Can Turtles Eat Cheese?

Turtles are mysterious creatures. These reptiles have been around for hundreds of years and are the most low maintenance animals you will come across. As pets, they don’t demand a lot from their owners and are way too underrated in their pet ranking.

One of the best parts of being a turtle parent is the fact that their long lifespans ensure that they will be by our side till the very end, and they might end up outliving us! So having a turtle means you’re in for the long haul.

Turtles do need one thing from their owner, and that is for their diet to be given special attention. To live a long and healthy life, they need a diet that is rich in all the nutrients they need.

However, turtles also want variety. They can get bored with eating the same thing over and over again, and if they do get bored, they might simply refuse to eat what you give them. And any pet owner knows just how nerve-wracking it can be when their pet refuses to eat at all. But considering how turtles are rare pets, this is an added burden on you. Pet stores don’t offer a variety of turtle products and foods, and there aren’t a lot of turtle owners who you can turn to for advice. So you have to think a dozen times before trying to add variety into their meals.

Are you thinking of including cheese as a part of your turtle’s diet? If you are thinking of doing so to mix things up a bit and offer them a new snack, you will have to consider a few things before doing so. Read on to find out whether or not you should include cheese in your turtle’s diet.

Rule of Thumb:

A general rule that you should keep in mind when thinking of offering your turtle something new is if they don’t have access to it in the wild, then it isn’t a good idea to feed it to your shelled friend.

Turtles are reptiles that live on water and spend time on land as well. Their diet should consist of foods that they would find in the wild such as vegetables, fruits, flowers, and fish.

Pellets do make up a very important part of your turtle’s diet, and although they aren’t found in the wild, they have been designed keeping all of your turtle’s dietary needs and requirements in mind. 

Turtles and Cheese:

Who doesn’t love cheese? There are so many different varieties of cheese available, and are a great snack to eat, which not only is tasty but healthy too for us humans, at least. You probably are aware of the fact that just because a certain food is healthy for our consumption doesn’t necessarily mean the same applies to our pets. 

Considering just how different turtles are from humans (mammals and reptiles to begin with), there are bound to be differences in what we can eat and what they can’t.

Cheese is a part of the dairy category and is made of milk. Other foods in the dairy category include yogurt. Turtles, as it turns out, are lactose intolerant. This means they don’t have the enzymes that are needed to break down the milk product and, as a result, will suffer from indigestions and other related illnesses.

Turtles suffering from indigestion will be in pain or extreme discomfort, and that is the last thing that we want for our pets. And so you must be a responsible pet owner and make sure that you remove the cheese from their vicinity.

My turtle seems to like cheese:

Even though cheese is not good for their health, some turtles might seem very keen on eating it. One would think that animals would know better than to eat dangerous foods. That might be true for turtles in the wild, but it isn’t the case for domesticated turtles, and thus they rely heavily on their owners to keep their diet in check.

Turtles also have the instinct to eat whatever they can. Out in the wild, they don’t have many opportunities to eat, and so because they are unsure of their next meal, they eat whatever they can whenever they can. This instinct is intact with pet turtles too. This explains why they might gobble up cheese.

Just because your turtle likes food doesn’t make it healthy or safe for them. We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep cheese away from your turtles.

What can my turtle eat?

To start with, you should offer your turtle the commercially available turtle pellets. These have been designed especially for your shelled friends, keeping all their dietary requirements in mind. The plus side of these pellets is that they aren’t messy. They don’t crumble away even if they come in contact with water, they will simply float, and your turtle will enjoy eating them.

Fruits and veggies are also a great option to offer your turtle. There are rarely any fruits or vegetables that are unsafe for your turtle’s consumption, and so you have a wide variety to choose from.

There are also several snacks that you can offer your turtle. These include:

  • A little bit of meat such as ground beef, for example. They will enjoy using their teeth to pull apart large pieces of meat.
  • Dried shrimp are a great option to mix things up. They contain all the important facts and are also a different texture that will make your turtle happy.


Although it might not seem like it, there are multiple numbers of food options that you can offer your turtle to keep them both safe and healthy as well as satisfied. Cheese, however, is not one of those options. So make sure you avoid cheese to avoid getting your turtle sick.

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