turtles covered on this web site are all omnivorous, which means they
eat everything from insects to lettuce. However, this does not
mean you can feed your pet turtle anything, i.e. table scraps, and they
do require a healthy, balanced, "turtle diet".
Turtles can be expensive to feed, especially since they are exotic pets, and pet stores do not carry too many brands of turtle food. You have probably seen the words "food stick" appear quite a few times on the site, so let us explain what these are. Buying feeder fish can be quite expensive in the long run, food sticks can help keep your turtle healthy. One brand we recommend is
Among the better commercial foods for aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles are Tetra Reptomin floating Turtle sticks. Again, these are expensive, so you can get creative and mix in other fish food, and bits of meat, fruit and vegetables.
It is important that you keep a close watch on your turtle's diet, and if you own more than one turtle, make sure they both get to eat equal amounts of food. Turtles are generally messy when they eat, so make sure to keep the water clean and free of debris, as small decomposing particles of flesh can get trapped under rocks and logs and contaminate your turtle's environment.
If you notice your turtle seeming lethargic and having cloudy skin patches, or milky eyes, it may be because of poor nutrition or disease. Make sure you take your turtle to a veterinarian who knows about reptiles to determine whether the animal's diet is too blame, or if there are other factors involved.
Another good practice is to feed your turtle live fish at least once a week, to make sure it gets to exercise. Turtles like to hunt, and it is also great fun to watch them dive in after small fish.
Make sure to have a water dish in your turtle's terrarium or pen, since it will be a clean source of water from it to drink from, as its swimming water is mostly contaminated with urine and feces.
Both aquatic and terrestrial turtles have similar feeding habits, although aquatic turtles seem to keep eating meat even when they are older, whereas terrestrial turtles have a tendency to eat more vegetation. Older turtles eat less meat because they require less protein, therefore, special care must be taken not to overfeed turtles with protein rich food. As for vegetation, turtles like berries, and some leafy vegetables, including lettuce, cabbage, alfalfa, and clover.
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