Ask a Vet

Can Your Pet Turtle Eat Grapes? Are Grapes Harmful To Turtles?

Photo of author
Updated on

There are many myths surrounding turtles and grapes. Some say that turtles cannot eat grapes because they contain seeds. Others believe that grapes cause turtles to get sick.

Turtle and grapes on white background

Grapes are rich in vitamin C and potassium, both of which are good for humans. If you want to feed your turtle some grapes, then you should only give them whole grapes. This way, they won’t choke on the seeds.

We find out the truth if grapes are harmful to turtles and if you can feed your pet turtle grapes.

Can A Turtle Eat Grapes?

Yes, they can eat grapes in moderation. Grapes are only harmful to turtles if they eat too much of them.

The sugar content in grape juice is very high. It can make a turtle’s blood glucose level rise. When this happens, it can lead to diabetes.

Grapes also have a lot of natural sugars. These sugars can be converted into simple carbohydrates by bacteria in the gut. This can lead to bloating or diarrhea.

You can feed your pet turtle any fruit or vegetable. However, you need to keep an eye on their intake. The amount of food they eat depends on how big they are.

If you’re planning to feed your turtle grapes, then you need to cut off the stem first. Then, soak the grapes in water overnight before feeding them to your turtle.

The Nutritional Value Of Grapes

Green grapes on white background

Grapes are one of the richest sources of vitamin C. They also contain lots of other things that can support the growth and health of your turtle.

Here are some of the most important elements of grapes that provide nutrition to a turtle.

Phosphorus And Calcium

Grapes are packed with calcium and phosphorus. Both of these minerals play a vital role in bone formation.

Calcium helps strengthen bones and teeth. Phosphorus builds strong muscles and nerves.

Both of these elements help your turtle to improve its joints and strengthen its shell.

Vitamin A

Grapes also contain a considerable amount of vitamin A. This is essential for their eyesight and skin health.

It can also boost immunity and fight infections. In addition, vitamin A supports the turtle’s growth, and it even boosts their reproductive health.

Vitamin D

Grape skins also contain a small amount of vitamin D. This element is necessary for healthy bones and teeth.

It’s essential for the proper growth of the turtle’s shell and bone structure.

Minerals Like Iron And Potassium

Grapes are also a great source of iron and potassium. Both of these minerals are needed for normal metabolism.

Iron is used to produce red blood cells. Potassium helps maintain fluid balance inside the body.

These two nutrients are also required for muscle contraction.

How Many Grapes Can You Feed Your Turtle Per Day?

If you plan to feed your pet turtle grapes as a treat occasionally, then make sure to give them as little as possible.

The high sugar content in the grapes makes this not a very healthy treat for your pet.

You should avoid feeding your turtle grapes, and if you do give them this treat now and then, make sure to cut the grapes small enough, so they don’t choke on the grapes.

As a rule of thumb, fruit and vegetables shouldn’t be more than 10% of your turtle’s diet.

Side Effects When A Turtle Eats Grapes

Turtles can get sick when they eat too many grapes. Here are some of the side effects of eating too many grapes.


When a turtle eats too many grapes, its blood sugar level will go up. If this continues over time, it may cause diabetes.

Bloating, Diarrhea And Indigestion

Eating too many grapes can also lead to diarrhea or bloat.

This happens because the grape juice gets digested quickly. It causes gas production, which leads to diarrhea.

This condition is usually temporary, but you should observe your pet carefully. Make sure it drinks enough water.

Kidney Stones

Another problem caused by eating too many grapes is kidney stones.

Your pet might develop kidney stones if he consumes too much grape juice. The stones form due to the presence of oxalates.

Oxalates are toxic substances found in plants like spinach, rhubarb, nuts, and beans. Oxalates bind to calcium and magnesium in the kidneys. This results in stone formation.

If your pet develops kidney stones, you must immediately take him to the vet.

Bone Issues

A fourth problem that could arise from eating too many grapes is bone issues.

There have been reports that turtles developed brittle bones after consuming large amounts of grapes.

So, if you want to prevent any problems with your pet, keep an eye out for signs of bloating, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal disorders.

If you see any of these symptoms, stop feeding your turtle grapes and other fruit, and take it to the vet for a checkup.

What You Should Know About Grape Juice For Your Turtle

Glass of grape juice and grape fruit on a table

While most people think that drinking grape juice is good for your pet, there are some risks involved.

Here are some things you should know about giving your pet grape juice:

Vitamin C Content

Although pure grape juice does contain vitamin C, the amount of vitamin C in grapes is low compared to the amount in orange juice.

Therefore, it is better to use freshly squeezed orange juice instead of grape juice.

Natural Sugars

With the high amount of natural sugars in grapes, grape juice is very sweet and sugary. So, if you give your pet grape juice, it will result in weight gain.

No Minerals

It is important to note that grape juice doesn’t contain any minerals. So, it won’t help your pet in any way.

Feeding your pet grapes regularly can cause digestive problems. It is best to feed your pet pure fruits and vegetables only once in a while.

How To Feed Your Turtle With Grapes Safely

Grape feeding is not recommended for all pets. Some animals don’t tolerate grapes well and even die as a result.

While turtles can eat grapes as a treat, it’s best to feed fruit only occasionally.

The following tips will help you make sure that your turtle doesn’t suffer from any negative side effects.

Be Careful While Choosing Grape Varieties

When choosing grape varieties, look for ones that are easy to digest. Ideally, you don’t want too hard skin.

It’s also good to avoid any grapes with seeds. Pick seedless grapes so they can be digested easier by your turtle.

Choose Fresh Fruit Instead Of Frozen Or Dried

Fresh fruit has more nutrients than frozen or dried fruits. You should also avoid canned fruits as they often contain syrup which ups the sugar content.

Don’t Give Too Much At Once

You shouldn’t feed your turtle too many grapes at one time. If you do so, it may lead to stomach upset.

Feed your turtle just one small grape at a time. Ideally, you should cut the grape in half. This will make it easier for the turtle to eat and digest.

Keep An Eye Out For Signs Of Stomach Upset

If you notice any signs of diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems, stop giving your pet grapes.

If you also spot other signs, such as lethargy, you may need to take your pet to the vet for a check-up.

Can You Feed Grape Seeds To Turtles?

No, you shouldn’t feed your turtle grape seeds. Seeds can be a choking hazard, and they can block your pet’s airways.

That’s why it’s important that you either remove the seeds from the grapes before feeding them to your pet or buy seedless grapes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should You Not Feed Turtles?

Turtles should never be fed cat and dog food, dairy products, and other human foods. These could potentially damage their digestive tract.

You should also be careful with anything small, such as seeds, which could cause choking.

Is Grape Juice Good For My Pets?

Yes, grape juice is safe for your pet. However, it contains a lot of sugar which can cause obesity issues.

So, it’s best to choose fresh fruits over grape juices.

Do Freshwater Turtles Eat Grapes?

Yes, freshwater turtles can eat grapes. However, grapes aren’t the best food for any species of turtle, as they contain a large amount of sugar.

Why Do I Need To Cut The Grape In Half For My Turtle?

Cutting the grape in half helps your pet to chew on them better. That way, it makes it easier for him to swallow and digest the grape.

You should only feed your omnivorous turtle a little bit of fruit and vegetables, such as water lettuce, now and then. These foods should make up only 10% of your pet’s diet.

Feeding grapes to turtles now and then will not cause any harm. However, just like us humans eating chocolate, it’s best not to overdo it.


Although nutritious grapes can be harmful to some reptiles, such as box turtles, it’s best to avoid them or give your pet turtle only a small amount.

Photo of author
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.