Diets & Treats
As with any animal, gliders need a balanced diet. When choosing a diet, pick one that will be healthy for them, and works for you also.
- Gliders need at least two functional sources of fresh water available to them at all times, regardless of diet.
- This is critical for your gliders survival. This can be in the form of water bottles, small water dishes, water silos, or a combination of those.
- Fresh produce (feeding only fruits and vegetables) is not nutritionally adequate for your glider. Gliders need a variety of vitamins, and they also need protein and calcium. While fresh produce is a great part of any diet, feeding fresh produce by itself will lead to deterioration and malnutrition of sugar gliders. We highly recommend using a diet below.
- Gliders are especially prone to dental problems such as tooth decay and dental abscesses. These can sometimes be diet-related if gliders are not getting enough calcium or if their diet has too much sugar.
- Gliders need to be fed once per day. Most owners feed their gliders in the evening, and remove the leftover food and dishes the following morning. Start with fresh food and fresh dishes every day.
- If you are finding that your cage and walls are becoming messy/smelly, try using a large plastic pet igloo over the food, or a cage cover.
- Food aggression: sometimes gliders fight over food. This is known as food aggression. You can read more about it here: ()
- Gliders sometimes extract the nutrients out of their food by chewing it, sucking the juice out, and then spitting the harder parts out. Especially if you feed a pelleted diet, you will notice small, flattened flakes of food left. Those are the pieces they have already eaten, and those pieces should be discarded.
- Gliders are omnivores, and can eat pretty much anything you can eat, with a few exceptions. Do not feed them chocolate, uncooked beans, onions/garlic, or artificial sweeteners.
DIETS WE RECOMMEND
There are many opinions on sugar glider diets, and there is not much concrete scientific research to give us answers as to the ideal diet for sugar gliders in captivity (although The Sugar Glider Foundation is working on this very issue, and you can read more about their work here). With that being said, some diets have worked well for many years for many owners, and we can recommend them as confidently as we could recommend any diet. Here are the ones we recommend:
TREATS AND OTHER EDIBLES
Here are a few treats we like to use for gliders. Please note that treats are to be used in moderation.
- Live mealworms or other insects such as crickets or hornworms
- White mini marshmallows
- White baking chips (no chocolate)
- Taro fish snack treats
- pine nuts
- almond slivers
- dried fruit
- dried coconut
- sunflower seeds
- honey sticks