Simply put exotic animals require exotic diets. There are no single pre-packaged food products available now and there probably never will be that would adequately meet the nutritional and enrichment needs of sugar gliders. Sugar gliders thrive with variety in the diet which prepackaged foods cannot meet. Sugar gliders fed a diet made up solely of pellets does not met the nutritional requirements they need to thrive and many times not even enough to survive.
Since sugar gliders are exotic animals caring for them is not as simple as feeding pellets, chow, or kibble. They require enrichment and nutritional variation in their diet that a manufactured diet cannot provide. Some gliders can survive on such diets but they have less energy, increased health risks, decreased life span, and the most visible sign of an improper diet is a discolored coat. While some gliders are capable of surviving on such a diet most suffer severe health issues. The most significant effect for all gliders fed product diets experience is a shorter lifespan. These gliders do not live past 4-7 years, if that, even though they can easily reach 15 years or longer on an exotic diet. The keeping of exotic animals is a precious gift and it is up to us as their keepers to do the things that will keep them healthy and happy.
Let’s look at this another way. Dogs and cats are domestic animals(much more domesticated than sugar gliders) as opposed to being exotic animals. Dogs and cats have also been kept as pets for thousands of years. The number of dogs and cats kept as pets will always greatly exceed the number of sugar gliders kept as pets. So millions of research dollars are spent on coming up with prepackaged foods that are suitable to maintain the health and happiness of domesticated animals. This has not happened and is not likely to happen with sugar glider food. The fact is, they’re just are not enough of them out there for a very large, established, reputable company to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to come up with a “one food does it all formula”. Besides tons of money, it also takes years to make true scientific claims on the safety of a complete, single serving food product.
While the pellet food may seem like the easiest and cheapest option it is far from the best and healthiest for your little ones. If you’d like them to be at their best; healthy, happy, and thriving throughout their whole lifetime… then it’s worth the time to do a little research about the other diets that have been designed just for sugar gliders.
If you have questions about feeding your sugar gliders please join our group and ask any questions you’d like. Our group is filled with friendly sugar glider owners and sugar glider lovers, so anyone and everyone is welcome! We’re happy to try our best to help you with any questions you have.