds that are shiny or make noise are the perfect way to entertain your pet sugar glider. Thankfully, PetSmart has plenty of tree branch climbs and bird toys to keep your pets entertained.
This cost will vary widely depending on the types of activity objects you choose to add to their cage. Items can range in price from $5 to $30. At least one or two larger pieces are recommended, but they will most likely last much longer than small toys.
Other Sugar Glider Expenses
Owning a pet isn’t only about everyday activities and cage maintenance. Ensuring they are physically healthy requires annual vet visits and could also mean emergency care should they become sick or injured. These additional expenses should be considered when adopting your pet sugar glider.
- Routine Health Care: Some Banfield Pet Hospital locations inside PetSmart retail stores offer small mammal care, so call ahead to find out if the one closest to you provides these services. Another local vet or exotic animal center may be needed.
- Emergencies: Have the nearest emergency vet clinic’s number handy, just in case.
- Pet Insurance: Investing in pet insurance early may make unexpected vet bills more affordable should your sugar glider need additional care in the future. Not all plans will cover exotic animals.
While you won’t find a sugar glider available for adoption at any PetSmart retail store, you will find many of the equipment and supplies necessary for caring for your new pet. Check out their multi-level cages, many substrate bedding options, plus small mammal and bird toys that are perfect for sugar gliders.
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