Can Sugar Gliders Swim?

Can Sugar Gliders Swim?

Sugar gliders are tiny and adorable, but that doesn’t mean they have to be limited by the size of their cages.


One way to give your sugar glider more room to play is by providing a water dish for her (or him) to drink from and splash around.


However, this raises a question: can sugar gliders swim? Can they bob around in the water just like any other pet?


The answer is yes—but their swimming ability isn’t precisely Olympic-worthy.


Let me explain what I mean by looking at some facts about this exotic marsupial species and its swimming skills.


Can sugar gliders swim? Yes, they can.

In the past, it was thought that sugar gliders could not swim because they were small and had no visible claws or webbed feet.


However, recent research has shown that sugar gliders can glide but not as efficiently as some other creatures.


Sugar gliders do not like water and will avoid swimming unless necessary.


The best way to get them in the water is to place them in a shallow tray so they don’t have to go too deep or stay under for long periods.


Sugar gliders have been observed leaping out of trees into water pools relatively quickly and landing safely on rocks or tree branches nearby afterward.


This shows that their jumping skills enable them to jump from one body of water to another without prior knowledge of its depth or location.


Do sugar gliders like to swim? Not really.

Sugar Glider


Sugar gliders are not natural swimmers; they have the instinct to avoid water, which is why they must be supervised in the pool or lake.


A sugar glider can drown if left unsupervised in water. If you find your sugar glider drowning, do NOT try to rescue them by pulling them out of the water (they will bite the hand that helps them—this is part of their instinct).


Instead, try throwing a towel over him and scooping him up from underneath it.



Learn More:

Why do Mother Cats Attack Their Older Kittens?



Are sugar gliders good swimmers? No, they are not.

Can sugar gliders swim? Yes, and No, they are not very good swimmers, but they can swim.


Because of their large ears and lack of a normal tail, sugar gliders have difficulty keeping their head above water when swimming.


Additionally, they do not move through water with strokes (like humans) but instead flap their arms like birds or flounder like fish.


What kind of swimming strokes can sugar gliders do?

Sugar gliders can swim, but they aren’t very good at it.


Sugar gliders can do the dog paddle and freestyle.


Some gliders may learn to swim underwater by holding their breath for long periods.


However, this is not something that most gliders will do naturally.


Sugar glider swimming strokes include the doggy paddle and freestyle stroke with arms stretched out in front of them and their legs behind them (doggy style).


The tail is also used as a propeller to help propel the body forward through the water at a faster speed than what could be achieved just by using their limbs alone.



Sugar gliders can swim, but they don’t like it very much.


They are better at dog paddling than freestyle, and if you want to see them swimming, you should probably keep them in a tank with no water.


That way, they’ll just be floating around on dry land.


See Also

Categorized as Mammals, Wild


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.