If you have recently adopted a turtle or a tortoise, you may have many questions related to their diet. What is safe for them? What type of food is beneficial to them? There is a wide range of turtles and tortoises that generally people take in a pet. Some of them are; box turtles, red-eye seared turtles, red-foot and yellow-foot tortoises, and every species have a special diet.
As humans, we enjoy eating fruits and might want to feed them to our pet turtle as well, but the question is it safe for them to eat? To address this query, this article is here to help you.
Can turtles eat pineapple?
The answer to this question is that it solely depends upon the species of your turtle. This is because all turtles and tortoises come from different environment and have their habitats. Some species belonging to tropical rainforest regions while others are found in dry deserted areas where their digestive system has also adjusted according to the environment. This is why it is essential to be aware of your turtles’ species and then decide their diet plan.
The fruit of pineapple, which is a combination of many berries produced by the plant’s flowers, has a high amount of sugar, and therefore it should not be made a regular part of a turtle’s diet. Turtles love eating pineapples, and you can feed them twice a week with whatever typical food you give to them. Other than that, yellow-foot tortoise and red foot -tortoise can easily eat pineapples.
However, some tortoises can do best from minimal to no fruits in their diet, which are:
- Russian Tortoises
- African Tortoises
- Horsfield Tortoises
- Mediterranean Tortoises
Benefits of pineapple for turtles
Like every other fruit, pineapple is also filled with minerals and vitamins essential for your turtle’s health. This fruit has a high water content but also contains the following nutrients:
- Protein – If you have a pet, a baby turtle, it will grow fast, and it will require more protein for its shells. A turtle’s diet is mainly composed of protein, so pineapples can sometimes be a good source.
- Fibers – If your turtle is a herbivore, they require a high fiber diet; pineapples have some amount of it too. Adding fiber to your turtle’s diet can help in better digestion and is beneficial for heart problems.
- Calcium – is one of the most important minerals for your turtle as it helps in bone formation and muscular function.
- Phosphorus – it is interlinked with the above, and it also helps in strengthening the bones and the shell too. Turtles need calcium phosphate for their bones and their shell, and the recommended diet ratio is 2:1,2 parts of calcium and 1 part of phosphorus.
For turtles, 100 grams of pineapple chunks in a week is more than enough, and according to this serving size, it contains 13 grams of calcium and 8 grams of phosphorus. This value shows that pineapples with this serving size are favorable for turtles to eat.
- Potassium – helps in maintaining nerve signals, muscle contraction and also helps in reducing blood pressure.
- Magnesium – as this mineral has anti-inflammatory benefits- will help the turtles reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin A – turtles need an adequate amount of this vitamin in their body because it is responsible for developing healthy skin, mucous membranes, and ducts within their organs. The deficiency of vitamin A, also known as Hypovitaminosis A, disrupts skin and other organs. It happens typically in young- semi-aquatic turtles or box turtles, and once your pet is over the age of six months, they rarely get any deficiency. Some of the common symptoms are eyelid infection, respiratory issues, and mouth infections.
- Vitamin C – It helps in boosting immunity and prevents the animals from catching any infections.
How to feed pineapple to turtles?
If we talk about red-foot and yellow-foot tortoise, you should give them pineapples in a very ripe state. It is also suitable For box turtles and red-eyed seared turtles.
First and foremost, you should start by giving a minimal amount and tiny chunks to your pet, and this will help you notice the response towards the new food. If you see any adverse effects, you should stop immediately.
If you have a tortoise at home, you can buy a ripened fruit or let it ripe at your home. You should first remove the shell or the skin of the fruit as it can be harmful to your turtle because the skin is rich in enzyme bromelain and can cause swelling in the mouth and digestive issues. You can either give it separately or mix it with other fruits and vegetables. The latter is more beneficial as it can help boost the turtle’s immunity by improving the diet’s overall minerals and vitamin diversity.
Why shouldn’t you feed pineapples very often?
Like every other fruit, pineapple also has a high amount of sugar in it, and generally, it is not advised to feed a lot of fruits to turtles. Yes, fruits have essential vitamins and minerals, but you can find the alternative to those nutrients in other foods like vegetables depending upon your turtle species. Turtles do not have the same digestive system as humans and cannot consume many sugars and citrus food because it can cause indigestion, and your pet may become lazy. Therefore, you should feed them a minimal amount as a treat.
Finally, it may be concluded that pineapples are not harmful to turtles to eat, but one should have adequate knowledge about their pet turtle’s species to know how much to feed them. It is important to know about the species because the needs of turtles depend upon where they belong. Turtles who have never tasted fruits in the wild will take more time to develop taste while others may become quickly familiar.
Pineapples provide essential nutrients, but one should not overfeed them because fruits are to be given in moderation due to the high amount of sugar in them.