What Exactly Do Pet Turtles Eat?

Your pet turtle will need a diet that closely resembles what he would eat in the wild. According to Pet MD, most turtles will eat fish (like goldfish), insects, and leafy greens. Canned and pelleted turtle food is also available to help simplify the diet, and you can also supplement with freeze-dried mealworms. (We feed these to our chickens too).

You won't need to feed your pet turtle every day since, in the wild, your turtle wouldn't have food every day. Try to feed your turtle between four and five times each week.

In addition to its regular diet, you'll need to supplement your turtle with a calcium supplement. You will only need to add this supplement to their food twice a year, though.

Here are three categories of pet turtle food that new owners should know about according to PetMD:

Commercial pelleted food


"Pellets should make up 25 percent of your turtle's diet."

Turtle pellets can be purchased at most pet stores, and if you're researching various turtle species, you should ask the staff which pellets are appropriate to feed your pet turtle.

Feeder fish or insects

If you see a turtle in the wild you notice they eat a variety of species including worms, small insects, snails, and fish.

"Feeders like comet goldfish provide a great source of protein, as do correctly balanced minerals like calcium and phosphorous, and good levels of certain vitamins, like vitamin A."

Pet turtles enjoy minnows and goldfish!

Fruits and veggies

"Fill up the remainder of your turtle's daily diet with fresh produce. The best veggies are chopped dark leafy greens such as kale, collard, and mustard greens. Turtles also eat dandelions!"

Try water lettuce, collard greens, blueberries, aquatic plants, duckweed, crickets, earthworms, water hyacinth, waxworms, crayfish, seagrass, and green beans!

We mentioned this earlier but don't forget the calcium supplement and vitamin powder.

What type of turtle is your fave? Is it box turtles, snapping turtles, red-eared sliders, aquatic turtles, or just baby turtles? We love them all!

Have you ever lived with a pet turtle? Please leave us a comment below! 

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