What is a Sugar Bear & Where Do They Come From...?
“Sugar Bears” are small marsupials in the same general family as a Kangaroo or Koala Bear. They are originally from the rainforests of Australia and Indonesia , and have been domestically bred as household pets in the United States for the last 12-15 years.
They got the name "Sugar Bears" because they:
- like to eat almost anything that is sweet, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, and
- they have a gliding membrane (similar to a flying squirrel) that stretches from their wrist to their ankles, allowing them to glide - not fly - from tree to tree.
Although known worldwide by the commonly-accepted name "Sugar Bears", in the U.S. they are also sometimes called "Sugar Gliders".
In the wild they primarily live in trees in “colonies” of 10-15 other Sugar Bears. Their “scientific” name is: Petaurus Brevicips, and their specific Taxonomic Classification is:
- Class: Mammalia
- Infraclass: Marsupialia
- Order: Diprotodontia
- Suborder: Phalangerida
- Family: Petauridae
- Genus: Petaurus
- Species: P. Breviceps
Do they REALLY make good pets?...Aren't they "rodents"?...
Sugar Bears are NOT “rodents”. They are marsupials, in the same general family as a Kangaroo or a Koala Bear. As such, they are proven to have several distinct advantages over other household pets such as hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, squirrels, etc.. For example, when cared for properly, their life-span is typically 12-15 years - similar to many dogs or cats. They also have roughly the same intelligence as a dog, in that when trained properly they can learn their name, come when they're called, and even do tricks.
How BIG will they get?
Baby Sugar Bears are called “Joeys” (just like Kangaroos) and they are about the size of a grain of rice when they are born. They spend the first few weeks of their lives in their mother's pouch (again, like a Kangaroo) - and fully-grown they are about 5-7 inches in length (not including their tail) and weigh about 6 ounces..
How much TIME do they take?
As mentioned earlier, one of the most unique things about Sugar Bears as household pets is how strongly they “bond” to their human families. Bonding is a “process” that can take anywhere from a few days - to two or three months - and just like human children, no two Sugar Bears are exactly the same.
For that reason, we provide all our new “moms & dads” with proven, step-by-step instructions (including lots of special “tips & tricks” we've learned over the last 15 years) that DRAMATICALLY speed-up the bonding process - and create a deep, lasting relationship of love and trust between you and your new babies
The single most important factor in bonding with a Sugar Bear is their AGE - and that is precisely WHY we only sell babies when they are between eight and twelve weeks old. In the wild, Sugar Bears normally live in “colonies” of 10-15 other Sugar Bears - and when they begin the “bonding phase” of their lives (approximately 8-12 weeks out of the pouch) they “instinctively want” to bond to a whole GROUP. In other words, they are not just a “one person” animal.
When brought into a family setting with children and other pets, they will normally consider everyone (including the pets) to be their “colony”, and will bond to that group for life. While they bond to everyone in the family, each Sugar Bear will almost always have a favorite person (usually the person who holds them the most) that will be their “primary bond”.
Contrary to what some internet “expert” sites and “chatrooms” try to claim, bonding is NOT a time-consuming, exhaustive “ordeal” that requires 12-18 hours a day. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
As previously outlined, for many years now the team of pros here at Pocket Pets™ have successfully placed literally TENS of THOUSANDS of these little darlings into loving homes all around the country - and we provide all our new “moms & dads” with very simple, detailed instructions that make the bonding process both FUN and REWARDING. (see this special report for sugar glider bonding tips
). It's a small, up-front “investment” that will reward your entire family with countless years of love and companionship.
What CAGE do they need?...
One of the most common “mis-truths” about Sugar Bears is that they “must” have a very large cage in order for them to be happy. Since they definitely DO love to jump and play, a larger cage is fine for older, adult Sugar Bears. However, as young babies and adolescents, a large cage can actually be counter-productive to the bonding process. For this reason, we ONLY sell baby Sugar Bears with the appropriate-size cage and all their necessary food (learn about sugar glider food here) and supplies
This way we are SURE all our animals go to a home that is set up properly. When your Sugar Bears reach maturity in 7-10 months, many of our customers choose to purchase one of our larger cages simply to give them more room for toys and playthings. This type of cage is very durable, and will typically last many years.
Won't my other pets EAT them?...
Once your baby Sugar Bears have started to bond with you and your family, one of the most rewarding things about watching them grow up is observing “first-hand” how they form lifelong bonds with the OTHER pets in your home.
For many people, even the IDEA of a dog or cat “bonding” to a Sugar Bear (instead of eating it) seems almost unbelievable. However, the simple fact is that almost ALL the babies we sell here at Pocket Pets™ go into homes that already have cats and/or dogs in them - and as long as you follow the step-by-step “pet bonding” instructions we provide - we've never had a single problem.
The short answer “WHY” is simply because Sugar Bears are MARSUPIALS - not “rodents” - which means that even though they may “look” like a mouse to some humans - they do not instinctually SMELL like “food” to most cats or dogs. Instead, they just don't know WHAT to make of them.
Now, if somebody was to just throw a Sugar Bear on the floor in front of a strange cat or dog, they would almost always try to go after it - simply because of the “movement”... However, when introduced to each other using the proven, step-by-step instructions we give all our new “moms & dads”, don't be a bit surprised if before long they end up becoming “best buddies” with the other pets in your home.
Generally speaking, when introduced properly, Sugar Bears will bond to most household pets - except reptiles like snakes (for obvious reasons)... In addition, they can also be very afraid of some species of large birds in the beginning - since in the wild they are commonly preyed upon by large birds (ie. owls, hawks, eagles, etc.).
In many ways, once they bond with each other, it's kind of like having a “pet FOR your pet” - in that they'll often end up eating together, sleeping together, and generally just “hanging out” everywhere they go.
What do they eat?... Is it expensive?...
One of the funniest questions we often get is that people sometimes hear that feeding a Sugar Bear and giving them the proper nutrition is an extremely costly and time-consuming process. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Over the years, we've come across sites that claim it costs as much as $2,000 per year to feed a single Sugar Bear - and that “any owner who really cares about their Sugar Bears” will spend several HOURS a day chopping exotic fruits, gathering LIVE insects, and preparing extremely complicated and expensive meals for them. Well, (to be quite frank), these are the same “kind” of people who dress their poodles up in $1,000 costumes - and then claim that anyone who DOESN'T do the same is somehow “neglecting” their animals. They're certainly entitled to their opinions, but you can judge for yourself what is appropriate.
Fortunately, thanks to tremendous scientific advances in nutrition over the last 10 years, caring for Sugar Bears is very inexpensive and easy to do. In fact, there are only three basic components to a healthy Sugar Bear's diet, and as a ball-park estimate, it typically costs a total of around $4/month to feed a single animal. 25% of your Sugar Bear's daily food will consist of fresh fruits or vegetables, and almost anything you already have around the house (like a slice of apple per day) will do just fine.
The other 75% of their diet consists of protein and vitamins. In the wild, this would normally come from eating things like insects and eggs, but when Sugar Bears eat “animal-based” proteins, they can develop a musky smell. This problem is easily eliminated by feeding your Sugar Bears a scientifically-balanced, pelleted food called Glide-R-Chow™, which is specifically formulated for Sugar Bears. When fed this diet, your Sugar Bears will have almost no discernable smell whatsoever. For more detailed dietary information,
While we're on the topic of “eating”, one of the most interesting things about Sugar Bears in general is that they don't have “FEET”. Instead, they have four little “hands” just like ours - and each hand has an opposable thumb on it, just like us. This makes it INCREDIBLY entertaining to watch them eat things - since they hold food EXACTLY like we do. If you've never seen a Sugar Bear “eat” before, you've got to check out the following home-videos. As you'll see, they're just incredibly intelligent little animals.
Where do they go to the BATHROOM?...
Contrary to what some people believe, Sugar Bears cannot “technically” be potty-trained. HOWEVER, the good news is that they are extremely clean and VERY predictable little animals.
For example, even as little babies, they instinctually will never want to poop or pee where they sleep. This means that they will almost never go to the bathroom when they are in your pockets (unless of course they can't get out, and have an “accident”
As they grow older, they will often spend 8-12 hours a day going everywhere with you - and about every 3-4 hours they will usually have to go to the bathroom. Essentially, they're not all that different from humans - in that when we wake up from a long nap - the first thing we usually do is go to the bathroom...
Likewise, when they wake up and come out of your pocket every 3-4 hours to “check things out”, simply hold them over a tissue or sink, and let them “do their thing” (normally 2-3 little hard drops of poop and a few drops of pee). Once they're done, you're usually all set for the next 3-4 hours.
Sound too good to be true?... Check out the video and see for yourself! We provide all our new “moms & dads” with lots of ongoing support in this area - including detailed instructional videos that will help you train your pets and learn their “potty habits”.
What about OTHER "expenses" after we get them home?... Do they need Vet care like my dog or cat?...
One of the best things about owning Sugar Bears is that once you get them home - you're pretty much done spending money. For example, unlike dogs or cats, Sugar Bears don't require ANY vaccinations - because they don't carry any known diseases.
Another important fact for potential new “moms & dads” to consider is that Sugar Bears don't typically require any ongoing vet care; because they don't carry heartworms or other ailments that are common to many other household pets.
What about ALLERGIES?...
Another important benefit of owning Sugar Bears is that they often make excellent pets for people with “allergies”. In fact, for many of our customers, this is the ONLY pet they've ever been able to have since they are allergic to everything else.
Bringing loving pets into the lives of people who otherwise can't have them is one of the most fulfilling things we do.
If you or anyone in your family is allergic to pets, the best thing to do is just come see us at an event near you - and “put it to the test”. We will be happy to let you handle some of our Gliders to make sure they are the right pet for you. Just prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
I've heard that Sugar Bears "stink" and they're "mean", why is your information SO different?..
Basically, it all comes down to knowledge and EXPERIENCE. As outlined earlier, the simple FACT is that the team of pro's here at Pocket Pets™ has more than 15 YEARS of experience raising literally TENS of THOUSANDS of Sugar Bears - and placing them in thousands of happy homes all over the country. As a fully-licensed and regulated USDA facility, our team regularly works with the best Veterinarians and Research Facilities in the world - many of whom specialize almost exclusively in Sugar Bears.
As such, our team is constantly on the “cutting-edge” of every aspect of Sugar Sugar Bear research, and are always working on new ways to improve the health and care of our Sugar Bears. For example, over the years our team has been instrumental in developing an "all-in-one", scientifically-balanced diet that makes feeding Sugar Bears as easy as ANY other household pet - and prohibits them from developing a strong, musky odor
We've also spent years perfecting “groundbreaking” training and bonding techniques that allow our “moms & dads” to maximize the INTELLIGENCE of their little darlings - and transform them into amazing “companion pets” whose abilities are comparable to many cats or dogs.
By the contrast, almost all the internet "expert" websites and "chatrooms" out there nowadays still rely on very old - and extremely out of date - care and dietary information that we purposely stopped MANY years ago. These sites simply REFUSE to embrace any new advancements - and instead resort to spreading false rumors and innuendo about anyone who disagrees with them; all the while passionately clinging to the claims that "their way" is the ONLY way, and that doing anything else will harm - or end kill Sugar Bears.
Unfortunately, even well-meaning Veterinarians are often still left to rely on out-dated care and dietary information - most of which has been around for well over 10 years. As such, we are currently working on a joint project with some of the most qualified Veterinarians and Research Facilities in the country to develop a comprehensive "Sugar Bear Veterinary Care Guide" designed specifically for use by Veterinarians and other animal-care professionals. It will soon be disturbed to Veterinary Clinics worldwide.
Why don't you sell babies on your website?...
The sad truth is, the internet is full of self-proclaimed, Sugar Bear "expert" websites that claim they will ship "beautiful hand-tamed joeys to an airport near you". Many of these same sites also "bait in" uninformed customers by promising discount prices as low as $100 - $150 per animal. The simple truth is that in today's internet age, ANYBODY can "look & sound" professional. However, in reality, whenever you "order" any animal over the internet, you never KNOW for sure what you're REALLY going to get - and as the old saying goes: "there's no such thing as a free lunch"...
By contrast, at Pocket Pets™ we NEVER “ship” individual animals. Instead, we hand-deliver each baby to our new “moms & dads”; and personally meet each of them face-to-face. We do this not only because it is extremely expensive to “ship” a baby and all their supplies (usually an additional $150-$200) – but much MORE importantly because it is extremely stressful for young babies to be shipped alone (or with one or two companions). As such, they often don’t even survive the trip.
At Pocket Pets™ we strongly feel it’s important for new “moms & dads” like yourself to actually “meet” the people you are dealing with – especially when purchasing an animal that is going to bepart of your family for the next 12-15 years. This is why we travel all around the country every week introducing people to these wonderful little pets.
As such, if you’ve just come back from seeing us at an event near you – (and are in the middle of “doing your homework” right now) – we strongly suggest you come back and see us while we are still in town. Our professionals will be more than happy to PERSONALLY answer any questions you still have – and help welcome these adorable little pets into your home.
Are Sugar Bears NOCTURNAL?... Don't they make a lot of NOISE at night?...
Sugar Bears are nocturnal by nature – meaning that they generally like to stay up at night. However, you can train them – like a child – to be on whatever schedule fits your lifestyle. Over the years, we have found that most people actually LIKE to leave their Sugar Bears “nocturnal”, because this way when they are at work or school, the Sugar Bears are just sleeping and not “missing” their owners. Then when you get home, the Sugar Bears are happy to see you. If you can carry your Sugar Bear(s) with you during the day they are even happier; since they get to sleep in your pocket or pouch, and be with their “mom” or “dad” at the same time.
Since they naturally like to play in their cage at night like little “acrobats”, the main thing you will want to consider – as far as “noise” goes – is the type of TOYS you get them. Sugar Bears typically do not make much noise themselves, but they WILL definitely play with whatever you put in their cage. They will play with almost any type of cat, dog, or bird toy you give them – so just make sure to take off any “bells” or other trinkets that can make sounds if you like it nice and quiet.
Do I have to get two babies, or will one be okay by itself?...
The simple fact is that ANY household pet is always going to be happier if they have a buddy to play with – especially when their owners aren’t around. However, with Sugar Bears it’s generally NOT a “life-or-death” issue, so we don’t “require” it. Nowadays, there is a lot of mis-information out there on this subject which claims that Sugar Bears will actually “die of loneliness” or “torture themselves” if you don’t have at LEAST two.
Well, in addition to loving our babies – this is also our “business”. As such, we would LOVE to be able to honestly tell our customers that they HAVE to get two, but this simply would NOT be the truth… The fact is, Sugar Bears are just very affectionate animals who love company. They are age-appropriate for children 6 years and older; however, younger kids can be fine with adult supervision. They also tend to make excellent full-time companions for seniors who live alone and want a loving, relatively low-maintenance pet to keep them company.
Now, again, there’s absolutely no doubt that ANY pet is always going to be happIER if they have a playmate, and because of this we always encourage people to get two or more if their budget allows. For this reason, we always give our new “moms & dads” a discount on additional animals.
Which is BETTER - a male or a female?...
Unlike ferrets or other animals where one gender can be more aggressive than the other – both male and female Sugar Bears have equally sweet temperaments. Just like human children, every baby has its own unique personality – and (again, just like with children) how much time you spend with them when they’re young determines their temperament much more than gender.
Having said that, two or more boys (or girls) will usually get along just fine in the same cage; simply because they are instinctively “colony” animals and LOVE having the companionship. …just check out these two making their “getaway”.
Practically speaking, when males (which have not been neutered) reach maturity, they will occasionally “mark” their territory (like almost any animal). However, if they are being fed the correct diet, this normally will not result in an offensive odor – see free special report “Feeding” for more info. Alternatively, female Sugar Bears will “cycle” twice a year, but there normally aren’t any outward manifestations at all. In other words, the only ones who will know what’s happening will be the Sugar Bears themselves.
Can any Vet work on them?...
Although Sugar Bears aren’t normally susceptible to many illnesses, if anything should ever happen to one, almost any local Veterinarian who works on small animals will already be familiar with them.
Since they’ve been domesticated as pets here in the U.S. for about 15 years now, Sugar Bears are nothing “new” to most Vets. However, the reason why most people in the general public have never actually seen one in person is simply because they breed SO slowly. For example, as you can see in this photo , the mother has a “pouch” just like a Kangaroo. In this case, the mama actually has TWIN babies in her pouch – and on average she’ll only have 2-3 babies a year. In other words, it’s nothing like the responsibility of having “rodents” as household pets – which can often have dozens of babies in a single year.
Incidentally, this is also the reason why you will almost never see Sugar Bears in “pet shops”. Because they breed so slowly (again, only 2-3 babies/year on average) it’s not really lucrative to breed them commercially.
How are they with TRAVELING?... Can I leave them alone for several days at a time?...
Because they become loving members of the family SO quickly, many people actually prefer to travel with their Sugar Bears. Compared to almost any other household pet like a cat or dog – Sugar Bears tend to be excellent companions when traveling. This is largely due to their small size – and the fact that their Travel Cage and supplies don’t take up a lot of space. Like traveling with any animal, you just want to be responsible and call ahead to make sure that your destination (ie. hotel, etc..) allows pets. If you are going to be away from home for a few days – and can’t take your little one(s) with you – the best thing to do is just take your cage over to a friend’s house. Being very social animals, they will enjoy having other people around – and since they are relatively simple to care for, (and don’t “stink” like hamsters or gerbils), most “babysitters” won’t mind having them in their house for a few days.
How COLD can they get?...
Since Sugar Bears are native to rainforests, they naturally enjoy a warm environment – and the general rule of thumb is: “if you’re cold – they’re cold”. Sugar Bears are EXTREMELY intelligent little animals, and will always seek out some sort of “heat source” if they get cold.
For example, since most homes keep their thermostats set in the mid-to-low 70’s, we always include a “heat rock” as a part of the cage setup that comes WITH every baby we sell ( see free special report “Keeping Healthy” for more info ). This heat rock acts like a “furnace” in their house, and you just leave it plugged in all the time. Since they’re not rodents, they won’t typically chew on the chord, and if they ever happen to get cold while in their cage, they’ll just “snuggle-up” close to it.
Now, whenever they’re outside of their cage, a fully-bonded Sugar Bear will almost ALWAYS be “hanging out” somewhere on your body. Since their natural body temperature is 89 degrees Fahrenheit – and ours is 98 degrees Fahrenheit – we are basically just one big “heater” to them.
Therefore, if they ever get cold they will just climb inside your shirt or pocket and use YOUR body heat to stay warm. They are just EXTREMELY intelligent little animals, and they make excellent year-round companions in almost any climate.