Turtles are fun pets that tend to be easy to care for. They can happily live in any household setting, whether apartment or house. These small (and sometimes large!) animals can eat a bunch of different things, but can they eat cucumbers? Are cucumbers good or bad for turtles? This is a great question that every turtle owner should know the answer to. The short answer is yes, turtles can eat cucumbers. But this short answer is not the end of the story — read on.
Why Cucumbers Are Good for Turtles
The best thing about cucumbers is that they are full of water. Therefore, they can help keep your turtle hydrated on hot days. Of course, your turtle should always have access to clean water for consuming and bathing in, but cucumbers are a great water supplement that can help your turtle avoid the risk of dehydration.
Cucumbers are not powerhouses of nutrients, but they do contain important minerals and vitamins that can help a turtle live their healthiest life. Cucumbers are a good source of potassium and vitamin B, both of which turtles require for good health. Also, cucumbers are low in calories, which means that they will not contribute to problems like obesity as time goes on.
Why Turtles Should Not Eat Cucumbers Daily
There are many other types of foods that a turtle could eat that have many more nutrients than cucumbers do. The more cucumber your turtle eats, the less room there is in their diet for more nutritionally dense foods. Too much cucumber in a turtle’s diet can also lead to problems such as diarrhea and indigestion. Cucumbers should be offered to your turtle no more than two or three times a week and should never be the only item offered at meal or snack time. Luckily, cucumbers go well with just about any other food that your turtle likes to eat.
Cautions to Take When Feeding Cucumbers to Your Turtle
There are a few cautions to take before feeding a turtle any cucumber to ensure the animal’s safety. Turtles can choke on pieces of cucumber that are too big, so it is important to cut a cucumber up into small pieces, no bigger than the tip of your pinky, before offering it to your turtle. Also, giving a large piece of cucumber to a turtle makes it tough to manage consumption and minimize the risk of problems like diarrhea.
It is also important to avoid feeding your turtle a cucumber that has been processed in any way, aside from being shredded or cut for serving. Cucumbers that your turtle consumes should never be cooked or seasoned, as the oils used for cooking and seasonings are not naturally available to turtles and could be problematic for turtles to properly digest.
Pickled cucumbers are too acidic and salty for turtles to safely consume and could cause health problems as time goes on. Therefore, the safest way to feed cucumbers to a turtle is to offer them fresh and without any additives of any kind. If your turtle does not like cucumber as-is, it’s okay — they do not have to eat any to stay happy and healthy throughout their lifetime.
Other Healthy Fruit and Veggie Options to Consider
Since turtles are omnivores, they can and should eat both plants and meat. You can feed your turtle all kinds of animal protein, including snails, slugs, crickets, and ground beef, pork pieces, and shredded chicken. But what other kinds of fruits and vegetables can turtles eat aside from cucumbers? Here are several healthy options to consider:
Only feed a small amount of a fruit or veggie to your turtle for the first time to see how they react to it. If the animal seems sluggish or becomes dehydrated, don’t offer that food again. Just keep trying new options until you find the ones that your turtle enjoys and that agree with their digestive system.
Feeding a turtle does not have to be hard or confusing. The best way to keep your turtle healthy is to offer them a wide variety of different meats, fruits, and vegetables throughout the week to make sure that all their nutritional needs are met. Cucumbers can be an excellent addition to any turtle’s diet, assuming that the turtle likes them. Do you plan to feed your turtle cucumbers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!
Featured Image Credit by Amir El-Sayed, Shutterstock