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Introducing New Foods to Sugar Gliders

Click HERE to view our most recent "Recommendations for Sugar Glider Food & Basic Feeding Guide"

Sugar Gliders can be, and typically are, finicky eaters. Not all Sugar Gliders will adapt to eating new foods the first time they are offered. The Sugar Glider's age, and present diet can be determining factors. Most Sugar Gliders adapt to new diets immediately, but if your glider is reluctant, we list several techniques to make the transition.

First, it is important that you do not allow your Sugar Glider to 'fill-up' on treats, fruits, vegetables, or otehr food options when offering a new diet. Although the fruits and vegetables are quality foods, they do not contain the necessary proteins, fats or other essentials that Sugar Gliders will need in their diet. If your glider fills up on these other foods, they will not be hungry enough to eat a balanced diet. May times Sugar Gliders will not show interest in new foods when they have plenty of treats and fruits available to eat. Withhold these 'sweet' treats for a few days ... allow your glider to get hungry, then they will be less reluctant to try new foods.

Sugar Gliders are hardy animals, they will not starve themselves. When they are hungry enough, they will eat the foods available. If you do not allow them to get hungry enough, then they will just wait for you to offer something different. If you are continuing to supply foods that they 'like' to eat when trying a new diets ... then your glider(s) will wait for you to bring them the food they are used to eating, rather than be willing to try new foods. You have to be persistent and withhold all of the old diet. When they get hungry enough, they will try the new foods and get used to eating them on a regular basis within a week.

How to Introduce Exotic Nutrition Foods to Your Sugar Glider's diet.

Suggested Method: Offer Instant-HPW along with the present diet. Instant-HPW is a great tasting, highly nutritious Sugar Glider food that can be offered along with the pellet diet, it is flavored with honey & pure vanilla beans (sugar gliders love these flavors). Typically, Sugar Gliders will immediately take to a pellet diet when it is offered in conjunction with Instant-HPW.

Gradual Method:

Over a 7-day period fill your Sugar Glider's food dish 1/4 full several times a day maintaining the following proportions of the old and new diet.

Day 1 - 90% old diet & 10% new diet
Day 2 - 80% old diet & 20% new diet
Day 3 - 70% old diet & 30% new diet
Day 4 - 50% old diet & 50% new diet
Day 5 - 25% old diet & 75% new diet
Day 6 - 10% old diet & 90% new diet
Day 7 - 0% old diet & 100 % new diet

Picky Gliders Not Getting Accustomed To Pellets?

Be patient when introducing a new food, gliders can be finicky eaters. If your gliders are confused by pellets or are resistant to trying them, we suggest drizzling Honey Sticks over the pellets to intrigue your gliders. If your gliders seem to filling up on the dried fruit (mixed in with Glider Complete), try picking the fruit out for the first week so they focus on the pellets and have nothing else to fill them up. Make sure the pellet diet is the only food provided, so that they are not just filling up on another food option and have no need to try new things. The biggest mistake we hear from owners is that their gliders aren’t getting accustomed to pellets immediately, so they just offer another food. From a realistic standpoint, gliders will take time to get adjusted to pellets if they have been used to a delicious treat-like diet. It is similar to convincing a child to eat their vegetables after months of letting them eat un-nutritious food. If they do not eat the new pellets at first, do not succumb to giving them treats or anything else, feeding a diet too high in fat and sugary fruit can lead to obesity and picky eating. The transition into a healthy high-protein diet of pellets can take time, but patience and trust in the food is key. When offering a pellet diet for the first time, we recommend feeding 100% pellets for 5 days straight, with zero other food options or treats. Even one single minuscule piece of fruit can divert their attention away from the pellet diet and make them not eat it because they think they will eventually get more fruit. Replace any uneaten pellets after 24 hours. We hear from many satisfied owners about successful transitions, all of which who say they persisted when their gliders turned their head away from pellets during the first days. Sugar gliders are intelligent animals, they will never let themselves starve. Owners should never feel guilty about offering strictly one diet for this short amount of time, it is one of the healthiest diet options you can provide for your gliders. 

Make sure to only be giving your gliders approximately 1-2 tablespoons of pellets each. While it is perfectly healthy to feed a pellet diet free choice, paying attention to the small amount of these dense pellets that your gliders eat, will eliminate waste and save you money. Exotic Nutrition's pellets are formed from the exact ingredients listed, there is no extrusion/puffing like other products. Therefore, the finished product is solid and very nutrient-dense. This finished pellet contains an extremely large amount of nutrition per volume. A 1 oz. dish full of an Exotic Nutrition pellet diet can provide as much nutrition as a 4 oz. dish full of an extruded pellet product. It may look like your gliders are eating very little food, but these pellets are so dense that they are getting plenty to eat. Keep in mind gliders have very small stomachs, about the size of the tip of your thumb.

Many people have the opinion that gliders are solely “sap suckers” who can never, and will never eat a pellet. The label sap sucker gives an impression of not chewing anything or not eating anything solid and this just isn’t true. To even get at the sap in trees, gliders rip and tear at the bark until it "bleeds", then they lap it up. If they return to the tree later and the sap has dried hard, they still munch it up. Even with their fruits and vegetables we will often see them chew, suck all the juices out of the food, and then spit out the substance pieces. You will see some gliders eat pellets in a similar way. They chew the food in their mouth, extract the moisture and nutrients, and discard remains. It's called "spittings", they will smush and grind the food down with their teeth to extract everything, then spit out the excess. It's totally normal. This is why some owners think their gliders aren’t actually eating the pellets, because there is still crumbled food left in the bowl (see example of the discarded spittings below).

Another issue is when gliders are used to being fed a wet mix, it's not unusual for them to think of these solid pellets as "toys" and chuck them around. If you are experiencing this problem, we recommend the No Mess Feeding Station. This is a type of ‘glider kitchen’ that allows your sugar glider to enter and feed while containing the mess. 

Example of the "spittings" (discussed in paragraphs above):


Back to Sugar Glider Information.


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. 


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

Recommendations for Sugar Glider Foods & Basic Feeding Guide

Adding Another Glider to Your Household
Are Gliders Legal in My State?
Cage Finishes
Bonding With Your Sugar Glider
Common Nutritional Problems of Sugar Gliders
Dirty Secrets About Gliders' Food
Enriching Gliders' Lives
Exotic Nutrition Foods for Sugar Gliders
Feeding Baby Gliders
Feeding Mealworms to Gliders
Glider Health Issues
Healthy Treats and Chews
HPW (High Protein) Diet for Sugar Gliders
Introducing New Foods to Gliders
Odor Control
Proper Feeding of Gliders
Sugar Glider FAQs
Suggested Cage Requirements
Tips on Breeding Gliders
Veterinarian Database - Find a vet to care for your Sugar Glider
What to Feed Adult Sugar Gliders
Where Can I Get a Glider?
Why Toys are Important for Gliders

More Questions?

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Newport News, Virginia 23603

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