The Best Turtle Food for a Healthy Pet

Written by Shaunice Lewis
Updated: August 5, 2022

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Turtles are very interesting creatures and they make wonderful pets. If you are a proud owner of a pet turtle, you want to feed it the best quality food possible so that it lives a long, and healthy life. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best turtle foods you can buy for your pet in order to keep it happy and healthy. Let’s go over a few of our favorites below.

  1. Ultra Fresh Turtle Nutri Stick, Wild Sword Prawn
  2. Ultra Fresh Turtle Nutri Stick, Wild Sword Prawn
    • Includes high-quality, premium ingredients
    • Features a special growth formula
    • The recipe is the perfect 4:6 meat-to-vegetable ratio for turtles
    • Easy for turtles to digest
    • Does not contain additives, artificial flavors or coloring, or byproducts
    Check Amazon
  3. Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Food
  4. Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Food
    • Nutritionally complete
    • No supplemental vitamins or minerals required
    • Floating food encourages natural feeding behavior
    • Contains a high level of fish and animal protein, which turtles require as carnivores
    • Contains natural vitamin E
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Tetra ReptoMin Floating Sticks Turtle Food
  6. Tetra ReptoMin Floating Sticks Turtle Food
    • Perfect for small turtles, newts, and frogs
    • Specially formulated for these small aquatic species with the correct balance of nutrients like calcium and vitamin C
    • Promotes growth with high-quality protein and essential amino acids
    • Easy to digest
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Zilla Land Turtle & Tortoise Food
  8. Zilla Land Turtle & Tortoise Food
    • Formulated for land turtles, which are primarily herbivores that eat some insects
    • Promotes excellent health, improved shell color, and activity
    • You can serve it with fruits and veggies or serve it "as is," since it is nutritionally complete
    • These pellets feature the correct amount of proteins, vitamins, and minerals your pet requires
    • Easy to digest
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Healthy Turtle Food

1. The Best Overall: Ultra Fresh Turtle Nutri Stick

We found that the brand Ultra Fresh had the best overall turtle food when it comes to quality, affordability, and convenience. This brand of aquatic turtle food offers high-quality, premium ingredients with a special growth formula. It contains a blend of wild sword prawns, akiami paste shrimp, seaweed, and vegetables at a perfect 4:6 meat-to-vegetable ratio for turtles. All of the ingredients found in this brand are made of superior quality and contain no additives, artificial flavors, or coloring. There are also no byproducts or other ingredients that can be harmful to your turtle.

The ultra Fresh turtle food is also easy for your turtle to digest because of the way that the food was processed. The company uses 10 hours of low-temperature processing and then enhances the product with probiotics that are good for your turtle’s digestion. This method also helps to preserve the natural flavor of the food and maintain its rich nutritional value. Another great thing to point out is that when added to the water, the food does not immediately disintegrate and cloud the water, but it does rapidly soften—making it easy for your turtle to consume. The food stays intact for 24 hours, which allows your aquarium water to remain clear. All of these things are important to consider when it comes to choosing high-quality food for your turtle.

Best Overall
Ultra Fresh Turtle Nutri Stick, Wild Sword Prawn
  • Includes high-quality, premium ingredients
  • Features a special growth formula
  • The recipe is the perfect 4:6 meat-to-vegetable ratio for turtles
  • Easy for turtles to digest
  • Does not contain additives, artificial flavors or coloring, or byproducts
Check Amazon

2. Most Nutritionally Complete: Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Food

Mazuri aquatic turtle food offers a nutritionally complete food blend that does not require any additional supplementation. It is a floating diet that helps emulate natural feeding behaviors. It also contains a high level of both fish and animal proteins which meets the needs of carnivorous species like some turtles. It is for all breed sizes and offers a completely balanced, nutritional source for your pet turtle.

Most Nutritionally Complete
Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Food
  • Nutritionally complete
  • No supplemental vitamins or minerals required
  • Floating food encourages natural feeding behavior
  • Contains a high level of fish and animal protein, which turtles require as carnivores
  • Contains natural vitamin E
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Small Turtles: Tetra ReptoMin Floating Food Sticks

The Tetra ReptoMin food sticks are best for small turtles and other small aquatic pets like newts and frogs. This brand is scientifically formulated for smaller aquatic species and provides the right amount of nutrients like calcium, and vitamin C that your pet needs to stay happy and healthy. It is also formulated to promote growth with its high-quality proteins and essential amino acids which work to promote growth in your turtle. The food is made to be easy to digest since it is designed for smaller creatures.

Best for Small Turtles
Tetra ReptoMin Floating Sticks Turtle Food
  • Perfect for small turtles, newts, and frogs
  • Specially formulated for these small aquatic species with the correct balance of nutrients like calcium and vitamin C
  • Promotes growth with high-quality protein and essential amino acids
  • Easy to digest
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Food for Land Turtles: Zilla Land Turtle Food

Land turtles are primarily herbivores that consume berries, plants, flowers, and some insects. Zilla land turtle food is formulated with these ingredients and helps promote excellent health in your turtle, as well as improved shell color and activity. You can mix this food with fruits and vegetables for an extra boost of nutrition, or you can feed it to your turtle alone as its primary diet since it is complete. This food comes in pellet form and is blended with the right amount of essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals to help promote healthy activity levels, vibrant coloration, and an increased lifespan for your turtle. This turtle food does not require refrigeration and is made to be easy to digest.

Best for Land Turtles
Zilla Land Turtle & Tortoise Food
  • Formulated for land turtles, which are primarily herbivores that eat some insects
  • Promotes excellent health, improved shell color, and activity
  • You can serve it with fruits and veggies or serve it "as is," since it is nutritionally complete
  • These pellets feature the correct amount of proteins, vitamins, and minerals your pet requires
  • Easy to digest
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best Turtle Food: What to Look For

When choosing the best food for your pet turtle, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind; quality, affordability, and convenience. Making sure that you choose a brand for your turtle based on these factors will help you choose the best one for your turtle and its specific needs.

Quality — First, you’ll want to make sure that the turtle food you’re considering is made of high-quality ingredients. This will ensure that your pet turtle won’t be ingesting anything that is bad for its health or will harm it in the long run. This includes unnecessary ingredients such as added preservatives, artificial flavors, and artificial colors. Your pet food does not need these ingredients and they can actually do quite a bit of harm to your turtle’s health when consumed over time.

Affordability — Second, you want your pet’s food to be a good value, meaning you get a good quality product for a reasonable price. Your pet’s food should not cost an arm and a leg, and there are great brands out there like the ones we’ve mentioned in this article that offer high-quality, premium ingredients at an affordable price.

Convenience — Last, your turtle’s food should be convenient when it comes to feeding your pet, as well as storing the food. This means that your pet food should be easy to feed and clean up after, and it should have a long shelf life or be easily stored in the fridge.

The Different Types of Turtle Food: Pros and Cons Compared

There are a few different options when it comes to food types for your turtle. The type that you choose will depend on things like what you’re looking for for your specific pet and the type of turtle you have. Let’s take a look at the different types of turtle food you can buy:

  • Pellet — This form is usually designed for land turtles but can be seen in dissolvable form as well. Pellets like the Zilla brand we mentioned earlier are great for pet owners that have land turtles. You can even add a bit of moisture to them if you want to increase the palatability of it for your turtle, but it is not necessary. Pellets can be stored in a cool, dry place and do not require refrigeration.
  • Stick — Our overall recommended brand by Ultra Fresh comes in stick form. This kind of turtle food is designed to float in the water and stay intact for 24 hours which helps keep your aquarium water clean instead of cloudy, unlike food that may completely dissolve in the water. Sticks are designed to rapidly softened once in water, but will not completely disintegrate which would make the water cloudy and difficult to clean.
  • Canned — There is also canned turtle food that you can by for your land turtles. This is a shelf-stable type of turtle food that usually does not require refrigeration. The shelf life of brands like Zoo Med’s box turtle food can last up to two years on the shelf.
Best Canned
Zoo Med Box Turtle Food Canned Food (6 oz)
  • Has a shelf life of up to two years
  • Perfect for all box turtles
  • You can reseal open cans with a cat food lid
  • Contains corn and apples, two favorite foods of captive box turtles
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals
Check Amazon

Now, let’s go over some of the pros and cons of each type of turtle food we’ve mentioned:

Pellets

Pros:

  • No mess
  • Can be moistened
  • Does not require refrigeration

Cons:

  • Can be dry
  • Generally for land turtles
  • May not be the most flavorful

Sticks

Pros:

  • Floats in the water
  • Does not disintegrate
  • Instantly softens
  • Stays intact for 24 hours

Cons:

Canned

Pros:

  • Long shelf life
  • Does not require refrigeration
  • Great for land turtles

Cons:

  • Not for aquatic turtles
  • Can be more expensive over time

Verified Review: User Experience

Many customers that were in the market for turtle food had very positive reviews for our overall best pick, the Ultra Fresh Turtle Nutri Stick. Many people found that their turtles were also quite satisfied with the choice and seemed to love the taste. Here are a few examples of some of the reviews:

“My turtle is a little picky. He loves these though. Great price, reviews, and 45% vegetable prompted me to try because I have trouble getting him to eat veggies. Like a little kid. These are also calcium and vitamin D enriched.”

“I couldn’t get my baby turtle to eat anything but mealworms. I went through quite a few pellets, made for baby turtles, and she refused every one of them. Bought this on a whim and thankfully she loves it.”

“These pellets are loaded with so many vitamins and minerals more than any other pellet I’ve tried
My 2 turtles Love them and eat them all within a matter of seconds.”

Best Overall
Ultra Fresh Turtle Nutri Stick, Wild Sword Prawn
  • Includes high-quality, premium ingredients
  • Features a special growth formula
  • The recipe is the perfect 4:6 meat-to-vegetable ratio for turtles
  • Easy for turtles to digest
  • Does not contain additives, artificial flavors or coloring, or byproducts
Check Amazon

Customers were also very satisfied with the Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Food brand:

“This food is well-received by all my different turtles, from sliders to mud turtles to Malaysian box turtles. I do still supplement with greens and the occasional fruit treat just for variety.”

“My sliders love this stuff! I don’t have to clean up leftover food because there isn’t any!”

Most Nutritionally Complete
Mazuri Aquatic Turtle Food
  • Nutritionally complete
  • No supplemental vitamins or minerals required
  • Floating food encourages natural feeding behavior
  • Contains a high level of fish and animal protein, which turtles require as carnivores
  • Contains natural vitamin E
Check Chewy Check Amazon
About the Author

Freelance writer specializing in natural health and wellness.

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