Pets are like family, and if you have a pet turtle, you’ve gotten yourself a lifelong companion. Turtles can live anywhere between thirty to forty years on average and are perhaps the least demanding pets out there. However, while they are low maintenance, these reptiles need to have a well balanced and nutritious diet to live a long and healthy life.
This essentially means you need to be well informed about the dos and don’ts of feeding turtles. Now turtles are animals that crave variety and are sensitive to even a slightly monotonous diet. This means if you continue to feed your turtle the same food day in and day out, they will quickly lose interest in the food and may reject it altogether. And the last thing any pet owner wants is a pet who simply refuses to eat food. Unfortunately, providing variety to turtles is difficult since they aren’t common pets, which means pet food suppliers have a limited selection of turtle food.
So, when you don’t have much to choose from, the next best option is to supplement their daily food with a more diverse variety of turtle treats. The treats will be a game-changer and will keep your turtle munching away happily.
However, feeders – be aware! When we talk about threats, we don’t mean human treats. As a pet owner, you have to understand that humans and turtles are two entirely different species. This means that the food we eat and enjoy isn’t necessarily safe to be fed to our turtles. It can prove to be toxic to them. Sometimes, this caution extends to healthy food as well, including some vegetables.
A common human treat is a chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? It is only natural for us to wonder if we can offer our turtles this sweet snack as a treat to our shelled companions. But is chocolate safe for our turtles? Read on to find out.
Foods turtles should avoid:
When it comes to turtles, they never seem to be full. That is because in the wild, the opportunity to eat a fulfilling meal in peace is a pretty rare concept, and so turtles don’t know when and if they will be able to eat again. And so, they eat and eat and will eat just about anything they can get their hands on.
That probably works out fine for them in the wild, but as far as domesticated turtles are concerned, certain foods have to be kept clear from your turtle at all costs. Exposure to these foods can be deadly for them.
One food group that is unsafe for turtles is dairy. Turtles do not possess the enzymes that are needed to break down dairy products and digest them. Treats with even a small amount of milk content can and will lead to indigestion for your turtle.
Another food group to avoid feeding your turtle is fatty food. Too much fat can lead to your turtle facing kidney problems. And similar to their human counterparts, too much fat can lead to obesity. Obesity in turtles is a real thing!
You also need to avoid feeding your turtle any kind of sugar. Sugar is such a no-go area for turtles because a turtle’s stomach bacteria can only digest a very small amount of sugar. Too much sugar will destroy this (good) bacteria, which, as a result, will cause fatal poisoning to your pet.
Unfortunately, chocolate ticks off on all these boxes. All the elements that make chocolate are all the elements that are toxic for our pet turtles. And so, the simple and straightforward answer to whether turtles can snack on chocolates is a big fat no!
Don’t worry, though. Just because we’ve ticked chocolate off the list of possible snacks doesn’t mean you don’t have a wide selection to offer otherwise. There is a wide variety of healthy snacks that are common around the house and are a great diet supplement.
For most of the part, pet turtles are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and plants. This, in turn, gives you a wide variety of treats to choose from to offer to your pet turtle.
- Freeze Dried Insects will be readily available at any pet store. They’re great as a treat considering how turtles love eating insects, crickets especially. They’re also healthy as they are rich in all the necessary proteins and vitamins.
- Dried shrimps are also a healthy snack option since shrimps contain all the important facts and maybe lack regular turtle food. Shrimps are a fairly common food for aquatic pets, so you need to make sure you buy the right kind for your turtle. Your turtle needs to be fed the bigger shrimps.
- Vegetables and fruits are a great healthy treat to offer your turtle. You can easily cut up lettuce, corn, apple, and or blueberries, to name a few safe options. The only precaution with this treatment is to ensure that the pieces are cut small into bite-sized pieces to avoid the risk of choking and that the seeds are removed.
- Bits of meat is also an option to offer. Cooked chicken, ground beef, or pork leftover from your meals can be given to your turtle. Even if you offer them large pieces, they will enjoy tearing them with their teeth.
- Live food is also an option since turtles are hunters who enjoy chasing their meals. Once a week, live food will provide them with much-needed stimulation in the form of insects or feeder fish.
To sum things up, chocolate is perhaps one of the worst foods you can offer your turtle, even as an occasional snack. There is a wide choice of safe and healthy snacks to choose from, as mentioned above, that will not only keep them satisfied but will keep them safe from harm!