Turtles make great pets, but most are omnivores and have a varied diet that includes plant and animal matter. Such a varied diet can confuse many new owners who aren’t sure what foods are safe.
One of the questions we get frequently is whether turtles eat strawberries. The short answer is yes, strawberries are safe for your turtle to eat, but only in moderation. If you have a turtle and would like to provide it with a more varied diet, keep reading while we look at how beneficial strawberries are to your turtle’s health and any potential danger they may cause to help you learn more about your pet.
The 2 Reasons Strawberries Are Bad Turtles
The biggest problem with feeding your turtle strawberries is that they contain a lot of sugar. A single cup of strawberries contains more than seven grams of sugar, and while it’s not as much as some fruits, frequently adding it to your pet’s diet can lead to weight gain. Turtles can become overweight like humans do and will suffer from many of the same health problems. One of the best ways to prevent your turtle from becoming overweight is to limit the amount of sugar it consumes.
Strawberries are usually quite high in pesticides because many insects eat them, so farmers use more chemicals to keep them at bay. Plus, small divots on the surface of strawberries collect and hold dangerous chemicals more than other fruits. We recommend soaking the strawberries in a water and baking soda solution to break up and release the chemicals from the surface. Scrubbing them with a fruit brush while rinsing can also help remove these harmful chemicals, which can affect your small pet much more than humans.
The 4 Reasons Strawberries Are Good Turtles
1. Vitamin A
Turtles require vitamin A to maintain a healthy respiratory system, and it’s easy for them to become deficient in this nutrient. Inexperienced owners that feed their turtle primarily iceberg lettuce or too much animal protein can help contribute to the deficiency, resulting in respiratory problems. Nutritious fruits like strawberries can help ensure your pet gets the vitamin A it needs to stay healthy.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is another important nutrient you can find in strawberries. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps boost the immune system and also helps strengthen bones. It’s especially important as your pet grows because it affects the rate at which the turtle can increase in size.
Turtles require calcium for strong bones, and it’s also important for muscular function. One cup of strawberries contains more than 25 milligrams of this bone-hardening mineral that will help improve your pet’s overall health.
4. Other Vitamins and Minerals
There are several other vitamins and minerals you can find in strawberries that are also beneficial to your turtle’s health. You’ll find potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, and folate, along with vitamins K and B6.
Are There Any Turtles That Can’t Eat Strawberries?
Most box and aquatic turtles can eat strawberries, and they enjoy them quite a bit, often going out of their way to collect some once they try it. However, the popular red-eared slider does not eat fruit in the wild and shouldn’t eat fruit in captivity. There is a good chance your red-eared slider won’t even see strawberries as food, so there is little risk to their health as long as you don’t force them to eat it.
How Do I Feed Strawberries to my Turtle?
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Your turtle can safely eat strawberries in small amounts without worry, and most of them will look forward to this special treat. They are inexpensive, and you can find them in most grocery stores, so they are convenient. They also provide your pet with essential vitamins A and C along with the important mineral calcium, which will help keep your pet healthy and free of vitamin deficiencies. As long as you don’t serve large portions and clean them well before serving, strawberries can make a great addition to your turtle’s diet.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide, and it has helped you understand your pet a little better. If we have convinced you to let your pet try out this wonderful fruit, please share our look into if turtles can eat strawberries on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit by 13Monik69, Pixabay