If you're new to sugar glider ownership, one of the first daunting tasks is to pick a good diet. If you get online, you will find varying opinions on what is good and what is not. Some common diets you'll find are HPW Original (OHPW), Bourbon's Modified Leadbeaters (BML), Judith's Modified Leadbeaters, Reeps Wambaroo Diet (RWD or REEPS), The Pricilla Price Diet, LGRS Suggie Soup, The Pet Glider Exotic Diet (TPG)...I can go on as the list has become exhaustive with variations and opinions on what constitutes a good, balanced diet. I won't even touch Ca:P ratios in this post. We'll tackle that at a later date.
So you're probably wondering by now, which diet is the best? Well, that depends on who you ask. As stated before, there are varying opinions and the topic can get quite heated in certain circles. Let us simplify things by stating that the best diet you can feed your gliders is one that has been used successfully for a decent amount of time (I'd aim for years here, not weeks or months), and one that your gliders will eat. A great diet is still crap if your gliders won't touch it.
Some diets are fairly simple to make, while others require quite a few ingredients with several steps to take during preparation. I want to stress right here that if you feel you are the right person to own an exotic animal of any kind, then being lazy about the diet is a good indicator that you're not. Just the term "exotic" should tell you that ownership will involve a lot more work than your typical household pet.
While you can probably find others in the glider community that will disagree with me on this, my personal opinion is that you will not likely find a good balanced diet from a bag at your local pet shop or a box that promises to have everything your gliders needs. I have seen the effects of these diets on the physical appearance and health of several gliders; personal experience has shown me that replacing these diets with one that may not be so simple, cheap, or quick to prepare has shown marked improvements in a short amount of time. If it sounds too good and too simple to be true, it probably is. Sugarglider.com has a thread on the long term effects of a pellet diet if you'd like to read more on this.
Something else to consider if you have multiple gliders, is that they may not all like the same diet. In which case, you may have to use a couple of diets to ensure they are all eating well and getting the nutrients they need. Be sure to monitor their consumption. If they're cleaning their plates at first, but then over time seem to be eating less and less, they may have grown tired of it. You may have to switch things up. If the diet allows a variation in fruits and veggies, try one of the variations. If they don't seem to be eating their staple, then you may have to change diets all together. Would you want to eat the same thing day after day?
Let me also stress, diets created for other animals are not good diets for sugar gliders. Birdseed is for birds, cat food is for cats, baby food is for human babies (with exception of baby food chicken or turkey which is used in a few recommended diets like BML.) You cannot feed your gliders food nutritionally balanced for other animals and expect them to be healthy. And throwing in a slice of apple here and there does not make up the difference. Gliders are Omnivores. They like meat, fruit, veggies, bugs....juicy things. With the exception of a few toxic ingredients, you would probably be better off feeding your glider from your own table than limiting their diets to some kibble. In fact, one glider owner has developed a diet where he does just that. It's called Kazkos diet.
So what does Wild Little Monkeys recommend? I can only comment on what I have personally used with success, which is BML, OHPW, and REEPS. Most of my gliders (I have 27) love the OHPW--when I say OHPW, I mean the diet with Australian Wambaroo Powder. Critter Love, formerly known as HPW, does not use Wambaroo at all. Do not get them confused. I have a few that sometimes prefer BML over the OHPW. And I have 1 glider that likes REEPS the best.
While the best scenario would be that everyone eats the same thing, it may not always be the case. Remember, the more gliders you have, the more palate variations you're likely to have.
My last bit of advice....when you pick a diet, follow it as it is written. Don't change things. Don't add or remove ingredients. The diet has been written to account for the nutritional requirements of your glider when the ingredients are used together as a whole. Eliminating something or adding something will negate the balance and possibly leave your gliders' diet lacking in something vital.
Anything found on this blog is the exclusive opinion of the author and may not always coincide with the current popular opinions of the glider community or prominent figures within said arena.