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Can Turtles Eat Cucumbers? Vet-Reviewed Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Visnja Radosavljevic

By Visnja Radosavljevic

cucumbers on wooden board

Vet approved

Dr. Lauren Demos  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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Turtles make excellent pets for people who want low-maintenance animals that don’t require much care. These little animals can easily fit into any type of household, and they can be great for families with older kids who can play with them, feed them, and help with other chores when necessary.

Although caring for turtles is relatively simple, you need to know which foods best suit your little friend. With so many available options, many people wonder if turtles can eat veggies like cucumbers.

In short, turtles can eat cucumbers, but there are several things that you should know before feeding these fruits to your pet turtle.

Let’s go over a turtle’s diet and see how often a pet turtle should consume cucumbers, how to feed them to your turtle, and things to be cautious about.

How Should a Turtle’s Diet Look?

Turtles are omnivores, meaning they eat animal- and plant-based foods. A well-balanced diet for an adult turtle should consist of animal products, fruits, and veggies. Your turtle should also have constant access to fresh drinking water, especially when the weather is hot.

This chart shows examples of suitable foods that your turtle can consume.

Animal Products Fruits Veggies
Trout chow Apples Green beans
Turtle pellets Bananas Collards
Sardines Cucumbers Dandelions
Cooked chicken/turkey/beef Berries Broccoli
Moths Grapes Kale
Crickets Peaches Bok choy

As a general guideline, the diet of a turtle should be around 50% plant-based foods and 50% animal-based foods, but the precise nutritional needs of your pet turtle may vary based on their breed. An adult turtle should eat once every day or every other day, while juvenile turtles need more frequent feedings, preferably once or twice a day.

A little turtle eating carrots and broccoli from a rocky dish in a terrarium with red light
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators,Shutterstock

Should Turtles Eat Cucumbers? Are They Good for Turtles?

Many turtle owners wonder if turtles should eat cucumbers and if cucumbers are good for turtles. These delicious fruits are not harmful to turtles and can even be beneficial for these little animals.

Cucumbers are low in calories but are 95% water, which is why they can help your turtle stay hydrated without causing bloating or stomach upset. They also contain various nutrients and minerals, such as:

  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Copper

All these vitamins and minerals can help your turtle maintain good health and develop properly. Cucumbers are also high in antioxidants, meaning they are excellent snack options for turtles with inflammation.

That said, you should still be cautious about when and how you feed cucumbers to your turtle.

How Often Should Turtles Eat Cucumbers?

Turtles can eat cucumbers but only in moderation. Your turtle shouldn’t eat cucumbers daily, as there are more nutritious food options for your little companion.

Instead, try to offer cucumbers as occasional treats, especially if the weather is hot, no more than three times per week and in small quantities.

Giving cucumbers to your pet turtle every day could lead to health problems, such as malnutrition, as your turtle wouldn’t be getting enough variety and nutrients in their diet.

Also, consuming too many cucumbers could cause diarrhea, pain, and discomfort.

Image Credit: ka_re, Pixabay

How to Give Cucumbers to Your Turtle

You need to know how to feed these fruits to your pet without causing potential health hazards. Here are two essential tips:

  • Cut the cucumber into small pieces to prevent choking hazards. The pieces shouldn’t be larger than your pinky finger, so your turtle can easily swallow them.
  • Only provide fresh cucumbers to your pet turtle; never offer pickled or processed cucumbers that may contain seasonings or oils that could potentially harm your turtle.

Keep in mind that not all turtles will like the taste of cucumber; if you offer this fruit to your turtle and they show no interest in eating it, simply get other fruits and veggies that are safe for turtles.

Benefits & Disadvantages of Feeding Cucumbers to Turtles


  • They contain various minerals and vitamins that are beneficial for turtles and their health.
  • They contain antioxidants that can lower inflammation and promote optimal health in your pet turtle.
  • They contain water, so they are great treats for helping your turtle stay hydrated during hot summer days.
  • They are low in calories, meaning they won’t cause weight gain or bloating in your turtle.


  • Large pieces of cucumber could lead to choking hazards when eating.
  • They can cause problems like stomach upset, diarrhea, pain, and discomfort.
  • Turtles consuming only cucumbers and not enough other foods could suffer from malnutrition.
  • If you give them cucumbers that are not fresh or that contain spices or oils, your turtle may experience various health problems.


What Are Suitable Cucumber Replacements for Your Turtle?

Some turtles simply won’t like the taste of cucumbers, which is perfectly normal. Turtles can consume various veggies, flowers, and fruits, so there are many things that you can safely offer them instead. The emphasis should be on veggies and flowers, which should take up around 80% of the plant material that your little friend eats, while the remaining 20% can be fruits.

It’s best to go for dark leafy greens, as these typically contain the most nutrients that turtles need for proper development. However, you can also include orange, red, and yellow veggies in your turtle’s diet.

The best plant-based food options for turtles are:

  • Broccoli
  • Bok choy
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Mustard greens

Although turtles can consume most veggies, some of them may be harmful to their health. To prevent possible health issues in your pet turtle, try to stay away from light green vegetables like celery, iceberg, and lettuce. Spinach and Swiss chard should also be fed sparingly and in moderation. These veggies contain oxalates that can prevent a turtle’s body from properly absorbing nutrients, leading to malnutrition and weight loss.

Turtle eating kale
Image Credit: cooky_luvs, Shutterstock

Can Turtles Eat Cucumber Peelings?

Although cucumber peelings may seem difficult for turtles to chew on, these little creatures can safely consume them. However, you will need to cut the peelings into small pieces to prevent possible choking hazards.

Cucumber peelings are often not as tasty as the actual cucumber pieces, so don’t be discouraged if your turtle doesn’t like these treats.

Final Thoughts

If you are wondering if turtles can eat cucumbers, the answer is yes! Be sure to provide only fresh cucumber cut into small slices that your pet turtle can easily swallow and digest. Also, cucumbers should only be given to turtles as occasional treats, never as replacements for other foods that are necessary in a turtle’s diet.

Featured Image Credit: yubimova Tatiana, Shutterstock

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