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Can Turtles Eat Carrots? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

Carrots are a type of vegetable that are known for its numerous minerals and vitamins. As a result, carrots are one of the few vegetables that are safe for a variety of animals, not just humans. Turtles are just one type of animal that love carrots too!

Nearly all turtles can eat carrots. Not only can you feed turtles carrots, but the carrots are extremely healthy for your turtle and the turtle will enjoy eating the veggies. Feeding carrots once a day can be a great way to ensure your turtle gets all the nutrients it needs.

To learn more about why carrots make such a great vegetable choice for your turtle and how to serve carrots, read on. We also touch on what else you should feed your turtle for a healthy diet.

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Are Carrots Good for Turtles?

Carrots are one of the best vegetables to feed your turtle. Once turtles get used to carrots, they often love to snack on these orange sticks. Most importantly, carrots are considered healthy for turtles. These vegetables are high in vitamin A, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus.

All these vitamins and minerals are required for your turtle to be happy and healthy. For example, vitamin A improves your turtle’s immune system, whereas calcium and phosphorus ensure the bones and shell of your turtle are healthy.

turtle eating
Image Credit: Piqsels

What About Baby Turtles?

Even though baby turtles can technically eat carrots, it’s best to stick to commercial baby turtle food. This is the best way to ensure that your baby turtle gets exactly what its delicate system needs.

How Do I Feed Carrots to Turtles?

The first step to feeding your turtle carrots is to pick out the right carrots. Whenever feeding your turtle vegetables and fruit, always go for the most natural option. Organic carrots are often the best because they haven’t been exposed to as many additives, pesticides, or anything else that can potentially be dangerous to the turtle.

Once you bring your carrots home, wash the carrot just as you would for yourself. The best way to feed carrots to a turtle is completely raw. Although you can technically feed turtles cooked carrots, it’s always best to stick to raw carrots just because it is easiest and most familiar to them.

turtle eating fruits
Image Credit: Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

Before sticking a whole carrot in your turtle’s enclosure, you probably want to chop the carrot up into more manageable bites. If your turtle has never seen a carrot before, a large carrot stick can be intimidating. Shredded carrots tend to especially be enjoyed by turtles.

If you notice that your turtle is not eating carrots yet, it is likely because the turtle does not know it is food. Mixing carrots up with your turtle’s regular veggies can be an easy way to trick your turtle into eating it.

What Do Turtles Eat?

Turtles eat a wide range of food depending on their natural habitat and species. As a result, what your pet turtle eats will depend on what kind you have.

Turtles will fall into one of two categories, omnivores or herbivores. Omnivorous turtles eat animal protein, fruits, and vegetables, whereas herbivorous turtles only eat fruits and vegetables. Let’s take a closer look at each one of these categories.

Spotted turtle_Anna-2118_Shutterstock
Image credit: Anna-2118, Shutterstock

Omnivorous Turtles

Most pet turtles fall under the omnivorous category. For example, the red eared slider is the number one type of pet turtle, and it is considered an omnivore. Nearly all water or aquatic turtles are omnivores.

Start by getting your omnivorous turtle pelleted food made specifically for turtles. About 25% of your turtle’s diet should consist in these pellets. Pellets ensure that the turtle gets all the nutrients it needs, and the pellets are often designed so that they float and don’t break apart in the water.

Another 25% of your turtle’s diet should come from insects or feeder fish. These food sources provide healthy protein. They also provide phosphorus and calcium, which can be difficult to get from fruits and vegetables.

three red-eared sliders_Pixabay
Image Credit: Pixabay

The remaining 50% of your omnivorous turtle’s diet can come from fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is the best, such as dark leafy greens, squash, carrots, and zucchini. If your turtle is aquatic, edible aquatic vegetation may be good as well. Don’t forget about fruit either. Berries, melons, and apples are great choices.

Sprinkle a reptile multivitamin and calcium supplement on your turtle’s fresh produce too. The point of these vitamins is to ensure your turtle has everything it needs to have a healthy life. Follow instructions on the vitamin’s packet to learn how much you should add.

Read also: Can Turtles Eat Strawberries? What You Need to Know!

Herbivorous Turtle

If you have an herbivorous turtle, the only thing you need to feed your pet is fresh fruits and vegetables. 80% of the turtle’s diet is fresh vegetables, whereas 20% should come from fruit. Like with omnivorous turtles, leafy greens, carrots, squash, and zucchini are great vegetables. Likewise, apples and melons make great fruit choices.

Once again, sprinkle a reptile-safe multivitamin and calcium powder on the fresh produce. Although this step may seem optional, it is crucial for ensuring your turtle has optimal bone and shell health.

Turtle Eating Fruit
Image Credit: Maya Shustov, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Feeding your turtle carrots each day is a great way to keep it healthy and active. Some turtles may be a bit hesitant to eat carrot at first, but most end up enjoying carrots for their flavor and nutritional benefits. Make sure to research whether your turtle is herbivorous or omnivorous to further learn about what you should feed it!


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.