Turtles are found in almost every part of the world. In fact, you can find them on every continent except Antarctica. Turtles are hard-shelled reptiles that live in or near bodies of water such as lakes and streams.
While sometimes turtles are kept as pets, they are not as common as dogs, cats or even hamsters. And should you find yourself willing to take that step to keep a turtle you probably have no idea what they eat or drink. Just remember that turtles thrive best on a diet that considers their specific requirements.
What Do I Feed My Turtle?
Turtles are omnivores which means that they can eat both plants and animals. Turtles generally get their protein from things that they are able to capture. For proteins turtles eat almost anything they can capture and control. Imagine your turtle feasting on spiders, worms, and insects!
If your turtle is bigger than the standard box turtle, you can consider taking it to the next level. Depending on the size of the turtle, you can even go to larger prey. Some turtles have been known to eat frogs, snakes or even smaller turtles!. You’d be surprised at the variety of proteins that your turtle will devour.
But what about those vegetables? Turtles cannot live by fish alone. they need the vitamins and minerals that vegetables provide – especially as they get older. Younger turtles will favor a diet skewed more towards meat, but as it ages it will begin to increase the percentage of its diet towards plants and vegetables.
So what kind of vegetables do turtles prefer? Feel free to offer your turtle a variety of vegetables. You can try carrots, sweet potatoes and even green beans. And of course, don’t forget to include leafy greens. Kale, romaine lettuce and even dandelion greens can prove to be extremely enticing to your turtle.
You may be thinking that your turtle may enjoy some fruits in addition to insects and a side of veggies. Yes, turtles generally enjoy fruit. In fact, they may enjoy it so much that you will need to limit access to them. Bananas, apples or grapes can be a wonderful treat for your turtle – but make sure you don’t overdo it. All that sugar, even if it is natural, can prove to be unhealthy.
What Do Turtles Drink?
The short answer is water. However, it’s a little bit more detailed than that. Water serves a dual purpose for turtles. It’s a necessary part of their environment. Turtles are ectoderms which is a fancy way of saying they are cold-blooded. This means that just like other reptiles, they regulate their temperature using external means such as rocks warmed by the sun or a pool of cool water.
Because water plays multiple roles, turtles consume the same water that they play around in. In between strokes, your turtle will simply take a big swig. Turtles also use water to help consume their food so don’t be surprised if it drags dinner down to the water’s edge.
If you keep your turtle in a tank, take care to change the water often. Urine and fecal waste can soon turn potable water into a toxic mess. You should definitely look into getting a filter for your turtle or you may need to clean out the water almost every day.
This is a brief summary of what turtles like to eat and drink. As you can see turtles have a wide selection of foods to choose from. Feel free to offer your turtle a variety of proteins and vegetables as long as it is balanced overall.