Skip to Content

Do Turtles Eat Snails & Slugs? (Explained)

Turtles love to eat natural and safe foods like fish, worms, and other small insects. They have a wide variety of foods available on the earth and the water since they can live in both places. If you have pet turtles and are confused about what to offer, you come to the right place.

I will show you how to feed your turtles with snails, slugs, and other insects in today’s writing. You will also get your queries and treat the turtle better.

Do turtles eat snails & slugs?

Turtles do eat snails & slugs. They are the natural diet for your turtles. Both snails & slugs contain protein, minerals and vitamins. You need to be careful not to overfeed these foods because the snails might damage your turtle’s health if they overeat. So, make a diet chart and follow it.

Snails and slugs have several parts that might not suit a turtle’s health. Therefore, I list snails and slugs to help you make a healthy diet plan for your pet turtles.


Snail eggs:

Turtles eat snail eggs not too often. If they remain starved for days and don’t find anything suitable, they will eat snail eggs. But snails or other eggs are not the ideal food for turtles’ health.

Snail pellets:

Turtles can eat snail pellets. Be sure not to buy the commercially made pallets of food for your turtles; they might contain other pellets. Only the snail pellets are suitable.

Pond snails:

Turtles can eat pond snails. There will be no issues, but overeating pond snails might damage their taste and health. So, mix the snails with other foods or give them per the diet.

Water snails:

Baby turtles and fully grown turtles can eat the water snails. They find proteins, minerals, and some sort of vitamins from these snails. They help the turtles to grow fast and better.

Sea snails:

Turtles can eat sea snails; they love to eat seafood. Sea snails are large in size; therefore, turtles can see them alive and eat them. It will be the best meal for your turtles.

Apple snails:

The pet turtles can also eat apple snails. There is nothing to worry about the health damage. Apple snails contain most of the natural ingredients your turtles will need to grow.


Slug eggs:

Turtles can eat the slug eggs if they find them on their way. But they don’t look for the slug eggs; they want to eat the whole slug. It’s their favorite food, along with the snails.

Slug pellets:

Turtles can eat slug pellets. There are no harmful ingredients for the turtles, so they can safely swallow the pellets. You can buy commercially made slug pellets if they are only for turtles.

Large slugs:

The turtles do eat large slugs. These insects are the favorite food to add to your turtle’s diet plan. Large snails, slugs, and worms also contain the nutrients that the turtle needs most.

Is it OK for turtles to eat snails and slugs?

Turtles can eat snails and slugs without any problem and it is okay. They feed a variety of mammals, birds, slow worms, earthworms, and insects and help maintain the ecological balance.

Snails, along with other animals such as slugs, worms, and roly-poly bugs, are part of a turtle’s natural diet in the environment.

Furthermore, turtles prefer to hunt and eat live food rather than vegetables. Turtles prefer snails and slugs because they offer good protein supplements that suit their nutritional needs.

Therefore, you can provide your pet turtles with different types of snails and slugs. They are OK for turtles to eat.

“3” reasons why turtles can eat snails and slugs

There are many reasons why snails and slugs can be eaten by the turtles. Let’s get to know them.

Easy to Digest:

Turtles don’t like to eat something hard to digest or that can destroy their stomach.

They have a good digestion system, and they go for the easy to digest foods like small fish, worms, snails, and slugs. Since snails and slugs are easy to eat & digest, turtles can eat them.

Source of Nutrients:

Turtles need a good amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals. All of these nutrients are available in the snails & slugs.

It becomes another reason why turtles eat snails and slugs. You can make a diet chart for your pet turtles and add the snails & slugs there.

Easy to Find:

Turtles cannot walk or run fast. They walk very slowly; therefore, they become tiresome to chase the food. As the snails and slugs are also sluggish and easy to find everywhere, turtles can eat them together.

What type of snails do turtles eat? Live or canned snails?

Snails can be eaten live or canned by turtles. Snails, along with other animals such as slugs, worms, and roly-poly bugs, are part of a turtle’s natural diet in the environment.

Snails contain other minerals that turtles require, such as vitamin A, calcium, and potassium, in addition to being a good source of protein.

Raw snail rearing and feeding come with far too many limitations and problems. They may include parasitic infections that are easily transmitted to turtles.

Furthermore, not all turtles are capable of breaking and digesting snail shells. That’s why canned snails would be a better choice.

If you are feeding live snails, do not keep wild-caught snails in the same tank as turtles.

Do all turtles eat snails and slugs?

Although most turtles eat snails and slugs, let’s look at them specifically and meet our queries.

Painted turtles:

Painted turtles can eat snails and slugs. They mainly feed on small plants, insects, and other soft insects. Painted turtles need special care. You can make a diet plan for your pet and then offer the snails and slugs accordingly.

Box turtles:

The box turtles are omnivores. They can eat everything, including small fish, insects, and more. Besides, the box turtles can also eat snails and slugs and other foods.

Snapping turtles:

Snapping turtles are also known as freshwater turtles. They can eat various types of fish and insects. The snapping turtles can also eat snails and slugs, so you should give them enough food to maintain their growth.

Red-eared slider turtles:

Some turtles are both omnivores and carnivores. It is one of those species: the red-eared slider turtles can eat snails and slugs. You can add these foods to the diet chart and offer them regularly.

Aquatic turtles:

The best food for your aquatic turtles is the leaves’ browse and the grass gaze. If you offer them snails and slugs, they will eat them, but it’s not ideal for their health.

So, you should never offer insects to them, although the aquatic turtles can eat snails and slugs.

Softshell turtles:

Fish and other small insects are the favorite foods for your softshell turtles. That means the softshell turtles can eat snails and slugs. There will be no problem digesting them.

Baby turtles:

You cannot offer everything to your baby turtles. They are sensitive, and their foods must-have nutrient value for growth. Although baby turtles can eat snails & slugs, you should make a routine and offer them other foods.

How many snails and slugs can turtles eat?

It is fine to give each turtle two snails once every ten days. Turtles can be harmed by eating too many snails because of protein excess. In addition, too much protein can cause pyramiding and other health problems in turtles.

If your turtles eat snails, you can give them a few snails every week as a treat. Snails in a can are also an excellent option for pet turtles. Snails in a can are available at the local market. These are deshelled snails from a farm, rich with natural liquids.

While feeding deshelled canned snails to turtles is safe, feeding live snails requires caution.

Although turtles enjoy eating snails, giving them too many at once is not a good idea.

Serving slugs to your turtle can be difficult, so we recommend starting with a small number. Slugs can be introduced as a treat in your turtle’s diet, a superior strategy.

We are sure the pet would enjoy them but do not mistake this for an invitation to overfeed the slugs. Instead, choose modesty as your guiding principle.

However, captive turtles’ metabolic and dietary requirements differ significantly from those of their wild counterparts. A wild turtle receives a lot more exercise. As a result, they are usually better at digesting food.

Final Thoughts

Although turtles can eat snails & slugs, you should never overfeed them. They contain high protein and minerals that might damage the turtle’s health. It would be better to make an ideal diet plan for the turtles and offer them a minimal amount of insects and other foods.