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Sugar Glider Food - Dry Staple Food

Sugar glider food should contain the proper amount of protein, vitamins and minerals to keep your sugar glider healthy. The items listed on this page should be fed only in addition to a proper diet.

Important things to remember for your sugar glider diet…

  • Dry food should only be fed as a supplement – not as the main course.  Sugar gliders are exotic animals and do require an exotic diet.  There are no pre-packaged foods that can provide for ALL of the nutritional needs of sugar gliders.  You must feed your gliders a proper diet to allow them a long and healthy life.
  • You may want to keep a good dry staple food in the cage at all times.  This allows the gliders to snack during the day and gives them an alternative if they are being picky about their other sugar glider food one night.
  • Some main diets do not require the use of a dry staple food and there are varying opinions as to whether they should ever be used or not.  If you are unsure, please consult the creator of the diet you are using and/or your veterinarian.
  • If you see corn meal in the top 3 ingredients, a good rule of thumb is DO NOT use it. Corn is very high in phosphorous.
  • Make sure there is a good calcium:phosphorous ratio (close to 2:1).  DO NOT feed anything with more phosphorous than calcium.
  • Try to choose a dry food that will not throw off the balance of vitamins and nutrients in your primary diet.
  • If feeding a hard food, many breeders suggest soaking it in some apple juice to help soften it a little.  Since gliders are sap-suckers and they roll food around in their tongues, these hard foods could hurt and even cut their mouths.  Some believe that hard/dry foods can lead to a condition known as Lumpy Jaw Syndrome, where bacteria enters the system from wounds in the mouth.  Please be aware of this when determining if or how to feed dry food to your glider(s).  However, there is no solid evidence that we are aware of stating that feeding a hard pellet food can cause Lumpy Jaw.  The higher likelihood is that if a glider gets an abscess or cut, a dry pellet food could agitate it more than a soft food.  Also, soaking the food in apple juice makes the food spoil more quickly.
  • DO NOT feed the Glide-R-Chow™ or Glider Grub that comes from Perfect Pocket Pets or Custom Cageworks.  The ingredients are awful.
  • DO NOT feed cat food to your gliders.  Gliders have very special dietary needs and cat food is bad for them.

List of sugar glider dry staple foods:

With the help of some of our friends on Glider Central, we have put together some information about the dry sugar glider foods available on the market.  Although a lot is still unknown about the dietary needs of sugar gliders, this information can be used to compare the quality of ingredients and nutritional analysis of the products.  These files were last updated in October 2009.

  • Dry Sugar Glider Food Quick View - This pdf list is a quick view of each food's nutritional analysis, calcium:phosphorous ratio (where available), and first five ingredients.  One suggestion in looking for a good food option is a good main protein source as the first ingredient in the product (preferably not a byproduct or blood meal).
  • Dry Sugar Glider Food Full List by Vendor - This pdf is a more complete list, sorted by vendor, with all ingredients listed out (rather than the first five) and nutritional analysis.  This list could be helpful if you are wanting to do a deeper comparison of foods.
  • Dry Sugar Glider Food Comparison Chart - This chart gives you an easy way to compare protein, fat, and fiber content of the different sugar glider dry foods.

Again, we do not recommend feeding a dry food as the main diet for your sugar glider, however we do believe that if you are supplementing the main diet with a dry food, it is a good idea to do some research and select the one you believe will work best for your gliders.

Review of some suggie-safe dry staple foods:

  • Happy Glider from Pet Pro - While this diet does have toasted corn flour toward the top of the ingredients list, we believe the Chicken Protein and Breeder formulas to be good options for a staple food.  Out of the flavor options, those two seem to be the best options because of the higher protein content and quality of ingredients.  We like that the top ingredient is chicken meal and not some type of byproduct or soy product. Happy Glider is well-loved by our gliders as well and many other breeders use it with great success.

We do have Happy Glider Chicken and Happy Glider Breeder Formula available for you in our store.  For other flavors or products, please call Pet Pro directly at 877-977-8310.  Tell them Misty Dorman at Sweet Sugar Gliders sent you and you will receive 10% off of their retail prices.

  • Premium Sugar Glider Diet from Exotic Nutrition -  We have used this for our gliders and they really like it.  The pellets are small and easy for the gliders to hold.  They are not super hard, so they do not hurt the gliders' mouths.  It seems to just crumble apart when they nibble on it.  The Ca:Ph ratio is great, it has 40.18% protein, VERY low fat,  and the ingredients are really good for them.  Corn meal is way down at #12 on the list.  I believe if you got in a pinch with running out of your main course diet, you could feed this for a night or two and be ok.  There are other pellet foods made by Exotic Nutrition, but we felt the Premium Sugar Glider Diet was the best choice.  The Glider Complete diet looks healthy too, but we thought our gliders would just pick out their favorite pieces and not eat the pellets. Please note that this pellet food is advertised as a complete diet for sugar gliders, but we believe most knowledgeable breeders would agree that it should only be used as a supplement (or as a meal if you are in a bind and for some reason unable to feed a proper diet one night).  The fat content is actually too low for sugar gliders.  I have also read that this sugar glider food may not be the best in a humid climate, but we have not experienced any problems where we live.  Another thing to note is that the main protein source in this diet is blood meal.  After doing a small amount of research on blood meal, we were not too fond of it being a top ingredient.

You can find the Premium Sugar Glider Diet in our store.

  • Zookeeper’s Secret from Suncoast / Insectivore Fare from Exotic Nutrition - I believe these are both very similar, if not the same diet.  If this is incorrect, please let us know.  They are both soft pellet foods.  We used Zookeeper’s when we first got our sugar gliders (when we were feeding them Judie's BML) and they would not eat the Zookeeper's.  We tried it for several months.  We tried it again a year later and they ate it fine.  I am sure many people are successful with this, but it did not work for us when we first tried it.  Also, it gets hard after being left out for a while, so if you are selecting a staple food to leave in the cage during the day in case they wake up for a snack, consider that this one will get hard. That being said, Zookeeper's is marketed primarily to zoos and formulated specifically for sugar gliders.  This was the diet recommended by Suncoast until recently and if you have chosen to feed the Suncoast diet, this may be a good choice for you.

You can find Zookeeper's Secret at http://www.sugar-gliders.com/zookeepers-secret.htm and you can find Insectivore Fare at http://www.exoticnutrition.com/Insectivore-Fare-Analysis.htm

  • Monkey biscuits – Many breeders are using these as a dry staple food because they keep for a long time and the gliders like them.  They are quite a bit larger than a regular pellet and are very hard.  They may be good for keeping the glider’s teeth clean.  I tend to think that since gliders are sap-suckers and they roll food around in their tongues, these hard biscuits could hurt and even cut their mouths.  I have also read that hard foods can lead to a condition known as Lumpy Jaw Syndrome, where bacteria enters the system from wounds in the mouth.  After doing some other research on Lumpy Jaw, I do not believe there is any evidence to support that Lumpy Jaw is caused by hard food.  However, I do believe it's possible for hard food to cut their mouths.  For that reason, and also because there are better choices of dry food as far as ingredients go, I do not use monkey biscuits.  I think the Happy Glider, Premium Sugar Glider Diet, or Zookeeper's Secret is a better option and are just as easy to feed. However, if you do want to feed monkey biscuits, one suggestion would be to soak them in some apple juice, to soften them up for your suggies.  Leaving them in the cage too long soaked in apple juice can promote bacteria growth, so be careful about that if you try it. 

You can find Monkey biscuits at http://www.sugar-glider-store.com/monkey-biscuits.html

As this website is new, we will be adding more to this list, but these are the most popular dry foods.  To request a food be added to this list, please email us.  As Sweet-Sugar-Gliders does not manufacture any sugar glider food, we are impartial and strive to give you our unbiased opinion based on research and personal experience.

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