For anyone who is looking to own an exotic pet that is more furry and cuddly than scaly and slithery, a sugar glider is an excellent option. However, one important thing to keep in mind is that these small marsupials, while they do make excellent pets, will cost a significant amount to keep over their lifetime.
There are many things to factor in aside from the upfront price of your pet; so, how much do sugar gliders cost?
The initial cost of purchasing a sugar glider can range between $100 and $500 (that’s around £70 to £350, if you’re in the UK.) However, this is not the only cost you will incur; new owners must think about housing, bedding, playthings, food, and everything else you will need to set up a healthy and happy home for your pet.
With all of this in mind, it isn’t difficult to see that becoming the proud owner of a cutesy little sugar glider is something of a financial commitment. Add into the mix the monthly cost of keeping your pet, and you will need to be certain that you can afford this commitment. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to pay.
The Upfront Cost of Owning A Sugar Glider
Sugar gliders are becoming more and more popular as pets, and it is not surprising when you think about their playful nature and friendly temperament. If you are looking for a highly interactive pet, sugar gliders would likely suit you.
What’s more, when they are well taken care of, the sugar glider will become a very loyal companion and will enjoy spending lots of time with its human.
However, since these exotic pets are considerably rare and special, they cannot be picked up for a few dollars as you would a hamster.
The Sugar Gliders
When you initially purchase your sugar glider, you will need to decide whether you want to adopt a baby or an adult. Bear in mind that since adults may have already bonded with their current owner, there may be something of a transition period.
However, this does mean that the animal will typically cost less, normally going for a maximum of $200.
Babies, on the other hand, can sell for up to $500, which for many people, is a considerable investment. But it doesn’t end there; sugar gliders can get very lonely, especially if their owners have commitments outside of the home such as work or school.
For this reason, many breeders and pet suppliers will only sell these animals in pairs so that will double the initial cost of buying them and is something that is worth keeping in mind.
In addition to purchasing the sugar gliders, there are many things you will need to buy in order that your new pet has somewhere safe to live. Of course, the most obvious is the enclosure.
Typically, sugar gliders are kept in cages and these need to be relatively large so that the animals have plenty of space to move around.
That being said, it is also essential to keep in mind that sugar gliders require a lot of exercises each day outside of the cage. According to our sources, this needs to be upwards of three hours each day, more if possible.
The cage may cost as much as the sugar glider, with an average enclosure selling for between $200 and $300. However, you may be able to pick up a preloved cage for less but do make sure that it is in excellent condition and has no signs of wear or damage.
As well as a cage, sugar gliders require a pouch to nestle down in. These are relatively cheap and can be bought for around ten dollars. However, you will also need to factor in the cost of things like bedding, food, water and food bowls, toys, and any other accessories you would like. On average, you can expect to pay around $50 to $80 for these.
You will likely need to take your sugar glider to the vet for checkups and other health issues and for this, you will need a travel carrier. For small animals, these don’t break the bank and can usually be picked up for around $30. However, you must make sure that it is suitable for your pet and is comfortable with good airflow.
Annual Cost of Keeping Sugar Gliders
We don’t need to tell you that your sugar glider will need to have a healthy and balanced diet. This consists of various foods and, just as you do your own weekly food shop, you will now have to consider your pet as well.
Fortunately, the annual and monthly cost of keeping these animals isn’t dramatically high. They do like to eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables but if you buy these for yourself, you likely won’t notice much of a price increase.
On average, owners will spend around $30 each month feeding their sugar glider. Although, you should keep in mind that this is per animal, if you have taken on a pair, you will need to double this cost.
Furthermore, you will need to ensure that the sugar glider’s enclosure is kept clean and fresh by regularly replacing bedding. Again, this is relatively inexpensive and is typically thought to cost around $120 annually, which is only around ten dollars each month.
When you first purchase your sugar gliders, you will have also bought many toys and things to keep your pet entertained. However, being animals, your pets will eventually wear out their playthings and these will need replacing. Most sugar glider owners spend around $100 each year on toys and entertainment for their pets.
What About Healthcare?
It is always a good idea to take out some sort of pet insurance for your sugar gliders. In the event that anything goes wrong, you will be covered. There are many insurance companies that offer pet insurance specifically for exotic pets since the cost of healthcare may differ from your average cat or dog. Of course, you will need to compare quotes to find the best deal for you.
Otherwise, you will need to think about the annual healthcare bills for your sugar gliders, which typically aren’t very high, provided that the animal is well cared for. You wouldn’t usually expect to spend any more than $100 each year, unless your sugar glider develops a health condition.
Male sugar gliders can be neutered for a very small cost of around $50. This is a good idea if you are going to be keeping different genders together. However, since the process of neutering a female sugar glider is complex, your vet likely won’t perform this procedure on her.
Unlike many other types of pets, sugar gliders do not require annual vaccinations so this will save you some money. Many owners will spend the average $50 it costs for a yearly checkup to ensure that their sugar gliders are in excellent health.
That being said, while they are generally healthy animals, many sugar gliders will have problems with diabetes and becoming overweight. These conditions can be avoided by ensuring that your pet has a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Sugar gliders come with a relatively high start-up cost. Not only do these animals cost a few hundred dollars each to buy, they are best kept in pairs. In addition to the cost of the animals themselves, you will also need quite a lot of things to get started such as a cage, toys, food and bedding.
Annually, when everything is totaled up, you can expect to spend between $500 and $1000 taking care of your sugar glider. While this may sound like a lot, when you break it down over each month, it is relatively cheap.
However, you must consider whether you have the income to support your sugar gliders lifestyle as these animals can live between ten and twelve years, so over the course of their lives, you will have a significant financial commitment.