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How to Deal with Smelly & Messy Sugar Gliders

Learn how to handle messy gliders and deal with sugar glider odor from veterinarian Anthony Pilny in this Howcast video about these funny animals.


Owning any type of pet always has somewhat of its limitations with the amount of care, the amount of clean-up and the potential mess that certain animals can make. Sugar Gliders certainly are no exception to that rule. I think that's most people's biggest concern with Sugar Gliders is not so much the odor although as marsupials, they do have a unique, not necessarily annoying or overly irritating odor, but they do have a unique smell that accompanies them. And what I think is more significant for people who own Sugar Gliders relates to their captive care. It's important that their cage be kept hygienic and clean.

The problem with the cage and the mess with Sugar Gliders definitely relates to the type of diet they're on. These are animals that are eating a varied diet that includes fruit, it includes insects, it'll include different types of vegetables and then depending on how creative somebody is, it may include Sugar Glider food, other types of nectar, apple sauce, honey. Any number of different products that are put together to make a complete and balanced diet for them that lends to somewhat of a mess. Any animal that is given a bowl of fruit, the majority of it may wind up on the bottom of the cage, thrown out of the cage or on the floor around the cage and it's going to require a bit more in sanitation, a bit more in cleanliness of hygiene of an environment that feeding an animal that eats fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and other types of foods that can spoil, that can mold, that can rot mandates that somebody be a lot more responsible with the type of care they provide. Cages should be set up in such a way that it allows for ease of cleaning. Blankets and bedding should be laundered frequently. The underneath of the cages or the spill trays or any type of area where food and fruit and vegetables and other pieces of food may wind up needs to be changed very frequently and most cases probably daily. Certainly if you leave a bowl of fruit out for an animal, if they don't consume it all, it's going to start to have an odor and it might spoil by the end of the day.

So the most important thing is to realize about mess and odor with Sugar Gliders is that they don't necessarily have too offensive of an odor on their own, but it's important to realize that the elements of their captive care, the ability to provide the appropriate diet for them and everything they need, definitely lends itself to somebody who has more of a commitment to want to set up and want to keep their cage and their environment clean.

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