Diets & Treats

DIET TIPS

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:

  • Alea’s Happy Glider
  • BML
  • Critter Love
TYPE: Purchased
 
NOTES: This diet comes veterinarian recommended. It combines the stability of a kibble with the variety and flexibility of your choice of produce. 
 
RECIPE
•  2 Tbsp Happy Glider kibble per glider per night. Discard unused kibble from the previous night. 
•  0.5 to 1 Tbsp per glider of ONE fresh fruit OR vegetable per night, choices include but are not limited to: green beans, carrots, peas, kiwi, apple, tomato, citrus, spinach, bell pepper, avocado, berries, melon, bok choy, sweet potato, cucumber, broccoli, etc. The goal is to achieve a wide variety of produce over many nights, while not feeding so much produce that the gliders do not eat the kibble. Try to feed veggies slightly more often. Avoid onions or garlic. 
•  A generous serving of flavored Greek yogurt once a week, in place of the fresh fruit or veggie.  (Noosa or Greek Gods brand recommended)
•  1 Tbsp per glider of protein a couple times a month such as cooked egg or cooked ground turkey without butter or seasoning, in place of the fresh fruit or veggie.
•  Always have two sources of fresh, filtered water per cage! This is critical!
 
* Check the flow mechanism when taking food dishes out and putting food in.
 
LINK: Kibble can be purchased at https://www.pet-pro.com/collections/sugar-glider-food. Any flavor kibble will work, and use “Alea” in the referral box for a discount at shipping! The proceeds from the commission go to help fund the sugar glider nutrition study.
TYPE: Homemade with ingredients that you can find in most pet stores and grocery stores
 
NOTES: A great diet! Served with specific fruits and vegetables. You can find the creator’s feeding notes here: http://bmldiet.com/feeding-notes.html
 
RECIPE LINKBMLdiet.com
The homemade portion of the BML is now available for purchase in the form of a kibble sold by White Oak Gliders. We highly recommend this kibble.
TYPE: Purchased, then mixed at home
 
NOTES: This diet actually has two diet plans - Critter Love Complete (just add water), and Critter Love Plus (additional ingredients are needed). The diet plan also includes salads. You can find more information about Critter Love diet plans here: https://www.critterlove.com/the-critter-love-diet-plan
 
  • BML
  • Critter Love
  • Alea’s Happy Glider
TYPE: Homemade with ingredients that you can find in most pet stores and grocery stores
 
NOTES: A great diet! You can find the creator’s feeding notes here: http://bmldiet.com/feeding-notes.html
 
RECIPE LINKBMLdiet.com
TYPE: Purchased, then mixed at home
 
NOTES: This diet actually has two diet plans - Critter Love Complete (just add water), and Critter Love Plus (additional ingredients are needed). The diet plan also includes salads. You can find more information about Critter Love diet plans here: https://www.critterlove.com/the-critter-love-diet-plan
 
TYPE: Purchased
 
NOTES: This diet comes veterinarian recommended. It combines the stability of a kibble with the variety and flexibility of your choice of produce. 
 
RECIPE
•  2 Tbsp Happy Glider kibble per glider per night. Discard unused kibble from the previous night. 
•  0.5 to 1 Tbsp per glider of ONE fresh fruit OR vegetable per night, choices include but are not limited to: green beans, carrots, peas, kiwi, apple, tomato, citrus, spinach, bell pepper, avocado, berries, melon, bok choy, sweet potato, cucumber, broccoli, etc. The goal is to achieve a wide variety of produce over many nights, while not feeding so much produce that the gliders do not eat the kibble. Try to feed veggies slightly more often. Avoid onions or garlic. 
•  A generous serving of flavored Greek yogurt once a week, in place of the fresh fruit or veggie.  (Noosa or Greek Gods brand recommended)
•  1 Tbsp per glider of protein a couple times a month such as cooked egg or cooked ground turkey without butter or seasoning, in place of the fresh fruit or veggie.
•  Always have two sources of fresh, filtered water per cage! This is critical!
 
* Check the flow mechanism when taking food dishes out and putting food in.
 
LINK: Kibble can be purchased at https://www.pet-pro.com/collections/sugar-glider-food. Any flavor kibble will work, and use “Alea” in the referral box for a discount at shipping! The proceeds from the commission go to help fund the sugar glider nutrition study.

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