Can Turtles Eat Basil

Can Turtles Eat Basil? What You Need To Know!

Having a turtle as your aquatic indoor pet is impressive but also challenging regarding feeding. For a long life span, turtles need to eat a balanced diet.

Can turtles eat basil? Yes. Turtles eat basil. Basil herbs are safe for turtles and have a nutritional advantage. It contains minerals such as calcium and vitamin K, which turtles require in plenty for their growth. Due to the antioxidants in basil, feed them in moderation, like twice a week.

This article will further explain how to prepare basils for mature and young turtles. We shall also explain what type of turtles eat basil.

Can You Feed Basil To Your Pet Turtles?


Not being aware of what to feed your pet turtle can be bothersome. Again, you don’t want to feed turtles a sole meal all the time.

The good news is that you can feed basil to your turtles. The herb is not just a food supplement but a healthy plant that will help boost your turtle’s health. You can also feed basil to young turtles in controlled rations to boost their immune system.

Basil contains calcium minerals that are needed to develop healthy bones and shells. The herb also contains iron, vitamin K, and vitamin A which are needed for the growth of a healthy turtle.

Can You Feed Basil To Your Pet Turtles

Calcium is rare to find in other food varieties. Feeding basil to your turtles boosts the calcium level in their body. Basil contains calcium that turtles require for skeletal growth, most notably for their nervous system. Calcium also facilitates the growth of strong bones and hard shells.

Most herbs contain excess oxalic acids, which may affect the metabolism process of the turtles. Therefore, feed the turtles lots of fruits after eating basil to help lower the acidity levels. As you feed the turtles basil, ensure a constant water supply for proper digestion.

When feeding basil to your pet turtles, consider supplementing it with sugary berries to reduce basil’s sour taste. For turtles in aquaria, feed the basil in small portions to avoid spoiling the water. Feed the tiny turtles small amounts to avoid overfeeding their developing metabolic system.

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Do Turtles Like Basil?

Basil has a strong taste and odor that most turtles dislike. Turtles like eating herbs that have a pleasant smelling aroma.

Turtles Like Basil

However, turtles will still eat the herb for its nutritional benefit, which the body needs and is rare to find in other food sources.

Health Benefits For Turtles Eating Basil

Turtles require a lot of minerals for their growth and development. Luckily, basil has some of these minerals packed in it.

Iron in basil helps form hemoglobin, which is responsible for producing red blood cells, which transport oxygen in the body. With enough blood cells, the turtle is more energetic with a strong immune system.

Health Benefits For Turtles Eating Basil

Vitamins are other great nutrients turtles need. Basil is an excellent source of vitamin A and K. Vitamin A improves the immune system making turtles strong enough to resist disease attacks. Vitamin K is vital in blood clotting in case of injuries.

How Much Basil Should Turtles Eat?

Pet turtles are less active hence requiring less energy. Feed the turtles according to their body size. With the thumb rule, feed the turtles in correspondence to their body and shell size.

How Much Basil Should Turtles Eat

How Do You Prepare Basil For Turtles?

Prepare basil by cutting it into small pieces so that turtles can easily pick and break them for swallowing. The beaked turtles will even tear the leaves from the farm and feed.

Have clean bows placed in the turtles’ cage for serving the feeds? The feeding bowls should have short necks as the turtle can’t reach high grounds.

Can You Feed Basil To Baby Turtles?

Baby turtles can be fed on basil. Be careful and feed small amounts to avoid intoxicating the young turtles with oxalic acid.

How do you feed the baby turtles? Cut the soft and young parts of basil into a bow. For easy feeding, mix the herb with sweet fruits such as berries. You might have to hold the basil for the babies to feed.

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Example of a turtle eating basil: 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can Box Turtles Eat Basil?

Being an omnivore, box turtles feed on various herbs and insects. Box turtles eat basil, but its consumption should be regulated to avoid too many oxalates in their body.

Box turtles prefer feeding on potted basil or those growing in the fields. Check on the pesticide levels used on basil to avoid poisoning the turtle.

Box Turtles Eat Basil
2. Can Red-Eared Slider Turtles Eat Basil?

Yes. Red-eared slider turtles can eat basil. Basil contains high amounts of calcium, which the body demands to develop the shell and bones.

Feed the young red-eared slider turtle with less basil and more meat as they require protein to grow—feed basil in small amounts and at intervals due to their acidic nature.

3. Can Painted Turtles Eat Basil?

Painted turtles will eat basil at any time of the day. However, young painted turtles may not prefer to feed on basil.

If your turtle is used to eating meat, pellets, and other vegetables, you might have problems getting it to eat basil. Mix basil with other salads to improve its taste and reduce the acidic levels in basil.

Final Words

Turtles feed on basil. However, limit its consumption due to the oxalic acid present in basil. Ensure the vegetable is clean and free of pesticides.

We all need to have our pet turtles healthy and energetic. Basil herbs should be a component in the turtles’ diet to ensure a balanced diet. Basil contains nutrients such as vitamin A and K, calcium, iron, and manganese that are important for the growth of your turtle.

Do you want to know if turtles eat parsley or turkey? Read our articles about it to learn more.

Can Turtles Eat Basil

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