Can red-eared sliders eat strawberries?

In this article we are going to answer can red eared sliders eat strawberries, what are red-eared sliders, what should red-eared sliders be fed with, what is the risk of having red-eared sliders pets, and how to take care correctly of red-eared sliders. 

Can red-eared sliders eat strawberries?

Yes, the red-eared sliders can eat strawberries but in small amounts because aquatic turtles do not normally eat fruits in the wild. Strawberries can be a good source of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals.

Red-eared sliders can eat whole fruit with leaves but they should not be fed with old and moldy strawberry leaves because they can be toxic for them. 

Red-eared sliders are omnivorous so the fruit can be part of their diet but when fed in excess, they can cause nutrient deficiencies. 

What are red-eared sliders?

Red-eared sliders are a subspecies of Trachemys Scripta or pond sliders. The red-eared slider is the most common turtle in the United States and is considered an invasive turtle. It is native to Mexico and the Southern United States. 

They are known because they have red stripes behind each ear and the color of their carapace changes depending on the age of the turtle. 

It is commonly found in the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico in warm water such as lakes, creeks, streams, and slow-flowing rivers. Because they are sometimes released in places they should not live normally they can be found also in Bermuda, Canada, Australia, Europe, and some parts of South Africa. 

They will always be found living in close calm water that can be easy to climb. When they are far from water it is because they are looking for a new place to live or female turtles are laying eggs. 

In 1975, the FDA banned turtles with carapace lengths less than 10 cm because they come with a high risk of carrying salmonella. 

What should red-eared sliders be fed with?

When kept as pets, the red-eared sliders can be fed with pellets or sticks that are made especially for aquatic turtles and sold at pet stores. Other foods to feed your red-eared slider include dark leafy greens such as

  • Dandelion
  • Mustard
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Green beans

Vegetables should be previously chopped. Nontoxic aquatic plants such as anacharis and water lettuce can also be a good source of vitamins and minerals for red-eared turtles. The red-eared slider also eats earthworms and insects and very small amounts of fruits. 

What is the risk of having red-eared sliders pets?

The risk of having red-eared slider turtles as pets is salmonellosis. Red-eared slider red that measures less than 4 inches, harbors salmonella in their shells. When red-eared sliders carry salmonella people that pet them can contract salmonellosis.

According to the CDC, just by touching and handling the tank or food of red-eared sliders, you can contract salmonella.

When you have red-eared sliders, there are certain rules to follow to prevent you from contracting salmonella. According to the FDA, to prevent salmonellosis when having red-eared turtles you should

  • Wash your hands before and after touching anything related to the turtle. An adult should supervise that children wash their hands
  • Slider turtles should not be kissed and should never be left outside their tank. They should never be left in the kitchen because they can contaminate food areas. 
  • Clean their tank and pet supplies in a specific place away from the kitchen. 
  • If there are children under 5, adults aged 65 or older, people with weakened immune systems, or pregnant women, slider turtles should not be kept as pets. 

If you want to know if your red-eared slider has salmonella you should test it and give treatment to the turtle. 

How to take care of red-eared sliders?

Red-eared sliders need tanks about 40 gallons or larger so they can live according to their needs. Water temperature needs to be about 75 to 80 F and the basking area should be kept at 85 to 95 F. 

Lighting is needed so they can have proper vitamin D and calcium for bone health. The tank should be cleaned at least once every month with a bleach solution and should be rinsed thoroughly before putting the turtle back in the tank. 

Follow this link for a complete guide on how to take care of your red-eared slider. 


This article answered can red-eared sliders eat strawberries, what are red-eared sliders, what should red-eared sliders be fed with, what is the risk of having red-eared sliders pets, and how to take care correctly of red-eared sliders. 


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