Can turtles eat tomatoes? If you already have a turtle, you’ll probably know that turtles love eating tomatoes! The good news is that tomatoes are safe for turtles to eat. However, you shouldn’t give them to your pet turtle too frequently. Once a week is usually safe.
How Often Can Turtles Eat Tomatoes
Feeding your turtle tomatoes too frequently is not advisable as it can cause them to get sick, in addition to causing several other health issues. As tomatoes are basically a fruit, they contain acid and excess sugar, both of which may cause its stomach to bloat, leading to grave discomfort and pain. They may also cause diarrhea and create an environment in the turtle’s stomach that is friendly for parasites to live in.
Whenever you are in question about what foods are suitable for your turtle, the best way to ease your worries is to find out what type your turtle is, as some species of turtles are more suited to certain types of foods based on their natural habitats.
Turtle species from the Mediterranean, like the Hermmans, do not have much access to fruits in their natural habitats. Due to this, their digestive tracts are not accustomed to dealing with large amounts of sugar. Too much intake of tomatoes by these turtles can cause an imbalance in the intestines. If your turtle is a Hermman or another Mediterranean species, it may be wise not to give it any tomatoes at all, or only very sparingly.
And this should not cause you much worry as there are several other inexpensive and easily accessible foods such as pellets, small fish and vegetables that are healthy foods for your pet turtle.
Various Species of Pet Turtles
There are many kinds of turtles that are kept as pets. In addition to Mediterranean turtles, you can also find aquatic turtles being kept as pet turtles. These include box turtles, tortoises and red-eared sliders. Some people also have snapping turtles. Each of these kinds have varying dietary preferences and requirements for a healthy life.
The first thing you need to do for ensuring that your turtle has the appropriate diet that keeps it healthy and satisfied is to have it identified correctly. If you’ve bought it at a pet store, the staff should be able to tell you the type and offer tips for correct feeding. If you bought it elsewhere, you need to get it identified by a veterinarian or a pet store that deals with reptiles.
The best thing you can do for your pet turtle is to provide it a suitable diet, and you will only be able to do that if you are aware of what it should eat. Based on what species your turtle belongs to, it may be a herbivore, carnivore or an omnivore.
You may choose to feed your turtle commercial pet food designed for turtles, which may include chunks, sticks or pellets. These are formulated especially for various kinds of turtles and are a source of balanced nutrition with the right proportion of minerals and vitamins that can keep your turtle healthy. On the downside, this food may be bland for your pet and rather expensive.
Natural foods are surely a better and much healthier alternative as turtle food. For a good proportion of protein, you may feed your turtle snails, earthworms, crickets, mealworms and boiled eggs.
Among vegetables, turtles can be offered beans, corn, beets, yams, peas and carrots. They usually love leafy greens like lettuce, carrot tops, spinach, kale and collard greens.
Feeding large quantities of fruits is not good for some species of turtles due to their high sugar content. However, you can give them small amounts of grapes, apples, cantaloupe, kiwi, tomato, banana, strawberries and mango.
Turtles also love eating several flowers such as petunias, carnations, petunias, dandelions and geraniums.
Turtles in your Garden
You may choose to keep your pet turtle in a pond in your garden. Turtles are often useful as a garden pet as they consume several of the bothersome insects that harm your plants. Turtles usually don’t cause much harm to the plants.
As they love eating tomatoes, you may have to take some precautions to prevent your tomato crop from serious damage. Because their movement is close to the ground, you can protect your vines by staking them a bit higher than ground level. You can also put the tomatoes into cages and raise the unprotected ones at least a foot above the ground level.
You may have to put up a fence at least two feet high all around your garden and bury six inches into the ground so that your turtle does not run away. Be especially careful that the fence is constructed safely so the turtles don’t squeeze in through any spaces.