How Long Does Turtle Food Last?

Small turtle on a pile of reptile food holding a chunk of it in its mouth

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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So, the rumor is that turtle foods do not expire. Can you believe it? What is this sorcery? Well, I am here to spill out the secret. Let’s see how long turtle foods actually last.

Obviously, turtle foods have expiry dates. The packaged dry items last for months and sometimes even a month. On the contrary, wet and fresh meals lose their nutritional integrity and rot within weeks. The naturally processed canned and frozen items often enjoy months of shelf life.

How do you find out the expiry date of your turtle meals? What happens if you offer out-of-date products to the pets? I have answered everything below.

Key Takeaways

  • Packaged dry foods have a shelf life of up to 12 months.
  • It is recommended to store turtle foods in a dry and cool place.
  • Feeding the turtles expired items can make them sick.
Commercial Food Items To Feed A Map Turtle

Those Commercial Turtle Meals Do Have An Expiry Date

Nothing lasts forever, and turtle foods are no exception.

So, how long will those packaged products last? Honestly, it depends on the manufacturer and the type of meal we are dealing with.

The expiry date is usually 12 months from the manufacturing date for dry items like pellets, float sticks, etc. The shelf life of powdered foods is quite similar to this. Canned and frozen proteins also enjoy months of shelf life. Wet items, on the other hand, expire in a few weeks to months.

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The manufacturer uses safe chemicals to maintain the integrity and nutritional values of the packaged or canned goods. With time, the chemicals wear off, and food quality deteriorates.

No wonder the expired meal items will have a rotting or damp smell.

What if we have fresh vegetables? I do not have to tell you about the shelf life of vegetables. In a day or two, those greens will lose their charm.

If you have live insects and worms, you can keep them in a separate box. Toss them something to eat every few days, and they will be fine. You can catch those worms and offer your turtles the live prey. I know this idea sounds gross, but it works.

But wait. How would I know the shelf life of a turtle product?

If you buy authorized food, the package will mention the expiry date. Sometimes, the brands tag it as ‘Best Before Date.’

In case you can not find the shelf life, just ask the salesman. He will dig the papers and give you the information.

Two red-eared turtles eat fish

Do Not Feed Your Turtles Expired Foods

Okay! I admit.

Not all turtle keepers are responsible. So I will not be surprised if someone has fed their pets expired goods.

But the question is, what might happen now?

Sure, your turtles will devour anything you offer them. They are opportunistic feeders, after all.

But I can assure you one thing. Your turtle will fall sick because of this. Some probable health issues are,

  • Digestion Problem: Turtles already have a weird digestion process. They take hours and sometimes days to churn out one meal. Stuffing them with out-of-date items can upset their stomach, messing up the entire digestive system.
  • Malnutrition: The commercial goods lose their nutritional integrity after a specific period. So, feeding your pets these items will barely give them any nutrition dose. Thus, the turtles might experience malnutrition and low immunity.
  • Irritation and Parasitic Attack: Parasites quickly grow on expired products. Turtles can ingest those larvae and worms with meals. As a result, the pets will feel irritation in their body and suffer from severe diarrhea. You can see worms coming out from the turtle’s feces and vomit.
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These things sound unpleasant. So, I insist you always check the label. Sometimes, moisture gets into those packs and contaminates the entire thing.

Throw away the foods if you catch mold or parasitic growth on them. Besides, damp and foul odors are also signs that the meals have gone bad.

I suggest you store the items as per the instructions labeled on the can or pack. Dry and cool places can prevent parasitic and bacterial growth in commercial foods. Warm and humid areas promote the bacteria population.

Before You Go

Let me help you get the best deals on your turtle foods. I have listed some online shops offering discounts on turtle items. Check them out in the article attached below.

How Much Does Turtle Food Cost?

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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