What Do Painted Turtles Eat? Best Foods for Painted Turtles

painted turtles food

Wherethe water flows slowly, the chances of getting a painted turtle are high. Theyhave a lifespan of 25-30 years.  Theoldest turtle can go up to 50 years.

Painted Turtle likefeeding and they enjoy eating a variety of foods. They can feed on both plantsand meat. Ensure that their diet contains a lot of vegetables and water plant.Commercial food and liver protein are vital.

Vegetablesinclude collard green and the chopped, mixed veggies. Turtle pellet and low-fatdog food are also essential. Provide supplements to ensure that your turtlegets all the minerals.

Thereare four dominant species:

  1. TheEastern Painted Turtle
  2. The MidlandPainted Turtle
  3. TheWestern Painted Turtle
  4. The SouthernPainted Turtle

Yourturtle may enjoy eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. In the diet includethe papaya, apple, and leafy greens. Don’t forget to add some carrots.

Sinceturtles are omnivorous, they also enjoy eating meat. Once you cook chicken orturkey,  give it a piece. A piece of rawbeef is an essential source of proteins.

Othersources of proteins include small goldfish, snails, and mealworms. Beetlelarvae and a wax worm is also an excellent source of proteins. Don’t give yourtortoise every insect that comes on your way. Seek advice first.

Youneed to ensure that your turtle gets the right quality of nutrients. Commercialdiet is the best option. Make the pellet turtle’s staple food. Before givingyour turtle any commercial food, first, read the instruction. 

Sinceturtles are a messy eater, you may have to clean its, habitat, often. To avoidall the cleaning stress, let them eat in a container. The container should bein a separate location form its swimming place.

Signs and Symptoms ofIllness

Theyhardly get sick. They only get sick as a result of poor nutrition or living ina dirty habitat. If you allow it to roam freely around the compound, it may getsalmonella infection.

 Some CommonSigns of Illness Include:

  • Significant weight change
  • Swollen eyes
  • Wounds on the skin
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Unable to swim
  • Bubbles in the nose

Effects of PoorConditions and Nutrition

1.Vitamin A deficiency

Youneed to feed your turtle with a proper diet. Failure results in a lack invitamin A. some of the signs include swelling of ears and eyelid andrespiratory difficulties.

Someturtles will have a hard time swimming. They also lose appetite. If you noticeany of these signs, give it a proper diet

2.Respiratory Infection

It can result from an adverse condition such as low temperature and improper bask.

Vital signs include wheezing difficulties and frequent coughing. Some turtles with a respiratory infection will have bubbles in their nose.

Whenyou see the symptoms, don’t ignore. Your turtle requires an antibiotic. Yourvet can help you and give you proper advice. Follow his advice to make thecondition more favorable.

3.Shell Rot

Theshell of your turtle may get a fungal condition. You will notice some symptomsin the covering. They include; Slimy, smelly whitish puss on the shell.

Itcould also get small abrasions. Take the turtle right away to the vet to get aprescription.


Most common parasites affecting turtles include; Hookworm, pinworm and the roundworm. These worms are the leading causes of illness to a turtle.

Some of the significant signs include; poor appetite, weight loss, and stool that has undigested food.

Youcan carry some feces when going to see the vet. He will do some analysis todetermine the cause.

Safety Measures

Animals can have contagious diseases. Some of those diseases are life-threatening.

Wash your hands before and after handling your turtle. Teach your children to wash their hands after touching an animal.

Suitable conditions fora turtle house

 Is this your first time to own a paintedturtle? This information will help you.


You must provide water. The turtles will use it for swimming and quenching their thirst.

The level of water will depend on the size and number of the turtle. The water should be at least four times over the turtle’s size.

Ifyou have one turtle start with twenty gallons of water. The amount is right forprecautionary measures.

Youcan add ten more gallons, each time you add another turtle. Ensure that thewater is not shallow, to avoid injuries. If you have more than one turtle,provide enough space. It must be able to swim freely.

Youcan also decide to keep it in an outdoor habitat. You have to create a smallpond. Inside the pond put some stones and branches. To look like a real river,put some live fish.

Ina hot climate, the water may become hot. To prevent that, let the pond be undera shade. Make it easy for the turtle to climb out and inside comfortable.

Youdon’t have to worry about the pond liner. The pond liner is locally available.Use a water vacuum to clean that water every day. Filter pump can also help youwhen cleaning.


PaintedTurtles require a lot of sunlight. They get vitamin D3 from the sun. Theirbodies’ synthesizes cholesterol with the help of UVB rays. Vitamin D3 helpswith calcium balance and metabolism.

Youcan decide that your turtle should stay indoors. Find an alternative source oflight.

Incandescentand fluorescent lights are better alternatives. When using the incandescent tolight and heat the tank, use a thermometer. It will prevent overheating thebasking site.

Fluorescentlight is generally used to provide light to the turtles. Your turtles requirevitamin D3. Use UVB light to supplement them with vital vitamin D3.


Thewater temperature should be within 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. You shouldmaintain the ambient air at a range of 80-85 degrees. The temperature of thebasking site should range between 85-95 degrees.

Thetemperature in an aquarium and that in the surrounding room is different. Don’trely on a thermostat to know the temperature. Have a regular check on theactual tank temperature.


If your turtles are in a tank, you need to clean it regularly. To prevent infection, empty the tank and clean it. Wash the basking spot too.

Use warm water while washing them and antibacterial soap. Wash thoroughly and rinse to remove the soap.

Beforereturning the content in the tank, let it dry first. When filling your tankwith fresh water, ensure that the water is non-chlorinated. Put some cleansubstrate.

Cleantwice in every month. If your turtle is messier, you might be forced to cleanmore often. After washing the tank, wash your hands thoroughly for safetymeasures.

Mistakes to avoidwhen dealing with a Painted Turtle:

1.Wrong Choice

Someof the turtles in the market could be sick. When selecting your turtle, ensurethat it’s healthy. You can seek the help of a retile veterinary. You can decideto choose either a small or a big turtle.

2.A Small Tank

Yourturtle needs a large tank. A smaller container can bring injuries to theturtles. If you can’t afford a new tank, the second hand is more affordable.You can also decide to use a pond.

3. Little Internal Filters

Filtersare vital since they keep the water clean. Turtles can be very messy. If youuse a small internal filter, it might not serve its purpose well. The tank willstart smelling and attract bacteria’s.


Gravelscan be very harmful to your turtle. If the turtle accidentally swallows, theyare likely to get stuck in the respiratory system. Removing the gravel canattract a hefty bill. In the worst scenarios, your turtle might die.

5.Lids on Tank

You might place a cover with good intention. Maybe you want to ensure that they remain safe.

You might also be preventing the children from messing up. When you cover the top with a lid, there is no air circulation.

 The air becomes stagnant and humid. The turtlewill breathe unhealthy air.

Asa result, your turtle may get a respiratory infection. Seeking vet servicescould be quite expensive. The turtle might also die.

6.Bad Food

Poor quality of food is harmful to your turtle. Avoid some food like rice, bacon, cheese, and cereals.

You should provide commercial pellets. They have a variety of nutrients useful to your turtle. You can also give them some vegetables and some meats.

7.Lack of Basking Areas

Yourturtle needs to bask and get enough sunlight. Unfortunately, some people don’tsee the importance of making basking areas. The ray from the sun providesvitamin D3.

8.Cuddles and Taking Your Turtle For A Walk

Theturtles are not social. When you cuddle them, you are likely to get salmonellabacteria. Unlike a dog that enjoys going for a walk, turtle enjoys swimming.Going for a walk with a turtle may scare it. It is not healthy either.

9.Giving Them Company

Aturtle enjoys staying alone. Two male will kill each other when fighting. Themale is likely to kill the female because of constant mating. Two female maygrow oversize.


Ifyou want a social pet, then the painted turtle is a lousy option. Get a doginstead. Feed your turtle with proper diet.

Ensurethat it stays in a pleasant environment. Avoid the common mistakes most peopledo and you’ll enjoy a time with your Painted Turtle.

Similar Posts