The Cost Of Owning A Sugar Glider
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Sugar gliders are unique pets native to Australia and Indonesia. Though once uncommon, they have been domesticated and are increasing in popularity among pet owners.
The sugar glider is a small marsupial that bonds closely with its human caretakers. These animals may be small, but they are very active and they are surprisingly vocal.
Proper care and keeping ensures a long, healthy lifespan up to 15 years, especially when kept in pairs or small colonies.
While sugar gliders are small pets, they are by no means cheap to keep. Not only will you spend several hundred dollars to purchase a sugar glider, but they require special cages, a specific diet, and veterinary care can be quite costly when needed.
Here’s what you need to know about how much it costs to keep a pet sugar glider.
Bringing Home A New Sugar Glider – One-Time Costs
Though they may look like miniature flying squirrels, sugar gliders are not rodents – they are marsupials. These small nocturnal animals are highly active and very social animals.
To keep your sugar glider happy, you’ll need to keep them in pairs and provide plenty of daily human interaction.
In addition to giving your pet the care and attention it needs, you’ll also need to provide a suitable environment and a healthy diet. The cage is your biggest upfront cost, though you’ll need to purchase certain accessories and equipment as well.
Here’s what you need to know about one-time costs for pet sugar gliders:
Buying A Sugar Glider
Sugar gliders are still considered exotic pets, so you are unlikely to find one in a pet store.
When it comes to purchasing sugar gliders, your best bet is to buy from an experienced breeder. You might get lucky and find a sugar glider at a shelter, or you can try an exotic pet rescue, but buying from a breeder is the best way to guarantee you’ll be able to get a baby.
Many people prefer to buy baby sugar gliders because they are easier to train. Adult sugar gliders generally cost $100 to $150, but you’ll spend $200 to $500 on a baby sugar glider.
Before purchasing a sugar glider from a breeder, be sure to do your research.
Most sugar gliders come in various shades of gray with a dark stripe running from head to tail. If you’re looking for a rare coloration like albino or leucistic, expect to pay well over $1,000 for it.
Sugar Glider Cost by Age
|Age||Average Cost (Low)||Average Cost (High)|
Supplies And Setup
The most important upfront cost (aside from the sugar glider itself) is the cage.
Sugar gliders are very active animals and they are arboreal which means they live in trees. Your sugar glider cage should be taller than it is wide to provide vertical space for climbing.
A pair of sugar gliders requires a cage at least 24 inches deep by 24 inches wide by 36 inches tall. This is the minimum, however – the larger your sugar glider cage is, the better. You should also make sure the wire spacing is no more than ½ inch for your pet’s safety.
The cost of a sugar glider cage varies depending on the size and materials. You should expect to pay at least $100 to $150 for the cage, though high-quality models cost more.
In addition to your sugar glider’s cage, you’ll need certain supplies and accessories. Food bowls, water bottles, and hideaways are important as well as perches and things for your pet to climb. Because sugar gliders come from a warm habitat, you may also need a heat rock or heat lamp.
Expect to pay between $30 and $75 for the initial supplies to set up your sugar glider cage.
The final upfront cost to consider is for your pet’s initial veterinary expenses. A vet visit for sugar gliders costs at least $45. These pets don’t require annual vaccinations, but it is recommended that you have males neutered if you plan to keep a male and female together.
The cost to neuter a male sugar glider is $100 to $200. Spaying females is considered too invasive and too dangerous, so most responsible veterinarians won’t perform the surgery.
Sugar Glider Supplies and Setup
|Cost Type||Average Cost (Low)||Average Cost (High)|
|Initial Food and Bedding||$15||$30|
|Initial Vet Visit/Vaccinations||$45||$75|
|Total = $290 to $530|
Cost Of Sugar Glider Ownership – Annual Expense Breakdown
Once you’ve covered the initial expenses to purchase your sugar glider’s habitat, it’s a good idea to get it all set up before you bring your new pets home. Give your sugar gliders time to acclimate to their new environment and work your way up to extended periods of interaction.
Before you bring home your new pet, double-check your expense sheet to make sure you can comfortably cover the monthly costs.
You’ll likely only need to purchase food and bedding on a monthly basis, but you should set aside some extra in case of emergencies. Expect to pay an annual vet fee as well and be prepared to buy replacements for toys and cage accessories.
Here’s what you need to know about annual costs for pet sugar gliders:
Annual Medical Expenses
Sugar gliders require an annual veterinary exam, but they generally don’t require vaccinations. If your pet does get sick, however, the treatment can become quite costly.
Here are some of the common health problems known to affect sugar gliders:
- Renal disease
- Metabolic bone disease
- Teeth problems
Do your research before bringing a sugar glider into your family so you understand these potential health problems. Being able to identify symptoms is a must – at the first sign of trouble, you’ll need to take your sugar glider to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
Expect to pay about $45 for an annual vet visit. Sugar gliders don’t require dental cleanings or vaccinations, but it doesn’t hurt to put aside $15 or so for occasional treatments.
If your sugar glider requires emergency veterinary care, you can expect the cost to be over $200. Many emergency vets have limited services for exotic pets, so it’s a good idea to do your research ahead of time to know where you’ll take your sugar glider in an emergency.
Estimated Medical Costs for Sugar Gliders
|Cost Type||Frequency||Average Cost|
|Flea, Tick, and Worm Treatments||Occasional||$15|
|Emergency Expenses||Occasional||$200 and up|
Food And Supplies
The sugar glider is an omnivore, though most of its diet consists of gum and tree sap or insects.
When it comes to a healthy diet for sugar gliders, there are specific requirements you need to fill. Commercial pellets can provide essential nutrients, but they should only make up about 1/3 of the diet.
You’ll need to feed your sugar glider Leadbeater’s mixture on a daily basis supplemented with insects and small amounts of fruits or veggies. Because sugar gliders are small, they don’t eat a large volume of food but their specialized diet may not be cheap. Expect to spend about $35 a month on food.
In addition to your sugar glider’s diet, you may need to purchase bedding to line the bottom of the cage – this makes for easy cleanup.
Additional costs may include replacement toys and cage accessories as well as things like cleaning supplies. Budget an extra $10 per month for these expenses.
Also Read: What Do Sugar Gliders Eat?
Food and Supply Costs for Sugar Gliders
|Cost Type||Frequency||Average Cost|
|Food and Treats||Monthly||$35|
Total Annual Cost Of Owning A Sugar Glider
Sugar gliders are not your typical pet, so it’s important to do your research before you make your decision. Consider not only the cost to purchase a sugar glider, but also the cost to buy and equip its cage, monthly feeding costs, and the cost of routine and emergency veterinary services.
Here’s a quick summary of the estimated annual cost for keeping a sugar glider:
- Purchasing/Adopting = $100 to $500
- Cage and Setup = $290 to $530
- Annual Veterinary Costs = $45 (exam only)
- Monthly Food and Supplies = $45
These costs may vary according to a number of factors such as how many sugar gliders you keep and where you purchase them.
If you plan to become a sugar glider owner, do the responsible thing and buy the best quality you can for his cage, supplies, and food. Unless you can feed and house your pet properly, you shouldn’t purchase one.
How much does a sugar glider cost?
You may be able to purchase an adult sugar glider for $100 to $150, but a baby sugar glider will cost closer to $200 to $500. Depending where you live, you may also need to pay a monthly or annual fee to get a permit to keep your sugar glider. Consider as well that sugar gliders do best in pairs.
How much does it cost to neuter/spay a sugar glider?
Neutering a male sugar glider costs between $100 and $200. Many veterinarians do not recommend spaying females because the surgery is too invasive. If you plan to keep a male and female together, make sure the male is neutered.
How much does a sugar glider vet checkup cost?
You can expect to pay upwards of $45 for a vet checkup. Just know what you’ll need to do some research to find an exotics vet familiar with sugar gliders.
How much does it cost to microchip a sugar glider?
Sugar gliders have specific dietary requirements that must be met to keep them healthy. You should plan to spend $30 to $40 per month to feed your sugar glider.
How much does a sugar glider cage cost?
The cost of a sugar glider cage depends on its size and the quality of materials – it’s important to choose something durable and appropriately sized for your pet. Expect to spend between $100 and $150.