Do Turtles Eat Snails?

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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As omnivores, turtles may consume both plant and animal stuff. However, the species and age of the animal play major roles in determining its nutritional needs. Carnivorous while young, adult turtles often stick to a vegetarian diet. Therefore, you might wonder do turtles consume snails?

Turtles may consume snails. In the wild, turtles will eat snails as part of their diet. Yet, sometimes, parasites found in wild snails might be lethal for turtles. Due to the high protein content, pet turtles should only be given a little number of snails.

Clearly, turtles eat snails. But it doesn’t imply they need to eat snails every day. Let’s break this down and get a firm grasp on it.

Why Do Turtles Eat Snails?

Turtles are not picky eaters and will eat nearly anything. They consume snails, for instance, since it is typical food for turtles.

In the wild, turtles eat a variety of different creatures, including worms, slugs, snails, and so on. Further, turtles prefer to seek and consume live prey over plant-based diets.

Snails are favored by turtles because they provide the protein the reptiles need to stay healthy. In addition, musk turtles and other turtle species rely heavily on snails for nutrition.

Are Snails Good For Turtles?

As long as you don’t overfeed them, turtles may safely consume snails. They’re a healthy element of the diet for many different kinds of turtles.

For turtles, snails constitute a readily available and nutritious food source. There are a few species of pet turtles that love eating snails every once in a while, and wild turtles will consume almost any kind of snail they can get their hands on.

Snails provide a few nutritional advantages for turtles. First, they are a healthy protein option. Secondly, they support turtle well-being because of the calcium they provide.

And last, they aid in maintaining the integrity of a turtle’s shell. Last but not least, they are a lot of fun to eat.

But it’s important to remember that a captive turtle’s digestion and dietary requirements may vary significantly from those of its wild relatives.

In comparison to confined turtles, wild turtles receive a lot of activity. Thus, they typically have stronger digesting capacities.

A protein overload, brought on by feeding your turtle an excessive amount of snails, may lead to pyramiding.

Therefore, you need to be sure that you don’t go crazy with them simply because your turtle enjoys eating them.

When caring for turtles, moderation in the number of snails they eat is essential. Snails may be fed to turtles as a reward once a week if they like eating them.

Turtles may be given de-shelled canned snails without any concerns, however, feeding live snails to turtles requires more attention and caution.

Are Snails Safe For Pet Turtles To Eat?

A pet turtle can, in fact, eat snails. For the most part, turtles would rather eat real prey than pellets or vegetables.

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Since live food is required even in captivity, turtles are a great choice for occasional treats.

Which Is Better: Canned Or Live Snails?

Raising and trying to feed live snails comes with too many complications and problems to be worthwhile.

They may be infected with parasites that are hazardous to turtles and are readily spread between them.

And not all turtles have the digestive system to process snail shells. In this situation, you can feed canned snails.

Here is a very good option for canned snails:  Zoo Med’s Can O’ Snails. This snail chow contains 25-30 deshelled snails bred on a farm, preserved in their natural fluids.

 it is important to remember if you want to feed live snails. Infectious parasites have been found in live snails.

Parasites like lung fluke spread by eating wild-caught snails may be fatal to turtles. Multiple parasites and diseases use snails as an “intermediary” host.

Make sure to get your live snails from reputable pet shops if you want to give them to your pets. It is obvious that you shouldn’t have wild-caught snails and turtles in the same aquarium.

What Are The Risks Of Turtles Eating Snails?

While a turtle may appreciate a snail now and again, there are risks involved with making snails a regular part of a turtle’s diet.

A parasite illness carried by snails may be transmitted to turtles and perhaps even humans. To keep your pet turtle healthy, don’t give it just any snails you come across.

 What Safety Measures Should Be Taken While Feeding Snails?

Live snails provided in moderation may be suitable for turtle health. It tastes good and meets their need for protein.

However, if care is not followed while giving live food to turtles, it may be lethal. The parasites found in live snails may be dangerous. Thus, it is not safe to give captive turtles live, wild-caught snails.

They may carry dangerous parasites that may give turtles lung flukes, which can be fatal. Snails are often used as a transitional host for other organisms, including parasites and diseases.

The effects of goniobasis tenera lung fluke invasion on many loggerhead turtles are documented.

Although there is a small chance of infection when serving living snails to turtles, you may prevent illness by following these steps.

  • You should only ever buy live snails from reputable pet retailers.
  • If the garden snails have not been subjected to any insecticides or bait, you may give them to your turtles alive.
  • Do not try to raise wild-caught snails in an aquarium with a turtle. It’s likely that turtles will attempt to eat the snails.
  • If snails have parasites, they might be lethal for turtles. So make sure they were properly washed and disinfected in a harmless manner.

Alright! Let’s go on to the next step and explore whether it’s possible to keep turtles and snails together.

Can Musk Turtles Eat Snails?

And snails are a favorite food of musk turtles. As long as the snails are small enough, their jaws can handle eating them. But don’t hand out too many snails all at once.

Can Painted Turtles Eat Snails?

The natural diet of the painted turtle includes a significant amount of snails. Therefore, there is no danger to your pet.

However, be wary of overfeeding your snails a diet high in protein or phosphorus, since this may lead to serious health problems.

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Which Other Turtles Eat Snails?

Most turtles’ staple diet consists of snails. Snails are a component of a turtle’s natural diet. One thing to remember is that turtle hatchlings are more likely to eat snails than adult turtles.

The older turtles may sometimes consume snails. The following are examples of common turtles that feed on snails:

  • Red-eared sliders,
  • Wood turtles
  • Box turtles,
  • Yellow-bellied turtles,
  • Aquatic turtles,
  • Mud turtles,
  • Mississippi map turtles,
  • Snapping turtles,
  • Green turtle hatchlings.
  • African side neck turtles,

Can Turtles Eat Garden Snails?

If the snails aren’t treated with snail bait or insecticides, then yes, turtles may safely consume them. Make sure you get your turtle’s live garden snails from a reputable source so you know where they came from.

What Kinds Of Snails Do Turtles Prefer?

In their natural environment, turtles consume every kind of snail that fits inside their digestive systems. Common types of snails consumed by turtles are:

  • Apple snails,
  • Mystery snails,
  • Ramshorn snails,
  • Pond snails,
  • Bladder snails,
  • Garden snails,
  • Malaysian trumpet snails, and
  • Nerite snails.

Many varieties of snails exist, but only certain should be fed to turtles due to their unique nutritional needs.

Your turtle would benefit most from eating African giant snails. The calcium and other elements necessary for strong bones and shells may be found in abundance in this snail species.

Snails not only provide healthy food for your turtle but also assist maintain the environment clean.

Snails help maintain water clear and free of pathogens by feeding on algae and other floating detritus. Offer your turtle some African giant snails for a tasty and nourishing snack.

How Many Snails Can Turtles Eat?

Even while turtles like chomping down on snails, it’s best not to offer them an excessive amount too often.  Once every ten days,  you can feed each of your turtles about two snails to eat.

The turtle has a voracious appetite. Therefore, you need to be sure that you are limiting their consumption of snails since eating an excessive amount of protein might promote pyramiding.

Does A Baby Turtle Eat Snails?

The answer is yes. Young turtles, just like their more mature siblings, are still able to consume snails.

They have a voracious appetite for animal protein and they will quickly pursue a snail that they may consume.

This trait is typical of juvenile snails. However, young turtles will avoid larger snails such as the agate snail because of their size.

 Due to the fact that it is still young and developing, you may anticipate the baby snail to restrict its prey selection to snails that are smaller or of modest size.

In the event of very young baby turtles that have not yet greatly developed, it may be difficult for them to gnaw through the shell of the snail.

In this kind of circumstance, the turtle would devour the portion of the snail that it could eat, therefore evacuating the shell.

Can Turtles Digest The Shells Of Snails?

Turtles have a difficult time crushing snail shells in order to consume them. In addition, not all species of turtle are capable of cracking and digesting snail shells. As a result, turtles often swallow the whole of snails.

What To Do If Your Turtle Eats A Poisonous Snail?

In the event that you discover that your turtle has consumed a snail that you did not provide for it, there are a few steps you should do to safeguard the snail’s well-being.

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To begin, turtles have a high risk of being poisoned. thus, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a qualified medical expert as soon as possible if you know or think that the snail that your turtle ate was deadly.

If you are confused as to whether or not the snail was toxic, there are a few characteristics that you may check for in your turtle that may suggest that it has been poisoned.

These symptoms might include drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, and even convulsions. It is imperative that you get immediate medical attention from a qualified physician in the event that you see any of these symptoms in your turtle.

Secondly, even if the snail did not contain any toxins, it is still conceivable that your turtle might develop an allergy to it if it comes into contact with the snail.

Hives, trouble breathing, and puffiness of the eyes, mouth, or neck are some of the more frequent signs that an allergic response is taking place.

It is imperative that you get immediate assistance from a qualified medical practitioner in the event that you notice any of these signs in your turtle following the time it consumed a snail.

Finally, there is always a potential that your turtle will get an ailment from consuming the snail, even if it wasn’t dangerous and your turtle appears to not be experiencing an allergic response to it.

An infection may cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, a lack of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, and hazy eyes, which are the most prevalent.

Again, it is imperative that you contact the assistance of a qualified medical practitioner as soon as possible.

How To Prepare Snails For Your Turtle?

It’s important to know a few things before deciding what to feed your turtle snails. Because turtles are susceptible to contracting infections from snails, it is imperative that you take certain safety measures before feeding snails to your pet.

First, make sure that the snails have been well-cleaned. If you’ve collected them from the wild, be sure to give them a thorough cleaning in some fresh water before using them.

If you want to purchase them from a pet shop, inquire with the employees there about whether or not they have been washed before.

The next step is to boil the snails. Any germs or parasites that may be present will perish as a result of this.

You have the option of boiling them for five minutes or baking them in the oven at 350 ℉ for fifteen minutes. Hold off on offering them to your turtle until they have cooled down.

Finally, you should break up the snail flesh into little pieces so that your turtle may consume it without any difficulty.

Turtles may benefit from the added nutrition that snails provide by including them in their diets on a regular basis.

Just make sure that you stick to these basic instructions to ensure the well-being and safety of your pet.

Closing Remarks

There is no question that turtles can consume snails in their diet. The majority of turtle species use it as a primary source of nutrition.

 In addition, given that turtles appreciate the proteins found in animals to that found in plants, you may periodically feed your pet 1 or 2 two snails.

Because of the many potential complications that may arise from feeding live snails, you can resort to canned, de-shelled alternatives instead.

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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