Your pet turtle’s lifespan and health primarily depend on what types of food they eat. With so many options available in the market, it may be challenging to choose the best food for your turtle. Let us find out some of the best turtle foods for your reptilian friend.
Turtles are one of the most adorable pets to care for and keep in your aquarium. Not only do they increase the beauty of a room, but they are also quite entertaining to watch as they swim in their tanks. Every animal needs to eat in order to survive.
There are several turtle species that you can own as a pet, including the red-eared slider, box turtles, aquatic turtles, and even tortoises. As such, each turtle species has its own needs and preferences, especially when it comes to their dietary needs. Since they cannot get out of their tank to look for their own food, it is up to us as pet owners to decide the best foods and varieties to give them.
How to feed your turtle
Depending on the turtle species, some turtles are omnivorous, carnivorous, or herbivores. Most online and pet stores offer pellets, chunks, and food sticks that are made explicitly for different turtle species. These formulated turtle food products consist of a properly balanced nutrition of minerals and vitamins, which aid in keeping the turtles healthy.
Generally, turtles are messy eaters. As a result, it is helpful if you set up a separate feeding area for them as it will make cleaning a lot easier. Juvenile or baby turtles grow up quite fast, meaning they require food more frequently than adult turtles. It is best to feed them more protein content than vegetable matter, allowing it to grow strong and healthy. Some of the best protein foods to feed them include crickets and mealworms. Juvenile turtles also require diet rich in vitamins and calcium at least three times a week. Feed them daily and ensure they are mainly active during the mornings and afternoons.
On the other hand, adult turtles feed less frequently than juvenile ones. Feed them daily or after every two days. Make sure that you remove the remaining food from the habitat to prevent it from rotting and contaminating the water. Owners of box turtles have it the easiest as these turtles tend to not feed during hibernation. As such, it is easier to come up with a feeding schedule for them as they hibernate in winter.
How to choose the best turtle food
Turtles are excellent pets and companions, as they do not need much attention. However, taking care of them requires time and effort. When feeding your turtle, you need to know what is essential for them, what helps them to become strong and healthy, what type of nutrition they require, and how much. Although the absolute quantity of food varies from one turtle species to the next, there is a primary guideline you need to follow.
Protein is an essential nutrient for baby turtles. The more protein you provide to the hatchlings, they become healthier and stronger. Adult turtles do not need as much protein, as the adults eat more green and leafy substances, like vegetables, and water lettuce. According to a report, turtles at the hatchling and growth stage require 70% -80% of protein content in their regular diet, while the adult turtle needs a maximum of 25%.
Calcium and Vitamin C
Calcium is crucial for the growth of a strong and healthy turtle. Without it in a turtle’s diet, it leads to a wide range of health problems, like a softshell, and egg-bound female turtles. Alternatively, vitamin C helps in boosting a healthy immune system in the turtle, allowing it to fight against common infections effectively.
While in the wild, turtles consume a wide range of foods, including small fish, insects, and plants. An excellent commercial turtle food will encompass all these natural ingredients in its ingredient list. As such, keep an eye out for a combination of natural ingredients when buying commercial food for your pet turtle.
Often, you will find that aquatic turtles swim to the surface of their tanks to feed. As a result, it is best to purchase food that stays afloat, making it easy for your turtle to consume.
The best turtle food
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Tetra Reptomin Floating Food Sticks
Newts, frogs, and aquatic turtles
Zoo Med Sun Dried Large Red Shrimp
Aquatic turtles, invertebrates, marine aquarium or freshwater fish
Fluker Labs Turtle Medley Treats
Baby and juvenile turtles
Rep-Cal Maintenance Box Turtle Food
HARTZ Wardley Reptile Sticks
Now let us go ahead and review some top-selling turtle foods that are ideal for your reptilian friend.
ReptoMin’s food sticks are quite popular in the pet turtle community as they are a leading brand for overall use. They are highly nutritious with high levels of calcium and vitamin C, ideal for feeding aquatic turtles, frogs, and newts. The formulation is also quite easy to metabolize, ensuring your turtle has optimal health and vitality.
- Very nutritious
- Supports vitality
- Easy to metabolize
- Stays afloat making it easy for your pet turtle to consume
- Contaminates the water during feeding
Tetra Reptomin Floating Food Sticks is a versatile product that can also feed newts and frogs. Not only is it easy to metabolize, but it also manages to stay afloat to ensure easy feeding of your pet turtle.
As an ideal protein food for large aquatic turtles, Zoo Med Sun Dried Large Red Shrimp can also be fed to other invertebrates and fish pets. Like some other commercial turtle food products, you can use this product as your pet turtle’s staple food or as their treat.
Shrimp is a favorite food for most aquatic animals. As such, this product has top-notch quality when it comes to its protein content. You can confidently rest assured that your turtle is getting enough nutritional value and vitamins. The product comes in a big container, ensuring your pet’s food stock will surely last for a long time.
- Promotes growth of your pet turtle
- Contains superior nutritional value
- High protein content
- Comes in a large container
- The smell of this food is irritating to some turtle owners
Zoo Med is one of the best brands that produce aquatic foods. In this Sun Dried Large Red Shrimp version, it is ideal for all aquarium inhabitants, including aquatic turtles, large saltwater and freshwater fish, as well as invertebrates. It contains high protein content and superior nutrition with many turtle owners claiming to notice changes in their turtles after a few weeks of use.
As one of the most loved brands when it comes to the needs of reptiles, amphibians, and others, many pet owners trust the Fluker’s brand and its product as they consist of high-quality foods. In this jar of Turtle Medley Treats, it contains a combination of freeze-dried river shrimps, mealworms, and crickets, which are rich in proteins.
Fluker’s Lab Turtle Medley Treats are a fantastic food option for juvenile and baby turtles. Adult turtles do not require a lot of protein, so I do not recommend this for adult turtles. The only downside of this product is that it only consists of protein foods, meaning you can easily overfeed your pet on proteins. Avoid overfeeding by feeding your pet at least two to three times a week.
- Comes packed with plenty of proteins and vitamins
- Excellent turtle food treat
- Some pet turtles do not like its taste
Fluker’s Lab Turtle Medley Treats consists of a high nutritional value as it delivers the essential proteins, vitamins, fats and minerals for optimal growth for your pet turtle. It is both affordable and comes in a large container.
Another popular turtle food that ensures your pet is eating the best and most nutritional food is the Rep-Cal Maintenance Turtle Food for Box turtles. It is affordable and comes with the proper nutrients to ensure your pet turtle is strong and healthy. Unlike other turtle species food brands, you can use Rep-Cal Turtle food both as a treat, as well as a daily feed.
If you feel lazy to keep altering your pet’s diet, then consider this product. It provides your pet with all its nutritional needs, as long as you strictly follow the feeding instruction from the manufacturer. The only disadvantage of this product is that it contaminates the water.
- Ideal for both daily use and as a treat
- Manufactured in the United States
- Made to enhance the proper growth of your pet turtle
- Contaminates the water
The Rep-Cal Maintenance Box Turtle Food is fortified with minerals and vitamins, ideal for optimal health of your pet turtle. However, you have to strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s feeding instruction for proper feeding and long-lasting results.
Wardley Reptile Sticks is another floating food product, an ideal feeding product for your aquatic turtle. Each floating stick contains nutritionally balanced natural ingredients, as well as vitamins for healthy shell growth.
However, this product is not ideal as a staple dietary meal, but only as a treat. Therefore, if you are looking for a tasty treat for your aquatic pet turtle, consider buying this product. The good thing about this product is that it does not promote addiction, meaning your pet will still prefer eating its staple dietary meal.
- Stays afloat when thrown in the water
- Consists of essential nutrients
- All-natural ingredients
- Not recommended for use as a staple diet
Hartz Wardley Reptile treats is a tasty treat that you can use to feed your pet turtle every now and then. Not only is it packed with essential nutrients, but it also stays afloat, making it easier for your turtle to consume.
What other foods can turtles eat besides turtle foods?
The type of supplements you can feed your turtle depends on its species. For instance, painted turtles eat earthworms, snails, tadpoles, and guppies in the wild and will benefit immensely if you mix their commercial foods with such substances. As they grow older, they enjoy some vegetables and other food types such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and green beans.
Similarly, box turtles have a similar food liking to painted turtles. They enjoy eating more strawberries, apples, and cantaloupe, which you can add to their diet. As such, you can feed a turtle with a lot more other than just their turtle food.
Pet turtles eat a wide variety of foods, ranging from vegetables and fruits to flowers to small insects. As such, owners need to offer a widely varied and balanced diet to keep a pet turtle happy and healthy. By choosing different foods and feeding the turtle properly, including adding pet store supplements to ensure enough minerals and vitamins, a pet turtle is sure to live a long and well-fed life.