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Can turtles eat fish? Good or Harmful

Can turtles eat fish? Good or Harmful

People who have pets look for food that is suitable for their pets. Since turtle food is often not available in pet stores, you may be wondering: Can turtles eat fish?

In the animal world, there are more than three thousand species of turtles, and their diets have even more variations. They are exclusively carnivorous to exclusively herbivorous, but between these extremes, there are several species of omnivorous turtles that eat both animals and plants.

The diet of a turtle depends on its species, its natural habitat, the type of food it can chew with the type of mouth it has. Turtles usually eat snails, worms, and fish, as well as dead animals. Protein is the most important element in a turtle’s diet, especially when it is very young. As it grows, it begins to eat more vegetables and plants.

So, can turtles eat fish?

There are many varieties of fish available in fish stores, and sometimes in pet stores. If you can’t find turtle food in stores, then you can occasionally offer your pet fish. Using it as a fixed food in the turtle’s diet is not advisable or appropriate for its long-term health.

Some frozen fish like leeches, Mysis fish, and krill may be good for the turtle as a source of protein. You can add some fish to fresh vegetables for a meal. Fish should be no more than one-eighth of the turtle’s diet.

In case you run out of turtle food, and you can’t go and buy more, you can offer your turtle some fish for a day or two. If your turtle doesn’t like it, you shouldn’t worry too much as turtles can go up for a week without eating.

What should a turtle’s diet consist of?

Turtles are quite popular as pets. A nutritious diet can ensure a longer and healthier life. Many species of turtles and tortoises are kept as pets, such as box turtles, water turtles and even snapping turtles.

Each of these species has different needs in terms of nutrition and also their own preferences regarding food. If you need some information about the right nutrition for your turtle, ask your local pet store, or contact your vet, preferably one with a deep understanding of turtles. You can also do some research on your own.

Many pet stores have many variations of turtle food, such as treats or sticks, which are different for each species of turtle. These foods are industrially prepared and often don’t have much flavor. This is why your turtle may not eat them. However, they contain the right amount of minerals and vitamins which are essential for your turtle’s health. Over time, you will find that these foods can be expensive in the long run.

Add fresh food to your turtle’s diet

Fresh food is less expensive for you and more nutritious for your pet.

Depending on the species of the turtle, you can give it some of these foods: proteins, vegetables, fruits, flowers, and plants. Turtles can assimilate proteins from foods such as boiled eggs, worms, grubs, dried shrimp, grasshoppers, and snails.

As for vegetables, turtles usually love corn, sweet potatoes, peas, beets, and carrots. Always remember to cut them into small pieces so that the turtle can eat them easily. They can also enjoy herbs such as carrot leaves, lettuce leaves, and kale. Carnations, lilacs, and dandelions are the flowers you can feed your turtle.

Fruit should rarely be given, only give them as a prize. They can eat apples, tomatoes, grapes, bananas, strawberries, and kiwis.

Calcium Supplements

The turtle’s shell is one of the most important parts of the animal’s body. Calcium is essential for the shell to remain tough and calcium does exactly that, keeping it healthy. If the shell becomes weak, it can also become thin and crack, leading to infection.

An infection of this type would lead to death very quickly. Most turtles have no way to eat certain vegetables or sources of calcium that are available to wild turtles.

Turtle calcium is usually available at pet stores in the form of a powder. You can simply sprinkle it on the turtle’s food. You can also use bones from other animals in a similar way. You can also use crushed eggshells as a source of calcium. Bottom line, yes turtles can eat fish. It doesn’t hurt them, but it may not contain all the nutrients they need, so it’s not recommended to feed your turtle only fish for a long time!

Written by Amanda

Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, canine behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..)

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