What to feed a baby sugar glider

The World of Sugar Gliders | Veterinarian in Goose Creek, SC

Sugar Gliders are tree dwelling marsupials from Australia, New Guinea, and Indonesia. Adults weigh about 90 to 130 grams and measure about 12" from nose to tail tip. Sugar Gliders have a thin membrane that stretches from their wrists to their ankles and allows them to glide from branch to branch like a flying squirrel. Sugar Gliders are nocturnal and are usually most active at night. They are communal animals and live in the wild in groups of 4 to 40 animals. They adapt well to humans and can develop strong bonds to their owners, but this takes time and patience. How close your pet bonds with you will depend on the time you spend together. A minimum of 2 hours a day is recommended, but more time is always better. Sugar Gliders can live from 12 to 20 years with proper food, housing, and companionship. Unfortunately poor care and/or companionship can severely cut the Sugar Gliders life expectancy.

Your Sugar Glider should have a cage large enough to allow plenty of room for exercise. The wire spacing should be no more than 1" by 1/2'' wide. The cage should be as large as possible to allow for the Glider to jump and play. A 2' by 2 1/2' by 6' cage is ideal for one to five Gliders to have plenty of running room. The temperature should be kept between 60-90 degrees Fin an area free from drafts and heating/air conditioning vents. You can give your Sugar Glider toys to play with. Large parrot toys, thick ropes, and ladders make good toys. You can also put an exercise wheel in the cage but make sure it is the larger, guinea pig size, NOT the smaller gerbil type. Sugar Gliders can catch their long tails in the smaller wheels and hurt themselves.

You can put branches in for your Sugar Glider to climb on but be VERY careful what type of wood it is. Some types of trees that are fine to use are: Apple, Aspen, Beech, Birch, Crabapple, Dogwood, Elm, Fir, Magnolia, Pine, Poplar, and Willow. Remember, though; if you aren't ABSOLUTLY sure about the species of the tree DON'T use the branches! Here are some trees to AVOID - Almond, Apricot, Black Walnut, Cherry, and Peach.

You also need to give your Sugar Glider a hiding place to sleep in. A wooden hiding box or a cloth pouch works well. This will be a safe place for it and is very important to your Gliders mental well being. They will become very stressed and ill if they never have any place to retreat to and hide.

When deciding what to feed your Sugar Glider there are a few things to keep in mind. First, in the wild, they have been found to have a 75% fruit/veggie/sap and 25% protein diet. This means that they mostly eat fruit, nectar, and sap and also insects and small animals/reptiles. Their fat intake should be kept to an absolute minimum! Even though they look very cute eating cookies, doughnuts, and candy, this will severely stress out your Gliders digestive system and can even kill them. Obesity is a serious problem with improperly fed Sugar Gliders and can shorten your pets life expectancy by many years. Some other toxic foods to avoid feeding are - any member of the onion family including chives, garlic, shallots, and leaks, seeds from peaches, cherries, plums, and nectarines, and ANY form of chocolate!

Here is a list to give you some ideas on things that are good to feed your Glider - apples, baby food (no preservatives) , apricots, bananas, berries, cantaloupe, carrots, cherries, corn, dried fruit (no salt/preservatives) , eggs (boiled WITH shell), figs, grapes, honey (small amounts), honeydew melon, insects (crickets-mealworms) , small pinkie feeder mice, peaches, pears, pineapple, pl ums, raisins (small amounts), strawberries, and sweet potatoes .

You can also give your Sugar Glider food treats from your own back yard if you do not use ANY FORM of fertilizers or pesticides of ANY KIND. Clover, dandelion flowers, honeysuckle , rose flowers, squash, melon , and cucumber flowers will all be fine to give your Glider. Always remember though, even a minute amount of pesticide or fertilizer can kill your Sugar Glider within a matter of hours, so if you’re not sure if a plant has been treated with anything, it 's best not to use it at all. There has been a lot of discussion about feeding dairy products to Sugar Gliders. Most marsupials are known to be galactose and lactose intolerant and it seems logical to assume Sugar Gliders may be as well. The best course of action would be to refrain from feeding dairy products altogether until there is conclusive evidence. Most Veterinarians tend to recommend that you try to keep Sugar Gliders' diets as natural as possible and yogurt is not found in the wild. Ultimately, when in doubt about the effects of a new or different food, don't feed it to your Sugar Glider until you consult with a qualified veterinarian familiar with these animals.

Sugar Gliders can be kept singly, in pairs, or in groups but several considerations should be kept in mind. If two or more males are housed together they will probably fight and injure one another, so it is best to only have one male in a group. Two or more females can usually be housed together without too much fighting or fussing. If you put an intact male in with an intact female YOU WILL GET BABIES! If you do not want a house full of Sugar Gliders you need to have one or both of the pair neutered or spayed. If your Gliders do breed there are a few things you need to know. Gestation is only 16 days. The babies are born, usually I to 3 of them, tiny and hairless and have to make their own way into the mothers pouch. Once there they attach themselves to a nipple where they stay for approximately 2 months before they start making ventures outside the pouch. You might at first see only a foot or even half a baby hanging out of the pouch, but under NO circumstances should you ever try to pull the baby out of the pouch! They are still physically attached to the nipple and removing them forcefully can cause serious damage to both mother and baby, and probably kill the baby. Male Sugar Gliders are usually very good with the babies and help with care and feeding, so removing the male after breeding is not necessary or recommended. Also remember to keep your Sugar Gliders routine the same after breeding occurs and until the babies are completely weaned. Sugar Gliders will kill and eat their babies if they become too stressed out so moving them or changing their environment is not recommended at this time. The babies open their eyes about I 0 days after completely leaving the pouch. A month after that, they are completely weaned and the mother may become slightly hostile toward them at this time to get them to leave her alone so she can raise the next litter. Sugar Gliders reach sexual maturity at about 6 months of age, so proper care should be taken to remove any babies before inbreeding or male fighting occurs.

You should always keep daily tabs on your pet to make sure your Glider is doing fine. If your pet suddenly starts acting in ways that are not consistent with it’s normal behavior, it could be a sign of illness. If you do suspect you Sugar glider is ill take it to a veterinarian immediately! Gliders are very small and can quickly become dehydrated and/or irreversibly ill if they don't get medical attention very quickly. Here are some things to watch for:

  • lack of appetite
  • lethargy
  • coughing or sneezing
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty walking or dragging hind legs
  • loss of fur
  • runny eyes or nose

If you have any questions or concerns about your Sugar Glider the best thing you can do is call your local exotic veterinarian as soon as possible. Remember your Sugar Glider can be beyond help in a matter of hours so if you have any suspicion that your pet is ill, contact your veterinarian immediately.

What To Feed Baby Sugar Gliders

<< Back to All Sugar Glider Help & Education or Shop Sugar Glider Products

Background information

The correct diet of sugar gliders is controversial subject. Like many exotics pets, a sugar glider's nutritional needs are somewhat of a mystery, but the longer they are kept in captivity the more we learn about their needs. Unfortunately you'll find plenty of conflicting informatino out there, which does little to help the situation. However, as with most species, discovering what works nutritionally is a matter of trial and error, and finding what works best for your specific pet and your lifestyle.

Obviously, the nutritional 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 of food has been fed in an attempt to somewhat mimic their natural intake and to see what makes them thrive in captivity. There are many 'Diet Plans' that have been, and still are used with success. The main drawback to these plans, are that they are time consuming to blend, require many ingredients, have to be stored refrigerated, and go bad if not used with-in a few days. Although some of these diets are nutritious, many glider owners find it tedious to continuously have to find, purchase and blend all the ingredients together on a regular basis. Owners typically take on the task for a few weeks, then look for alternative, easier methods of feeding. The other drawback to concocting your own diet plan is that you are never sure that your glider is getting the correct nutrition. Protein, vitamin & mineral content can vary from batch to batch. Fortunately, there are now simpler ways to offer a nutritious diet to your gliders.

Ideal Diets for Baby Sugar Gliders

Sugar glider joeys that are younger than 6 weeks OOP (Out Of Pouch) should be feeding from their mother or will need to be hand fed using a milk replacer and syringe- see our Joey Kit. Joeys that are 6 to 8 weeks OOP can begin to be weened off of mik and onto a more permanent diet, like pellets, Gliderade, fruits and vegetables. Once your joey is older than 8 week OOP, it should be completely weened and be eating on its own.

Baby sugar gliders must be offered a variety of food types in order to obtain their correct nutritional needs. Feeding a variety or foods while young also helps a glider become less picky when it is older. We suggest that fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen) be offered on a daily basis (always defrost frozen before offering). Approximately 25% of the glider's diet should consist of these fruits and vegetables. Gliders are particularly fond of fresh apples. The other 75% of your glider's diet should be protein based foods. Examples of protein foods that we suggest are Exotic Nutrition's Instant-HPW diet or Exotic Nutrition's Glider Complete diet. It is important that you keep the ratio of 25% fruits and vegetables to 75% protein based foods. Glider Complete already has 8 varieties of fruits incorporated in with the protein pellets, so if you offer this food, it is not necessary to supplement with fruits.

We also suggest that you offer 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 with water, then offer approx. 1 tablespoon per day in a separate dish. We also suggest that a powdered multi-vitamin Glider-Booster can be sprinkled on the glider's fruit daily, and a calcium supplement Glider-Cal can also be sprinkled on any insects you are feeding.

If you want to keep it simple, feed Insect-Eater Diet. It is very easy to use, and it contains all the necessary nutrition. You can introduce dry foods once your baby glider reaches 6 months old. Fresh water should be available at all times.

What to Avoid:

If you offer too many fruits, your Sugar Glider will fill up on that, 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 (apple) juice to the dry foods. Make sure that you change the food daily and discard the old food.

Looking for more information on Sugar Gliders? Browse our archive of articles:

<< Back to All Sugar Glider Help & Education or Shop Sugar Glider Products

More Questions? Our customer service representatives are happy to address your questions or provide additional information about products. Please Contact Us.

Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not in a position to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please visit our animal info tabs or consider purchasing a care guide book for additional information. If you have a health or pet emergency issue, please notify your veterinarian or a specialized technician.

Sugar glider as a pet



Sugar gliders are becoming more and more popular as time goes by and we are learning more about these adorable little marsupials. Petaurus breviceps - Latin name for the sugar glider, meaning "short-headed tightrope walker".


Sugar gliders live in captivity for about 10-15 years, so they are long-lived pets. nine0003


The sugar glider is about 12-15 cm long, with the tail adding about 15 cm more (it acts like a rudder when flying). They weigh only about 100 - 160 grams.


Sugar gliders are native to Australia (eastern part), Papua New Guinea, Tasmania, several neighboring islands and parts of Indonesia. They can be found in rainforests where they plan from tree to tree and make their homes in tree cavities. They rarely touch the ground at all. nine0003


Sugar gliders are marsupial, which means that the babies are born immature and grow in their mother's pouch for 60-70 days (like a kangaroo or an opossum). Sugar gliders have furry, thin, elastic membranes that extend from the wrists to the ankles (this membrane is called the patagium), allowing them to glide up to 45 meters through the air.

What is the fastest flying insect?

  • Dragonfly nine0036
  • Tsetse fly
  • Chafer
  • Wasp

Poll Options are limited because JavaScript is disabled in your browser.

Answer at the end of the article 🙂

In the wild, they move from tree to tree by gliding, not by flying. The hind foot has a large, opposing thumb with which they grasp branches, while the second and third toes form a grooming comb. Their other toes help them catch insects and connect the patagium. nine0003

These small marsupials are characterized by large eyes, which help them navigate in flight and adequately assess the landing site. This also helps them find food as they are nocturnal and hunt at night. Both sexes also possess distinct scent glands, sharp teeth, and extremely soft fur.

Temperament and behavior

Sugar gliders are social and need company. This is beneficial for taming them, but even if you can provide enough attention and are willing to spend the necessary time with your glider, it still needs its own company. nine0003

Sugar gliders have their own language and live in colonies of 30 individuals. Leaving a pet to himself is fraught with behavioral, mental, emotional, and even physical problems.

It is highly recommended to keep more than one glider. People cannot provide them with the same type of communication and socialization.


In the wild, sugar gliders eat different foods depending on the season. They are omnivores and, like other pets, they are often fed specific diets recommended by experts and zoos. These are mixed diets that include baby food, honey, fruits, vitamins and other ingredients, supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables and insects. Special food is produced for them, but it is not recommended, as it is defective. The needs of sugar gliders have changed as more has been learned about them. nine0003


Sugar gliders, like other exotic pets, suffer from many diseases that affect them. Most often, they are prone to metabolic and digestive disorders due to malnutrition, bruises and parasitic infestation.

Answer to the question: dragonfly.

Rate the article)

You may be interested in:

Sugar glider at home

In the previous article, we have already talked about the distinctive features of the sugar possum. nine0008 Keeping sugar possums at home is a troublesome and difficult task. However, if you follow the necessary rules, you can comfortably coexist with this cute animal.

Cons of keeping a sugar glider at home

First of all, it must be said that the sugar possum will not adapt to your daily routine. He behaves as usual.

At night, the flying squirrel will not sleep, on the contrary, it will behave as actively as possible: jump around the cage, rattle rods, make various sounds. nine0003

To ensure a restful sleep, it is best to place the sugar glider cage in a room away from the bedroom.

Please note: possums are not very clean, they do not know how to use the toilet. In nature, they jump on trees, practically not descending from trees, and all the fruits of their vital activity fly down. It will also happen at home. Flying squirrels will mark wallpaper and furniture with their excrement.

We have already said that males mark their territory with special glands. Be prepared for the fact that this smell is very specific. It is impossible to remove it from clothes. Will have to get used to it. nine0003

Under no circumstances should possums be trusted to children. If you squeeze your pet a little harder than he likes, the possum can bite and quite sensitively.

The animal moves along its owner as well as along a tree, leaving rather serious scratches with its sharp claws.

All these are minuses that we must warn you about, but believe me, there are also a lot of pluses.

Sugar Gliding Conditions

Keeping a flying squirrel comfortably at home requires a lot of space. Remember, pets are very active, their element is trees. nine0003

The sums will need a spacious cage-aviary. The distance between the bars should be about 1.3 cm. The bars themselves should have a PVC coating. Sugar gliders are very smart animals, so be sure to take care of a secure lock on the aviary.

There should be several feeders and drinkers in the possum's cage. When installing a drinker, make sure that the pet knows how to use it.

Not all naturally wild animals will be able to immediately understand the design of a nipple drinker. In this case, the pet can simply die of thirst

Build in the cage special devices for possums that will allow them to show their activity: ladders, ropes, pipes, branches. A possum's cage must have a hanging house. It can be either wooden or fabric. The passage to the dwelling should be 7-9 cm in diameter.

If you have pets of different sexes, babies may appear very soon. Lower the house lower so that the kids do not fall.

Last but not least, do not forget about the temperature regime: sugar squirrels do not like drafts, temperatures below 20 degrees, as well as bright lighting. In our store you can buy all the necessary accessories for your pet. nine0003

Feeding the sugar possum

First, let's talk about what not to eat the possum. It is necessary to exclude from the diet: cheese, raisins, grapes, nuts.

Learn more