What Do Turtles Eat – Diet & Eating Habits Guide

What Do Turtles Eat - Diet & Eating Habits Guide
Written by Mehwish Imtiaz

Turtles are carnivorous animals where you can feed them with snails, small fishes, and worms, especially in the beginning. However, when they move towards the adult stage, you can give them some plant matter. Turtles are very fond of eating the watermelons as well as the turnips.

If you want to know what the turtles eat, you must keep in mind what you have to give them if you have turtles as a pet. There are many types of turtles, including the aquatic turtles, which you can keep as a pet such as red eared sliders, tortoise, and a box turtle. You must keep this thing in mind because they have different dietary needs and different habitat.

However, now depending on different types of species, turtles can be herbivorous animals that only eat plants. They maybe carnivorous eating only meat and maybe omnivorous, which can eat both plants as well as meat. However, if you are keeping the turtle as a pet, then it can be possible that the turtle will eat a variety of food, including plants and meat.

In this article, you will get a complete guide about the turtle’s diet. So our main focus is on which type of food turtles eat, especially when you are taking it as a pet. Keep this thing in mind that the turtles are such adorable and memorable animals that even they know their owner very well.

There are a variety of wild turtles in the Jungle as well as in different parks. You can find multiples musk turtle as well as the snapping turtles in the park. You can also find the pond turtles in the summer. Usually, when people go to the park with their kids, their main purpose is to visit the turtles in the water as well as in different areas of the park.

When they see the turtle, they usually offer them a piece of bread. Now, the question arises in your mind that can turtles eat bread. So if we give a piece of bread to the turtles, they show interest in the food, but actually, they are the wild animals and however, they are omniverse. They should not be given bread.

In the normal routine, turtles eat a wide variety of worms, fishes, insects, arthropods, etc. They also eat crickets, worms, Cockroaches, crayfish, fruits, vegetables, etc. Bread is something different for the turtles; however, they like it very much.

But we should also take care of this thing which thing is good for the health of a turtle and which thing is not good for the health.

So, if we talk about bread, then it should not be included in their diet because, in the turtles, the chemical is not present, which breaks down the Dairy Foods. Bread is also included in dairy food. Turtles also cannot properly process food like bread.

2. Can Turtles Eat Oranges?

As I also discussed earlier that turtles are omnivorous animals in which they eat the 80 to 90% of the plant material such as vegetables and flowers. However, if we talk about fruits, then they usually eat 10 to 20% of the fruit. You can also give them yellow, orange, and red vegetables.

Now the question arises here that can turtles eat oranges. Yes, we can give oranges do the turtles but in small and Limited quantities. According to different experts, it is concluded that there are no such studies that reveal that oranges are harmful to the turtles. Not just the oranges, also other citrus fruits are not harmful to the turtles.

But keep this thing in mind that you are maintaining the variety of food giving to your turtle, especially when you are taking it as a pet. However, just likes humans in a certain part of the day; you can give them a piece of fruit or vegetable.

Giving the whole orange is not a good choice. However, you can give them one to two pieces of orange. According to different scientists, when you are giving oranges to the turtles, it has benefits but also very certain dangers.

Keep this thing in mind that it may be the choice of the turtle or tortoise to eat the orange. I usually see in my daily life that some turtles like oranges, and some do not.

3. Can turtles eat carrots?

You can give a variety of vegetables to the turtles where carrots are one of them. Carrots are very good for the health of the turtle. Usually, It is seen that land turtles are fond of eating vegetables such as carrots, kale, and lettuce.

Make sure that only giving carrots or any type of food is not good for the health of the turtles. You must maintain the variety of healthy food items to be given to your turtles. Carrots are very good for the stomach of The turtle because they are easier to digest and also easy to eat.

Now the question is, can you can give carrots. The answer is yes; you can give the carrots in the shredded foam as it is easier for any turtle to eat the carrot in the shredded form and also easy to digest. If you give the characters in the shredded form, then it reduces your turtle’s chances of choking.

Carrot is also inexpensive as well as healthy for your turtle. You can purchase the carrots from your nearby grocery store or at different places in the garden where parrots are present.

As you are giving the variety of food to your turtle in a day where carrots must be given one time as a vegetable diet.

4. Can Turtles Eat Chocolate?

We all know that turtles are very sensitive animals, and usually, they Crave variety. If you give your turtle the same type of food every day, then it will decrease the nutrient content in the body. Normally, the turtles which you keep as a pet are mostly omnivorous animals. So they can eat plants as well as animals and all different types of foods. We can also give different treats to the turtles.

If we talk about that, can we give chocolate to the turtles then obviously yes? Can turtles eat chocolates as well as different junk foods? But it doesn’t mean that chocolate is good for the health of the turtles.

As sugar is not good for their health as well as if you give too much fruit, then it will change the pH of the digestive tract. So giving so many Sugars will upset them and increases their sugar level, which is lethal for The turtle.

So if you want to give your turtle, different types of treats, you can give chocolate to them but only a piece of chocolate because if you give them these sugary foods too frequently in larger amounts, then it may even kill the little pet.

Also, different experts realize that if you give the chocolate or sugary foods in larger amounts than it can even kill the large quantity of the natural gut bacteria, which is needed for optimal gut health.

Sometimes, giving a large number of chocolates can lead to toxic shock in Pet turtles as well as in other types of wild turtles, which is potentially fatal.

5. Can Turtles Eat Apples?

There are many species of turtles that need a mixture of both the animals and the plant food. Although it depends on the species of the turtles to eat the plants or fruits, it also depends on the age of the turtles that whether they should eat Apple or any other type of fruit or not.

So if we talk about the baby turtle, then they should eat more animal protein. So the baby’s diet starts with the food, which is more on the carnivorous side.

It is usually seen that turtles rarely had an apple. So if you want to give Apple to your pet turtle, you must keep in mind certain things.

 The Apple which you give to your turtle must be free of pesticides. Apple must be in Raw form as well as uncooked. Make sure that you have removed the seeds of the apples. According to experts, Apple seeds will make the turtle ill.

If the turtles eat the Apple seed, then it will badly affect the digestive system of the turtle and make your pet quite ill.

6. Can Turtles Eat Bananas?

As I also discussed earlier, giving chocolate to the turtles. Giving chocolate to your pet turtle will increase his sugar level and thus become lethal for him.

However, if you are interested in giving the banana to your pet turtle, then you should keep in mind certain factors that weather in which condition you should give them. You must also keep in mind about the particular species of The turtle, whether giving banana is good for his health or not.

Now, the question arises whether turtles can eat a banana or not. Yes, a turtle will eat a banana or any other food when you throw it to them. But keep in mind that they are high in sugar, and if you give them frequently, then it will have a negative impact on their health.

If we talk about human beings or other animals, then the Bananas have any positive impact on health. Bananas have many benefits for humans, such as they are rich in antioxidants, fiber, natural Sugars. They’reThey’re considered to be the superfood which maintains the blood sugar level. But these things are only for human beings.

If we talk about turtles, then bananas are extremely healthy for them and safe to feed but in limited amounts. As they are high in sugar and give them frequently, then it can cause many health problems.

So give the banana in a limited amount is the main disadvantage of giving the bananas frequently. It will cause bloating in the stomach, cause diarrhea, and other digestive complications.

As I also discussed earlier that you should give a balanced diet to the turtles, and if it is banana then you should give only 10% the overall turtle diet.

7. Can Turtles Eat Cabbage?

At the start, you should give the protein food to the baby turtle. But after some time, when they become adults, you should feed them vegetables. Cabbage is one of them, and it is beneficial for the health of the turtles.

There are many benefits seen in the health of the turtles when they start eating the vegetables. It serves as a treatment of headache and constipation, Arthritis, heart problems, obesity, and even for Alzheimer’s disease.

So just as humans, cabbage also has the same effect and benefits to the turtles. The most common benefit of giving cabbage to the turtles will make their digestive system strong. It also adds to the nutritional count of the turtles.

Usually, at the start, the turtles are carnivorous, but with the passage of time, they will move towards the omnivorous or herbivorous feeding pattern.

As we all know that cabbage is a rich source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, Phosphorus. Cabbage is also rich in vitamins A, C, K, E, B6, and many others. The good thing about cabbage is that it is low in fats and contains a lot of carbohydrates.

So, you can give cabbage to your turtle, and the turtle will also enjoy eating it because the turtles love to eat vegetables.

However, keep this thing in mind that does not give the cabbage in excess amount because it will disrupt the production of thyroid hormones. The production of thyroid hormones become less because, in cabbage, there is an ingredient present in cabbage called goitrogen. Goitrogen inhibits the production of thyroid hormones.

8. Can Turtles Eat Rice?

A complete and balanced diet is very necessary for your pet turtle. Along with different types of proteins, it must also contain some amount of vitamins and minerals. You must pay a lot of attention to vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Phosphorus in the ratio of 2:1.

Just like the proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates, diet is also very important for the turtles. We all know that in rice, carbohydrates are present. We all know that carbohydrates are a rich source of energy, and they will give the turtles instant energy when they eat them. Now, the question arises in your mind that in which form, we should give them rice. Obviously, we should give the turtles cooked rice.

However, it is usually seen that sometimes turtles are not fond of eating rice, but some turtles like it very well. But usually, rice or bread is not part of turtles’ diet, so try avoiding giving rice to your turtles.

However, you can give them rice in small amounts in some parts of the day. As I am again saying, you should give your pet turtle with all the foods to keep it healthy as well as getting all the nutrients which are necessary for its health.

9. Can Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

First of all, giving you interesting information about tomatoes that biologically tomato is a fruit. It is not a vegetable.

However, our main question is, can turtles eat tomatoes. So you will be happy to know that turtles are very fond of eating tomatoes. From a health point of view, Tomatoes are safe to eat. However, keep this thing in mind that you should not give them tomato so frequently as it will cause stomach problems.

Your pet turtle can become sick if it eats tomatoes too frequently. It also shows certain health issues to the turtles. From the biological point of view, tomato contains acid as well as access Sugar, thus causing the stomach of the turtles to blot. Eating too many tomatoes will also cause grave discomfort and pain.

However, in certain severe cases, it can also cause diarrhea and increases the concentration of parasites in the turtle’s stomach. So from the above discussion, it is concluded that tomato in excess form is lethal for the turtles.

It also depends on the species of the turtles, whether a tomato is favorable for certain species or not.

We talked about the turtle species from the Mediterranean, such as Hermanns; they have no access to fruits in their natural habitat. So when these species are given tomatoes, then it will ultimately increase a large number of Sugars in their body as well as disrupt their digestive tract.

10. Can Turtles Eat Fish Food?

The good thing about giving fish as food to your turtle is that it is usually cheaper to buy, and its supply is also good. If we talk about whether turtles should eat fish food or not, then ultimately, the answer is yes. Most amazingly, eating fish food is beneficial for the turtle.

Keep this thing in mind that fish food should never be a primary drive for the turtle as sometimes it will cause ham to your turtle. So give them fish food but from time to time.

As I am again saying that it also depends on the particular species of the turtles that fish is is favorable for it or not. Turtles also like to eat crickets as it is considered to be their favorite food. There are different species of turtles that have a different diet. So the turtles which are particularly omnivores love to eat fish along with other food items such as plants or vegetables.

If we talk about the baby turtles, then fish is good for them because primarily turtles require that food, which is rich in proteins. We also know very well that fish is a rich source of proteins, so giving baby turtles a fish is good for their health.

So when you are thinking of giving the carnivorous portion of food to turtles, then fish is a good choice.

11. Can Turtles Eat Grapes?

Yes, turtles can eat grapes, but again it is advised not to give the Grapes to turtles on a regular basis. You should not give grapes to turtles on a regular basis as it can cause different types of problems.

It also depends on the species of turtles, whether they can eat grapes or not. If we talk about the green sea turtles, then they are largely vegetarian. Most of the favorite food of green sea turtle is seagrasses. There are other species of sea turtles that are totally carnivorous. They love to eat different sea animals such as fish, sea urchins, crab, jellyfishes, and sponges.

However, you can see many species that are omnivorous and eat a variety of food. Box turtles are one of them.

So omnivorous turtles love to eat such fruits that have high sugar content. Grapes are one of them. However, keep this thing in mind that they should be given to turtles in the form of treats.

Giving the Grapes on a regular basis will increase the sugar content in turtles as well as the grapes are also poor in minerals. You must keep in mind that turtle food must contain the correct ratio of calcium and Phosphorus. But unfortunately, in grapes, there is incorrect calcium and phosphorus ratio. So, you must give grapes as about 5% of its diet.

12. Can Turtles Eat Lettuce?

It all depends on your type of pet turtle, which you have adopted. Although you have some food preferences regarding your turtle, you must also keep in mind your turtle’s food choice. You must have knowledge about what he wants to eat or what he does not.

If we talk about the lettuce, then, in short, we can say that you can give lettuce to The turtle.

Sometimes, the turtles want to eat only the carnivorous food, but sometimes they prefer leafy vegetables because they are fed up of eating the carnivorous food all the time. So, if they have lettuce in front of them, then surely they will eat it.

In leafy green vegetables, lettuce is not included, but you can also give baby Spinach to them.

However, according to some experts, lettuce is not a good thing to feed the turtles. This is because the lettuce has almost no nutritional value. Instead of giving lettuce to your pet turtle, you must give them nutritious greens such as dandelion greens, turnip tops, and Mustard Greens.

You must avoid cabbages and spinach because these green vegetables are high in oxalates, which can cause many problems for turtles. However, as I discussed above, you can give baby spinach to turtles because they are low in oxalates.

From the above discussion, we have concluded that we must not give lettuce in high quantity because we have to maintain the high nutritional content in the turtle. But unfortunately, lettuce is low in nutritional value.

13. Can Turtles Eat Spinach?

As I also discussed earlier that spinach is not good for the health of the turtles. However, you can give them baby Spinach but only in a condition that is giving them once in 15 days or a month.

This is because it is high in oxalate content, which is harmful to the turtles. However, in baby turtles, the amount of oxalate present is less. So as the organic acid content is greater in spinach and when turtles eat them, then ultimately it causes some problems, especially the less absorption of calcium in the body.

Keep this thing in mind that not only spinach has high oxalate content, but it also has harmful effects. In spinach, purines are present, which increases uric acid production. So when the uric acid production is greater than it causes stress on the kidneys.

Spinach also contains tannins. Tannins inhibit protein production and starch availability. When they are present in high quantity, then it would be little for the health of the turtles.

Along with the spinach, you must also not give them peas, beans, cabbage, as they are always decided by the owners. This is because they contain many different anti-nutrient compounds.

So from my point of view, you must give them aquatic plants, but unfortunately, these plants are very expensive. The aquatic plants for the turtles are also less in terms of availability. So owners move towards the land plants. But unfortunately, land plants have some anti-nutrient compounds. From my point of view, dandelions are the best in land plants to give. They are cheap in price as well as readily available.

14. Can Turtles Eat Strawberries?

Fruit and Vegetables are very important for the health of the turtles as they are rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants, which increases the immunity in the body.

However, as I discussed above, if we talk about the fruits, then they should not be given in high amounts, because they will increase the sugar content in the body.

Now, the question is, can turtles eat a strawberry. The answer is yes; you can give strawberries to turtles as they are very fond of eating a strawberry. Turtles love to eat strawberries, and they are also safe for their health.

Along with strawberries, turtles also love to eat certain tropical fruits, such as papaya and banana.

If we talk about the water turtles, then at the start, they rely more on the foods which are rich in proteins. So, at the start, they are Carnivores, but when they get older, they start eating fruits and vegetables. So, there are many fruits and vegetables, which are healthy for the turtle. Strawberries are one of them. Along with strawberries, you can also give them raspberries as they also love to eat them.

The main benefit which turtles get from strawberries is that it can reduce the risk of high sugar content in turtles. Strawberries, raspberries are famous for high antioxidant content. So you must give strawberries to your turtles.

15. What can baby turtles eat?

You can see the beauty of baby turtles. They are very cute animals, and I love turtles, especially the baby turtles. So, here we are talking about what Baby turtle can eat. As these are small babies, you must take care of them to keep them alive as well as healthy.

It is interesting to know that baby turtles are more prone to diseases as well as they carry many disease-carrying germs.

If we talk about what we should give to baby turtles, for eating, then there are two options. First, you can give them the food which is available in different pet stores. You can also supplement your diets with vegetables, meat, as well as fruits.

They are very small creatures, and usually, baby turtles do not eat much food. However, make it your routine if you have a pet turtle to give them food three times a day and in fewer quantities.

Keep this thing in mind that there is a difference between the water turtles as well as the land turtles. Baby turtles living in the water will obviously go for small living creatures in the sea or river. So we can say that water turtles are more carnivorous than the land turtles, whereas the land turtles are firstly vegetarian, and with the passage of time, they become the omnivorous animals.

You can also give them raw meat, grasses, and greens. Giving them fruits in small quantities is also a good choice for the baby turtles as they keep them healthy. But make sure that you are not giving it at regular intervals because fruits increase the sugar content in the body.


Turtles are somewhat different animals, especially when you are thinking of taking them as a pet. So as a turtle’s owner, you should keep in mind certain things what should you give them as food? However, it depends on the species of turtles. As I also discussed earlier, the diet of the water turtles is different than the terrestrial turtles. However, there are still turtles tend to be the omnivorous animals, because they eat a variety of foods from snails, beetles, earthworms, caterpillars, different types of vegetables such as strawberries mushrooms, berries, bananas, tomato, etc.

It is interesting to know that both the aquatic turtles as well as the land turtles are famous for eating, decaying flesh when other things are not available.

In this article, we have discussed different food given to the turtle. Which food is good for the health of the turtle and which food is bad for the health of the turtles describing in detail about the nutritional value. Eating bread is not included in the diet of the turtles usually; however, you can give oranges, carrots, apples, bananas, in small amounts. However, avoid giving them other foods, which are harmful to their health. Giving them letters Spanish or cabbage is not usually good for the turtles, but you can give them in very small amounts. They also love to eat strawberries and tomatoes, and they are considered to be the most healthy diet for the turtles.

In the end, I would say that you must give your pet turtle variety of food and do not remain stick to the only one type of food. This is because giving the same kind of food for an extended period of time can have lethal effects on the health of the turtles.