Can turtles eat dog food?


Can turtles eat dog food? No, you should not feed dog food to your turtle. There are two reasons behind it. First, dog food’s nutrients do not match the nutrients your turtle needs. Second, your turtle’s stomach is very sensitive that can’t cope with processed dog food.

Turtles can eat a variety of foods; the reason is that turtles are omnivores. But it is not wise to test their bearing limit. They don’t have a complex stomach; their sensitive stomach is not adapted to deal with processed foods.

If you wonder what will be the effects of feeding dog food to your turtle, read on to know the possible adverse effects of dog food.


Can you feed wet dog food to your turtle?

Can turtles eat dog food? Can they eat wet dog food? If you compare wet dog food with kibble, you will find wet dog food easy to swallow. You may think wet food would be OK for your turtle, but it is not.

It is not that the nutrients present in dog food are not essential for turtles. Dog food contains proteins, and turtles need proteins for normal growth and development. But we find the protein present in dog food tracing back to organ meat, bones, etc.

These protein sources are not adequate to feed your turtle. their digestive system is not adapted to deal with them. Therefore, it would not be wise to put your turtle in a difficult situation.

Why should you not feed dog food to your turtle?

There are three major concerns in feeding dog food to your turtle.

Excessive protein

I already told you that protein sources present in dog food are not adequate for your turtle. This does not end here. The inadequate protein is present in a high amount that is more alarming.

Turtles need protein in an adequate amount; young turtles need more protein than older ones inclined towards veggies.

If your turtles feed excess protein, it will damage the kidney and suffer from metabolic disorders. Too many proteins can also cause impaction.

Did You Know?

We have written many articles about what turtles can eat. But did you know about this one? Can Turtles Eat Fish food?


If your turtle eats too much of everything, and we know that dog food is rich in nutrients, he will get obese. Obesity means your turtle has developed more fat than required.

It will cause metabolic and physical impairment to other body functions. If you have housed your turtle where he does get enough chance of physical activity, and you are feeding him a highly nutritious diet, he will probably get obese.

You can observe obesity by looking accumulation of fat in the armpits and front of the hind legs. Your turtle will find it difficult to hold its weight or move on the ground.

Your turtle will not be able to withdraw its legs simultaneously. These are the signs that your turtle is getting obese.


The pellet size of commercially available turtle food is smaller than dog food. Therefore there are chances that your turtle chokes on dog food because they don’t chew it as dogs do. Instead, they tend to swallow whatever they find good to eat in front of them.

What can happen if you feed dog food to your turtle?

You don’t need to panic in the first place because whatever happens will be taken care of. Dog food does not contain anything that can make your turtle get sick instantly. There are no toxic ingredients present in the dog food.

However, the problem occurs when you feed dog food in excess. Regular intake of dog food can cause serious implications, a few of which I have mentioned earlier.

Can turtles eat dog food? Now you know it is not wise to feed dog food to your turtle, let us discuss some safe and healthy food options for your turtle.



Turtles love to eat worms; it is one of the best protein sources to feed your turtle. You can have many varieties of worms available for your turtle. An adequate quantity of worms would be needed to feed your turtle.

Aquatic plants

Most turtles are omnivores, and they enjoy eating plant foods. You can serve your turtle aquatic plants to mimic their wild feeding behavior.

Adults gain their large portion of food from plants; therefore, you can feed them duckweed, waterweed, moss, or java fern.


Vegetables are one of the first choices of turtles. Safe and healthy vegetables include cauliflowers, beetroot, endive, cabbage, broccoli, and carrots. You will find your turtle enjoying these vegetables with great pleasure.


Sweet and juicy fruits are also favorites of your turtle. You should know that fruits are fed in moderation because of their high sugar content. You can add 10-20% of fruits to your turtle’s diet.

Can turtles eat dog food? Should you feed dog food to your turtle?

Can turtles eat dog food? No, you should never serve dog food to your turtle because dog food contains can pose health risks to your cute little turtle.

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