Can Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

Turtles are known to be huge veggie-lovers. From cucumbers to carrots, all these products can be fed to your turtle. They are loaded with beneficial nutrients and vitamins. Moreover, turtles absolutely love their taste. However, can turtles eat tomatoes? Let’s find out!

Yes, turtles can eat tomatoes. However, there are some particularities of this vegetable that can harm your turtle. Therefore, you should know all about tomatoes before giving them to your turtle. 

In this article, you’ll find the answers to all the questions you might have. enjoy! 

Are Tomatoes Healthy for Turtles?

In small quantities, as occasional treats, tomatoes are very healthy for turtles. There are two particular components of tomatoes that we are looking at, calcium and vitamin A. 

Calcium 

Calcium is probably the most important mineral for reptiles and turtles in particular. It is beneficial for their bones, shell, muscles, nerves, and other important organs. Calcium deficiency makes your turtle weak and gets its bones softer and muscles weaker. 

Also, don’t forget about heart problems. Circulatory and heart problems aren’t encountered as often as other health issues. However, they are often untreatable. It means that, even if you and your veterinarian know what the problem is, the chances are that you won’t be able to fully treat your turtle. Therefore, the best way to prevent such problems is to feed your turtle some calcium-rich products, such as tomatoes. 

Last but not least, the maintenance of your turtle’s shell and claws. Without calcium, there won’t be a healthy shell. It will grow softer with every day and, as a consequence of that, your turtle will slowly begin to die. Also, its claws and relatively all the bones in its organism will begin to have the same fate as the shell. 

Vitamin A 

One of the most problematic things for a turtle and its health is its immune system. The ones that suffer the most are captive turtles that were born in the wilderness. However, this problem can be solved relatively easily.

Now, immune system problems are often related to the absence of vital vitamins in your turtle’s diet, especially vitamin A. It is paramount for your turtle’s health to get the right amount of vitamin A, as its body is storing it in the liver and using it constantly. 

Good news for those who want to get tomatoes in their turtle’s diet. Tomatoes, especially the ripe ones, are packed with beneficial and easily absorbable vitamin A. The amount of vitamin A that your turtle will get from some occasional treats will be enough to not bother about its presence. 

Are Tomatoes Toxic for Turtles?

No, ripe tomatoes aren’t toxic for turtles. However, tomato leaves and green tomatoes are very toxic for your little pet friend. 

Ripe tomatoes are toxic for your turtle only if you are feeding too much of them to the turtle. You can’t build a well-balanced diet around tomatoes and you can’t use them as basic food on day to day basis. Tomatoes have a very high sugar content and, even if they aren’t as sweet as other fruit, tomatoes are as dangerous as them. 

High sugar content in the foods you give your turtle can lead to some very serious health problems. First of all, it will disbalance the cholesterol and cause insulin resistance. Secondly, it can cause severe digestive problems and loss of appetite. 

Are Turtles Able to Digest Tomatoes?

Yes, turtles are able to digest tomatoes. There are some fruits and veggies that, due to the high content of fiber or banal coating in an indigestible skin, cannot be digested not only by turtles but also by human beings. Tomatoes aren’t a part of that category. 

However, you should be very careful with tomatoes. They can be either very toxic for your turtle or very nutritious. It really depends on how ripe they are, where have they been growing and how much of the product you are planning on feeding your turtle. 

How to Feed Tomatoes to Turtles?

Tomatoes are very easy to feed to turtles. The only thing you must do is to remove the stalk and leaves before giving them to the turtle. Also, you can cut the turtles in half or into smaller pieces if you have a baby turtle. 

Don’t cook the tomatoes. They will lose all the nutritional value and won’t be any good for your turtle. Also, please remember to remove all the green parts in the tomato and make sure it is fully ripe. Turtles are often attracted to bright colors like red and orange so it won’t be a long time until your little pet friend will spot the treat you gave it. 

How Ripe Should the Tomatoes Be?

ripe and unripe tomatoes on a vine

Tomatoes should be fully ripened and red for them to be fed to turtles. Green tomatoes are very toxic for your turtle and can lead to massive health issues and eventual death. Do not, under any circumstances, feed your turtle with green tomatoes. 

Also, remember that green tomatoes have no nutritional value. Of course, they have some vitamins and minerals, but, compared to ripe tomatoes, there is a huge difference. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the most popular questions related to this topic.

Can Red Eared Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, Red-Eared Turtles can eat tomatoes. However, it doesn’t need to be their regular part of the diet. Red-Eared Sliders are omnivorous and have to eat both veggies and meat. Therefore, you can’t base their diet on just veggies and fruits. 

Also, do remember the fact that tomatoes, in high quantities, are very toxic for your turtle. Don’t overfeed them with tomatoes, it will only bring health issues and their nutritional value will be completely wasted. 

Are Tomatoes Toxic to Box Turtles?

No, tomatoes aren’t toxic for box turtles or any other types of turtles. Actually, they are very healthy and beneficial for your little pet friend. Of course, in normal quantities. 

Can Tortoises Eat Tomatoes?

Yes, tortoises can eat tomatotes. Tortoises are herbivores and 95% of their diet is based on vegetables and fruits. However, there is no need to give them high amounts of different fruits. As for other reptiles, high sugar intake can lead to massive health issues. And, as you may know, tomatoes have high sugar content. 

Conclusion

Now you know that tomatoes are completely safe to feed to your turtles in moderation. There is no need to overfeed your little pet friend. Just give it some occasional treats now and then, don’t overcomplicate its life. Tomatoes are very healthy and tasty, I’m sure your turtle will love them.

Dorothy Razo
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