As Sugar Gliders become more and more popular as household pets, it also becomes increasingly important that new owners have a TRULY independent source where they can get OBJECTIVE information.

Unlike ANY other website, chatroom or message-board dedicated to Sugar Gliders, the North American Sugar Glider Association™ (NASGA™) “sells” NOTHING – directly or indirectly to our members. We also do not accept ”links” or advertisements of any kind.

Sugar Gliders can make wonderful pets, but like any animal, they are not for everyone. As such, our only goal is to provide potential new owners with CREDIBLE information they can use to make the BEST possible decision for their families.


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**Sugar Gliders can make wonderful family pets.
If you are considering getting some,
here are a few helpful guidelines to follow
that will help you avoid some common mistakes. **


We STRONGLY suggest that you PRINT out these reports.





 Regardless of what any “guarantee”  (written or verbal) says, there is no way to KNOW for sure what you are getting over the Internet


    Unfortunately, in today’s “Internet Age”, anyone can put up at least a somewhat-credible looking website… copy a few things from other sites… and LOOK like an “expert”. Baby Sugar Gliders (called “joeys”) can have different temperaments based largely on their age and how they’ve been treated. Despite what anyone may “claim” during numerous phone conversations or in emails – the “bottom-line” is that you REALLY have absolutely NO guarantee of what you are getting unless you see the joey yourself.

Sugar Gliders can be GREAT pets, but always keep in mind that this is an animal which will be a part of your family for the next 12-15 years. Therefore, it’s always best to take the time and physically MEET the people who are selling your joey(s) to you “face-to-face”, and follow the 7 steps laid out for you at the end of this report when making

your purchase

  2) Beware of “Discount” Sugar Gliders:  

    According to national averages at this time, you should expect to pay anywhere between $300-$500 for a certified-healthy 8-12 week old baby Sugar Glider (purchased from a Licensed USDA facility). This is just for the animal itself, and the proper starter cage and initial food, vitamins & supplies will usually cost an additional $200-$300.

When it’s all “said & done” a single Sugar Glider with all the necessary supplies should cost you somewhere between approximately $500 - $800; and additional joeys will be another $300-$500/each. Keep in mind that baby Sugar Gliders have very specific cage and care requirements, so be sure the seller knows what they’re talking about and can prove that their cage and supplies are specifically-made for Sugar Gliders (and not birds or cats).  

As a Baby Sugar Glider nears the end of the primary “bonding phase” of its life (usually around 12-14 weeks out of the pouch), unscrupulous (yet credible-looking) Internet sites often discount their joeys as low as $100-$150 just to get rid of them. If they cannot sell them off to unsuspecting new customers who think they’re getting “the deal of a lifetime”, they will often dump them at wholesale prices to a local pet shop – who then “passes off” these poor joeys as sweet 8-10 week old babies.

Due to their unique intelligence and loving nature, Sugar Gliders are rapidly becoming more popular each year as household pets. The problem with this is that since they breed so slowly, (only averaging 2-3 babies/year), they are continually becoming harder and harder to find. As such, many reputable breeders (who will not resort to “inbreeding” or otherwise compromising the quality of their animals) often have to put new customers on “waiting lists”.

For this reason, the only Sugar Gliders that usually end up in local pet shops are ones that have been “dumped” (primarily due to health problems, or behavioral issues) – and never should have been sold to the public in the first place. People are often surprised to learn that most pet shops in the country are not USDA Licensed – and therefore are not required to comply with the rigid Federal standards for breeding and ongoing care.

The sad fact is that unless the seller is honest – there is really no way to accurately know what you are getting – until it’s too late. By contrast, USDA Licensed Breeders are required to keep accurate in-house records of each baby’s age - and lineage (to avoid inbreeding) - so getting your joeys ONLY from certified, Federally-Licensed breeders is always the best way to avoid these types of problems.

  3)  Bonding problems:  

    One of the biggest Internet scams going when it comes to selling Sugar Gliders online is that unscrupulous internet sites will often sell joeys that are WELL beyond the initial “bonding phase” of their lives. Baby Sugar Gliders cannot be taken away from their mothers until they are fully weaned (approximately 7-9 weeks out of the pouch). Once they have been weaned, they automatically BEGIN “bonding” to WHOEVER – or WHATEVER – they are regularly exposed to; and the majority of this process takes place during the next 3-5 weeks.

Once the “bonding process” is complete, (sometimes as long a 2 months or more after it begins), and the joeys have become accustomed to humans, they will typically be very affectionate and loving to everyone who treats them well. However, if the “bonding process” does not at least BEGIN at some point within the initial 7-12 week “window” of their lives, it will take much longer for the joey to bond – if ever.

Again, when buying Sugar Gliders over the Internet, credible-looking websites can “talk” a VERY good game – and often guarantee “sweet, hand-tamed joeys shipped to an airport near you”.  In fact, if they didn’t “sound” and “look” extremely credible, they wouldn’t still be in business. However, again, the “bottom-line” here is that you never really KNOW what you’ll be getting until it arrives – and by that time it’s often too late.

  4)  Hidden shipping costs:  

    Federal Law, Sugar Gliders must be shipped on a same-day commercial flight designated specifically for animals. No matter what any Internet website may “claim”, just the shipping cost ALONE of a single animal is between $150 and $300; depending on the airline and the time of year. (It is important to note that this does NOT include shipping their proper starter cage or supplies.)

Over the years, we have heard many Internet “horror” stories where credible-looking websites (even a handful of sites that claim to be USDA Licensed) either quote a low shipping price, or say “they’ll absorb it” as long as the customer purchases more than one baby…Then, when shipping day comes, (and the new owners are all excited and anxiously-awaiting the arrival of their new baby(ies)), they suddenly get an urgent call from the seller claiming that they just arrived at the airport, and the airline has “doubled” or “tripled their prices”. They then apologize profusely, and even pretend to offer the customer a full refund of their money…

However, since they know the new parents are already “committed” (both financially, and more important, EMOTIONALLY), they know there’s a VERY high probability that the anxious new parents will just go ahead and pay the “new”, HIGHER price (usually MUCH higher than they were originally quoted).

  5)  Harmful to the animal:  

      Most reputable sellers and breeders (especially those which are USDA licensed - and therefore held accountable for any animals which die) will NOT “ship” babies in less than groups of at least 3 or 4.   No matter what anyone may “say” via encouraging phone calls or emails, shipping individual or small groups of joeys – for hours at a time on a cold, dark airplane - can be extremely stressful on the animal; and it’s not uncommon for them die during the trip.

That being said, most websites that sell Sugar Gliders online will go into great detail about how they “guarantee” (usually in writing) to replace any dead animal, but as the old saying goes: “buyer beware”. Even if a joey does survive the trip, many times it will take weeks for them to recover from the experience – and this can lead to ongoing medical complications such as Giardia outbreaks, etc… (see below)

  6)  No USDA License:  

“     Bottom-Line”…NEVER buy a Sugar Glider from a person or company that is not USDA licensed – no matter how great the “price” or “story” may be…In fact, in some states, it is actually ILLEGAL to own a Sugar Glider which was not directly purchased from a Federally-Licensed USDA Facility – and it is the OWNER’S responsibility to provide documentation proving each animal’s origin.

More and more states are amending their laws like this each year to raise the standards of pet ownership. That being said, most Internet websites and message boards nowadays will attempt to tell you that getting a baby from a licensed USDA Facility is no guarantee that your animal will be healthy. To be quite frank, the people who make statements like this do so because either: 1) they don’t want to subject themselves to the extreme ongoing scrutiny, high standards of Veterinary care, and “surprise health inspections” that all go along with holding a coveted USDA License, or 2) for some reason they CAN’Tget a USDA License.

The simple fact is that (unlike cats, dogs, or many other household pets) Sugar Gliders cannot legally be bred in the United States in groups larger than 2 breeding females without a USDA License   Knowing this, many “Internet operations” actually LURE in unsuspecting new customers by carefully cultivating the appearance that they are small, “home-grown”, mom & pop operations who only sell “suggies” born to their own “personal family pets”…They come up with long, great-sounding stories about how they spend HOURS with their “suggies” every day - and personally “hand-tame” every joey before they go off to their new homes.

Some of the REALLY “slick” ones even take it a step further, and actually pretend to “interview” the new parents so they can make sure their “beloved little babies” will be going to a good home. This whole “act” can be VERY convincing, but again…”buyer beware”.

“Bottom-Line”: DON’T BE FOOLED BY ANY OF THESE INTERNET SCAMS…If they have a website, and/or are selling even ONE baby through some online message board or chat room – don’t take ANY chances.

Again, this is an animal which is going to be a loving part of your family for the next 12-15 years. That being said, it’s always best to MEET the people you are buying your joeys from “in person” – and ASK TO SEE A PHYSICAL COPY of their USDA License. Never rely on people “saying” they are licensed – or even posting a “USDA #” on their website.

Also, don’t place much importance on “testimonials” from other customers – (even if they offer to give you their phone numbers).    This type of thing “sounds” good on the surface, but in reality you have no way of knowing if they actually ARE customers; and no website would ever give out a “bad testimonial” anyway.

Look the seller “straight in the eyes”, and ASK to see a copy of their physical Federal License before you buy. ANY reputable USDA breeder will not be offended by this – and will gladly show you their certification.

It’s a “badge of honor” that is hard to get – and even harder to KEEP!

  7)  Hidden Medical Expenses Associated with Shipping:  

    While there can always be “surprise” medical expenses associated with getting any new pet, when put under severe stress, baby Sugar Gliders are particularly susceptible to a wide range of potential medical problems. While these are usually easily treated when caught early enough, they can often cause severe dehydration and even kill a baby Glider in just a matter of a few days…

The simple act of going into a new home (with all the new sights, smells and sounds) is stressful enough on any new baby, but NOTHING puts a joey under more stress than spending hours being shipped on a cold, dark airplane.   There ARE ways to do it correctly, but very few reputable breeders will agree to do this because it costs A MINIMUM of several hundred dollars per animal. Beware of anyone who claims anything else – regardless of how great they sound over the phone or how credible their website looks.








3) WILL THEY LET YOU HOLD THEIR ADULT ANIMALS? Reputable breeders usually will not let you handle young babies, but you can tell a GREAT deal about the seller’s overall operation and true level of expertise by playing with their ADULT animals. If you are dealing face-to-face with a reputable breeder, their adults should be DOCILE and very easy to handle (even though they don’t “know” you).   If they have them on “leashes” – or they make up ANY “excuse” as to why you can’t hold their adult animals – walk away…

4) DO THEY PROVIDE ONGOING SUPPORT AFTER THE SALE? Any reputable USDA licensed breeder should go “out-of-their-way” to stay in touch WITH YOU and answer questions after the sale.   The best ones will actually have a formal, ongoing education program already in place for all their new customers, designed to give you all the information you’ll need.


6) DO THEY HAVE A FEDERAL USDA LICENSE?  Ask to see a physical copy of it.   Any reputable breeder will be happy to show it to you.

7) BABY SUGAR GLIDERS ARE IN GREATER DEMAND THAN EVER BEFORE. As such, it’s not unusual to have to “order” your joey(s) – and then pick them up in a few weeks. In the event you are ordering babies, make sure to specifically ask if the seller if your joey(s) are being “flown-in” – or DRIVEN in to be hand-delivered.   This is VERY important.  




If you are seriously considering buying Sugar Gliders, check out the reputation of the breeder and/or website you are dealing with at:   This site contains objective professional and consumer reviews of the top 25 Sugar Glider websites and breeders in the U.S..  It is updated weekly, and will give you a quick, reliable snapshot of the people you are dealing with...


We STRONGLY suggest that you PRINT out these reports.


**Sugar Gliders can make wonderful family pets.
If you are considering getting some,
here are a few helpful guidelines to follow
that will help you avoid some common mistakes. **


We STRONGLY suggest that you PRINT out these reports.







As a matter of policy, The North American Sugar Glider Association (NASGA™) cannot – and does not - recommend or endorse any breeders or products.


An excellent independent resource exists which objectively compares the top 25 Sugar Glider-related companies and websites. It is updated on a weekly basis, and contains professional and consumer reviews of the most prominent Sugar Glider breeders, websites, and products.


 For more information, go to:



**Sugar Gliders can make wonderful family pets.
If you are considering getting some,
here are a few helpful guidelines to follow
that will help you avoid some common mistakes. **


We STRONGLY suggest that you PRINT out these reports.

  Do Sugar Gliders  
   REALLY make good pets?..  
  Cutting through the 8 most  

common internet "Myths" & scams

  SUMMARY: While the internet can be a wonderful source of information, when it comes to purchasing a Sugar Glider, unfortunately the web is full of credible-LOOKING websites, chat rooms and message boards which are being operated by unlicensed, self-proclaimed experts. see "Beware of Sugar Glider Chatrooms and Message Boards"  
  As such, the North American Sugar Glider Association TM (NASGA) was originally created as a one-top "clearing house" where potential new owners can come to get basic information about raising and caring for Sugar Gliders That is:  
  1) SAFE    
  2) FACTUAL    
  3) RELIABLE, and    
  4) NON-BIASED    

All the information presented on this site is completely FREE and has been screened and fact-checked for accuracy by a highly experienced team of LICENSED animal care professionals - including Veterinarians who are very experienced in sugar glider care and research.

Unlike ANY other website, chat room, or message board dedicated to Sugar Gliders, NASGA™ sells NOTHING – directly or indirectly.  We also do not accept “links” or advertisements of any kind. 

All that being said, the subject of this Special Bulletin is to help potential new owners “cut through” all the internet MYTHS and SCAMS that can lead them down the wrong path.

One of the most common “tactics” being used out on the Internet today to “lure in” unsuspecting potential new owners is to post attention-grabbing links on popular search engines with titles like: “Pet Drawbacks”, “Gliderpedia”, “Know the Downside First”, etc.. 

These articles then go on to list a wide range of MYTHS about owning Sugar Gliders that can be quite alarming to someone who is just thinking about getting one or more as household pets. 

Once they have gained the attention – and trust - of the reader, (under the guise of “simply presenting the facts”), these sites - NONE of which have the required Federal USDA Licensing - then often try and illegally SELL the reader THEIR OWN animals and supplies via their online chat rooms or message boards.  For more information about the dangers of these so-called “expert” websites, see “Beware of Sugar Glider Chatrooms and Message Boards


All that being said, lets now examine the 8 most common internet "MYTHS" about owning Sugar Gliders as pets -

present the FACTS....




  MYTH: "Sugar Gliders are so difficult to care for what the majority of new owners give up on them within a year and 'dump' them into animals shelters or "Glider rescues".."Tens of thousands of Gliders are abandoned every year because people simply can't keep up with the extraordinary amount of care they need...."  
  REALITY: Of all the current internet "myths" out there pertaining to Sugar Gliders, this is probably the easiest of all prove wrong. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call your local animal shelter and in almost EVERY case you will find that either:  
  1. they've never had a SINGLE Sugar Glider in their shelter or
  2. they've never seen more than one or two in the last DECADE.
  The simple fact is that when new owners:  
  1. Purchase their babies directly from Federally-Licensed USDA Breeder, and
  2. They are given the proper dietary and care instruction with their new babies

Sugar Gliders are actually LESS difficult (and significantly less expensive) to care for than many other household pets.  There are several important reasons why you should only consider buying animals directly from a Federally-Licensed USDA Breeder.  See “7 Reasons not to buy a Sugar Glider online or from a Pet Shop”

In recent years, Sugar Gliders have become so popular – and therefore valuable – that a popular scam has popped up where “overwhelmed owners” can now donate their animals to organizations who misleadingly call themselves “Sugar Glider Rescues”…

The simple fact is that NO legitimate “Sugar Glider Rescue” is actively-collecting “abandoned” Sugar Gilders on a daily basis anywhere in the U.S. – NOT ONE…   In nearly every case, what REALLY happens is that these so-called “rescues” are actually operated “behind the scenes” by the same unscrupulous internet chat rooms and message boards who often illegally sell Sugar Gliders online. see “Beware of Sugar Glider Chat Rooms and Message Boards”.


Here’s how the majority of Sugar Glider “Rescues” actually work…

1)     A potential new owner is discouraged from buying Gliders from a licensed USDA Breeder – and instead is encouraged to get their animals from “trusted”, “expert” members of their own chat room or message board…

2)     The new owner is then strongly encouraged to follow extremely complicated, time-consuming care routines; including feeding the animals grossly outdated and costly diets….

3)     In the event the new owner does eventually become “overwhelmed”, one of the “trusted” members of the group then steps up and selflessly volunteers to “rescue” the animal…

4)     The animal is then RE-SOLD to the next new “newbie” that comes along, claiming that it’s now been “hand-tamed”…

As noted earlier, the simple fact is the NO legitimate “Sugar Glider Rescues” are actively operating anywhere in the U.S..  In fact, as of the date this report was written, only ONE group has applied for – and received – non-profit status.  However, according to their own statements, they have only been able to adopt less than 5 Sugar Gliders in the ENTIRE UNITED STATES.



  MYTH:  “Sugar Gliders require an exotic, expensive, and very complicated diet…” “They cannot survive on dry and/or pellet type foods…”  “If you are squeamish about having to handle live insects, worms and grubs every day, you should not own a Sugar Glider…”  

REALITY:  This is just one example of the extremely outdated – and often dangerous – care information routinely posted on unlicensed internet chatrooms and websites.  While it was true TEN YEARS AGO that Sugar Gliders required a diet consisting of special mixtures of insects and other “live” foods - in the last several years TREMENDOUS advances in nutritional science have resulted in a handful of very SAFE and EFFECTIVE commercial “pelleted” foods and powdered vitamin supplements which in fact greatly EXCEED the nutritional values of the older, outdated diets.  These advanced, scientifically-balanced diets have been developed and approved by LICENSED Doctors of Veterinary Medicine who specialize in Sugar Glider care – and are proven to be both safe and effective.

When fed the correct diet of: 1) Veterinarian-approved pelleted food, 2) fresh fruits & vegetables, and 3) a Veterinarian-approved, calcium-based multivitamin supplement, it should only cost an average of less than $10 per month to feed a single animal.  Any reputable, Federally-Licensed USDA Breeder will be able to provide you with a written dietary plan that is both simple for you – and healthy for your Gliders.



  MYTH:  “Sugar Gliders constantly mark their territory and are very smelly animals much like a ferret or skunk…”  “Their cage needs to be constantly cleaned…”  “ Poo and pee on your clothes, skin, hair, and furniture is a constant with these animals…”  

REALITY:  This myth directly relates back to the earlier misinformation that you somehow HAVE to feed your Gliders “live” foods; like worms, crickets, grasshoppers - and even baby mice - in order for them to be healthy.  While it is possible that Sugar Gliders can develop an odor similar to – but not as strong as – a ferret; the primary cause of this odor is feeding them an old, outdated diet containing LIVE foods and meat-based proteins.

The fact is that several years ago nutritional science greatly simplified the entire process of caring for Sugar Gliders (in many ways) with the development of scientifically-balanced pellet food diets.  For example, some of the more-advanced pelleted foods even contain proprietary ingredients specifically-designed to prohibit odors; and Sugar Gliders who are fed this diet on a daily basis will usually have almost NO discernable smell. 

While it is true that Sugar Gliders technically cannot be “potty-trained”, they are instinctively very clean little animals who never require bathing of any kind.  Their bathroom habits are very predictable, and in many ways they are similar to humans.  For example, when we wake up from a long nap, usually the first thing we want to do is go to the bathroom – and Sugar Gliders are no different.  Therefore, by 1) learning their potty habits, and 2) thoroughly “de-pooping/peeing” them before letting them run around -  “accidents” typically become few and far between in a relatively short period of time.  Most reputable breeders will provide you with detailed instructions on exactly how to do this.



  MYTH:  “Sugar Gliders are very noisy, and worse, they are noisy all night long…”  “Their barking and crabbing and hissing and various cage noises, including clanks, bangs and constant exercise wheel’s running, can keep you up all night and will ruin your day…”  

REALITY:  The simple fact is that Sugar Gliders themselves do not make an inordinate level of noise when compared to other traditional household pets.  They are capable of making several sounds, including a barking sound (similar to a Chihuahua), and a chattering sound (called crabbing) that is similar to a locust.  However, in most cases the only times a Glider will make these noises for any sustained period of time are when they are either sick, mistreated, or distressed. 

For example, based on most studies, “barking” at night seems to be caused primarily by loneliness or boredom.  In this situation, simply going into the room and talking to/playing with them for a few minutes – or turning on a nightlight near their cage – will almost always settle them right down.  The more time you spend with Sugar Gliders, the more amazing it becomes just how similar they are to human children – especially in how they respond to love and attention.

Having said all this, the VAST majority of noises which typically come from a Sugar Glider’s cage at night are actually caused by the TOYS and other items placed inside the cage.  Again, just like human children, Gliders LOVE to play with toys of all kinds – so if you want a quiet house, then just make sure to get toys that don’t make loud sounds.  Sugar Gliders will play with almost any type of cat, dog, bird, or baby toy.  Therefore, before placing any such item in their cage, it’s best to remove anything (like bells, etc..) that could make noise. 

Of all the toys you can give a Sugar Glider – NONE will be used more than their exercise wheel.  Therefore, if you can only afford to get them one toy – THIS is the one to get.  When selecting an exercise wheel, it’s important to note that the typical “hamster or gerbil” wheels found in pet shops are NOT recommended for Sugar Gliders.  This is because their long, semi-prehensile tail can easily get caught in the wheel and cause serious injury to the animal. Currently there are a handful of “glider-safe” exercise wheels on the market, and you just want to make sure and get the one which is the QUIETEST.



  MYTH:  “Sugar Gliders are exotic animals and many people have had problems with biters…”  “Some people have needed to get stitches because of how deep a Sugar Glider can bite…”  “They are NOT suitable as pets for children…”  

REALITY:  Sugar Gliders are NOT considered an “exotic” animal.  When they were first brought into the U.S. around 15 years ago, they were automatically “lumped in” with all the other exotic species being brought into the country at the time.  In the last decade, almost every state has since reclassified them as domestic “pocket pets” or “companion pets” – largely due to their popularity and friendly,     loving personalities. 

In fact, as of the date this report was written only 2 states in the contiguous 48 states still do not allow them as pets. In May of 2008, the Governor of Georgia (who himself is a licensed Veterinarian) was the latest to legalize Sugar Gliders as “companion household pets” which do not require any permits or licensing of any kind.

Due to a recent surge in substandard, “mom & pop” breeders out on the Internet, many states (like Georgia) are now amending their existing laws REQUIRING that owners can ONLY buy their animals directly from a federally-license USDA Breeder.  Any reputable breeder will be able to tell you the local laws in your area regarding the purchase and ownership of Sugar Gilders.  See “7 Reasons not to buy a Sugar Glider online or from a Pet Shop”

While any animal with teeth CAN bite, the simple fact is that Sugar Gliders RARELY do.  The exceptions are juvenile or adult animals that were never properly bonded with their owners.  In almost every such situation, the cause of this is that the owners were never properly shown, step-by-step, HOW to bond with their young baby.

Again, this issue is usually EASILY avoided by purchasing babies ONLY from a Federally-Licensed USDA Breeder who has a written, formal educational program AFTER the sale to help show you exactly how to care for - and bond with - your new babies.  As any properly-equipped Sugar Glider owner will tell you, the “bonding process” can be one of the most fun and rewarding parts of owning Sugar Gliders, and a well-trained Glider can make an amazing lifelong companion for the     entire family.

The simple fact is that there has never been a SINGLE documented case anywhere in the U.S. where a Sugar Glider owner has EVER required stitches for a bite – NOT ONE.  This is largely due to the fact that a Sugar Glider’s jaw structure is MUCH different than that of hamsters or gerbils (which by contrast send children to hospitals for stitches every day). 

A Sugar Glider’s teeth and jaws are structured very similarly to “tweezers” in that they primarily point outward and are designed to “pinch” or catch insects. By contrast, a rodent’s teeth (ie. hamster, gerbil, rabbit, etc..) are all designed to bite down with great force, and “shear” objects in two.  If a Sugar Glider should happen to “nip”, it’s almost always a YOUNG BABY who is simply scared and has not yet completely bonded with their new owner. In this situation, their jaws and teeth are still SO small and weak that the bite feels similar to a firm “pinch”, and rarely – if ever –breaks the skin.



  MYTH:  “You absolutely MUST have at least two Gliders or they will die of loneliness…”  “Human contact is no substitute for their own kind…”  “You have to spend a minimum of 12-14 hours a day with a sugar glider or it will self-mutilate or die…”  

REALITY:  It is true that Sugar Gliders are very social animals by nature, and they make excellent “family pets” because they tend to want to bond to a whole “group” of people.  In other words, they’re not usually a “one person animal” – and this is primarily due to the fact that in the wild they live in “colonies” of 10-15 other Gliders (and are instinctively very “communal”).

Having said that, ANY animal is always going to be happiest when it has a playmate of it’s own species – so whenever possible it is always optimal to get a pair of babies. 

If your budget will only allow you to get just one animal, then the best thing to do is just plan on spending as much time with it as possible.  Fortunately, this is usually a VERY easy thing to do, because unlike most other household pets, Sugar Gliders don’t require a lot of DIRECT attention.  They are quite content just riding around with you almost anywhere - and hanging out in your shirt or in a pocket.  Since they “bond” so strongly with their owners, it is VERY unusual that a fully-bonded Glider will ever TRY to leave its owner – and many people routinely take them everywhere they go; including grocery stores, movie theatres, motorcycle riding, etc..

To help new owners, many reputable USDA breeders also offer discounts for purchasing a second animal.



  MYTH: “Sugar Gliders must have extremely large cages or entire rooms in your home dedicated JUST to them…”  “Anything smaller is cruel and abusive to the animals…”  

REALITY:  Again, this myth is based on very old, and outdated information.  Recent Veterinary research has shown that the ideal cage size for a young Sugar Glider  is actually around 2 feet x 2 feet x 2 feet.  Anything larger results in much lower activity levels, and significantly interferes with the bonding process.

Multiple Veterinary reports now confirm that this cage size is also adequate for up to 2 adult Sugar Gliders.  For adult animals, a larger cage is always better, and several standard “aviary” style cages – measuring roughly 2 feet x 3 feet x 2 feet  (or larger)- are readily available.

According to recent Veterinary research, the actual construction of a Sugar Glider’s cage is actually MUCH more important than its size.  For example, the ideal cage for young Sugar Gliders should be constructed of stainless steel wire “mesh” – with holes no larger than ½’’ x 1” – and the wire should be coated with PVC plastic to prevent zinc poisoning.

For larger, adult animals a standard “aviary” style bird cage is usually the most practical option.  However, the single most important factor to consider when purchasing this type of cage is the coating on the bars.  All the bars and surfaces of the cage should be coated with a HIGH-grade epoxy or powder-coating – NOT paint or cheap powder-coating.  Almost all bird cages are made in China today – and the cheap coatings which normally come standard on these cages typically begins flaking off after a few months (revealing the low-grade metal beneath).  This can cause zinc-poisoning contracted when the Glider cleans its fur and then licks the metal residue into their system.

Most aviary-style cages on the market today look IDENTICAL, so before purchasing one, be sure to check on the type of coating it has.  A quality cage with the correct coating will definitely cost a few dollars more - but considering potential consequences – this is one area where it does NOT usually pay to save a few dollars.



  MYTH:  “Sugar Gilder health problems can be bizarre as well as emotionally and financially draining…”  “Finding a Vet who can treat them is practically impossible…”  

REALITY:  This is again, an old myth based on VERY outdated information. Over the last decade, Sugar Gliders have become extremely popular as household pets – and if one should happen to get sick, almost any Vet who already works on other small mammals like hamsters and gerbils will easily be able to work on them. 

Unlike most other household pets, Sugar Gliders require NO vaccinations (or ongoing health care such as heartworm or flea medications, etc..) of any kind – in ANY state – simply because they have not been shown to carry any serious illnesses.  In fact there has never been a SINGLE documented case in the U.S. of a Sugar Glider ever passing along an illness to a human being.  Contrast this with cats, dogs, turtles, iguanas, and other common household pets - which routinely pass along a wide range of illnesses to humans every day.

Even so, normal sanitary precautions like washing hands before and after handling ANY animal are always recommended.

In most cases, if a Sugar Glider should happen to get sick, it is almost always the result of either: 1) feeding them a poorly-designed, outdated diet, and/or 2) inadequate care.  Again, these problems are usually easily avoided simply by following the written, Veterinarian-approved care plan provided by a Federally-Licensed USDA Breeder – and any such reputable breeder should easily be able to provide this to you at no charge.




If you are seriously considering buying Sugar Gliders, check out the reputation of the breeder and/or website you are dealing with at:   This site contains objective professional and consumer reviews of the top 25 Sugar Glider websites and breeders in the U.S..  It is updated weekly, and will give you a quick, reliable snapshot of the people you are dealing with...


We STRONGLY suggest that you PRINT out these reports.


**Sugar Gliders can make wonderful family pets.
If you are considering getting some,
here are a few helpful guidelines to follow
that will help you avoid some common mistakes. **


We STRONGLY suggest that you PRINT out these reports.




**NOTE**:  This article is a must-read for anyone who is thinking about owning a Sugar Glider.   It is the result of hundreds of hours of research conducted on behalf of the North American Sugar Glider Association by licensed private investigators and their agents.   It was commissioned by NASGA after receiving numerous, ongoing complaints from licensed animal care professionals, Veterinarians, and concerned members  regarding misleading and slanderous information routinely posted on numerous internet message boards and chat rooms.


The Internet can be a wonderful tool for doing research before buying a product or service. However, when it comes to purchasing a pet of any kind, one should be highly-skeptical of ANY information posted on internet chat rooms or message boards.   Nowhere is this more apparent than in the dozens of message boards and chat rooms that have appeared in recent years regarding Sugar Gliders.

While seemingly “harmless” – and even inviting - on the surface, Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards are a highly-dangerous and VERY misleading place from which to get information about caring for Sugar Gliders.   In many cases, the care and nutritional advice they give to their members is extremely outdated and directly contrary to more current resources that have been independently reviewed and approved by Veterinarians and Research Facilities who specialize in Sugar Glider care.   Furthermore, many chat rooms and message boards routinely launch completely unfounded internet “smear campaigns” against reputable persons or entities that disagree with them – all the while selling their own competitive products or animals behind the scenes (often illegally and under assumed screen names).  

In several cases examined during this investigation, following the care advice provided on these various Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards – (none of which hold a USDA License) - appears to have directly resulted in the premature death of animals.   To be clear, Sugar glider chat rooms and message boards are an “online community” which is not held to ANY standards of truthfulness, accuracy, or bias; and they cannot be considered a source of reliable information regarding the feeding and care of Sugar Gliders (see San Diego University' s "Evaluating Sources" for more information.)

In summary, it is strongly recommended that anyone considering the purchase of a Sugar Glider only rely directly on WRITTEN care advice provided by either:

1) a Federally-licensed, USDA Sugar Glider Breeder who is under the supervision of a licensed Veterinarian that specializes in Sugar Glider care*, and/or

2) a licensed Veterinarian who specialized in Sugar Glider care*.

 *A Veterinarian who sees – or oversees -  a minimum of 300        

  Sugar Gliders per year as a part of their normal practice.




For those less-familiar with what an online “chat room” or “message board” is, Webster’s defines them as:

a location on the Internet where participants who share a similar interest can post messages to one another without revealing

their identity…”

That being said, when it comes to Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards, it is critically important to stress that they are NOT:

a scientifically-based, independent source of Veterinary or

scholarly research

    a reliable source of information which is held to the standards and practices required by Veterinary Resources, certified research facilities, or licensed animal professionals.

    a resource where postings are required to be truthful and free of prejudice.


One experienced Veterinarian who was interviewed for this article summed up the dangers of relying on Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards as follows:

“Getting information about how to care for ANY animal – especially a Sugar Glider – from an internet chat room or message board community is no different than deciding to let your children get their entire sex education from a junior-high lunchroom… For sure, there will be lots of opinions that more-or-less all agree with each other… a handful of facts here and there… and even a few people with a very limited scope 

of experience… 

However, what you WON’T find is any scientifically-validated, RELIABLE information put forth by licensed professionals that could help them avoid making mistakes that could severely hurt - or even kill - them…”

That being said, the first time many people come across one of these Sugar Glider “chat rooms”, they are often immediately delighted to find that there is supposedly a whole “community” of other people out there who appear to be: 1) more knowledgeable than they are about Sugar Gliders, and 2) dedicated to honestly and openly sharing information for “the good of the glider”.  

They are eagerly “welcomed in” by anonymous individuals with humorous (but revealing) screen designations such as:

“Glider Slave” - ”Glider Lover” - “Glider Addict” and

“Glider Guardian”

and even more misleading “titles” (which attempt to award some sort of “expert status” on their anonymous participants) such as:

“Senior Glider Member”… and  Master Glider Member”

It is important to point out that – in the hundreds of hours which went into researching this article – our investigative team could not locate even ONE member of ANY Sugar Glider chat room or message board (regardless of their “title”) who is actually a licensed Veterinarian.   Instead, when we attempted to question the supposed “senior” members of many of these sites about the number of Sugar Gliders that THEY themselves had actually raised – we were routinely met with defensive, “how dare you” type attitudes coming from individuals who were genuinely offended that anyone would even DARE to question

their authority.  

Out of the handful who did eventually answer this question, none of them had raised even 30 Sugar Gliders to adulthood themselves – and most have been illegally breeding and selling their own babies for years to their online “membership” without the required USDA license.

In fact, the longer our investigation continued, the more we found the same deceptive patterns of slanderous gossip and hidden-agendas repeating themselves over and over again.

For example, once the unsuspecting newcomer is “welcomed” into a typical Sugar Glider “message board”, if they pay close attention they will soon notice that only a relatively small “core group” of members actually POST regularly on these chat rooms (usually less than 20  out of the supposedly hundreds-of-thousands of members many message boards claim to have).   These individuals almost always zealously and passionately promote one SINGLE way of feeding and caring for Sugar Gliders – and they are backed up by a slightly larger group (50-60) of even less-experienced, “part-time” members who basically just repeat whatever the leaders of their group say.   In essence, it’s “the blind leading the blind”… 

While this “core” and their constituents are always VERY friendly and inviting up-front – (and they always claim to be totally objective and “open to new ideas”) - in reality, in every case we investigated we found that they will immediately launch vicious and slanderous “smear campaigns” against any other resource (credible or otherwise) that promotes ALTERNATIVE methods of feeding and caring for Sugar Gliders; (even verifiable sources that have been reviewed and approved by licensed Veterinarians).  

In many cases, as a part of their ongoing smear campaign, they attempt to back up their claims with an endless stream of completely unverifiable, 3rd-party statements, like: “my Vet said xxxx, or “there are LOTS of people on this forum that got suckered in by xxxxxxxxxx, and their animals died. etc. . etc. . ”.   These remarks are then immediately picked up, repeated – and amplified – in numerous threads and postings by other passionate, part-time members of “the community” – all of whom have NO direct knowledge of the actual situation, or evidence to back up their claims against the targeted entity or individual.  

Unfortunately, when one spends hundreds of hours reviewing and fact-checking thousands of posts - and then conversing with “senior” members on these chat rooms and message boards for hours - (as we did while researching this article); it soon becomes painfully obvious that “the genuine advancement of Sugar Glider knowledge” is NOwhere on their agenda.  

For the innocent newcomer then, what usually starts out as a light-hearted – sincere - quest for a little more information, suddenly turns into something similar to encountering a “bully & their gang” on an elementary school playground the MINUTE one dares question the legitimacy of their authority or advice.  

The following 2 posts are just one of MANY, very “typical” examples of the type of hurtful “surprise” experienced by well-meaning persons when they finally find out what these Sugar Glider “chat rooms” and “message boards” are REALLY all about…


“Somebody told me to stand up for what I believe is right, so here it is.

Lately the bashing in this group has grown more and more intolerable. I haven't posted for quite a while because I don't think that everybody is allowed to ask the questions that they want, or express their opinions without somebody coming down on them for it, myself included.

I love my gliders…but it's just gotten out of control. When people get criticized or worse, kicked out of the group for expressing their opinions, or asking questions, I find that extremely sad. I thought that we were supposed to be here to learn from, and HELP each other. I will just go elsewhere for my information. ” 

2 RESPONSES from other members:

“ I have to say that I agree. . It is better that I get advice elsewhere. It's sad and hypocritical to kick someone off for stating their opinion… If I wanted drama, I would just turn on General Hospital. . ”

 “I must say I agree…I have come here to learn more about those precious animals we all love so much, but all I get in my email box is this CRAP!. . ”


In addition to viciously attacking their own members, one of the most harmful consequences of this misleading “façade” is often that LEGITIMATE resources of good, scientifically-verifiable advances in Sugar Glider care and nutrition (many of which have been reviewed and approved by Veterinarians who specialize in Sugar Glider care and research) are immediately subjected to an endless barrage of vicious and slanderous attacks.  Upon investigating a handful of the most blatant instances, we uncovered an ongoing “soap opera” of personal vendettas and smear campaigns against a handful of people and entities.  

The most common scenario was to single out a particular person or entity; (usually a Federally-licensed Sugar Glider breeding facility) – and regardless of their actual, documented record – immediately label them as a “Glider Mill”.

Upon “BRANDING” them with this inflammatory, emotionally-charged label, the handful of “core” members (again, usually less than 12 – and almost always claiming purely altruistic motives &  even pretending to be “Sugar Glider rescuers”) will begin to post extremely derogatory accusations - often stating them as if they were proven “facts” - about the target person or entity.   These posts are then immediately: 1) seized upon,  2) repeated, and 3) further magnified by other less-experienced (but very emotional) members of the group – all without offering even one piece of objective, verifiable proof to back up       their claims.  

The typical string of accusations usually includes:

1) selling inbred or sick animals,

2) recommending a diet or some type of care that is harmful to      Sugar Gliders,

3) selling babies that are too young, and

4)selling animals which later died due to some type of malnutrition or neglect before they were sold.

In some extreme cases, these supposedly “objective” chat rooms and message boards even make up completely-false rumors of massive “class-action lawsuits” being filed by Veterinarians against the target of their anger.

To be clear, in each such instance we investigated, there was absolutely NO objective, incontrovertible evidence that of any of the allegations posted on any of these chat rooms and message boards were true… none.   In fact - to the contrary - most of the persons and/or entities we investigated for this article which had been “targeted” by these chat room and message board “smear campaigns” have impeccable track records - and are highly-regarded by both State and Federal Regulatory Authorities as the best in their field.

Not surprisingly, for the unsuspecting person who innocently stumbles across one of these sites, (usually because they are just thinking about getting a Sugar Glider as a pet for their family), reading numerous such inflammatory “claims” on these message boards can be very alarming.   Based upon our investigation of the facts, this is exactly their designed INTENT (i. e. to instill fear, intimidation, and doubt) – regardless of actual facts, or the truth.   

Along these same lines, another favorite “tactic” routinely employed by Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards is to try to scare or intimidate the facilities or meeting venues which host events where Sugar Gliders are being sold.   The usual approach begins with posting the meeting facility’s telephone number on their website…

Then, the core ”ring-leaders” of each chat room encourages their membership to call-in and try to flood the venue’s phone lines with: 1) false complaints about the person/entity that is selling animals – and 2) hollow threats of “impending demonstrations”.

The typical string of accusations they “call-in” usually includes:

1) claiming they’re a customer of the targeted vendor - and their

animal died,

2) pretending to be a Veterinarian (a felony) claiming that the targeted vendor is selling sick or malnourished animals,

3) impersonating a County, State, or even Federal animal control agency (again, a felony) claiming that the animals are illegal in their area - and if the vendor is not immediately removed they will come shut down the entire event.

4) Attempting to illegally pass out slanderous flyers to event-goers (again, illegal).

5) Placing multiple calls to a local news station (claiming a range        of the above) in hopes of “fooling” the station into doing a sensationalized story.

Another common tactic for these deceitful groups is to try and actually get a booth at events where they know Sugar Gliders are being sold. They do this by attempting to "trick" unsuspecting promoters into thinking that they are some sort of innocent "animal rescue". These groups often claim to have "non-profit" status (hoping to get free - or reduced rent - booth space) - and even submit false paperwork from other legitimate animal rescues to further try and trick promoters into letting them in the door.

In reality, once their booth is set up, their SOLE objective is simply to flood the crowds with slanderous information against the licensed organization that is legitimately exhibiting Sugar Gliders at the event - and proactively intimidate event goers into not purchasing from them.

Fortunately, most event promoters and convention facilities have caught-on to these childish “scare-tactics” – and are not fooled.   For example, in the rare circumstance where one or two activists actually showed up at an event (we could find only 2 instances of this out of literally dozens of such “campaigns”  we investigated)   –   the activists were easily removed by either security or police without causing any problems. In 2 more cases where these groups actually exhibited a booth, they were also immediately closed down and evicted - and the persons actually exhibiting were successfully prosecuted for slander and fraud.  

As with most “strategies” founded in deceit – there is often an unintended “backlash” against Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards when they engage in this type of unethical activity.   In fact, several of the event promoters and coordinators who we interviewed for this article stated - quite emphatically - that they’ve found it’s actually turned into a GOOD thing when amateur “activists” like this attempt the kind of stunts outlined above; because the “buzz” actually ends up creating free publicity for the event – which in turn often brings out large numbers of traditional “pet-lovers” (which make up the vast majority of the population) who then come out to the event specifically to see the animals.

While some of the above examples may seem outrageous to an “innocent bystander” just reading this article; our 6+ month investigation revealed that they are “standard practice” for Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards.   In fact, as previously stated, when one investigates a SERIES of situations like this – (which we did during the course of researching this article) – one quickly finds a very recognizable “pattern” where: 1) not only are there no VERIFIABLE facts to back up any of the claims these individuals make, but 2) even more importantly there is a much darker UNTOLD story behind what is really going on here…

In reality, once we were well into our research of this article, it became painfully obvious that:

1) the prestige of being “looked up to” by others in the “online community” – and

2) hidden financial motives

wereand are – the two, TRUE driving motives behind every Sugar Glider chat room and message board that we investigated.   Regardless of what these seemingly “objective” message boards and chat rooms would like outsiders to believe, when ALL the true facts are brought out into the light – the “bottom line” is unavoidable.   In the final analysis, the desire to obtain respect and money – (often coupled with a pathological addiction to the Internet) - are the REAL foundation upon which these chat rooms and message boards operate.

As just ONE example of this, during the course of our investigation we uncovered that it is very common for the “core” members of these sites, (usually the same individuals who routinely ”lead the charge” when bashing other resources) – to in fact be SELLING THEIR OWN ANIMALS OR PRODUCTS either directly – or through other “assumed” screen names - to other unsuspecting members of their “online community”.   In other words, they are directly competing - on a monetary basis - with the very SAME people they are supposedly “objectively” criticizing…

Invariably, at the center of every chat room and message board we investigated, we discovered a “core group” (again, usually consisting of between  4-12 individuals) who had successfully created their own anonymous “internet world” where they:

1) are essentially “royalty”,

2) can be admired and exalted above the crowd as Sugar Glider “experts” by the new or average member (regardless of their actual

true qualifications),

3) are free to viciously criticize and slander anyone who dares to challenge or disagree with them, and

4) often make a large amount of money “behind the scenes”;       selling both animals and supplies either directly or through assumed screen names

To provide a more clear perspective on just how deep these deceptions run, these chat rooms and message boards even regularly deceive EACH OTHER for their own personal financial gain.   For example, one of the most prominent Sugar Glider websites (which appears near the top of every Google™ or Yahoo™ search) has claimed for many YEARS now that they ONLY sell “ sweet hand-tamed joeys” to their customers and other loyal members of the Sugar Glider “online community”.   They then go even further, by promising their loyal followers that they would never, EVER stoop-so-low as to sell “mill-bred” animals.    This same person then spends a great deal of time behind the scenes “smearing” other persons/groups who commercially breed or sell Sugar Gliders – and actively bashes so-called “glider mills” as the root of all evil…

All that being said, upon researching this particular matter in great detail, our investigation uncovered that for many years now, this same individual actually BUYS almost all their baby gliders from one of the largest so-called “glider mills” in the country – which is coincidentally OWNED by their SISTER (under a married name).  Furthermore, when their sister recently sold the majority of her operation to an even LARGER commercial breeder – this individual then continued to SECRETLY buy their baby Gliders from the VERY same “glider mill” that she publicly bashes both online and verbally to everyone else in the so-called “online community”! 

According to information recovered by an independent investigative agency (taken directly from this person’s own discarded notes, shipping documents, and financial records), as of the date this report was published, they are STILL secretly buying babies from this commercial breeder – even though they vehemently deny it.   All the while, for many YEARS now this exalted, so-called “leader” in the Sugar Glider “online community” has – IN FACT – been going behind everyone’s back and selling these SAME (supposedly inferior) “mill-bred” babies to unsuspecting members of their very own Sugar Glider “family” who look up to – and trust – her.  

To put this deception and extreme hypocrisy into a little better perspective, to THIS very day… whenever somebody else sells animals which come from the commercial breeder mentioned above, this “leader” often describes them as: “sick”, “too young”, and “inbred”… However, when THEY sell exactly the same babies PURCHASED from exactly the same breeder;  these animals then somehow immediately become “hand-raised”, “tame”, and perfectly healthy…

By their own admission, the owner of this site makes a VERY good living selling animals and supplies each year …. and all the people who have looked up to them – and followed their advice to the letter - for SO many years have absolutely no idea that in fact THEY are actually the ones “being fooled”.   

The above example is just one – not uncommon – sampling of the extreme deception and hypocrisy we routinely uncovered in the Sugar Glider “online community” during our extensive 6+ month investigation.  

Upon establishing close, ongoing relationships with several of these “core” individuals from a number of the more prominent chat rooms and message boards, it quickly became clear to our investigators that (in addition to having serious problems with “honesty”), in almost every case it appears as though these people also suffer from a condition known as Pathological Internet Use.  

In their self-manufactured “internet world”, this small “core group” typically spends the VAST MAJORITY of every day and night GLUED to their keyboards; entangled in endless “soap opera” type dramas that they have created – and maliciously sucking others into their web of deceit.   In most cases, they choose to live out their lives in this “made-up” world where they can: 1) remain anonymous to the masses, 2) claim purely “altruistic motives”, and 3) be “larger than life” while sitting behind their computer.   They choose all this, rather than actually engaging with REAL people in REAL society; and building meaningful face-to-face relationships with their friends and family.

As one final example of just how dangerous and disturbing the world of Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards really is, (and we uncovered many more equally-disturbing instances during the course of our 6+ month investigation), one of our investigators actually visited the personal home of one of the most prominent “leaders” in the Sugar Glider “online community”.  

When our investigator entered what – at first – appeared to be a somewhat normal-looking house on the outside – they were shocked to find (among many other disturbing things inside this residence) that every wall, ceiling – and even window – in the home had been painted completely black.   Additionally, during their conversation, our investigator learned that this highly-respected “elder” – who posts regularly in nearly every major online Sugar Glider chat room and message board – typically spends (by their own admission) at least 14-18 hours a day posting messages while huddled with their computer under a blanket, so that (quote): “the light from the monitors doesn’t hurt my suggies eyes”… 


Regardless of the motives or sicknesses driving their actions, one thing became VERY apparent long before this investigation was fully complete.   The simple fact is that Sugar Glider chat rooms and message boards can be a HIGHLY DANGEROUS and VERY MISLEADING place from which to get information about caring for these little animals.   They are an “online community” of self-proclaimed experts – nothing more, nothing less – and they cannot be considered a source of reliable information. (see San Diego University' s "Evaluating Sources" for more information.)

In summary, it is strongly recommended that anyone considering the purchase of a Sugar Glider only rely directly on WRITTEN advice provided by either:

1) a Federally-Licensed, USDA Sugar Glider Breeder who is under the supervision of a licensed Veterinarian that specializes in Sugar Glider care*, and/or

2) a licensed Veterinarian who specializes in Sugar Glider care*.

*A Veterinarian who sees – or oversees -  a minimum of 300     

 Sugar Gliders per year as a part of their normal practice.


   San Diego State University: Evaluating Sources of Information;

  Dr. Kimberly Young: Internet Addiction Evaluation and Treatment;

  John Sulers: “The Psychology of Cyberspace”;

  Navigating the Mental Health Internet: Internet Addiction;

  Sugar Glider Message Boards: Helpful or Harmful?;

-         Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences – multiple studies

-         Dept. of Clinical Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine Kansas State University – multiple studies

  1) Do sugar gliders really make good pets  
  2) 7 Reasons not to buy from online...  
  3) 7 Things to ask before buying a sugar glider  
  4) Beware sugar glider message boards,  
  5) Where can i find a trustworthy breeder...  



If you are seriously considering buying Sugar Gliders, check out the reputation of the breeder and/or website you are dealing with at:   This site contains objective professional and consumer reviews of the top 25 Sugar Glider websites and breeders in the U.S..  It is updated weekly, and will give you a quick, reliable snapshot of the people you are dealing with...


We STRONGLY suggest that you PRINT out these reports.


© 2008 - NASGA. All rights reserved. SP