Super sour and full of flavor, lemons are a big part of many cuisines. Though some people enjoy a lemon on its own, most people use lemons to enhance the flavor of foods. Since lemons are very healthy for us humans, it would seem that they are healthy for our sugar gliders as well.
Do not make this assumption about any new food you plan to feed your sugar gliders. Unfortunately, there are foods that are healthy or okay for humans that sugar gliders should not eat.
So, what about lemons? Can sugar gliders eat lemons? Can sugar gliders eat lemon peels? The quick and easy answer is: Yes, sugar gliders can eat lemons and lemon peels if it is in moderation. The peels especially should only be fed in moderation. And do not feed your sugar gliders lemon seeds.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Lemon Peel and Lemon Seeds?
When feeding lemons to sugar gliders follow the same rules of thumb as nearly all other produce. If people eat a part of the fruit or vegetable, then it is likely fine for sugar gliders to as well. If we don’t eat a part of the produce, then it is likely not good for sugar gliders to eat.
The next rule of thumb to follow is, fresh and frozen are best. Never feed you suggies canned produce or jellies. These processes involve using preservatives that your sugar gliders really shouldn’t be eating.
As humans, we obviously eat the flesh of lemons and use the juice and peel in our foods and drinks. All of this is also fine for your sugar gliders to have also. However, we don’t eat the seeds and they likewise should be avoided by sugar gliders.
If your sugar gliders actually enjoy a slice of lemon, remove the seeds before giving it to them. If you forget to remove the seeds, odds are, your wide-eyed pals will just eat around them. You don’t want to give them a chance to nibble on the seeds, so it is best to simply remove them first.
Sugar gliders can eat lemon peels. But because the calcium to phosphorus ratio is very high, they should only have a little bit of lemon peel. If you offer your suggies a slice of lemon with the peel still attached, they probably won’t each much of the peel.
Lemon peel zest on the other hand, is something many of sugar gliders seem to enjoy. This is great, because you can use the zest to make their salads tastier and also give them a little extra calcium if their meal is on the low end.
If you do opt to treat your sugar gliders to lemon peel, be sure to wash the peel very well. The pesticides that have likely been used on store bought lemons aren’t healthy for your sugar glider to eat. To make sure you don’t accidentally feed your lovable friends any pesticides, it’s not a bad idea to buy organic lemons.
Lemons and Lemon Peels Should Only Be Fed to Sugar Gliders in Moderation
Really, when it comes to most treats, sugar gliders should only have them in moderation. For some treats, a small daily dose is fine, for other treats you should keep them to weekly or even less frequent. When it comes to lemons, daily treats of lemon and lemon peel are fine as long as it is in small quantities.
First, while they are healthy, lemons contain nowhere near all of the vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. that sugar gliders need to maintain healthy diet. In the wild, sugar gliders eat all sorts of fruits, nuts, vegetables and even insects, no single fruit or vegetable can come close to replicating that.
Secondly, lemons obviously have a lot of citric acid. Sugar gliders shouldn’t have too much citric acid in their diets. If a sugar glider has too much citric acid, they are likely to develop loose stools. If you have ever been on clean up duty for a sugar glider with this issue, you know it’s not a pleasant experience. Sometimes, excess citric acid can cause this problem for several days.
Finally, most sugar glider owners try to maintain a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1. Lemons have a lot more calcium than phosphorus, and lemon peels are through the roof with calcium as compared to phosphorus. This makes the ratio very hard to maintain if you aren’t feeding lemons in moderation.
The great thing about lemons having such a high calcium to phosphorus ratio is that lemons, their juice and their peel can be used to offset the low calcium ratio of some other foods your furry friends may enjoy.
What Variety of Lemon is Best For My Sugar Glider
There are several different varieties of lemons. They all have different levels of sweetness, sourness, and juiciness. Since sugar gliders are such picky eaters, you may have to experiment with the different varieties of lemons available in your area.
The different varieties of lemons and their peels will have all have slightly different calcium to phosphorus ratios. So, you’ll need to look up the variety you settle on for your sugar gliders.
As you might imagine some sugar gliders will not like any lemon, no matter the variety. If your sweeties turn up their noses to lemons and lemon zest, don’t worry. It’s natural for these picky eaters to dismiss some foods. Ignoring one food doesn’t mean your sugar glider is sick.
Don’t give up on feeding your sugar gliders lemons after the first try though. Some sugar gliders need to be exposed to a new food a few times before they even try it. So, offer it to them three or four times before you decide your sugar gliders don’t enjoy eating lemon.
Summary: Can Sugar Gliders Have Lemons And Lemon Peels?
Can sugar gliders eat lemons and lemon peels? In a word: Yes! Sugar gliders can eat lemons and lemon peels. But they should do so in moderation, especially the lemon peel. And don’t feed lemon seeds to your suggies.
If you plan on feeding it to your sugar gliders, always thoroughly wash the lemon peel. Better yet only feed them organic lemons to be extra safe.
As with all produce, don’t feed your sugar gliders canned lemons. And keep track of their overall calcium to phosphorus ratio.