In the last few years, the popularity of sugar gliders has increased manifold. It’s because these little furries are incredibly loyal and make amazing companions. However, sugar gliders are exotic pets, and thus, owners must pay proper attention to their diet and daily requirements.
In this article, we will go through the dos and don’ts of sugar glider food and diet. After this, we will review the best food, treats, and supplements currently available on the market for your sugar glider in 2020.
4 Best Sugar Glider Food Currently Available on the Market
The Vitakraft Vitasmart sugar glider food contains flavors of apple, apricot juices, cherry, kiwi, and mango — most sugar gliders jus love it. It also contains honey, vegetables, and flax meal to ensure the proper growth of your sugar glider.
The resealable packaging makes it easy to keep the food fresh and safe. Most importantly, not only is this pet food high in protein, but it also contains vitamins and minerals in sufficient amounts, so you won’t need to buy any vitamin supplements as an add-on.
It also contains DHA Omega-3, which promotes brain and heart health as well as vision in sugar gliders.
Here is another sugar glider food that is so good and nutritious that the food itself will be enough to meet your sugar glider’s nutrition needs. This cooked diet contains protein in abundance as well as toasted grains, and vitamins, and minerals.
To make it tasty for your sugar glider, there is a coating of different fruity flavors, which makes the food delectable to all sugar gliders. We recommend freezing this food as freezing will considerably enhance its life.
It’s better to serve this food fresh, right after mixing it with water. It’s a good choice for a sugar glider because it’s mess-free and enriched with multivitamins and calcium supplements for added nutrition.
The best thing about this sugar glider food is that no chopping and peeling is required — all you have to do is mix water, and the food is ready. More importantly, this food contains only natural ingredients — bee pollen, eggs, honey, and a protein supplement — and in the right amount.
Though this food is slightly on the expensive side, it has everything your sugar glider needs.
A protein diet is very important for sugar gliders so this mainly-pellet food was designed to give you furries the right amount of protein they need every day.
The pellets are the right size and do not fall apart. You can mix it with fresh fruits and vegetables in their staple diet while some owners use it as a snack in between regular meals.
6 Best Sugar Glider Treats and Supplements You Can Buy Today
Treats are essential, and if you are looking for a pack of treats with no added sugars and preservatives, we recommend trying this one by Exotic Nutrition. These small treats will not only change your sugar glider’s taste but will also help them exercise their jaws and teeth.
You can also hide these little treats in their cage to indulge your baby’s natural foraging instincts. More importantly, these treats are reasonably priced and will last you months. However, remember to store them properly.
To this day, we have not seen a sugar glider that does not like yogurt drops. These dried papaya yogurt drops are an especially right choice if your sugar glider enjoys eating papaya. Since the papaya is dried well, it retains all the nutrients.
While these yogurt drops are also readily available in any pet shop, you can order them online sometimes at a discount, and your package will arrive within three to five days, irrespective of wherever you live in the US.
Sugar gliders loved homemade nectar drops. However, homemade drops last only for a few days, so these Nectar Pods by Exotic Nutrition can do the trick if you happen to have a shortage for a few days. You may also use them as a regular treat if you want to.
The pods contain all the fruit flavors that sugar gliders enjoy, and every treat also contains added glycine and calcium to ensure the proper growth of your marsupials. Every pack includes eight pods, and there are different flavors you can choose from, depending on the preference of your pet glider.
All sugar gliders love bugs and insects. Canned bugs and insects are also ideal for indulging your sugar glider’s foraging instincts and providing them with some much-needed exercise. However, getting quality bugs with no added color, flavor, or preservatives can be difficult.
You can mix these berries & bugs in their food to enhance the flavor and also use them as snacks and treats. The pack is available in two sizes, and since sugar gliders need only a tiny portion of these per day, even the smaller packet will last for months.
The HPW diet is a vitamin-enriched sugar glider diet that many sugar glider owners prefer. This Nutrition Zoopro High Protein supplement offers a balanced addition to your sugar glider’s food if you give them the HPW diet.
The supplement is easy to digest, and other than protein, it also contains essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. It will ensure your baby is meeting its daily protein and other requirements each day. The supplement is available in three sizes — 8.82 oz, 3 lb, and 10 lb. Even the smallest packet will last you a long time.
This multi-vitamin supplement contains bee pollen. Bee pollen is an essential part of a sugar glider’s diet in the wild. Other than being a rich source of protein, bee protein is also an excellent source of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and enzymes.
The MINS Glider Multi-Vitamin is reasonably priced when compared to the several other sugar glider-specific multi-vitamin supplements available in the market.
The supplement is available in two sizes. If you are trying the product for the first time, you can choose to go with the smaller size and sprinkle some of this supplement on your gliders’ wet or dry food in small quantities every day.
What Do Sugar Gliders Need in Their Diet?
When it comes to eating, sugar gliders are not picky animals — they are omnivorous and will eat pretty much anything you will give them. In the wild, this species particularly enjoys sap, insects, bird eggs, eucalyptus gum, nectar, and honeydew.
Though it is nearly impossible to get any of these for pet sugar gliders, owners must at least make sure that their pet is getting what it needs to grow well and stay healthy. Therefore, it is important that sugar glider owners inform themselves about their pet’s calorie and nutrition requirements.
Sugar gliders essentially need three things in their diet: protein, vitamins, and fruits and vegetables. In the wild, sugar gliders feed mainly on gum, saps, and nectar. Meat and insects form a small part of their diet.
Pet owners must try and mimic the same proportions for their pet sugar gliders as too much meat and insects can lead to your sugar glider developing a weird odor. In general, the thumb rule is that 75% of your sugar glider’s diet should constitute protein, and the remaining 25% can be fruits and vegetables.
If you want to go into the specifics, several studies have shown that sugar gliders that eat a meal containing calcium and phosphorous in the ratio 1-2:1 live a healthier life. Further, make sure to keep your sugar glider away from fats and refined sugars. Never feed your sugar glider chocolates, ice creams, and dairy products as these small animals are lactose intolerant.
Similarly, avoid giving them peanuts and pork. While peanuts are high in fat, pork contains nitrates and sodium in high amounts, both of which are bad for sugar gliders.
Most importantly if you decide to change your pet furry’s diet, do it slowly and make sure they are adapting well to the new food you are giving them. If you have more than one sugar glider, make sure both of your babies are getting the equal and right amount of food.
What exactly can I feed my sugar gliders?
Here are some of the things that sugar gliders enjoy eating and which are also healthy for them.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
While fruits and vegetables are essential, sugar gliders must consume them in only small amounts. Half a teaspoon of fruits and vegetables is enough for your sugar glider. Wash the vegetables and fruits nicely and cut them into small pieces before giving them to your furry.
Sugar gliders living in zoos feed on apples, grapes, kiwi, pears, melons, papayas, cantaloupe, avocado, oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, broccoli, and sprout, so you can give them these fruits at home as well.
You will find a comprehensive list of what fruits and vegetable sugar gliders can eat in our article What do sugar gliders eat? A complete guide.
2. Protein Foods
Never feed your sugar glider any raw meat. Cut the meat or poultry you are planning to feed into small pieces and cook them well. Do not add any spices or sauces as your baby may have a hard time digesting them.
Eggs and yogurt are the other two good protein sources. However, sometimes, it becomes difficult to buy meat and eggs every day. Similarly, after a long tiring day, you may find yourself not in the mood to cook. In such a case, it is always a good idea to keep high-protein food with you.
In case you can’t find a protein supplement specially made for sugar gliders, you can consider using cat or dog food. However, give these foods only as an alternative and not as a proper diet.
Treats are an excellent way of bonding with your sugar glider. You can also use them to promote good behavior in your pet glider. Most importantly, they are the most effective way to get a sugar glider out of its cage when it is hiding. However, sugar gliders must get treats in small amounts and not regularly.
So, what treats can you feed your baby? Sugar gliders enjoy insects, so buy and keep packets of mealworms, earthworms, and crickets with you. All these are readily available in the market. Also, do not just pick an insect from your garden and give it to your sugar glider — it may prove to be dangerous. Buy packaged or canned insects.
Yet another treat that sugar gliders enjoy is nuts. However, both nuts and insects are high in fat, so your sugar glider must consume them in minimal amounts.
Insects give sugar gliders a peculiar and unpleasant odor, so it is a good idea to restrict their quantity. Yogurt drops and dried fruits are other healthy alternatives available in the market that sugar gliders enjoy immensely.
Even if you are giving your sugar glider the best diet possible, it may still lack many essential vitamins and minerals. So you must include multivitamins and calcium supplements in your gliders’ food. As you will see, there is no shortage of these in the market. If you look well, you may be able to find one at an affordable price. We have also made some suggestions in this article.
5. Homemade Nectar
In the wild, sugar gliders enjoy the nectar when they can. While it is impossible to replicate the natural nectar at home, there is a simple recipe you can use to make homemade nectar for your sugar glider:
- mix two tablespoons of warm water with two tablespoons of raw honey. Add to this mixture:
- half a cup water,
- a hard-boiled egg,
- half a cup of high-protein food,
- a teaspoon of any good vitamin supplement to a blender. Blend well.
This homemade nectar will last three days if frozen well. Give your sugar glider one tablespoon every day.
When and How Much Should I Feed My Sugar Glider?
Experts recommend that you must feed your sugar glider once every day. The ideal time to feed them is the period between later afternoon and early evening.
While you must feed them only once, make sure to hide some insects or treats, although in limited amounts, inside their cage. This exercise will cause mental stimulation and promote foraging, which is an essential natural skill of sugar gliders.
Most importantly, keep in mind that sugar gliders are small animals that do not have high calorific requirements. In general, 20 to 25 calories a day will keep your sugar glider fit and healthy. Do not feed your sugar glider more than 100 mg of protein each day.
Should I Trust Market Food?
As a pet owner, trusting market food may seem difficult. Yet sugar gliders have specific dietary requirements, and however hard an owner tries, it becomes challenging to create a homemade diet that matches all the criteria.
As an example, most sugar glider owners do not know that sugar gliders need no more than 100 mg of protein each day or that the ratio of calcium to phosphorus should be in the range of 1-2:1 in their diet. Similarly, homemade food often lacks vitamins and minerals.
The food and supplements available in the market are designed specifically for sugar gliders and therefore contain all the ingredients in the right amount. By giving your sugar glider these foods and supplements, you will not only keep them satiated but also healthy.
- Feeding behavior and nutrition of the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps), Ellen S Dierenfeld
- Evaluation of three popular diets fed to pet sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps): Intake, digestion and nutrient balance, E S Dierenfeld, K M Whitehouse-Tedd