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8 Foods That People Eat That Turtles Can Also Eat


Turtles may not be as affectionate as dogs or as cute as cats, but they have one big advantage over those other pets: They won't beg for food every time you eat.

Still, the desire to share your food with your pets is real, and it goes for reptiles as well. Research what you're eating to make sure that it's safe for your turtle to eat before you break off a piece and throw it in their tank.

There are, of course, some human foods that turtles can eat that are safe for them to eat, but there are also some that could kill them. You can finally tell your turtle to stop looking at you like a puppy dog. Here, we look at the human foods that are safe to share with your turtle.

You should know that there are a lot of turtle species in the world, and they can't all eat the same things. The foods on this list are usually safe for turtles, but you should always check with your local animal shelter to make sure your turtle is okay with the food you're having for dinner.

These are 8 foods that you can share with your turtle:

Fruits and vegetables

People are more likely to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables if they are in their fridge or pantry than if they are not. They like leafy green vegetables the best, so kale, collard greens, and mustard greens are both healthy and tasty for them, as are other green vegetables. They'll also eat carrots, squash, green beans, and peas, as well as a lot of other foods. If you want to give them fruit, you can give them bananas and apples and pears, as well as many other things.

Fruits and vegetables

There are a few things to keep in mind, though: Always wash any produce before giving it to your turtle, because there may be pesticides on it. Besides that, there are some fruits and vegetables that you shouldn't share, like onions and garlic, shallots, spicy peppers and citrus.

Fruits and vegetables in cans

It's possible you haven't been to the farmer's market in a while, so you don't have any fresh fruits or vegetables left. Your turtle will love the canned food, too. If you want to eat canned fruits and vegetables, you can almost always do so. There are a few exceptions to this, though.

There are a lot of things you don't want to give your turtle that have been sitting in oil, and you also don't want to give them food that has extra salt. There is another thing you should not do: give them anything that has been pickled, either.

Canned Fish

This one makes sense because turtles and fish both live in water. It's only a matter of time before one of them eats the other. If you have canned whole fish that your turtle likes, you can open the can and give it to him. Sardines, anchovies, and other fishy treats are all good for him.

There are some things you should not give your turtle, though: canned fruits and vegetables. In order to get rid of any traces of salt, pesticides, or other harmful things, you should rinse the fish off in cool water.

Fresh Fish

As long as the fresh fish you buy for your turtle comes from a place that isn't polluted, canned fish is good for it.

The problem is that most fish that you buy at the grocery store doesn't have enough phosphorous and calcium for turtles. So don't give your turtle too much of the salmon you bought at the store. A bite once or twice a month should be enough. Make sure you cook it, too, because turtles don't usually eat big fish in the wild. It might have bacteria or parasites that they can't handle.

Cooked Chicken

Turtles haven't learned how to eat chicken, but that doesn't mean they won't enjoy a bite of your grilled chicken now and then. Keep in mind that the most important thing is not to salt it or add any other spices or condiments to it. You should only give your turtle a small amount when it's important.

Keep in mind to cook the chicken well. Turtles have been known to have salmonella, and you don't want to give your turtle raw chicken that has salmonella in it. This could make it dangerous for you to hold or touch them.

Ground Beef

As a surprise, turtles have learned to eat meat enough that you can give your turtle some ground beef if you want.

The same rules apply to fish as they do to chicken. Make sure it's completely clean, and drain the oil from it before you put the fish in the tank. As with raw chicken, you should make sure beef is cooked thoroughly before you share it with other people.


Yes, your friend under the water can eat pork, just like fish, chicken, and beef. Make sure there is no seasoning on the pork, it has been thoroughly patted-dry to get rid of the oils, and it has been cooked to the point where it's done.

Many people will tell you not to feed your turtle pork, beef, or chicken because turtles haven't evolved to eat those foods. These people are mostly right. Your turtle doesn't need these foods, and they don't have much of the nutrition that turtles need to live. This is a list of foods that humans can eat that won't kill your turtle. If you follow our advice, your pet should be able to fight off your pork chop and live.


The eggs that turtles might not want to eat are likely not good for them (but they can). Even though eggs are full of protein and iron, cholesterol is found in them, which turtles don't like, so they should avoid them. So, you should only give your turtle eggs very rarely, if at all.

As a bonus, you should also know that turtles like their eggs hard-boiled. As a matter of fact, that's the only way to cook an egg for a turtle. So don't give them scrambled or over-easy leftovers. Make small pieces out of the hard-boiled egg. If you want to get extra points, remove the yolk first because it's full of fat.

Human Foods You Should Never Feed to Your Turtle

So far, we've concentrated on meals that are OK to share with your turtle, but there are a few items in your kitchen that you should keep to yourself.


Don't offer your turtle a sample of your favorite dessert, no matter how tempting it seems. Turtles are similar to dogs in that chocolate may kill them instantly (though they differ from dogs in most other ways).

Fried Foods

All of the oil and fat in fried foods is bad for your turtle. Not only can't they eat these, but they'll also have bad effects on their health.

Dairy Products

Don't put milk in your turtle's tank. Turtles don't have the enzymes to break down dairy products, so don't put milk in their tank. This also means that you shouldn't share cheese, anything with butter, yogurt, or any other food with butter.


Nuts have a lot of oxalates, which stop calcium from getting into your body. Oxalates are bad for your turtle. If you give them too many of them, you'll soon have a dead turtle on your hands.

Processed Foods

Lunch meat, sausage, and anything else that has a lot of salt and preservatives is in this category. It's bad for your turtle.

Anything that has Refined Sugar in it

Any candy or food that has been made with sugar should be avoided, because it is not healthy.

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