Can Turtles Eat Tomatoes? | Turtle Eating a Tomato

While tomatoes are fruit, many researchers call them vegetables. We all know pet turtles should eat lots of veggies because they need various minerals and vitamins for their growth. Do you know that you must be mindful about giving your turtle fruits? What about tomatoes? Can turtles eat tomatoes? Yes, they can. 

Do Turtles Like Tomatoes? Tomatoes are rich in nutrients that turtles require for their development which are otherwise hard to find. They are turtles’ favorite meal because they are a great source of vitamin C and K, along with potassium and folate. Keep reading more to learn what precautions you should take while feeding tomatoes to turtles. 

Are Tomatoes Safe For Turtles?

Tomato is a natural source of sugar because it is a fruit, and we know that fruits are naturally filled with sugar. From this, you can understand that tomatoes can not only be given as an occasional foodstuff in the Turtle’s diet or as a treat. You can not take the risk of feeding too many sugary items to a turtle because it can cause pyramiding in them. 

We better know that sugar-rich foods can make your pet addicted to them. As a result, they will refuse to eat the food they need. To prevent this from happening, you should offer tomatoes to your Turtle in a calculated quantity as a treat. I suggest you feed them only juicy and red tomatoes because green ones are toxic for them. 

Nutrition Facts About Tomatoes

Like any vegetable, tomatoes can have great health benefits on turtles if they eat them in moderation. The following table helps you understand the nutrition 100 grams of tomatoes can offer to your pet:

Nutrients Amount 
Water 95%
Fat 0.2 g
Fiber 1.2 g
Sugar 2.6 g
Protein 0.9 g
Carbohydrates3.9 g

To humans, tomatoes offer a great deal of nutrition and health. Only 100 g of Tomatoes are nutritious, and they are an excellent source of vitamin A, K, and C, along with folate and potassium. Do they benefit the same as turtles? Let’s find out.

Can Turtles Digest Tomatoes?

Turtles cannot digest all nutrients in the foods they eat because they absorb nutrition only from the food they can digest. Due to their thin skin and high fiber content, tomatoes are easily absorbed by turtles since they have soft skin. Please make sure the tomatoes are ripe and give them in moderate amounts.

What are the benefits of feeding tomatoes to turtles?

When offered in moderation, nutrients in tomatoes can have many health benefits. From preventing infections to improving heart health and regulating metabolism to boosting immunity, tomatoes provide an incredible treat to your Turtle. Following are the benefits of turtle eating tomatoes in moderation:

Good Source Of Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for the proper functioning of the reproduction, immune system, and vision. It helps prevent various types of cancer and contributes to good skin health. Vitamin A helps them grow their claws, supporting the Turtle in proper feeding.

Rich In Vitamin C

Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, responsible for the healthy development of the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Collagen and elastin are produced by vitamin C, which contributes to the maintenance of healthy skin. As well as maintaining tooth enamel, it protects bones as well.

Improves Cardiovascular Functions

High fractions of potassium in tomatoes can help reduce blood pressure levels in turtles by regulating blood flow throughout the body. It reduces the inflammation within the arteries to prevent blood clots. Moreover, the antioxidants found in tomatoes also help protect against cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis and heart attack.

High In Fiber

Fiber is an important nutrient for your pet’s digestive system. It helps to keep the bowels moving regularly and prevents constipation from occurring. To regular bowel movements by encouraging optimal digestion, turtles should intake a sufficient amount of fiber.

can baby turtles eat tomatoes

What are the drawbacks of feeding tomatoes to turtles?

Unfortunately, tomatoes are one of those food items about whom you should be careful when feeding your Turtle. Due to the high content of sugar, acids, and tomatine, it can cause health complications if given in excess. Following are some drawbacks of eating tomatoes by Turtle:

High In Fructose

The high fructose content of tomatoes may be harmful to turtles. Fructose is a type of sugar that is not easily metabolized by the body and may cause obesity and metabolic problems in turtles.

Can Cause Obesity

High intakes of carbohydrates can lead to obesity in some animals and humans. Turtles are no exception, as they have a similar metabolism to humans. If you provide your Turtle with too many fruits and mealworms, it may become overweight and obese.

Deviate From Eating Regular Diet

Feeding your Turtle with fruit and vegetables can disrupt its regular diet. It could lead to nutritional deficiencies or even anemia if your Turtle does not get enough nutrients from its regular diet.

Rich In Acids

Tomatoes contain large amounts of acids which can irritate the skin and digestive tract of turtles, making them sick. If you cook tomatoes properly before feeding them, then these acids will be broken down into smaller compounds which would not harm your Turtle’s health too much.

How Are Tomatoes Toxic For Turtles?

Tomatoes contain a toxic alkaloid compound called solanine because it belongs to a deadly nightshade family. Tomatine is another name for solanine harmful to turtles. It is also toxic to humans, but not as much as it can be for turtles. Red tomatoes have less percentage of tomatin as compared to green and unripe tomatoes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Tomatoes?

Red eared sliders are a type of aquatic turtle species, so you can feed them on tomatoes if you offer them in moderation on an occasional basis like corn.

Can Aquatic Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

Aquatic turtles have a trivial chance of eating tomatoes. There is no problem if you give a small quantity of tomato to your aquatic pet turtle as a treat.

Can Box Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

Box turtles can eat tomatoes because they need more sugar than other turtle species but ensure that the tomatoes are ripe and red.

Can Turtles Eat Tomato Leaves?

No, you should not feed tomato leaves to your Turtle as it has a higher amount of tomatine which is toxic for turtles.

Can Baby Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

Compared to adult turtles, baby turtles can quickly ingest sugar and amount of toxic alkaloid tomatine because they have strong stomachs.

Final Words

Do Turtles Eat Tomatoes? Your pet turtle will eat tomatoes, and there is nothing wrong with doing so. There is no need to feed your Turtle with them all the time. Feeding your Turtle too much of tomatoes could have certain side effects on its health, including diarrhea or constipation.

Tomatoes make a great addition to your Turtle’s menu, whether canned or fresh. They are rich in vitamin C, K, potassium, and folate. You should avoid feeding your turtle tomatoes that contain pesticides and other chemicals for ideal nutritional value. If your Turtle is not eating raw tomatoes, then give lightly steamed tomatoes.

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Hey, I've done my Ph.D. in Marine Biology. I'm a turtle enthusiast and have been owning turtles for the last 22 years and dedicated to sharing my experience to help you in pet turtle upbringing.