What Do Turtles Eat?

What do turtles eat? To figure out what a turtle eats, you just have to look at how it works, where it lives, and what food is around it. Galapagos tortoises, for example, eat prickly pear cactus plants, flowers, leaves, and grasses. Alligator snapping turtles, on the other hand, eat mostly fish, mollusks, amphibians, expired animals, and small mammals.

What Do Turtles Eat?

What Do Turtles Eat?

Turtles make interesting pets, and they are fun to learn about and watch. Turtles don’t need as much hands-on training as dogs and cats, but they do need specific things like tanks that are the right size, UVB lights, and the right food.

Your turtle could get sick or die if you don’t know what to feed it, how often, and what to do if it doesn’t eat. However, most turtles can be fed only about 15 different meals. Greens and other leafy vegetables are one example.

  • Insects like worms, slugs, snails, and other creepy-crawlies
  • Itch-causing organisms and other pests
  • Botanicals
  • Fruit
  • Plant-Based Foods
  • Cucumbers and sea squirts
  • Grass, weeds, and leaves
  • Fish
  • Crustacea
  • Algae
  • The Seagrass
  • Sponges
  • There are jellyfish
  • Squid

What Do Sea Turtles Eat?

Sea turtles, also called aquatic or water turtles, are omnivores, herbivores, or carnivores, depending on their species. Only flatback, loggerhead, and olive ridley sea turtles eat jellyfish, seaweed, fish, and shrimp.

Only adults eat seagrass and algae. Young sea turtles eat meat. Hawksbill and Kemp’s ridley turtles eat sea sponges and crabs. Leatherback sea turtles are gelatinized since they eat jellyfish.

What Do Land Turtles Eat?

Land turtles, which are also called terrestrial turtles or tortoises, eat a wide variety of foods. Adult land turtles usually eat a balanced diet of beetles, caterpillars, earthworms, grubs, snails, berries, flowers, fruit, grasses, and mushrooms.

Young turtles, on the other hand, need a lot of protein because they grow so quickly before they reach adulthood. Land turtles of any age may eat a relatively fresh body, like that of a expired frog, rodent, or other small mammals.

What Do Baby Turtles Eat?

Baby turtles can fend for themselves and eat a high-protein, omnivorous diet until they mature. Most newborn turtles eat embryonic egg fluid and yolk in the wild. This diet will satisfy newborn turtles for several days until they’re robust enough to forage and hunt.

Baby turtle diets vary by environment, physical traits, and species. Baby turtles eat grasses, fruits, fish, insects, and worms. Baby turtles eat grubs, insects, beetles, worms, slugs, snails, fish, and crayfish. Baby omnivore turtles need more protein than adults. Chop your baby turtle’s food to make eating easier.

Your baby turtle’s diet can also include supplements. Pet stores and internet retailers sell pellet, flake, stick, and gel nutrients. These supplements contain protein, fat, fiber, ash, vitamins, and minerals. Baby turtle supplements contain:

  • Fishmeal
  • Corn-soymeal
  • Chicken dinner
  • Meal
  • Omega-3
  • Vitamins
  • Preservatives

What Can I feed Wild Turtles?

When you are walking around a pond, you might want to feed a turtle. In general, you shouldn’t touch a wild turtle because it might have salmonella, a germ that can make people sick.

Total Tails says it is fine to feed carrots, romaine lettuce, apples, and bananas to most wild turtles if you just can’t stop yourself from giving them a snack. Even though you shouldn’t touch wild turtles, you can feed them carrots, romaine lettuce, apples, and bananas.

Do Turtles Eat Fish?

In the wild, turtles eat a wide variety of foods, including worms, insects, snails, and fish. The high protein content of flesh is especially important for the rapid development of a wild turtle’s body while it is young.

Furthermore, young turtles require the vitamins and nutrition that can only be found in feeder fish. Aged turtles tend to increase their consumption of vegetation.

Most turtles kept as pets eat both plant and animal matter. This justifies the occasional feeding of small fish to your pet turtle.

Pet turtles enjoy eating minnows and comet goldfish, among others, depending on their size and age. Whether or not your pet turtle should be fed fish, and how often, depends on its age.

What Food Kills Turtles?

It’s possible that the prospect of dinner could make you feel anxious because different species of turtles eat different things.

According to the website Turtleholic, a good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to feeding turtles is to never give them anything that is intended for human consumption. Therefore, items like pizza and french fries are not allowed.

According to Fetch by WebMD, certain veggies, like chives, parsley, and spinach, should be avoided because they contain high quantities of a toxin called oxalates. Other plants that should be avoided include garlic chives.

Raw meat, fish, or poultry should also be avoided since, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), raw meat may carry parasites. Raw meat cannot be consumed. In general, it is best to check with a qualified veterinarian before adding new food to your turtle’s diet.

When Does A Turtle Eat?

A turtle that is less than six months old needs to eat every day. Six months to one-year-old turtles, which are called “sub-adults,” can’t go more than a day without eating. On average, an adult turtle should eat every two to three days.

What Vegetables Can Turtles Eat?

Popular veggies to include are dark leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, carrot tops, endive, Swiss chard, kale, parsley, green beans, dandelion greens, turnip greens, and clover.

What Fruit Can Turtles Eat?

Fruit should be given to boxing turtles less often than vegetables because they tend to like fruit more and it is less healthy for them. Apples, pears, bananas (with the skin on), mango, grapes, star fruit, raisins, peaches, tomato, guava, kiwis, and melons are all good fruits to offer.

Can Turtles Eat Cheerios?

Turtles don’t have the enzymes they need to break down lactose properly. Sugary Foods: You can’t eat candy, chocolate, or any other sweet food. Not only is it bad for the turtle’s health, but most of these foods are hard and could cause your pet to choke.

Can Turtles Eat Lettuce?

Can Turtles eat lettuce? A turtle shouldn’t be able to get sick from any kind of lettuce. They can eat any kind, and some, like romaine and radicchio, are both good for them and tasty. On the other hand, an iceberg is mostly just crunchy water.

Is Bread Ok To Feed Turtles?

In short, not often. Bread is not good for turtles’ health. It is safe for turtles to eat, so it won’t be the end of the world if your pet gets a piece. Pet Keen says that turtles shouldn’t eat a lot of bread because it has dairy, sugar, and other things that turtles can’t digest. Turtles don’t need bread, so don’t give it to them.

How Often Do Turtles Eat?

Feeding times vary by species and age. WebMD’s Fetch says that younger turtles can eat once or twice a day, while older turtles can eat once or twice a week.

Turtle hatchlings and juveniles up to one year old should consume food daily, whereas adults can spend up to two or three days without eating.


Most turtles can be fed only about 15 different meals. Galapagos tortoises eat prickly pear cactus plants, flowers, leaves, and grasses. Alligator snapping turtles eat mostly fish, mollusks, amphibians, expired animals, and small mammals. Most newborn turtles eat embryonic egg fluid and yolk in the wild. In general, you shouldn’t touch a wild turtle because it might have salmonella.

Feeding Your Turtle A Healthy Diet

Pet turtles can eat many different things, from small bugs to fruits, vegetables, and even flowers. To keep a pet turtle healthy and happy, its owner needs to give it a balanced diet with a lot of different foods.

A pet turtle can live a long and healthy life if you give it a variety of foods and feed it well. You can also get vitamins and minerals from pet stores to make sure it gets everything it needs.

Human Foods That Turtles Can Eat

Turtles aren’t as cuddly as dogs or as cute as cats, but they don’t beg for food. The impulse to feed your pets, including reptiles, is real. Before you throw a piece of whatever you’re eating in their tank, make sure it’s safe.

Some human meals are safe for turtles, but others can kill them. Here are the human meals that are safe for turtles to eat.

Fresh Fruits And Veggies

If you have fresh fruits and vegetables in your pantry or fridge, your turtle will probably enjoy snacking on them just as much as you do. They have a penchant for green leafy veggies, so kale, collard greens, and mustard greens are great choices for them. In addition, they will consume green beans, peas, carrots, and squash. Bananas, apples, and pears are all good options for fruit to provide.

First, a warning: food may contain stray pesticides that are harmful to your turtle, so always wash it thoroughly before feeding it to your pet. Iceberg lettuce, onions, garlic, shallots, hot peppers, and citrus are just some examples of products you shouldn’t give away.

Canned Fruits And Vegetables

If you haven’t been to the farmer’s market in a while, you may have run out of fresh fruits and vegetables. Don’t worry, your turtle will also happily eat the food that comes in a can. With a few exceptions, the list of acceptable canned fruits and veggies is almost the same as the list of acceptable fresh fruits and veggies.

You shouldn’t give your turtle anything that has been sitting in oil, and you should also stay away from foods that have extra salt. Ideally, you shouldn’t give your turtle any salt at all. Don’t give them anything that has been pickled, either.

Canned Fish

Turtles and fish both had to live in the water, so it was only a matter of time before one of them started eating the other. This is an explanation that makes perfect sense. You should feel free to get out of the can opener and share some of your sardines, anchovies, and other fishy delicacies with your turtle because whole canned fish may be a nutritious and tasty treat for them.

However, similar to feeding your turtle canned fruits and vegetables, you should not give your turtle anything that has been submerged in salt water or oil. Before you put the fish in the tank, you need to give it a good rinsing in some cold water to get rid of any salt, pesticides, or other potentially hazardous detritus that might be on it.

Fresh Fish

Fresh fish is probably preferable to tinned fish for your turtle, assuming that it was caught in an area that was not plagued by hazardous pollution when it was caught. Canned fish is beneficial for your turtle.

However, the majority of fish that you will buy in supermarkets does not have the right proportion of phosphorus and calcium that turtles require, so you shouldn’t feed your turtle too much salmon.

You can get fish in supermarkets. It is sufficient to take a nibble once or twice a month. Be sure to prepare it as well, as turtles do not often consume huge fish in their natural environment, and raw food may contain bacteria or parasites that the turtles are unable to process.

Cooked Chicken

Although turtles haven’t evolved to eat chicken, that doesn’t mean they won’t occasionally enjoy a slice of your grilled chicken. Making sure you don’t salt it or add any other ingredients or sauces is crucial. Only give your turtle a modest bit on exceptional occasions.

The most crucial thing to keep in mind is to fully cook the chicken. Salmonella has been found to live in turtles, therefore you don’t want to give your turtle the germs from raw chicken. You might want to avoid holding them or otherwise interacting with them because of this.

Ground Beef

Surprisingly, turtles have adapted to eating beef to the point where you can feed your turtle a few bites or even a couple of bites of ground beef if you so choose.

Before you put it in the tank, just like with chicken, make sure that it is devoid of any seasoning and drain any oil that might be on it. Although raw beef poses less of a health risk than raw chicken does, you should still make sure it is fully cooked before serving it to others.


Yes, your fish friend can eat pork, just like it can eat fish, chicken, and beef. Make sure the pork is fully cooked, has no seasoning on it, and has been patted dry well to get rid of any oils.

People will also tell you not to feed your turtle pork, beef, or chicken because those aren’t foods that turtles have evolved to eat. Most of what these people say is true. Your turtle doesn’t need these foods, and they don’t have much of the nutrition that turtles need to stay alive. This list, on the other hand, is about human foods that won’t kill your turtle. If you follow our instructions, your pet should be able to eat your pork chop without dying.


Eggs are likely not good for turtles to eat (but they can). Eggs have a lot of protein and iron, but they also have a lot of cholesterol, which turtles shouldn’t eat. Because of this, you shouldn’t give your turtle eggs very often, if at all.

Turtles like their eggs cooked the same way they like their detectives: hard-boiled. That’s the only way a turtle should eat an egg, so don’t give them your leftover scrambled or over-easy eggs. Cut the hard-boiled egg into small pieces and put them in the tank. If you want extra credit, take out the yolk first because it has a lot of saturated fat.


To keep a pet turtle healthy and happy, its owner needs to give it a lot of different foods. Some human meals are safe for turtles to eat, but others can kill them. Canned fruits and vegetables are just as good as fresh produce for turtles. You can feed your turtle canned fish, raw chicken, or ground beef. Don’t give it anything that has been submerged in salt water or oil.

Human Foods That Turtles Cannot Eat

So far, I’ve talked about the foods you can give your turtle. However, there are a few things in your kitchen that you shouldn’t give to your turtle.

Fried Foods

Fried foods are bad for your turtle because they are full of oil and fat. Not only can they not digest these things, but they will also hurt their health.


Even though it might be tempting, don’t let your turtle try your favorite dessert. Turtles are like dogs in one way: chocolate can kill them. In most other ways, though, they are not like dogs.

Dairy Products

Turtles don’t have the enzymes they need to digest dairy, so don’t put a glass of milk in their tank. This also means that you shouldn’t share butter, cheese, yogurt, etc.


Nuts have a lot of oxalates, which stop the body from taking in calcium. Your turtle needs a lot of calcium, so if you give it too many oxalates, it won’t be long before it dies.

Bread And Pasta

Bread and pasta aren’t good for turtles’ health, and they can’t digest them well. Even though it probably won’t kill them, in the long run, it will hurt their health.

Processed Foods

In this group are lunch meat, sausage, and other foods that are full of salt and preservatives. It’s not good for your turtle at all.

Anything With Refined Sugar

Avoid eating candies or foods that contain processed sugar at any cost.

Keep Your Turtle On A Turtle’s Diet

Keep in mind that turtles consume what they can find in their native environment; it’s quite improbable that they’ve ever visited an underwater McDonald’s. Therefore, you should drastically restrict the number of human foods they eat (with the possible exception of fresh fruits and veggies).

You should feed them turtle pellets or something else that will provide them with all the nutrients they require. A turtle will eat almost anything you give it, but that doesn’t mean it wants your food.


Fresh fish is probably preferable to tinned fish for your turtle, assuming it was caught in an area not plagued by hazardous pollution. Raw beef poses less of a health risk than raw chicken does, but you should still make sure it is fully cooked before serving it to others. A turtle will eat almost anything you give it, but that doesn’t mean it should eat it.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Following are the most frequently asked questions

1: What are 5 things turtles eat?

Most of what they eat are crabs, mollusks, shrimp, jellyfish, and plants. Leatherbacks have delicate jaws that look like scissors. Anything other than jellyfish, tunicates, and other soft-bodied animals, which are what they usually eat, would hurt them.

2: What is the turtle’s Favourite food?

Crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and other small grubs and insects are all good things to feed your turtle. If your turtle lives in water, it will need to eat small fish like comet goldfish, mosquito fish, or even aquatic snails.

3: What do turtles eat in the water?

Wild turtles that live in the water eat fish, and you can buy “feeder fish” at pet stores or bait shops to feed your pet turtle. Fish like goldfish, guppies, or minnows may be given to the turtle, depending on how big it is.

4: Do turtles drink water?

Yes, turtles do drink water. Turtles need water to stay alive, just like all other living things. Many of their important metabolic processes can’t happen without water. Water is very important for many body functions because it gives them the energy they need to go about their daily lives.

5: How long can a turtle go without eating?

A turtle can survive without food for roughly 160 days, expressed as several days. During this time, though, they need to have access to water as well as a sufficient amount of light.

6: Do turtles eat carrots?

Carrots are a great vegetable option for your turtle’s diet. Carrots may first be a strange treat for turtles, but once they’ve become acclimated to them, they devour them. Carrots are a healthy food option for turtles. These greens are loaded with healthy nutrients like vitamin A, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus.

7: Can turtles eat cucumber?

It’s important to maintain your turtle healthy by providing it with a varied diet of meats, fruits, and vegetables every day of the week. In this way, all of its nutritional requirements can be supplied. Cucumbers are a healthy food option that can be given to a turtle if the turtle enjoys them.

8: How often do turtles need water?

Turtles can usually go about 8 hours without water. But this depends on the land they are on and how it looks. If it is cool where the turtle is, it can stay out of the water for a few days. Also, a turtle will have trouble digesting food if it stays out of the water for too long.

9: What do turtles need to survive in a tank?

They need a habitat that has enough clean water for swimming as well as dry land where they can hide, rest, and bask in the sun. They also need to be able to swim. Your pet turtle should have sufficient room to roam around in its environment if it is kept in a tank that has a capacity of at least 40 gallons.

10: Do turtles have teeth?

However, in contrast to cows, turtles do not possess any teeth at all. Like a bird, they have a beak. Carnivorous turtles have powerful jaw muscles and stiff beaks, which they use to shatter the shells of their prey, which can include crabs, sea urchins, and clams, among other things. An egg tooth, also known as a caruncle, is something that can be found on baby turtles; however, it is not a tooth.


Leatherbacks have delicate jaws that look like scissors. If your turtle lives in water, it will need to eat small fish like comet goldfish, mosquito fish, or even aquatic snails. Once turtles get used to carrots, they often love to eat these orange sticks. Cucumbers are a great addition to the turtle’s diet. There is a lot of vitamin A, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus in these vegetables

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