Last Modified

January 12, 2024 by Umair Shahid

Taking care of a sugar glider goes beyond just feeding and playing with them. One important aspect of their care that often raises questions is nail trimming. Many sugar glider owners wonder, “Can I cut my sugar glider’s nails?” or “Should I clip my sugar glider’s nails?” The answer to both is yes. 

Regular nail trimming is crucial for the health of your sugar glider and your own comfort. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort for the sugar glider and lead to scratches for you. However, the process of trimming their nails might seem a bit challenging, especially for new owners. 

This guide aims to provide you with the necessary information and steps to safely and effectively trim your sugar glider’s nails. Whether you’re curious about whether sugar gliders need a toenail trim or how to go about it, we’ve got you covered.

How to Cut a Sugar Glider Nails

Preparing for nail trimming

Getting ready for the nail trimming task is a key step in keeping your sugar glider safe and comfy. Here’s a simple guide to help you kick things off:

  1. Collect Your Tools: Grab the essentials – small animal nail clippers, a calming glove or towel, treats, and cornstarch. With the right clippers make sure you trim the nails without any harm. A calming glove or towel helps soothe your sugar glider and makes it easier to handle. Treats act as a distraction and a reward. And, keep cornstarch handy just in case of accidental bleeding – it works wonders to stop it quickly.
  2. Pick the Perfect Time: Sugar gliders are night owls, more active at night. So, choose daytime for nail trimming when they’re calmer and a bit tired. This makes the whole process smoother and less stressful for both you and your sugar glider.

Remember, the aim is to keep the nail trimming stress-free for your sugar glider. With the right prep and timing, you can ensure a successful and hassle-free nail trimming session.

How to trim sugar glider nails?

Taking care of your sugar glider’s nails is a gentle task that needs both patience and attention. Let me guide you through the process:

  1. Wrap in a Calming Glove or Towel: Begin by wrapping your sugar glider in a calming glove or towel. This not only keeps them feeling safe but also shields them from their sharp nails.
  2. Hold the Paw: Gently grasp your sugar glider’s paw and press down in the middle. This action spreads out their nails, making it simpler for you to trim them.
  3. Trimming Time: Use a nail clipper made for small animals to trim just the pointy tip of the nail. Be cautious to steer clear of the pink part, known as the “quick,” which has nerves and blood vessels. Accidentally cutting into the quick may cause pain and bleeding. If that happens, a bit of cornstarch applied to the affected area can swiftly stop the bleeding.

Remember, this process demands a gentle touch and attention to detail. By following these steps, you’ll ensure a comfortable experience for your sugar glider and prevent any unnecessary discomfort.

For a successful nail trimming session, consider these extra tips:

  • Team Up with a Partner: Having a buddy makes trimming your sugar glider’s nails a breeze. One person can handle the sugar glider while the other takes care of the nail trimming.
  • Treats for Distraction: Treats come in handy to keep sugar gliders occupied during the nail trimming. It’s a sweet distraction!
  • Practice Holding Hands and Feet: Get your sugar glider used to be handled by practicing holding their hands and feet while they’re in a bonding pouch. Familiarity with this handling makes the actual nail trimming much smoother.
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Remember, keeping calm and patient is key during the process. If you’re feeling a bit jittery, your sugar glider might sense it and get uneasy. If needed, take short breaks between each nail trimming to let your sugar glider relax. It’s all about creating a comfortable experience for both you and your little friend.

Alternative methods for nail maintenance

There are other ways to keep your sugar glider’s nails in check, such as using cork toys and nail trimming inserts for their exercise wheels.

Cork Toys: These toys offer a fun and engaging activity for sugar gliders. As they run and climb on cork toys, it naturally wears down their nails. Although cork toys contribute to maintaining nail length, it’s crucial to know they don’t substitute regular nail trimming.

Nail Trimming Inserts for Sugar Glider Wheels: Another option is using inserts specifically designed for nail care in sugar glider wheels, like those found in the Raptor Wheel or the Wodent Wheel Senior. These inserts help file down the nails as your sugar glider exercises on the wheel. However, it’s essential to understand that these inserts don’t replace regular nail trimming; they serve to keep the nails in check between trimming sessions. Leaving them in constantly might cause discomfort, as they could rub the skin on your sugar glider’s feet.

Remember, these alternative methods assist in maintaining your sugar glider’s nails, but regular nail trimming remains necessary. Keep an eye on their nails and trim as needed to avoid discomfort or injury.


Ensuring your sugar glider’s well-being includes regularly trimming its nails. If left unchecked, long nails can make your sugar glider uncomfortable and may result in scratches or injuries for you. Whether you’re unsure about how to clip, trim, or groom your sugar glider’s nails, the process remains consistent – it demands patience, care, and the right tools. 

Optimal nail trimming occurs during the day when your sugar glider is calmer and less active. While alternatives like cork toys and special inserts for sugar glider wheels can assist in keeping nails in check, they don’t replace the necessity of regular nail trimming. This guide provides steps and tips to ensure a safe and successful nail-trimming session for your sugar glider.


I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.

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