GliderVet Newsletter  |  Sugar Glider Vet Newsletters 2014

Glidervet #143: Variety in Treats can be Beneficial!

Variety in Treats can be Beneficial!
Happy Memorial Day!


Yay! It’s newsletter time, it’s newsletter time and we’re back again feeling extra sassy and loving the springtime here in Texas. Isn’t sassy such a fun word? You know, we play a game on Facebook called Words With Arnold, and it’s all about just having fun. Our most prolific winner came up with a really cute poem (yet again), and we’re becoming convinced that this regular contestant only speaks in poetry because it just flows out of him. Here was his submission using the word “anthropomorphism”.

 



In a tall eucalyptus just hanging around,
When an out of luck human came settling down.
His hang gliding skills were quite wanting at best,
Now tangled in branches from feet to his chest.
The half impressed gliders who witnessed the flight,
Said an ANTHROPOMORPHISM which suited him right,
"The height of your jump was brave and outstanding,
But to enter our group you must work on your landing!"
--- Gary Batchelder




Special shout out and much love to Gary for keeping us all so entertained!



You know, we’ve been working on giving SunCoast Sugar Gliders a complete overhaul. Our focus for so many years was on breeding, and now that we’re not breeding any more, our focus is on community! We have a lot of new plans in the works, and here’s Arnold in a new feature all of his own called “Just Sayin ….”

JUST SAYIN …
Arnold T Schwarzenglider

 


As the most esteemed and almighty (just sayin) CEG (Chief Executive Glider) at SunCoast, me thoughts me share with you a bit about me little company, behind the scenes. Who’s back there and what humans are at my beck and call!

Well, of course, there’s me! For without me, there would be no good ideas and stuff, cuz who knows sugar gliders better than a sugar glider? Ahh, youze humans do yer best to guess at things, and you do well a lot of times, but we do better. Just sayin ….

Then there’s me Lisa. She answers yer calls, responds to yer emails, takes care of me, packs boxes, takes care of me, makes sure we don’t run out of stuff, takes care of the other gliders who I let live with me, works on things to make my new ideas work, and methinks that she works at the speed of sloth! Just sayin! There is a huge list of things to do, and why aren’t they done yet?

Lot’s of you have also asked about me good pal Rob! Good news is Rob still helps us out A LOT, but we couldn’t take him to TX, so he’s still in Florida cuz he has a house and a wife person, and friends who wouldn’t let him come along. And when you guys send love to Rob, we always make sure he gets it cuz he is still a big part of Arnold’s Army! BTW, he has some new joeys from the famous Daddy O himself, Elvis. Just sayin. If ya wanna get a message to Rob, he’s OBVIOUSLY our friend on Facebook, or email Lisa at lisa@sugar-gliders.com and she’ll pass it on.

So can a General like me have an army of meself and two soldiers? NO methinks, but three soldiers does indeed make an Army. What, you didn’t know there was another human back there! Well lemme tell you about him. His name is Jeff, and his is the muscle around here! Jeffy joined me army about five years ago, then we found out that he needed a human family so we adopted him and he lives with me and Lisa along with our three adopted doggies! Do ya really think Lisa can lift and pack all those cages by her slothlike self? Just sayin!

So ya see, we’re really an itty bitty company with a big, giant heart! And we a team cuz there ain’t no “I” in Arnold. Just sayin …..

And now, for me TADA moment … our featured products this newsletter are … drum roll please:



Marbelous marble bowls at a marbelous price in black, neutral and green!
BLACK
NEUTRAL
GREEN

 

 

 

 

Hey, youze guys remember barrel of monkeys? Well we found a barrel of precious little pachyderms at a most awesome sauce price! BTW, we have the monkeys too! Be sure to check out our Can O’ Elephants.

And now might be a good time for spring cleaning, seein’ its spring and all … just sayin! Check our discounted, bundled totally green, totally safe spring cleaning pack! You don’t even have to move the happytat outside to give it a thorough cleaning ba-da-bing .. .ba-da-boom … smells so good!

And now, heeeeere’s me Lisa!

The Importance of Variety

Lisa

Thank you for that introduction Arnold, but sloth? Really? I resemble that comment! Now go away, because I’m starting a fresh new series of articles here on the importance of variety!

I want to start this subject and idea of variety with a favorite topic (although I think you will like each segment of this presentation). Let’s face it, we all like to talk about dessert and in sugar glider language, we call those treats!

Last month in the newsletter, we warned everyone that as the temperatures heat up, the all time favorite treat called mini yogurt drops are at a high risk of melting together into a blob a delicious candy-like modern art! And I see that many of you took our advice and placed a lot of large orders for the delectable yogies.

I try to create as much variety in everything I do for my sugar gliders as I can, other than put them in new cages on a regular basis because that would not only be very expensive, but having their own territory is the one area of variety I think falls into too much change equals stress. All of the other opportunities to create variety, do not cause stress, and can be a great method of promoting curiosity and renewed interest!

So let’s start off with treats. I’m going to suggest to you that having a wide variety of treats on the shelf can be quite enriching for your sugar gliders. The more we can do to prevent pickiness, the better off our sugar gliders are. I know there are a lot of picky sugar gliders out there, and having had sugar gliders since 1999, I don’t have that experience because we’ve always embraced a lot of variety in the menu planning, including the treat offerings.

You will have a better chance of success with this recommendation with younger gliders than older gliders because if the only treat you use is one type, like yogies, they have come to expect that and will make baseballs out of anything you offer, unless you are persistent and committed to making changes in the treat selections. Younger gliders haven’t developed the habitual patterns yet and with joeys, start them off with variety and you will easily meet with success.

There are great benefits to offering variety in your treats! If you are using healthy treats (which I strongly encourage you to do), then you are bringing health benefits to them that will exceed those benefits of only one choice.

What health benefit does a yogurt drop offer? Well, it contains calcium, which is an essential mineral to good sugar glider health. But don’t rely on just yogies to fulfill their calcium needs, a good calcium supplement like Repcal is still necessary!

I have been working diligently (at the speed of sloth) to expand our selection of treats and I’m personally only interested in treats that are natural or organic. I love using dehydrated fruits and I’ll go over some of the health benefits of these in a moment, but I want to give you the straight facts on overuse of dehydrated foods. ALWAYS, limit treats to 5% or less of total dietary intake! The moisture content of foods is important to sugar gliders as they tend not to be huge water consumers. If you notice that using dehydrated fruits as snacks causes any signs like straining to go potty, remember that dehydrated fruits rehydrate when contacting moisture. So if your sugar glider is susceptible to constipation, then simply rehydrate the dehydrated fruits before offering these treats! That is done by soaking for a period of time in water and in most cases, this will solve the problem of the tendency toward constipation.

OK, so now a brief look at some of the treats we recommend and why. These treats have all been tested independently by our SunCoast testers group so they had to pass a palatability test in a wide range of homes that will have a full range of picky versus non-picky gliders. I’m not suggesting that these treats were 100% loved by all gliders, because that would simply not be true. But I am saying that a large percentage of sugar gliders did enjoy these treats. In some cases, leaving them in a bowl overnight is what it might take, and in other cases, they will tear them away from you faster than a red camaro and say thank you, with those big loveable eyes!

Brief benefit list:

Cantaloupe – considered a super food and the “beauty fruit”. Science suggests it’s good for the skin.

Mango – called the king of fruits and is rich in Vitamin A which supports eye health and with giant eyes, see the benefit?

Papaya – claims include digestion aid and anti-inflammatory

Pears – this fruit has been shown to decrease the risk of diabetes and at SunCoast, we seen a lot of evidence as expressed by the many veterinarians we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years, that sugar gliders can tend toward geriatric onset diabetes. The signs that we’ve recorded are increased water drinking and weight loss with our sugar gliders that are up in age (9 years plus).

Pineapple – this fruit is filled with proteolytic enzymes that breaks down protein and can aid in reducing risk of stomach and intestinal infections.

Cranberry – I think most of you have heard that drinking cranberry juice when experiencing a UTI can help. Nuff said about the cranberry?

Please know that the best form of medicine is prevention and once a sugar glider has a problem, you cannot offer them a food to solve that health issue. However, do you see the benefit of using a variety of foods that support health?

Sugar gliders are so small there is no reason we cannot buy the best natural and organic treats for them. All of the treats offered at SunCoast are coming from the same vendors that supply places like WholeFood, Trader Joe’s, Rolling Oats, etc.

The nice thing about dehydrated fruits is we don’t have to worry about them melting in the summer time like yogurt drops.

I’ll end today with this thought. Arnold has given me sooooo much work to do, that in going too fast, I screwed up and ordered some organic papaya and natural papaya that is larger than I really wanted to get. This is an 8 ounce package of large chunky papaya, so I’m putting it on super sale, and hopefully I will have better luck next time finding more organic treats that come in the small sizes better suited for small paws. Methinks the speed of sloth is actually more efficient for me. These are in limited supply and we will not be re-ordering these particular products again.

Organic Papaya - $4.99 8 oz

Oversized Natural Papaya - $3.99 8 oz

But what if I get it and my gliders don’t like it? One of two choices!

First choice is to choose the treat as one of our free gifts with your next order, so you can try it before you buy it.

Second choice is to eat it yourself or share with your children. These are health food store quality foods and intended for human consumption!

Til next time in good health to you and your sugar gliders!

 

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