Why Is My Turtle Eating Rocks?

Why Is My Turtle Eating Rocks

Do you have a pet turtle? If so, you may be wondering why he is eating rocks. Believe it or not, there are several reasons why your turtle might be crunching on those pebbles and some of them may surprise you!

In this blog post, we will cover the most common reasons turtles eat rocks and what happens if they do. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about this topic. So, read on to learn more!

Related Article: Best Gravel For Turtle Tank

Why is my turtle eating rocks?

There can be a variety of reasons why your turtle is eating rocks. Some of the most common reasons include:

– Misunderstanding rocks for food: This is especially common in younger turtles who are still learning what they can and cannot eat. If your turtle is munching on rocks, it may be because he thinks they are food. Turtles are always hungry, they swim here and there to find something to eat. So, if they see a rock on the bottom of their tank or in their food dish, they may mistake it for something edible.

– Boredom: If your turtle doesn’t have enough stimulating activities in its environment, it may start to nibble on rocks out of boredom. Turtles often become bored when they are kept in tanks that are too small or don’t have enough hiding places, toys, or other forms of enrichment. It is important to provide your turtle with a stimulating environment to prevent boredom and other behavioural problems.

– Curing mineral deficiency: Some turtles eat rocks because they contain minerals that the turtle’s body is lacking. This is most commonly seen in captive turtles who don’t have a varied diet. If your turtle is eating rocks, it may be a sign that he is not getting enough minerals in his diet. Including a variety of healthy foods in your turtle’s diet can help to prevent this from happening.

– Stomach parasites: Some turtles eat rocks because they have stomach parasites and the rocks help to get rid of them. This is most commonly seen in wild turtles who may not have access to a healthy diet. It works like this: the rocks help to break down the food in the turtle’s stomach, which then kills the parasites.

– Maintaining healthy gut pH: Another reason why turtles eat rocks is to maintain a healthy gut pH. The acids in a turtle’s stomach can sometimes cause the pH level of his gut to become too acidic. Eating rocks helps to alkalize the gut and restore the pH balance.

If your turtle is eating rocks, it is important to keep an eye on him and make sure he is not choking on them. Choking can be a serious problem for turtles and can lead to death. It is advisable to keep rocks out of your turtle’s diet and provide him with other forms of nutritional food instead.

What happens if your turtle eats rocks?

If your turtle eats rocks, it can cause a lot of damage to its digestive system. The rocks can puncture the stomach and intestines, which can lead to serious health problems. Turtles that eat rocks often have trouble digesting food properly and may develop mineral deficiencies. In some cases, the rocks can even kill the turtle.

Other problems that can occur if a turtle eats rocks include:

– Intestinal blockages: if the rocks are too big, they can get stuck in the turtle’s intestines and cause a blockage. This can be very dangerous and even life-threatening.

– Impaction: if the turtle eats too many rocks, it can develop an impaction, which is when the digestive system gets blocked up and doesn’t work properly. This can also lead to serious health problems.

– Constipation: the rocks can cause the turtle to become constipated, which can lead to other health problems.

– Malnutrition: if the turtle isn’t able to digest food properly, it will not get the nutrients it needs and will eventually become malnourished.

What to do if a turtle ate a rock?

If you find your turtle eating rocks, there is no need to panic. First of all, try to determine the reason behind this behavior. Once you know the cause, you can take steps to correct it. If your turtle is eating rocks because it is hungry, provide them with a diet that includes more nutritious food items. If they are doing it out of boredom, make sure they have plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied. Putting some cuttlebone in their tank can also help, as it provides them with calcium and other minerals they may be lacking.

If you are still concerned about your turtle’s behavior, consult a veterinarian who can give you more specific advice. And if they are eating rocks due to a mineral deficiency, add supplements to their diet.

In most cases, providing your turtle with an appropriate diet will be enough to stop them from eating rocks. However, if the problem persists, you may need to consult with a veterinarian. Rocks can cause serious health problems in turtles, so it is important to get them to help if needed.

Can turtles poop out rocks?

Yes, turtles can poop out rocks if ate some. It is known as “geophagia.” It’s a behavior that is often seen in captive turtles and it’s not fully understood why they do it. For turtles, it can take a long time to pass a rock and it can cause impaction if they eat too many. If you think your turtle is eating rocks, take them to the vet to make sure they don’t have any health problems that are causing them to do this.

There are a few different theories as to why turtles eat rocks. Some believe that the turtles eat the rocks to help with their digestion, while others believe that they eat the rocks for nutritional purposes. There are also those who believe that the turtles eat the rocks because they’re bored or because they’re looking for something to chew on.

Whatever the reason may be, if your turtle is eating rocks, you should take him to a vet to get him checked out. Rocks can cause serious health problems in turtles, including intestinal blockages and toxicity. If left untreated, these health problems can lead them to death.

Are rocks dangerous for turtles?

Rocks and pebbles are important for making your turtle tank beautiful. But, are they safe for your pet? Read on to know why your turtle may be eating rocks and the consequences of it.

Rocks in a turtle tank serve different purposes. They can be used as a substrate, to create basking or hiding spots, or even as part of the decor. But one thing you don’t want your turtle to do is to eat them.

Rocks in your turtle tank could be dangerous for your little buddy. Baby or juvenile turtles often think it like their food and eat it. For turtles, anything that can fit in their mouth is fair game, including rocks.

While eating rocks isn’t deadly for turtles, it can cause health problems down the line. Rocks can get lodged in a turtle’s digestive system and cause serious blockages.

They can also lead to intestinal impaction, which is when the intestines become so full of objects that they can no longer function. If you think your turtle may be eating rocks, it’s important to take immediate action.

How to stop turtles from eating gravel?

There are different ways you can follow to stop turtles from eating gravel. Below are some ways you can try:

– Place a wire mesh or net over the top of the substrate to stop them from reaching the rocks

– Provide them with alternative food options like fresh vegetables and fruits

– Add pebbles or stones in their tank that is too big for the turtles to swallow

– Try to understand the reason behind their eating rocks and try to provide a solution for that particular problem.

– If your turtle is eating rocks because they are bored, then try to add more toys or decorations in their tank.

– If they are doing it due to mineral deficiency, then you can add supplements to their diet.

– Talk to a vet if the problem persists

If your turtle is eating rocks, then it is important to take some preventive measures to stop them from doing so. There are various reasons why turtles eat rocks and by understanding the reason, you can take appropriate measures to stop them. Try out the different methods mentioned above and see which one works.


While it may be concerning to see your turtle eating rocks, there are a variety of reasons why they might do so. In most cases, it is when turtles misunderstand pebbles with their food. However, it is not the only possibility and they may be eating rocks due to a lack of nutrition. In such conditions, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

Do you have any questions or concerns about your turtle eating rocks? Let us know by email! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information on all things turtles! Thanks for reading!