There are more than 365 species of turtles in the world.
These fascinating creatures can make great pets, but you may be wondering what you would feed it if you got one.
Curious to know, “What do turtles eat?” The answers contained in this guide may surprise you.
What Turtles Eat in the Wild
When trying to figure out “what do turtles eat,” you should first try and figure out how old the turtle is and what kind of turtle it is. You should feed it different things depending on what habitat the turtle calls home.
If you have a turtle that lives on land or a tortoise, they normally eat more of a herbivore diet. This means that you should make sure that they have lots of fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens in their diet.
However, if your turtle normally lives in water, they will eat more of a carnivorous diet. These ones will need a lot of protein in order to be healthy. That could consist of snails, insects, and even small fish.
Some turtles eat a mixed diet. They may start out eating protein when they’re young and then start eating more leafy plants when they’re older.
1. Vitamins and Supplements
No matter what diet you choose for your turtle, you should make sure that they are getting enough of their vitamins and supplements. If they aren’t getting enough from their food, you may have to find other sources to give them.
Calcium is extremely important for turtles to make sure that their shells stay healthy. You can buy a calcium powder that you can dust onto their food; they will never know it was there.
In addition to that, you should also make sure that they have enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D3 also comes in a powder that you can purchase at your nearest pet store.
Their shell is mostly bone, so they will also need some other minerals and vitamins to make sure that it stays healthy. If your turtle has all these supplements, they should live a healthy life.
If you want to feed them fruits, you can cut up some apples or give them slices of melons. Cut up berries are also a great option. However, you should make sure that you feed them more vegetables than fruits.
The fruits and the melons shouldn’t make up more than 20% of your turtle’s diet for the day.
Protein is especially important if your turtle is young. You may be wondering what kind of protein you should feed them.
Well, you can feed them different kinds of worms, comet goldfish, or even crickets. If you do feed them insects that are still alive, make sure that you place them on land in your turtle’s habitat. Don’t place them in the water.
Comet goldfish have a lot of protein in them, and they also have calcium and phosphorus, which are also important for your turtle’s health. These goldfish also have various vitamins in them, especially Vitamin A.
If you can’t find those things at your local pet store, you could also feed them small insects, snails, or small fish. There is plenty of protein in fish. If humans can benefit from it, so can turtles.
As we said above, your turtle should have lots of fresh produce included in their diet. While your turtle should only have 20% of their diet consisting of fruits, the other 80% should be vegetables.
If you need ideas for what exactly to feed them, you can always chop up things such as kale, lettuce, collard, duckweed, and even mustard greens. Some other foods that you can feed them include carrots that are chopped up into smaller bites.
Turtles also will eat squash and zucchini.
5. Commercial Turtle Food
If you don’t want to feed your turtles any of the options above, most pet stores normally smell commercialized turtle food as well.
This food can come canned, in pellets, or frozen fish food. These are all good options, and they may be the easier option out of all of them.
If you decide to feed your turtle some of the foods listed above, you should probably also feed them some pellets. The pellets will have all the nutritional ingredients that your turtle needs, like protein.
If you do end up going with the canned food, you should be aware that these have lower protein levels in them because the food is moist.
Regardless of what you buy, read the ingredients label before feeding it to your turtle so you know exactly what you will be feeding them.
What Not to Feed Your Turtle
Lastly, here are some things that you should make sure you never feed your turtle.
Aside from the human foods above, you should make sure that you aren’t giving too much of your own meals to the turtle. Don’t constantly feed them junk food, meat, or bread as this will harm their digestive system and lack the nutrition they need.
If you have a cat or a dog in the house, make sure that you don’t give them the cat or dog food either. Yes, there is protein in these foods, but it is too much for the turtles to handle. This could harm their health in the long run.
You should also never give them any products that contain dairy. Their stomachs weren’t made to handle lactose, so you should make sure that you don’t give them any of it.
Find Out More About What Do Turtles Eat
If someone asks you, “What do turtles eat?” now you know exactly what to tell them.
Turtles don’t require much maintenance or a crazy diet, so they make great pets. If you have any more questions about your pets, contact us here!