Fruits and vegetables are an essential source of essential vitamins and nutrients for everybody. Humans are capable of eating almost every kind, depending upon their likes and dislikes. Most of the animals also enjoy eating fruits and vegetables but are all of them suitable for them?
If we talk about turtles, these are some of the most common pets that people love to keep. Those who have a busy routine and cannot keep up with taking constant care of a pet choose to pet a turtle. These small, slow-moving, and quiet creatures are the most convenient to keep.
You might think that you can feed almost every fruit and vegetable to your turtle, and some extent, you can, but what about cherries? Humans love eating cherries, but is it a good option for your pet? To find the answer to your question, you need to read this article.
Can turtles eat cherries?
The answer to the present question is both yes and no. Fruits are packed with many vital nutrients, but one should be careful while feeding cherries to turtles as it is not recommended to add it to their regular diet as they can be hazardous for their health. What you provide to your pet depends upon its species; if it’s an omnivore, they tend to eat feeder fish, insects, pellet food, and also fruits and vegetables. If they are herbivores, then they only feed upon plants.
Nutritional value of cherries
Considered as one of the most beloved foods by humans, they also contain some excellent nutrients that are beneficial for your turtle’s health as well.
Cherries are small stoned fruit which has numerous varieties in color and flavors. Two famous categories are tart and sweet cherries. All types are filled with fibers, vitamins, and minerals like:
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C is excellent to boost immunity, and it will help the turtle fight against diseases; potassium is needed for a healthy nervous system and normalizes blood pressure.
Cherries are also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The high antioxidant cogent is responsible for premature aging and also controls stress. According to research, they are also rich in polyphenols, a type of compound that helps to fight cellular damage.
The two well known and most common types of pet turtles are box turtle and red-eye seared turtles. These two types of turtle’s love eating cherries, especially the latter one, as the red-colored pigmentation attracts them.
Why shouldn’t you feed cherries to your turtle very often?
Let’s talk about captive turtles like box and red-eye seared turtles then, according to researchers. Turtles should not consume more than ten percent of their total diet as fruits contain a high amount of sugar, and it is not suitable for turtles to eat a lot of sugary fruits.
Excess sugar in your pet’s diet can cause diarrhea, intestinal problems, or parasite problems. You should always weigh the good with bad, and this is the reason why you should not regularize fruits in a turtle’s diet. Apart from sugar, citrus is also harmful to turtles. If you give them this treat, make sure you remove the seed from it as you do not want your pet to choke on it.
What else can turtles eat?
As discussed earlier, not all species are created equal. Some are herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores. Every turtle has different nutritional needs, and therefore the diet plan should be made accordingly. But an average turtle’s diet should be less in phosphorus and fats but rich in calcium and minerals. We can classify some recommended food in the following types:
You are supposed to feed the berries you only know about. These are a good source for keeping your pet hydrated. Some of the safe berries include:
Again, fruits contain glucose on them, and it should be given in moderate amounts. Citrus fruits are highly dangerous. You can give the flesh of the following fruits:
What foods are a complete no for turtles?
There are few fruits and vegetables that have low toxicity levels but have the tendency to be put on the list of foods to be avoided for turtles. Some of them are:
- Avocado – it should not be given as it has an antifungal compound called Persin. And consumption of Persin can lead to organ failure.
- Chinaberry – is a poisonous plant due to the presence of oxalate salts. Symptoms can range from mild irritation to organ damage. If you know that your turtle has come in contact with this plant, contact a vet immediately.
- Castor beans – it contains a toxic protein and can become the cause of death if ingested.
- Juniper berries come under the name of irritants as they can irritate many pet turtles like box turtles.
- Dairy food – Turtles do not have the necessary enzymes in their bodies that are needed to break down lactose, which is why they cannot digest it too. It can cause severe indigestion.
- Mushrooms – many wild mushrooms contain toxic proteins that can cause liver failure and, eventually, death.
How much to feed turtles?
Non-captive turtles are grazers. A typical rule for feeding fruits to turtles is to offer them only once or twice a week, along with any other regular food. The amount should be minimal because animals and humans are not alike, and so does their digestive system. What is good for us may turn out to be fatal for turtles.
To conclude this topic. One must be vigilant about their pet’s health. Yes, cherries are a good source of minerals and nutrients, but that does not mean you make it a regular part because of the amount of sugar it contains. Supposedly, if you think that you overfeed your turtle and it shows some symptoms or is not more active than usual, then you must go to a vet immediately. However, to keep your pet’s health out of danger, there are plenty of other food options you can give to your pet turtle.