Do Turtles Eat Pumpkins?

Pet owners need to take care of their turtle’s diet. Pumpkins can be beneficial to your turtle, but only sparingly. This guide will explain the health reasons behind this and how often you should feed them pumpkin.

By the end, you’ll have the confidence needed to give your turtle a proper diet. 

Do Turtles Eat Pumpkins?

Yes,Turtles love pumpkins, but that doesn’t mean pumpkins should be a main part of their diet. If you’re going to give them pumpkins, only do so as a treat. As a pet owner, you should give your turtle pumpkins once a month.

 Can Turtles Have Raw Pumpkin?

Turtles can eat raw pumpkin but in small amounts. It should be left sparingly because it contains a high level of sugar. 

How to Feed Pumpkin to Turtles

Start by washing off the pumpkin before feeding your turtle. Chop the pumpkin into multiple pieces to prevent them from choking. If you’re feeding them pumpkin seeds, give them a small amount. Giving them an excessive amount of pumpkins will lead to further health problems. 

First, you have to understand that aquatic turtles need to be in the water because it helps them digest their food. Even if they take the food you give them, they’ll still jump or run into the water to consume it. 

Many keepers suggest having a separate feeding tank for your turtles. This is used to prevent leftovers, which can potentially damage the tank. Don’t try this with floating foods because you can use a net to scoop up the leftovers. Because of this, use a separate tank to feed them pumpkins. 

Can Turtles Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

On occasion, turtles can eat pumpkin seeds. The leaves and flowers of a pumpkin can be given sparingly; we don’t suggest feeding them pumpkin seeds unless your turtle is a full-fruit-eating species. 

Pumpkin seeds consist of cucurbitacin, which has worming properties. However, the seeds have a high protein content, so they should be fed sparingly. It’s better to get the medication approved by your vet to give them the best nutrition possible.

Can Aquatic Turtles Eat Pumpkin?

Yes, it is fine to give them pumpkins as a snack. You’ll have to cook it beforehand, as the pumpkin contents are too hard for their teeth. While it’s not a staple of their diet, giving your aquatic turtles a few pumpkin pieces is fine. 

Can Baby Turtles Eat Pumpkin?

Baby turtles are more sensitive than adult turtles. Having an excessive amount of pumpkins will be difficult for them to eat. Alternatively, give your baby turtle higher amounts of feeder fish or pellets to protect their health. By doing this, it will give your turtle the nutrients needed to grow healthy. 

Do Box Turtles Eat Pumpkins?

Most vegetables are good for box turtles, but some are better than others. Squash is a good choice, but a few pieces of pumpkin won’t hurt. When giving them pumpkins, keep them at a reasonable level. 

Turtle Dietary Problems

Here are the five main dietary problems your turtle will experience:

  1. Giving too much fruit and sugary foods
  2. Overfeeding the turtle
  3. Lack of fiber
  4. Giving too much protein

How to Avoid These Problems

You’re responsible for the well-being and health of your turtle. Here are some tips to help avoid dietary pitfalls.

Avoid giving your turtle too much protein. Instead, give you turtle the following foods:

  • Dog or cat food of any kind
  • Grain products (rye, barley, wheat, corn, etc.)
  • Cheese

An excessive amount of proteins will stress the turtle’s liver. Having a high-protein diet with a lack of hydration will harm the turtle’s shell. Proteins are made for human consumption have too much protein for turtles to eat. Also, avoid giving your turtle thawed/frozen vegetables. Instead, give them small pieces of leafy greens as a treat. 

Give Your Turtles Calcium!

Give your turtle the right calcium-phosphorus balance. Avoid giving your turtle large quantities of food that prevents calcium growth (i.e., mustard greens, broccoli, etc.). Turtles need a great deal of calcium for shell and bone growth. 

To maximize their calcium intake, leave cuttlebones inside the aquarium. If you’re planning on giving turtles cuttlebone, remove the hard-shell backing from it. This will chop the cuttlebone into pieces and spread it around the tank. The turtle will eat the cuttlebone when they need an extra source of calcium. 

Don’t Overfeed Your Turtle!

An excessive amount of bad foods can lead to health problems for your turtle. Overfeeding is the most common mistake pet owners have. Reptiles have a slow metabolism, so they don’t need to consume as much food as you’d think. 

Check your tortoise’s activity level. Does your turtle stay inside and hide in the tank? Can he walk around a yard and go outdoors? If your turtle is sedentary, they don’t need to be fed daily. You can feed them every other day, even though your turtle will look at you with pleading eyes when feeding. Don’t give in, as a part of “tough love” is needed to manage their diet. 

Here’s an analogy: A sedentary turtle is like an office worker in their cubicle. If the office worker doesn’t exercise and eats fast food during their shifts, chances are they’re going to be overweight, have high blood pressure, flabby, and other issues. 

Turtles who eat vegetables (which is the turtle equivalent of fast food) on a daily basis will experience health issues. They’ll be more vulnerable to respiratory infections, damage their livers and kidneys, and have pyramided shells. 

Avoid Excessive Fruit

Even though turtles love fruit, you shouldn’t give them too much. If you give your turtle an excessive amount of fruit, the sugars and acid will eliminate the beneficial bacteria in the turtle’s gut. When gut bacteria dies, it releases toxins that pass the gut wall and through the turtle’s bloodstream. Excessive fruit will lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome. 


To conclude, it’s okay to give your turtle a few pieces of pumpkin from time to time. But you have to be careful, as an excessive amount will lead to health problems. Give your turtle a balanced diet of greens, proteins, and fruits to ensure they’ll grow happy and healthy!

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