If you are a turtle owner, from time to time you may see bubbles floating to the surface from the back end of your pet, and surely the question comes to mind “do turtles fart?”. Perspective turtle owners should consider this question also as the answer might surprise you…
So, do turtles fart? Turtles do and can fart. They vary in terms of loudness and duration. Just like many other animals, turtles fart (or pass gas) to relieve the build-up of air in their digestive systems. This occurs due to foods eaten in the diet, the digestive process and movement throughout the day. While you may not always be able to hear your turtles fart, but more often than not, you will be able to smell it!
Farting in reptiles such as turtles seems funny and strange. However, there is a reason for it and even benefits in them being able to do so.
To better understand why and how this happens be sure to keep reading! As a turtle owner, you may be surprised to learn that you have a part to play in this type of behavior…
Can Turtles Fart?
Yes, turtles can fart. Passing gas or farting is perfectly normal in turtles.
For the most part, farting is a natural by-product of the digestion and moving process. There is little to be concerned about if you notice or hear your turtle farting from time to time.
However, there are a few things that as a turtle owner you should consider to ensure your pet is healthy and well.
If you are a turtle owner, you may have heard your turtle farting from time to time. Usually, turtle’s farts are not that loud and can vary in sound – similar to human farts! It is usually our senses of sight and sound that alert us to the fact that our pet turtle has passed gas.
The tell-tale bubbles that can be seen rising from the back-end of a turtle are often the giveaway that a turtle has farted. Next time you are watching your pet go for a swim, keep an eye out for signs that they may have farted.
It is most common for turtles to pass gas or fart when they are in water and can be quite amusing to watch! As turtles typically urinate and defecate whilst in water – that is where they are most likely to fart too.
Many turtle owners report that when their turtle farts, it can be very smelly! The bad small of a turtle passing gas is not a cause for alarm.
Foul smelling farts can occur for many different reasons. However, we recommend that turtle owners monitor their pets, keeping an eye out (or a nose out in this case) for any patterns to determine the cause of their pets farts if they are excessive.
What Causes Turtles To Fart?
Farts happen when the turtle passes gas from a build-up that has happened within their body. This can be caused by digestion, where foods have released gases that are unable to be fully digested. That gas has to go somewhere right?!
Excess air that has been swallowed by your turtle also might pass through them and cause farts. This might also come from the bubbles in water that they have drank or swam through. Although the most common cause of gas within turtles is the food that they have eaten.
There are certain foods in your turtle’s diet that may cause excess gas. Foods that can make turtles gassier and make their farts smell bad include:
- Brussel sprouts
So, to avoid potentially whiffy farts from your pet turtle, limit the amount of these sorts of food in their diet.
Where Do Turtles Fart From?
Most turtles fart from their backside, releasing excess gas from their rectum through their anus. The same passage that they defecate from.
A little myth-busting here: this question is commonly due to the belief that turtles poop from their mouths. Gross right? Turtle experts debunking this myth believe that this false belief originated from the fact that Chinese soft-shell tortoises pee through their mouths.
Can Turtles Get Bloated
If your turtle appears to be bloated, seek advice from your vet. Due to the fact that turtles have a shell, owners will be able to notice bloating around the head, neck and legs of the turtle.
Be aware, that it is easy to confuse your turtle being overweight with bloating so ensure that you are feeding your pet the correct amount of food. The general rule of thumb for how much a turtle should eat is what could fit inside their head if it were hollow.
If you do suspect your turtle is bloated, contact your vet as this could be a sign of something a little more serious than just excess gas.
Foods To Avoid For A Pet Turtle
There are certain foods that a turtle should not eat full stop and other foods that owners should avoid feeding their turtle. The foods that should be avoided are not necessarily harmful, however, they can cause some unwanted side effects (including excess gas!).
As a general rule, you should avoid feeding your turtle foods like iceberg lettuce and celery. These will offer little in terms of nutrition for your turtle and thus are not the healthiest option for your pet. Although these foods do not cause turtles to fart, they should still be avoided.
Foods that contain oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of calcium, are a definite no no when it comes to what your turtle should be eating. These foods can cause your turtle to become calcium deficient which can result in soft shell or MBD (metabolic bone disease) which is fatal to your pet. Foods to avoid at all costs include:
If you are trying to avoid making your turtle gassy, consider avoiding feeding them these foods:
- Brussel sprouts
Foods such as these cannot only contribute to increased gas, but can also make your turtles farts smell worse!
Recommended Foods For A Pet Turtle
The health of our pets is vitally important. To keep your turtle happy and healthy a balanced diet is highly recommended. There are many foods that we recommend feeding your pet turtle to ensure they are as healthy as possible.
Turtles are herbivores by nature. A varied diet is a healthy diet when it comes to your pet turtle. That being said, a healthy diet will not stop your turtle from passing gas as that is a natural occurrence too!
Foods that constitute a healthy diet for a pet turtle include:
- A Protein source. For example, hard boiled eggs, mealworms, and crickets
- Vegetables. Including corn, carrots, peas, squash, yams
- Lots of leafy greens. Examples being: carrot tops, collard greens, kale
- Fruits. Like: apples, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, banana, kiwi, mango, tomato
- Flowers. These can be found in your garden and include: Geraniums, dandelions, petunias, lilies, carnations.
It is important to consider sources of calcium in your turtle’s diet as calcium is imperative for a strong and healthy shell.
It is recommended by turtle owners that a calcium supplement is used like the very well reviewed Exo Terra Calcium Liquid Supplement from Amazon.
Amongst many other benefits for your turtle, this calcium supplement provides dietary essential calcium, helps maintain bone health and supports your pet’s calcium metabolism. Metabolic health in your turtle can help to reduce excess gas.
In answer to the question do turtles fart, yes turtles do fart! Turtle owners may find that the excess gas released by their pet is smelly and can often be louder than expected.
If you are curious about what it sounds like, many turtle owners have uploaded clips on video sharing sites of their pets passing gas. If that is your thing… check it out!
Diet and bubbles in water are the main contributors of excess gas in turtles and their farts can be very smelly!
Turtles do not fart out of their mouths. Turtles are backward reptiles, just like many other animals. When a turtle needs to pass wind, this will take place out of the back of the turtle, through a body part known as the cloacal.
Some species of turtles are known to breathe out of their behinds. However, they only do this when in water to acquire the oxygen that they can no longer get from the air. The term for this type of breathing is called cloacal respiration. Certain fish, frogs, salamanders, and even sea cucumbers are known to similarly acquire oxygen in this way.
Wondering what other animals fart? Then my following guides are certainly worth a read:
- Do Frogs Fart?
- Do Snakes Fart?
- Do Lizards Fart?
- Do Chickens Fart?
- Do Guinea Pigs Fart?
- Do Rabbits Fart?
- Do Hamsters Fart?
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.