Since they can be hard to come by in the U.S., star fruit also known as carambola, is a tasty treat for us humans. When they are very ripe, star fruits can be wonderfully sweet and juicy. As a sugar glider owner, you’re no doubt tempted to share your tasty treats with your furry friends.
Before you give any new treat to your suggies, always look into whether or not they can have the treat. Not everything that is healthy for us is healthy for our sugar gliders. The last thing we want to do is accidentally give our sugar gliders anything that isn’t healthy for them.
So, what about star fruit? Can sugar gliders eat star fruit (carambola)? The quick and easy answer is: Yes, sugar gliders can eat star fruit. However, there are a number of precautions you need to take before feeding star fruit to your sugar gliders.
How Much Star Fruit Can Sugar Gliders Eat?
Star fruit is part of the citrus family of fruits, so as you might guess it contains citric acid. A little bit of citric acid won’t hurt sugar gliders, however if they have too much, you will be in for a messy problem.
When sugar gliders overdo it on their citric acid consumption, they will develop loose stools. This is not a problem you want to clean up after. The worst part is this issue can last for days for sugar gliders. So, when you feed your suggies star fruit or any other citrus, be sure to not give them too much!
Star fruit is known to be high in oxalates. Oxalates will inhibit the absorption of calcium. If you’re striving to maintain the 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio, this will make it more difficult for you.
In humans, and likely sugar gliders, star fruit raises issues for people with kidney problems. There have even been some studies that claim too much star fruit can cause kidney problems.
With all of the issues listed above, it is easy to see why you would want to only give a little bit of star fruit to wide-eyed pals. And when you do treat them, be sure to keep it to once a week or less. There are plenty of other good treats to fill the other days with.
Can Sugar Gliders Eat Star Fruit Skin and Star Fruit Seeds?
As humans we can and do eat both star fruit skin and star fruit seeds. Generally, if we can eat a part of a fruit or vegetable, sugar gliders can too. However, as mentioned above, star fruit can be trouble for people with kidney problems.
This is especially true when the seeds of star fruit are eaten. Because of this, it is recommended that your remove the seeds from any piece of star fruit that you want to treat your glider to.
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to remove the seeds from star fruit. After you cut a slice, just use your fingers to pop them out. Of course, this might make a juicy mess, but it is a small price to pay to keep your suggies safe.
When it comes to the skin of the star fruit, it is fine for sugar gliders to eat it. But, because pesticides are used by some growers, you need to make sure you thoroughly wash the skin.
Since the nooks of the star fruit can be difficult to wash well, another option is to peel the star fruit before giving it to your sugar gliders. After you slice a star, simply use your finger or a knife to pull or cut away the skin.
Of course, the best option to avoid feeding your sugar gliders pesticides is to buy organic star fruit. This will eliminate even the accidental ingestion of pesticides.
Summary: Can Sugar Gliders Have Star Fruit?
Can sugar gliders eat star fruit? In a word: Yes! Sugar gliders can eat star fruit as long as the appropriate precautions are taken. Be sure to wash the star fruit well and remove the seeds before giving it to your sugar glider.
Better than washing the star fruit, remove the skin so you don’t accidentally feed your sweeties pesticides. Or if you can, buy organic star fruit to feed your suggies.
To make sure your sugar gliders remain as healthy as possible, be sure to keep star fruit as a rare treat.