How to Bond with Your Sugar Glider

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Congratulations! You have a new and super-cute sugar glider in your home! It is going to be the most rewarding and exciting experiences in your life. However, these gentle, loving creatures tend to be a bit shy and aloof, at least in the beginning. So, if you are wondering ‘how to bond with your sugar glider’ then worry not- every sugar glider parent has asked this question in the beginning when they first bring their pet home.

These cute and loving marsupials take some time to trust, love, and bond with their humans. But with the tips given below, you can easily make your sugar glider love you!

How to bond with my sugar glider?

Be patient

In the beginning, it might seem as if your pet does not trust you fully. This is true with all gliders and yours isn’t an exception. No matter how cold and distant your pet might seem in the beginning, know for sure that someday, it will start loving and trusting you.

So be persistent with the sugar glider bonding process we have given here and follow it no matter what. Even if you don’t feel like you are making any progress, the reality is that you are.

There are some impatient people that expect results within hours! How long does it take for a sugar glider to bond with you – the answer actually depends on you and how much time you spend with your glider. Based on this, the bonding process can take anywhere between a few days, weeks, to several months as well.

Get your sugar glider home at the right age

It is observed that sugar gliders that are aged between 8 and 12 weeks bond much more easily with their humans. So do not adopt or buy a gilder younger than that. You can always get an older glider but some of the older ones tend to be a bit mean as they too have some pre-set associations and experiences with humans. This past conditioning can sometimes be difficult for them to overcome. However, you can easily bond with a mature glider too – with love and patience.

The answer to the question – how to bond with an older sugar glider – is that you’d need to be even more patient.

The good thing is that most reliable breeders and pet shop owners don’t sell sugar glider babies or joeys to customers before they reach 8 to 12 weeks of age. This way, the sugar glider gets to stay with its liter-mates and mum and that encourages it to be more docile and less aggressive too. That is why you must only buy a glider from reputed breeders or sellers.

Do not handle your pet too much – at least in the beginning

When it comes to answering the question: how to bond with a mean sugar glider – you must know that the ‘meanness’ stems from insecurity. Your sugar glider won’t be mean without a reason and it is only trying to defend itself.

So, in the beginning, please lay off the ‘handling’ part. Simply set up your glider in its cage and observe it. Do not even think about touching or cuddling your pet at least in the beginning.

Sugar Glider Pouch
Sugar Glider Pouch

Experts recommend not touching a young glider (unless absolutely necessary) for at least 2 days from the time you first bring your pet home. You can simply place its sugar glider pouch in the cage and let your pet out into the cage by unzipping the pouch and gently pushing your glider out.

This will eliminate the need to touch your pet.

Give your buddy time to de-stress and unwind

Next, for the coming 2-3 days, let your glider simply settle in. Allow it to take in the new sights and sounds. This will give it time to de-stress and relax.

Only after this step should you think about how to bond with your sugar glider fast.

We cannot reiterate enough how crucial this part is of raising a sugar glider. To summarize the above points:

  • Make sure your pet is of the right age – not younger than 8 weeks old
  • Avoid touching your pet in the first 2-3 days
  • Let it settle in, let it de-stress, allow it time to unwind and take in the new sights and smells.
  • Only after these first 2-3 days should you think about how to get a sugar glider to bond with you.

Spend time with your pet

Next, you must spend time with your sugar glider so that your pet can get used to your presence and even start trusting and counting on you. How quickly you bond with your sugar glider is directly proportional to how much time you are willing to spend with it.

In the first few days, simply sit a bit away from the cage and observe your buddy. You can feed your pet as advised by the vet/breeder.

Next, you can start using a sugar glider bonding pouch to safely carry your pet all around with you wherever you go. This will help desensitize it to sounds, sights, and smells, and also teach it to trust and like you too. Some experts recommend using the sugar glider bonding pouch for up to 10-12 hours each day to make the bonding process show results faster.

You can also work on litter box training. Simply place a small litter box in the glider’s cage and encourage your pet to use it. These small actions are a great exercise in bonding.

Feeding your pet

In the early days when you are trying to find ways how to bond with a new sugar glider, you must feed and observe your glider without touching or handling it too much.

Feedings your pet safe and healthy food is an important step in the bonding process. It can help establish trust and your pet will also become more aware of your presence.

Tiny food treats like fruits and vegetable pieces are a great way to bond with your new sugar glider in addition to feeding them their regular pelleted foods. Read our guide on what to feed your Sugar Glider.

Spend some time with your buddy in a small and confined space

This seems to really work. When you and your sugar glider spend time in a small room together, then it can bond very quickly with you.

Your pet feels assured and learns that you mean no harm – this plays a role in helping him/her trust you.

How do you know when your sugar glider is bonded?

One of the important aspects of the entire bonding process is to recognize signs that your pet has started to trust you.

Firstly, a bonded glider will come running to the door of its cage to greet you. You might see your pet doing this at night when it is awake. However, once a glider is fully bonded with its humans, it will even do the same during the daytime.

Secondly, your pet might even pee on you! Yes, when a glider pees on its owner, it is a sign that it wants to bond with them and has started liking and trusting them.

Sugar Glider Resting
Sugar Glider Resting

Handling your glider – knowing what to do if it bites you

When your pet starts allowing you to hold it, be gentle and careful too. These animals can bite but you should never punish or hit your pet when it does so. If you use such forms of ‘behavioral correction’ your pet will only turn meaner or aggressive. Some gliders that are abused also end up being very shy and timid.

You certainly do not want this to happen to your pet. At the most, when your glider bites you, blow gently on its face. This will help them know that you are the alpha and that they cannot bully you.

Get another glider

Sugar gliders are social animals that live in packs in the wild. Without a mate or a friend and especially without a human’s love and affection, they might die of loneliness. That is why, an important part of making your sugar glider bond with you is to get it a companion or a mate.

Some FAQs on How to bond with your sugar glider

What is a bonding pouch for a sugar glider?

A bonding pouch is a reinforced protective sling bag that can help you carry your pet all around wherever you go. This can help reinforce the bonding process and let you spend quality time with your pet.

In fact, experts state that wearing your pet under your shirt in the sugar glider bonding bag for up to 10 hours each day is the best form of ‘passive bonding’.

How long does it take to bond with a sugar glider?

No two gliders are the same. Some gliders bond with their humans within 2 weeks, others might take longer and still others might bond within a few hours or days.

Can you bond with an aged or mature sugar glider?

Yes, you can bond with any sugar glider – no matter what its age. You do not need babies or joeys, although baby sugar gliders tend to bond faster – particularly those between 8 and 12 weeks of age.

With consistent effort and patience, you can get a mature or older sugar glider to bond with you as well.

Conclusion – How to Bond with Your Sugar Glider Fast?

You can bond with your sugar glider faster by spending time with it and even carry it on your person in a sling bag or a sugar glider bonding pouch.

With consistent effort and patience, you can get your new buddy to bond with you within a few weeks. Happy bonding!

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