Grapes are generally considered to be a very healthy and wholesome food for humans but are they just as good for turtles? While many foods that are good for humans are also good for turtle not all are. In fact many foods that are suitable for people are absolute poison for a turtle. So can turtles eat grapes?
Turtles can eat grapes, but they should not eat them very often. Grapes are fairly high in sugar. While their sugar levels will generally not cause a problem for people, turtles are much smaller and weigh a lot less so a lower level of sugar will have an outsized affect on them. So while grapes are fine for turtles you need to have it be just an occasional treat and not a staple.
Turtles are highly opportunistic eaters. They get this from their behavior in the wild. Wild turtles never know when their next meal might come or how much food it might be. So they like to make a habit of just scarfing down any food they come across and find.
In their native habitats this serves them well as they are likely evolved to make good use of whatever kind of food they are surrounded by.
But in a domesticated setting like an indoor tank this can cause a problem. They will generally eat whatever their keeper provides them with. This includes foods that are poisonous for turtles such as pizza and dairy products. While also including those foods that are good for them such as kale and turtle pellets.
So it becomes the responsibility of their keeper to ensure their eating the right foods and in the right amounts.
Sugar in too large of doses can have very negative effects upon animals. While usually a little sugar is fine and may be helpful from time to time creatures like turtles can not handle it in large doses.
So if you decide to feed your turtle grapes make sure it only happens once a month or so.
Can Turtles Have Grape Juice?
While grapes can be good for turtles if fed in small bites as a rare treat. This opens up the question of what about grape juice. Is grape juice okay as well to give your turtle in small doses?
Turtles should never be given grape juice. Whenever you make a juice out of any kind of fruit you are concentrating that fruit and the properties of that fruit.
So while fruits have a certain amount of sugar in them based upon their various types. Their juice form always has far more sugar than that same fruit raw.
Just look in your local grocery store at the nutritional labels and you can easily see that the juice form often has many multiples of sugar as compared to its raw form.
Because you see it is the sugar really that makes grapes a food that turtles can only have in small doses. Turtles are small creatures and their blood cant handle too much sugar. If they get too much sugar than their blood sugar level could become too high and this could eventually lead to organ failure.
So even if you just give your turtle a small amount of grape juice your still giving them in a way a whole bunch of grapes. So please never give your turtle grape juice.
Other Fruits Like Grapes That Turtles Can Also Eat
There are also some other fruits that you can give your turtle to munch on as alternative to grapes.
Though its important to note that the same rules present with grapes as far as amount also still apply. All these other fruits also contain fairy large amounts of sugar as far as turtles are concerned so you must feed them very sparingly. Only give them as special treats and never as a constant staple.
- Grated carrot
- Apples cut into very small bites
All these fruits should be cut into small pieces for your turtle. No bigger than half the size of your turtles head. Turtles dont have any teeth so therefore their not big on chewing and tend to like swallowing things whole. So if you give them too large of a piece it could become a serious choking hazard.
Foods That Are Better Than Grapes to Give to Your Turtle
Many dark leafy green vegetables are loved by turtles. Fortunately they are also extremely healthy for them. These vegetables can not only be given to your lovely shelled companions as treats but can also serve as partial staples along with a good protein source.
So if you want to feed your turtle something special I would highly recommend you avoid the fruits and instead give some of these yummy greens instead.
- Water lettuce
- Mustard greens
- Dark red romaine lettuce
- Turnip greens
You also need to provide your turtle with some excellent sources of protein. In fact when your turtles are young they need a lot more protein than when their older. Most turtles are omnivorous, but when just starting in life they tend to be much more carnivorous.
This is because they are still growing so their bodies need lots of protein to fuel the growth of their shells and other tissues of their body. As they get older they will tend to begin to prefer more green veggies. Once their bodies have reached their full size and stopped growing.
Commercial turtle pellets will provide your turtle with all of their protein needs as well as many of the other nutrients that is necessary for their health. If you are willing to put in some extra work you can also provide your turtle with feeder fish or some tasty insects.
Before You Give Them Grapes Make Sure Your Turtle Has Plenty of Calcium
Calcium is essential for the health of a turtles shell and skeletal systems. Without enough calcium a turtle shell can become badly malformed, trapping parts of their body while not providing enough protection to other parts.
This turns a turtles wonderful home on their back into a prison. So as turtle keepers we must always be on the safe side kinda like our small charges and make sure they get plenty of calcium.
There are several ways you can supplement your turtle with enough calcium. One way is to give them a white chalky substance called cuttlebone. Before you put the cuttlebone into their tank make sure to cut off the hard backing as it can be a terrible choking hazard for a turtle.
They will then nibble on the cuttle bone throughout the day as needed.
Another easy method of giving your turtle calcium is to give them some dissolvable calcium water tablets. These calcium tablets can simply be put into the turtles water and will slowly get dissolved. As they dissolved into the water, the turtle when they go swimming will absorb the dissolved calcium from the water through their skin.
Whichever way you prefer try to be extra careful that your shelled friend gets enough calcium.
Turtles can eat grapes as well as many other types of fruit. But turtles should not have too much sugar so feeding them grapes to regularly can easily lead to health problems. Also too large of bites could cause your turtle to choke as they have no teeth for chewing.
To solve these problems cut any grapes you give them into bites no larger than half the size of their head and feed it to them only as a special treat maybe like once a month.
There are many treats that you can give your turtle however that they would like just as much but that are much healthier for them. Any dark leafy green such as kale or dark red romaine lettuce are extremely healthy for your turtle and will also serve as an awesome treat that will brighten up their day.