November 11, 2020

The average lifespan of a sugar glider ranges between eight and thirteen years. This is approximately the same lifespan as human's favorite companions, dogs.

Many people choose sugar gliders as pets for themselves or their children. They are a popular alternative to other small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs. They can make a great addition to your family.

It's important to understand sugar gliders, like other pets, have a lot of things they need to be happy and healthy. One of the most important things they need is a special sugar glider diet.

If you're thinking about adding a sugar glider to your family, you should understand their nutritional requirements. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the sugar glider diet.

What Is a Sugar Glider?

A sugar glider is not a rodent-like the flying squirrels they so resemble. Instead, they're a marsupial. Their native habitats are Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.

These small animals have become popular pets in recent decades. They have typically friendly temperaments and fit in the palm of your hand. They're also able to cover half a football field in a single leap with their special "wings."

Many people don't realize the extent of care a sugar glider requires when kept as pets. One of the most important considerations is their very specific diet requirements. These requirements are discussed in-depth below.

Basic Sugar Glider Diet Information

Sugar gliders closely resemble flying squirrels. They're a delicate exotic animal that requires a very specific sugar glider diet if you hope to keep one as a pet. Failing to feed your sugar glider the right diet can result in serious health consequences.

One important thing to know is sugar gliders need a higher amount of calcium than phosphorus. If a sugar glider diet contains more phosphorus, it will leach calcium out of your pet's bones. This results in fragile bones that are easily broken.

Since sugar gliders require high amounts of calcium, you should watch for signs of a deficiency. These include trembling, shaking, trouble climbing, or hind leg paralysis. If you notice any of these signs, be sure to take your sugar glider to an exotic pet vet right away.

Always leave fresh water for your sugar glider. You can use a stoppered bottle, but make sure to change the water daily. You can also offer an occasional treat of half water and half 100% fruit juice. Apple juice or orange juice is a great choice.

Sugar gliders are very active mammals with high metabolisms. Due to this, you should have a constant source of food available in their cage. A monkey biscuit and a small bowl of sugar glider food (also known as "brunch") should be available at all times.

Additionally, you should be feeding your sugar glider one good meal each day. In the late afternoon or early evening is the best time. You can also give them one treat a day.

What Do Sugar Gliders Eat?

Besides sugar glider cereal and monkey biscuits, sugar gliders will eat one good meal each day. These meals should be created from 50% protein sources and 50% fruits or vegetables. Produce should be fresh or frozen, not canned.

Sugar gliders prefer fruits and vegetables with sweeter tastes. All food given to your sugar gliders should have no seasoning or sauces, as these might make your pet sick.

Remember to vary their diet so sugar gliders don't get bored. These exotic pets can be very picking eaters. Some of their favorite foods are listed below.

Fruits

Sugar gliders like a variety of different fruits. These include:

  • apples, unsweetened apple sauce, and 100% unsweetened apple juice
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • cantaloupe
  • figs
  • grapes
  • grapefruit
  • mangoes
  • oranges and calcium-fortified orange juice
  • peaches
  • pears
  • pineapples
  • papaya
  • tangerines
  • bananas
  • kiwi
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • cherries (with the pits removed)

Vegetables

Like fruits, the sugar glider diet contains a lot of different vegetables. A few of the sugar glider's favorite vegetables include:

  • carrots
  • sweet corn (in small amounts)
  • sweet potatoes
  • kale
  • collards
  • green beans
  • beets
  • snow peas
  • field peas
  • Lima beans
  • bok choy
  • squash
  • red bell peppers

Protein Options

About half a sugar glider's diet should contain protein in some form to maintain optimal health. A few of the best protein options for your sugar glider include:

  • Glide-R-Chow
  • hard-boiled eggs
  • yogurt
  • cottage cheese (in very small portions)
  • oatmeal
  • Insects like crickets, earthworms, and mealworms (not from outside in your yard and in limited quantities, such as for treats)
  • Nuts (in limited quantities, such as for treats)

Supplements

You should be using a nutritional supplement for your sugar gliders. As mentioned before, these animals can be very picky eaters. Sometimes, it's hard to ensure they're getting the appropriate nutrients.

Choose a nutritional supplement specifically made for sugar gliders. The multivitamin should include D3 and calcium. These usually come in powders you can sprinkle over your sugar glider's main meal.

Glide-A-Mins & Glide-R-Gravy are GREAT ways to make sure your sugar gliders receive the optimal nutritional content!

Avoid These Foods

Although a sugar glider has a very varied diet, some foods are dangerous for them. Never give them the following foods. Don't offer them foods that contain the following in any form.

  • raw sugar
  • sugar substitutes
  • candy
  • chocolate
  • preservatives
  • color additives
  • bread
  • seeds
  • rhubarb
  • garlic
  • leak
  • onions (includes green onions and chives)

For More Information

Sugar gliders require a very specific diet to maintain optimum health. Sugar glider food, monkey biscuits, and freshwater should be available in their cages at all times. They should also be fed one meal of 50% protein sources and 50% fresh produce once a day.

For more information on the sugar glider diet or about sugar gliders in general, contact us today. One of our associates would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


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