We eat it in soup, with pasta, in chili and of course in pie, pumpkin is a truly versatile squash. Whether Halloween is coming up or you just bought some canned pumpkin to treat yourself to a favorite meal, you’ve likely considered treating your sugar gliders to some pumpkin.
After all, the health benefits of pumpkin for us humans are well documented. Surely, pumpkins must be just as healthy for our sugar gliders as well, right?
Unfortunately, not everything that we eat is okay for our sugar gliders to eat. So, before you give your sugar gliders any new food, always look into whether or not it is something that is okay and healthy for them to have.
So, what about pumpkin? Can sugar gliders eat pumpkin? Can sugar gliders eat pumpkin seeds? The quick and easy answer is: Yes, sugar gliders can eat pumpkin and pumpkin seeds if it is in moderation. However, there are a few ‘rules’ to follow.
Can Sugar Gliders Have Cooked and Raw Pumpkin?
There are many different ways to prepare a pumpkin. You can steam it, bake it and even puree it after that. The great thing about this is that no matter how you are cooking a pumpkin your sugar glider can likely have some as well. There are of course a few caveats though.
When we cook a pumpkin for ourselves, we often put also sorts of flavor enhancers on it. Unfortunately, all of the salt, butter and most other goodies we add to our pumpkins aren’t healthy for our sugar gliders.
So, while sugar gliders can have cooked pumpkin, make sure it is just plain pumpkin. You don’t want to accidentally make your wide-eyed pals sick. Fortunately, your sugar gliders won’t even know what they are missing.
Raw pumpkin is also fine for sugar gliders to have. But don’t just cut a chunk and hand it to them. A lot of commercial farms use pesticides. And even a trace amount of pesticides can be awful for your sugar gliders.
Be sure to thoroughly wash the pumpkin’s skin to make sure you remove all of the pesticides. You can also cut the skin away from any piece you plan to feed your suggies. Or even better, buy organic pumpkins and don’t worry about pesticides at all!
With almost every type of produce, the rule is fresh and frozen are best, and avoid feeding your sugar gliders canned produce. Pumpkin is an exception to that rule.
When most foods are canned, preservatives are used in the process. These preservatives have no place in you sugar glider’s diet. Most major brands don’t use any preservatives or any other extra ingredients when canning pumpkin.
Since the only ingredient is pumpkin, it is fine to feed it to your sugar gliders. Be sure to double check the ingredients and make sure you aren’t buying pumpkin pie filling! Though tasty, your sugar gliders shouldn’t have that!
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
After carving a pumpkin a great treat every Halloween is roasted pumpkin seeds. A little oil and salt go a long way to make these seeds a flavorful snack. So, can you share these treats with your sugar gliders too?
You can give your sugar gliders pumpkin seeds, but there are a few concerns to keep in mind. First, just like when you cook pumpkin for sugar gliders, you shouldn’t add any flavor enhancers to pumpkin seeds either.
Even the oil used in roasting seeds could pose a problem for your sugar gliders. So, leave the oil, salt and whatever else you use for yourself off of the seeds you’re preparing for you furry friends.
Raw pumpkin seeds are okay for sugar gliders to eat as well. The problem with raw seeds though, is that like many other foods, they need to be refrigerated and only pulled out just before they are eaten. They can easily grow bacteria when left out at room temperature.
When you’re carving your Halloween pumpkin, you likely don’t put the seeds straight into the refrigerator. So, to be on the safe side, take a the 15 or so minutes and roast the seeds.
The shell of pumpkin seeds is fine to feed your sugar gliders as well. However, some sugar glider owners report that their suggies don’t eat the shell. Instead, there is a huge mess to clean up when they are done. If you want to save yourself the hassle of cleaning up, you can remove the pumpkin seed shell beforehand.
Other Concerns About Sugar Gliders Eating Pumpkin
While pumpkin does make an excellent treat to feed your sugar gliders, it needs to be kept to being a treat. The calcium to phosphorus ratio of pumpkin is 1:2.2. This is a lot lower, and in fact almost opposite of the 2:1 ratio most sugar glider owners try to follow. So you’ll need to add more calcium rich foods to their diet when you treat your sugar gliders to pumpkin.
Pumpkin, especially canned pumpkin, is used by some people to treat pets (of all kinds, including sugar gliders) for constipation. If you plan to treat your sugar gliders to pumpkin for a few days, be sure to monitor their stools.
If their stool starts to get a little less firm than normal, you probably want to back off from feeding your furry friends pumpkin. If their stools get too loose, you’ll have quite the mess on your hands that you certainly don’t want to clean up.
Summary: Can Sugar Gliders Have Pumpkin And Pumpkin Seeds?
Can sugar gliders eat pumpkin and pumpkin seeds? In a word: Yes! Sugar gliders can eat pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. But they should do so in moderation. The calcium to phosphorus ratio is backwards and too much pumpkin can cause loose stools.
Thoroughly wash pumpkin skin before feeding it to your sugar gliders. If you want to be extra careful about not accidentally feeding pesticides to your sugar gliders, cut the skin off any piece you plan to feed them. Even better, buy organic pumpkins for your suggies!
Unlike most produce, canned pumpkin is okay for sugar gliders. Double check the ingredients to make sure the only ingredient listed is pumpkin and you’re good to go.
When cooking pumpkin and pumpkin seeds for your sugar gliders, don’t add salt, oil, butter or anything else we add to own foods.