Turtles are cute, little, tiny, exotic integrated marine reptiles. They can be beautiful pets like cats and dogs, but it is important to do your homework before petting them because it might seem easy to pet them, but the task can be rather challenging. Turtles are long-lived reptiles. If they are kept healthy, and on a proper diet, they can live as long as 80 years; on the other hand, little box turtles and terrapins can live up to a life span of 30-40 years.
“They are becoming more popular as pets. Some of them are very beautiful and can easily be purchased over the internet. But there is no such thing as an easy pet,” says Katrina Smith, adoptions coordinator for Maryland-based Mid-Atlantic Turtle and Tortoise Society.
These tiny, cute creatures may look easy to pet, but it is important to keep them safe and healthy with proper knowledge about their health and nourishment to keep them alive. Experts say not to pet wild turtles because they may not adapt to the given environment, so not to put them at risk, local area turtles can be found with a little research. Turtles live for a very long time; they might outlive their buyer. They require a habitat that should be cleaned properly and regularly more than humans generally assume. They need space, although box turtles are cleaner than aquatic turtles.
Health and safety
Turtles contain salmonella, and humans, especially the younger kids, can get ill by touching them. They can cause serious infections and diseases in humans. They can cause respiratory problems as well, even when they are looking clean. They can cause allergies as brain damage as well.
Diet of turtles
Turtles eat different fruits, berries, decaying fish, bugs, caterpillars, beetles, snails, etc. Depending on the availability. Some turtles eat fruits very amusedly. They can be fed on grapes, cranberries, etc. They will happily eat it. But it should be given on rare occasions because they have high sugar content, which can be fatal for them. Fruits should be given to them in small portions.
Can turtles eat bread?
The answer to this question is; No, they cannot eat bread because they lack the enzymes to breakdown the bread and absorb it in the body for energy expenditure, they lack the essential nutrients for the growth, and it can distort their shells. They cannot digest bread and dairy products because they are lactose intolerant. Constantly feeding them bread may cause metabolic bone disease in them. So, feeding them with bread is not a good thing for their health. But still, it has a contradiction to it because some turtles are omnivores, some are carnivores, and some are herbivores, depending on the availability around them. But still, it’s not a good idea to give them bread; even fortified bread does not contain the nutrients that do not suffice their needs for nourishment that they require. As bread is made from grains of grass, wheat though some species of turtles may be able to digest them, it has been a good idea to give them bread.
Can it keep them healthy?
Well, as mentioned above, if someone is feeding them with bread, they should stop because they lack the enzymes needed to digest the bread. Therefore, feeding them bread can cause harm to a healthy turtle. Some people who pet turtles come with little or no knowledge at all. Risking a life without completely understanding the harms of it is sheer irresponsibility. Turtles live for a long-time, but if they are kept irresponsibly, they might die, and their whole species will be more susceptible to extinction.
Nutritional value of white bread
- White bread has less than 1 gram of fiber.
- It is also known as rye bread; it may or may not be prepared with whole-grains.
- It is usually a mixture of refined grains and whole-grains.
- Since it is a mixture of refined grains, it would contain more sugar content, which would make it a little less healthy than the whole-grain bread.
- It is manufactured with 75 grams of fat, 13 or more grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber.
- Since it is a major form of carbs, the body utilizes carbs as a major energy source.
- So, bread is a good energy source. And it is fuel to body cells.
Nutritional value of whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain bread comes with a lot of benefits, and also, it contains a healthy amount of fiber, which helps the digestive tract to produce good microbes, which help to digest and absorb food, plus they keep gut health as well.
- They can be added to your diet even when you are losing weight because the carbs in it are restricted, due to which it is preferred all around the world more than the white bread, it only contains whole grain and no refined grains which make it less loaded with artificial sugars.
- It contains 2 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of protein plus fiber.
Extinction and endangered species
Being slaughtered for their skin, meat, skin, and eggs, turtles are now being classified as extremely endangered species. Climatic changes and global warming are causing sheer effects on their sex of hatchlings; due to the sand’s changing temperature, they cannot hatch the eggs, let alone produce as many eggs. They are now officially considered as endangered species by WWF. They are a vital part of the ecosystem, and without them, the globe would face harsh climatic effects. The ocean turtles spend 70% of their lives in the depths of the sea; due to water contamination and oceans being extremely polluted, they are dying on a massive scale.
Although people around the world make the mistake of feeding the turtles with bread, the above article emphasizes the fact that they cannot digest bread, and also, they have lactose intolerance, so they cannot eat dairy as well. They already are endangered species and sold illegally around the globe, so they need to be protected and kept safe.