Most people consider turtles to be too small and inconsequential to be a pet. Only those who own turtles know how far from the truth that is. Turtles are believed to be the symbol of luck in many ancient cultures. Even though they mostly keep to themselves and are content with whatever attention you give them, if you care for them, they will be affectionate towards you, too.
When it comes to the diet of turtles, most of the pet owners have no clue what to feed them except store-bought feed. But surely turtles can enjoy certain fruits and vegetables as an occasional treat? What about grapes? Turtle owners often wonder whether or not grapes are healthy for turtles.
Can turtles eat grapes? The short answer to this is: yes, they can. Some of the turtle breeds even love these fruits. However, like many other fruits, grapes have an unbalanced calcium-phosphorus ratio, which can be unhealthy for turtles in the long run. Moreover, too much sugar is not ideal for turtles either. Therefore, it is best to feed your turtle grapes in moderation.
What about baby turtles? Can they eat grapes? And are grape juice or grape jam safe for turtles to consume? If you are looking for an answer to all these questions, you have reached the right place. In this article, you will find out everything you need to know about feeding turtles grapes.
Are grapes healthy for turtles?
How does any food become healthy? If it contains nutrients that enrich the consumer’s diet in any way, it is healthy food for them. Let us take a look at the nutritional value of grapes.
|Vitamin A||66 IU|
|Thiamine (Vitamin B1)||0.1 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||0.1 mg|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||0.2 mg|
|Choline (Vitamin B4)||5.7 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin C||10.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin K||14.5 mcg|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now let’s discuss which of these nutrients are healthy for turtles.
As far as vitamins are concerned, turtles only need two of them: vitamins A and D. While grapes do not contain vitamin D, it is rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining their eyesight, epithelial tissues, reproductive health, and body growth. It also strengthens their immune system.
A lack of vitamin A can lead to several health problems in turtles.
- Ear and aural abscesses
- Vision problems
- Hypervitaminosis A
- Squamous metaplasia
To maintain their bone and shell health, turtles need calcium and phosphorous. Fortunately, grapes contain both of these minerals.
Due to the presence of these vitamins and minerals in grapes, these fruits can be considered healthy for your shelled pet.
Can grapes be harmful to turtles?
As long as you feed grapes to your turtle in moderation, it will not harm their health in any way. However, the problem arises when you get careless with the quantity you are feeding them. Let’s figure out how and why.
Incorrect calcium-phosphorus ratio
Although grapes contain both these minerals, the ratio between the two is not well-suited for turtles. Turtles need the calcium-phosphorus ratio to be 2:1, where the quantity of calcium is twice as much as phosphorus.
In grapes, the ratio is quite the opposite of it. For instance, in 100 grams of grapes, there is 10 mg of calcium and 20 mg phosphorus, making the ratio 1:2. The improper amount of calcium can cause bone diseases in turtles.
The bacteria in a turtle’s stomach can only digest a small amount of sugar. Excessive sugar consumption can destroy these bacteria leading to digestive problems and potentially fatal poisoning in them.
Grapes are rich in sugar; 100 grams of grapes contain about 15 grams of sugar, which is too much for your little pet. Therefore, it is best if you feed your turtle grapes once in a week as a snack.
Grapes and different turtle species
The first step towards being an ideal pet parent to a turtle and understanding its dietary needs is to know which species of turtle you own. Let’s see which of these species can eat grapes.
Can box turtle eat grapes?
Similar to tortoises in appearance and terrestrial habits, box turtles are native to North America. Box turtles are omnivores in nature and eat anything they can. 10% of their diet can contain fresh fruits, including grapes.
Can red-eared slider turtle eat grapes?
Also known as red-eared terrapin, the red-eared slider turtles are a semi-aquatic turtle species who are the most popular pet turtles in the world. Red-eared slider turtles not only eat grapes but do so lovingly. Grapes make a delicious snack for these turtles when fed in moderation.
Can aquatic turtles eat grapes?
Aquatic turtles don’t make the best pets. However, if you already have one and want to feed it grapes, go ahead. They can eat grapes as long as you are careful about moderation.
Can yellow-bellied turtles eat grapes?
The yellow-bellied turtles are land and water turtle species native to America. These turtles are omnivores and feed both on insects as well as aquatic plants. If you’re wondering about feeding grapes to yellow-bellied turtles, you can. Grapes are safe for them to consume as long as you feed them these in moderation.
Can baby turtles eat grapes?
The diet of baby turtles is not much different from that of an adult turtle. So, if adult turtles can eat grapes, so can their younger ones. As we’ve been saying time and again, you just need to be careful about the quantity that you feed them.
Can turtles eat red grapes?
Red grapes have more nutrients than their green siblings and contain no toxins for turtles. There’s just one problem with these grapes: they contain seeds. Therefore, you need to remove their seeds before feeding them these treats.
Can turtles eat purple grapes?
Unlike red grapes, purple grapes are another seedless variety of grapes and are completely healthy for turtles to consume if fed in moderation.
How to best feed grapes to turtles?
Grapes generally do not have seeds or hard, outer skin. They’re also small in size. Therefore, you don’t need to chop or peel them before serving them your turtles. However, many pet parents have a habit of peeling of the transparent skin of grapes in order to make it easier for their turtles to eat it. Truth be told, the skin of grapes poses no threat to turtles whatsoever. However, if you want to peel them off, you can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can turtles live without sunlight?
There’s no saying what would happen to a turtle if it is deprived of sunlight. It will most certainly survive, but it will not be healthy. Turtles depend on sunlight for a major portion of their vitamin D3 requirement. They bask in the sunlight. Therefore, even if you are feeding them vitamin D3 supplements, you should give them at least an hour in sunlight every day.
Are turtles dangerous for my kids?
Not really. Turtles sometimes carry diseases such as salmonella, which can easily be transmitted into children if not handled carefully. To tackle this possibility, you should always wash your hands thoroughly after touching them.
Can you keep more than one turtles in the same tank?
Several turtles can live in the same tank as long as they are young. However, as they grow older, they tend to pester each other and must be provided with separate tanks.
Which water plants are good for a turtle’s tank?
If you want to decorate your turtle’s tank with plants, these are the plants you should go with:
- Water hyacinth
- Water lettuce
Summing it up
To sum it up, grapes are safe and even healthy snacks for all the different turtle species when fed in moderation. They don’t need much work, either; you can feed your turtle grapes as they are. All you need to pay attention to is moderation.