The fascinating sugar glider can glide nearly 60 meters – a fact most people may know. The thing ‘pet parents’ of this exotic pet most want to know is ‘what do sugar gliders eat?’
If you want to know all about the sugar glider’s feeding and diet, then this guide is for you. Here we will break down the sugar glider diet so you can feed it the right foods and avoid ones that could be harmful to this little pet.
What can sugar gliders eat?
Sugar gliders need about 24% protein in their diet. That works to about 1 tablespoon of protein each day. You can choose to feed home cooked protein such as lean meat or buy ready-to-eat pellet food too.
In addition to protein, your pet will also need plenty of fruit and vegetables. You must make it a point to feed your sugar glider 1/4th to 1/3rd cup of fruit and vegetables per day.
Remember – these marsupials are both carnivores and omnivores but certain foods can be toxic and hazardous to them. That is why you must always know the accepted sugar glider food list and the unaccepted ones as well.
You must also know what they eat in the wild so you can mimic their diet to the best of your ability in your home. Your pet has cute eyes and it might beg for human food and table scraps, but you must not fall prey to their begging. Also, if you feed your pet any treats, they should not constitute any more than 5% of their total calorie intake.
How many calories per day should sugar gliders eat? How much does a sugar glider eat?
An adult sugar glider weighs no more than 120 grams.
Experts recommend that every adult sugar glider needs no more than 15 to 20% of their body weight in pelleted food.
Special sugar glider pellets are available at pet stores and you need to feed 30% of pelleted omnivore diet, 10% fruits-vegetables-nuts, and about 60% Leadbeater’s mixture which is available in pet shops.
You can also make Leadbeater’s mixture at home with the following ingredients:
- Apple juice, honey
- Hardboiled egg
- Mixed fruit yogurt
- Vitamin and calcium supplements
- Wheat germ
- Baby cereal mix
Blend and freeze the mixture in ice trays.
If you choose to feed the above recommended foods, your pet should get all the calcium, protein, and vitamins it needs.
The pet stores that sell sugar gliders near you can also easily sell Leadbeater’s mixture for possums and gliders. Do avoid feeding rabbit, hamster or guinea pig foods as they cannot meet your buddy’s nutritional needs. When you find the right sugar glider pelleted foods, you should feed no more than ¼ to ½ cube to your pet on a daily basis.
How often to feed sugar gliders?
Some people feed their sugar glider twice a day: once early in the morning and the second time around dusk. However, there are others that only feed their pet once a day in the late afternoon or early evening.
Speak to your vet if you are unsure how often do you feed a sugar glider?
Let us now dive into specifics. Here are some common FAQs on sugar glider diet and feeding:
Can sugar gliders eat bananas?
Yes, sugar gliders can eat small amounts of bananas but you should not feed it banana peels.
Can sugar gliders eat blueberries?
Yes, adult and baby sugar gliders can eat blueberries in moderation. Remember not to exceed feeding more than 1/4th to 1/3rd cup of fruit per day to your marsupial.
Can sugar gliders eat grapes? And what about raisins?
Yes, your pet can safely eat grapes in small amounts. Grapes are toxic to cats and dogs but sugar gliders can eat them without any adverse reaction. Raisins are high in sugar, so in limited quantities, they are okay to feed your pet.
Can sugar gliders eat strawberries?
Yes. Strawberries in moderation are good for your sugar glider. In excess, they could impede calcium absorption.
Can sugar gliders eat tomatoes? What about cherry tomatoes?
Yes, they are allowed to eat tomatoes in small amounts.
Can sugar gliders eat watermelon?
Yup. Sugar gliders enjoy watermelon and this fruit makes a delicious hydrating treat for your pet.
Can sugar gliders eat oranges?
You can feed your pet oranges in small quantities and also orange peel. However, make sure you scrub the peel well as it could contain traces of chemicals and pesticides.
Can sugar gliders eat carrots?
Yes, carrots are good for sugar gliders in moderation.
Can sugar gliders eat celery?
Yes, celery belongs to the accepted sugar glider fruits and vegetables list.
Can sugar gliders eat cucumbers?
Your sugar glider can safely eat cucumber and cumber seeds as well.
Can sugar gliders eat pineapple?
Pineapple is a great fruit for your sugar glider.
Can sugar gliders eat avocado?
Yes, both baby and adult sugar gliders can eat avocado in moderation. In large quantities it can be toxic to gliders.
Can sugar gliders eat cherries?
Cherries provide excellent nutrition to baby sugar gliders and adults enjoy eating them very much too.
Can sugar gliders eat cheese?
No. Please avoid feeding dairy foods like cheese to sugar gliders.
Can sugar gliders eat chocolate?
Just like chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs, it is also toxic to sugar gliders due to its theobromine content.
Can sugar gliders eat super-worms? What about meal worms? Also, are wax worms good for gliders?
Edible super-worms are a great source of protein for your pet. However, these worms tend to bite so you need to cook them before feeding or buy the pre-cooked packaged worms ones available in pet shops.
Meal worms also are an excellent source of protein – but they tend to be fattening, so moderation is key.
Can sugar gliders eat corn? What about popcorn?
Raw corn on cob makes a good treat for gliders but make sure you feed it in moderation. Unflavored, homemade popcorn is a good treat for your glider from time to time.
Can sugar gliders eat sugar?
Sugar gliders love sweet stuff. Instead of feeding raw sugar, feed them some raw sugarcane sticks as an occasional treat.
Can sugar gliders have mango?
Your sugar glider can eat mango pulp. Do not feed the pit or the seed as your pet could choke on it. Similarly, avoid feeding mango peels or skin as these contain traces of chemicals and pesticides. Your pet can also eat dried mango as long as it is free from preservatives and added sugar.
Can sugar gliders have yogurt? What about yogurt drops?
Yes, they can eat yogurt and most of them love it. Opt for sugar-free or plain, unsweetened yogurt or Greek yogurt. Many pet stores also sell yogurt drops which make great treats for gliders in moderation.
Can sugar gliders eat beets?
Beets are higher in oxalates, so feed them in moderation to your buddy. Oxalates impede calcium absorption.
Can sugar gliders eat broccoli?
Yup. Raw and cooked broccoli are an excellent veggies sugar gliders can eat as they are a good source of fiber for your sugar glider.
Can sugar gliders eat dried fruit?
Yes, dried fruits make excellent snacks for gliders. However, don’t fill up your pet too much on them.
Can sugar gliders eat pumpkin seeds?
Pumpkin, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin seeds are all excellent for your pet to eat. Wash these thoroughly before feeding them.
Can sugar gliders eat rabbit food? What about guinea pig food?
No. Avoid feeding any other pet food to your glider unless it is approved by your pet. Rabbit and hamster food is generally not formulated to meet your glider’s nutritional needs. Same is the case with guinea pig food – it does not contain calcium and phosphorus that your pet needs.
Can sugar gliders eat yellow squash?
Yes, sugar gliders can have yellow squash.
Can sugar gliders have asparagus?
Yes, asparagus is low in fat and high in vitamins and fiber. It is a good addition to sugar glider pet diet.
Do sugar gliders eat nuts?
Yes, raw and unsalted nuts make a good occasional treat for your glider. Cashews and almonds, in small quantities, are good sources of protein but do remember that they can also be quite fattening for your pet.
What meat can sugar gliders eat?
Avoid pork as it is high in fat. Select lean meat like cooked chicken and fish. Feed no more than a teaspoon of this to your pet. Avoid ham – ham is not recommended for sugar gliders. They can also eat shrimp.
Can sugar gliders eat coconuts?
In small amounts, the flesh of coconut is safe to feed your pet.
Can sugar gliders eat rice?
Cooked rice, plain cooked pasta, breads, cereals, are all excellent once-in-a-while treats which sugar gliders love to eat.
Can sugar gliders eat eggs?
Avoid feeding raw eggs to your pet. Always feed well-cooked scrambled or boiled eggs – in moderation. Avoid over-feeding. Do not use oil while cooking the eggs.
Can they eat cranberries?
Yes, in moderation.
Can gliders eat zucchini?
Yes, in moderation.
Can sugar gliders eat peanut butter?
Sugar gliders can eat natural or homemade peanut butter. Avoid store bought peanut butter -especially brands containing xylitol – an artificial sweetener known to be toxic to these pets.
Can sugar gliders eat parsley?
Yes, kale, spinach, parsley, and other leafy greens are good sources of vitamin C for your pet.
If you are looking for what do you feed sugar gliders, the answer is pelleted food, lean meat and most fruits and vegetables.
The questionable items to never feed sugar gliders include: onions, garlic, chocolate, cheese, dairy, soy bean, lima beans and other processed human foods.
Also, some vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are best to feed in moderation, otherwise they can make your buddy very gassy. Yogurt and yogurt drops, popcorn, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dried berries, and raw nuts are also good to feed in small quantities and as occasional treats.
When in doubt, consult a vet.