How do I feed my domestic turtle? Ideas about a healthy and nutritious diet


How is the feeding of the land turtle? Most turtle species are vegetarianbut there some who also eat some animal proteins: complement the plant diet with mollusks, insects and other invertebrates, that is, they are omnivorous.

If you have a land turtle at home, the ideal is to try to get as close as possible to what your natural diet would be, in its wild state. Do you want to know how to do it? Keep reading!

Ground turtle feeding

Land turtles, in their natural habitat, they follow a very varied diet: flowers, plants, seeds ... But the truth is that It is not easy to emulate that diet when a turtle is a domestic pet. In fact, many of the feed sold for turtles are quite deficient, mostly based on lettuce and tomato. They need much more!

It is practically impossible to offer a turtle at home what it would eat in nature (grasses, dandelions, reeds, leguminous plants ...). Therefore, we can choose other alternatives, but always paying attention to certain conditions:

  • That the foods you eat have a proportion 2: 1 calcium and phosphorus.
  • Try that the Vegetable food range is as varied as possible.
  • Do not offer animal protein regularly. Just do it occasionally and ONLY if you know for sure that the species of turtle you have is not exclusively vegetarian.

In addition, depending on each species of turtle, the ideal diet varies:

  • Testudo / Agryonemis: 70% of green leafy vegetables, 20% of other vegetables and the remaining 10% flowers or fruits.
  • Geochelone: 90% green leafy vegetables, 10% other vegetables. Fruits and flowers only as an occasional extra.
  • Terrapene and other omnivorous species: 70% vegetable products (both green leaf and other vegetables), 30% animal protein

On what to base the feeding of the land turtle

What can these turtles eat? The most recommended vegetables are:

  • Celery, cabbage, green beans, watercress, endives, melon, watermelon, strawberries, tomato, cucumber.
  • In addition, some foods are especially recommended for their calcium and phosphorus content: broccoli, kale, figs, pear, papaya, apple.
  • Foods rich in vegetable protein: custard apple, avocado, boiled soybeans, and some legumes such as beans or lentils are also boiled. These foods They are especially interesting for weak turtles or in the process of recovering from a disease.

Water Turtle Feed

Water turtles usually show a voracious appetite, so if we see that they do not eat, it will be a reason to go to the veterinarian. In addition, they are omnivorous animals (that is, they eat everything). When these turtles are free they eat fish, shellfish, snails and aquatic plants, so we should try to adapt as much as possible to that diet. Also, when they are still young, water turtles prefer to take proteins because they help them grow and develop better.

The best option to feed a domestic turtle correctly is to have a special feed for turtles of this type, so that the perfect balance is achieved to keep them healthy. If we offer other types of food like other animals, the turtle will not be well fed or even malnourished. If on any occasion you want to offer your turtle a goody, you can try it with shrimp or with small pieces of egg yolk. Mind you, ask your veterinarian first, since not all species are the same.

As a final tip, it is important to know that water turtles should not be taken out of the water to feed them. We must offer them food within their habitat, since water helps them to swallow, digest and clean the food.

Animal foods if your turtle is omnivorous

The feeding of the land turtle, when it is omnivorous, You will have to supplement it with animal protein. You can give mollusks, minced meat without additives, whole fish (appropriate to their size), insects or worms (they sell them in pet stores) or I also think for dogs or cats, always softened first with water.

Feeding for land turtles

Land turtle Image: rocksss via VisualHunt

Land turtles are mostly omnivorous, although we can find different carnivorous or herbivorous species. In general, domestic land turtles feed on fruits and vegetables, although in a varied way. We all have in mind that turtles eat leaves, for example lettuce, but for them to be well fed it is necessary to offer them different foods such as other types of green leaves, vegetables, fruits, etc.

The vegetables we can give our land turtles are many: lettuce, celery, watercress, zucchini, cabbage, green beans and cucumber. The latter must always be combined with another type of food, since it is very poor in some nutrients. Some of the best vegetables we can offer are broccoli or kale as they have a very interesting balance between calcium and phosphorus, essential for turtles.

On the other hand, we can also offer different fruits, such as apple or watermelon. The most recommended are figs, pears and papayas as they also have calcium and phosphorus. Bananas should not be offered to turtles because they have inadequate nutrients that could cause different problems.

On the other hand, for an appropriate vegetable protein intake, our turtle can also eat avocados, lentils or boiled beans. These foods will be essential if your totuga is sick or recovering from a problem.

When we feed a turtle, it is necessary to vary the diet a lot and offer different things with different colors. This is because if we use the turtle to always eat the same thing, when we change and give it something else, it will not want it. It is necessary to play with the variety so that it is well fed and receives different nutrients with which to feed well. In addition, on the other hand, depending on the type of turtle, it will also be necessary to offer them proteins, such as some minced meat. This will be necessary to consult with the veterinarian for personalized advice. If you need help because your pet-turtle has just arrived home and you feel disoriented, we will help you!

This is what you should NOT give your land turtle

As with most animal species, when we feed them with natural foods, we could say, from our fridge, not everything is worth it. Some of the foods not recommended or even dangerous for land turtles are: Peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms in general, corn, asparagus, bamboo, peach, apricot, dates, pomegranate and citrus in general.

Also, be especially careful with foods such as spinach, raw carrot, banana and grapes, as they can cause liver damage.

How to feed a land turtle

Commercial feedingstuffs for turtles do not usually fully meet their nutritional needs, so you should not base your food on them alone, but use them as a complement to fresh foods.

It is important that they eat varied every day, do not repeat the same food in the same day. Keep in mind that a turtle will eat between two and three times a day. Give it variety!

The feeding of young and adult turtles is the same, although the little ones may need some more calcium to form their shell well. Further, Keep in mind that you should adapt the pieces of food to the size of your mouth.

In some moments of his life, Depending on your health, it may be necessary to offer calcium or vitamin supplements. Consult your veterinarian! Further, don't forget the water, It is essential that you always have it available!

If you give your land turtle a varied, healthy and quality food, You'll have turtle for a while! You will notice it vital, healthy and very happy.


The basic feeding of the turtles in a home depends a lot on the habitat in which it is found. In wildlife, turtles are primarily vegetarian. In captivity they are omnivorous. This is because, unfortunately, in the absence of natural habitat, food must be supplemented. And here it is important to differentiate what is a turtle raised in a yard or in cement from a maid in a garden.

The turtle raised in a garden needs little and nothing to be supplemented. Instead, a turtle that lives exclusively in cement (a patio, a balcony or inside a house) needs to be supplemented with a very balanced diet. This diet is based fundamentally on the whole line that goes from vegetables, vegetables, green fruits, seasonal fruits to minced meat and balanced foods.

Many people think that turtles feed "lettuce." This is a frequent and unfortunate mistake because lettuce does not provide any necessary vitamins or minerals. And besides, if the animal gets used to eating lettuce, it will reject the other vegetables. Then, the ideal is to offer a dish with different colors (they eat by colors) where they are presented with fruits, vegetables mixed with flowers of Chinese rose or hibiscus. And it can be supplemented with balanced feed - of good quality - for cats. Eventually you can be given snails or meat minced in meatballs.

With respect to flowers, it happens that those are colorful and are not toxic. This is important because sometimes turtles that are in the garden can eat other flowers or plants that are extremely toxic such as azaleas, pothus, dieffembachia or the famous garden laurel. And those flowers and leaves produce severe neurological conditions if they are ingested>


Excuse me, I bought a land turtle and he doesn't want to eat anything, I give him everything and he doesn't eat what I can do, I need help, thanks to Juan Carlos, my email is.- [email protected]

Hi, I have a land turtle and the same thing happened to me. I bought it and it was without eating until 15 days. but the owner of the store where I bought it told me to do the following. that pepper, lettuce, very pikadito apple chopped and gave water baths at about 25 degrees that would make it clean inside because of the change of season and it worked. Now he has been with me for a month and mdio and I am very happy. Put it in a part of the house that gives it heat but not the sun directly and let it walk a lot. I assure you that he will be happy and you will stay the same. I hope I've helped.