Is it possible to successfully introduce a sugar glider (“SG”) to another pet, such as a full grown dog or cat? Of course, it is!
While somepeople claim that exotic animals like sugar gliders will never get along with more domesticated animals like dogs, the truth of the matter is that sugar gliders are extremely keen when it comes to bonding with an existing group. People who say that gliders and other pets won’t get along probably don’t know how to introduce two species of animals.
Now, if you really want it to bond with your pet dog or cat, you have to take things very slowly.
Remember, even the best canine buddies can snap when they see something that vaguely resembles food, and the glider’s tiny size doesn’t help. Make sure that the marsupial is in the cage when your dog or cat visits it.
During the first meeting, let your dog or cat examine the cage and its occupant. Let your other pet sniff away – this is the first step to recognition and bonding.
Do this regularly, maybe two or three times a day for one or two weeks. By then, your other pet will be accustomed to the glider’s smell, size, appearance, and sound. Your other pet will no longer feel suspicious and will no longer be startled or frightened.
Now take note that the bonding process should be done as quickly as possible. Remember our discussion about the ideal age? Well, the peak bonding age for other animals is also seven to twelve weeks. Don’t let your adult glider age too much without having met your other pets!
Always depend on your existing knowledge of your other pets when introducing a sugar glider. Note that they will almost always try to act like the boss when around other animals — even though they’re very tiny marsupials.
Because of this tendency, older dogs and cats may not appreciate a newcomer who is trying to boss them around. When the initial ‘evaluation phase’ is over (1 or 2 weeks of ‘sniff and go’), it’s time to let the sugar glider out of the cage.
Hold the suggie close to your body when you let your other pet sniff at it. Be ready to defend your sugar glider in case the other animal decides to paw or bite it. When you feel that the other pet is comfortable enough with the suggie, you can put the sugar glider down on the floor.
Let nature take its course. At this point in time, a well-trained (and well-behaved) cat or dog will not strike (but be prepared for this possibility). Let the two animals play for a few minutes before gently parting them. Try to create a routine that involves you and the two other animals.
If the bonding is successful, you will probably see your sugar glider climbing on top of the cat or dog for a ‘free trip’ around the house or around the garden. In time, the dog will treat the glider as a member of the family, and vice versa. Bonding successful!
Be patient with both animals and do not punish any of the animals if any of the animals exhibit naughty or aggressive behavior. Keep both animals safe and use positive affirmation and rewards to enforce the idea that they should get along.
It is difficult but not impossible to bond large birds with Petaurus norfolcensis(biological name). However, we must acknowledge the fact that in the wild, large bird species and sugar gliders have a predator-prey relationship.
Large birds hunt and eat small rodents and small marsupials like SG, on the other hand, stealthily track down bird nests to eat the birds’ eggs. Be very careful when introducing a suggie to a large bird, as close contact too soon can end badly.