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Providing healthy treats can lend variety to an otherwise monotonous diet and add behavioral enrichment for animals that spend their lives in a small, limited environment. Most importantly, treats form a connection between pets and pet owners, and can help in training your pet to come when called, and provide good exercise for teeth and jaws. Treats are also a great tool to assist with the bonding process! Read more about bonding with your sugar glider.
A treat can be any delectable snack, the most popular being yogurt drops, dried fruit or insects. Yogurt drops are usually made with sugar and can be high in fat; you should try to limit feeding these as much as possible. Dried fruit is a simple and cost effective alternative to fresh fruit. Fresh fruit can be expensive, spoils easily and must be washed and cut into bite size pieces before feeding. Dried fruit has all the same benefits of fresh fruit but doesn't easily expire and is very convenient. That being said, it is important to limit fruit because it has natural sugars and can be very filling. Gliders will often fill up on sugary fruits and not be hungry enough to eat their pellet diet that provides other important nutrients like protein and healthy carbs & fat. Insects are another treat that can help add protein to the diet while feeding your glider something that is part of their natural diet found in the wild. Live mealworms are certainly one of the favorites for gliders, but should be fed along with a calcium supplement. Read more about feeding mealworms to gliders. Canned and dried insects are another great option. Not only are they cheaper, they are much more low maintenance and convenient to store. Treats can be used to coax a glider out of its pouch or hiding place in order to make human contact with you. Feeding treats by hand help to form a connection between gliders and pet owners, and can help your glider learn to trust you. Treats should be fed sparingly, they are not a substitute for a regular, balanced diet. Offer treats 2-3 times per week or as a small portion (less than 10%) of the main diet. Treats may lead to health issues like obesity when overfed. If your pet is not consuming its regular balanced diet, withhold serving treats until stable eating habits resume. Read more about common nutritional problems for sugar gliders.
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Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not able to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please contact an accredited veterinarian if you have a pet emergency.