The active and curious sugar glider forms strong bonds with its owner in captivity. But because of that curious nature, owners should be careful to keep toxic substances out of their reach. These omnivorous creatures will eat anything in front of them, especially if it smells sweet.
Any food with refined sugar, such as canned fruit or candy, is dangerous for the sugar glider. Like other pets, sugar gliders cannot eat chocolate. Because they are so small, even the tiniest amount can be fatal. Coffee, tea, soda and other human beverages are also toxic to sugar gliders, especially those drinks that contain caffeine.
Meat and Dairy
While some gliders may be able to tolerate small amounts of flavored yogurt, they are generally lactose intolerant and cannot consume dairy products such as cheese or ice cream. Wild sugar gliders do eat insects for protein, but captive sugar gliders should not be allowed to eat insects around the house. They may enjoy boiled eggs or chicken, but they should never be fed raw meet or eggs due to the risk of contamination.
Fruits and Vegetables
All fruits and vegetables should be washed before they are fed to a sugar glider, to ensure chemicals and pesticides are eliminated. Likewise, glider owners should avoid feeding their pets fruits and vegetables, such as blackberries or broccoli, that are difficult to clean thoroughly. Use bottled drinking or spring water, never tap water -- chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine in tap water can be fatal to gliders. Other potentially toxic vegetables include avocado, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce and other greens, garlic, onions, peas and turnips.
Nuts, Seeds and Pits
Fruit pits are poisonous to sugar gliders. Nuts and other seeds aren’t toxic, but because of their high fat and low nutritional value, they should be served only as occasional treats. Gliders enjoy nuts and will fill up on them if given the opportunity, instead of eating more healthy food.
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Jennifer Mueller began writing and editing professionally in 1995, when she became sports editor of her university's newspaper while also writing a bi-monthly general interest column for an independent tourist publication. Mueller holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.