Ask a Vet

Can Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins Eat Pineapple? Answered

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Every responsible pet owner wants to bring some diversity to their pet’s diet. 

After all, imagine if you had to eat the same meal three times a day for the rest of your life – it would be pretty boring. Well, no one wants that for their pet whether they are a dog, rabbit or a rat.

Human feeding turtle

The same goes for those who own a pet turtle, tortoise, or terrapin! 

Changing the foods your pet eats from time to time is a great way to make sure they get all the nutrients they need and enjoy a treat now and then, but this can sometimes be very dangerous.

Those who do not research their pet’s diet enough can sometimes end up giving them food that is extremely toxic and deadly to that species of animal. This can result in their pet dying or becoming seriously ill – all because their owner did not research their diet enough.

If you want to try giving your turtle, tortoise, and terrapin some pineapple as a treat, check out the information here to find out if these reptiles can even eat pineapple. 

There are definitely certain foods that should not be fed to turtles, tortoises, and terrapins – but is pineapple one of them?

What Is Pineapple?

Pineapples are sweet berries fused together that grow on trees and come in many different shapes and sizes. They have orange-yellow flesh with white pithy centers and a hard rind.

The fruit has a tropical climate and grows best in warm climates like Florida, Hawaii, and Australia. 

There are a lot of advantages and health benefits to eating pineapple. It contains high levels of vitamin C, B6, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, and magnesium.

These vitamins help keep our bodies healthy by helping us fight off infections and illnesses, build strong bones and teeth, improve digestion and boost energy. 

The fruit also provides fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Fiber is also important for keeping our digestive systems running smoothly and preventing diseases such as colon cancer. 

Pineapple is also rich in antioxidants, which protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that cause cell damage and inflammation within our bodies.

Antioxidants are able to neutralize these harmful effects and keep our immune system working properly. 

So there are a lot of benefits for us humans to eating pineapple, but can the same be said for turtles, terrapins, and tortoises?

Can Turtles Eat Pineapple?

Turtles are interesting creatures because they have a very diverse diet that allows them to eat lots of different plants and leaves. 

In fact, it is possible for turtles to eat pineapple but only as a rare treat and always in very small amounts. This is because turtles do experience the same benefits just like we do when we eat pineapple.

It’s a great source of vitamins and calcium for turtles, which is important for keeping their immune system up and their bones strong and healthy. 

Calcium is also important for allowing turtles to grow strong, tough shells which are key to their happiness and survival in the wild, so pineapple is a great food for turtles to eat. 

The only drawback is the high amount of sugar and acids that can be found in pineapple. Feeding your pet turtle too much pineapple will lead them to develop health issues like diabetes and obesity as they do not burn enough energy to justify taking so much in.

The acids will also give your turtle an upset stomach and make them uncomfortable so it’s best to only feed your turtle very rare and small amounts of pineapple. 

Think of it like candy for turtles – you would not eat a whole chocolate bar to yourself every single day, but perhaps treat yourself to a small taste every couple of days. 

We should also mention that you should only give your turtle fresh pineapple and not canned pineapple, pineapple leaves, or pineapple peels. 

The leaves contain bromelain, which is a powerful enzyme that can cause swelling and tenderness, especially around the turtle’s mouth. Plus, they are very sharp and spiky which can cut and damage your turtle’s mouth and intestines.

The same goes with the peel of a pineapple – it is sharp, jagged, and contains bromelain which will cause serious discomfort for your turtle. 

As for why turtles cannot eat canned pineapple, this is because canned fruit contains a lot of added preservatives to make it last longer. This means that they contain a bunch of chemicals (as well as even higher levels of sugar than natural pineapple) that can make your turtle seriously ill.

However, it’s perfectly fine to give your turtle a small bit of pineapple as a rare treat but make sure that it is only the inner bit of the pineapple and that it is natural and ripe. 

Turtle eating on ground

Can Tortoises Eat Pineapple?

Just like turtles, tortoises can eat pineapple but in only very small quantities and very rarely.

They do not stomach pineapple, as well as turtles, but two species – the red foot tortoise and yellow foot tortoise – enjoy pineapple much more than their other tortoise cousins.

This could be due to their tropical origins, but even then you cannot feed these tortoises too much pineapple.

You should also follow the same rules when it comes to feeding tortoises pineapple. You should only feed them a very small portion every few weeks (yes, weeks!) and never any leaves or peel.

The pineapple should also be from fresh, natural pineapple and nothing stale or canned. 

If you find that your tortoise has an upset stomach after trying pineapple, then it is best to never give them this food again.

It could be that they are very sensitive to the acids in pineapple and it would be better for their wellbeing if you avoid giving them pineapple ever again. 

Can Terrapins Eat Pineapple?

Terrapins are interesting because their diets are omnivorous and made up of a lot more meat than the diets of pet turtles and tortoises are. 

However, they can still eat pineapple just in very small amounts and very rarely. Too much pineapple in a terrapin’s diet will cause them to become unwell from obesity and the effects of too much acid and bromelain. 

So, follow the above rules for feeding turtle pineapple and treat it as a very rare treat to give to your pet terrapin. 


Pineapples are acidic fruits and are therefore unsuitable for most pets.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule when it comes to turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. Although these reptiles can all stomach pineapple, it should not be given to them as a part of their regular diet.

In fact, vets would recommend that you only give them a small taste of pineapple every few weeks and it might be better to just avoid it completely. 

Pineapple does offer some benefits to turtles,  tortoises, and terrapins in the form of vitamin A and calcium, but the high amount of sugar and acid makes them an undesirable source of these nutrients.

Instead, there are other sources of vitamin A and calcium that your pet reptile will enjoy much more and will be a far less risky food to try. 

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.