Can Turtles Eat Pickles

Can Turtles Eat Pickles?

It’s obvious that we care about our pet turtles because they deserve love, care, and respect. That’s why turtle enthusiasts wonder about what to feed them and what not. Thus, one of the eccentric questions might pop up in your mind, too, “Can turtles eat pickles?”

Turtles can eat pickles. If you feed them a little bit of pickle, it’s healthy for them. So, pickles are safe for the pet turtles. However, it’s important to note that pickles contain a high quantity of oil and salt. So, pickles must be an occasional treat, not a regular diet for turtles.

So, feeding pickles to turtles comes with a lot of care and instructions that need to be followed. Pickles could be healthy for turtles if you feed them correctly, and they can cause health problems if offered without consciousness. Here, I’m going to explain each and everything about it.

Let’s dig in.

Can Turtles Eat Pickles?

Yes, turtles can eat pickles. It’s not dangerous for their health. As I have mentioned in the introduction, pickles are, in fact, healthy for your pet turtles. 

However, it’s important to understand that pickles are not fresh fruits and vegetables. These are not as healthy as fresh vegetables and fruits for your turtles. If you give them fresh vegetables, fruits, and other food items like proteins, calcium, and many other minerals, they will be healthy for them.

Moreover, pickles are not a common food item for turtles. They feel difficulty in digesting them. Furthermore, the report of “FoodData Central” states that 100 grams of pickle contains 23 mg of potassium and 1208 mg of sodium.

So, it’s obvious that a high quantity of salt content is not suitable for pet turtles. It’s because their bodies are accustomed to eating only natural food, not preserved ones. Consequently, offer pickles to turtles occasionally, not on a regular basis. It’s totally fine with them.

Benefits of Eating Pickles for Turtles:

Everything comes with its benefits and risks. However, the perks are more prominent than the disadvantages. Let’s see what are the advantages of eating pickles for turtles:

  1. Nutrients:

Do you know pickles are rich in minerals and vitamins? These types of sour fruits and vegetables contain the following nutrients. Here is a table that shows the nutritional value present in 100 grams of pickle:

Calcium57 mg
Copper0.028 mg
Iron0.26 mg
Magnesium7 mg
Manganese0.062 mg
Phosphorus16 mg
Potassium117 mg
Selenium0 μg
Sodium18 mg
Zinc0.1 mg
Fiber1 gram
Vitamin A6 μg
Thiamine0.045 mg
Vitamin B20.057 mg
Vitamin B30.11 mg
Vitamin B60.035 mg
Vitamin B120 μg
Vitamin C2.3 mg
Vitamin D0 IU
Vitamin E0.03 mg
Vitamin K17.3 μg
Folate8 μg
Protein0.5 gram
Fats0.3 g
Carbohydrates0.4 grams

Total = 100 grams, 12 kcal

You can see from the above-mentioned table that pickles are rich in nutrients.

  1. Texture Variety:

The texture of pickles provides a different chewing experience. Moreover, it prevents overgrowth of the turtle’s beak and contributes to dental health.

  1. Calcium Source:

Some pickles, like those made from cucumbers, are a good source of calcium. It’s crucial for maintaining strong shells and bones in turtles.

  1. Variety in Diet:

Introducing pickles can add variety to a turtle’s diet. It can also prevent dietary monotony and ensure a diverse range of nutrients.

Read also: Can turtles eat fish food?: Lets find out

Disadvantages of Eating Pickles for Turtles:

If turtles consume too much pickles, it means they are consuming an excessive amount of salt. It can cause cardiac diseases, high blood pressure, and hypertension. That’s why reptile specialists recommend that feeding too many processed pickles to your pet turtles is hazardous for their health.

Plus, always consider this important rule of thumb while feeding pickles to turtles – check the nutrition content before feeding them. For example, synthetic chemicals and pesticides present in various types of pickles are the major source of serious digestive problems in your favorite turtles. Moreover, if you feed pickles to pet turtles in large quantities, it is a major problem for them.

Your friendly turtles build a habit of eating pickles, and this habit weakens their appetite. As a result, they stop eating anything else except pickles. In this case, your adorable turtle misses all the necessary nutrients of their daily diet.

In addition to the disadvantages mentioned above, overconsumption of pickles is responsible for deaths in turtles. It can cause electrolyte imbalance, intestinal blockages, and then death. Sweet pickles made from fruits are high in sugar, and they can cause obesity in turtles.

Important Things to Consider While Feeding Pickles to Turtles:

Before putting pickles in your turtle’s bowl, consider the following tips:

  • Feed Homemade Pickles:

Don’t feed the pickle you buy from the markets and shops. These types of pickles available in local selling stores contain chemicals and other synthetic preservatives. Feed them homemade pickles.

  • Moderate Amount:

It’s good for their health if you give them a moderate amount. Otherwise, please don’t feed them local pickles because it’s not good for their health. Their highest daily food requirement is 50 grams. Don’t exceed this food limit.

  • Avoid Additives:

It would be best to avoid pickles with spices, garlic, oils, or onions. These things are harmful to turtles because their bodies are not able to process these foods.

  • Offer Other Fruits and Vegetables:

The best practice to take care of your turtles is to give them a variety of fruits and vegetables, like Apples, Blueberries, Strawberries, Pears, Corn, Lettuce, Kale, Collard greens, Carrots, Squash, and Green beans if they are herbivores. Always keep in mind that your turtle will like only a few of these things. So, consider their personal choice and do not force them to rely on one food item.

If your turtle is a carnivore, you should give them meat, fish, and chicken, too. It’s the best care practice you can do for them.

Last but not least, consult a vet for specific dietary recommendations based on your turtle’s species.

How to Prepare Pickles for Turtles?

I have mentioned before that homemade pickles are the best option if you want to feed pickles to your pet turtles. And it’s so easy to prepare pickles at home. However, the safest formula to prepare pickles is to use as much less salt as possible in the pickle.

Plus, it’s your duty not to feed them those pickles that are stored in your home for a longer time closed in the jars. It means you can feed only those pickles that are freshly made in homes.

Interestingly, you can offer a variety of pickles like cucumbers, slices, zucchinis, or leafy greens. If you are interested in giving them pickles that are a mixture of various fruits or vegetables, you can feed them. After deciding all this, wash the pickle thoroughly, cut it into turtle-sized pieces, and offer them to eat.


Do turtles like pickles?

If we predict whether turtles like pickles or not, it would be difficult to do that. However, various videos and pictures on the internet and turtle keepers are showing that turtles like to consume pickles. The reason behind why they like pickles might be the salty and sour taste of it.

In addition to this, pickles are made up of vegetables and fruits. So, they love to eat any dish made out of vegetables and fruits. And it’s safe for them that every turtle likes to eat pickles.

Can baby turtles eat pickles?

Yes, you can feed pickles to your pet baby turtles. But don’t forget to feed them these types of food in moderate quantities. For example, 20 grams of salt-free pickle per day is safe for baby turtles.

Can red-eared slider turtles eat pickles?

According to a study by a scientist, Michael Dreslik, on the ResearchGate platform, red-eared slider turtles can eat many things. Naturally, they consume dead fish, aquatic bugs, aquatic vegetation, etc. Therefore, red-eared slider turtles have a strong digestive system that has the capacity to process strong food like pickles.

Can box turtles eat pickles?

Yes, box turtles can eat pickles. Most of the time, they eat bugs, fruits, and vegetables. So, a small quantity of pickles is not a big deal for them.

Can painted turtles eat pickles?

Painted turtles are land-based turtles, and the eating habits of these creatures are just like the other land-based turtles. So, they are perfectly fine with pickles. You can feed them a small quantity of pickles if you like.


Well, we have come to the end of our interesting topic, “Can turtles eat pickles?” Now, I hope you got the right answers to the questions that often pop up in your minds before feeding pickles to your pet turtles. From the above explanation, it’s clear that pickles are not the daily diet of turtles. Moreover, as an aquatic and land turtle owner, I would like to suggest you the following:

  • It’s OK to feed fresh and salt-free pickles to turtles.
  • A dill pickle with water, dill, salt, and vinegar is good for their health if fed in small pieces.
  • Cider vinegar is the best option because it is made from apples.

It’s an occasional treat or an instant pick-me-up snack for cute turtles. You can also give them to toddler turtles. Thank you for reading my guide. Have peace!