Safe & Unsafe Snail Foods

Why choose wikiHow?
When you see the green expert checkmark on a wikiHow article, you know that the article has received careful review by a qualified expert. If you are on a medical article, that means that an actual doctor, nurse or other medical professional from our medical review board reviewed and approved it. Similarly, veterinarians review our pet articles, lawyers review our legal articles, and other experts review articles based on their specific areas of expertise.

How to Feed a Snail

Two Methods:

Snails can be great pets. They are especially great for school projects, and for teaching young children how to care for a living thing. Snails are also quite easy to feed, although there are some variations among different snail species. Whether you’ll be caring for land snails, freshwater snails, or both, you can provide a delicious diet that will nourish your pet snails.


Feeding Land Snails

  1. Select fruit, vegetables, seeds, and grains that are safe for snails.Land snails enjoy eating a wide variety of foods, mainly fresh produce. In a pinch, land snails also like to eat tortoise food that has been soaked in water. However, the bulk of your snail’s diet should come for fruits and veggies, as well some seeds and cooked grains.The following foods are safe for snails:
    • Fruits: apples, apricot, grapes, kiwi, mango, melon, nectarine, raspberry, strawberry.
    • Veggies: cucumber, mushroom, tomato, lettuce, broccoli, green beans, peas, sprouts, sweet corn, turnip, watercress.
    • Seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.
    • Cooked grains: oats, rice.
    • It will be easier for your snail to eat hard vegetables if you boil them beforehand. Just make sure they're not hot when you give them to your snail.
  2. Chop or shred produce into pieces smaller than a dime.Use a vegetable shredder or kitchen knife to chop all produce before you feed it to your snails. Snails are sensitive to chemicals and pesticides, so be sure you use organic produce, and to wash it well before feeding it to your snail.
  3. Start by providing 0.25 cups (59 ml) of food each day.There is not a hard and fast rule about how much food a land snail should eat, and you'll have to figure out how much food your snail needs over time. If your snail is consuming all of the food you're providing, you can offer more. Remove any food that isn’t consumed within 24 hours.
  4. Avoid processed foods, and foods that are hard for snails to digest.Don't give your snail snack foods, or foods that contain sugar or salt. Snails also have trouble digesting millet, pasta, crackers, and bread.
  5. Fill a water dish with spring water.You do not need to provide snails with water to drink, but you do need to make sure their environment is humid enough. Place a shallow dish filled with spring water for your snail to bathe in. Replace the water every 1-2 days.
    • Never use tap water or faucet water, since these water sources may contain chlorine that's harmful to snails.
    • If you don't have access to filtered water, you can leave tap water out in the sun for 48 hours to remove chemicals.
  6. Spray your snails with spring water every 1-2 days.You can also help your snail to stay hydrated by misting them with water. Fill a spray bottle with spring or filtered water, and mist your snail and their habitat.
    • If you live in a very dry climate, try misting your snail 1-2 times per day.
  7. Keep a calcium source in the tank at all times.Snails need a lot of calcium in order to keep their shells healthy. A great option is a cuttlebone because you can simply break off pieces and place them in the tank for your snail to nibble on. Other calcium sources should be crushed and added to your snail’s food.Other calcium sources include:
    • Shells from dead snails
    • Calcium powder
    • Powdered oyster shells
    • Natural chalk
    • Natural limestone
    • Bone meal
    • Wood ash

Feeding Freshwater Snails

  1. House freshwater snails with fish.Freshwater snails are omnivores, and they typically subsist off of the algae and food debris in a fish aquarium. Include aquatic plants for your snails to graze on as well.
    • Check with your vet or a clerk at your local pet store to find out which types of fish live best alongside your species of freshwater snails.
  2. Provide algae disks.If you don’t have fish in the same aquarium as your snails, you can purchase small algae discs. Follow the instructions on the packaging, and provide the right number of disks for the number of snails in your tank.
    • Algae discs are readily available online or at most pet stores.
  3. Offer blanched vegetables that have been shredded into very small pieces.In addition to algae, freshwater snails enjoy a diet of blanched vegetables. Blanching involves dipping veggies into boiling water for 2 minutes before dunking them in ice water. Freshwater snails especially like to eat shelled peas, carrots, cucumber, zucchini and iceberg lettuce. Allow the blanched vegetables to cool completely, then add them to your aquarium.
    • Chop or shred add vegetables into pieces smaller than a time.
    • Begin by adding a small amount of blanched veggies each morning, and gauge how quickly your snails can finish them.
    • Add a bit more or less until you notice that all of the food is being eaten in 12 hours or less.
    • Remove uneaten produce after 24 hours.
  4. Provide an additional calcium source for your freshwater snails.Just like land snails, freshwater snails require calcium to keep their shells healthy and strong. Provide a calcium source that your snails can nibble on, as a supplement to your snails' diet.Some sources of calcium for freshwater snails include:
    • Cuttlebone
    • Shells from dead snails
    • Oyster shells
    • Natural limestone (be aware that this may raise your pH levels)

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How do I feed a snail if it is not coming out of its shell?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Place the food in front of them. He will sense it is there and hopefully appear.
  • Question
    How do I know if my snail is pregnant?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    She will start burrowing more and will slow down. She may also act aggressively towards the other snails (if there are any).
  • Question
    Is sand or dirt better for snails?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Since sand can get in their shells and hurt them, dirt is the better option.
  • Question
    I have 2 snails, one is very happy in its habitat and one stays under a rock. Is that snail sick?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The snail is fine, they are often up at night and like to hide under debris like sticks or stones, or under plants and other dark places out of direct sunlight. Try moving your habitat to a more shaded area and check if they are dried out or slimy. If your snail is dried out, dampen it and make sure that it has enough water and its habitat is moist.
  • Question
    Can snails eat peppers?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, snails cannot eat peppers.
  • Question
    What is a cuttle bone?
    Top Answerer
    A cuttlefish bone is the skeleton from a cuttlefish. Cuttle bones are an excellent source of calcium.
  • Question
    How do I know whether my snail is eating?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You will see small pieces missing from their food. It is easy to see if you feed them apple or celery.
  • Question
    Is it compulsory to have water in the container I put the snail in, and how often do I need to change the water, if required?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    As long as you keep the habitat moist, water is optional. If you do want to add it, make sure not to fill the water bowl too high, as they can drown in even shallow water, and be sure to change it every day.
  • Question
    Can I breed my snails?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, as long as you have any 2 snails of the same species and they are old enough to breed (usually as 6 weeks on).
  • Question
    Do snails get eaten by other bugs or animals?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. They are relatively easy prey.
Unanswered Questions
  • Should I feed snail with raw or cooked okra?
  • The shell of my land snail is turning white. What is the cause for the change in color and what should I do?
  • What is the best habitat for a white jade snail and what should I feed it?
  • What about salt water snails?
  • How do I monitor my snail's growth?
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Quick Summary

If you are unsure how to feed your snail, give it a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and seeds, such as apples, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Before you feed your snail, chop the food into small pieces. Aim to feed your snail 1/4 cup of food per day, and be sure to remove any uneaten food within 24 hours. In addition to food, provide your snail with a shallow dish of water to bathe in and pieces of cuttlebone to keep its calcium levels high, which helps the snail keep its shell healthy.

Did this summary help you?

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Made Recently

Add a photo
Upload error
Awesome picture! Tell us more about it?

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: |

In other languages:

Español: , Italiano: , Português: , Русский: , Deutsch: , Français: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Nederlands: , العربية: 

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 282,992 times.
Did this article help you?
Expert Review By:
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

of How to Feed a Snail was reviewed by on February 9, 2019.

Views: 282,992
of readers found this articlehelpful.
1 votes - 100%
Click a star to add your vote
100% of people told us that this article helped them.

Gina Richards

Sep 3

"This is Toby! We have had him for a couple months now and he is doing great. He loves cucumbers, but I have beensearching for articles on what else is safe to feed him. I am also looking for more ideas to make his terrarium better for him."
Rated this article:


Jun 13

"The two methods work for me."

Chijioke David Nnwaokeh

Jun 12

"I learned a lot from wikiHow, most especially feeding and sources of calcium. I am into snail farming. Thanks."

Kamryn Versluis

May 29

"When I got my garden snails, I had no idea how to feed them. I practiced for ten minutes or so feeding wild snails.They were not eating the food I gave them. I was feeding them grass which I thought they ate. I was stressing. My snails were going to die of starvation. I read this article and it has helped me. I have only had my snails for 2 hours! I already love wikiHow. Now I will have healthy little snails!"
Rated this article:

Dakota W.

Jan 10

"Articles are all pretty helpful. I have a 2.5 gallon tank with one common pond snail who hitched a ride home fromthe lake last summer. I've been careful to remove all egg sacs, but today this tiny pond snail appeared! Hes 1/8 inch and seems quite happy eating algae off this shell. "

Ava Parker

Apr 3, 2019

"I just got a snail recently, and I have made many mistakes: giving her tap water, putting soil with fertilizer herterrarium, and giving her celery. After all that, I didn't want to mess anything up again, so I made sure everything I put in her terrarium was safe. "
Rated this article:

Malia Jane Loda

May 5, 2019

"I just found this garden by our neighborhood pool and decided to take him home. I have no idea how to care forgarden snails, so this was very helpful! Plus, I found out Harold really likes lettuce."

Virginia Adkins

Nov 2, 2019

"We did not know what to put in the terrarium or what to feed it. Very informational. 8 year old found a snail,and now has better understanding of feeding and what can hurt the snail. Thank you."


May 22, 2019

"When I was about five, I had 3 snails. The longest mine have lived for was probably 3 years. But one only lived fora month or two. Now I realize why, I think once I fed it bread."

Bryce Mercer

Jun 6, 2019

"I'm with a bunch of treatment kids, and they are really inspired by snails. They are intrigued with snail habits,and this article really satiated their snail craving. "

Ikponwosa Eyefijirin

Jul 7, 2019

"We found it extremely helpful. The boys and I have 11 snails. We made a miniature garden for the snails. This willhelp us feed them well."
Rated this article:

Juliette Ayala

Jun 22, 2019

"This article just saved my snails I had no idea what snails eat, so now that I found this article I know more thanwhat I wanted to know."

Kennedi Parsons

Jun 13, 2019

"I caught a snail yesterday, and was worried that I couldn't take care of it properly. Your site helped a lot."

Ethan S. Marsh

Oct 9, 2019

"I wanted to take care of a land snail and I kept it alive for a few months after following these tips."

Layla Bell

Apr 30, 2019

"This helped me a lot, because I never knew what snails were supposed to eat or not supposed to eat."
Rated this article:

S. D.

Apr 27, 2019

"We have 12 snails and had no idea what to feed them, so this article really helped my sister and I!"

Eliza Shepherd

Jul 15, 2019

"This helped me because I have a 3 pet snails I got today, and I didn't know what snails eat."
Rated this article:


Dec 15, 2019

"I have got 100 snails and I didn't know what to feed them, so this helped my snails and me."
Rated this article:

Alice Ec

Jun 9, 2019

"Amazing! I used to feed my pet snail with water from the tap. Thanks so much for your help."

Oluwasola Babatunde

Jul 21, 2019

"Its really helpful. I get updates on the info concerning developments in snail farming. "
Rated this article:

Carniet Fastlegank

Sep 15, 2019

"Yes, it did, thank you so much for your help! My snail is growing big and faster."
Rated this article:

Toni Novinski

May 5, 2019

"Good read! I just had to check if certain foods were okay for snails to eat. "

Olly K.

Jan 13, 2019

"Food tips were a great help. The little buggers are almost omnivores."

Cathy Hamilton

Jun 6, 2019

"This article has really helped me because I didn't know some things."

Michael Goodluck

Jul 3, 2019

"It helps me to know how to feed them and the types of food they eat."

Chime Christopher

Sep 12, 2019

"It helped me to know more on snails, and how to care for them."

Olajumoke Agunloye

Jun 1, 2019

"I learned a new variety of foods that my snails can feed on. "
Rated this article:

Prudence Noble

Jun 26, 2019

"In short, the article makes the world turn to Heaven. Thanks."

Mia Carver

Apr 2, 2019

"I have a snail and needed to know how to take care of it."
Rated this article:

Babatunde Ogunwale

Sep 1, 2019

"Everything I read really helped me.

Video: How to Feed Your Land Snails to Acheive Rapid Growth

How to Feed a Snail
How to Feed a Snail images

2019 year
2019 year - How to Feed a Snail pictures

How to Feed a Snail recommendations
How to Feed a Snail forecasting photo

How to Feed a Snail images
How to Feed a Snail foto

How to Feed a Snail How to Feed a Snail new foto
How to Feed a Snail new pics

foto How to Feed a Snail
foto How to Feed a Snail

Watch How to Feed a Snail video
Watch How to Feed a Snail video

Forum on this topic: How to Feed a Snail, how-to-feed-a-snail/
Forum on this topic: How to Feed a Snail, how-to-feed-a-snail/ , how-to-feed-a-snail/

Related News

How to Use Oregano Oil
How Getting Breast-Reduction Surgery Changed My Life for the Better
Sexy Celebrity Edition: Sheer, Shimmery Revealing
Jawbone UP3 Advanced Activity and Sleep Monitor: Discontinued
How to Support Someone Stuck in a Controlling Relationship
Grab Your Hair Ties: 26 Incredibly Cute Ponytail Ideas
A Mad Tea Party: Chaos and Cake in My Private Wonderland
These12 Roles Didn’t Gotothe Director’s First Choice, and Now WeCan’t Imagine Them Any Other Way
Your Definitive Holiday Beauty Packing List
How to Help a Child with ADHD Do Homework

Date: 06.12.2018, 14:26 / Views: 43391