It may sound like the name of a tasty snack, but sugar gliders are actually adorably tiny animals from Australia.
And a sugar glider may also become your dream pet, so here are some sweet details about these adorable little guys.
So why the name sugar glider? The answer is more obvious than you'd think. They have a pretty big sweet tooth, loving fresh fruits as snacks, and they have wing-like membranes attached to their bodies allowing them to gracefully glide across treetops (or in your case, couch to couch).
Upon first glance, you might think that sugar gliders are rodents, like hamsters or rats. Think again – they're actually marsupials like koalas or kangaroos, except they're pocket sized. This gives them one key advantage over rodents; they have almost no noticeable smell when fed the proper diet.
Like kangaroos, baby sugar gliders are called Joeys and spend the first few weeks of life in their mother's pouch.
Once they leave that snuggly nest, sugar gliders move on to bond with their new owners quickly and permanently. They're the perfect pocket pet, as pockets are like surrogate pouches for them.
Because they bond so intensely (in the wild, they tend to hang out in colonies of about 15), they're great for families with other pets.
Sugar gliders are also generally nocturnal by nature, which is perfect for a working family. By the time you get home at night, they're awake, well rested, and ready to play.
Instead of hands and feet, sugar gliders have four hand-like appendages, each one with an opposable thumb. So watching them eat is like watching a tiny human... x 2.
Once they've bonded with you, and you've developed a relationship with your sugar glider, you'll be able to train them—as you would a dog, for example—to respond to their name and basic commands.
They're hypoallergenic! Nuff said.
The bond between sugar gliders and their family is very strong, so unlike other small animals like rodents, they won't run away and hide when they see you. In fact, your pet sugar glider will run TO you.
This one's a no-brainer, but it deserves to be mentioned again. Sugar gliders don't have wings, so they won't go fluttering around your house like a klutzy canary. Instead, they love to jump from things and glide around, and it's remarkable and mesmerizing to watch.
Like any pet, it's important to do your research before adopting, but if you're looking for a unique, small, loving companion, a sugar glider just might be the sweetest choice for the perfect pet.