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Introducing Gliders

Sugar gliders are colony animals and have a physical and emotional need to be with their own kind. One only has to house a glider as a single glider to witness the depression this will cause. Depression may lead to over grooming, self mutilation, over or under eating and even death, so why leave them alone? With that being said, there is no reason to keep a glider alone. There have been gliders that prefer to be alone but they are the exception, not the normal. Introductions can go very smoothly or not at all but don’t give up easily. There are several things for you to try for success.

First off, it is so much better to get 2 gliders at the same time from the same breeder. This takes away the need for quarantine and introductions. Quarantine involves a 30 day time period of keeping the gliders totally separate from each other in a separate cage, in a separate room. This entails you have 2 complete set ups for the gliders. A vet visit for a wellness exam involving a fecal test for parasites is also required at the beginning of the 30 days and the end. If all is well, introductions can begin. This quarantine should be done whenever you bring a new glider into your home.

To start the introduction process you should pouch swap. Let the gliders sleep in their pouches for a few days and then switch them so that they are now sleeping in each other’s pouch. Gliders are scent driven so this is an important step in getting them used to one another’s scent. Leave the pouches for a few days and then you can move the cages close to each other. At first leave about a foot between them so they can see each other but not interact. This is important as they may fight if they are too close. Another thing you should do is to carry them in 2 separate bonding pouches each day for a couple hours. There may be fussing and crabbing but this is how they will communicate and get used to one another.

After you have done the above you can try a face to face meeting done in a neutral place like the empty bath tub. Since it is neutral yet foreign to the gliders so they will be distracted by being there and hopefully more accepting of the new stranger. Place their pouches at either end of the tub and let them venture out on their own. You may bribe them with treats & toys but the idea is for them to meet. They should be interested in each other and will sniff and climb all over each other. This is fine as long as they do not “ball up” and fight. Be prepared to break this up immediately to avoid injury if they do Ball Up. Let them try again and see how they do. If they fight again, it’s back to the beginning of pouch swapping for another few days.

Once they are accepting of one another you can try placing them in the same bonding pouch and carry them around together for a couple days. If this is successful, you can place them together in a neutral cage with all neutral accessories. Listen for any squabbles the first few nights as they may have to be separated again. They usually take to one another without issues but it is better to be safe than sorry.

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