Last Modified

January 13, 2024 by Umair Shahid

Being omnivores, sugar gliders enjoy a mix of foods in the wild, munching on things like eucalyptus sap, acacia gum, and a bunch of insects and spiders. But, bringing this variety to their dinner bowl at home isn’t as easy.

You’ve got to be careful and make sure their diet is like what they’d eat in nature to avoid issues like being too chubby or missing out on important nutrients. Now, here’s a thought – can sugar gliders have turkey? 

This comes up, especially when we’re thinking about what these cute critters can munch on during special times like Thanksgiving or when there’s some extra deli turkey lying around. This article is going to dive into this turkey and sugar glider connection. 

We will chat about the good stuff it might do and the things we should watch out for. Whether you’re a pro at taking care of sugar gliders or just someone curious, stick around for this interesting journey into the world of sugar gliders and turkey in their diet.

Can Sugar Gliders Have Turkey

Can Sugar Gliders Eat Turkey?

Sugar gliders are flexible eaters, chowing down on a mix of foods depending on what’s around them. In the wild, they feast on eucalyptus and acacia tree sap, pollen, and nectar, plus a bunch of insects and spiders. This menu changes with the seasons, matching the different food options available.

When sugar gliders become our pets, it’s super important to mimic their natural diet closely. This helps steer clear of health issues like getting too hefty or missing out on necessary nutrients. The experts at the Association of Sugar Glider Veterinarians suggest a daily diet that’s about 15-20% of their weight. This includes balanced pellet kibble, a mix with nectar or sap, a few insects every other day, a vitamin boost with calcium, and a mix of fresh veggies and fruits.

There’s some debate on the ideal mix, with different folks suggesting a diet that’s 75% pellets and 25% fruits, veggies, and nuts. Keep in mind, that the science behind what sugar gliders need is always changing, and the internet is full of nutritional advice that isn’t regulated. So, it’s a smart move to talk to a vet or a sugar glider expert to make sure your pet’s diet is just right.

For a well-rounded sugar glider menu, include a mix of fruits, veggies, and protein. When they’re kept as pets, having variety in their diet is key, and it’s best to skip anything with preservatives, sugar, or colorful extras. Some owners suggest a meal plan with half protein, a quarter of fruit, and a quarter of veggies.

Can Sugar Gliders Eat Deli Turkey?

Sugar gliders can enjoy turkey, including deli turkey, but it’s important to be mindful of how much and how often. Deli turkey, like many processed meats, often comes with a hefty dose of salt and preservatives, which aren’t the best for sugar gliders. Too much salt can lead to problems like dehydration and kidney issues in these little critters.

When treating sugar gliders to deli turkey, make sure it’s low in fat and doesn’t have added spices, sauces, or other things that could be harmful. Plus, serving it in small, boneless pieces is a must to avoid any choking risks.

Even though turkey can bring in some protein, it shouldn’t take the place of the main protein source in a sugar glider’s diet, which is usually insects. Insects bring in extra nutrients, like chitin, that sugar gliders need. So, deli turkey should just be a small part of their diet, kind of like an occasional special snack or something extra alongside their regular meals.

Can Sugar Gliders Eat Thanksgiving Turkey?

During Thanksgiving, it’s okay for sugar gliders to have some turkey, but there are important guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Plain, cooked turkey: Give your sugar glider plain, cooked turkey without any spices or extras. Some seasonings, like garlic and onion, can be harmful to them.
  2. Moderation is key: Turkey should only be a small part of your sugar glider’s diet and shouldn’t replace their main protein source, which is usually insects. Think of turkey as a special treat or something extra alongside their regular meals.
  3. Boneless is better: Before offering turkey to your sugar glider, make sure it’s boneless. Bones can be a choking hazard and may cause harm if swallowed.
  4. Avoid processed foods: Be careful with processed holiday foods. They might have lots of salt and preservatives, which aren’t great for sugar gliders. Stick to natural, simple foods.

By following these precautions, you can ensure that your sugar glider enjoys a safe and tasty Thanksgiving treat.

See also  Can Sugar Gliders Have Cucumbers? (Vet Reviewed)

Do Sugar Gliders Eat Turkey in the Wild?

In the wild, sugar gliders are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they eat a variety of foods based on what’s available. Their natural diet includes things like eucalyptus and acacia tree sap, pollen, nectar, manna (a sugar deposit from tree wounds), honeydew (sugar from sap-sucking insects), and a mix of insects and spiders. Importantly, they don’t naturally munch on turkey or any kind of bird.

In a home environment, sugar gliders can enjoy different foods, including turkey, but with some guidelines. Turkey can be a good source of lean protein for them, but it needs to be cooked, plain, and boneless to avoid potential health issues and choking risks. However, turkey should be a side dish, not the main event in their diet. It’s crucial to stick as closely as possible to their natural diet to prevent nutrition-related issues.

It’s worth noting that many health problems in sugar gliders seen by vets are linked to their diet. Obesity, malnutrition, and osteodystrophy are often the result of an improper diet. So, providing a balanced diet that mimics what they eat in the wild is essential to keep these adorable creatures healthy.

How to Safely Feed Turkey to Sugar Gliders?

If you’re thinking about sharing turkey with your sugar gliders, you can do it safely by following these simple steps and precautions. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to prepare and serve turkey to your sugar gliders:

Preparing the Turkey:

  1. Choose the right turkey: Pick lean, unseasoned turkey. Avoid any seasoned, fried, or additive-laden options, as these can be harmful to sugar gliders.
  2. Cook the turkey: Make sure the turkey is fully cooked before serving. You can boil, bake, or roast it, but steer clear of seasonings or oils.
  3. Remove the bones: Before offering it to your sugar glider, double-check that all bones are taken out to prevent any choking hazards.
  4. Cut into small pieces: Since sugar gliders can’t handle large food chunks, cut the turkey into small, manageable pieces that are easy for them to eat.

Serving Turkey:

  1. Serve in moderation: Remember, turkey should only be a small part of your sugar glider’s diet. It shouldn’t take the place of their main protein source, usually insects.
  2. Mix with other foods: For a balanced meal, you can mix the turkey with other parts of their diet, like fruits and vegetables.

By following these steps, you can treat your sugar gliders to some turkey without compromising their health. Just remember, moderation is key, and adding variety to their diet ensures they get all the nutrients they need.

Introducing Turkey to Their Diet

Introducing new foods to sugar gliders, like turkey, requires a thoughtful approach. Here are some tips to make the process smoother:

1. Introduce gradually: Begin by incorporating a small amount of turkey into their regular food. Slowly increase the turkey portion over a few days or weeks to let them get used to it.

2. Monitor their reaction: Keep an eye on your sugar glider’s behavior and health. If they show disinterest in the turkey or display signs of discomfort, it’s best to stop feeding it to them.

3. Consult a vet: If you’re uncertain about adding turkey to your sugar glider’s diet, seek advice from a vet or a pet nutrition expert. They can provide guidance tailored to your glider’s specific needs.

It’s important to note that while turkey can offer valuable protein, it shouldn’t replace the fundamental elements of their diet, which ideally mirrors their natural food intake. Always strive for a balanced and nutritious diet to safeguard your sugar glider’s well-being and prevent potential health issues.


Sugar gliders can include turkey in their diet, but it’s essential to do so in moderation and with proper preparation – cooked, boneless, and without seasoning. Turkey should not replace their main protein source, usually insects. 

Avoid high-sodium and processed options, such as deli turkey, and use them sparingly. When introducing new foods like turkey, monitor your sugar glider’s response, and consult a vet if you’re uncertain. Overall, ensuring a balanced diet that closely resembles their natural intake is vital for the health and well-being of sugar gliders.


I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.

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