Can Sugar Gliders Eat Cactus?

Nutritional Value

Cactus is an excellent source of nutritional value for sugar gliders. Sugar gliders are primarily insectivorous, so their diet should consist of more protein than fruit sugars or gums. A good diet for your glider should contain greater than 50% protein. Cactus is also an excellent source of fiber and vitamin C.

Edible cactus pads contain significant amounts of vitamin K. This vitamin is essential for healthy cell growth and supports skeletal health. It also activates several proteins important for blood clotting. A low vitamin K level can result in excessive bleeding. Fortunately, the nutritional value of cactus is relatively high, ranging from one microgram to 10 micrograms per cactus pad.

Potential Risks

Sugar gliders have a delicate respiratory system and are sensitive to wood-chip-based bedding. Aim to avoid using wood shavings as bedding for your pet. Sugar gliders don’t chew regularly, and therefore they shouldn’t be exposed to wood chips. Also, sugar gliders shouldn’t be given toys or accessories that contain wood chips.

Sugar gliders’ metabolic rate is similar to that of marsupials. In fact, their heart rate is half that of eutherian mammals. They also conserve energy by going into torpor for up to 16 hours at a time.

Cactus fruits are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. These compounds reduce inflammation and promote good health. They also have dietary fiber and reduce cholesterol levels. They are also a source of iron and other minerals, which are essential for the growth of bones, immune system, and metabolism.

Serving Size

Sugar gliders are prone to toxicity poisoning, a common cause of death. Unlike humans, sugar gliders cannot digest large amounts of chemicals found in tap water. Most metropolitan water sources are subject to spikes in chemical levels that can be fatal to small pets, especially birds. As such, feeding them a variety of food items can help avoid toxicity poisoning.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are suitable for sugar gliders. They will also eat cooked lean meat, poultry, and eggs. Cottage cheese and yogurt can also be fed to sugar gliders.

Other Alternatives

Sugar gliders need a diet that is high in protein and fruit sugars. Generally, they should be fed a diet that contains at least 50% protein and half fruit sugars. Fruits and vegetables are also acceptable, but should be cleaned thoroughly before feeding. Try to stay away from vegetables that are difficult to clean. It is important to use bottled water for feeding sugar gliders because tap water may contain harmful chemicals. Other potentially toxic vegetables to avoid include lettuce, broccoli, avocado, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and leeks.

Gums are important sources of dietary minerals, particularly calcium. Gliders are omnivorous in nature, but their dietary preferences tend to lean towards gummivory. Gliders also differ in their ingestive habits depending on the season and region. While their diets are largely made up of Acacia Gum, sugar gliders have a caecum that is elongated and is a great source of calcium.