Can Turtles Eat Shrimp?

Feeding turtles can be a handful. For most of the part, turtles are low maintenance and don’t demand a lot from their owners like a lot of other pets do. However, when it comes to food, turtles can be a bit fussy.

Turtles crave variety, and so if they feel that they’re being fed the same thing over and over again, they might don’t like the monotony and will reject the food you offer them. Now because turtles are rare pets to keep, you won’t find a lot of variety of turtle products lining the pet store shelves. And there aren’t a lot of fellow turtle owners whom you can turn to for advice and so it is up to you to get creative when it comes to mealtime.

We’re here to make things easy for you. To master mealtime, you need to know your turtle well, and that includes what kind of turtle they are, what their meals should look like, and what food you can feed them as a snack.

General overview

The food your turtle eats comes down to what kind of turtle you bought home with you. Turtles can be plant eaters or herbivores, or they can be carnivorous meat-eaters. Some can be omnivores and enjoy eating both plants and meat, and some can be born carnivores who grow up to adopt a vegetarian diet! This probably got your head spinning, and so to have a better grasp on this matter; you should know what breed of turtle your pet is.

Another important factor that matters when feeding your turtle is the structure of their jaw. The structure of their jaw indicates what they will be able to chew and what they won’t, which guides us about what kind of food to avoid.

A rule of thumb to remember when feeding your turtles is that if the food isn’t something that your turtle will find in the wild, then it shouldn’t be a part of their diet.

What do turtles eat?

A turtle’s diet can be divided into three main categories:

  1. Turtle pellets: commercially available turtle pellets should make up a major chunk of your turtle’s diet. These have been designed especially for these shelled reptiles keeping all their dietary needs in mind, and so are a complete meal with all the needed minerals and vitamins for turtles to strive health-wise.
  2. Fruits and vegetables: also an important part of your turtle’s diet; most, if not all, fruits and vegetables are safe to be given to our turtles. Turtles prefer dark leaf greens for vegetables, and acceptable fruits include all kinds of berries and melon. With so much to choose from, your turtle will have a unique burst of flavor readily available for it.
  3. Feeder fish/insects: these are a great source of protein for your turtles. Not only protein, but they also include a load of essential minerals such as calcium that your turtle needs to stay healthy. This is why it is no wonder that they make up 25% of your turtle’s diet.

Do turtles eat shrimp?

Turtles can most definitely eat shrimp. Whether you give it to them raw or frozen, it is a safe food irrespective.

Shrimp is a good fish to include in your turtle’s diet because they include all the good and important facts that aren’t present in most of the food you feed your turtle, and so they end up missing in their meals. They also have a different texture that will fascinate your turtle and satisfy their want for different kinds of food.

Shrimps are a common food for aquatic animals. However, there are certain things to keep in mind when feeding your turtle shrimp. To start with, not all shrimp are turtle appropriate. The smaller sized dried shrimp that we often feed fish won’t do for your turtles. They tend to prefer the larger shrimps. 

Also, you need to exercise moderation when it comes to feeding your turtle shrimp. While they do have their set of benefits, too much raw shrimp, especially those that are too big for turtles to the stomach, will lead to a lot of severe health issues and can even cause their stomachs to explode. So you need to make sure that the size is also appropriate to your turtle’s diet.

Raw shrimps also run the risk of having harmful bacteria present in them. To avoid any health issues in this regard, make sure you buy your shrimp from a reliable store or brand.

If you choose to freeze the shrimp you bought for your turtle, the best way to go about it is to let them thaw before you offer them to your turtle. They should be given at room temperature to stay on the safe side.

A bonus of shrimp

You’ll be surprised to know that shrimp can play another role that is extremely beneficial for your turtle beyond your turtle’s diet. There are shrimps known as “ghost shrimp” or “glass shrimp,” and they can be classified as working fish. These tiny little creatures will eat just about anything, and in the process, they’ll clean your turtle’s tank by eating all the leftover food. They will eat any algae present in the tank as well. These inexpensive shrimps will eventually become turtle food, which is an added benefit!


If you’re planning to include shrimp in your turtle’s diet, it is a good idea to do so! Shrimps are a safe food option for turtles and are also healthy. However, they should not replace turtle pellets as a staple part of their diet. At most, you should include shrimp as a snack to keep mealtime from becoming monotonous for your turtle.

Always learn to practice moderation when it comes to feeding your pet. Too much healthy food can also lead to health problems that can otherwise be avoided. A happy pet is a healthy pet!

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