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Strong Odor From Sugar Gliders

An owner asks what causes the strong smell from her sugar gliders.

By Karin Leonhardt
Posted: September 13, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

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.

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Strong Odor From Sugar Gliders

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Reader Comments
Ok I want a sugar glider but I need to know if there pee has alot of ammoniain like a rat? I'm asking because I'm allergic to rat pee. Most people say there pee is like a chinchilla or guinea pig. Both of them I'm not allergic too. So can someone help me? Thanks.
Emilee, Roanoke, VA
Posted: 3/20/2016 4:55:23 PM
So I want to wash my glider and I was wondering if I can use baby wash cause I don't have any dry shampoo for him?
Regina, belen, NM
Posted: 3/15/2015 10:50:14 AM
Hello I have 2 Sugar Gliders (boy and girl). The Boy is not neutered and they are both only a couple months old (Maybe 6 months but not sure). They have a strong odor sometimes but sometimes you can smell anything at all. Are my sugar gliders mating? What should I do?
Hunter, n/a, MD
Posted: 12/30/2012 1:27:18 PM
Leave pouches as long as possible. Thats all they have that belongs to them now.
Both Male and Female will have an odor. Male has only 1 more scent gland than female. Its stronger when they are breeding. Also what you feed them can make urine stronger for a day or two. (beets are a strong one)! But I still give them beets, just not as often. The odor subsides in a day or two and beets are good for them.
Before a vet visit, try 1 tsp honey, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar to a qt of water, every other wk. Baby wipe gliders to freshen up. Can use vinegar to wipe down cage also.
Get male/s neutered. Good luck!
Diane, Mt. Airy, MD
Posted: 3/13/2011 6:35:58 PM
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