Turtles are one of the most underrated pets to have. Sure they are cuddly, and they don’t show affection as blatantly as other animals such as cats and dogs do, but having a turtle as a pet has its perks too. To start with, turtles are super low maintenance. Moreover, turtles are the least demanding pets out there. If they are properly taken care of, they can live over 70 years on average, and the chances are that they will probably outlive you!
But what does proper care mean? Turtles have two major requirements, and the more important one is that their diet is properly taken care of. That means that as their owner, they rely on you to ensure they get a well-balanced diet, and all their nutritional requirements are met.
However, that is easier said than done. Turtles are rare pets to have, so your turtle support group may be very limited, especially when you have questions about their diet. Moreover, pet stores don’t have a very wide selection of turtle products, including food.
This can prove to be slightly problematic. Turtles enjoy a variety. If they feel mealtime is getting too monotonous, they will get bored and will end up rejecting their food altogether. To top things off, it seems like our turtles are constantly hungry. Which is why you turn to offer them snacks, or you hope to at least. As we said, pet stores don’t have a wide variety of options, and so it is natural to turn to your pantry in hopes of finding turtle appropriate snacks.
But what human snacks are appropriate for our turtles? This is a very important question that needs to be taken into account. You see, turtles and humans are two very different beings, and so what might be safe and healthy for us humans to eat might not necessarily sit well with our turtles. That is probably because their digestive system and tolerance to certain foods vary from ours.
A common snack found in our pantries is a box of crackers. For humans, they serve as a great healthy snack to munch on when we feel hungry. But what about crackers as a snack for turtles? Are crackers a turtle-friendly snack that we can offer them? Read on to find all the answers to your turtle related queries.
Why are turtles always hungry?
You’ve probably noticed that when you offer your turtle food, they greedily seem to gobble it up and still don’t seem as though they are satisfied. If you have ever worried about if they act like that because you aren’t feeding them enough, you shouldn’t have to worry about that.
Turtles, out in the wild, don’t know when and if they are going to get their next meal and so they don’t miss an opportunity to eat. They will quickly gobble up whatever they can and whatever they like and will repeat the same process if they come across more food.
Now while domesticated turtles don’t have to worry about not getting their next meal, it is their innate instinct that makes them act this way.
Which is why it is important to offer them filler foods or snacks.
Do crackers count as a healthy turtle snack?
Crackers are a great healthy snack to munch on, and you’ll often find a box lying around at home. Why are they so popular?
Crackers taste great. These snacks come in a variety of flavors, and so we have a wide range of options to keep us from getting tired of eating the same snack over and over again. Other than their taste and flavor, crackers carry some health benefits too. Although it depends on the kind of cracker that you buy, the healthy ones have high fiber and low sodium. Which means they do wonders for our digestive system. They also encourage you to include healthy toppings such as cheese and peanut butter, which have their own set of health benefits, into your diet. They are also low in calories and so snacking on them won’t put you at risk for gaining weight. So, just as long as you pay attention to the kind of crackers you are buying, they are a healthy snack.
But does the same apply to our turtles?
In the list of things that are acceptable for our turtle’s health, the only thing that stands out with crackers is that they have high fiber. Just as it does for humans, it works well for your turtle’s digestive system.
The rest of the ingredients aren’t too great for our reptile friends. To start with, salt isn’t something that belongs to your turtle’s diet. Their tolerance for sodium is pretty low, and crackers might not be too salty, but even the small amount present in them isn’t recommended for your turtle.
Similarly, toppings used on crackers don’t suit a turtle’s diet either. Turtles cannot eat dairy, and so the cheese is out of the question.
Crackers aren’t something your turtle will find in the wild and so it doesn’t have a place in their diet.
Other food options are not only safe but healthy that your turtle can eat. These include a wide variety of vegetables, especially dark leafy greens such as kale and lettuce. They can also eat fruits such as all kinds of melons and all kinds of berries.
You can also offer them some feeder fish or insects or worms as a snack. Turtles love these food options, and they are wonderful for their health.
Don’t be too shocked if your turtle does seem keen on eating crackers. Just because your turtle seems to like something doesn’t mean it should eat it, though. Crackers aren’t toxic for your turtle, and they aren’t harmful to their health. However, they aren’t something you should feed your turtle. They don’t benefit them in any way, and it is better to opt for turtle-friendly and healthy snacks.