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Arugula is a fragrant leafy vegetable that can add the needed variety to otherwise bland food for your pet. However, can tortoises eat arugula (garden rocket)?
Nutritious and delicious, arugula is a treat you might consider sharing with your pet. Can turtles eat arugula? Read on to find the answer. This article will discuss everything any pet owner needs to know about garden rockets and whether or not they should offer them to their tortoise.
We will interchangeably use the names garden rockets and arugula – They are different names for the same vegetable.
Can tortoise eat arugula? What is it?
Garden Rocket or arugula is a nutritious leafy green vegetable usually found in salad mixes at the store and malls. The plant is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, like cauliflower and kale. It is known to have a unique bitter taste to it.
This plant contains many healthy vitamins that can help improve the health of anyone who consumes it. It is safe for human consumption, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons why you often see them in bags of salad mixes in stores and around restaurants.
Suppose you are the type of pet owner that likes to grow your own vegetables. In that case, you’ll be happy to know that this arugula plant can tolerate dry and hot conditions alike, so it can even grow in harsher conditions different from its original habitat.
Now to answer the question, can tortoises eat arugula?
The answer, of course, is that tortoises can eat garden rockets, too; make sure you don’t overfeed it!
Tortoise can eat garden rocket, but only in moderation. When consumed in excess, garden rocket (also known as arugula or arugula) can increase the risk of kidney stones and bladder stones because it contains thyroid hormones.
Every tortoise needs a proper diet so that it can absorb all the necessary vitamins and nutrients that will help it stay healthy. Also, because we love our tortoises so much, we want to make sure they receive a delicious and healthy diet.
Most likely, you are currently trying to come up with ways to make your tortoise’s food more appealing with some added variety by adding some garden rocket or arugula to it. So the question should be, can (and should) tortoises eat arugula or garden rockets?
While the garden rocket is a very readily available product, you may not know how safe the leaf is nor how much you should offer your pet if it is safe.
Can you offer garden rockets to tortoises?
As mentioned earlier, yes, you can safely offer your tortoise some garden rocket because, as we’ve observed, it is very healthy, and the reptile can get some essential vitamins from it. So, let’s consider some of the benefits – this plant contains many essential vitamins and nutrients such as
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Many of these vitamins and essential minerals are necessary for the growth of tortoises and their long-term health. In addition, they improve biological processes and keep your pet in top condition.
Can tortoises eat arugula? Are they safe?
As you can see, the Garden Rocket can be a rich source of vitamins and minerals. However, bear in mind that not everything it contains is beneficial for your pet. The plant is non-toxic, but it is a brassica and therefore contains goitrogens.
Goitrogens are chemicals that can interfere with hormone production, leading to potential health problems. In the case of the tortoise, goitrogen, if ingested in excess, can cause the formation of kidneys and bladder stones.
Not to mention that one should never consume too much arugula in combination with other goitrogen-rich plants such as kale or spinach, etc. Ideally, you should only include one goitrogen-rich plant per meal. In this way, the ingestion of goitrogen will not exceed the recommended safe levels.
In a nutshell, you can feed your tortoise some garden rocket if that’s your preference, but never overdo it and do not feed it with other Brassica plants.
How much garden rocket is too much?
There can be many questions about arugula and its addition to a tortoise’s diet. So far, our research found out that arugula is not toxic to tortoises, though you should observe some level of moderation during feeding. However, how do you know the recommended amount? Can you give it every day? How many leaves can you provide in one meal?
Well, terrapins need as varied a diet as possible. Feeding them lots of leafy greens is essential, and sometimes they can eat fruits and vegetables. Your goal should be not to feed your tortoise the same thing every day. While it’s best to ensure your pet is getting the right nutrients from fresh vegetables and greens, you should always change things around.
The theory here is that you can reduce the risk of your turtle overeating a particular food item or ingredient by changing things up frequently. It’s the old saying of “everything in moderation.”
So, this applies to garden rockets as well. While it’s okay to feed some at a meal, you should feed it again a few days later. It’s not necessarily unsafe to give garden rocket leaves once a day, but it’s always better to change things around, and it also teaches the turtle to enjoy a variety of foods rather than a few.
Most importantly, it should only offer a tiny amount when you offer garden rockets, so a few leaves of arugula should be fine. Obviously, you will need to mix it with other non-goitrogenic vegetables in the same meal.
How important is hydration when feeding garden rockets?
Hydration is undoubted an integral part of a healthy tortoise, and drinking enough water will ensure that the reptile stays hydrated at all times. Now, arugula is a plant that is made up of 90% water. Nonetheless, it would be best if the pet owner still exposed their reptile to freshwater before, during, and after meals. In addition to this, it should also be soaked regularly.
Given that we know that garden rockets may increase the risk of kidney stones, it is best to make sure that your pet drinks as much water as needed. This way, the urine will remain diluted and hopefully prevent any harmful compounds through regular flushing.
Can tortoises eat arugula – Concluding takeaway
Garden rocket can be part of a turtle’s diet as long as you make sure it is offered in small amounts. When offered in large quantities, it can increase the risk of bladder and kidney stones which can be very painful and possibly, life-threatening to your turtle/tortoise.
Mix garden rockets or arugula with other vegetables and safe ingredients to provide your turtle with essential nutrients. As a result, not only will you ensure proper nutritional intake, but you will also prevent your turtle from becoming fussy and developing kidney stones.
We hope that this article provided you with more knowledge about arugula and has answered your questions about feeding your pet tortoise with it. Now go ahead prepare some delicious leafy meals for your lovely pet!
Now tell us, What did you have in mind before reading this post? Can tortoises eat arugula or garden rockets? Tell