Sugar Gliders are an exotic small marsupial pet that requires a rather precise and restricted diet. A lot of people have questions about their sugar glider’s diet. One of the most common questions is: Can Sugar Gliders Eat Apples? In this blog post, I will answer that question and many more.
Sugar Gliders can eat apples, but only eat the flesh of the fruit, not the skin. With natural sweetness, apples can excite your gliders and offer them vital dietary components.
Apples are one of the most nutrient-dense fruits that can contribute to the health and well-being of your sugar gliders. Although apple skin is harmless, many farmers spray toxic chemicals on the surface of these fruits that are often absorbed in the skin. Therefore, unless you’re purchasing organic apples, it is best to peel the skin off for your gliders. Similarly, you should also remove the seeds, core, and stems from the apples beforehand.
This article will discuss everything you should know about feeding apples to sugar gliders.
Do sugar gliders like eating apples?
When you’re about to introduce something new to your pet’s diet, it is natural to fret about whether or not they will like it.
After all, you want to keep your little gliders happy and satisfied, and we understand that. But if apple is the addition you’re planning to make to your glider’s diet, there’s no reason to worry.
Sugar gliders have “sugar” in their name for good reason. These little possums are very fond of sweet treats and love to eat many fruits, including apples.
Apples are, in fact, a part of their diet in their natural habitat as well. So, they will not need a lot of time to get used to these fruits.
Are apples healthy for sugar gliders?
Now that we’ve established that sugar gliders love apples and would be eager to devour these sweet treats, let’s talk about apple’s impact on their health.
Small pets like gliders have an equally tiny diet, within which you must fit in all the essential nutrients they need. Therefore, you must feed them nutrient-dense foods, even as treats.
Can you count apples as a healthy treat for your sugar glider? That’s what we will explore in this section.
Let’s begin by going through the table given below, which outlines the nutritional composition of apples:
|Vitamin A||54 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.017 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.026 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.091 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.041 mg|
|Vitamin C||4.6 g|
|Vitamin E||0.18 g|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Potassium, K||107 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||6 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.12 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||5 mg|
|Phosphorous, P||11 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.04 mg|
|Dietary fibers||2.40 g|
|Total fat||0.2 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
As you can see for yourself, apples are rich in many vitamins. And while sugar gliders do not need vitamin C from their food, all the other vitamins can help them in improving their immune, respiratory, and reproductive health.
Moreover, minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron can support their internal functions and keep their bones, muscles, and tissues healthy.
For all these reasons, apples can undoubtedly be considered beneficial for your pet gliders.
Downsides to feeding apples to sugar gliders
While apples are indeed nutritious treats for your little pets, it doesn’t mean that they can eat as many of these fruits as they want.
When fed in excess or too frequently, apples can also lead to health issues in the sugar gliders, and we certainly don’t want that. That’s why I’d recommend you to keep their apple intake limited to a couple of thin slices twice a week.
One of the significant issues with feeding too many apples to your pet gliders is the improper Ca:P ratio of these fruits. As you can see in the table, apple contains 6 mg of calcium and 11 mg of phosphorus (per 100 g), making its Ca:P ratio roughly 1:2. This is quite the opposite of what your sugar gliders need.
Therefore, consuming too many apples can create an imbalance of these minerals in your pet’s body, leading to Nutritional Osteodystrophy or Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
MBD is a condition that can soften your pet’s bones and lead to paralysis. Furthermore, it can also result in heart problems, seizures, and pneumonia.
Can sugar gliders eat green apples?
Many people believe green apples and red apples to be completely different fruits due to their distinct taste and flavor. However, if you look at them from a nutritional standpoint, you will find that they’re more similar than you could’ve thought.
Although green apples have a higher amount of potassium, iron, and protein, both contain the same nutrients. This would mean that green apples are a healthier treat alternative to the gliders than red apples.
However, there is one more factor that you should consider: the acidic nature of green apples. Green apples have a much higher acidic content than red ones, making them highly unsuitable for your pets as too much acid can harm their digestive health.
Besides, they have lower sugar content, so your little gliders would probably choose red apples when given a choice between the two.
Apple skin for sugar gliders: safe or not?
As many of you might already know, the skin of apples is where all their nutrients are most concentrated, which would mean that apple skin is the healthiest part of the fruit for your pets.
But what about the safety of apple skin for your sugar gliders?
Well, that depends on where you get your apples from. If you purchase them from a supermarket, the vendors have likely sprayed pesticides and herbicides on their skin to keep insects away. In many stores, these apples are also rubbed with wax to make them appear fresh and shiny.
When you wash these apples, most of these toxic chemicals come off. However, some of these stubborn chemicals are left behind. While these might not cause any lasting effect on your health, for your sugar gliders, they can be lethal.
If you don’t want your pets to miss out on the nutritious apple skin and protect them from toxic chemicals at the time, I have a solution for you: organic apples.
These apples have been grown in a safe environment and are safe from chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and wax. However, if you cannot find organic apples in your locality, it would be best to peel off the skin of apples before feeding them to your sugar gliders.
Apple seeds for sugar gliders: safe or not?
If you’ve owned a sugar glider for long enough, you must’ve gotten accustomed to removing seeds from fruits before offering them to your little pets.
If you’re wondering if you need to practice the same ritual with apple seeds, the answer is yes. The tiny, tough seeds can both present a choking hazard for your gliders and can be lethal to them if broken down inside their body.
Apple seeds contain amygdalin, a naturally occurring chemical compound that degrades into hydrogen cyanide when the seeds are broken down. And if these seeds release hydrogen cyanide inside your pet’s body, it can interfere with your pet’s blood respiration and even kill them.
That’s why you should be extra careful about removing apple seeds while feeding them to your pets. It is best to remove the stem and core along with the seeds as a precautionary measure.
Can you feed dried apples to sugar gliders?
While fresh apples are suitable treats for your pet friends, serving them dried apples is not really a good idea.
It is because dried apples go through the process of dehydration (either in the sun or oven), and the loss of water can increase their sugar concentration.
And as you already know, too much sugar can be detrimental to your pet’s oral as well as digestive health.
Is it safe to feed apples to joeys?
If you happen to have a joey (younger ones of sugar gliders) as your pet, knowing when to feed them apples can be tricky. That’s what I’m here to help you with.
When they’re born, joeys should feed only on their mothers’ milk for the first eight weeks of their lives. Once they’re older than two months, you can gradually introduce solid foods like fruits and vegetables into their diet.
First, serve them half a slice of apple a couple of times before slowly increasing the quantity. Giving them sufficient time to get used to dietary changes is best for your joey’s health.
Frequently asked questions
Is it a good idea to feed frozen apples to sugar gliders? No, frozen apples are quite tough, and if your pets don’t chew them properly, it can create a choking hazard for them. Moreover, store-bought frozen apples are often coated with several additives and preservatives to give them a longer shelf life. All this processing might be safe for human consumption, but it can be deadly to your pets.
Can I feed pineapples to my sugar gliders? Yes, you can feed pineapples to your sugar gliders if they’re interested in eating these exotic fruits; it depends on their individual taste. However, if you want to feed your pets pineapples, always go with the fully ripened ones and practice moderation with them.
Is it safe to feed grapes to sugar gliders? Yes, grapes are safe for the consumption of your little pets in moderation. When feeding grapes to your sugar gliders, always go for seedless ones, as these seeds could be lethal for their health.
Conclusion: Can Sugar Gliders Eat Apples?
Sugar gliders (Petaurus Breviceps) are small marsupials found in Australia. They are fascinating creatures. Despite their small size, these animals have been able to develop the ability to glide very long distances up to approximately 45 meters.
Have you ever included apples in a sugar glider’s diet? Would you like to? Let us know your experiences when feeding apples to your sugar gliders. Do they love them, or do they hate them?