Do Turtles Eat Grass?

Turtles make one of the more interesting pets that you can own. The turtle diet is also not particularly complicated. And this has led to an interesting question by turtle owners, can turtles eat grass?

Yes, turtles eat grass. Most land turtles will eat grass while other types of turtles might not eat grass nearly as often. However, almost all turtles will eat grass if no other food source is available.

What Turtles Eat Grass?

So, there are too many different types of turtles to even list out in one place – there are well over 300 known types of turtles swimming or walking around the world.

That said, most of these turtles will eat grass. Sea turtles will eat seagrass, land turtles will eat grass on occasion, and semi-aquatic turtles like snapping turtles and box turtles will eat the types of grass they find in their native environment.

Now, land turtles eat the most grass of the different types of turtles. Turtles that live in the ocean… sea turtles… don’t eat grass, but they do eat seaweed, sea grapes, and sea grass.

Those are the aquatic versions of plants, fruit, and grass.

Semi-aquatic turtles usually don’t eat all that much grass. Box turtles and snapping turtles rarely eat grass as they are omnivores that eat mostly meat. There is also is not much grass in their native environment.

What Types of Grass Do Turtles Eat?

Land turtles will eat pretty much any type of grass. But they have a preference for certain types of grass like alfalfa, dandelions, and even the weeds that grow in your yard. Land turtles have even been known to eat the standard grass that grows in your front yard on occasion, especially if the grass has a lot of weeds in it.

Remember, land turtles prefer weeds to regular grass. The weeds are a little easier for the turtle to chew and likely taste better.

Our only recommendation when it comes to choosing grass for your turtle is to avoid grass full of nasty chemicals. Those chemicals are definitely not good for turtles. Other than chemicals, however, everything else should be perfectly ok. Turtles have a good sense of what they can and can not eat.

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Do Turtles Like Eating Grass?

Yes, most (not all) turtles like eating grass. Remember, turtles are herbivores or omnivores, so they should like eating grass and other vegetables. They certainly have the stomach to properly process grass.

Again, not all turtles will eat grass. This next section will cover the popular types of turtles and whether or not they eat grass.

Do Box Turtles Eat Grass?

Box turtles are omnivores and as such they will eat grass on occasion. However, box turtles appear to prefer eating the bugs found in grass rather than the grass itself. They also have a strong preference for other greens like lettuce or leaves over grass.

In our experience, you will rarely see a box turtle eating grass. It can happen sometimes, but it’s rare enough that it likely means the turtle is fairly hungry if its eating grass.

Do Painted Turtles Eat Grass?

Painted turtles are omnivores throughout their entire life. But they eat 90% meat while still growing and switch to eating 90% plants when they get older.

So, you would expect painted turtles to eat grass, right?

Well, painted turtles do not really eat grass. They eat other plant matter like leaves, lettuce, and flowers. This is because painted turtles have a preference for darker green plants, and grass is considered a light green plant.

Do Snapping Turtles Eat Grass?

Snapping turtles are aquatic, omnivore turtles that live most of their life in the water. As such, snapping turtles do not really have much opportunity to eat grass in nature.

With that in mind, snapping turtles still eat certain types of grass that they can find in their natural habitat of swamps. This is typically not the grass you find in your front yard, though.

Closing Thoughts

Well, that covers it for everything you need to know about turtles eating grass. Don’t panic if you see your turtle eating grass – it is perfectly normal for a turtle to eat grass as part of their diet. That said, the turtle would likely run (Yes, turtles can run) towards more tantalizing food if you offered it.



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