Fruit in your tortoises will ultimately come down to what species you have. It should only be given to fruit eating species like the Yellow and Red footed tortoise. Fruit isn’t toxic to other species but due to the high sugar levels it can cause upset to their digestive system. Are all fruits safe for tortoises however, like grapes? Let’s find out.
Can tortoises eat grapes? Yes tortoises can eat grapes, however only if they are a fruit eating species of tortoise. Grapes contain some vitamins and nutrients that your tortoise can benefit from like antioxidants, fiber, potassium and manganese. They shouldn’t be a feature in your tortoises diet due to them being high in sugar. Moderation is important.
In this article we are going to cover the possible health benefits of grapes for tortoises, can they eat dried grapes and some other important topics you should know about, don’t leave just yet!
Are Tortoises Allowed Grapes?
Not all tortoises are allowed grapes. As they are a fruit grapes are high in natural sugars, with there being 12 grams in just 50 calories of green grapes.
Russian tortoises, sulcata tortoises and Hermann’s tortoises shouldn’t be fed grapes as they don’t eat them in the wild therefore their digestive system isn’t equipped to deal with the level of sugar inside grapes. They won’t immediately harm them but can cause issues with their gut flora as well as causing problems like diarrhea.
Red-footed and Yellow-footed tortoises are allowed grapes as the sugar poses less of a risk to them due to their digestive system being able to cope with the sugar.
Fruit should only make up around 5% of their total diet.
Benefits Of Grapes For Tortoises
80 grams of green grapes contains the following nutrients :
A Source Of Antioxidants
Grapes are full of healthy antioxidants that can bring a number of health benefits to your tortoise. They are mainly found in the skin and seeds of the fruit.
Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals within the body. Free radicals are unstable atoms that cause oxidative stress, known for causing an array of health issues like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Good For Heart Health
Grapes are also good for the cardiovascular system, this is due to a few different variables.
One way they do this is by reducing blood pressure, due to them containing a healthy dose of potassium, a mineral needed for maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Potassium also flushes sodium from your tortoises body which stops thee arteries from narrowing thus keeping blood pressure levels healthy.
Grapes have also been found to reduce levels of cholesterol which further protects the heart.
Grapes are also a source of fiber, a nutrient needed for the proper functioning of your tortoises digestive system. Fiber is known to reduce constipation and improve overall gut health.
A high fiber diet is needed for metabolism and a healthy intestinal flora in your tortoise.
Finally manganese is also available in grapes, a mineral needed for growth and bone development. It also plays a big role in the reproductive system so making sure there is enough manganese in your tortoises diet is important for egg health.
Possible Downsides Of Feeding Grapes To Your Tortoise
High In Natural Sugars
Grapes have a delicious sweet taste to them, that’s due to the high sugar content in them. Even though it’s natural sugar and not processed it can still be harmful to your tortoise.
Sugar can effect the microflora of your tortoises gut, which can hinder your tortoise from absorbing vital nutrients. This can lead to deficiency and more serious long term health problems.
The most common side effect of sugar in your tortoises diet is abdominal problems like watery stools.
Too much sugar can also lead to : unwanted weight gain, cardiovascular problems, an increased risk of developing cancer, tiredness and inflammation.
Give grapes to tortoises infrequently to minimize the health risks and to optimize all the possible health advantages grapes can bring to your reptile.
How To Prepare Grapes For Your Tortoise
Before going ahead and serving up some delicious grapes for your tortoise you need to do some preparation first. Grapes like many fruits and vegetables are sprayed with a vast amount of pesticides while they are being grown to keep away insects and other organisms.
Studies have recently shown that almost all grapes were found to contain a number of different pesticides present on the fruit.
It’s recommended to thoroughly rinse your grapes with cold water before letting your tortoise have them, the same principle should apply when you want some grapes yourself.
Can Tortoises Eat Dried Grapes?
It’s not recommended to feed your tortoise dried grapes, this is due to them being even higher in sugar and along with having more calories than fresh grapes.
Grapes should be fed sparingly to tortoises due to their high sugar content, dried grapes make this even more of a problem for them and should be avoided.
Grapes For Tortoises – Summary
If you have a fruit eating tortoise, then adding grapes to an already well balanced diet won’t cause any issues. Be sure to wash them first to remove any pesticides and feed them in moderation. Grapes and fruit in general are too high in sugar to be giving the majority of tortoise species as it causes intestinal upset.
I hope you have found this article useful and your tortoise enjoys some juicy grapes in their diet!