One thing that’s often overlooked when people look for a shelled friend for a pet, is what their diet consists of and what foods are safe for their turtle to eat.
However, as long as you know where to start and what foods to get your pet, then there’s always hope that you’ll be able to look after your reptile properly.
When it comes to the diets of turtles, tortoises, and terrapins, their diets are fairly similar depending on whether they live in the wild or have been thriving in captivity.
This is down to their control over their diet and whether someone feeds them instead. One food that many people wonder if their pets can eat is strawberries.
Of course, a lot of humans love them for their sweet flavor and their health benefits, however, are they good for these shelled reptiles? Follow our guide to find out the answer and to find out if the food is good for them or not.
Tip: Check our full guide “What Do Turtles Eat?”
What Are The Differences Between Tortoises, Turtles, And Terrapins?
Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins come from the same family of animals called Testudinidae. They’re members of this group because they have scaly shells and four legs. If you want to know more about how these creatures differ, here’s some information:
Turtles can grow up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) long while certain species of tortoises only reach around 2.5-3 meters (8-10 feet). There are dwarf species of turtles that are smaller than a foot.
Meanwhile, terrapins are usually no larger than 5 centimeters (2 inches), although they can grow much bigger.
Turtles and tortoises can survive off of plants alone, whereas terrapins need meat too. Some of the biggest species of turtles can weigh up to 100 kilograms (220 pounds). While terrapins may only weigh around 10 grams (0.35 ounce).
When it comes to feeding turtles, tortoises, and terrapins, they all prefer eating vegetables, fruits, and leaves. However, they also enjoy eating insects like crickets, grasshoppers, and worms. Some species of turtles will eat frogs and other amphibians.
Can Tortoises, Turtles, And Terrapins Eat Fruit?
Although fruit isn’t part of the diet of any of these animals, some do occasionally consume berries. For example, tortoise owners report that they’ve seen their pets munching on blueberry bushes. It’s unclear why they’d do so, but they could be getting a little snack between meals.
Can Turtles, Tortoises, And Terrapins Eat Strawberries?
As mentioned earlier, some people wonder if their pet turtles, tortoises, or terrapins can eat strawberries. The truth is, they don’t have an innate desire to do so because strawberries will scarcely make an appearance in their diet if they’re in the wild.
However, when in captivity, these reptiles can be known to love strawberries for lots of different reasons.
These creatures don’t have teeth, meaning that they need to use their beaks to eat, which can cause problems when they try to eat certain types of food that are harder in texture. Strawberries are nice and soft so they can be ingested easily and will make for an easy meal.
Strawberries taste delicious to reptiles because they contain a type of sugar called sucrose. This substance is naturally found in plants and is very important for them.
Sweet foods are great for reptiles because they stimulate their appetites and help them get through times of stress.
The nutrients that are present in strawberries are essential for reptiles’ growth and development. Many reptiles suffer from vitamin deficiencies, so consuming berries is one way to ensure that your reptile has access to all of the vitamins he needs to stay healthy.
How Do I Feed My Pet Turtle, Tortoise, Or Terrapin A Strawberry?
If you want to feed your turtle, tortoise, or terrapin a strawberry, there are a few things you’ll need to know first. It can always help to cut the fruit into smaller pieces so it’s easier to eat for your pet.
This will also ensure that they don’t try to eat too much at once and end up causing themselves any choking problems.
Additionally, make sure that the fruit is fresh and clean. Any dirt or debris on the plant might not be good for your pet and can cause them illnesses.
Make sure that it’s been washed thoroughly before serving it to them so they avoid any pesticides or insecticides that might be on the fruit.
If your pet doesn’t seem interested in eating the berry, then you should probably just leave it out instead of trying to force-feed it. Your pet could be suffering from indigestion issues and having that extra treat won’t necessarily solve anything.
Instead, give him something else that he enjoys eating more often than strawberries.
How Often Should I Feed My Pet Strawberries?
Because the fruit is high in sugar, it can cause digestion problems, like diarrhea, and so will need to be fed in moderation. We recommend feeding strawberries to your reptile friend once every week or so, depending on the portion size.
The last thing you want is for your turtle to be having health problems over a piece of fruit, so make sure you have full control over the situation.
If your pet is showing signs of diarrhea or other health problems, then it’s best to take them to a vet because there might be something wrong with their diet that can be fixed relatively easily.
At the end of the day, their health is the most important thing, and will take priority overfeeding them strawberries as a treat.
What Else Can I Feed My Turtle, Tortoise, Or Terrapin?
Your turtle, tortoise, and terrapin may not enjoy eating strawberries, but there are plenty of other treats that they will love. If you’re looking for some new snacks for your pet, why not consider giving him or her a snack made from fresh vegetables instead?
That way, your reptile will be getting a nutritious and healthy meal that will keep his digestive system working well, as well as ingesting food with high water content.
Using foods like lettuce, dandelion leaves, watercress, arugula, and cucumber with high water levels are great and provide a healthy meal for your little friend.
However, it’s always best to check that certain variations of these foods won’t cause any digestive problems for your tortoise.
Some foods have too much water in them and not enough nutritional value, thus causing an upset stomach.
In summary, if your turtle, tortoise, or terrapin isn’t enjoying eating berries, then it might be better to stick to another variety of fruit that they do enjoy.
Remember that even though they’re reptiles, they still require proper nutrition, which means including fruits and veg in their diets.
However, if you’d prefer to continue offering berries to your reptile friend, then here are some tips to help you along the way:
Make sure that the fruit is washed thoroughly before serving it. Dirt and debris found on the plant itself could pose a risk to your pet.
Cut the fruit into smaller portions so that it’s easier for your pet to consume. Doing this will prevent them from consuming too much all at once and cause any possible choking complications.
Ultimately, your pet won’t usually experience eating strawberries in the wild, so they wouldn’t typically eat them unless in captivity. Just remember to provide these fruits in moderation so you avoid any potential health problems.