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Exotic pets are exciting, interesting animals to own.
But feeding them isn’t always easy. Despite your best intentions, you might be giving your exotic pet the wrong food.
What food do exotic pets need?
Exotic pets usually require specially-formulated food. This is to ensure that they get all the right nutrients they need to be healthy and happy.
But not just any “special” foods will do as feeding your exotic pet is not something to take lightly. When exotic pets don’t get the right food, they can show signs of distress and malnutrition.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best exotic pet food: feed your strange pal these products so that you take the best care of them.
Best Exotic Pet Food
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best exotic food for your pets, such as when it comes to their ingredients, let’s take a closer look at each of the products, starting with the best food for sugar gliders.
Best FOOD For Sugar Gliders: Suncoast Blueberry Fortifier
Owning a sugar glider is lots of fun, but these social creatures need to get enough daily vitamins and calcium to stay healthy.
The Suncoast Sugar Gliders Blueberry Fortifier Complete Vitamins and Calcium product ticks all the right boxes when it comes to giving your sugar gliders the best diet.
Here’s why it’s the best sugar glider food.
- This product is made with human-grade ingredients. As defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (via Truth About Pet Food), human-grade ingredients means that they are stored, processed, handled, and also transported, in a way that’s compliant and consistent with regulations intended for human edible foods.
- It contains blueberry powder, made from natural blueberries that have been dehydrated, and will taste good to sugar gliders who get their name because they have a sweet tooth!
- Small exotic pets need calcium, and sometimes they require this in a supplement because they don’t get enough from their diet. Instead of having to give your sugar glider vitamins and calcium separately, this product enables you to give them everything they need in one product that tastes really good.
- The product includes free stainless steel measuring spoons so you can measure out exactly how much your sugar glider needs without a hassle.
- The product is suitable for sugar gliders of all ages, so you don’t have to worry about buying different products for baby and adult gliders.
- Some people who’ve purchased this product for their sugar gliders have commented that their pets didn’t like the blueberry flavor. One mentioned that their sugar glider had been using a different brand of vitamins for many years and couldn’t adjust to this new one. This, unfortunately, can’t always be prevented but if your sugar glider likes the taste of blueberries then purchasing this product will be more likely to please them.
This Suncoast Sugar Gliders product costs about $20, but it is said to last your sugar gliders for an entire year! It’s definitely the best food for sugar glider pets that you can find on the market.
Runner Up: Exotic Nutrition Island Blend Treat
You want to give your small exotic pet the best nutrition, and this product by Exotic Nutrition Island is said to be 100-percent natural with no added flavors, sugars, or preservatives.
- One of the best things about this vitamin is that it’s dried fruit, therefore giving your small exotic pet a delicious and healthy snack.
- These bits of dried fruit are easy to use – simply sprinkle them on your pet’s current food. The product contains papaya and pineapple.
- You can use these treats to help you bond with your small pet, such as when training your sugar glider to approach you or climb into your pocket.
- It’s important not to give your small exotic pet too much of this dried fruit as it can end up being unhealthy for them. The manufacturer of the product states that these treats should make up 10 percent or less of your pet’s diet.
- Despite claims to the contrary, the product contains artificial colorants, such as FD&C Red #40.
This product costs $9.99, which is a bargain, especially because it can be used to feed a variety of small animals. It’s the best food for rodents, but you can also give it to sugar gliders and ferrets.
Best Food For Squirrels: Squirrel Complete by Exotic Nutrition
Squirrel Complete Wholesome Nutrition contains nuts, dried fruit, and vitamins to boost your squirrel’s health.
- Squirrel Complete contains the natural flavors of apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds, and corn.
- It also contains some vitamin pellets, which means they’ve already been added to your pet’s food.
- It gives your exotic pets a blast of protein in the form of dried insects.
- You can give this to any type of squirrel you have, whether it’s a flying squirrel, ground squirrel, or grey squirrel. It’s also suitable for chipmunks.
- Squirrels have teeth that grow throughout their lives, so they need to chew on items regularly. These vitamin pellets and dried nuts are therefore great for your squirrel’s dental health.
- It’s recommended that you give your squirrel 1.5 oz of this product every day. That said, ingredients such as corn don’t provide a lot of nutrition for squirrels so you might want to avoid giving too much of this product to your pet, even if your squirrels love it.
This squirrel food costs about $20 and you get a pack of 1.75 lbs for that price. If you purchase a bigger bag that’s 15lbs you’ll pay $86.99 for it so it’s worth it to purchase this product in bulk.
Best FOOD For Rodents: Henry’s Wild Bites
This is a supplement that’s recommended for mice, rats, and squirrels. Here’s why it’s the best product to give your rodent a boost of health.
- This product contains vitamin E and zinc to keep your exotic pet’s immune system functioning well and also to enable healing in the body.
- These bites aren’t just healthy because of what they contain but also because of what they don’t. They’re free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. They also don’t contain any soy or fillers.
- Some people who’ve purchased the product for their rodents commented that they liked that the peanut blocks couldn’t fit through the bars of their rodents’ cages, meaning that the product doesn’t go to waste.
- These treats need to be frozen immediately after purchasing them otherwise they will start to grow mould on them within a few days. There’s another good reason why these treats need to be frozen – some users have reported that their pets like to snack on them in that way!
Henry’s Wild Bites cost about $25. Although that might seem expensive, they’re so highly rated for your exotic pets that they’re worth the money.
In addition, they will actually go a long way because you will only give your rodent two to three blocks per day and there are 40 in a bag.
Runner Up FOR RODENTS : Kaytee FortiDiet ProHealth Rat/Mouse Food
This product provides a balance of nutrition for your rodents, while having some extra perks. Let’s take a look at its benefits!
- This product was established by an animal nutritional expert.
- This rodent food contains both prebiotics and probiotics so that your rodent’s digestive health can be ensured.
- It also contains natural antioxidants that keep your pet healthy overall while also boosting its immune system.
- The pieces of this food are big and crunchy, which enables your rodent to chew on them. This keeps their teeth healthy.
- Some mice and hamster owners have reported that these pellets are too big for their pets to eat. They have to first break the pellets into smaller pieces before giving them to their pets.
- There have been reports of bad product packaging. Some people who purchased the product received open bags or bags containing food that had crumbs in it instead of pellets.
These Kaytee FortiDiet rodent treats cost about $10. Although there are some drawbacks to consider when purchasing this product, such as those mentioned above, there are some good reasons to give it a try if you have rodents as pets.
Exotic Pets Food FAQ
We’ve featured some of the best exotic pet food products to keep your exotic pet healthy and happy, but you might have some questions concerning exotic pet food.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most common ones.
How to know what type of food is good for your exotic pet?
What do exotic pets eat?
This is something you might be wondering. It’s not always easy to know what food you should give to your exotic pet.
It’s always a good idea to consult with a vet who’s got experience in treating the type of exotic pet you own so that he or she can give you useful advice.
It’s also essential to consider various factors before choosing food for your pet.
One of the most important is the nutritional needs your pet needs based on the stage of life in which it is in.
For example, the nutrition a baby sugar glider or squirrel requires will be different from that of adults in the same species.
When feeding an exotic pet, it’s generally accepted that a nutritionally-complete commercial product should make up most of their diet.
Then, extras, such as fruit, meat, or seeds, should be added in small amounts.
The animal might also need vitamin supplements, such as in the case of squirrels who need to be given Vitamin D3 and calcium supplements if they don’t receive enough of these essential nutrients from their food.
Similarly, sugar gliders need a multivitamin kibble product added to their diet, as VCA Hospitals reports.
Before you purchase an exotic pet, always conduct research into the animal’s diet and what it requires in order to be healthy.
Once you have homed your pet, it’s essential to keep an eye on it to see what foods it likes and to notice any signs of malnutrition.
This is one of the most common issues seen in exotic pets, as Griffin Exotics (Avian and Exotic Veterinary Hospital) reports.
Is it advisable to order food online?
When you want to purchase exotic pets food, you might be tempted to do so online. It’s very convenient, especially if your pet food originates from far away.
Ordering food online can be fine as long as you ensure that you research the products you’re interested in purchasing.
It’s also essential to read up on product reviews to see what other people’s experience with the product has been, such as by reading our best exotic pet food reviews.
It’s also important to ensure that you consult with your vet about the products that are best for your pet, so you save money and don’t risk giving your pet any food or supplement that could actually do them more harm than good.
When shopping for exotic pet food, look for important ingredients. These include vitamins, such as Vitamin A, E, B12, and K, and nutrients such as calcium.
Calcium is a nutrient that’s essential for many exotic pets, including reptiles and squirrels, so you should ensure that you’re giving them enough of it.
But again, the supplements and vitamins you give your exotic pet will depend on the type of pet you have.
Another thing to look for when choosing exotic pet food is a lack of potentially-harmful ingredients, such as artificial flavors and colors.
A product such as Henry’s Wild Bites, which is suitable for rodents, contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Can you feed your exotic pet with ordinary pet food?
Although we’ve already mentioned the importance of giving your exotic pet the right food it needs to feel good, there are times when you can feed it regular pet food.
For example, if you own a large cat, such as a lynx, you can feed it canned cat food. However, you should supplement its diet with raw meat to give it more nutrients and calories that it needs.
Similarly, an exotic bird can eat seeds, but too many can lead to health problems. And, if you’ve ever seen a squirrel eat dried cat food, you’ll know that these animals love it!
Again, it’s important to supplement your squirrel’s diet with food that it specifically needs to be healthy.
What about dog food?
You should never give exotic pets dog food, even when it comes to animals such as hedgehogs for whom you might think dog pellets aren’t bad.
For this animal specifically, dog pellets lack nutritional value.
It’s important to bear in mind that dog food is usually made up of meat and meat by-products, so it’s not suitable for exotic pets that follow herbivore diets, such as guinea pigs.
As we’ve seen in this article, there are some exotic animal foods that can be eaten by more than one type of exotic pet.
For example, rodent blocks can be enjoyed by rats, hamsters, mice, squirrels, and guinea pigs.
An example of a product we’ve featured in this buying guide is Exotic Nutrition Island Blend Treat – Healthy Natural Dried Diced Fruit Treat.
It’s suitable for a range of different pets, such as sugar gliders, chinchillas, rats, parrots, ferrets, squirrels, guinea pigs, hamsters, and hedgehogs.
If you own more than one kind of exotic pet, it can therefore be useful to find pet food and snacks that can be enjoyed by more than one of them.
Why should you avoid feeding pets with human food?
When you make yourself a delicious dinner, you might think there’s no harm in giving some to your pet, whether it’s domestic or exotic.
But this is never a good idea.
The first, and most obvious, reason for this is because human food won’t have the nutrients and vitamins that your dog, cat, hamster, or sugar glider needs in order for their bodies to be healthy.
The second reason for this is that some human food is toxic to exotic pets.
Let’s take a look at the foods that are dangerous for various exotic pets to consume.
- Sugar gliders. Although they have a sweet tooth, they shouldn’t eat too much fruit as this can cause them to become sick. Fruits that are high in oxalates, such as berries, shouldn’t be given to them because it will reduce their bodies’ calcium absorption. Dairy is also bad for them because all sugar gliders can’t digest lactose.
- Mice. Avoid the common “no-no”s, such as foods that are high in sugar and fat. Even if your mice want to eat these treats, they’re very unhealthy for them.
- Rats. Some human foods are toxic to rats, such as blue cheese, licorice, and poppy seeds. Raw sweet potato is also dangerous – it contains compounds that produce cyanide in rats’ stomachs, as Pet Helpful reports.
- Squirrels. You should avoid giving baby squirrels puppy or human baby formula as this can be unhealthy and even toxic for them. You should also avoid giving squirrels any human snack food, and be careful of food that’s gone moldy. Even if it’s food that’s especially made for squirrels, this can be harmful to them.
Owning an exotic pet is an exciting adventure, but let’s be honest: knowing what to feed it can be quite overwhelming.
In this article, we’ve looked at the best exotic pet food to give to your pet so that you avoid potential health problems.
We’ve outlined five of the best exotic pet foods so you can feed your pet the correct nutrients.
We’ve also included some important questions you might have about exotic pets and their diets, so you can avoid potential pitfalls and give your exotic pet the healthiest food and home possible.