Q: I just purchased a couple of gliders from a lady the other day. While I was at her home I didn’t notice a smell at all. When I brought them home and started putting the cage together I noticed a strong odor all over. I cleaned the cage thoroughly in and out. I don’t know if I’m allowed to wash their pouches because they are in a new home and she does have two babies coming out next week. What is the smell? Can I wash the pouch?
A: Sugar gliders are scent-oriented. Whenever a sugar glider is moved to a new environment, give it two to three days to adjust to the smells and sounds of its new home before cleaning. Once it is acclimated, wash the sugar glider’s enclosure, as well as its toys and pouches. Wash the cage one day, and the pouch, etc. on another day as to not confuse the sugar glider too much.
Sugar gliders also use their scent glands to mark their territory. You should not notice much odor with a female or a neutered male. A male that is not neutered will have a stronger scent.
Cleaning the cage trays and keeping the enclosure clean eliminates much of the odor. If you continue to notice a strong odor, a vet visit may be in order.