What Does Pond Turtles Eat?

An essential factor of keeping turtles healthy is maintaining an appropriate diet. Sugary and dairy products should be avoided since these will clog their shells.

Western Pond Turtles feed on snails, frogs, crayfish, insects and plants found in the wild environment. They also eat dead fish to keep the environment free of decaying flesh in their environment.

Water Cresses

Water cresses grow thickly in shallow streams, serving as an indicator of clean water. Once harvested manually and used as salad topping, now they can also be purchased in supermarkets. Watercress seeds root easily in rich soil. It is best to plant outdoors between spring and fall when temperatures remain cool but moist for best results.

Turtles may be opportunistic feeders, but they still must meet their basic dietary needs. A balanced diet including fish, plants, pellets, fruits and vegetables should be provided as part of their regular feeding.

They require an ample supply of vitamin A. This can be provided through feeding them carrots, collard greens, berries, romaine lettuce and bananas as well as earthworms, snails, crickets, wax worms or mealworms – however these foods should only be given on occasion.

Wild Celery

Oenanthe javanica, commonly referred to as wild celery plant, offers both food and shelter to wildlife in lakes and streams. The large compound leaves are divided into leaflets for easy transport while its flowers resemble Queen Anne’s lace umbels.

Submerged aquatic vegetation grows in USDA zones 4 through 10. These submerged plants either rooted at the bottom of ponds or floating on their surfaces provide oxygen through photosynthesis, producing oxygen in abundance.

Celery contains more calcium, potassium and vitamin C than its leaves do, while also being high in fiber which assists turtle digestion and waste expulsion more easily. Too much celery could build up toxins in a turtle’s system and therefore should only be offered occasionally; other vegetables that should be offered include kale, collards, turnips and mustard greens as well as fruits or flowers occasionally; fruits can contain too many calories and chemicals so should only be offered occasionally as treats.


Pond turtles in their natural environment are omnivorous animals that consume an assortment of animals and plants, such as insects, tadpoles, frog eggs, leeches, snails and other aquatic life; as well as fish, lily pods, non-toxic aquatic plants.

Turtles can consume vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots and squash if chopped into bite-size pieces; however, bread should not be fed due to its content of milk and other substances which a turtle’s digestive system cannot process.

As an occasional treat for their diet, pond turtles may enjoy eating pellets as treats; however, these should never form the basis of its diet. Pellets contain animal proteins and essential nutrients not easily available through natural means like plants. They also may be full of chemicals and harmful additives which could pose risks.


Western Pond Turtles in the wild are omnivorous predators that feed on algae, crustaceans, tadpoles, frog eggs, leeches aquatic beetles and dragonfly larvae as well as mammal, bird, reptile or fish carrion occasionally.

Water lettuce (Vallisneria americana) and eel grass (“Tape Grass”) plants grow submerged in freshwater or brackish waters and help oxygenate them, providing essential filtration services in USDA zones 4 through 10. They can be found throughout their range in North America.

Plants shouldn’t form the bulk of your turtle’s diet; rather, they should serve as part of it. Pet stores also sell commercial turtle pellets which should never be given as primary nourishment as this could lead to long-term health concerns and deficiency of Vitamin E.


Pond turtles often enjoy eating pellets that contain high levels of plant and animal proteins from both sources, like plants and animals. You may even find pellets with additional ingredients such as kale, shrimp and worms; just remember to feed these products responsibly and in moderation.

Turtles should be fed a diet rich in vegetables and fruits such as carrots, collard greens, berries, apples, radishes, squash and bananas – these items contain plenty of vitamin A!

Avoid feeding bread, milk and other dairy products since their diet contains lactose that your turtle’s digestive enzymes don’t know how to break down. Greasy foods should also be avoided since they are difficult to chew and could pose a choking hazard. In addition, provide hiding spots and land areas near water so your turtle has easy access in and out. A fenced-in area may help deter predators such as raccoons and otters from attacking your turtle.


A turtle’s diet should include both plant and animal matter. As they are opportunistic omnivorous species, turtles will consume plants, algae and insects as food sources; in addition, they scavenge for carrion as they pass.

Baby turtles require additional protein in their diets, which they can obtain through food such as fish, crustaceans, mollusks and meat products. Fish consumption alone could result in vitamin E deficiency as well as an imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids – for this reason alone it should comprise only part of their daily regiment.

Earthworms, crickets, wax worms and mealworms can also provide ample protein. When feeding bread or processed food to your turtle, be wary as these contain high concentrations of oxalates and phytates that prevent calcium absorption – this may contribute to Metabolic Bone Disease in turtles.


Western Pond Turtles typically feed on both animal and plant prey in the wild. Frog eggs, dragonfly larvae, leeches, tadpoles as well as fish, snails and plants such as cattail roots, lily pads and tule are consumed daily by these turtles.

Offering your turtle a variety of foods will help them receive all of the vitamins and nutrients they require for optimal health. While commercial turtle pellets provide ample calcium and phosphorous intake, fresh foods should also be provided to supplement this.

Avoid feeding your turtle food that contains high concentrations of oxalic acid, as this will prevent her from absorbing enough calcium. Also, dairy products contain lactose which could lead to dehydration, obesity and other medical complications in her system if given too frequently – instead try offering her foods such as romaine lettuce and dark leafy greens such as mustard greens, collard greens and kale as she needs these vitamins too!


Most turtles feed on both plant- and animal-based foods to survive. Their diet consists of vegetables like carrots, collard greens, kale and mustard greens as well as fruits like apples, bananas squash melons and other produce.

Not all vegetables are suitable for turtles; spinach in particular contains Oxalic Acid which prevents turtles from absorbing calcium.

As well as fresh vegetables, turtles may consume submerged aquatic plants like anacharis, water hyacinths, tape grass and fairy moss. To prevent overfeeding these aquatic plants which could potentially lead to digestive issues for turtles it is recommended that only small quantities be given weekly as excessive feeding could result in serious illness for these reptiles.


Turtles feed on both animal prey and vegetables, while also enjoying non-toxic aquatic plants such as yellow water lilies, red-purple water lilies, wild celery and duckweed.

Fruit should only be fed on occasion as they lack the essential nutrition provided by dark leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, collard greens, mustard greens, kale and dandelion leaves; Iceberg lettuce should never be offered due to being low in nutrients.

Do not give turtles greasy foods, like French Fries and onion Rings, which may clog up their intestinal tracts. Dairy products should also be avoided as reptiles lack enzymes necessary to digest lactose; and sweet snacks like candy or chocolate pose a choking hazard and should also be avoided as these items tend to harden quickly in their stomachs and create choking hazards.


Pond turtles are omnivorous, which means that they eat both plants and animals. When roaming freely in nature, pond turtles will typically feast on various organisms including worms, insects, snails, fish, frogs and birds; as well as many fruits and vegetables such as berries, red clover leaves carrot tops collard greens dandelion greens turnip greens kale etc.

While commercial turtle pellets provide convenient nutrition, it should only make up part of their daily diet. A diet composed of exclusively pellets could result in vitamin E deficiency causing irreparable harm.

Feed your pet some animal-based foods such as cooked chicken, turkey or fish; boiled eggs; earthworms, waxworms, crickets and silkworms; feeder fish; shrimp and krill. Avoid offering bread and dairy items since turtles lack the enzymes needed to digest these substances properly and they contain too much salt and fat.

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