Flying Squirrel Diet
Variety is key! We can never replicate the perfect balanced diet for any species of squirrel. There are many factors such as geographical range, time of year and the lack of research available on the nutritional needs of flying squirrels. The best we can do is provide local natural foods supplemented with a wide variety of items we can purchase in pet and grocery stores.
Mushrooms are a great source of vitamin D, a must have for nocturnal animals to absorb calcium. Flyers get their Vitamin D by dining on mushrooms and other fungus including truffles when in the wild. A rescue possum can eat portobellos as well as other mushrooms safe for human consumption.
Calcium prevents a host of illnesses, most specifically, Metabolic Bone Disease, so it's important to supplement their diet with it. You can use supplements like calcium powder, cuttlebone, deer antler or cleaned beef bones, Fox Valley formula, and yogurt along with mushrooms for better absorption.
In the wild, flyers eat insects such as cicadas, crickets, grasshoppers, grubs, and moths. If you're caring for a rescue, you can offer insects that are readily available for reptiles in most pet stores. Look for mealworms or wax worms. Freeze dried crickets or mealworms are also an easy alternative - as are hard boiled eggs.
Treats, as with any animal, should be used sparingly. You can spoil your rescued flyer every now and then with treats like almonds, black walnuts, chestnuts, dried fruit
flax seed, hazelnuts (filberts), oats (raw/dry/unflavored/unsweetened), pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, safflower seeds, sesame seeds, soy nuts, and squash seeds.
Unlike tree squirrels, flying squirrels require a special type of block designed specifically for their nocturnal needs. We highly recommend specialty block like Henry’s Healthy Pet Block for Flying Squirrels, but remember, even this should be regularly supplemented with a healthy mix of fruits & veggies.
Trees provide an important source of nutrients and chewing on their branches helps flyers maintain healthy teeth. Always provide clean, young branches untreated by pesticides. You can also offer the sap, lichens, flowers, buds, and fruits. Always use the trees and plants listed in the below safe foods for flyers graphic.
Safe Foods for Flying Squirrels
Flying Squirrels ARE NOT Sugar Gliders!
Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps) are marsupials more closely related to the possum with entirely different nutritional needs than flying squirrels. Never feed flying squirrels commercial diets for sugar gliders.
Please, Talk to Your Vet
Squirrel Refuge makes every effort to publish accurate information. It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy of all information, claims, and advice before taking any action that may cause harm to your pet or wildlife in your care. If you believe any information is inaccurate, please contact us.