Red-eared sliders make excellent pets. However, like many reptiles, they require specific care when it comes to their daily diet.
If you’re new to owning a red-eared slider you might be wondering: Can red-eared sliders eat strawberries?
In this article, I will cover some important information about red-eared sliders and their diet, including whether they can eat strawberries.
So, let’s get started.
Can red eared sliders eat strawberries?
Yes, it is safe for red-eared sliders to eat strawberries. However, you have to treat strawberries and other sweet fruits as occasional treats and not part of their staple diet.
This boils down to the fact that fruits like strawberries contain high levels of sugar as well as nutrients. Unlike box and aquatic turtles, red-eared sliders do not typically eat fruit in the wild.
As a result, their digestive systems are not used to processing the foreign fruit in high volumes. For this reason, it is best only to feed your red-eared slider strawberries every now and then as a treat.
Red-eared sliders eat both animal protein and vegetables, including leafy greens, fruit, dried shrimp, krill, and crickets. A well-balanced diet for red-eared sliders should consist of 25% live protein, 25% commercial food, and 50% vegetables such as water plants.
If you choose to feed them strawberries as a treat, make sure that you are mixing up their diet by adding aquatic plants, leafy greens, and other less sugar-filled foods. These foods can help balance out your turtle’s health and make giving them the treat of strawberries much safer.
Fruits such as strawberries are a good source of vitamins that turtles need for proper growth and development. However, when fed in excess, they can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Given that like many fruits, strawberries are high in sugar, the high sugar content can also upset your red-eared slider’s stomach.
Can red-eared sliders eat the leaves of strawberries?
Yes, red-eared sliders can also eat the strawberry leaves. However, they should only have the young leaves of strawberries since the older leaves of strawberry plants release hydrogen cyanide gas in the early weeks of their decay process.
As a result, you should avoid giving your red-eared slider strawberries with the leaves on if you’ve had them for a few days. If you feel unsure, then it’s always better to be safe than sorry and to cut the leaves off.
Health Benefits of Strawberries
If you ever think of feeding your turtle strawberries, you can rest easy knowing it is entirely safe.
Not only are strawberries a delicious treat, but they also contain a variety of healthy nutrients and vitamins that could significantly improve a turtle’s health when given to them in moderation.
While they can just drink water from their environment when they feel thirsty, red-eared sliders can also get part of their daily water intake from the food that they eat.
Fruits and other vegetables are a good source of water for both tortoises and turtles. This is especially true for tortoises and turtles that come from a desert environment as they rarely come by water.
Strawberries’ highest nutritional content is water. When fed to turtles as part of a balanced diet, strawberries aren’t only a delicious treat, but will also help keep them hydrated.
Contain vitamin C alongside other vital vitamins and minerals
Strawberries also contain vitamin C. As an antioxidant necessary for immune and skin health, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C.
In addition to this, strawberries also provide iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B6, K, and E.
Nutritional Benefits of Strawberries
Strawberries mainly consist of water (91%) and carbohydrates (7.7%). They contain only minor amounts of fat (0.3%) and protein (0.7%).
The nutrients in 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw strawberries are:
- Calories: 32
- Water: 91%
- Carbs: 7.7 grams
- Sugar: 4.9 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 0.7 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
Most of the carbs found in strawberries come from simple sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose — but they also contain quite a lot of fiber.
As strawberries mainly consist of water, feeding your red-eared slider will mainly provide them with a boost of hydration if your red-eared slider is struggling to get enough water throughout the day.
However, as they should only be given as a treat, you will need to look into other methods of rehydrating your red-eared slider that can help them on a daily basis.
How to Feed Strawberries to Red-Eared Sliders
The best strawberries to feed your red-eared slider are organic strawberries, as you don’t want to expose your turtle to pesticides.
While pesticide and herbicide exposure aren’t likely to kill your turtle, frequent exposure to them may weaken their immune systems. This can make them more susceptible to developing health problems over time.
When feeding your red-eared slider turtle strawberries, remember the following steps:
- Always make sure that the strawberries are thoroughly washed under clean water before feeding them to your turtle.
- When mixed with other berries or fruits, one strawberry once or twice a month is plenty for your red-eared slider.
- When red-eared sliders swim, they drink the water – so it’s crucial to make sure that their tank is always clean. You can always move your turtle to a different tank to avoid contaminating its main water tank with leftover strawberry.
- Always make sure that you remember to remove the uneaten fruits to prevent the leftover fruit from rotting and spoiling the tank.
Yes, red-eared sliders can eat strawberries. However, you should only feed your red-eared slider strawberries in moderation every now and then.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. Strawberries, like many other fruits, should not be part of your red-eared slider’s daily diet. Think of them as a treat you can give your turtle once or twice a month.
You don’t want to feed them strawberries more than this you will risk upsetting their stomach and digestive system!