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We generally love to feast on grapes when it comes to us humans. They are delicious and, at the same time, nutritious and healthy.
When it comes to turtles or tortoises, these animals aren't picky eaters and tend to eat anything, and everything given to them but are grapes safe for them? A turtle's diet contains a variety of foods ranging from leafy greens to some animal products.
Many pet owners these days adopt a turtle even though a large section of society has a tough time comprehending how could a potentially wild animal be kept as a pet. In ancient cultures, turtles have been held in high regard and represent good luck and fortune. Turtles are usually shy animals who prefer to stay aloof and keep within themselves; they can show you affection if you take care of them, meaning you should also take into consideration the food you are feeding them. It is said that in a turtle's diet, the fruits given to them as food should only comprise a small section of their diet, but it has been seen that many pet turtles take a liking to fruits such as strawberries, watermelon, and grapes, which leads to the question are these fruits safe for them? Scroll down to find if turtles should eat grapes.
Usually, pet owners adopt small-sized baby turtles from the pet shop and often tend to be confused and worried regarding their diet about what they can feed them. Whether baby turtles can eat grapes or not is the same for all turtle species, like the red-eared slider turtles or the box turtles. The immune and digestion system of baby turtles is pretty similar to that of adult turtles.
Baby turtles can be fed grapes in moderation. The ideal amount is once a week as a treat along with their daily balanced diet. If baby turtles eat grapes in large quantities, it can be pretty harmful to their body growth as grapes have high sugar content, which can lead to health-related issues and also interfere with the growth of baby turtles. If you look to feed grapes to newly born turtles, ensure that they are thoroughly washed. You are prohibited from feeding them grape juice as it is quite harmful to them. Additionally, in their growth stage, baby turtles have very soft shells and thus require vitamins and minerals along with adequate calcium to develop, which will be hindered if they are fed excess grapes.
A large number of pet owners look to keep aquatic turtles as pets in their homes. Aquatic turtles are somewhat different from the usual turtle species that live on land, but the two have a host of similarities as well. It is the diet of the aquatic turtles which differs from the land species to some extent.
Like most turtle species, aquatic turtles can eat grapes, but once again, moderation is key. Grapes contain a host of vitamins and minerals, but at the same time, these fruits have high sugar content, so keep in mind that when you feed these fruits to your pet turtle, they shouldn't be fed in excess. When turtles eat grapes, they do not receive all the nutrients that their body requires for ideal growth and development, as the calcium-phosphorus ratio in grapes is opposite to what it should ideally be when turtles eat grapes. Additionally, grapes are high in sugar which can wreak havoc on the digestive system of turtles in the long run. When it comes to purple grapes, the things you keep in mind for the other grapes are the same for these kinds of grapes. Irrespective of the turtle species, i.e., whether it is the red-eared sliders or the more commonly seen aquatic turtles or box turtles, they can eat grapes, whether it is the green or the purple ones, only if they are in moderation and are occasionally fed as a treat along with their everyday diet.
As humans, we often look to eat fruits and vegetables by converting them into juices, but it is not the same for turtles. Irrespective of the turtle species in the discussion, it must never be fed grape juice. Turtles themselves aren't very picky eaters and can tend to eat anything, so it is the responsibility of the pet owners to refrain from feeding grape juice to their pet turtles.
Grape juice is, interestingly, much more harmful than the grapefruit itself. Even a small amount of grape juice can turn out to be deadly even for a perfectly healthy red-eared sliders turtle or box turtle. Grapes already have high sugar content, but once they are ground and juices are extracted from them, the sugar content increases, and thus the sugar level in grape juice is higher than in raw grapes. If turtles eat grapes once a week, it won't harm them considerably. Still, even a sip of grape juice can lead to a surplus of sugar levels in their blood, eventually leading to multiple organ failures proving to be fatal for turtles.
Even though turtles eat grapes and usually do not face any severe health issues, these fruits cannot be a part of a turtle's primary diet. Despite containing some important vitamins and minerals, grapes do more harm to turtles than they benefit, owing to their massive sugar content and an unbalanced calcium-phosphorus ratio. Ideally, the calcium-phosphorus ratio in a food that you give to a turtle should be 2:1, but upsettingly in grapes, this ratio is reversed to 1:2. The lack of calcium can harm the shell development of turtles both on land and in water.
The ideal frequency of feeding grapes to turtles is once in a while, i.e., as a treat once in a week but not every week. Grapes contain high amounts of sugar and an undesirable calcium-phosphorus ratio, harming a turtle's body. Thus, they should only be given as a supplement to the main diet of the turtles. Did you know, if box turtles or red-eared slider turtles eat grapes in large quantities, it can then lead to a lack of calcium in the body of turtles which can take a toll on their bone and shell development?
To your relief, feeding grapes to turtles isn't a herculean task as, first of all, grapes are seedless fruits, unlike apples and some other fruits, which require their seeds to be removed before you can feed them to your pet turtles.
At the same time, grapes do not have a hard outer skin that must be peeled before they can be fed to the turtles. Fruits such as apples and watermelon have a pretty hard outer skin, and you cannot feed such fruit to turtles without first removing their outer skin. The size of grapes is something you have to keep a close eye on. Turtles eat grapes that are medium or small-sized. Box turtles or some other type, such as the red-eared sliders, cannot eat grapes that are pretty large in size. The fruit has then a chance of getting stuck in the throat of the animal while eating and could cause unwell situations. If the fruit is relatively large in size, you can look to cut it into pieces and then feed it to the turtles but keep in mind to feed in moderation and only as an occasional treat.
We have learned about how grapes contain a high amount of sugar and how such foods can harm the health of a turtle, but on the flip side, grapes are still considered a healthy fruit to feed. A food is deemed to be healthy when it contains a variety of nutrients that prove to be beneficial for the organism consuming it. Since grapes are considered healthy for consumption, it is good if turtles are eating these fruits in moderation, as when fed in regulated quantity, grapes can prove to be beneficial for a pet turtle.
Turtles primarily require two vitamins for their growth and development. Grapes contain one of those vitamins in a healthy quantity. Grapes contain vitamin A which is helpful for reproductive health, bodily growth, eyesight, and the epithelial tissues of turtles. A lack of vitamin A in the diet of turtles can be alarming as it can lead to vision-related problems, ear and aural abscesses, hypervitaminosis A and even squamous metaplasia. At the same time, grapes play a pivotal role in strengthening the immune system of a pet turtle.
The other vitamin that turtles require is vitamin D. Still, and upsettingly, grapes do not contain any significant amount of vitamin D. Grapes also contain two of the most important essential minerals required by turtles, calcium and phosphorus. On average, 3.52 oz (100 g) of grapes contains around 0.59 oz (17 g) of carbohydrates, 0.0067 oz (191 mg) of potassium, 0.021 oz (0.6 g) of protein, 0.00035274 oz (10 mg) of calcium and several other nutrients as well.
Moreover, a 3.52 oz (100 g) serving of grapes also provides 67 kcal of energy. If you feed grapes to any turtle species but in a controlled quantity, the fruit can be beneficial for their health.
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