How to Feed Water Turtles

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Turtles make fun and interesting pets. Although generally easy to keep, water turtles are susceptible to illness, most often the result of malnutrition. This occurs when they are given a mainly vegetarian diets or not given adequate amounts of animal protein. Ideally, commercial diets are preferred for water turtles.

Keep the water clean for your pet turtle. Water turtles must feed within the water, and as a result, their primary environment becomes fouled. As they eat, they leave particles of food in the water which decompose and can cause health problems for them.

Feed the turtle a commercial diet made specifically for water turtles. This includes Purina Trout Chow, dry fish-flavored cat food and tropical fish food. Ideally, these new foods should be introduced to the turtle when it is very young.

Give the turtle treats on occasion. These can include earthworms, mouse pups and small fish.

Feed your water turtle two to three times a week, depending upon their age and size.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you feed your turtle live or dead fish as a treat, they must be fed to the turtle whole. Giving only the flesh of the fish can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Finally, it is important to clean the entire aquarium at least once a month. This also includes the filtration system.
  • If your turtle develops a soft shell or swollen eyes, bring it to the vet. These are usually signs of malnutrition.

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