Tips on diet & exercise for sugar gliders from Molesey Vets
April 1, 2022
Sugar gliders are curious creatures and can make very affectionate but demanding exotic pets. When it comes to diet and exercise, our exotic Vet Darren, advises that you really need to do your research and fulfil their needs to keep them happy & healthy.
Interesting fact: Sugar gliders don’t have feet – they have four little hands!
They’re sociable animals and should ideally be kept in opposite sex pairs (with males neutered). Regular handling and human interaction will benefit them too; strengthen your bond by letting them curl up in your pocket or a neck pouch for a while.
Unhappy and stressed sugar gliders are prone to self-mutilation, and malnutrition is common due to owners not understanding their complex dietary needs.
Darren’s top tips on exercise for your sugar glider:
Sugar gliders are nocturnal and can become stressed if you disturb their sleep during the day. Keep them fit and entertained during the night with:
- A tall cage (24x24x36” w/d/h minimum for a pair) with horizontal bars half an inch (max.) apart is ideal to facilitate their love of climbing & gliding
- A mix of safe toys and a closed exercise wheel (to avoid tail injuries)
- Branches, ropes and ladders for climbing, playing & exercising
- Secure a nest box near the top of the cage as a safe place to rest
- Ensure the cage latch is secure, clean everything weekly with soapy water
Dietary requirements of a sugar glider:
Native to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, sugar gliders are omnivores, meaning they eat plants and animals. Their diet in the wild would include eucalyptus gum, tree sap, insects, nectar, and honeydew (excretory product of nectar-eating insects). They’ll also eat bird eggs, lizards, small birds, and other small prey.
It’s recommended that your pet sugar glider’s daily diet consists of:
- 1 tbsp of SGS II diet (see recipe below).
- 1 tbsp of top-quality insectivore diet or a variety of insects (crickets, mealworms, wax worms, moths, spiders, etc, fed on high-quality food.
- Small amounts of fruits as a treat, chopped together to avoid picky eating.
- If you need advice, book a diet consultation with our team.
- SGS II Mix Recipe: 450g fruit (⅓) & veg (⅔) e.g. butternut squash, sweet potato, carrot, papaya, apple, pear (check it’s safe for sugar gliders)
- 2 tsp High Protein Supplement; 1 tsp bee pollen; 1¼ tsp acacia gum;
- 1 tbsp brown linseed soaked in 3–4 tbsp boiling water; 1 heaped tbsp oatmeal
- 1 tbsp natural probiotic yogurt; ½ tsp spirulina; 1 hard-boiled egg (shelled)
Blend everything into a mush mix. It’s best to make 3 batches and store them in ice-cube trays in the freezer: batch 1 as above; batch 2 add ½ tsp of calcium and feed 2-3 times per week; batch 3 add Gliderade and feed 2-3 times per week.
You can buy ingredients for the SGS II diet here:
For further advice on sugar gliders and other exotic pets, get in touch with the team at Molesey Vets.