Can Turtles Eat Grapes? Yes or No?

  • By: Reptilia Planet
  • Date: September 26, 2021
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Turtles can eat a wide range of different fruits. Yet, most pet owners are unsure or unaware that some fruits can be harmful to turtles, especially fruits that are very acidic or have seeds like certain types of grapes which brings us to the question can turtles eat grapes?

Yes, turtles do love to eat grapes, “But” because grapes are low in calcium it’s not a good idea to feed them this fruit on regular basics as it deprives them of the essential nutrients and minerals they need for a healthy balanced diet.

So feeding them grapes every now and then as a snack is fine. However, there are some other things you need to consider first, for example, we all know some grapes contain seeds, so does this mean you need to remove them? and what types of grapes can they eat?

All these questions will be answered in this article below…

Can Turtles Eat Red Grapes?

There are many different types of grapes to choose from, the most common are red, green, and black, that are packed with nutrients and antioxidants which are great for your overall health.

Red grapes are especially good and have a much sweeter taste than green or black grapes. So what happens if you have some red grapes leftover and you feel like feeding them to your turtle? can this be harmful to your pet reptile?

Feeding your turtle red grapes won’t necessarily be harmful to your reptile, but, because red grapes contain lots of water and are quite sweet feeding them too many over long periods of time can cause some issues.

These Issues Can Include The Following…

  • Gastric Distress
  • Calcium Deficiency
  • Weak Bones
  • Weight Loss

“But” the main reason why they shouldn’t eat too many grapes is they contain oxalates that bind calcium. You see! turtles need calcium as part of their diet and if they eat too many grapes they won’t absorb this calcium.

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself what are oxalates? Well, don’t worry all will be explained in this article.

So, feeding your turtle red grapes as a snack is completely fine just as long as they don’t contain any seeds. Your best option would be to feed them “seedless grapes” either that or your need to take the seeds out of each grape which can be very time-consuming.

Related Article

Can Turtles Eat Green Grapes?

So, like red grapes turtles can indeed eat green grapes which can be very healthy if fed in small batches. Whether it’s red, green, or black each color grapes has its nutritional value.

Red and black grapes are considered to be much sweeter than green grapes which can have a more sour and tangy taste. Not only that “but” Green grapes don’t have as much of an antioxidant value compared to their counterparts red and black grapes.

Now, this doesn’t mean they are not healthy for your turtle to eat of course they are, and even tho green grapes are slightly tangy this won’t stop your turtle from eating them when offered.

Green grapes like red do contain a large amount of manganese and if combined with calcium from other foods then this can be very beneficial towards their diet.

However, as before because grapes contain high amounts of water it’s not recommended that they eat green grapes every day or they will suffer from digestive issues over time.

When serving your turtle grapes it’s best to remove the vines just incase your turtles tries to eat them and because they are slightly brittle this is another thing that could cause some digestive issues.

Can Turtles Eat Black Grapes?

Now, it’s believed that the darker the shade of grapes the higher amount of resveratrol is present compared to green grapes. This resveratrol is primarily found in the skin of grapes which is great for making wine.

“But” how does black grapes benefit your turtle diet?

Well, not only are black grapes are a lot sweeter than green grapes “but” they are also packed with plenty of nutrients and antioxidants which again can benefit your turtle’s diet if fed correctly.

Black grapes are packed with vitamin C, K, and A along with minerals, which aids in boosting the immunity system. However, with that said, black grapes are also rich in sugar and “again” can cause some issues for your turtle’s digestion if they eat too many.

So feeding your turtle grapes whether they are black, red, or green is fine and they are packed with vitamins “but” because they contain oxalates that bind calcium too many can have a negative effect as mentioned above.

It’s also much healthier to feed your turtle grapes that are organic. Organic food is much better and is not sprayed with chemicals and pesticides that can be harmful to the turtle if the fruit is not washed properly.

Can Turtles Eat Grapes With Seeds?

No! turtles can not eat seeds and if they do this could make your pet reptiles seriously ill. The same goes for most reptile take the bearded dragon for example unfortunately they don’t have an iron-line digestive tract to dissolve the seeds.

Pet turtles have a similar digestive and because of this feeding them grapes or any fruits that contain seeds can cause some serious issues.

Not only that, but grapes seeds are very bitter and we’ve all eaten a grape seed by mistake every now and then and remember just how unpleasant the taste can be so you shouldn’t let your turtle experience the same unpleasant taste.

With that said, hopefully, this won’t be a problem for you, as most of us that tend to eat a lot of grapes prefer to buy the seedless grapes. If this is the case then you can feed then a handful of whole grapes no problem.

However, if they do contain seeds then you will have to remove them first before you feed them to your turtle, and as before, this can be time-consuming but it worth it just for the sack of your turtle’s health and digestion.

Do Grapes Contain Oxalates?

So, by now your still wondering what are oxalates right? Well, oxalates are naturally-occurring substances that are found in a variety of foods. including grapes, and they play an important role in the metabolism of animals and humans.

However, as mentioned at the start of this article oxalates can bind both calcium and iron, and the highest levels of oxalates can be found in vegetables, nuts, and legumes.

Take spinach, for example, now spinach is packed with nutrients “but” also contains high levels of oxalates and because of this only 5% of nutrients are actually absorbed.

So if your feeding your turtle a lot of food that’s high in oxalates, you may be thinking that your turtle is eating plenty of nutrients when in fact they are not.

This is why you need to mix up their diet and feed them other foods that do not have a high count of oxalates. Here are some foods listed before that are known to be high in oxalates.

Foods That Are High In Oxalates

  • Spinach
  • Rhubarb
  • Beet Greens
  • Cranberries
  • Oranges
  • Sweet potatoes

Nutritional Content Of Grapes

We all know how delicious and healthy grapes can be “but” how healthy are they exactly? You see, turtles require a variety of vitamins and minerals in their diet.

It’s very important turtles to get a balanced diet so they can stay healthy and if your feeding your turtle grapes and you’re concerned about the nutritional content in grapes then below is a table of the number of nutrients in grapes per cup that’s 151 grams.

One cup of red or green grapes contains the following nutrients

NutritionPer Cup
Vitamin K28%
Vitamin C27%
Vitamin B66%
Thiamine7%
Manganese5%
Potassium8%
Riboflavin6%
Copper10%
Calories104
Protein1.1 grams
Carbs27.3 grams
Fiber1.4 grams
Fat0.2 grams

So as you can see grapes are packed with plenty of nutrients that can benefit your turtle’s digestion but as mentioned many times only of you fed them the correct amounts.

Making sure you limited the number of grapes they eat is very important. The average box turtle should be fed grapes once or twice a month, not every day.

Although, when you fed them grapes they will enjoy eating them and will want to eat more “but” this is where you need some restraint. This is where you feed them other foods to help balance out their diet keeping your pet reptile fit and healthy.

A Balanced Diet

This is something we always mention in our articles this is because it’s very important no matter what reptile you have that they have a balanced diet. Turtles and other reptiles need a balanced diet of nutrients and minerals to stay healthy.

If you’ve been a reptile owner for many years now then you already know that feeding them just one type of fruit or vegetable is not enough. This is why they need a mixture of different fruits and vegetables to receive the correct nutrients they need.

As before, if your feeding them foods that are high in oxalates your pet reptile won’t be able to ingest these nutrients and over the long term, this can be harmful to your pet.

Box Turtles can eat a variety of foods that have a good amount of calcium to phosphorus ratios that are suitable for your reptile. You can include the following foods in their diet below.

Turtles Balanced Diet

VegetablesFruitsInsects
Chinese cabbageBlackberriesSnails
Dandelion greensRaspberriesBeetles
Dark leafy greensWatermelonCrickets
Mustard greensStrawberriesRed worms
Collard greensWatermelonCaterpillars
CucumbersHoneymelonMealworms
BroccoliGrapesWaxworms
ParsleyApplesEarthworms
KalePapayaGrasshoppers

Conclusion

So turtles can eat grapes however, they are high in oxalates which means grapes should only be fed to turtles as a snack and not their main meal. Feeding them grapes once or twice a month is fine but every day is not good for their health.

Making sure you remove the seeds is also very important. Remember most replies don’t have an iron-line digestive tract to dissolve the seeds which could cause problems later on.

Turtles will eat anything including the seeds no matter how bitter they can be if you can not remove the seeds from the fruit then you shouldn’t feed them grapes.

Apart from grapes there are plenty of other fruits turtles can eat that could be much tastier to the turtle than grapes. You should also feed them at least 3 or 4 different kinds of fruits as a snack so the turtle has different flavors to try.

Remember if you do feed them other fruit like apples you will need to remove the seeds first.