According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, snails are as diverse as their diets. There are land and aquatic snails that are herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, and even detritivores. The last one means they eat waste from animals and plants. However, most pet snails are herbivores. Let’s check out the diet you should provide your pet snail.
1. Dirt –
It may be surprising that snails feed on dirt and soil. However, snails make an important part of any ecosystem. Their bodies are built to break down dead things and other decaying waste and turn them into nutrition for living plants. Without snails and worms, a lot of dead matter would simply pile up and turn the environment poisonous. Snails mainly feed on soil and sand for minerals and calcium to make their shells stronger. That’s why you need to replace the organic matter in the substrate from time to time.
2. Diet for freshwater snails –
Freshwater snail diets usually consist of algae and debris. Freshwater snails feed on algae and keep the tank clean at the same time. If you buy algae wafers from the pet store, make sure to buy sinking ones since snails can’t swim up to eat floating food on the water’s surface. To feed calcium to your freshwater snails and make their shells stronger, you can crush oyster and cuttlebone shells and put them inside the tank. Apart from that, you can also blanch veggies like carrots, peas, kale, spinach, and broccoli to feed your freshwater snails.
3. Diet for terrestrial snails –
Terrestrial pet snails available at the store are not picky and can consume all kinds of food, even dead plant matter, and kitchen scraps. If you’d like to pamper your pet snail, you can feed them fruits like kiwis, mangoes, apples, pumpkins, strawberries, and more. Veggies like green beans, peas, broccoli, and sweet corn are also favored by pet snails.
Just make sure to wash the fruits and veggies properly to clean off the pesticides or other residual chemicals from the surface. To be safe, you can blanch the veggies and fruits before feeding them to your snail. For calcium, you can leave crushed eggshells, cuttlebone, or even crushed limestone by the side.
4. Things you shouldn’t feed snails –
While snails have a diverse diet, there are certain items you can’t feed them. Salt and salty food make the top of the list since they can dehydrate snails. If your pet snail loses a lot of moisture, it can die quickly. Onions, citrus fruits, and sugar should also be absent from the diet. Finally, there are starchy and processed foods like bread, pasta, rice, and millet that can cause bloating and are difficult to digest for the snails.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests that you use the above-mentioned tips and consult the vet before feeding your pet snail. Exotic and mystery snails may have a very different diet than common pet snails and require a more complex diet.