Sugar gliders are a small mammal that is part of the opossum family. Small mammals like sugar gliders have specific dietary needs that must be met. If their food consumption doesn’t meet their nutritional requirements, then they may not grow and develop correctly. The question on a lot of people’s minds is whether sugar Gliders eat strawberries. With so many conflicting opinions out there, it can be hard to know what to feed these sweet little marsupials.
Can sugar gliders eat strawberries? Sugar gliders have a sweet tooth, and love sugar-rich fruits like strawberries. Sugar gliders will enjoy strawberries but they should be fed fresh fruit only as a treat or dessert. Strawberries are low in acid content and offer some nutrition for your sugar gliders when they reach the peak of ripeness.
Sugar gliders are quite fond of these bright little berries and would munch on them all day if given an opportunity. Strawberries contain tiny seeds that are harmless to these little guys and can easily be consumed by them. However, it would be best always to try to feed your pets organic strawberries as they are a safer alternative for them.
This article talks about everything you must know before adding strawberries to your sugar glider’s diet, including their nutritional value, health benefits, feeding ideas, and more. We go into great detail to provide you with a well-rounded and evidence-based answer.
Are strawberries healthy for sugar gliders?
As you must already know, sugar gliders are always keen to eat sweet fruits; strawberries are no exception. However, their mere willingness to eat strawberries is not enough to feed these fruits to them. You must also take into consideration what these fruits can offer to your pets.
Before we discuss the benefits of eating strawberries for your pets, let’s take a look at the table given below that contains information about the nutritional value of these fruits:
|Vitamin A||17.28 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.024 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.022 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.386 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||5.7 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.125 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.047 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||24 mcg|
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)||58.8 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.29 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.2 mcg|
|Potassium, K||153 mg|
|Phosphorous, P||24 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||16 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||13 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.41 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.386 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.14 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.048 mg|
Serving size: 100 grams
As the table clearly indicates, strawberries contain a large number of vitamins and minerals, many of which can improve your pet’s health in different ways:
- Vitamin A can support their vision as well as reproductive health.
- Vitamin E adds essential antioxidants to their body that prevent oxidative damage in their cells.
- Vitamin K can support blood coagulation processes.
- Calcium is responsible for strengthening their bones, teeth, and muscles.
- Potassium maintains the fluid balance in their body.
- Iron helps them in blood respiration and protects them from Anemia.
- Fibers keep their digestive health intact, improving and regulating their bowel movements.
- Carbohydrates are the primary source of their energy.
Are strawberry seeds safe for sugar gliders to consume?
Whenever you’re planning on feeding any fruit to your little pets, the fear of them choking on its seeds/pit/stone must cross your mind at some point. In the case of strawberries, is there a reason for you to worry? Well, not really.
Strawberries are not technically fruits but flowers. The seed-like things that you find on their surface are not seeds but tiny, individual fruits.
These fruits also have smaller seeds inside them, but they are far too little to pose a problem to your sugar gliders. Therefore, strawberry seeds are not something you need to worry about when feeding these fruits to your pets.
What about strawberry tops (calyx)? Are they edible to sugar gliders?
When you buy strawberries, you might’ve noticed that they sometimes come with a small, green top attached to them; these tops are also referred to as “calyx.” While we remove these tops while eating strawberries ourselves, do they need to be removed for your pets as well?
Yes, they do. Calyx itself doesn’t contain anything that could be lethal to their health. However, they’re often the parts sprayed with pesticides that could hurt your pet’s health. Moreover, the nutritional value of these tops is also not known, so it’s better to remove them as a precaution.
If you’ve purchased organic strawberries and do not want to remove the calyx, you can leave it on as well. But you shouldn’t expect your little pets to be crazy about them.
Can Joeys eat strawberries as well?
Has your pet sugar glider recently given birth to joeys? These adorable little creatures are even cuter than their parents. Their mere sight would make you want to smother them with love. However, if you’re planning on treating them with strawberries as a display of affection, you might want to rethink it.
From the moment they’re born to the time they turn eight weeks old, their mother’s milk is the only food that can meet their nutritional needs. Feeding them anything else during this time can mess with their fragile health.
These little joeys are only capable of eating solid food once they’re older than two months. You can feed them strawberries, or any other fruits and veggies, after this point.
Introducing strawberries to your joey’s diet
Is strawberry the first fruit you’re feeding to your joeys? If that’s the case, then you should go slow with these treats, feeding them 1-2 small pieces initially and giving them time to get accustomed to sugar. You should also check for any signs of allergies in the joeys at the beginning itself.
Can you feed dried strawberries to sugar gliders?
Although strawberries are not as sugary as fruits like bananas and watermelons, they still contain a substantial amount of sugar, particularly for your pet gliders.
The process of drying these berries removes all the water from them, leaving behind more concentrated sugar. And since excess sugar can prove detrimental to your pet’s health, it would be better not to feed them strawberries.
Strawberry by-products for sugar gliders
Many people think that since strawberries are okay for their pets, anything that has these fruits in them would be safe for them. However, this is hardly true.
Take a look at which strawberry by-products are safe for your pets and which ones aren’t:
Can you feed strawberry jams and jelly to sugar gliders?
While strawberries are safe for your pet’s consumption, feeding them strawberry jams and jelly might not be such a good idea.
These are processed foods manufactured solely for our consumption and might contain some additives or artificial flavors that are harmful to your sugar glider’s health. Even from a nutritional standpoint, they have little to offer to your pets.
Can you feed strawberry yogurt to sugar gliders?
Although sugar gliders are known to be lactose intolerant, it has been observed that yogurt, when fed in small amounts and infrequently, poses no threat to them. Therefore, if you want to treat your little pets with strawberry yogurts, go ahead by all means.
However, avoid feeding them store-bought strawberry yogurt as these might contain refined sugar and other additives. It would be much safer for your little pets if you feed them homemade yogurt instead.
Feeding strawberries to sugar gliders
Now that you’ve learned all about the dos and don’ts of feeding strawberries to your pets, here’s a step-by-step guide that can help you through the process:
Step 1: When you’re buying strawberries for your little pets, always go with ones that appear most fresh; don’t pick anything you wouldn’t eat yourself.
Step 2: If you can find organic strawberries in the market or a trusted supplier, purchase them. Organic strawberries are healthier for your pets than non-organic (commercially grown) ones as these have been cultivated in a protected environment and don’t contain any toxic chemicals, such as chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and so on.
Step 3: Once you’ve brought these fruits home, try to feed them to your gliders the same day since strawberries that are kept on the counter (and not refrigerated) tend to go bad in a couple of days. However, if you plan on feeding strawberries to your pets the next day, don’t chop them up in advance. Chopped strawberries have an even shorter lifespan. That’s why I’d recommend you chop these fruits right before you’re going to serve them to your pets.
Step 4: Before you start preparing strawberries for your sugar gliders, don’t forget to wash them first. Whether you’re feeding them organic or non-organic strawberries, washing them is a necessary step that you shouldn’t overlook. However, in the case of non-organic strawberries, you would need to wash them more thoroughly, preferably with lukewarm water, to get rid of any toxic chemicals that might be remaining.
Step 5: As we’ve already discussed above, the strawberry calyx is unsafe for your pets and should be removed first. As far as the rest of the fruit is concerned, you can serve it to your sugar gliders in several ways. If they’re fully grown adults, they would be able to eat a whole, unchopped strawberry without any trouble. However, if your pets are younger (yet to reach full maturity), chopping or slicing strawberries into smaller pieces would be more convenient.
Step 6: If you have veggies like broccoli or sprouts at home, it is a good idea to mix them with strawberries and present to your sugar gliders a richer, more nutritious salad of sorts.
Conclusion: Can Sugar Gliders Eat Strawberries?
Sugar gliders have become popular pets in recent years. I got mine back in 2009 and they quickly became some of my favorite animals to own. They are easy to take care of and very entertaining.
Sugar gliders can eat a wide variety of foods but their diet should consist primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables, with the occasional treat.
If you are looking for a fast and healthy snack that will satisfy your sugar glider’s sweet tooth, then strawberries are the perfect fruit. You should check for proper calcium and vitamin levels in your small friend’s diet to ensure that it is getting sufficient nutrition.