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Sugar glider staples and diet plans

Diet is one of the most important decisions in keeping sugar gliders and is also one of the most difficult. When researching sugar glider diets you will find a lot of conflicting information from both experienced keepers, vets, and researchers. Sugar gliders are becoming popular pets, but they have not caught the attention of commercial vendors would put the research and time into formulating a fully balanced diet. As a result, most all commercial 'sugar glider' foods found in pet stores are formulated for other animals with similar eating habits. They do not meet the nutritional requirements of sugar gliders and we do not recommend using them.

There are a few sugar glider organizations that are working with vets and animal nutritionists to test various sugar glider diets. Some keepers dispute the results of these studies as inadequate due to trial size, what was being evaluated, and the length of time the studies were conducted. However, all information can be used to guide us into better dietary decisions for sugar gliders. A simple web search will help you find the results of these studies.

We can mostly agree that:

  • A healthy diet is very important. Serious health conditions will arise if your glider is not feed properly.
  • Poorly fed sugar gliders produce stronger orders. Their fur is often broken, oily, and discolored.
  • Sugar gliders require a positive calcium to phosphorous ratio (2:1), but too much calcium will cause health problems. It is important to find a diet plan that takes this into account.
  • A sugar gliders diet should consist of a protein source, vitamin source, fruits and vegetables.
  • Feeding a balanced diet that has a selection of presentations and a variety of foods ensures a balanced diet and encourages stimulation in captivity.
  • Always offer a fresh water source with no additives.
  • When choosing a diet, stick with the plan. Do not change, substitute, or mix diet plans. Follow the feeding instructions exactly.
  • Do not change diets too often. Whatever diet plan you choose, give it time to work and for your sugar gliders to accept it.
  • Make the nutrition count. A sugar glider's stomach is about the same size of your thumbnail, and only holds less than a tablespoon of food/water.
  • Many keepers do not recommend relying on pelleted diets. Reasons vary from how sugar gliders absorb nutrients to possible infections of the jaws and teeth. They cite that sugar gliders are forgers and eat saps, bugs, eggs, etc. in the wild. Not a diet that consists of hard foods.

Below are a few popular sugar glider diets that are generally recommended, but it is not a complete list of acceptable diets.

Last modified: July 13 2018