What Vegetables Can Red-Eared Sliders Eat

What Vegetables Can Red-Eared Sliders Eat?

Red-eared slider turtles are one of the most popular pet species found in homes across America. These turtles can be anything from omnivores that eat both plants and animals, to herbivores who only consume meat.

You may be wondering what type of vegetables red-eared slider turtles should eat. Follow this blog post to find out! We’ll also provide a list so you can choose wisely and offer your pet the best nutrients possible.

They have red stripes behind their eyes and can grow to be 12 inches long, surviving in captivity for 30 years more.

Some people feed their turtles a diet of vegetables, but this can be harmful if the animal doesn’t get all its nutrients. It’s important to offer your turtle different types so it has everything necessary for good health.

What Food Do Red-Eared Sliders Eat?

Red-eared sliders are not picky eaters and will eat just about anything you give them. A diet that meets these requirements can be achieved by feeding your turtle a variety of different vegetables.

Red-eared sliders eat aquatic herbs like elodea and duckweed and they consume so many plants that they are classified as herbivorous.

They will only consume meat if it is easily available and no plants are around and they tend to eat insects and other invertebrates like earthworms, red worms, or snails but they will also consume fish depending on what’s available.

Meat provides the extra protein required by younger species to help them grow and create their shell. Invertebrates, extremely small feeder fish, and worms are favorite foods for baby red-eared sliders.

They eventually become much more plant-based than animal protein. As they grow older and larger, their diet will consist primarily of plants, with occasional servings of meat if they are hungry enough.

7 Vegetables That Are Good For Red-Eared Sliders

Here are seven vegetables that are good for red-eared sliders:

1. Lettuce:

When it comes to feeding time, most red-eared slider owners opt for recognizable and easily obtainable options like pellets or commercial turtle food. However, these processed foods lack the nutrients and variety that turtles need to stay healthy.

A more natural diet, which includes leafy greens and vegetables, is a much better option for your pet. However, iceberg lettuce should be avoided, as it has little nutritional value and is essentially an empty food for your pet.

2. Carrots:

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for good health, and carrots are a great source of this important vitamin. However, carrots also contain folic acid, which can be harmful to your animal if consumed in large quantities. It is best not to give your turtle carrots nearly twice per week.

While folic acid is necessary for human health, too much of this nutrient can be dangerous for animals. By limiting the number of carrots your turtle eats, you can help ensure that your pet stays healthy and gets the nutrients it needs.

3. mustard greens:

Mustard greens are an excellent source of nutrients for your red-eared slider. They’re packed with vitamins A, C & K as well as folate (a nutrient that helps prevent birth defects), iron, or calcium – which both have been shown to protect against osteoporosis by strengthening their bones.

However, it is important to remember that mustard greens should not be the only type of vegetable you feed your turtle. By giving your turtle a mix of different vegetables, you can be sure that they are getting all the nutrients and vitamins needed for healthy living.

4. Kale:

Leafy greens are an excellent source of nutrients and can be included in your red-eared slider’s diet. The kale family of vegetables is a great source for your red-eared slider.

While kale is a healthy option for your turtle, it is important to remember that this vegetable is high in oxalates. Like other plants, kale can contain oxalates which might bind with minerals and prevent their absorption by the body. This is one reason why you should limit your turtle’s diet to only low-oxalate foods.

Otherwise, they could develop toxicity symptoms such as slow growth rate (or even mineral deficiencies) if given too many leafy green vegetables. However, including a small amount of kale in your turtle’s diet can be beneficial for their health.

5. Squash:

It provides your turtle with healthy skin or eyesight. In addition, squash is a good source of potassium, which helps to regulate fluid levels and encourage proper muscle function.

Plus, squash is a delicious vegetable that your turtle is sure to enjoy. What are you waiting for? Squash is a healthy and tasty addition to the diet of many turtles.

6. Bell pepper:

Red-eared sliders love the color red, so use it to your advantage by giving them pieces. Red-eared sliders are attracted not just for their visual appeal but also because food seems more appetizing when it has this special shade. You can cut up what you’re serving into tiny bits which will make eating easier on their little mouths.

Red pepper is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. In addition, the carotenoids in red bell pepper can help to protect your pet from UV radiation and other environmental stresses. Red bell peppers are an excellent choice for pets, especially red-eared sliders.

7. green beans:

Green beans are a healthy and delicious option for your red-eared slider. These vegetables are packed with nutrients, including vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium.

Green beans are also a good source of folic acid, which is important for proper cell development. However, it is important to remember that green beans should not be the only type of vegetable you feed your turtle. 

These seven vegetables are just a few of the many that are good for red-eared sliders. The variety of vegetables you offer your turtle should be enough to keep it healthy.

Which Vegetables Are NOT Safe For Red-Eared Sliders?

While there are many vegetables that are safe for red-eared sliders, there are also some that should be avoided. For this reason, it is important to know which vegetables to avoid feeding your red-eared slider.

1. Tomatoes:

Tomatoes are a popular food for humans, but they can be harmful to red-eared sliders. This vegetable contains solanine, a toxic compound that can cause gastrointestinal problems in turtles.

It’s best to avoid feeding your red-eared slider tomatoes due to their high acidity and potential for creating urinary tract infections.

2. Avocado :

This is obviously a cause for concern for pet owners as avocados are commonly found in households as a healthy snack choice. However, the level of toxicity varies greatly between different animals and birds. 

For example, while ducks and chickens can eat small amounts of avocado without any ill effects, the same cannot be said for red-eared slider turtles. These turtles are particularly sensitive to Persin and even small amounts can cause major health problems.

Therefore, it is important to keep avocados away from red-eared slider turtles and to seek veterinary advice if your turtle has ingested any avocado.

3. Spinach :

This leafy green is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and vitamin A. However, spinach also contains oxalates, which can bind with calcium and lead to calcium deficiency. In addition, oxalates can also cause kidney stones.

4. Chard:

Chard is a leafy green vegetable that is related to spinach. It may contain high levels of oxalates, which can lead to calcium deficiencies. In addition, oxalates can also cause kidney stones. 

5. Brussels sprouts:

Brussel sprouts are a type of cabbage that is often praised for its health benefits. Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamins and minerals, but they can also contain goitrogens that could interfere with thyroid function.

The best diet for Red eared sliders?

As any herpetologist knows, a healthy diet is essential for red-eared slider turtles. In the wild, these turtles typically eat a variety of prey items, including earthworms, crickets, waxworms, silkworms, and aquatic snails. They also occasionally eat larger items such as tadpoles or feeder fish.

Leafy greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, and dandelion greens should be offered on a regular basis, as they provide essential nutrients that are not found in prey items.

If you are feeding your turtle live prey items, it is important to ensure that the prey is properly quarantined to prevent the spread of parasites or disease.

Lastly, remember that some fish (such as goldfish) are too fatty to be fed regularly, so variety is key when it comes to feeding your red-eared slider turtle.

Final Thoughts:

Red-eared slider turtles are popular pets, but they require a specialized diet. It is important for you not to feed your slider vegetables that have high levels of oxalates or goitrogens. This can lead to health problems. In addition, live prey items should be properly quarantined before being offered to the turtle. Help protect your red-eared slider turtle by following these guidelines.


1. What is the best diet for a red-eared slider turtle?

A diet that includes a variety of leafy greens live prey items, and occasional fatty fish is best for red-eared slider turtles.

2. Are there any vegetables that red-eared slider turtles should avoid?

Yes, vegetables that are high in oxalates or goitrogens should be avoided, as they can lead to health problems.

3. Can red-eared slider turtles eat Brussel sprouts?

No, brussel sprouts should be avoided, as they contain goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid function.

4. What do red-eared sliders naturally eat?

Red-eared slider turtles are omnivores that eat a variety of prey items in the wild. Earthworms, crickets, wax worms silkies, and aquatic snails all make their way onto this turtle’s menu. They also occasionally eat larger items such as tadpoles or feeder fish.

5. Do red-eared sliders prefer land or water?

Red-eared slider turtles are a unique species, as they can be found both in the water and on land. They bask on logs or rocks near where they drink during periods of high tide when it’s accessible for them as well. They will enter the water to feed or cool off as needed.

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