Sugar gliders are cute little marsupials that have become popular household pets in recent years. They are commonly from Australia, though they are also found living in the wild in some parts of Indonesia. These little animals look like squirrels and can glide through the air with ease, hence their given name. They do not really fly, but they can easily glide from tree to tree.
These interesting pets, known for their playfulness and curiosity, do not get a chance to glide between trees while living in captivity. So, they have high energy levels and need to keep themselves busy inside the home with whatever toys and gyms are available to them. Owners should be prepared to let their sugar gliders go “wild” at least a couple of times a week. Pet sugar gliders need to eat as well as their wild counterparts to stay healthy throughout their life. We have put together a list of seven sugar glider foods that we think outperform the rest.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites for 2023
|Best Overall||Exotic Nutrition Glider Complete Sugar Glider Food||
|Best Value||Vitakraft VitaSmart Pelleted Sugar Glider Food||
|Sunseed 20060 Vita Prima Sugar Glider Food||
|Happy Glider Fruity Flavor Sugar Glider Food||
|Exotic Nutrition Instant-HPW Sugar Glider Food||
The 7 Best Sugar Glider Foods
1. Exotic Nutrition Glider Complete Sugar Glider Food — Best Overall
This is an all-in-one meal for sugar gliders because it contains the protein, fat, and vitamins needed for optimal health and high quality of life. Featuring soybean meal, apples, beets, blood meal, and a host of other fruits and vegetables, Exotic Nutrition Glider Complete sugar glider food will ensure that your furry pet will not miss out on any of the flavors they love or nutrients they need.
The food is supplemented with vitamin B12 and other nutrients like folic acid, to ensure complete nutrition that will keep your sugar glider happy, healthy, and active for a lifetime. This food comes in the form of pellets, so it is easy for these animals to eat and digest. It is formulated and produced in the United States, so there is no need to worry about ingredients being sourced from questionable locations.
2. Vitakraft VitaSmart Pelleted Sugar Glider Food — Best Value
Made specifically for sugar gliders, Vitakraft VitaSmart is the best sugar glider food for the money because it features quality ingredients for an affordable price. This food contains a blend of real fruits and vegetables, insects, and even seafood to nourish your sugar glider, while providing them with the flavors and proteins that they crave.
You will not find any artificial colors or flavors in the ingredients list, but you will find antioxidant-rich ingredients like cranberries to ensure optimal immune health for a lifetime. Also infused in this sugar glider food are probiotics to promote a healthy digestive system. Vitakraft VitaSmart complete nutrition comes in pellet form but has small pieces of dried fruit for varied texture and ultimate flavor.
3. Sunseed 20060 Vita Prima Sugar Glider Food
These handy little pellets are full of nutrition but lack artificial ingredients, which makes them a premium choice for anyone who wants to provide the best to their sugar glider over time. This formula is fortified with essential omega-3 fatty acids for optimal eye and brain health. Sunseed Vita Prima Sugar Glider Food is full of protein meal and does have dehydrated fruits and vegetables in it — most notably, papaya and sweet potatoes.
It is also formulated with a variety of fruit juices, which helps keep the pellets from becoming brittle and falling apart. Both DHA and probiotics are in this food, along with vitamin and mineral supplementation to minimize the risk of nutritional deficiencies, no matter how active your sugar glider is. This formula is safe for all stages of life, but young pets may need extra protein as they grow. Some sugar gliders do not like this formula as-is and will only eat it when fresh ingredients are added to it.
4. Happy Glider Fruity Flavor Sugar Glider Food
This food features a variety of toasted grains and several types of proteins that will help keep your sugar glider full until their next mealtime. Like most sugar glider foods, this one comes in the form of pellets but does not have added ingredients, like dehydrated fruits, so those need to be added if your sugar gliders expect them.
Happy Glider Fruit Flavor Food is coated with fruit juice to entice your pet’s senses and make them feel as if they are eating fresh fruit in the wild. Unfortunately, it does contain artificial flavors, which may be of concern if your sugar glider has any preexisting health conditions.
5. Exotic Nutrition Instant-HPW Sugar Glider Food
Exotic Nutrition Instant-HPW sugar glider food is unique in a few different ways. First, it does not come in pellet form like most other options do. It comes in powder form and is mixed with water right before serving, providing a vitamin-enriched meal that sugar gliders simply cannot resist. Ingredients include real honey, eggs, and natural bee pollen to support immune functionality and a healthy coat.
One teaspoon of the powder is all that is needed to create a complete meal for your little pet. In a concentrated power form, this food is easier to store than most other options on our reviews list too. One downside is that it does not include any real fruit or vegetables, so you will have to provide those yourself.
6. Suncoast Sugar Gliders Wholesome Balance
Packed with 32% crude protein, this is an excellent food choice for active sugar gliders that do more moving than lounging around. Suncoast Wholesome Balance Sugar Glider Food is made with all human-grade ingredients and includes no possible problem fillers, such as soy and wheat meal. Instead, the formula features chicken, brown rice, and flax meal.
Coconut oil is also included to promote a soft, luxurious coat. The food looks similar to cat food and is easy to handle, but it is chalky in texture, which can be messy, so meals should be eaten inside the sugar glider’s caged habitat. The packaging is hard to open, so it is a good idea to transfer the food to a sealable container or a Ziplock bag to avoid spillage during mealtime.
7. Pretty Bird International Sugar Glider Food
Pretty Bird International Sugar Glider Food is nutritionally complete and requires no supplementation, which is convenient for busy pet owners who do not have the time to clean and cut fresh fruits and vegetables. Unlike many other pellet foods, the pellets in this formula are colorful to appeal to both sugar gliders and their owners.
Including a minimum of 24% crude protein, this food delivers a safe balance of nutrients that will help keep your sugar glider active as time goes on. The fruits include banana and pineapple, which offer extra immune support. However, the food does include not-so-attractive ingredients, such as artificial colors.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Food For Sugar Gliders
Choosing a new food product for your sugar glider is an important job. Picking the wrong food could lead to health problems as your furry pet ages. Deciding which foods are worthwhile and which should be avoided takes time and commitment. How can you tell which options are the right ones for your sugar glider? We have put together a buyer’s guide to help make it easier to determine which pet food will meet your sugar glider’s needs the most.
Know What Sugar Gliders Eat in the Wild
To know what your sugar glider should eat like a pet, you should know what they eat in the wild. Sugar gliders are omnivorous and will eat many different things when living outside of captivity. However, they prefer sweet foods filled with nectar above all else. They will seek out honeycombs, hives, and nectar fruits whenever they can. Seeing as how they can glide in the air between trees, finding empty hives is not hard for them. They also eat insects, small frogs, and other animals that they can overpower. Greens and fruits are a daily staple when possible. This is the basis of a sugar glider’s nutritional needs.
Understand Your Sugar Glider’s Preferences
Like all living beings, sugar gliders have their own unique preferences when it comes to how they live their lives, especially while eating. Some sugar gliders prefer eating fruits and will turn their noses up at high-protein food options. Others prefer insects and other high-protein foods, and fruit in abundance will not satiate them. So, it is important to understand what your sugar glider tends to lean toward so you can satisfy both their nutritional needs and their food preferences as time goes on.
To understand what your sugar glider likes the most, try giving them a small amount of fruit during snack time one day and a small amount of animal protein the next day. On the third day, offer both fruits and proteins at snack time. Continue this process for a week or two, using different kinds of fruits and proteins each day. Record your pet’s reactions during each feeding, and use the information to determine what foods your pet seems to like the most. This will help guide you toward the ingredients that you should be looking for when choosing a complete commercial meal for them to enjoy daily.
Schedule an Appointment With Your Veterinarian
It is important to have your sugar glider checked out by your veterinarian before choosing a new food for them. Your veterinarian will have an opportunity to ensure that there are no underlying health conditions that would require a special diet. They can also recommend nutrient blends and specific ingredients to look for and to avoid, based on things like your sugar glider’s current health, age, and activity level. They can also give you insight into the kinds of supplemental whole food snacks that you should be feeding your pet regardless of the kind of commercial food you decide to feed them.
Take a Look at What Others Have to Say
It never hurts to check out customer reviews for the sugar glider pet food products that you are considering buying for your furry family member. Take the time to look up customer reviews and see what others have experienced with said options. Overlook topics about things like shipping, packaging, and anything that has nothing to do with the product itself. Focus on texture, ease of feeding, quality, and how others’ sugar gliders react to the food.
Make a List and Check It Twice
After getting an idea of the wild sugar glider’s diet, understanding what your particular pet enjoys, meeting with a veterinarian, and checking out customer reviews, take the time to make a list of ingredients that you want in your pet’s food and that you do not. List price points that you want to stay within, types of packaging that you prefer or reject, and any other elements that are important to you.
From there, compare the list to food options that you are considering buying for your pet sugar glider and determine which option would be the best choice for you both. Your list should give you confidence when accepting or rejecting a food option.
Choose Backup Options
No matter how much research and planning you do before choosing a new food for your pet sugar glider to enjoy, there is always a chance that they will not like the first option you present to them at mealtime. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose backups that you can turn to in case your pet does not like the first or second option.
If your pet likes the first food that you offer them, buy more and continue feeding it to them. You can incorporate small amounts of the other foods that you bought into the first food at mealtime to use it up without wasting any or wreaking havoc on your pet’s digestive system. If your pet does not like the first food that you offer them, you will have backups ready to help ensure that they do not miss too many meals and become nutrient deficient. Either way, you have a win-win situation on your hands.
There are many excellent sugar glider foods on the market, and we have identified several of the best on our reviews list. Our first choice, Exotic Nutrition Glider Complete Sugar Glider Food, is made of high-quality ingredients and is produced in the United States. Our second choice, Vitakraft VitaSmart Pelleted Sugar Glider Food is the best bang for your buck and should not be overlooked.
Hopefully, our reviews list and buyer’s guide will make the process of choosing a new food for your beloved sugar glider easier and less stressful overall. Which option on our list interests you the most? Which is your least favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
Featured Image Credit: kemuncup_81, Shutterstock