As humans we are lucky enough to have a huge variety of foods which are available to us all year round. We’re also lucky enough that we can easily take a short trip to the shop to buy these foods, and don’t have to spend the time foraging for them. Turtles on the other hand are much more reliant on their surroundings, and for that reason usually have a particular diet which doesn’t vary too often. Have you ever wondered what other foods are safe for a turtle to eat. Can turtles eat grapes for example. Or maybe even bananas, tomatoes, strawberries, the list goes on.
Through this article we will delve into some of the foods we take for granted, and list the ones which we feel are best turtles. So let’s crack on.
Can turtles eat grapes, really?
When it comes to turtles diets, owners don’t really know what they can and can’t feed their turtle. Usually owners will just stick to pellets and aquatic plantations, which would get pretty boring after a while. So surely there are other food options to explore to vary meals every so often.
Well, you’d be correct. There are many healthy alternative foods for turtles which you may never ave thought about before. Turtles can actually enjoy fruit and vegetables as an accessional treat a couple of time a week. I know what you’re thinking, “hurry up already, can turtles eat grapes”, well look no further because the answer is YES.
Some turtle species can eat grapes as an occasional treat every once in a while, and absolutely love them. Like any foods, where are pro’s and con’s to each, so you’ll have to be able to balance these foods. Grapes (like many other fruits) are notoriously high in natural sugars. Whilst this isn’t a bad factor in fruits, too much can cause various issues.
I would suggest only giving each turtle 2 grapes a week amongst their usually diet.
The Calcium-Phosphorus Ration
If you have never heard of the Calcium-Phosphorus Ratio before I would suggest you take a look into its philosophy. In simple terms a turtles optimal ratio for healthy Calcium-Phosphorus ranges between 1:1 to 2:1. This means your turtle should have a diet which consists of equal part amounts of Calcium to Phosphorus, or up to 2 time the amount of Calcium to Phosphorus. Any imbalance in this ratio can cause health issues from digestion problems to bone development.
This is no different for the human species either. We may have some health problems arise if we have insufficient or over optimal amounts of vitamins and minerals in our bodies.
Too much sugar is worse for turtles than none at all. Too much natural sugars from fruit are very acidic and could create unnecessary imbalances if offered too much. Acidic fruit can cause constipation and diarrhoea, which will be unpleasant for both you and your turtle.
Healthiness of Grapes
As far as we know, turtles only need two certain vitamins. These are vitamin A and vitamin D. Although grapes contain not vitamin D, they do however hold high levels of vitamin A which is essential for turtles health and overall wellbeing.
Vitamin A contributes to maintaining healthy vision and eyesight, Body growth, Reproductive health and plays a key role in strengthening their immune system. No one of these factors are more important than the other, so keeping this information in and when planning meals will help you to create the healthiest diet possible.
If anything, grapes will create a new flavour to a turtles usually bland diet of pellets and aquatic plants. Keeping your turtles diet staple, but varied can be difficult, so spend a bit of time researching what works best for you and your turtles. Each individual may have different preferences to certain foods. Treats like this will keep feeding time fun for your turtle and in turn will stimulate their taste, making for a happy reptile.
So can grapes ever be harmful to turtles?
Yes, like any foods, if you feed them too much too often then grapes can be harmful to your turtle. However, if fed in moderation they should be absolutely fine and actually enjoy the treat. Just make sure you know exactly how much you are giving them each time as you don’t want to over do it.
Other Alternative Foods For Turtles
Fruits have forever been misunderstood foods for turtles. Many people believe that fruit and vegetables are safe and healthy for all living species, however this isn’t the case. Usually reptiles have to eat fruits in moderation otherwise the sugars and acidity play havoc on their digestive system.
Too many fruits may bloat a turtle and will almost definitely cause painful constipation and diarrhoea. If you do chose to feed your turtle any of these foods, please do so in moderations and be sure to monitor their daily intake through meal planning.
Let’s have a look at few other foods which may or may not be good for turtle consumption.
Can turtles eat bananas?
Yes turtles can eat bananas, but again only in moderation. Bananas may cause bloating for turtles if they eat too much. Not many people know this, but bloating can cause short term problems as they may temporarily have trouble diving down when swimming. Turtles spend the majority of their time underwater so I would recommend only offering bananas once a week at the most.
Bananas are however full of antioxidants and high in fibre, which is great for a turtle. They’re also very easy to eat, being nice and soft. This eradicates the change of choking or bad digestion. Roughly, fruit and vegetables should only make up between 5%-10% of a turtles diet each week. Any more than this and you could be causing more damage than good.
Can turtles eat tomatoes?
Tomatoes are a great alternative for your turtle if you’re struggling to find new foods to give them. Turtles will rarely turn down a tomato. Every individual has their likes and disliked, however most of the time they will eat tomatoes if offered.
Tomatoes should only be offered one a week to a turtle. Again these are high in sugars and acidity, so could lead to diarrhoea if offered too often. When a turtle has diarrhoea their stomachs become a vulnerable environment for parasites.
Can turtles eat bread?
Bread should NEVER be incorporated into a turtles diet. Turtles cannot easily digest bread products, nor can they for any dairy products. Turtles actually lack the ability to be able to break down the yeast in their stomachs. Because of this turtles will have a huge struggle trying to pass the bread as waste.
Bread holds no nutritional value for a turtle and feeding it to them will only lead to future health problems. Deformities can arise in their shells as they won’t be getting the correct vitamins and minerals needed to keep it healthy.
Bread is highly dangerous to turtles simply because of the choking factor it carries. Turtles don’t have teeth and will find swallowing bred extremely hard, specially if it hasn’t been soaked in water. Even leaving some out on your grass for other animals to feed on can sometimes be tempting for a turtles, so it’s best not to do this either.
Can turtles eat lettuce?
Being omnivores turtles will love lettuce. They will feed on pretty much any plantation and lettuce is no acceptation. Plantations are a fair sizeable percentage of a turtles diet, so you can offer lettuce to your turtle every day iff you like. It will do no harm to offer lettuce to your turtle on a daily basis. That said, your turtle may not eat it every day, but it’s good to have it available just incase.
Commonly young or juvenile turtles won’t eat a large amount of plantations, however their tastebuds change as they mature. Adult turtles will commonly eat vegetables and plantations which make up rough 15% of their diet.
Can turtles eat strawberries?
Strawberries can be a fantastic treat for your turtle, and usually they absolutely love them. So much that you’ll have to monitor the quantity they eat. Strawberries to a turtle are like candy. Unlike most fruits, strawberries are fairly low in acidity, however they are full of natural sugars which makes them sweet.
This treat may well put a spring back into your turtles step, however you should be cautious not to feed them too many in conjunction with other fruits. Keep strawberry consumption to a minimum, preferably only once a week, and less if you have offered them other fruits in the previous days.
Well that’s wrap, everything you need to know in relation to the question “can turtles eat grapes”.
Can a turtle eat grapes? Yes, but only in small amounts. this goes for all fruits as commonly fruits a high in natural sugars and can be highly acidic. We’d recommend to only feed fruit to a turtle twice a week maximum, and change the fruit which is offered also.
If you feel your turtle has eaten too much of a certain fruit, or has eaten something that you think they shouldn’t have, then please visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. they will be able to talk you through all the correct procedures you’ll need to take to regain your turtles healthiness.
Other Related Articles You Might Like…
How Long Have Leatherback Sea Turtles Roamed Our Planet?
Can Red Eared Sliders Breathe Underwater?
How Many Eggs Do Sea Turtles Lay?
What Do Green Sea Turtles Eat?