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They aren’t very good for your turtle nutritionally, may stunt its growth and are very fatty. Think of it as going to McDonalds for dinner. One meal there probably won’t have much of an effect on your health, but it shouldn’t become a regular habit! Luckily, there are some healthier, and parasite-free, alternatives to live fish for your turtle. Most grocery stores carry a variety of fresh seafood, which is not too expensive when purchased in small quantities. Shrimp, squid (both the filets and tentacles), tilapia, catfish and shark steak are all popular with turtles. Stick with the “white meat” species of fish because they don’t leave your water as messy, and make sure you feed as much variety as you can. You’ll also find a lot of freeze-dried or frozen foods at your local pet store that your turtle will like to snack on. These aren’t as nutritious as fresh raw seafood, but they make great snacks and help to add variety to the diet.

Letting healthy leaves (like collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens or 80 Gallon Water Heater Guys float on the water provides your turtle with entertainment and also a healthy snack. They will also enjoy endive, escarole, pieces of zucchini or yellow squash, cucumber, carrots, occasional bits of apple or banana, etc. Avoid lettuce and celery, and don’t feed too much fruit. Turtles can get upset stomachs and become dehydrated from eating these. Also avoid kale, broccoli and spinach due to their nutrient-binding qualities. You can probably find much more detailed diet information online if you look in the right places. We recommend you start out on Melissa Kaplan’s website, www.anapsid.org. Just remember not to leave vegetables, fruits or uneaten bugs in the water too long. Letting the food go bad makes the water dirty and can also make your turtle sick.

Turtles are susceptible to all the same common health problems as other reptiles. Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), calcium and vitamin deficiencies or toxicities, liver and kidney disease, impaction (intestinal blockage), dehydration, fungal and bacterial infections, stress, respiratory infections, parasites, etc. Most of these ailments can be dealt with by changing something about your care regimen, or with the help of a qualified reptile vet, but are easily avoided because they have a lot to do with diet/nutrition, temperature and lighting. This is why it is so important to have the proper set-up from the beginning.

A turtle that is well cared for and living in the right environment should live a long and healthy life with minimal problems. Another health concern with turtles is their shell. Apart from normal shedding, sometimes the shell can become very flaky, oily or even gooey. This usually has to do with poor water quality and/or insufficient UV exposure, and there are some helpful products available through your pet store to help keep the shell healthy.

Published at: Recent Health Articleshttp://recenthealtharticles.org

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