ExoticCritter Starting Member 1 Posts
Ok, this is kind of long, I apologize. And, I've been kind of embarrassed to ask, but I think it needs to be done.
So I got a glider from pocket pets, in my defense, this was 8 years ago, before Pocket Pet's bad reputation was so widespread.
The glider I got from them I named Ashes. She was the only female they had on them at the time, and was a little older than the other joeys there. She was also by far the most feisty, and I think in retrospect that was why she was the only female left.
At the time they told me to feed "apples, pellets, bread, vitamins, bottled water, and treats." With treats bring things like meat, eggs, fruit, vegetables, and yogart.
I hear their dietary advice has gotten worse over the years and they just recommend apples and pellets now, but I stuck to what they originally told me.
I bought a bigger cage for my glider.
I also bought her a male joey that I named Suggie 3 years later from a small local breeder- both because I felt my glider needed a friend, and because I really wanted a litter. I went to the small breeder instead this time both because Pocket Pets changed their policy (started neutering males), and because I started hearing bad things about Pocket Pets. But this glider was even feistier than the glider from Pocket Pets.
They did have a joey, which I kept. They also had a set of twins after, which didn't make it, and now both dad and the joey are neutered. When I took my gliders to the vet to be neutered, the vet commented that they were the healthiest gliders she's seen (granted, I don't think a lot of people bring healthy gliders to her).
My gliders are 8 (Ashes), 5 (Suggie), and 4 (Smokey).
Currently I'm feeding apples, pellets, bread, vitamins, and bottled water daily.
They also get extra fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, bugs, yogart, and reptile calcium (because I'm worried if Pocket Pet's vitamins are enough), sometimes processed food (hey, I'm not perfect), and dental biscuits as frequent treats (about 50% of days).
I don't know who to believe on dietary advice.
My sugar gliders look extremely healthy- and even the vet commented they were healthy (although I was too embarrassed to mention what I was feeding them). And pocket pets has all that veterinary support(their food is supposedly backed by veterinarians) and thousands of customers. My gliders don't smell as bad as other people's either I've noticed (I frankly don't care if they stink, I was just mentioning that since it means Pocket Pets was actually right about something- and it could be due to keeping the cage clean instead of diet).
But everyone else online is acting like the diet will kill or sicken the gliders in a very short time frame (which has been completely opposite of my experience- my glider from them is 8 and still completely healthy). Is it just because I give them a more complex diet with additional supplementation than what they are telling their current customers?
I've been considering switching to the Priscilla Price Exotic Diet. What are your thoughts on that? I like that it can be frozen in mass quantities, so I don't have to prepare it daily, and it looks like one of the simpler/cheaper diet plans. Should I switch, or keep them on what they are currently on if it seems to be working? If I switch, again I'm shooting for a relatively simple/cheap diet, preferably one where I can freeze mass quantities.
Are the monkey biscuits and cereal a required part of the Priscilla Price Exotic Diet? And while I feed mealworms as treats, would feeding daily make my gliders obese? And feeding bugs daily would be inconvenient (although do-able if that's what they really need).
Are there any other diets that are relatively cheap/simple that can be frozen that you recommend? I know gliderpedia has a list they recommend but what's your experience with them?
Or should I continue feeding what I'm feeding?
And how do I break my adult gliders from biting? Truthfully they don't seemed to be handled enough, because they learned they can intimidate me when they bite me. Ashes seems bipolar (sweet one day and mean the next), Suggie is just mean, and Smokey (the one I bred myself) is the nicest (but still nips occasionally).
I'm kind of frustrated. I love my babies dearly, but all the dietary info is so conflicting, and I wish they didn't bite me so much.
Truthfully, I think they weren't the best choice of pet for me (I realize they are an AMAZING pet for the right person- I've seen people do great with them, it's just that like everyone isn't suited to handle a horse or Border Collie, everyone isn't suited for sugar gliders). But I refuse to give up on them or surrender them to a rescue. They are my responsibility, and pets aren't disposable.
Bossihamham Glider 195 Posts
Wow what a lot of questions. I'm not the most experienced person here but I can give you a little help with diet. There are many approved diets on this website. Look at the instructions and ingredients. Pick whatever diet you think you will be able to prepare. almost all the diets can be stored in a freezer and will last you for about a month. Whichever one you pick just please follow the instructions on how to prepare it. Don't mix two or add vitamins or something like that. Definitely get your gliders off the glider chow. They may look healthy now but they can develope diseases down the line. Until you get a protein staple try feeding them different kinds of fruit like cantaloupe, papaya, watermelon, blueberries, mango. They also need veggies like peas, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, etc. you can look up what's safe to feed them and what's not. Each glider should get 1 tablespoon of fruits and 1 tablespoon of veggies per night. Things like insects are mostly treats. They don't need to be fed for them to be healthy. You can also stop feeding them bread. That's just a filler if they fill up on bread they won't eat the good, healthy stuff. Right now you should stop giving the extra calcium. You could be overdoses get them. Whatever staple you choose should will have enough calcium. I don't have experience with the Priscilla price diet but I know that many people are happy with it but you need to order her supplements from her website. I also believe that the fruit is mixed in with the protein staple so you won't have to give them extra fruit. To help with the biting. Try making a "psssst" sound at them when they bite, it's a gliders way of saying no. Some gliders have problems with skin. I think they are weirded out my the fact that humans don't have fur like they do so they bite. Try keeping them away from exposed skin. Hope this info helps
emolga Joey 28 Posts
i mean, i know some people will completely condemn glider owners for feeding the PP diet, but it sounds like you've genuinely been looking out for your babies and have been trying really hard to make sure they get everything they need.
in terms of food, it's a bit pricey at the start, but it saves a ton of money, the original HPW diet
is one of the most recommended foods for gliders, seeing as they eat sap in the wild, not pellets. it imitates the sap for them, basically, while giving them all of the nutritional vitamins they need.
if you DO plan on switching foods with your gliders, make sure you don't completely stop one food and only start the other. [this goes for any animal, really]. leave some pellets out but also introduce the HPW. then decrease the amount of pellets and increase the HPW until the pellets are phased out completely.
if you want to keep using the pellets that's totally up to you -- but my suggestion is to phase them out. but if nothing else, PLEASE don't use the glide-a-mins that PP uses. they just say to "sprinkle it onto the food", but there's no telling what would be under-dosing or over-dosing them on the nutrition they need to stay healthy :/ i know your gliders have been okay so far.... but i really, really, really, really recommend you get rid of the glide-a-mins.
if you feed mealworms to your babies every day i don't think it should be a problem -- unless you're giving them, like, 10 each.
some people use them as a staple protein and others use them as treats. so it really depends on what diet you choose.
when they bite you, what are you doing? do they just come on over and bite for no reason? is it when you try to handle them? when you try to put your hand in the pouch or give them treats, or...?
one thing that helps to stop my gliders from biting is me making a loud "PSST!!" sound whenever they bite too hard. this is apparently a noise their colony-mates make in the wild to let the others know to knock it off. & i know it sounds weird, but if your glider goes to bite you, try to just take the bite. they have learned that it gets a reaction from you, which is what they want. but if you take away the reaction, it takes away their motive for biting.
honestly if your gliders seem like they're still not so friendly with you, i would perhaps try re-bonding with them as you would with brand-new gliders. give them things with your smell. talk to them gently outside of the cage. feed them treats. wear them and softly stroke them thru the pouch. give them tent time. etc, etc, etc. it's worth a try
i hope this helps!