Can Turtles Eat Strawberries? And Why Are They so Cute?

Can turtles eat strawberries? The answer is yes!

Turtles can have strawberries as a treat from time to time (and they do seem to enjoy them!).

Strawberries (and other fruits) contain a wide range of helpful nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber.

Strawberries can be a great part of a healthy, balanced diet!

Still, you shouldn’t rely on strawberries as a staple food for your turtle. Instead, keep your animal’s diet as natural as possible.

Wild turtles do consume strawberries, but only in small quantities.

All species have slightly different requirements (and some will benefit from a juicy strawberry more than others).

You’ll need to consider which species of turtle you have before deciding how often to include strawberries in their diet.

Background

Most turtles are omnivores, meaning that they need to feed on both animal and plant material. They typically feed on:

  • Insects
  • Small fish
  • Vegetables
  • Leafy greens
  • Fruit (including strawberries)

As a general rule, terrestrial (land-dwelling) turtles (aka tortoises) are better adapted for a plant-based diet than their aquatic cousins.

In captivity, most terrestrial turtles (tortoises) do enjoy strawberries as a treat.

They’ll also eat a range of other fruits such as melon, figs, and papaya.

As strawberries and other fruit contain large amounts of sugar, it is unwise to feed your tortoise fruit too regularly.

These animals are adapted for a life of grazing and may develop gastrointestinal issues resulting from an imbalanced diet.

Like most humans, they love the taste of sweet, sugary foods (like strawberries).

They will often choose these over healthier food items when offered side-by-side!

This “sweet tooth” can cause your tortoise to overindulge if fruits are constantly on offer!

It’s your responsibility as a keeper to balance your turtle’s diet appropriately.

Read up on your species’ specific needs and stick to a consistent schedule to prevent issues.

Do Turtles Eat Strawberries?

The strawberry plant grows throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere.

Wild strawberry bushes tend to like brushy habitats along forest edges or close to footpaths.

Tortoises – such as the box turtle and Russian tortoise  – graze on grass, leafy plants, and flowers to obtain most of their caloric intake.

They’ll also munch on low-lying or fallen fruits such as mangoes and various berries in the wild.

So, do turtles eat strawberries?

It’s likely that wild tortoises do eat strawberries on occasion.

Still, strawberries are only present for a small part of the year and do not make up a large part of their diets.

Most tortoise species will benefit from a small portion of fruit in their diet in captivity.

Semi-aquatic species such as snapping turtles and sliders tend to feed more on fish, invertebrates, and other animals in the wild.

They usually ambush their prey and trap it using their powerful, beaked jaws.

Semi-aquatic turtle species can have fruit as an occasional treat, but not regularly.

Sea turtles can feed on sponges, algae, fish, crustaceans, or even jellyfish. They do not eat fruit.

Can Box Turtles Eat Strawberries?

Can box turtles eat strawberries?

Box turtles are omnivores and can eat strawberries as an occasional treat.

For proof, check out this adorable video of a box turtle eating strawberries by Reddit user TacoTornadoes!

Your box turtle can also eat other fruits such as apricots, raspberries, apples, and pears, as well as insects and veggies.

As with most species, leafy greens should make up most of your box turtle’s diet.

It’s also great to offer fruits (including strawberries) and insects on occasion.

Great insect choices for your box turtle include crickets, grasshoppers, and mealworms.

These feeder species are easy to find, as most reptile stores sell them.

These turtle species love to search for live insects in the wild.

Hunting live prey is an excellent source of behavioral enrichment and will help keep your turtle happy and healthy!

Earthworms are another excellent choice, provided that they are free of chemical additives.

Avoid buying worms or nightcrawlers from bait shops for this reason.

Can Aquatic Turtles Eat Strawberries?

Can painted turtles eat strawberries? Do painted turtles eat strawberries? What about other aquatic species?

Some aquatic turtle species are omnivorous, while others are primarily piscivorous.

All turtles can eat strawberries, but not all species will reap the benefits equally.

Overall, aquatic turtle diets can be trickier to provide for than tortoise diets.

Sliders – like the red-eared and yellow-bellied sliders – should be offered a mixture of:

  • Vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Aquatic plants
  • Formulated turtle pellets
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Live feeder fish (and other live prey)

Strawberries are a good choice for the fruit portion of your slider’s diet but should be offered only in moderation.

Fresh, green vegetables and aquatic plants should make up around half of all their food.

Fruit – such as strawberries – should be an occasional treat only, making up less than ten percent of your slider’s diet.

Check out our specialist care sheets for the red-eared slider and yellow-bellied slider to learn more about their diets!

Snapping turtles – such as the common snapper – are mostly piscivorous animals.

Their natural diet consists primarily of small fishes, amphibians, and reptiles. They also feed on carrion (dead animals) and aquatic vegetation.

Strawberries – offered in moderation – certainly will not harm a snapping turtle but don’t suit their nutritional needs.

Plant matter should make up less than 30% of your snapping turtle’s food intake.

This portion provides vitamins and minerals as well as fiber for digestion.

Aquatic plants are a far better choice than strawberries for these purposes.

The best aquatic plants for snapping turtle diets include water hyacinth, anacharis, and duckweed.

So, can aquatic turtles eat strawberries? Yes, but only in moderation.

Images of a Turtle Eating Strawberry

If you’re still not convinced that a turtle will feed on strawberries, a quick internet search can yield plenty of evidence.

Here we have compiled a shortlist of images of turtles eating strawberries.

As you can see, strawberries go down a treat with many different species!

Turtles strawberries hunger
Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca) chowing down on strawberries.
Shallow focus of a small water turtle eating strawberry salad
A small red-eared slider munches a bowl of strawberries.
Turtle messy eating strawberry.
Turtles can be messy eaters. Be prepared for your turtle to have a face full of strawberries after dining. Credit to u/ReadyPlayer85 (via Reddit).

Have you ever seen a tiny turtle eating strawberry?

For a cuteness overload, you’ll want to check out this video of a baby turtle eating strawberry.

Other Turtle Treats (for Herbivorous and Omnivorous Species)

Vegetables

Different turtle species have different needs.

Grazing species in particular – such as Russian tortoises – need a balanced diet consisting primarily of leafy vegetables.

Fruit (such as strawberries) should only make up around ten percent of the diet.

The best veggies for these animals are dark, leafy greens.

These are the most nutritious for herbivorous turtles and should make up most of their diet.

Some of the best leafy greens for these animals include alfalfa, escarole, and dandelion (leaves and flowers).

Spinach and swiss chard are also excellent choices but contain oxalates, and therefore you should offer them less often.

Oxalates (or oxalic acids) are chemicals produced by plants that can cause digestive problems if eaten in large quantities.

“Cruciferous” vegetables – such as kale, cabbage, sprouts, and mustard greens – should also be fed in moderation.

They are “goitrogenic” and can cause irregular thyroid function if eaten in excess.

It’s important to note that cruciferous vegetables are still great for herbivorous turtles, and you shouldn’t avoid them altogether.

As with any food, it is possible to have too much of a good thing!

As a general rule, you should avoid light green vegetables such as iceberg lettuce and celery. These contain few nutrients compared to other veggies.

Your turtle may also appreciate “treat veggies” from time to time. These can include:

  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes (cooked)

Fruit

Fruit is packed full of vitamins and minerals to offer your turtle an occasional health boost.

They aren’t enough to sustain your turtle entirely, though. Make sure that the majority of their diet is made up mostly of leafy greens and vegetables.

Some of the best fruit for your turtle are:

  • Apricots
  • Figs and dates
  • Raspberries and strawberries

Other fruits that turtles like to eat include:

  • Mango
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Tomato
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Bananas (skins on)

Note: Citrus fruit – such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit – are harmful to reptiles. Never feed your turtle citrus.

What’s your turtle’s favorite food? Show us in the comment section!

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