Examples of fake sugar glider food

Ok, I got the consent of the owner of the pictures to include them in this blog. Now, see what I mean? They look cheap and full of artificial colouring…. I’m even scared to eat them myself! They are generic cereal…. I have seen this marketed for hamsters before. Recently some person on Mudah.my also marketed sugar glider food but it was repackaged hamster food, with loads of sunflower seeds, corn, millet, and some cat food in it as well with oats…. poor gliders indeed. Please stay away from such products. Check carefully on the ingredients and how it looks like, don’t be fooled but the pet shop marketer or promoter. Best to just stay loyal to popular brands that are being carried by large pet shops.

Is papaya safe for sugar gliders?

Recently this topic came up in a facebook group on sugar gliders Malaysia. I have been doing some research, particularly research on moms to be websites and baby websites. Then I found something interesting.

The question, is papaya dangerous to feed to your sugar gliders that are pregnant or have joeys in pouch?

Actually, there is no danger.

According to this :

Papaya serves as a natural way to soothe the heartburn experienced during pregnancy. The papaya enzyme that helps soothe indigestion is called papain, or vegetable pepsin. Papain is found in the fruit’s latex and leaves. A fully ripe papaya is not considered dangerous; however, a papaya that is the least bit unripe contains a latex substance that is believed to trigger uterine contractions and may lead to early labor or miscarriage. Researchers have noted that unripe papaya latex acts like prostaglandin and oxytocin, which the body makes to start labor. Synthetic prostaglandin and oxytocin are commonly used to start or strengthen labor contractions.

It is harmful to feed an unripe papaya, a green or half green papaya. If you are feeding a fully ripe papaya then it is ok. A sugar glider’s gestation or pregnancy is only 15 to 18 days, then the joey climbes into the mother’s pouch. So how would you know if your glider is pregnant? I won’t if I’m pregnant if my pregnancy is only 2 months, I would have to take a pregnancy test to know. A sugar glider’s pregnancy goes undected until the joeys go into the pouch. So, there is no risk feeding papaya to your sugar glider. I have been feeding papaya to my sugar gliders for such a long time, and they breed well with rarely any complications. The joeys turn out healthy and strong.

There are websites that say if you are pregnant, just avoid papaya altogether. Well, it is the green papaya that contains the latex, not the ripe ones. Papaya is rich in calcium, so do not leave this out in your glider’s diet. Again, always remember to feed other fruits as well. Sugar gliders should have at least 3 different types of fruits for each meal. A variety keeps them healthy.

A bargain that you shouldn’t miss….

It’s been awhile…. I actually finished my final exams but things just keep popping up that I have not had time to take pictures of my joeys to update their future owners. I apologise….. You will get to see them next week, I promise hehehehe…..

Anyway, I just had to talk about this great deal. Now, I am not paid in any way to write this, I’m just sharing this wonderful bargain. Oh yes, next week, I will be writing a new category on PRODUCT REVIEWS. Yups, many have asked me about reviewing items and to post about them. So stay tuned…..

Alright, back to the bargain. Now I’m sure you guys have noticed that there is a new product in town for gliders….. ChubbyPetsGarden has recently launched a new product, called HPW Diet Ready. I know some may have mentioned on the internet that it is a copycat of the also new Bugsy product HPW Complete. Well, it is not at all. HPW Diet Ready was created and launched before HPW Complete was marketed in Malaysia, so there was no way to copy the other brand’s product. I have tried both products already, and they are different. CPG HPW Diet Ready, to be honest, I was at first skeptical of trying it because I don’t really like the amount of honey going into the blended version, but the new HPW Diet Ready is quite unique. And guess what? My gliders LOVE IT!!!! The most awesome thing about this is that it is just super easy to make, and 100% instant. Just mix with warm water, and it is ready. The consistancy is just like your blended version of HPW, and I did get a hint of powdered cereal and grain in it, so your glider would be getting some good carbohydrate and fiber to it’s diet.

Good news now…. ChubbyPetsGarden is now having their 3rd Anniversary sale, so they are giving away a superb gift…… buy 12 packets of HPW Diet Ready and you get……. a free Wodent Wheel Senior!!! That’s like RM105, given to you free with just buying your glider’s diet. Too good to be true….. So do not wait, grab your wheel now.

RM32

HPW Diet Ready promotion

If you are a loyal fan of the normal HPW, the promotion is also available but you have to buy 14 packets.

Again, as a reminder, I’m a fellow consumer. I am not paid by the CPG company in any money or kind, nor am I sponsored by them.

Are we over supplementing our gliders?

Big question, are we over supplementing our gliders?

Well, I started thinking about it after my dad saw me making GliderSLURP and he was like:

“Wow, that’s alot of good stuff you are putting in your glider food, be careful not to over supplement yah?”

My dad was talking to me base on his dog caring knowledge. My family love dogs and we have quite a number of dog care books, from health to the specific breed books. And I do remember reading something that said we should not be feeding extra vitamins to our dogs if we are already giving them dog kibble or dried dog food. This is coz it the dried processed food already has vitamins and minerals added, which are enough for the dog’s daily requirements. So how about gliders?

To me, it could be true… so the safest way is not to over supplement your gliders. Stick with a basic food supplement like GliderSLURP or HPW or whatever supplement you are using. Forget about the additional vitamin syrup, that should be given only when your pet is recovering from sickness or is having poor appetite. Even if you think you should give a little vitamin, I think I would rather give them some fruits or juice or even some fruit-base natural yogurt because when it is fresh and in food, the level of the vitamin and mineral is not too concentrated for the body. Same goes with calcium. I know gliders need to be given a high diet in calcium but oversupplementing can cause a few of these problems:

Constipation, Urinary tract infection,  kidney stones, abdominal pains, peptic ulcers, muscle weakness, memory loss, and confusion. Too much calcium can also interfere with the function of the heart, causing high blood pressure and weakened heart muscle.

So do remember, if you are feeding papaya or any food high in calcium, then try not to give another type of food loaded with calcium. It can be too much. That’s why it is good to balance it off with a food lower in calcium, like apple or pear or mango.

When buying supplements like Gliderade, Gliderbooster, any type of glider pellets or kibble…. do remember, not to over do it. You may think it is beneficial but if you are already feeding a diet that is quite balanced with fresh fruit, protein source and a diet supplement, you may not need to give so much of the other supplements. Use wisely and carefully.

What I normally use for my gliders? Well, first of all, GliderSLURP is given everyday, and then there is a little fruit given. I only have Rep-Cal and Herptivite at home, I rarely use my Gliderade, which has been in the freezer for 2 years…. and I have loads of organic Acacia Gum which my gliders love. This is good, a complex carbohydrate source that sugar gliders benefit from.

Pellets

This interesting topic came about when many people have asked me on my opinion about it. So what about it?

I’m normally hit with stuff like “which brand?” or “is it good for them?” and so on.

Sugar gliders are sap suckers. They eat tree sap and nectar from blossoms. Their teeth are designed to chew on fruits and strip bark (that’s where the long bottom front teeth is for) and their back molars are for chewing up insects. So is it wise to feed them pellets? My answer is….. yes and no.

Whatever pelleted or supplement food available now for sugar gliders, majority is from the very established American company, Exotic Nutrition. They export world wide. And yes, it’s also in Malaysia, just renamed into many brands by the local petshop or company.

Have a look at Exotic Nutrition’s sugar glider page.

I have tried a number of pellets on my gliders, and they don’t really enjoy them. Why? Because it’s not a natural food for them. Some would readily eat and some won’t at all. To me, many of the pellets in the market are still lacking in high quality ingredients. I look at the ingredients and find alot of fillers like corn, soybean, beet pulp, and rarely or not much real meat. Coz I study a little on food nutrition, and I keep track on nutrition on dogfood, I realize that the dog kibbles like Innova Evo is way way better than what’s available in the market for sugar gliders today.

So does this mean we should feed dogfood? No no no…. we shouldn’t just feed dogfood to sugar gliders, they are not dogs anyway.

Back to the topic, any good sugar glider pellets should not be used as a staple food. Do not assume a glider can just eat dried food like how dogs and cats do these days. When we look at dogs and cats, they have been domesticated for a very long period, and lots of research and experiments have been done to produce good quality dog food. Sugar gliders are still new, so research on pellet nutrition is also still new. Pellets also do not cause gum disease (lumpy jaw), in fact, it helps reduce it. When a glider is consuming lots of sweet stuff in the wild, it cleans it’s teeth by stripping bark. When in captivity, gliders don’t do this often so their gums will somehow have some sensitivity. So if they chew on something very hard all of a sudden, it can cause gum injury, which would lead to an infection and that’s where lumpy jaw comes about. By giving your glider a pellet or 2 a day, your glider’s will exercise it’s jaws and the gums will stay healthy and clean.

Best advice, use pellets as treats. You can give a few pellets a day. My gliders enjoy Innova Evo, but since this is dog kibble and super high in protein, I only give 2 pieces of kibble to each glider and it’s not given everyday. As for pellets, I find majority of my gliders favour Sunseed Sunscription Vita Sugar Glider over glider cereal and premium sugar glider diet. Anyway, I only offer this when necessary and a teaspoon is only given to 2 gliders. I still believe fresh is the best, dry food should come second.

Be warned yah, you may end up wasting your money coz majority of gliders dislike the smell and taste of the pellets. If possible, try and get samples or ask a friend who has the pellets to let you have a few pieces to try on your glider. Coz I don’t want people buying and then complaining their gliders hate it. I get that so often with friends that were talked into buying pellets and biscuits, so it can be a big let down.

Sunseed Sunscription Vita Sugar Glider

The jambu air

I love this fruit! Whenever I feel the need to cool off on a hot day, I’ll scout for a fruit stall for the chilled cut fruits and I will always, ALWAYS get jambu air, nicely chilled and sprinkled with some asam powder. So lovely and yummy.

This fruit is also good for our gliders too. In asian countries, it is known as jambu air. There are many species of jambu air, so I’m not really sure what are their names. They come in various shades of pink, red and some green or white. And also in different sizes. The best Jambu that I like would be Jambu air madu, really sweet like sugar. Even my gliders go crazy for it but then this kind is terribly expensive.

According to a few sugar glider websites, the calcium to phosphorus ratio is also good, a 3.6:1. Now isn’t that a great fruit to have? But take in mind, even though the calcium ratio is good, we should always feed each fruit variety in moderation, just like papaya is high in calcium. The jambu air is also know as the rose apple, cherry apple, water apple, jambos, malay apple. I guess rose, water and apple came up because some people say it has a rose-kind of taste, and it is juicy and crunchy just like an apple. But then some varieties may not have a sweet taste. I have eaten some that are quite bland, almost similar to a potato flavour. The fruit does have seeds, some are tiny, like in my photo, the little dark coloured dot and some would have a bigger cavity with more seeds. It’s wise to take these out. I know some can even be seedless.

Anyway, my gliders love these and my uncle has a tree that is chemical free. I went to harvest what I can and this is what I got!

A huge basket of jambu air. The white ones are from a different tree from my uncle’s neighbour. But all the red ones are from 1 tree. My gliders had a jambu night! LOL

Wrong information going around

Again, the internet can be both informational and dangerous. Informational would be where we gain knowledge on sugar gliders but the danger part would be the wrong information that is going around.

Recently, again, I stumbled upon another sugar glider advertisement in mudah.my. Again, bad information. This time it goes like this:

Actually it is easy to feed sugar glider,no special foods are required. You probably already have all the foods you needs on hand. Feed them twice a day . They also need fresh water daily. Give them more fresh fruits and vegetables. Such as pineapples,apples,peaches,strawberries,
honeydews,oranges,blueberries,melon,fruit juices,dried fruit,grapes,papaya,fruit jams and assorted baby food. They also like corn,raisins,carrots.sweet potatoes,pumpkin seeds,
sunflowers seeds.

Disturbing? To me it is. This person is high lighting that we should feed seeds to gliders. This person did not list out what fruits should be limited and also advice on feeding raisins and corn! How about fruit jams? The only fruit jams gliders should take are the preservative and sugar free ones. How about dried fruit? It should be the organic type since the sulphur used in the cheap dried fruits can cause harm to gliders.

I hope people are bright enough to understand which information is correct and which is crap. There are many websites out there that’s full of crappy information that can kill a glider so beware.

Egg is good!

I believe in giving gliders fresh food as it is packed full of goodness for them. One of the food stuff that I normally advice people to give is eggs. Why eggs? How to feed? Naturally sugar gliders in the wild would eat bird eggs when insects are scarce. I have given eggs both in raw and cooked form before but I would never advice people to give raw chicken’s egg because mass farming of eggs sometimes carry parasites and bacteria that is harmful for us and gliders. I give parrot eggs that are freshly laid by my cockatiel whenever she lays one. Infertile eggs and they are just the right size. My gliders love the fresh eggs but then it is very very limited since my cockatiel is not an egg laying machine. She only lays twice a year.

Anyway, back to the goodness of eggs. I got this email from my dad and decided to post this here. Remember, only give cooked eggs, be it hardboiled or scrambled with no oil. Both the egg white and egg yolk have to be fed together. And remember, never overfeed. Too much of a good thing can be bad as well.

1. Eggs are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneraton due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.

2. In another study, researchers found that people who eat eggs every day lower their risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.

3. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids.

4. According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.

5. They are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.

6. They contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.

7. New research shows that, contrary to previous belief, moderate consumption of eggs does not have a negative impact on cholesterol.. In fact, recent studies have shown that regular consumption of two eggs per day does not affect a person’s lipid profile and may, in fact, improve it. Research suggests that it is saturated fat that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.

8. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D.

9. Eggs may prevent breast cancer. In one study, women who consumed at least 6 eggs per week lowered their risk of breast cancer by 44%.

10. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.

11. Eggs are packed with a range of nutrients including protein, essential vitamins A, D, E, and B group as well as minerals iron, phosphorus and zinc. They’re relatively low in saturated fat, making them a healthy fast food for all the family.They’re low in calories with only around 80 kcals per medium egg – so they are great if you’re on a diet, especially combined with vegetables and salads as part of healthy balanced meals!

12. Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods money can buy. They contain a wealth of vitamins, minerals and protein. In particular, they contain B vitamins that perform many vital functions in the body and are especially rich in vitamin B2 riboflavin, important in the release of energy in the body, and vitamin B12 needed for normal blood formation.

13. Eggs are a source of vitamin D, which is involved in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and is necessary for bone health. They also contain vitamin A – essential for normal growth and development and vitamin E that is necessary for cell protection from the damage caused by free radicals.

14. Eggs contain many essential minerals, in particular phosphorus, essential for healthy teeth and bones, as well as iron, which is essential for red blood cell formation and zinc, for the normal function of the immune system.

15. Trace elements are also present in eggs, especially iodine, required to make thyroid hormones, and selenium, an important antioxidant. Antioxidants work by preventing the damage caused by uncontrolled oxidation in the body and are believed to help protect against diseases such as heart disease and some cancers.

16. Eggs are a great source of choline. Although not an essential nutrient, because it can be made by the body, dietary choline has become the focus of recent interest because of its role in brain function. Studies in animals suggest that choline intake during pregnancy might influence development of the baby’s brain in the uterus, but this has not been proven in humans.

Source:
http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/10-health-benefits-of-eggs.html

http://www.britegg.co.uk/nutrition05/startnutrition.html

The hibiscus plant

In the wild,  sugar gliders live on a diet of tree sap and gum, blossoms and pollen as well as insects and small edible fruits. The insects and tree gum are much favoured during the breeding season. Anyway, blossoms provide the gliders nectar that is very nutritious for them. In captivity, it is good to provide them a bit of safe edible flowers. I found out that the hibiscus plant, which can be found almost anywhere in Malaysia is high in vitamins and minerals, and of course, calcium!

Now isn’t that great to hear?

There are over 200 species of hibiscus flowers, in a variety of beautiful colors, that belong in the family Malvaceae. They are native to warm, tropical and subtropical regions around the world but can be grown almost anywhere in pots.

The hibiscus is a plant rich in Vitamin C. it has been made into tea because studies show it can lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as benefits the liver. Impressive!

Hibiscus flowers are also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. Being high in calcium, it certainly is a good treat for our gliders. I offer the leaves and hibiscus flowers to my tortoises and they love it. Rich in fiber and calcium, I believe the hibiscus plant is the most useful to us sugar glider owners.

Remember, if you are going to offer some hibiscus to your suggies, make sure it comes from a plant free of chemicals and insecticides or pesticides. Give your gliders safe plants. Don’t take the risk.

Dubia roaches (Blaptica dubia)

I don’t have many of these roaches but then I find them the best to feed gliders and the best to breed. Why? I actually am scared of our local cockroach, phobia… but when it comes to dubias, I find them interesting and not so scary. The females have no wings, the males have wings…. but they rarely fly. Now normal cockroaches smell really bad, but with dubias, they smell earthy…. so that is why I would say they are easier to breed. They don’t smell, they don’t climb vertically, they do not fly and they are not noisy. Crickets are stinky, noisy and can escape by jumping or climbing. The adults are blackish with brown markings. The growing nymphs are brownish with spots. They appear white right after molting.

My gliders love this crunchy meaty roaches, but I have to limit to only males getting eaten coz they do not breed very fast. And I only give as a special treat for now. I hope I can get my hands on more soon. Anyway, dubias also give birth. At one time, they can give birth from 20 to 30 little nymps.

You can read more about dubias from these links:

http://www.nyworms.com/dubiacare.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaptica_dubia

Here are some pictures of my gliders having a dubia feast.