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What Do Turtles Eat - Pet Turtles Food

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feeding turtles can prove very expensive as they are exotic animals. You cannot feed your pet just anything; they require a healthy and balanced diet which could include insects or any kind of vegetables.

Like all reptiles, turtles are also cold blooded. A large number of turtles are found in the water. They are categorized into three types according to the type of turtle food they eat: Herbivores; which eat plants or any type of vegetation, Omnivores; which eat plants as well as flesh and Carnivores; which eat mostly meat.

Turtle Eating in the Sun by antaresjhw
Before feeding a turtle, you should know for sure which species it belongs to. The original habitat of each species varies and so do the other factors of its care. The best way to make sure of your turtle’s health is to feed it according to its natural diet. When the turtles are in their natural habitat, they eat a variety of foods depending on the season, hence feeding it a variety of foods is the best option.

There are a few foods that are restricted for the turtle:

  • No reptiles utilize milk at any stage in their lives and neither do they have the adequate enzymes to break down the lactose. That is why dairy products like cheese, yogurt, etc. should not be given as turtle food.
  • Preservatives and salt are not a part of the turtle’s natural diet. The effects of such things are not yet known, it would be sensible not to use canned or other processed foods for feeding it.
  • Do not give it candy, chocolates, bread or any other refined sugar and flour products.
  • In the wild, some turtles eat poisonous plants but these behaviors are not well studied. It is better not to give your pet any toxic plant found from their habitat such as poison ivy, rhubarb plant, avocado plant, etc.

Feeding only cantaloupe or crickets as turtle food does not create problems, but it can be insufficient for your pet. Occasionally feed your turtle cabbage, lettuce or even cooked beef. Though a turtle needs a calcium rich diet, you can give it foods that are low on calcium or high in phosphorus, if a separate source of calcium, such as cuttle-bones, eggshells, oyster shells, etc. is available.

Here are some foods that you can use as turtle food for a carnivorous turtle:

  • Green: Green leafy parts of vegetables like aquatic plants, watercress, turnip greens, green leaf lettuce, carrot tops, fig leaves, grape leaves, etc. can be given.
  • Vegetables: Squash, peas, okra, sliced carrots, sweet potato, corn and wax beans can be fed to your turtle.
  • Fruits: You can always give it fruits like fig, grapes, cantaloupe, tomato, banana, apple, mango, citrus fruits, kiwi, etc. occasionally.
  • Others: Other than plants, you can feed your turtle with various animal matter as well. Silkworms, crickets, snails, shrimps, slugs, dead mice, cooked chicken, boiled eggs, cooked fish, cat/dog food, etc are part of the natural habitat of a carnivorous turtle. Fatty red meat or any raw meat should be avoided as it might be dangerous for the turtle.
  • Turtle food: Apart from the natural foods, you can also feed the prepared food for turtles.

About the Author: Clint W is a genius who writes interesting and thought provoking content on a variety of niches like pet care tips. To get a word of knowledge on how to take care of different kinds of pets see Pet Care.

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