Can Turtles Eat Spinach? 8 Benefits | Full Guide

can turtles eat spinach

Turtles gobble each edible thing that they get in front of them. Turtles’ diet depends on their type, age, weight, and choices. Omnivorous turtles eat mostly every food, like meat, insects, vegetables, fruits, etc. On the other hand, herbivorous turtles focus on green leafy veggies. 

Spinach is one of the most nutritious veggies for humans and animals. The green leafy veggie contains a lot of calcium and vitamins A, C, K, etc. Spinach is popular for salads and an excellent option for vegetarians. 

As turtles like to consume green leafy veggies, is spinach safe for them? Can turtles eat spinach? Here we packed up every piece of information regarding feeding spinach to turtles.

Can Turtles Eat Spinach?

Yes, turtles can eat spinach sparingly. However, the leafy green veggie is not the best option to feed your turtles due to the presence of oxalates. As spinach contains a good amount of the harmful compound oxalates, it may adversely affect your turtle. But a moderate feeding of spinach to the shelly creature will not affect it badly. Feeding the veggie to your little tortoise will help numerous with the other beneficial components like calcium, vitamins A, K, and C, iron, etc. 

It is better to avoid feeding spinach to turtles as it might be risky. They have several options to eat, including carrots, squash, etc. Also, if your turtle is omnivorous, then there is no concern. Omnivorous turtles can eat different types of worms safely.

How Often Can Turtles Eat Spinach?

As mentioned earlier, spinach is not a good choice for turtles. The green leaves are not suitable as a staple food for tortoises. So, moderate or occasional feeding is best for the sloth creature. They should only consume spinach once a week. 2 to 4 tablespoons of chopped spinach once a week is enough for turtles. To avoid the adverse effect of oxalates, mix some chopped spinach with other safe veggies and serve it to your little pet.

As spinach has a very high amount of oxalic acid or oxalates, the beneficial nutrients become useless. When the level of oxalates increases, it stops the absorption of calcium by the body. Also, when oxalates are high in turtles’ bodies, the beneficial nutrients that don’t get absorbed will pass through urine. Consequently, the turtle’s kidneys cannot filter enough of these oxalates in the long term, which causes kidney failure. So, an occasional feeding of spinach is the only option for tortoises.  

8 Benefits of Feeding spinach to Turtles

Spinach is not the best food option for turtles. The thing is, you have to feed them in a limited way. If you can provide the veggie in a proper schedule and amount, your pet will get the required nutrients and minerals from the veggie. 

1: Vitamin A Promotes Eyesight & Works for Growth 

Spinach has a good amount of vitamin A, crucial for growth, development, and healthy eyesight. The vitamin A present in spinach helps promote your little pet’s eyesight. Furthermore, vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps repair tissues. Also, it aids in developing healthy skin, mucous membranes, and tissues.

2: Vitamin C Promotes Immune System 

Spinach has a good amount of vitamin C. The vitamin is essential for the well-being of the immune system. If your turtle has a powerful immune system, it will not get infected often with diseases. If you can maintain the feeding of spinach to your turtle, the vitamin C in it will positively affect your pet’s immune power. After all, vitamin C is also beneficial for skin texture and is a good antioxidant that works differently. 

3: Vitamin K Aids in Blood Clotting & Ensures Regular Growth

Every leafy green contains vitamin K, crucial for blood clotting, steady growth, shell calcification, etc. The vitamin helps to stop blood flow during any injury. Moreover, it is essential to get healthy bone and shell calcification. Alongside this, the vitamin ensures a regular growth rate in juvenile turtles. Veggies like kale, lettuce, etc., also have enough vitamin K. You can mix the other veggies with spinach and let it feed them. 

4: Calcium Strengthens Bone Structure   

Spinach is a little complicated because, while it contains a good amount of calcium, the large amount of oxalate will bind to the intestines and block absorption. But a moderate feeding of spinach will be beneficial as the oxalate level will not harm severely. A single cup of spinach contains about 250 mg of calcium, and the calcium content will benefit the bone as well as the shell of the tortoise. 

The skeleton gets healthy if the calcium level is accurate. Moreover, to avoid the risk of oxalate, you can mix the veggie with other calcium-rich vegetables and feed it to your little pet. 

5: Iron Helps in Producing Haemoglobin  

Spinach contains iron. The body needs iron for growth and development, which aids in producing hemoglobin. Iron is used to make hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. The protein carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. Turtles need iron for the same reason as humans, and the juvenile tortoise especially needs iron for growth and development. 

6: Folic Acid Prevents Changes to DNA

Spinach has another beneficial mineral which is folic acid. Folic acid helps numerously in the human body and animals as well. The mineral helps produce and maintain new cells and helps prevent changes to DNA. The tendency of DNA change may lead to cancer. In medication, folic acid is crucial to treat folic acid deficiency and different types of anemia caused by folic acid deficiency.

7: Low-Calorie Will Not Obese the Turtle 

Spinach is a low-calorie veggie. 100 gm of spinach contains 23 calories in it. If your turtle consumes a little more, he will not gain weight, and the veggie will not lead your pet to obesity. Also, they will not get filled with only spinach and can eat other nutritious foods. 

8: High Water Content Hydrates Whole Day 

Spinach consists of 90% of water in it, and the high water level will help hydrate your turtle the whole day. As hydration is one of the crucial things for every living being, spinach could do a good job in it. Cucumber is also a great food option for turtles in terms of hydration.

How to Feed Spinach to Turtles?

Get Fresh & Organic Spinach

If you have a garden with spinach plants, then there is no concern. But if you must go to the market to purchase the green leafy veggie, get the organic and fresh leaves. Some shopkeepers sell rotten veggies, including pesticides. 

Always go for organic and fresh vegetables for your little pet. You must focus on their healthy diet as they have fragile body functions. 

Wash Every Leaf Thoroughly 

After picking up the fresh and organic green leafy veggies, wash them with clean water. As spinach grows very near to soil, the leaves get into contact with dirt, sand, etc. So, after buying spinach, wash the leaves well with clean water. You can also soak them in clean water and then wash them off. Turtles do not tolerate any harmful compounds. So, caring for your little pet is your responsibility. 

Chop the Leaves Well

The chopping size depends on your turtle’s size and age. Get the leaves together and chop them well. You can also combine the spinach stems and chop them with the leaves. But throw off the root of the plant. 

After chopping the leaves and stems, mix them with other vegetables and serve them to your turtle. 

Boiling Will Reduce the Oxalate Level  

You can also boil the spinach and feed it to your little pet. But do not add any spices or tastemakers. Boiling can drastically decrease the number of oxalates in spinach by up to 30% to 87% of oxalates.


So, when it comes to can turtles eat spinach or not, the answer is Yes! The thing is, feeding spinach in moderation is acceptable for shelly creatures. But oxalate is the main antagonist for your little pet. So, you must maintain the quantity and frequency of feeding the veggie to your pet. If your turtle is omnivorous, then there is no worry about the diet. You can feed insects to veggie everything. 

Additionally, personal preferences are another big thing before feeding your pet. If your pet does not like a certain food, do avoid feeding it to them. Forceful feeding also harms little pets. After all, the turtle pellets available in the market are safe for the little tortoise, and you can feed them to them after going through the ingredients for safety. 

Foods Not Good for Reptiles


Can baby turtles eat spinach?

Yes, baby turtles can eat spinach in very small quantities. Before serving, chop the leaves very well.

Can turtles digest spinach?

Yes, spinach has a small amount of fiber, which helps digestion.

Is spinach safe for turtles?

A very small quantity of spinach once a week will not harm your turtle. But overfeeding will affect turtles adversely.

Can Aquatic turtles eat spinach?

Yes, spinach is safe for Aquatic turtles.

Can Musk turtles eat spinach?

Yes, a small amount of spinach is safe for musk turtles.

Can Painted turtles eat spinach?

Yes, painted turtles can eat spinach safely if they eat it moderately.

Can Box turtles eat spinach?

Yes, like other turtles, spinach is safe for box turtles. Though, spinach is not the best option for the presence of oxalate.

Do turtles eat spinach stems?

Yes, spinach stems are safe for turtles. You should chop them very well and must avoid the root.

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