All possums are adorable creatures, but do you know which one of them would make the most incredible pet? Yes, we’re talking about sugar gliders, the tiny gliding possums that are endemic to Australia. Although pellets make up a large portion of their primary diet, fruits are an essential part of it. But can these little guys eat all the fruits? What about bananas?
Can sugar gliders eat bananas? Sugar gliders enjoy eating bananas. Bananas are safe for them to eat, easy to prepare and provide dietary fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that a sugar glider needs to stay healthy. All you need to do is peel off the outer layer of the fruits and cut them into smaller pieces your pet can eat.
Do sugar gliders like eating bananas?
Despite their name sounding like it could be a food, Sugar gliders are actually small mammals about two to five inches long that live up to 12 years. In the wild, they live in trees and glide from one tree to another while having their arms spread out.
Sugar gliders can eat a variety of foods, including fruit such as apples and bananas. Not only do they eat these healthy foods, but sugar gliders also benefit from them in many other ways.
Before we get into the health benefits of bananas for sugar gliders, let’s ask ourselves if these little guys even like eating these fruits. Because if your pet doesn’t want to eat them, the entire discussion would be pointless.
So, do sugar gliders like eating bananas? Although the sugar gliders can’t possibly answer the question themselves, they have “sugar” in their name for a reason. These little possums are crazy about sugar, which is why they enjoy eating fruits so much. And since bananas have a decent amount of natural sugar in them, there’s a good chance that your pets would eat these fruits fondly.
Are bananas healthy for sugar gliders?
Now that we’ve figured out your pet gliders would eat bananas, happily, it is time for us to learn whether these fruits are good for their health or not.
First, we will learn about the nutritional composition of bananas by going through the table given below quickly:
|Vitamin A||64 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.031 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.073 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.665 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.334 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.367 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||20 mcg|
|Vitamin C||8.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.10 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.5 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||5 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.26 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||27 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.078 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.27 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||22 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Potassium, K||358 mg|
|Selenium, Se||1 mcg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.15 mg|
|Dietary fibers||2.60 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now, let’s see how these nutrients can help your little friends:
- Sugar gliders are dependent on their diet for all the vitamins, apart from Vitamin C (which they can synthesize independently). Fortunately, bananas have almost all of them (Vitamins A, B-complex series, E, and K).
- Bananas are also rich in Calcium, a mineral that is often lacking in the sugar gliders living in captivity. Calcium is essential for strengthening their bones and keeping their dental health intact.
- Protein is a vital macronutrient that the gliders need to smooth their organs’ smooth functioning and achieve a perfect hormonal balance. Bananas contain protein in abundance as well.
So, there you go. Bananas are one of the fruits that will certainly lead your pet gliders to be a healthier and happier version of themselves.
Practicing moderation with feeding bananas to sugar gliders
Although most of you might already know it, for the benefit of the new sugar glider-owners out there, we are going to tell you what the ideal diet of a sugar glider should consist of. A major portion of their diet is made up of pellets (about 75%). In the remaining 25%, 20% is made up of fruits, while treats make the rest of it.
However, this doesn’t mean that bananas can make up the whole 20% of their diet. Do you know how different fruits have different nutritional profiles? Well, your little pet needs all of those nutrients, and bananas alone cannot meet all their needs. So, you have two choices: either feed your pets 3-4 medium-sized slices of bananas once a week or add a single banana slice to their fruit assortment every day.
Can joeys eat bananas?
All sugar gliders younger than the age of 8-10 months have not reached their full maturity and are referred to as “joeys.” If your pet glider is still a joey, is banana something you should be feeding them?
Joeys that are younger than 8 weeks survive solely on their mother’s milk. If your pet is at that stage, you should only be feeding them their milk replacing formula. As they cross that age threshold, you should slowly start introducing fruits and veggies in their diet, including bananas. The more variety you add to their diet now, the less picky about the food they will be in the future.
However, remember that the diet of the joeys should be smaller than their parents. For instance, if a grown sugar glider eats 4 banana slices at once, you should joeys only 2 of these slices. Also, if you can find softer, more ripened bananas for them, it’s a bonus. These bananas will be much easier to chew and digest than the ones with harder flesh.
What about dried bananas? Can sugar glider eat those?
While fresh bananas are a perfect addition to your sugar glider’s diet, is feeding them dried bananas an equally good idea? No, not really.
Dried bananas are dried out in the sun (or an oven) for days to dehydrate them completely, giving them a longer shelf life and a unique taste. Because the sugar content of these bananas increases surprisingly during drying, too many of these are not healthy for your pet gliders. However, a couple of slices can be spared on rare occasions, as long as you dry them at home yourself.
In case you buy store-bought dried bananas, you should never be feeding them to your gliders. Manufactured for human consumption, these bananas can contain several chemicals and preservatives that might not be strong enough to harm humans. Still, they can certainly degrade the health of these little guys.
Is it safe to feed banana chips to sugar gliders?
Who wouldn’t love the taste of crispy banana chips? Well, your pet gliders shouldn’t. In the previous section, we read how dried bananas have a high sugar content and are not suitable for your pets to eat. And since dried bananas are used to make banana chips, feeding them to your gliders is a bad idea.
These high in sugar might also have added flavors or spicy seasonings, not to mention the oil they have been fried in. All these ingredients are a disaster for your gliders. Thus, it would help if you made sure these chips don’t fall into your pet’s hands.
Can you feed frozen bananas to sugar gliders?
It might come as a surprise to you that there is little difference between fresh and frozen bananas’ nutritional value. So, does this mean your pet gliders can eat these bananas? No, absolutely not.
While the frozen bananas are nutritious, they have also been hardened considerably in the process of freezing, which is why chewing and digesting them could be challenging for the gliders. Even if you chop them down into smaller pieces, these cubes can still pose a choking hazard to them.
What about the banana peels? Are they edible to sugar gliders?
While we never attempt to eat bananas along with their peels, is there any chance your pet gliders might want to munch on them? It is rather unlikely.
As we’ve discussed earlier, sugar gliders are a sucker for sweet things. But since banana peels contain none of the sugar that the flesh inside does, the peels will hold no appeal to the gliders.
In fact, if you give them an unpeeled banana, they will probably ignore the fruit altogether. Moreover, the peels are also very fibrous and, thus, difficult to chew or digest for your pets.
Preparing bananas for sugar gliders
When it comes to prepping fruits for gliders, most fruits are quite challenging since they have so many parts that need to be removed. Luckily, bananas are one of the simplest fruits you could feed your pets. They are dry, have soft flesh, and easily be peeled off without using any knife or peeler.
Once the peel is off, all you need to do is cut the fruit down into little, bite-sized pieces for your gliders and serve it to them in their dish. You can also try giving them mashed bananas, especially when they are younger.
There’s another thing you might want to keep in mind: sugar gliders are extremely sensitive to any toxin, which is why you should always purchase organic bananas that have been cultivated in a safe and toxin-free environment for them.
Frequently asked questions
Which insects should I feed my sugar gliders?
Earthworms, mealworms, and crickets are some of the favorite insects of the sugar gliders. However, it would help if you fed them these insects only occasionally, as a treat. Because of their high-fat content, these can be harmful to their health if fed too frequently.
Can I feed my sugar gliders nuts?
Yes, you can, but without any added salt or other seasonings. Moreover, since they’re rich in fats, keep the nuts limited in their diet.
Conclusion: Can sugar gliders eat bananas?
Sugar gliders are part of the possum family and are marsupials. The reason why they’re called sugar glider is that their body is extremely light, and they can sustain themselves just by eating sap from the trees.
That’s why it’s no surprise they love bananas, because of their high sugar content. They are also a fruit with a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is the perfect way to ensure your pet is getting all the nutrients it needs for healthy growth while you have fun watching them enjoy their food.
To wrap it up, let’s revisit our initial question: can sugar gliders eat bananas? Yes, they sure can. However, it would be best if you always fed them fresh bananas; dried or frozen bananas are unsafe for them and should be avoided at all costs. The same is true for their peels; you should never serve them unpeeled bananas.