Carrots are not only colorful and sweet but they are highly nutritious and beneficial to the survival of most animals. In this case, man uses the Vitamin A to improve their vision and keep it healthy and properly functioning. What about turtles, are they recommended to eat carrots as well?
Can Turtles Eat Carrots?
Yes, and they must eat carrots in their diets because it is a great source of vitamin A, potassium and biotin. All these are important to the type of life the turtle can enjoy. All types of turtles both land and terrestrial should eat more Vitamin A. However, as with all turtle meals, there must be a measure that is adhered to because an excess of this vitamin could cause the same issues as a deficiency in it.
The importance of Vitamin A to a Turtles diet
Sadly, a lack of vitamin A kills the quality of life for your turtle and in the biggest way possible which is the loss of vision. Just as we humans crunch on carrots for the vitamin A properties that are vision stabilizers and improvers, the box turtle also has a similar predicament.
If you notice any red, puffy and swollen eyes on your pet turtle, things are way out of hand and need immediate attention and a lot of tender loving care. If left unaided, these yes will swell over to a point where there is blindness and your turtle may never be able to see again. No one would want this. That’s why it is very important to ensure the inclusion of this vitamin in all the turtle’s meals.
This eye condition is called hypovitaminosis A and some other notable symptoms could include; runny nose, peeling and ulcerated skin, respiratory infection, loss o appetite and embryo deformities for female turtles.
Vitamin A Rich foods for Turtles
The best and sweetest choices for turtles to consume as much vitamin A as necessary is through feeding them: carrots, sweet potatoes, feeder fish or cod liver oil and dark green leafy vegetables. Be sure to steam these veggies and chop them up in good sizes for easy swallowing and minimizing choke or dietary hazards.
Is there anything like too much Vitamin A?
Counteractively, vitamin A is only good in substantial doses and if they are exceeded then the turtle will suffer from hypervitaminosis. What is even stranger is that the symptoms almost match those of hypovitaminosis. It would be hard to tell which of the two your turtle is suffering from.
Symptoms of hypervitaminosis are; ulcers, skin peeling, swollen eyes and a runny nose.
How do I know to give my turtle just enough Vitamin A?
The best option is to buy a supplement containing beta-carotene which is what gives carrots their orange color. This way, you can manage the amount of vitamin A you administer to your pet turtle.
How do we cure avitaminosis?
Regardless of whether it’s an excess in vitamin A or a deficiency, you can correct the situation by balancing the turtle’s diet to match the ideal plan suggested above. If the situation is beyond saving at home, you will need to take the turtle to the veterinary.
At the vet, the same problem of either over or under administering vitamin A supplements arises again.
Why do turtles need vitamin D?
Produced by pigment cells in the turtle’s skin when exposed to UV light rays, vitamin D activated the calcium in their system promoting healthy bones and skin. Without it, the turtle is unable to metabolize the calcium which often leads to bone disease.
The best administration of Vitamin D is through direct sunlight. You could place your little friend outside for a few minutes, say 30 minutes and let the turtle soak in as much sunlight as possible. One thing to keep in mind is the security of your turtle so please ensure the region is safe from any lurking birds or animals that could pose a threat to it.
Be cautious of the time you leave the turtle outside as it is also prone to overheating.
With this method, vitamin D supplements are virtually non-essential al the sun is more powerful than any supplement ever. Unless it’s winter and it’s been a few months without some sun and you want to supplement the UV lighting with the supplements of Vitamin D.
Balanced Turtle diet
Regardless of whether your turtle is a box or aquatic turtle, they all need to eat a balanced diet inclusive of proteins, fruits, and vegetables. This is a simple mix.
Feeder fish and insects
Fish such as Guppies, Rosy Reds, Minnows and Goldfish are ideal feeder fish for your turtle’s protein diet. You may supplement these options with grasshoppers, crickets, and worms. These foods will provide minerals and vitamins such as calcium, phosphorous and vitamin A.
Sprinkling some calcium powder on all your turtle’s meals will help keep its bones strong. This is ideal for it to carry all the shell weight. Feeding should be done every 3 to 4 days a week for most turtles but be sure to confirm if this is true for your turtle pet as some may need a daily feeding routine.
Commercial pelleted food
There are various brands of turtle food that is specific for them widely available across pet stores. The difference between turtle pellets and other reptilian pellets is that they do not disintegrate in the water which is what you want to ensure that they can grab the food.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits are greatly recommended and tiny pieces of berries, melons, and apples are a big favorite of turtles. Remember that this should only constitute a five to ten percent share of your turtle’s diet.
For the vegetable diet, you may chop up kale, carrots, dandelion, collards, and zucchini. If possible, you could grab a few sea lettuce, duckweed, and hyacinth to supplement their diet.
Carrots are a very important vegetable for all turtles and pet owners must be keen to provide the right amounts of vitamin A for their pets. Finding the right balance is the tough part but with supplements, the required vitamin A levels for your healthy turtle are attainable and sustainable.