Can Turtles Eat Bread? 6 Risks | Full Guide

can turtles eat bread

Breads are the staple food for many. But when it comes to reptiles like turtles, is it good to serve them? Can turtles eat bread? Turtles are often seen eating everything, but it doesn’t mean everything is safe.

Bread is a non-toxic food, but it’s essential to consider that it has no valuable content that can enhance turtles’ health. Bread is for the human digestive system, not for turtles, because the human digestive system produces stomach acid, which helps in the digestion of bread.

If you own turtles, you may have this question and are in the right place to find the answer. 

Can Turtles Eat Bread? 

Turtles should not eat bread. As the little animals are unaware of their safety, they consume every edible thing they find near them. 

Red-eared slider turtles are the most common turtle to pet. But not only for the red-eared slider, but bread is unsuitable for every turtle. So, being a pet- parent, you need to know the safety of the little animal. As bread is a yeast product, it is hard to digest for turtles. Also, bread has no beneficial nutrients for turtles. 

Can Turtles Digest Bread?

No, turtles cannot digest bread, as mentioned earlier. Bread is made with yeast, wheat sugar, milk, etc. The final product, bread, is unsuitable for turtles. Turtles do not have certain enzymes to break down the bread. 

Moreover, bread gets moldy or sticky when it gets into the turtle’s mouth, and the little shelly creature often gets choked with that consistency. If they hardly consume bread, they commonly face difficulty in digestion.  

6 Risks of Feeding Bread to Turtles

Bread has no practical nutritional value, and if you feed the yeast product to your turtles, they only get empty calories from it. In simple words, bread is only a fun food for turtles, and they only get filled with it without any benefit. So, if you feed unhealthy food to your little pet, they may face the following consequences.

1: Zero Nutrition Leads to Vitamin Deficiency

Turtles are tiny, and their eating capacity is more precise. Younger turtles need protein-based food for a healthy diet, and mature tortoise requires vegetables. Foods like chicken, worms are safe for turtles and these are rich in protein. You can feed it to your little pet.

If turtles eat bread, they will face vitamin deficiency if they get filled with food without nutritional value or vitamins. As they would not be hungry after consuming bread, they will deny eating other beneficial foods. As a result, the little pet gets into trouble for fewer vitamins and minerals.

2: Difficulty in Digestion for the Absence of Enzymes 

Bread is a yeast product made with milk, wheat, etc. A tortoise does not have the required enzymes to break down the elements. So, when they consume bread, they cannot digest it properly. Due to unhealthy digestion, the little creatures face issues like gut impaction.

3: Moldy Consistency Causes Choking Hazard

Bread is a soft food that becomes moldy and sticky in the mouth. Turtles cannot handle it consistently and face choking hazards, and they may get choked and would not breathe.

4: Lesser Calcium Produces Malformed Shells

As bread has no nutritional value, turtles do not get calcium. They will face metabolic bone disease if their diet is filled with only bread. Also, their shells will get malformed. The shell is their only self-defense tool, so they will feel unsafe if it becomes unstable. Potatoes contain a good amount of calcium and it is quite safe for turtles.

5: Unnecessary Addition Harms Tortoise

Apart from plain bread, some bread comes with extra tastemakers or additions. Those are not severely harmful to humans, and they can digest them easily. But for the little tortoise, the unnecessary additions to bread become very severe. Due to sensitive organs, turtles easily get harmed by them. 

6: Processed Sugar May Cause Obesity

There are sweetbreads available in the market. Even in plain bread, there is sugar content. Processed sugar is always a harmful ingredient for both humans and animals. In the case of turtles, the sugar in bread affects them adversely. Excessive consumption of bread could lead your turtle to obesity. Due to unnecessary weight gain, they become more sloth and will not roam happily. 


Finally, the answer to the question ‘can turtles eat bread?’ always should be a big ‘NO.’ Turtles do eat bread as they find it edible. Even most turtles like the taste of brown bread and often do not like the taste of white bread. But every type of bread is unhealthy and harmful for turtles. 

Turtles’ diet should get contained different types of vegetables and insects. The younger turtles need more protein for their overall growth, so their diet should be well maintained. On the other hand, the matured tortoise needs vegetable-based vitamins and minerals. So, never allow anyone to throw unhealthy food at your pet. Instead, get your pet some tasty and healthy dishes. 

Foods Not Good for Reptiles


Will turtles eat bread?

Turtles eat every edible thing if they find it interesting. Tortoises eat bread if they get it in their territory. Bread is harmful to them, and never feed it to your pet.

Can pond turtles eat bread?

No, pond turtles should never eat unhealthy foods like bread, and they should always avoid unnecessary stuff because they have no excellent healthy food sources.

Can wild turtles eat bread?

No, wild turtles should not eat bread as it has no benefits.

Can turtles eat bread as a snack?

Feeding a few pieces of veggies or fruits as a snack is far more valuable than bread.

Can red-eared slider turtles eat bread?

The most common pet tortoise, red-eared sliders, should never eat bread as it adversely affects them.

Can turtles eat bread crumbs?

No, bread crumbs are also made from bread pieces with the same ingredients as bread. So, turtles should not eat breadcrumbs.

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