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What Nutritional Needs Does a Sugar Glider Have?

Learn about a sugar glider's nutritional needs from veterinarian Anthony Pilny in this Howcast video about these funny animals.

Transcript

Nutrition is probably one of the most important considerations in owning a pet sugar glider. Sugar gliders have very unique nutritional requirements in captivity, and it's very, very important that a lot of time and effort be put toward feeding them properly to ensure that their nutritional requirements are met.

There are a number of nutritional or diet related disease conditions that can be prevented, if you educate yourself and learn how to feed them properly.

Meeting with your veterinarian and going over captive sugar glider care, husbandry, and nutrition, as well as going over the known and available types of diets for them is going to be key to keeping them healthy.

In general, sugar gliders do require a daily diet that includes fresh fruits, and some vegetables, depending on what they will eat. The diet should also include insects. Here we see mealworms. There are a number of different types of commercial insects that sugar gliders enjoy and require in their diet.

There are also a number of different types of sugar glider commercial diets. These are kibble type dry food diets that should be included as part of the diet. This should never be all of the diet.

Also we have featured here examples of nectar. There are a lot of recipes for homemade nectar type diets. Some people will use Nekton, which is a commercially available bird food. That's an acceptable substitute for feeding sugar gliders as well. And then a number of people will make other types of homemade dishes. Fruit purees, bases of applesauce, pureed bananas, any of these type of foods with other added ingredients and nutrients that round out a balance diet.

Discussing with your veterinarian, the different types of diet options, will cover known diets that are fed to sugar gliders in zoos, and diets that have been developed for captive care of sugar gliders that are older, debilitated. And also will allow you to feed them properly, and make sure that we're not running into situations where nutritional disease does develop.

So ensuring proper sugar glider nutrition is vital to prevent diseases that may develop as a result of feeding an inappropriate diet. Malnutrition related to not feeding enough calcium, not feeding enough protein, and not giving them a variety of enough fresh fruits may lead to conditions such as weakness, tremors, certain hind leg paresis, hind leg paralysis, or loss of the back limb use.

And a number of developmental problems from malnutrition, and lack of appropriate vitamins, can be prevented if you know how to feed your sugar glider properly.

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