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What Should I feed My Sugar Glider?
The simple answer - Begin with Exotic Nutrition's 'Glider Complete' Food Starter Package. This combination of high protein pellet, dried fruits and INSTANT-HPW powder will deliver everything nutritionally that your pet Sugar glider requires. The two foods in this package set contain Eggs, Honey, Bee Pollen, Wombaroo High Protein Supplement, high protein pellets, eight varieties of dried fruits and a host of other highly nutritious ingredients. Your Sugar Glider will love the Pure Vanilla Bean Flavor in the Instant-HPW. This diet plan is easy to prepare and easy to feed. Very economical, the cost is minimal for a 2.5 month supply. If you wish to vary the diet even more, you can also offer supplemental treats such as Canned or Live insects, Gumivore-Fare'Jungle Jelly', or Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. Simple and easy to feed, this is a highly recommended diet plan that your sugar glider will enjoy eating.
The Complicated Answer: The correct diet for sugar gliders is a controversial subject. Like many animals that are relatively new in the pet trade, their needs are somewhat of a mystery, but the longer they are kept the more is known about their needs. Unfortunately many books, pet stores and internet sites give out conflicting information, which does little to help the situation. However, as with most species, discovering what works nutritionally is a matter of trial and error as there are few studies done on the nutrition of pet species other than cats or dogs.
Obviously, the requirements of sugar gliders are of importance to their overall health, and they are prone to metabolic bone disease resulting from an improper ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the diet. If a diet is relatively higher in phosphorus than calcium, calcium will be leached from the bones and other tissues to balance the levels in the blood. This results in a softening of the bones, making them susceptible to fractures, along with a myriad of other health problems related to calcium imbalance. Sugar gliders in the wild feed on eucalyptus gum, sap, insects, nectar, and honeydew (an excretory product of nectar eating insects). They will also eat bird eggs, lizards, small birds and other small prey items. This diet is pretty difficult to replicate in captivity. So a variety have food have been fed, in an attempt to somewhat mimic their natural intake and to see what makes them thrive in captivity.
So ... what is the ideal diet?BABY SUGAR GLIDERS (3 weeks out of pouch-6 months)
Baby Sugar Gliders must be offered a variety of food types in order to obtain their correct nutritional needs. We suggest that fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen) be offered on a daily basis (always defrost frozen before offering) Approx. 40% of the gliders diet should consist of these fruits and vegetables. Gliders are particularly fond of fresh apples. The other 60% of your gliders diet should be protein based foods. Examples of protein foods that we suggest are; Exotic Nutrition's INSECT-EATER DIET, Exotic Nutrition’s PREMIUM BABY GLIDER DIET or 'GLIDER COMPLETE DIET', along with live or freeze dried insects (mealworms or crickets. Supplementing insects is not necessary when feeding INSECT-EATER DIET, it already contains the whole insects). It is important that you keep the ratio of 40% fruits and vegetables to 60% protein based foods. 'GLIDER COMPLETE' diet, already has 8 varieties of fruits incorporated in with the protein pellets, so, if you offer 'GLIDER COMPLETE' it is not necessary to supplement with fruits. The same goes for 'INSECT-EATER DIET'(canned food). 'INSECT-EATER DIET' already contains fruits & veggies along with whole insects and all the vitamins & minerals your Glider needs. If you offer too much fruit, your babies will fill up, and not eat the protein based foods. If your baby glider is reluctant to eat the dry sugar glider diets, you can entice them by adding some honey or fruit juice (apple) to the dry foods. Make sure that you change the food daily and discard the old food when you add moisture to the dry diets. We also suggest that you offer your baby glider a product called ‘Gliderade’. This product is very high in carbohydrates and contains vitamins and bee pollen (something that gliders feed on in the wild). Gliderade comes in a powder form, you must mix the powder 5 to 1 with water, it forms a thick nectar, then offer approx. 1 tablespoon of the nectar, per day in a separate dish. We also suggest that a powdered multi-vitamin 'Glider-Booster' be sprinkled on the baby gliders fruit daily, and a calcium supplement 'Glider-Cal' also be sprinkled on the fruit daily. Fresh water should be available at all times. If you want to keep it simple, feed 'INSECT-EATER DIET' (canned food), it is very easy to use, and it contains everything necessary. You can introduce dry foods once your baby glider reaches 4 months of age.
ADULT SUGAR GLIDER (6 months or older)
We recommend that adult sugar gliders also be fed a varied diet. Exotic Nutrition's 'Premium Sugar glider Diet' should be available at all times. It stays fresh for months and can even be refrigerated for longer storage. Along with the 'Premium Sugar Glider Diet', offer fresh fruits and vegetables daily. 2-3 times per week offer a heaping tablespoon of 'INSECT-EATER DIET' (canned food that contains whole insects) this is a soft, moist sugar glider diet that offers variety and is a very good protein source. If you prefer to feed a complete diet with-out the hassle of supplementing with fresh fruit etc., then we suggest feeding Exotic Nutrition's 'GLIDER COMPLETE' or just feed 'INSECT-EATER DIET' (canned) these diets already contains varieties of fruits, they contain high protein levels and are nutritionally complete. Remember, canned foods need refrigeration after opening. It is now very simple to offer your Glider the highest quality nutrition, along with a varied selection of fruits, with Exotic Nutrition's 'GLIDER COMPLETE' & 'INSECT-EATER DIET'. 'Gliderade' nectar supplement should be offered on a regular basis, it is very high in carbohydrates and contains vitamins and bee pollen (something that gliders feed on in the wild). Gliderade comes in a powder form, you must mix the powder 5 to 1 with water, although we prefer to mix it 4 to 1 to thicken the liquid, then offer approx. 1 tablespoon per day of the thick nectar, in a separate dish. NOTE: There are Gliderade imitations on the market,Stick with the original, Gliderade is the proven formula. If you like to try different foods ... you can also offer Exotic Nutrition's Berries & Bugs diet a few times a week for variety or try some canned of dried insects (all healthy food alternatives). Fresh water should be available at all times, a calcium supplement 'Glider-Cal' and multivitamin 'Glider-Booster' can be sprinkled over fresh fruit three times a week, this ensures that your adult sugar gliders are maintaining the calcium and vitamin levels required, although supplements are not necessary if your glider consumes enough of the complete diets (these already have calcium & vitamins incorporated into the food). It is important that you keep the ratio of 40% fruits and vegetables to 60% protein based foods. If you offer to much fruits your glider will fill up on that food and not eat the protein based foods. This combination has been used successfully for years by us, breeders, and hundreds of our customers.
WHAT NOT TO FEED... (See the 'Educational Articles' Page for more info.)
Sugar gliders should not be fed nuts in excess, Nuts are high in protein but they are also high in fat and phosphorus. An overabundance of fat in the diet can lead to obesity, fat deposits in the eyes, and a reduced ability to absorb calcium and other nutrients. Sugar gliders love nuts and, if given the opportunity, will often eat them to the exclusion of everything else. Nuts should be strictly rationed. In fact, some breeders and pet owners have eliminated nuts and seeds from their glider's diet entirely because they have observed a definite link between over consumption and poor health. You can feed sunflower seeds, peanuts, pecans, coconut etc. All nuts should be un-roasted and unsalted. Nuts with thin shells such as sunflower and peanuts can be fed in the shell. Don't feed dried fruit and nut mixes such as parrot mix. These preparations contain too many nuts and often have added salt, sugar and preservatives. Remember to always supply fresh water to your sugar gliders at all times. Glass water bottles are preferred.
Allow us to help you with your Sugar glider husbandry issues. The informative pages listed in our department titled 'Educational Articles' contain quality information to guide you in the care and raising of your pet Sugar gliders. Take the time to read through this important information, preferably before you purchase a pet Sugar Glider. Articles on Sugar glider food, Sugar glider cages, and suggested Veterinarians are listed, along with breeding information and purchasing guides. Being informed on the care and breeding of Sugar gliders will benefit both you, and your new pets. It will also help you avoid health issues with your Sugar Gliders in the future.
HPW - Original Formula
Glider Booster (Multivitamin) 10 oz.
Glider-Cal (Calcium Supplement) 3.5 oz.
Mixed Fruit Gumivore-Fare
Sale Price: $7.95
Barrons Sugar Glider Book
Dirty secrets about Sugar Glider foods
Pureayre - Odor Eliminator
ZooPro High Protein Supplement 250 g.
What Should I feed My Sugar Glider?