When caring for a turtle, it’s important that you provide them with a healthy diet. A healthy diet will not only help them stay healthy and fight off illnesses, but it will also help them grow at a healthy rate. In today’s article I will explain what nutrients turtles need the most and provide a list of some of the healthiest foods for turtles.
Healthy food for turtles
The healthiest food for turtles is Zoo Med Formula turtle food, Turtle Nutri sticks, ReptoMin turtle formula, and nutritious vegetables.
Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to understand what nutrients and vitamins turtles need. In terms of vitamins, the most important are vitamin A and vitamin D3. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining many of your turtle’s organs and helps them maintain healthy skin. Vitamin D3 helps your turtle synthesize calcium, which in turn helps them maintain healthy skin and bones, and especially their shell.
Turtles (especially young ones) will also need a source of protein to help support their growth.
Healthiest turtle pellets
Depending on the age of your turtle, pellets should consist of anywhere from 25% to 75% of your turtle’s diet. While most pellets contain a decent source of protein, they can vary widely on the sources of vitamins and other minerals.
Therefore, it’s important that you choose a healthy brand. Below are the three healthiest turtle brands:
Zoo med natural formula
One of the healthiest turtle pellets is Zoo med natural formula. It contains many essential nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin D3, and calcium carbonate.
It also has vitamin E which helps your turtle maintain a healthy shell, and vitamin B12 which helps your turtle’s nerve function.
Aside from it’s health benefits, these pellets are also very tasty. In fact, they are my turtles favorite pellets. They are also one of the cheaper pellets on the market.
You can learn more about zoo med aquatic turtle food here.
Even though this brand is relatively new to the space, it’s pellets are very healthy for your turtle. They contain a long list of vitamins including
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B12
It also contains carotene, which your turtle’s body synthesizes into Vitamin A.
The formula is derived from both fish and shrimp, so your turtle should definitely like the taste. It is also very affordable.
ReptoMin turtle pellets have long been a popular choice for turtle owners. The pellets are healthy and contain vitamin D3 as well as vitamin A palmitate, which is a form of vitamin A. It also contains calcium.
Healthy vegetables for turtles
Aside from pellets, vegetables are another healthy food option for turtles. Depending on the age of your turtle, vegetables should make up anywhere between 25% to 80% of their diet. Below is a list of some of the healthiest vegetables for turtles. I categorized them based on the nutrients they provide.
If you are looking for vegetables that are safe for your turtle and high in vitamin A, some good options include kale, collard greens, and romaine lettuce. In general, most darky leafy vegetables are very healthy for turtles.
Carrots and tomatoes are also good options as they contain carotenes, which your turtles liver can convert to vitamin A.
If you are looking for vegetables that are high in calcium, some good options are turnip greens, butternut squash, and cabbage.
The key with calcium is to feed your turtle more calcium than phosphorous, so that they have a high calcium to phosphorous ratio.
If you think your turtle is suffering from a calcium deficiency, you can also explore giving them calcium supplements.
That being said, it’s important that you don’t overdo it with calcium. Overfeeding your turtle calcium can cause damage to their kidneys.
It is very important that you provide variety in your turtles diet to ensure they are getting all their required nutrients. This means you should feed them a variety of pellets (at least 2-3 different brands) as well as a variety of vegetables (at least 2-3).
Feeding your turtle a variety also helps prevent the chances of your turtle becoming too dependent on one type of food.
Other healthy food options for turtles
If you are looking for more healthy food options, you can give live fish a try. They provide a lot of vitamins and protein. They also help keep your turtle stimulated and active, which keeps them healthy. Just make sure to not feed them live fish more than once a week, as it can cause them to gain extra weight.
While fruits are optional for your turtle’s diet, there are a couple healthy options. For example, strawberries provide healthy antioxidants and other minerals such as calcium and fiber. Another good option for fruit is blueberries. Just make sure that when you feed your turtle fruit that you cut it up into small pieces so they can easily digest it.
Healthy turtle food
When it comes to healthy turtle food, the key is to find pellets and vegetables that have key vitamins such as vitamin A and D3, as well as calcium. It’s also very important to feed a variety of food to ensure your turtle is getting all of its required nutrients.