Desert tortoises are herbivores, and their diet in the wild consists of grasses, some species of cacti and their flowers, shrubs and wild flowers. Desert tortoises generally eat fresh plant materials, though their diet greatly depends on their specific region and the availability of food.
Captive tortoises require herbicide-free and pesticide-free forage, such as grasses, weeds, leafy greens and dried leaves and stalks. Because they are adapted to living in arid climates, desert tortoises require small amounts of water, and commercial produce with higher water content and less fiber should be given in controlled amounts. Avoid feeding cat or dog food to desert tortoises, as this may cause deformed growth and kidney and liver diseases.