Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Apples? Feeding Tips

  • By: Reptilia Planet
  • Time to read: 8 min.

The red-eared sliders are freshwater turtle that is native to the southeastern United States. They are a popular choice for pet owners because they are relatively easy to care for.

However, one question that pet owners tend to ask is can red eared sliders eat apples?

Yes! red eared sliders can eat apples as a “snack” but not every day. Although apples are a rich source of fiber they are also acidic which can be bad if they consume too much.

Fruits that are too acidic or too sweet can be harmful to your turtle and cause problems if fed for long periods of time. When feeding your turtle apples you need to consider the acidic level and as before, fruits that are too acidic can be harmful to reptiles.

However, if you really want to feed them apples “but” are worry about your turtle’s health then you should really look at the type of apples you are feeding them.

Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Apple Seeds?

Most turtles including red-eared sliders are omnivores which basically means they can eat a mixture of vegetation, fruit, and animal-based foods. However, there are certain foods that turtles should stay away from and avoid this includes apple seeds.

Unfortunately, red-eared sliders don’t have the enzymes required to break down certain food’s seeds or high acid or sugar content, because of this, you will need to remove the seeds first.

If you have apples that are very acidic then you shouldn’t feed them to your turtle. Although eating a small amount won’t harm them, over the long run this could cause problems.

As we know, there are different types of apples to choose from, some are sweet and others have a more sour taste. Take the red apples, for example, these are a better choice to feed to your pet turtle as these apples are much sweeter and not as acidic.

“But” even with these types of apples you still need you limit their supple to avoid any issues mentioned above. Even sweeter food can cause problems for their digestion.

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Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Apple Peels?

There are many people that prefer to remove the Apple Peels, however, did you know that the peels are more nutritious? that right! and feeding them to your turtle can be a benefit to their diet.

Whether the apples are red or green they are both packed with high amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, you could even feed your turtle the skins on their own.

This is great if your someone who doesn’t like the skins “just feeds them to your pet turtle”. Apples with skins contain 4.4 grams of fiber “But” without the skin, you’re only getting around 2.1 grams.

When feeding them apple peels it’s always best to wash them first. The reason for this is, apples are usually sprayed with chemicals and pesticides that can be harmful to your turtle’s digestion.

If your someone who prefers eating organic apples then great you don’t need to worry about this “because organic food is grown naturally” Yet, you should still give them a wash first just to remove any dirt.

Can Red Eared Sliders Eat Cooking Apples?

Cooking apples are much larger than the average apple and as we know they are very sour, however, they are great for making a variety of desserts, sauces, and pies “but” because these apples are very acidic is it safe to feed to your pet turtle?

Although the average apple is safe for turtles to eat, apples that are too acidic “like cooking apples” can do more harm than good.

You see! Citrus Fruits like lemons, oranges, limes contain high amounts of citric acids which can cause stomach issues resulting in vomiting or diarrhea.

Feeding them acidity fruits is just too much for their digestive system for us humans ingesting too much acidic fruit can cause a flare-up in acid “but” for our beloved reptile their stomach can’t handle this type of fruit and as a result, could die.

The same goes for the skins, Although the peels are less acidic cooking apple skins are usually too rough and bruised for the turtle to eat.

So your turtle should really avoid eating cooking apples as there no benefit in feeding it to them. Your best option would be to feed them red apples which are less acidic and more sweeter.

How Often Should Red Eared Sliders Eat Apples? 

Apples should only be fed to your turtle as a snack and not as a main meal. As good as apples can be too many over the long run can cause problems with their digestion.

Typically you should feed them apples twice a month mixed in with other foods that are part of your turtle’s diet. Never just feed them apples on their own you should always mix their food so they have what’s called a balanced diet.

As mentioned, turtles require a mixture of fruit vegetables and insects, and depending on how old your turtle is and what species you have some require more insects especially their young.

Baby turtles actually need more proteins to help with their development and if you feed them too many fruits or “apples” this can cause things like abnormal shell growth due to calcium deficiency.

If you’re new to caring for a turtle and you’re not sure about their diet you should contact your local pet shop where they can advise you on what to feed them.

You also need to avoid foods that have high amounts of oxalates. The thing with oxalates is they stop your reptile from absorbing calcium.

Foods that contain high amounts of oxalates are ok to feed to slider but only if they are fed in small quantities and as part of a varied diet!

This is important because when you feed them too much of this food you may think that your turtle is absorbing more nutrients right? when in fact there not.

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Some people may wonder about what other fruits can their Red Eared Sliders will eat. A lot of owners ask if they should feed them apples which we have just talked about but what about other fruits?

As before, red-eared turtles can eat a variety of fruits and not just apples, however, if your a complete beginner below is a table of fruits that are safe for them to eat.

Just remember when feeding your reptile any of these fruits make sure you mix them up with other vegetables and insect food so they have a balanced diet.

BananasFiber, potassium, vitamin B6, C
PeachesProvides vitamin A and vitamin C
MangosVitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B5
TomatoesProtein, Fiber, Vitamin C, Folate
PearsVitamin K, Carbs, Protein, Fiber
RaisinsPotassium, Vitamin B6, Iron
MelonsVitamin C, vitamin A, potassium
GuavaRich in antioxidants and fiber

Fruits They Should Avoid

So maybe you’ve had your pet turtle for a number of years now? or maybe you are just a beginner searching for this very answer? The bottom line is your still unsure of the fruits that you should avoid feeding to your reptile.

Well, the good news is we have done the research for you and listed all the fruits your turtle should avoid.

If they do eat any of these fruits which are very high in citrus can cause your reptile to experience serious digestive issues that could lead to much worse.

Fruits To Avoid

  • Grapefruit
  • Oroblanco
  • Mandarins
  • Tangerines
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Dairy products are also not good for turtles and contain lactose and other substances that can irritate the turtle’s digestive system. This is because turtles lack an enzyme called lactase, which helps break down the lactose in milk.
  • Sweets If you have a pet turtle, you should know that turtles are not allowed to eat sweets. If they do this, it can cause health problems such as tooth decay and obesity.
  • Salty foods you should also avoid feeding your slider Salty foods as this can be dangerous for a turtle because their bodies cannot regulate the salt intake as humans do.

Making sure you provide your pet red-eared slider with a healthy balanced diet is very important. Did you know that one of the most commonly encountered illnesses in reptiles is due to calcium deficiency?

Therefore, Feeding them the correct fruits and vegetables or even the use of calcium supplements that are high in calcium if necessary is also important.

Balanced Diet

Every pet owner wants to provide the best diet for their furry friend. Red Eared Sliders are no exception!

Understanding what is needed and feeding your slider appropriately will make a huge difference in how long they live, how healthy they are, and how much fun you have with them!

Red-eared slider turtles eat a variety of foods in the wild and although we can’t replicate these foods exactly we can provide them with similar options.

Now, there are some people who choose to feed adult turtles once every three days while others prefer feeding them smaller meals and feed them on a daily basis.

Which routine you choose is your decision “But” remember adult red-eared sliders are quite herbivorous so if your turtle seems to be hungry all the time, try feeding them more leafy greens and plant material this way they won’t become obese which is not healthy for your reptile.

  • Kale
  • Krill
  • Frogs
  • Snails
  • Worms
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Crickets
  • Shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Feeder fish
  • Green beans
  • Water lettuce
  • Collard greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Dandelion greens

Feeding Tips

Every owner of a Red Ear Slider knows that keeping these turtles healthy is not an easy task. They are picky eaters and it can be difficult as they have specific dietary needs.

Red Ear Sliders are one type of turtle that has certain dietary requirements in order for it to live a long life and grow properly.

It can be tough to feed your Red Ear Slider, especially if you are new to caring for turtles and feeding a turtle requires consistency and patience.

It is important to know the proper diet of your slider so that you do not accidentally harm them with improper food or give them too much food which may cause health problems.


There are a lot of things to consider when feeding your turtle, and what they eat is very important for their health and Unfrotantly Red Eared Sliders can’t eat apples.

But you may be wondering if that’s true for all reptiles? Each reptile has different nutritional needs depending on their age or species so it’s important to research the best foods for them before deciding anything about putting an apple in their dish.

If you’re worried about feeding your turtle apples then you should avoid serving them altogether. Instead, try feeding them one of the fruits listed in the table above.

“But” again you should always feed them small amounts and never just a single piece of fruit make sure they eat a mixture of different fruits veg and insects.

If you don’t have any pet shops near to where you live you can buy food reptile food online. One store we recommend is there you will find a wide range of pet food for your reptile.

If your turtle is very young you should feed them things like romaine lettuce and cabbage and crickets so they get that boost in proteins this will help with their development.