Although it’s not the most common lettuce to feed to tortoises, you can safely include spinach in your Russian tortoise’s diet. This green leafy veggie can be found in small amounts as part of a varied diet, and your pet will certainly benefit from it. In fact, it’s considered a “super food” by many, and there are a number of health benefits that make it an excellent addition to any tortoise’s diet.
There is some misunderstanding about how much spinach a tortoise should eat. Generally speaking, spinach contains a high amount of calcium, but it also contains a high amount of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid blocks the absorption of calcium and contributes to the formation of kidney stones in tortoises. Moreover, spinach contains a high amount of calcium oxalate, which causes kidney stones.
As a general rule, fresh vegetables should make up 80% of the diet of a pet tortoise. Spinach is one of those vegetables. Although it’s not a staple of a tortoise’s diet, it’s an excellent source of iron and is very popular with vegans and vegetarians. But many people wonder: Can a russian tortoise eat spinach? In general, yes. However, it should be done in moderation. Spinach contains high levels of oxalic acid, which prevents calcium absorption and can cause dietary disorders.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. In general, it’s best to stick to fresh vegetables as their primary source of nutrition. However, some fruits and vegetables are not suitable for tortoises. Moreover, meat products should be avoided because they can lead to a number of detrimental effects. A meat-based diet can cause excessive growth in juveniles and can lead to kidney and metabolic bone disease. Additionally, meat-based diets have a tendency to cause severe shell disorders.
Spinach leaves are an excellent source of iron and calcium for tortoises, but their intake should be limited to a small amount. If you want your tortoise to gain health benefits from spinach, you should choose low-oxalate vegetables for their diet. Additionally, spinach contains a compound that inhibits calcium absorption. These foods are best suited for occasional feeding.
As a part of the diet, Russian tortoises require calcium supplementation. Calcium supplements come in powder form, which is a great source of calcium. Choose a calcium supplement without phosphorous or vitamin D3. This supplement should be sprinkled on their food as a snack once a day for young tortoises and two to three times a week for adults. This will prevent them from losing too much weight.
Although Russian tortoises do eat plants in their natural habitat, their diets should be varied as well. While they are known for their fondness for spinach, you must be certain that you can offer your tortoise the same variety. If you can’t find a plant that your tortoise will eat, seek professional advice. In addition to a balanced diet, your pet should also be provided with plenty of fresh water.