Turtle owners always look for new foods to feed their turtles. It can be very tempting to give your turtle human food. But the question is, what can types of human food can turtles eat? You might also want to know if turtles can consume human food daily? We’ll try to answer all these questions in detail.
Can Turtles Eat Human Food?
Yes, turtles can eat many different types of human foods. Turtles are omnivores and can eat almost everything. For example, they gladly accept and eat vegetables, meat, fish, and fruits. Turtles are opportunistic feeders, which means they will at least try to eat anything set in front of them. However, not all human foods are healthy for turtles.
What Can Turtles Eat from Human Food?
Turtles can eat human foods such as fish, meat, cooked ground beef, fruits, vegetables and eggs. However, some of these should only be fed in moderation.
You can see the full list in my video below.
Now, let’s go into more detail about some human foods that are safe for turtles.
It’s their favorite human food because turtles eat fish in the wild. They swim with fish, and without any surprise, they also eat them. Fish is a rich source of protein. Therefore, turtles love to eat them.
Feeding fish to your turtles can be beneficial in many ways. It’s rich in calcium and phosphorus, provides omega-3 fatty acids, and is a good source of minerals. It can also provide good exercise for your turtle if you put live fish in your turtle tank. Therefore, feeding fish to turtles can positively impact their overall health.
If you want to learn more about what types of fish to feed your turtle, you should check out my article on the best feeder fish for turtles.
You can also feed your turtle cooked fish. However, you should make sure the fish doesn’t contain a lot of oil or seasoning.
A safe way to feed you turtle fish is with commercial dried river fish.
Turtles enjoy eating meat. Therefore feeding meat to your turtles once in a while isn’t a bad idea. Like fish, meat is also a good source of protein, and it provides the essential nutrients that your turtle needs, especially during the first couple of years.
There are also some meat pellets that you can get for your turtle. My personal favorite is this 3 in 1 Chicken, Duck, and Fish Turtle Food.
Remember, excess of everything is bad, so when you feed too much meat, it will have a negative effect on your pet’s health. Too much protein can lead to pyramiding. Moreover, meat is high in fat content, so it can affect their overall health.
I recommend feeding your turtle small bits of cooked, unsalted meat. Another best practice is to feed boiled meat because it will soften the meat’s texture and kill bacteria. Avoid feeding fried meat to your turtle because too much oil can harm their teeth.
You can give a bite or two of ground beef to your turtles. Ensure that ground beef is plain like chicken. Before feeding it to your turtle, ensure that you drain the oil off. Luckily, it’s not as dangerous as raw chicken. But ensure that it’s cooked properly before sharing it with your turtle.
You can feed fruits to your turtles on a regular basis. Many turtles love the sweet taste of fruits. Moreover, this practice can help you improve the overall health of turtles. Fruits are full of vitamins and minerals. You can add fruits into your turtle’s diet, but ensure that you wash fruits before feeding them to turtles.
The best fruits to feed your turtle include apples, grapes, raspberries, mangos. raisin, and melon. It is important that you chop up the fruit in small pieces so your turtle can swallow it easily. Turtles can also eat watermelon.
Remember, when adding fruits to their diet, they shouldn’t comprise over 10%. They’re higher in nutrients than vegetables. Avoid feeding citrus fruits to your turtles. Citric acid can disturb your turtle’s stomach. You should also avoid fruits with big seeds, as this can cause your turtle to choke.
Vegetables must be part of the turtle’s diet. In fact, vegetables should make up the majority of the diet of adult turtles. As mentioned at the start, they can eat almost all the vegetables but avoid feeding vegetables that lack nutritional value. Vegetables that are good for turtles include collard greens, kale, spinach, corn, cabbage, and okra.
While turtles can eat celery and lettuce, they do not offer a lot of nutritional value.
Like fish and meat, eggs are a good source of protein. You should only feed your turtle boiled eggs. Make sure you remove all the egg shell before putting the egg in the tank. You should also chop the egg up into small pieces.
What Human Food Aren’t Safe for Turtles
Remember, all human foods aren’t safe for turtles. You should not feed your turtle fried foods, dairy products, nuts, sugary snacks, pasta, candy, or bread.
- Fried Foods
All fried foods are unsafe for turtles. They’re difficult to digest and can also have negative effects on their overall health.
- Dairy Products
Feeding dairy products to your turtles is never a good practice. Unfortunately, turtles don’t have certain enzymes to break down these nutrients. Therefore feeding these products can cause serious indigestion.
Nuts contain a high amount of oxalates. Unfortunately, they stop the absorption of calcium. Therefore, avoid giving nuts to your turtles as a treat.
- Sweet Snacks
Humans love snacks when they’re in a hurry or have nothing else to eat. But you can never feed snacks to turtles. Most snacks have added sugar and salt. Moreover, they also contain some preservatives and chemicals that can be harmful to turtles. Ensure that human snacks are out of the turtle’s reach.
Turtles can eat pasta, but because it doesn’t provide nutritional value and doesn’t improve their health, so avoid feeding pasta to your turtles.
Avoid feeding sweets to your turtles because they’re not good for their health.
Bread is safe for humans to eat, but it’s not good for turtles.
What can turtles eat from human food is a question many turtle owners ask. We have answered this question in detail. No doubt, turtles deserve the best food to get all the required nutrients and minerals. You can make human food part of their regular diet but avoid overdoing it. It is important to remember that not all human foods are safe for turtles.
Whenever you introduce a new food to your turtle, you should do so in moderation.
You can pick human foods from the options mentioned above and ensure that they’re healthy and safe for your turtle.