Why Does My Turtle Swim Towards Me?

Turtles make amazing pets and even though they are not as cuddly as kittens and puppies, they are certainly cute!

They do get to know their humans quite quickly and one way they show this is by swimming towards you when they spot you!

They are genuinely pleased to see you, but they also secretly hope that you have food or a treat for them too!   

Why Is My Turtle Swimming Frantically Towards Me? 

Your turtle will associate you as their source of food as well as protection.

Consequently, they expect that every time they see you, it will be food time – especially as they soon get into the routine if you feed him at the same time every day.

The moment they spot you, they will swim enthusiastically over to see you and will try very hard to catch your attention. 

Think of it as a “my owner is giving me some food!” swimming towards you

I guess it’s their way of running but in water (if that makes sense!)

Why Is My Turtle Trying To Get My Attention?

Your turtle will be trying to get your attention in the hope that you have some food or a snack for them.

Having said that, they will also be trying to catch your attention because they recognize you as their human.

Turtles can recognize their human by sight, but they have an exceptionally good sense of smell and also will recognize patterns of sound.  

Related article – Why does my turtle stare at me?

Why Does My Turtle Keep Swimming Against The Glass?

It has to be said that turtles are not the smartest creatures!

When they see through the glass of their tank, they do not realize that there is a physical barrier and just swim against the glass thinking that they can reach the other side to explore!

This behavior may seem a little strange and of course no one knows exactly what your turtle is thinking, but having said that, plenty of frantic swimming against the glass is certainly good exercise for him. 

I go into more detail in my article – Why does my turtle keep swimming against the glass?

Should I Always Have Food For My Turtle When He Sees Me?

It is certainly a lovely feeling when your turtle starts swimming towards you because he recognizes you.

He feels that you provide him with food and also protect him.

Whilst he is pleased to see you, he is always hoping that you have some food for him so will be keen to catch your attention. 

It is a shame to disappoint him and he will enjoy a little snack and importantly, it is the ideal opportunity for you to spend time with your pet and to try patting him on the head, stroking his chin or stroking his shell (carapace) to see which he enjoys. 

What Are Ideal Snacks For My Turtle?

Most pet turtles are omnivores and eat both meat and vegetables.

Turtles really enjoy a varied diet and this is the perfect way to keep them in good health as it ensures that they get a really good variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

It is absolutely fine to give your turtle little treats throughout the day and here are some nutritious ideas:

Fruits And Vegetables

Your turtle will enjoy a variety of different fruit and vegetables.

Wash them well first and then remove any seeds.

Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Lettuce, apples, melon, blueberries and corn are all popular and so are grated squash, carrots and zucchini.

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Small Pieces Of Meat & Fish

Turtles enjoy most cooked meat including chicken, beef and lamb.

If you give your turtle a larger piece of meat they will enjoy tearing it apart. 

If you are having fish for dinner, your turtle will certainly appreciate you sharing some with them!

Live Food

Turtles enjoy the challenge of catching live food and you should give them the chance to practice every week.

Ideal live food choices are insects or feeder fish  make sure you buy quality, disease-free feeder fish)

Freeze-dried Insects

These can be cheaply bought from your local pet store and will be much appreciated by your turtle – particularly if the pack contains crickets which most turtles adore! 

Related article – Can turtles eat wax worms?

Dried Shrimps

Shrimps are really nutritious for turtles and an ideal food as they have a very different texture for your pet to tackle.

Dried shrimps are often fed to aquatic animals but there are various kinds so check with your pet shop owner which kind are ideal for turtles.

The type of shrimp that you need for your turtle are larger in size and you may have to cut them in half if you have a small turtle. 

Related article – Why is my turtle struggling to swim?


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