Wild sugar gliders are omnivorous by nature. They eat a large variety of different foods, most of which comes down to accessibility and availability. With a diet of such diversity, it can be challenging to know what to feed a sugar glider or what foods are optimal for them. Fruit is a particular food group that often is questioned. Here is what you need to know.
So, can sugar gliders eat fruit? Sugar gliders can eat most fruits, although any fruit should be eaten in limited quantities in moderation. Around 10-20% of total dietary intake is advised. Fruit should always be sourced ripe, offered fresh, and be appropriately prepared. This can include cutting up, removing the skin, seeds, and pits.
At the same time, some fruits are certainly better than others.
High-oxalate fruits, for instance, need to be more carefully managed and controlled.
And there are a few that are higher in this naturally occurring compound.
And here is why:
Oxalates can bind to calcium and cause calcium deficiency if left unchecked.
But ultimately, all fruit should be fed in moderation.
Despite their name, these small gliding possums do not actually need this energy-rich carbohydrate in the quantities you may have expected.
And as such, fruit should make up a small part of a much more inclusive diet.
A nutritionally balanced pelleted kibble, a nectar/sap-basted mixture, insects, and vegetables are all other essential components of the diet.
Nevertheless, let us now take a closer look at 17 of the most popular and routinely questioned fruits.
Are these safe, or have a place, in the diet of a sugar glider?
Let’s find out!
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Apples?
Sugar gliders can eat the flesh of apples in moderation. Although, they should never eat the seeds and only eat the skin if the apple is grown organic or washed properly. This will remove any wax and pesticides, and insecticides.
Cutting up an apple is best before serving.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Bananas?
Sugar gliders can eat bananas but should not be offered the peels. For the most part, a sugar glider would ignore the peel anyway.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Blackberries?
Sugar Gliders can eat blackberries, but only in very limited quantities. Blackberries are high in oxalates; these compounds bind to calcium and prevent proper calcium absorption.
This is a key mineral to sugar gliders, and any prolonged calcium deficiency can result in lameness, paralysis, and difficulty moving.
For the most part, there are better other fruit options.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Blueberries?
Sugar gliders can eat blueberries, and this is a particularly good option for them. They are small, easy to consume, easy to digest, and low in calories and fruit sugars.
As blueberries contain more phosphorous than calcium, it is best to offer blueberries alongside a higher calcium item, such as fresh greens.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Cantaloupe?
Sugar gliders can eat Cantaloupe, but it is best that they only do so in small amounts at a time. Some owners have reported that too much Cantaloupe can cause diarrhea, which is likely a result of this fruit’s high water content.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Cherries?
Sugar gliders can eat cherries and are known to be particularly fond of them.
Although, cherries should be appropriately prepared before serving; this includes pulling out the stems, removing the pit, and making them generally easier to consume.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Grapefruit?
Sugar gliders can eat grapefruit, although should do so sparingly. This is true for both pink and red varieties.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Grapes?
Sugar gliders can eat grapes, although they should do so in small amounts and in moderation.
It is advised to remove the skin, which will likely be left anyway.
Learn more about feeding sugar gliders grapes here.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Guava?
Sugar gliders can eat guava but should only be offered the flesh.
It is best to cut this up into smaller chunks, making it easier for a sugar glider to eat. The skin and skins should be removed before serving.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Kiwi?
Sugar gliders can eat the flesh of kiwi fruit, along with the seeds. However, they should only eat kiwi in moderation, and the skin of the fruit should be removed prior to serving.
Some sugar gliders will ignore the seeds, and these can be removed before serving with some preparation.
However, these seeds are tiny and non-toxic; thus, a sugar glider will be able to eat them without issue if they did decide to.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Mango?
Sugar gliders can eat both fresh and dried mango, although should do so in moderation. This is particularly true of dried options, as this is naturally much more calorie-dense and much higher in sugar.
When feeding mango, it’s essential to remove the fruit’s skin, the pit and cut up the mango into much more easily consumable chunks.
Similarly, it’s best to seek out ripe mango that is much softer and easy for a sugar glider to consume.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Oranges?
It is best not to feed sugar, gliders, oranges, or any other citrus fruits.
This is because they are very acidic and can cause digestive upset.
That being said, a very small amount of the flesh of orange is generally considered safe. This is true of all orange varieties, including Valencia and Naval.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Pears?
Sugar gliders can eat pears, although should do so very sparingly and in small amounts. Pears are known to be high in oxalates which can cause issues with calcium absorption if consumed in excess.
Some sugar glider owners have reported that their sugar gliders do not like pears and will only eat them when offered very ripe or even gently cooked (and cooled) somewhat prior to serving.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Pineapple?
Sugar gliders can eat pineapple, although should only eat a small amount at a time. This is because pineapple is very acidic and contains several enzymes which can cause diarrhea if consumed in excess.
While fresh ripe pineapple is best, dried pineapple may be offered if it does not contain any preservatives or added sugars.
Canned pineapple is best avoided.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Plums?
Sugar gliders can eat plums in small amounts and in moderation.
It is important only to offer the flesh and remove the pit prior to serving.
The skin of a plum should be perfectly safe for a sugar glider to consume.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Raspberries?
Sugar gliders can eat raspberries, although should not eat them too regularly.
Raspberries are high in oxalates which can impact calcium absorption and lead to deficiency (unless counteracted with other foods and calcium supplementation).
Nevertheless, raspberries are a good option in small amounts as they are small, easy to consume, and low in calories/fruit sugars.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Strawberries?
Sugar gliders can eat strawberries, although should only do so from time to time. Strawberries are another berry higher in oxalates.
These can cause issues with calcium absorption and in excess, result in a calcium deficiency (unless counteracted with other foods and calcium supplementation).
Equally, not all sugar gliders will eat strawberries or enjoy them if provided. Some have been known to ignore them altogether.
Sugar gliders can eat fruit, but perhaps not as much as you would think.
In reality, the diet of a wild sugar glider is complex and a challenge to replicate if they are being kept as pets.
They are opportunistic omnivores (consume both animal-based and plant-based foods), after all.
While it will be almost impossible to provide a pet sugar glider with the sap and gum of eucalyptus and acacia trees or with pollen and nectar, a small amount of purposefully selected fruit can be offered.
But, a diet that consists exclusively of fruit or sugar syrups is not nutritionally balanced.
It can significantly impact a sugar glider’s health, and if the diet is unbalanced for too long, weak bones, seizures, and even death can occur.
So, pelleted kibble, insects, greens, and nuts, along with some occasional fruit, is best.
Oh, and of course, do not forget to provide plenty of filtered water!
- Sugar Glider Safe Vegetable and Fruit List – https://www.critterlove.com/pdf/_sugar_glider_safe_fruits__veggies.pdf
- Sugar Glider Feeding – https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/sugar-gliders-feeding
- Caring for your Sugar Glider – https://cvm.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Caring-for-your-Sugar-Glider.pdf
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.