Can Turtles & Tortoises Eat Spinach?

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’re a pet owner who wants their animal to be happy and healthy, mixing up their pet’s diet every once in a while is a great method to keep things interesting and provide mental stimulation. The same holds true for those who keep turtles or tortoises as pets. However, there are certain dangers.

Turtles and tortoises can eat spinach in very tiny amounts and on rare occasions. It shouldn’t make up more than a small portion of their daily intake at most. Oxalic acid, found in abundance in spinach, interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, thus leading to health problems.

Almost every kind of animal has at least one type of food that is fatal to it. As an example, chocolate is harmful to dogs. Before feeding any of your pets anything, you should do some study to be sure.

Whether you have a pet reptile and are wondering if feeding it spinach is a smart option, you’ve come to the right place. Our focus here is on whether or not spinach is a good food choice for your reptile pet, namely a turtle, or tortoise.

Is Spinach Safe For Turtles?

The diet of a turtle may include everything from fruit to vegetables to lush greens. Many turtle keepers wrongly believe that spinach is acceptable for their pets since it is advised that turtles be fed a variety of leafy greens such as kale, collard, mustard, and dandelion greens.

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Since it’s a dark leafy green that’s nutritionally equivalent to the other greens suggested for a turtle’s diet, what’s the harm in including it?

To be honest, spinach is among the few items that you shouldn’t feed your turtle as it is not safe for their health.

Spinach has numerous positive health effects, but the oxalates and oxalic acid it contains make it absolutely inappropriate for turtles to ingest as part of their usual diet.

Because oxalic acid hinders calcium absorption, your turtle may not be getting enough of the mineral it needs to flourish.

Oxalic acid helps your turtle because it binds to oxalate in the digestive tract, preventing calcium from being absorbed.

The lack of calcium in your turtle’s diet may lead to brittle, deformed bones, and a flimsy shell. More specifically, your turtle’s heart, muscles, and nervous system will all be negatively impacted.

If this continues, the turtle will develop the metabolic bone disease (MBD), which is deadly.

Consistently giving your turtle spinach will likely result in a calcium deficit and subsequent health problems.

Your turtle may eat a little amount of spinach without showing any obvious signs of distress, but the long-term repercussions of a diet heavy in spinach will become apparent in due time.

Although it is OK to give your turtle a little amount of spinach sometimes, many veterinarians advise against doing so because of the substantial health hazards associated with doing so.

Even if you attempt to make up for this by dusting calcium powder on your turtle’s food in an effort to increase its calcium intake, the advantages will not outweigh the drawbacks in this scenario.

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As a result, we advise against giving spinach to your turtle.

Can Spinach Be Fed To Tortoises?

Please don’t try to force-feed spinach to your tortoise.

We already know that the oxalic acid in spinach binds to the gut and blocks the absorption of calcium. Your tortoise may have trouble digesting and absorbing nutrition if it consumes a considerable quantity of spinach.

It will then endure the same difficulties associated with having cardiac problems, soft shells, and deformed bones.

While other dark leafy greens like kale and collards also contain oxalic acid, spinach has the largest concentration.

This implies that although you may give your tortoise a varied diet that does contain items like kale, doing so in large quantities may cause stomach upset and other health problems.

Spinach, on the other hand, has a lot of oxalic acids and is a riskier meal for your tortoise.

For this reason, if you want to provide your tortoise with a nutritious meal but are concerned about the potential dangers of feeding it spinach, kale is an excellent option.

If you’re concerned about your tortoise’s calcium intake, you may sprinkle some calcium powder on the kale before you give it to it. However, occasional feedings will provide your tortoise with all the advantages of the vegetable without subjecting it to any of the risks.

However, tortoises should not be fed spinach on a regular basis.

How Much Spinach Can Tortoises Eat?

Can you have too much spinach? It’s hard to provide a precise figure. But you should try to provide a varied diet for your tortoise, with at least 80 percent consisting of greens and the remaining 10 percent made up of fruits and other vegetables.

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They also need a calcium supplement, which should be administered. It’s OK to include a little spinach in the meal if you want.

But the major ingredients need to be romaine lettuce, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and dandelion greens. You may spice things up by throwing in some bok choy, butter lettuce, red leaf lettuce, escarole, parsley, and watercress.

Can Spinach Be Fed To Russian Tortoises?

Russian tortoises are among the most popular species kept as pets. They must follow the same guidelines for spinach as all other kinds of tortoise.

Too much may interfere with calcium absorption, small quantities are OK.

How Should You Feed Spinach To Turtles And Tortoises?

If you buy baby spinach leaves, you won’t have to do anything to feed them to your turtles and tortoise. After washing, the leaves should be dried with a towel.

They must not smell bad or have bugs crawling on them. A few spinach leaves may be added to the other greens you feed your tortoise. Crude and freshly prepared greens are optimal.

Before You Leave

If you want to know what to feed your turtles and tortoises, you’ll need to know what kind you have, how big they are, how old they are, and where you keep them.

The majority of turtle species are omnivores, meaning that they consume both animal and plant matter. While the tortoise’s food should consist mostly of fresh, leafy greens, with some diversity provided by other vegetables.

Therefore, check out this article to learn about which leafy greens are safe for your turtles  Can Turtles Eat Lettuce? [Precautions for Owners]

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About Author

Muntaseer Rahman started keeping pet turtles back in 2013. He also owns the largest Turtle & Tortoise Facebook community in Bangladesh. These days he is mostly active on Facebook.


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