Keeping an exotic pet like a box turtle needs a proper environment and arrangement. You will always love to see your pet turtle happy and healthy moving around the house, or playing in its cage. You must be well aware of the food that you need to feed it. The food should be apt for the digestive system of the turtle as well as liked by the pet.
- 1 What do the turtles eat in the wilderness?
- 2 Cat, dog and human food suitable for box turtles
- 3 How to feed the turtles without being monotonous?
- 4 What precautions to follow while feeding box turtles?
- 4.1 Overfeeding should be avoided:
- 4.2 Keep the time difference:
- 4.3 Feeding turtles differently:
- 4.4 Use a feeding tank:
- 4.5 Gut-loading insects:
- 4.6 Cooking, grating and cutting:
- 4.7 1. Rep-cal box turtle food:
- 4.8 2. Zee med box turtle canned food:
- 4.9 3. Zilla reptile food munchies fruit mix:
- 4.10 4. Fluker’s Gourmet canned food mealworms:
- 4.11 5. Downtown pet supply dried mealworms:
What do the turtles eat in the wilderness?
When the turtles are in the wilderness, they eat the food that is available around them, and mostly the food does vary. This species is carnivores and thus they can eat both vegetables and animal-based protein like insects. Though they have a selected list of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items, as not every kind of insects and greens are beneficial for them.
Vegetables safe for them:
The vegetables that are suitable for their diet are, squash, beans and cabbage. Also, you can try spinach, mustard green, collard green and beet tops occasionally.
Fruits that they eat:
Among fruits, they can eat apples, cherry, grape, papaya, cucumber. Watermelon and strawberry should be given as treats and not as a part of the daily diet.
There are various kinds of insects that they prey on, like flies, spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, pill bugs and larvae of any insects.
There are various worms also that the turtles find interesting. Those are earthworms, mealworms, silkworms, slug, white grubs, a snail with shells and white grubs.
Cat, dog and human food suitable for box turtles
They can have cat and dog food also, but in moderation. Among the human food, they can have boiled chicken or cooked turkey. Other options you can try are live small fishes like guppies, feeder goldfish, crayfish or shrimp.
How to feed the turtles without being monotonous?
As box turtles get to eat various kinds of insects, fruits and vegetables when they are in the wilderness, you should try to add some variety to their diet as well when they are captivated. Giving them a diet with variety also means you will be inducing minerals and vitamins in it. There are a few items that a turtle can eat safely so you can switch them often to make the diet interesting.
What precautions to follow while feeding box turtles?
Overfeeding should be avoided:
Box turtles will be eating the food that you will give them. You cannot expect it to leave the food unfinished when its hunger is fulfilled. You must give it food as per the measurement and never continue to give more and more food.
Keep the time difference:
When the box turtle is young you need to feed it daily. But give the food at regular timing. Do not feed it at any time of the day as that will break its eating habit and also create problem in the digestion system.
Feeding turtles differently:
When you are keeping more than one turtle at home, give them food at different times. This is required to monitor the amount of food each one is eating. If you give them food in a large bowl and let all the turtles eat from there, there are chances that one will eat most of the food while the other one will not have an adequate amount of food.
Use a feeding tank:
Turtles are very clumsy when it comes to eating. They can create a mess, so it is better to offer them food in a tank. This way you will keep the tank clean and there will be less chance of mite infestation.
When you offer different insects to your turtle, make sure that you feed the insects with calcium or other available minerals and vitamins. This is a good way of inducing nutrients into the system of a box turtle.
Cooking, grating and cutting:
When you are feeding some hard vegetables to the box turtle, cut them into small pieces which makes the food easy to digest. Also, you can grate or cook it moderately so the turtle finds it easy to consume and digest.
Now we can talk about a few foods that are commercially available, and with help of which, you can bring some change in the diet of your loved pet.
1. Rep-cal box turtle food:
This food is formulated for the proper growth of your box turtle. You can carry this food when you will be travelling with the pet. This is a quality food so you need to offer it in moderate amount to your turtle. There are vitamins and minerals present in this food so your pet will have all these nutrients from a single food source.
The ingredients of this food are all-natural. This is based upon the plant and fruit. It is much liked by the turtles of most of the users. You can also offer this food instead of giving raw greens and fruits, and you need to add some protein-based food along with it to complete the meal.
- Not fattening
- Favourite of most turtles
- Balanced meal
- Some found it moist and messy
2. Zee med box turtle canned food:
This is the right kind of food for turtles of all age. The packing of this food is great as you can reuse it and reseal it without damaging the quality of this food. One tin of food will last for two years. Usually, this food is to be served a teaspoon at a time as this is a pretty high-quality food. The food contains a pleasant smell so it will be surely liked by your pet turtle.
This is a good food option for the box turtles, and this one contains pieces of fruits and vegetables it. The consistency is more like jelly and it can be stored in regular household fridges. You must add some dry pellets with this food to feed your turtle a nutritious meal.
- Fruity smell
- Nice taste
- Lasts 2 years
- Can get spoiled if not refrigerated
3. Zilla reptile food munchies fruit mix:
This is a nutritious packaged food that will be just perfect to feed your box turtle on any given day. The food comes in dehydrated forms to lengthen its shelf life. You need to rehydrate it with water to make it ready for consumption. The packaging is much convenient and thus you can carry it when you need to travel with your box turtle.
This one is sourced from various natural ingredients and thus it provides full nutrition to your pet. The food is based not only on vegetables and fruits but also on the goodness of protein that is sourced from bugs. The food smell sweet and fruity but you need to keep it fresh from the attack of fruit flies, mites and gnats. You can add some calcium and vitamin powder to this food and it will be a sumptuous meal for the pet turtle.
- Fruity smell to attract the turtles
- Contains vegetables, fruits and insects
- Two tablespoons are enough to feed a turtle
- Food crushed inside the bag
4. Fluker’s Gourmet canned food mealworms:
The flavours in which this food is available are quite tempting, so surely it will be loved by your box turtles. Get this food in mealworm, shrimp, grasshoppers, cricket or soldier worm flavour. But most of the turtles prefer the mealworm one. This food is easy to offer as it comes in pellets. This is a nice and moist meal that needs no preparation. You can offer it directly to your pet.
The mealworms are dead but they are fattened. So your pet will get a good amount of nutrition from these mealworms packed into the can. Using tweezers to get the food out of the container is the best idea as otherwise, you may end up taking out too much or messing the food. You need to keep this container in the freezer to keep the food in good condition. You need to keep the container after opening it and it will be useable for three weeks later on.
- Nice fattened worms
- Box turtles would love the taste
- Can be used with calcium powder
- Needs vegetables to complete the meal
5. Downtown pet supply dried mealworms:
This meal is high in protein and thus your pet will have a good and healthy meal if you offer this food to it. There are nutrients in this food that boosts immunity and takes care of overall health. This is a naturally sourced food that contains no GMO, additives or preservatives. This provides a high amount of energy so your pet turtle will be cheered up after eating this food for some days continuously.
The package contains much less dust or crushed food so you can expect good quality food. The dried-up worms are good and healthy. This meal is also a pocket-friendly option for many pet owners. You can store the food for a long time if you seal the pack after opening it and keeping it refrigerated.
- Nice pack of mealworms
- Less dust
- Pocket-friendly price
- Too dry for some turtles