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Can Tortoises Eat Grapes and Raisins? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

While you might not think it’s that important what fruits are in your tortoise’s diet, the truth is that they can’t eat everything. While grapes and raisins are perfectly fine for them to eat in moderation, there are other fruits that you should avoid.

We break down everything you need to know to give your tortoise a well-balanced diet and keep them happy and healthy.

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Can Tortoises Eat Grapes or Raisins?

In short, there’s nothing wrong with feeding the occasional grape to a fruit-eating tortoise. However, you need to moderate how many grapes or raisins that you feed your tortoise, as these aren’t natural foods that they can find in the wild.

Keep in mind while fruit-eating tortoises, like the Russian tortoise, can eat grapes, Mediterranean turtles cannot eat fruit.

What Fruits Should You Not Give Your Tortoise?

While most fruit is fine for tortoises, you need to avoid any citrus-based fruits. The citric acid in these fruits can upset the gut flora of tortoises and lead to all kinds of digestive problems.

Outside of citric fruits, you need to be careful about how much fruit you give them, as too much sugar can lead to similar problems. This is the case with raisins, bananas, apples, and other fruits high in sugar.

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What Is an Ideal Tortoise Diet?

While each tortoise’s diet is a little bit different, most tortoises need plenty of fresh vegetables like kale, dandelions, collard greens, bell peppers, and cauliflower. These foods should make up about 80% of their diet.

Fruits like grapes should make up about 10% of their diet, and the remaining percent should be a commercial turtle food. You should feed your turtles grapes and vegetables about once a day and give them access to commercial turtle food at all times.

Best Tortoise Treats

The best treats for your pet tortoise are fruit. They love kiwis, berries, melons, bananas, and other fruits. Not only will your tortoise love these treats, but they are also healthy options for as long as you feed them to your pet in moderation.

What Are Other Popular Treats for Your Tortoise?

Fruits are ideal treats for your tortoise. While you can feed them grapes, other great options include bananas, strawberries, apples, and pears.

It’s best to mix up the fruit that you give them so they can get different nutrients. You should still ensure that it doesn’t make up more than 10% of their diet. Too many fruits can give your tortoise too much sugar, which can negatively impact their gut health.

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What Foods Should You Avoid Feeding Your Tortoise?

Tortoise eating veggies
Image Credit: ivabalk, Pixabay

While you might think that you can feed your tortoise any vegetables, fruits, or the occasional treat, the truth is that tortoises shouldn’t eat a wide array of foods. We highlighted a few of the most common problem foods here.

Frozen Vegetables

When you feed your tortoise frozen vegetables, you’re not just freezing the flavor out of their food, you’re also freezing out the nutrients. Making matters even worse is the fact that your tortoise will feel full, but they won’t have the nutrients that they need to stay healthy.

This means your tortoise will suffer from other physical ailments and get sick. If your tortoise isn’t eating fresh produce, they’re not getting the nutrients that they need.

Canned Vegetables

Your tortoise needs fresh produce. While canned vegetables have the necessary nutrients, they also have tons of sodium that your tortoise can’t handle.

We completely understand that keeping fresh produce on hand is more work, but it’s what your tortoise needs to stay happy and healthy.

Dairy Products

Like many animals, tortoises are lactose intolerant. This means they can’t process dairy, so if you give them any dairy products, they will get sick. If you continuously give them dairy, it can be fatal, although even a little dairy will make your tortoise extremely uncomfortable.

Celery

While celery won’t kill your tortoises, it’s a poor choice of vegetable to give them. Celery provides your tortoise with little energy and too much sodium. Furthermore, celery seeds can be a diuretic. It’s a lose-lose-lose for tortoises, so choose a better food for them.

Bread

The problem with bread is everything that people put in it. Bread has preservatives that can harm your tortoise. Even worse, bread can cause your tortoise to grow too fast for their shell, and this can kill your tortoise.

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Final Thoughts

While you don’t want to overload your tortoise with too many fruits, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional grape or raisin. Just be sure not to overdo it because too many grapes can lead to digestive problems.

When you’re trying to decide what fruits to give your tortoise, mix it up as much as possible to give them more variety and nutrients.

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Featured Image Credit: IanRedding, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.