This will give you some tips on where NOT to purchase your sugar glider, what to do when looking to adopt a glider as well as how to tell if the glider you’re interested in is too young to leave it’s parents yet.
Before buying a glider, RESEARCH where you’re buying.
Check as many sources as you can.
- Google the breeder name.
- You might find links to forum reviews on them, other websites with reviews or something similar.
- Check the forums.
- (Forums: http://suggie.info/links/forums/) /Don’t take just one review as fact, there are people who support the scammers, they have sort of a ‘clique’, so some people will defend them up and down, even with bogus and somewhat stupid legal threats that have no legitimacy./
- Ask on Facebook.
- Go to our Facebook Group, ask on groups, ask people by PM if they are open to it..
- Check the Blacklist forum and Beware FB Groups.
- (https://www.gliderblacklist.com, https://www.facebook.com/BewareSugarGliderVendorBreederInfo, https://www.facebook.com/groups/283810101727071/ )
This is the process of doing proper research, you’re spending a good deal of money on an animal that will (hopefully) be with your family the next 15 years and you’ll want them to be in good health.
Information about adopting from a breeder; http://suggie.info/adopting/breeder/
Information about adopting from Craigslist; http://suggie.info/craigslist/
(( Info on CL and Hoobly Scams ))
Be very careful when adopting from places like this. Often people offer to ship gliders to you and only ask you to pay for the shipping. They say they will deliver directly to your home. This is a LIE. This is how real shipping works: http://suggie.info/adopting/shipping/
People may ask you to send money via money order or paypal and then never meet you at the meet up location.
The list goes on and on, essentially, don’t pay before you see the gliders for yourself, if someone on one of those websites is asking for money up front there are good odds it’s a scam!
• Mill Breeders & Brokers – Visit this page for more information on people selling gliders in malls, expos or flea markets.
• Anybody that recommends a heat rock. If your suggie is fully weaned and ready to leave mom and dad it can regulate it’s temperature on it’s own and does not need a heat rock. Not only that but heat rocks are dangerous and can possibly kill your suggie!
• Any breeder or Broker that claims you have to feed their diet. Such as a pellet food with an apple and a slice of bread or a bird food diet or just a plain pellet food. Sugar gliders are omnivores and need a wide variety of protein, fruits, and fresh vegetables. Any reputible breeder should have their gliders on one of the approved diets and NOT require you to use it, they will let you decide if you want to keep the suggies on it or not. (Though if you decide to switch please wean them off of it! They need time to adjust to the new diet.)
• A person that recommends a small bird cage or a parakeet cage for an animal that is arboreal. That means it spends most of it’s time in the tree tops. The smallest cage should be at least 2 feet wide by 2 feet deep by 3 feet high Or the equivalent by going three feet tall and three feet wide. The tallest cage you can find or build the happier your babies will be in their LARGE home. MANY breeders build custom cages and would be happy to help give you tips on building your own!
• Someone who tells you sugar gliders are super easy to own and cost next to nothing to take care of. They are an exotic critter which means a special vet or an extra cost just because they are an exotic and not like a cat or dog. Some gliders require more time to adjust to their new home and new family, also if scared and pushed can draw blood when they bite. They require a lot of socialization from their new human parents as well as a lot of patience so you don’t scare your new baby. These animals also live up to 15 years, it’s not like a hamster by ANY means. You also can’t just throw some bird food in there or pellets, gliders generally need a specialized diet. A part of that is fresh fruits and veggies! Making this diet and purchasing fresh fruits & veggies on a regular basis can be a bit more expensive than buying some pellets and tossing them in but it’s much much better for the suggie’s over-all health and has been created to provide them with a lot of what they’d get in the wild!
• Someone who offers “needs very little vet care” or “no vet care” as a selling point. It is true that sugar gliders do not need routine shots, like dogs or cats. However, they are an exotic animal, and when something goes wrong, you need to have a vet that you know will treat sugar gliders, and you need to know how to reach that vet at 2 in the morning! Gliders are nocturnal, and often you won’t notice illness until after “normal office hours.” Because of this, and because they are exotic, you can expect high vet bills when they get sick.
• Anybody that is in a public place or that brings a group of joeys for you to see that are all lumped together in one cage. There is no way of telling who is related to who. The person can not tell you about the individual personality of any of the babies such as who may crab, who is a rough groomer, or what their favorite food is, etc. Generally if anyone has this many joeys together they’re breeding many pairs, pulling the joeys as soon as they feel like it and tossing them all together so they keep track of how many they have for sale. Generally, a Mill.
• The tails on the joeys should not be smooth looking they should have a full fluffy tail. Any smooth tailed joeys are under four weeks old and WAY too young to be away from their parents. The person should also know when the joey came out of pouch, which is like a second birthday. They should be at least 8-12 weeks old depending on what they looked like when they came out of pouch.
• A joey that makes a baby-like cry when held or put on a strange surface. A fully weaned joey will not cry for his/her parents as they can eat, drink, and potty on their own. Another sign of a too young joey is if it rides on another gliders back it is way too young to be away from it’s parents. A weaned suggie will not ride around on another gliders back. Except for mating behavior.
• A baby glider that walks and looks kind of like a dog that is walking through tall grass and is trying not to get their feet or legs wet after a rain storm. A baby that is all sprawled out on all fours and that is
not steady as it walks or that is not sure footed is definitely to young to leave its parents!
• Any person that will NOT let you see the sugar glider before you purchase your new family member. In other words, if they demand payment or even a deposit before even letting you SEE the glider I would suspect something might be up, so to speak. It’s normal for breeders to be hesitant about letting every single person interested in a glider come into their home(for health and sanitary reasons, really) but if you’ve filled out the adoption form to see if you’re approved and spoken with them at length, enough that they can tell you’re serious, there should be no reason for them to deny you the chance to meet the glider(s) before handing over any form of payment.
• A breeder or broker that will not let you handle the suggie and play with it before you buy it. You need to see if that sugar glider or baby glider will accept you or if it is tame or has been handled by the breeder. I’ve heard of pet stores refusing to handle joeys before they go home because they will ‘bond’ with an employee. No such thing. Gliders NEED to be handled from a young age so they are familiar with humans. It IS normal for your newly purchased suggie to crab somewhat and be a little jumpy. They will take time to adjust to their new home and new owner.. but if they are like this even when held by the seller, they are likely not hand-tame at all.
• Any sales method that is geared toward children. Suggies can be a family pet but they are not a good starter pet for kids. Gliders are not a good pet for children to have the responsibility of feeding or cleaning up after as it’s quite a good deal of work, even for some adults. Also bonding to an animal that can and will draw blood if scared may frighten a child causing them to drop or squeeze the glider which could cause serious damage.
• Any person that says a glider will get along with any other pet, such as a cat, dog, or ferret. Or that they bond easily to other animals or can be housed together. Gliders should not be let loose with any other animal whether it is supervised or not. If you have a cat or dog that chases animals outside in the wild, they will chase a suggie. Even if your pet is typically calm and tame if they decided to play with your glider(s) one playful nip or pounce could equal death for such a small and fragile animal.
• Any sales person or breeder that says suggies don’t bite hard enough to draw blood or that they won’t bite at all. Any animal that is scared and that is pushed into a corner can and will bite to defend itself. Any critter that has teeth can bite. Expect at the very LEAST nibbles. Gliders like to taste things, they will do this to you! (Usually it’s just a very light pinch!)
• Anybody that says they won’t potty on you. Or anyone who says they are litterbox trainable, can wear diapers, etc. Gliders generally poo/pee as SOON as they wake up. Let them do this IN their cage before taking them out and handling them and usually you’re fine.. though they will go potty on you, they don’t know the difference. It’s small like mouse poop and usually a small amount of pee so it’s easily cleaned up and doesn’t stain that I’ve noticed.
• Anybody that tells you or shows you how to bond or stop a glider from nipping or biting by physical force. You have to use common sense in bonding/training your suggie as to not use any physical force that could hurt or kill your baby glider. The ONLY type of verbal or physical discipline technique that CAN be used on a glider is the behavior the moms and dads use toward their babies. It is subtle at first and WILL NOT hurt your glider. You try to mimic the behavior that you observe between male and females and also the way the parents teach the baby gliders what behaviors they will tolerate. You use a loving touch and do not scare the glider into crabbing or lunging and biting your hand. You may get groomed or nipped until they understand your glider talk. I often go ‘Tsssst’, you’ll get the idea when you hear your suggie.. it’s usually a Stop that, or That’s mine! type of noise that distracts/stops them from what they’re doing.
• Anyone who tells you a single glider will be fine by it’s self. A pair is always better together. A trio is fine too! But either way, gliders are COLONY animals in the wild. There’s nothing like it when you see it in person. They’re always chittering, chirping, barking. They are very talkative and social animals. Usually they will all sleep in one pouch together! A single glider can often get depressed and even die from self mutilation. It’s always best to get at least two suggies!
Do not buy:
Any sugar gliders fur that is matted looking or wet looking could be a sign of a parasite or bacterial infection.
Any glider that is lethargic and not awake looking at things that are going on around them. They should be aware of movement in their area. A suggie can freeze when scared but in a few seconds to a minute will take a treat or at least be aware of their surroundings.
A suggie that will not eat it’s favorite treat.
A wet tail or poop that is matted to their rear end or their tail can be a sign of illness or that they do not yet know how to groom themselves. Which can mean that they are too young to be away from the parents as they play a big part in helping to teach the babies to groom themselves and do other things. Not grooming themselves properly can also be a sign of mental illness from being alone for too long.
Their eyes don’t look full of life or are dull looking, blueish in color, look infected or have a lot of gunk in them.
The ears that constantly stay down and that don’t stand up or swivel when listening to nearby noises, or that look dry or scaley.
Greasy or sticky fur can be a sign of an illness or too many gliders together in dirty conditions.
Their fur should be shiny and very smooth and soft to the touch. Diet can also effect their fur quality.
A skinny sugar glider where the ribs are showing and wobbly as they walk can be a sickly glider or a sign of dehydration.
Any suggie that has loose or watery stools. Any poop or pee that has a very strong or foul odor.
I’ve seen people buying from scammers and I’m always baffled as to why.. Now, some people may not even know.
These scammers may scam you in ways you don’t realize. Many of them sell the rarer colored ‘lineaged’ gliders, often with fake or god awful lineage. Sometimes the gliders are entirely faked on the database, thus the glider you’re getting could be highly inbred, unhealthy, sterile.. no way to know without REAL lineage. They also swap gliders and resell them as ‘other’ gliders to get past some of the contracts like First Right Of Refusal, etc. They will say they are such and such glider but in reality they didn’t come from that lineage at all. They sell underage joeys, malnourished joeys, joeys with infections.. you name it. They have more gliders than any one person should have, often enough.. and sometimes they aren’t even licensed. (Keep in mind, a license does not assure you they are a GOOD breeder. Licensing standards are pretty low, most small breeders hold themselves to much higher standards than the USDA requires. The biggest mills are licensed. It doesn’t mean they are ‘better’.) I could go on and on, but really..
Credit: Krys Kritters & Kozi Gliders