Is all dog food bad for tortoises?

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fgately

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Ok, another newbie question here.

My brother came over the other day, and brought his dog for a visit. I went outside and noticed one of my Russian tortoises was eating some of the dog food out his bowl. My brother is a wierd vegetarian, who only feeds his dog a vegetarian based dog food. My question is this, is occasional vegetarian based dog food a bad thing for tortoises?

He seemed to be really enjoying it.
 

tortoisenerd

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I would look at the ingredients because even a vegetarian dog food could be very high protein and fat and such plus have inappropriate ingredients for torts (corn, beans, etc). There are plenty of foods that torts love and are 100% good for them. I only stick to the good foods and my tort doesn't know that he is missing anything! I don't feed fruit ever for example, when many people think the occasional treat is fine...I stick to treats like cactus pads, flowers, squash, pumpkin, etc. If you feel the need to add a commercial food as a small part of the diet (small meaning less than 5-10% in my mind), then Maruri or Grassland are both good choices. I would keep the torts away from the dog food and even more importantly the dogs (99 encounters can go great and the 100th one can be deadly) and areas the dogs have been in (because dog poop can have meds in it deadly to torts plus different parasites that can sicken or kill a tort).
 

Kristina

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What was in it?

Even vegetarian foods probably contain a lot of grain fillers and "ash" products. These take up valuable tummy space, in my opinion, and that is why I never feed prepared foods.

Weeds, grasses, greens, mushrooms, insects and fruits (depending on species) are what tortoises are made to eat. I don't even like feeding dog food to my dog. I would not ever allow my tortoises to eat it.

As I have said before, if you MUST feed a prepared diet, or feel it is necessary for what ever reason, use Mazuri.

I would certainly enjoy a bowl full of Kit Kats, but I bet it wouldn't be good for me!
 

Yvonne G

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Of course your tortoise will eat what he's not supposed to! I knew a lady who had several full grown sulcatas in her back yard. She had house dogs. The tortoises figured out how to open the sliding glass door and every evening they would make a bee-line for the dog's dishes. This lady thought it was so cute, that she didn't do anything about it. I never saw any adverse effects on the tortoises. Long term? Who knows.
 

fgately

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My male Russian tried to eat my mom's toenails, because she painted them purple. I am SURE this would not be good for either party!
 

terryo

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I don't know about tortoises because I never gave any to Pio, but a few weeks before my boxies hibernate, I give them Wellness Venison dog food for about a week, along with their regular greens and fruits. It fattens them up a little bit before the big sleep. I've been doing this for over 30 years, with no problems.
 

fgately

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Thanks Terryo! I just wondered about the dogfood question.

I was grilling some steak on Saturday, and I swear the little buggers could smell it. I didn't give them any, but they did look up to see what I was doing. I'm sure that a nice thick sirloin smells a lot better than grass and weeds.

terryo said:
I don't know about tortoises because I never gave any to Pio, but a few weeks before my boxies hibernate, I give them Wellness Venison dog food for about a week, along with their regular greens and fruits. It fattens them up a little bit before the big sleep. I've been doing this for over 30 years, with no problems.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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fgately said:
Thanks Terryo! I just wondered about the dogfood question.

I was grilling some steak on Saturday, and I swear the little buggers could smell it. I didn't give them any, but they did look up to see what I was doing. I'm sure that a nice thick sirloin smells a lot better than grass and weeds.

terryo said:
I don't know about tortoises because I never gave any to Pio, but a few weeks before my boxies hibernate, I give them Wellness Venison dog food for about a week, along with their regular greens and fruits. It fattens them up a little bit before the big sleep. I've been doing this for over 30 years, with no problems.

Not to the tortoises, they like the smell of grass and weeds better. Ever smell your fingers after feeding squash blossoms? A very distinct sour smell that is attractive to tortoises...same with grasses and weeds...
 

fgately

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maggie3fan said:
fgately said:
Thanks Terryo! I just wondered about the dogfood question.

I was grilling some steak on Saturday, and I swear the little buggers could smell it. I didn't give them any, but they did look up to see what I was doing. I'm sure that a nice thick sirloin smells a lot better than grass and weeds.

terryo said:
I don't know about tortoises because I never gave any to Pio, but a few weeks before my boxies hibernate, I give them Wellness Venison dog food for about a week, along with their regular greens and fruits. It fattens them up a little bit before the big sleep. I've been doing this for over 30 years, with no problems.

Not to the tortoises, they like the smell of grass and weeds better. Ever smell your fingers after feeding squash blossoms? A very distinct sour smell that is attractive to tortoises...same with grasses and weeds...

KC Masterpiece on pulled pork, or a lawn? I'm going with the KC. I do know that the weeds are healthier though (even for us.)
 

N2TORTS

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MY RF"S and CHerrys .... get " Meat " Dogfood ... once a week , and not overabundance. A Few things ... They LOVE IT ! ! ! ALL of them , all sizes ect. Also they can smell it far away and litterally will wake up and run out at feeding times ... it gives me a chance to add vitiams/ Calciums ect ... and mask any other suppliments if needed. Also it IS a part of their NAtural DIET ( I KNow Not DOG FOOD .... BUT MEAT PRODUCTS ... aka Carrion in the wild ..) . SO .... a few things to consider and what makes so many different views.... I believe its ... How , Where , Temps , Area Size , Sun , Rain , Ect ....That plays an important role as to " IS BEEF / DOG FOOD .. good for RF"S .
A Vaired DIet being best !
I have raised only a 7+ RF's/Cherrys from hatchlings .. and all of my torts in my eyes .. are doing extremely well , and reproducing.....5-9 years later ...
Happy TORT~N ...
JD:)
Sorry for the wild caps ... my key board is acting up ...
 

Angi

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I agree with Tom. Dogs are suposed to eat meat. In nature they kill other animals and eat them. I feed my dogs a dog food that has meat (salmon)as its # 1 ingridient. I don't really see a point in giving the tortoise dog food, but I guess some of the experts do. I will play it safe and stick to a vegiterian diet for my torts, a meat based dog food for my dogs.
 

fgately

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I'm going to throw a cooked steak out there and see what happens.
 

Candy

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Don't cook it first just throw it out there and yes I'm talking about the dogs. :D :p I don't even think that dog food is that good for dogs so you know how I'd feel giving it to my tortoises. ;)
 

SweetPete7

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kyryah said:
What was in it?

Even vegetarian foods probably contain a lot of grain fillers and "ash" products. These take up valuable tummy space, in my opinion, and that is why I never feed prepared foods.

Weeds, grasses, greens, mushrooms, insects and fruits (depending on species) are what tortoises are made to eat. I don't even like feeding dog food to my dog. I would not ever allow my tortoises to eat it.

As I have said before, if you MUST feed a prepared diet, or feel it is necessary for what ever reason, use Mazuri.

I would certainly enjoy a bowl full of Kit Kats, but I bet it wouldn't be good for me!

Kristina,
I had read that mushrooms were unhealthy for tortoises, is this not true? What kind do you feed your torts?
 

Kristina

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Depends on what kind of tortoise it is. Forest torts in the wild get most of their fiber from mushrooms, since the do not regularly eat weeds and grasses. My Hingebacks and Redfoots eat tons of mushrooms, usually portabellas but I have also gotten regular white mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and shitaki for them. Box turtles also relish mushrooms. In the wild, boxies often eat varieties that would poison us - it lends a toxic quality to their flesh, which makes them taste bad to predators and is an added defense mechanism.

I believe your baby is a Leopard - while mushrooms won't HURT your Leo, he doesn't need them. Leos are made by mother nature to eat weeds and grasses, and that is what they should be fed :)
 

Kristina

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Depends on what kind of tortoise it is. Forest torts in the wild get most of their fiber from mushrooms, since the do not regularly eat weeds and grasses. My Hingebacks and Redfoots eat tons of mushrooms, usually portabellas but I have also gotten regular white mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and shitaki for them. Box turtles also relish mushrooms. In the wild, boxies often eat varieties that would poison us - it lends a toxic quality to their flesh, which makes them taste bad to predators and is an added defense mechanism.

I believe your baby is a Leopard - while mushrooms won't HURT your Leo, he doesn't need them. Leos are made by mother nature to eat weeds and grasses, and that is what they should be fed :)
 
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