Although it may issue you together a first-time tortoise owner, it"s actually regular for a turtle to not eat because that a couple of days. If he or she has actually stopped eat for numerous days, it"s time come look in ~ what"s walking on his atmosphere to view if there"s a problem.

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reasons for a Turtle"s lack of Appetite

before you effort to coax your turtle to eat, it"s necessary to number out why he"s not eating. Changes in his environment, feeding schedule and also diet deserve to all be feasible causes.

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If you"ve just lugged your brand-new turtle home, he might be really stressed at all the changes in his environment. If you have actually been taking care of your tortoise a lot, this may also cause stress. Aquarium setup and also maintenance skilled Austin Weber of lucky Pup Adventures says, "turtles are not a biology that, in their ideal world, girlfriend are taking care of them every day. If you want a turtle that is ok with more handling, tortoises space a far better choice. Aquatic turtles are not keen on gift touched a lot." Weber additionally said stress have the right to come from negative water quality and also poor lighting.



due to the fact that turtles call for their atmospheres to it is in a specific temperature, if your aquarium is not warm sufficient this deserve to dampen his appetite. Like numerous reptiles, a turtle should have locations of his tank with different temperatures the he deserve to move around in as he pleases. The ideal temperature varies depending on the varieties of turtle. Because that example:

ideal Lighting

Just as with temperature, it"s crucial to provide species-appropriate light in your turtle"s enclosure. Most varieties of pets turtle species require around 12 come 14 hrs of light each day complied with by a night bike of about 10 come 12 hours. Weber notes the turtles need UVB bright to process nutrients properly and the absence of it have the right to make lock lethargic and lose their appetite.


The an initial thing you have to do is watch over her turtle for indicators of illness. Some usual symptoms of sickness are:

Wheezing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and discharge indigenous the nose and eyes that show up irritated and also swollen, in addition to lethargy suggest a possible respiratory infection. Discolored areas on his shell deserve to be led to by a absence of vitamin A in his diet. If you do not see any feces in the tank and don"t check out him eliminating, he might be constipated. If your turtle feces has actually signs the worms, he may have a parasitic infection which is dampening his appetite. If the tortoise is female and has quit eating, it"s feasible she has actually dystoica, which method she cannot correctly pass her eggs the end of the body. Turtles with dystocia deserve to seem fine in ~ first, various other than lack of appetite, however will build lethargy and also lose load over a short period of time.


It"s possible your tortoise isn"t eating due to the fact that of his diet. Weber argues turtle owners, "Try and vary your diet. You can shot something various to stimulate their appetite." If you"ve fed him mainly a commercially ready turtle diet, he might do far better eating live food favor crickets, snails, mealworms and also earthworms. Some turtles will even eat small feeder mouse or feeder fish. Part other alters you have the right to make to his diet to aid him eat include:

adding fresh food come his diet choose mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes, collard greens, carrots, and also leafy vegetables favor lettuce, arugula, spinach and also cabbage. Adding little quantities of fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries bananas, watermelon, grapes, melon, papaya or mangoes. Turtles space attracted come bright colors for this reason in enhancement to fruit, some will certainly respond favorably to increased petals and dandelions. Soaking dry tortoise food in a fruit juice, non-caffeinated sporting activities drink or the water from canned tuna.


use Water

Some species of turtle do far better eating your meals under water. You can experiment with putting his food in the watery area that his tank to check out if this sparks his appetite. Another means to usage water to tempt your tortoise to eat is to fill a spray bottle and gently mist him. The reason for this is turtle instinctually will try to eat when it"s raining since in the wild they know this is when worms are an ext easily accessible.

absence of Calcium

an additional dietary concern that can influence your turtle"s appetite is not getting sufficient calcium. If her turtle isn"t getting a calcium complement in addition to his continual diet, friend can provide him v one with a weekly sprinkling the calcium powder on his food. Cuttlebones and calcium block in his tank room also great options.

Time of Day

Turtles have tendency to have much better appetites once they"re most active which is either early in the job or later in the afternoon. If you"ve to be feeding that midday or in the evenings once he"s an ext sluggish, try changing the time of job to see if this stimulates his appetite. The closer you have the right to feed him to the start of the day at dawn, the better, though this will average some at an early stage morning alarm-setting because that you! Adult turtles likewise do not must eat every day, therefore it"s possible he just isn"t hungry if you"re offering him food day-to-day instead the every other day.

Time the Year

some turtles will attempt to hibernate in the fall and also during the winter. If you can find nothing wrong v your turtle"s health, discuss the possibility that that is trying to hibernate through your veterinarian. Hibernation may not be encourage by your veterinarian as it deserve to cause additional medical worries for her turtle. Even if your turtle doesn"t totally hibernate in the winter, Weber states it"s common for them to eat less and be less active at this time the year.

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Time for the Veterinarian

If you space able to number out what the reason behind your turtle"s lack of appetite and also make straightforward adjustments come his tank atmosphere or diet, you hopefully should be earlier on track v feeding that regularly. If your turtle hasn"t eaten in a week or if you notice signs of illness coupled with absence of appetite sooner than a week"s passing, it"s time to get your tortoise to a reptile veterinarian. Although a turtle have the right to actually walk without food because that weeks however you don"t desire to delay getting him treatment if the reason is one underlying clinical problem.

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