What Do Turtles Eat?

What Do Turtles Eat?What Do Turtles Eat?

People who keep turtles as pets often struggle to know exactly what they should be feeding their pet and how much. After all, it’s a confusing topic! In general, your pet turtle should eat about half (50%) meat and the other half plant-based foods.

What Types of Meat Do Turtles Eat?

Turtles eat many different types of animal-based foods. Here’s a list of some great meat turtle foods you can use.

  • Sardines (drained)
  • Crickets
  • Moths
  • Mealworms
  • Tofu (not a meat)
  • Hard boiled eggs (not a meat)
  • Reptile pellets
  • Bird pellets
  • Trout chow
  • Other fish chows

It’s important to take care that you source your meat-based turtle foods from a safe place. Live prey such as crickets and worms should be raised by the owner or purchased from a pet store. It can also be collected from a nearby field as long as it is free of insecticides and fertilizers.

turtle eating jellyfish
Turtles eat both meat and vegetables. Here is a sea turtle eating a jellyfish.
What Types of Meat NOT To Feed Turtles

There are some types of meat-based turtle foods you should definitely NOT give to your pet turtle. Here is a list of some foods NOT to feed your turtle:

  • Dog & cat foods (too much Vitamin D and fat).
  • Live prey which has been exposed to pesticides. Pesticides can be very toxic to turtles.
What Types of Plants Do Turtles Eat?

Turtles eat lots of different plant-based foods. About half of their diet should be from plant sources. Also consider that only about 10% – 20% of the plant-based food you give a turtle should be fruits and the rest should be vegetables and flowers.

Here is a list of some plant-based turtle foods:

  • Vegetables rich in Vitamins
    • Collard greens
    • Broccoli (in small amounts)
    • Spinach (in small amounts)
    • Alfalfa hay
    • Chow
    • Bok Choy
    • Corn
    • Okra
    • Kale
    • Parsley
    • Green beans
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Cabbage
    • Green peas
    • Mustard greens
    • Turnip greens
    • Bell peppers
    • Cactus
    • Squash
    • Flowers (counts as a vegetable)
      • Carnations
      • Hibiscus
      • Roses
      • Avoid Azaleas which are toxic to turtles
  • Fruits
    • Raspberries
    • Strawberries
    • Figs
    • Papaya
    • Apples
    • Pears
    • Bananas
    • Grapes
    • Peaches
    • Kiwis
    • Melons

Pet Turtles Can Be Lots Of Fun

You can have lots of fun with a pet turtle. Of course as the owner of such a wonderful animal, you will be the one to choose a name for your turtle (or turtles), hand-feed your turtle, touch your turtle, let your turtle explore it’s surroundings and so on. Turtles are living creatures like any other and showing them care and affection can create a bond like no other.

You can definitely have a great time feeding a pet turtle by hand. You can even call them by name and talk to them to let them know you care for them and let them know when it’s meal time.

feeding turtles

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