What Does My Turtle Eat?

For animal lovers who have recently, or are curious about, getting a pet turtle, The most important questions they may ask themselves is what do turtles eat.

And a valid concern that is since without the presence of an appropriate diet, a pet turtle is not going to live a rather happy, healthy, or extended life.

Even though a turtles diet will be based largely on the species of turtle it is and where it lives, we can easily break this down into three distinct groups for determining the things they eat.

The 3 groups consist of turtles which are carnivores who mainly prefer animals and protein, herbavores who prefer plant matter, and omnivores which prefer a steady diet of both.

Keep in mind that many turtles change their taste during their lifetime. It is common in fact for youthful turtles to be exclusively carnivores and as they age change to more omnivore diets.

Carnivorous Turtles

For turtles that want a steady diet of meats and proteins they’ll basically eat anything they’re able to catch, subdue, or find. For instance: Small Insects, Worms, Slugs, and Snails.

And for larger turtles this can even mean larger prey such as: Rats, Frogs, Fowls, Larger Fish, Crayfish, and Goldfish.

In the home you may feed them small quantities of: Chicken, Boiled Eggs, Turkey, Cooked Fish, Mealworms, Earthworms, slugs, Small Shrimps, Crickets, and Dead Flies.

Herbivorous Turtles

Although the majority of turtles want a mixture of both plant and animal matter, there are several which are a little more particular and choose plants almost exclusively.

Examples of the things they eat are: Carrots, Yams, Collard Greens, Green Beans, Cabbage, Oranges, Plums, Berries, Turnip Greens, Dandelion Greens, Beets, Zuccinni, Okra, and virtually all produce.

Omnivorous Turtles

Red Eared SlidersOmnivorous turtles want a blend of both plant and animal matter in order to maintain a healthy diet. Again some quick suggestions to feed your pet turtle are: Chicken, Shrimp, Lean Meats, Carrots, Lettuce, Apples, and Plums.

Be sure to keep fresh vegetables at about 60-70% of the total diet.

Overall you need to give full attention to feeding your turtle foods which are fresh and offer the appropriate levels of vitamins. The most important are: Calcium, Vitamin D3, Phosphorous

You can even feed your turtle commercially made turtle food. This generally takes the shape of pellets and/or dehydrated shrimp. It is important to add multi-vitamin powders when feeding your turtle these types of foods though.

A fascinating note is that it has been discovered that some turltes feed on poisonous plants in order to repel predators.


Some poisonous vegetation they will eat are: Poisonous Rhubarb, Poison Ivy, Avocado


What Things To Avoid When Feeding Red Eared Sliders

As with every pet, you should ensure that your turtle is as healthy as it can be. Furthermore you want to make sure your household is as healthy as they can be at the same time.

Here are some helpful tips to balance the both of best worlds.

No Deep Fried Foods: Avoid giving your turtle any type of deep fried foods. No french fries, donuts, onion rings, etc.

No Sugary Foods: No candy, chocolate, or other form of sugary foods. Not only is it unhealthy for a turtle, these types of foods are usually hard and can pose a choking hazard for your little friend.

No Dairy Products: For example milk, cheese, butter, etc. Turtles don’t have the necessary enzymes to properly digest lactose.

No Sharing Foods: Avoid sharing meals or snacks with your turtle. Many turtles, like several aquatic animals, carry salmonella bacteria. Salmonella does not affect them as it does humans.

No Kissing: No seriously, don’t kiss your turtle. Although they are extremely cute while they are young or small, they carry salmonella and the one thing you don’t is to be sick from your turtle.

No Dirty Hands: When ever you handle your turtle be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap.

There you have it, the essential understanding required to keep a happy and healthy turtle as a pet.

Next you’ll want to find out what not to feed your pet turtle so they can live a happy healthy life.