Can Box Turtles Eat Grapes? [Full Guide]

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Box Turtles are omnivores. Therefore, they can eat a wide variety of foods. However, turtles have specific nutritional needs.

Which foods are the best to give them the nutrients they need to help them grow and develop? Can they eat grapes?

In this article, we’ll answer the question of whether or not Box Turtles can eat grapes. We’ll also discuss the nutritional benefits of grapes and the drawbacks of feeding grapes to Box Turtles.

In addition, we’ll touch upon how often Box Turtles can eat grapes, how you can prepare grapes for them, and the different types of grapes they can eat. Finally, we’ll share alternatives to feeding grapes to your turtle.

Can Box Turtles Eat Grapes?

The short answer is yes. Box Turtles can eat grapes.

There are many different subspecies of Box Turtles. For example, there are the following Box Turtles:

  • Aquatic Box Turtles
  • Northern Spotted Box Turtles
  • Southern Spotted Box Turtles
  • Western Box Turtle
  • Ornate Box Turtles
  • Desert Box Turtles

Also, there’s the Common Box Turtle, which has many subspecies as well, such as:

  • Eastern Box Turtle
  • Florida Box Turtle
  • Gulf Coast Box Turtle
  • Three Toed Box Turtle
  • Mexican Box Turtle
  • Yucatan Box Turtle

Out of all of these Box Turtles, every one of them can eat grapes. 

However, grapes are highly nutritious for humans, but that doesn’t hold for turtles. So, while turtles can eat grapes, it’s not the healthiest option for them.

Are Grapes Good For Box Turtles?

Most turtles aren’t picky eaters, so they’ll eat whatever you put in front of them. This is why you must research what’s healthy for your Box Turtle and what isn’t.

Grapes contain some nutritional value for turtles. For instance, they contain essential vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin A is present, supporting your turtle’s eyesight, reproductive health, immune system, and overall body growth.

On the other hand, grapes do not contain any vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for Box Turtles to help improve the growth of their shell. 

Also, turtles need a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 2:1. Grapes have a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 1:2. So, it’s the opposite of what your turtle needs.

Phosphorous makes it harder for your turtle to absorb calcium. They need calcium for their bone and shell growth. If you decide to give your turtle grapes, then you’ll want to sprinkle some calcium supplements on top of it to ensure they get enough calcium.

Finally, grapes are high in sugar. Box Turtles can only digest little bits of sugar, so too many grapes will cause digestive issues, meaning they get sick.

As you can see, there are more cons than pros when it comes to feeding Box Turtles grapes. However, you can take a quick look at the chart below.

Pros Of Feeding Grapes To Box TurtlesCons Of Feeding Grapes To Box Turtles
Rich in Vitamin AIt does not contain Vitamin D
It contains Vitamins C, E, K, and many mineralsThe calcium to Phosphorous ratio is 1:2
Low in fatHigh in Sugar

It may seem like it’s not worth it to feed grapes to your Box Turtles. However, it’s a tasty snack in moderation.

For example, you can give your Box Turtle one seedless grape about once a week for a treat. You can also sprinkle calcium supplements on it to ensure they’re getting more nutrients out of it.

Can Baby Box Turtles Eat Grapes?

Technically, yes, baby Box Turtles can eat grapes. However, since they are still growing and developing, it’s best to keep grapes from their diet until they’re older.

Due to the sugar, it might be more challenging for babies to digest the grapes. Also, they need all the calcium and vitamin D they can get to grow.

Also, since grapes contain less calcium than phosphorous and don’t have vitamin D, grapes aren’t the best choice for young Box Turtles.

Read our full guide to what baby Box Turtles can eat here.

Can Box Turtles Digest Grapes?

Yes, Box Turtles can digest grapes. However, this fruit is high in sugar, which your turtle cannot digest.

They can’t digest excess amounts of sugar. So, if you give them too many grapes, then it will seem like they can’t digest the grapes.

Therefore, your Box Turtle will end up with digestive issues and get sick.

Eastern Box Turtle
Eastern Box Turtle

How Often Can Box Turtles Eat Grapes?

Any fruit for Box Turtles should only make up about 10% of their diet.

Knowing what we know now about what grapes contain, it’s a good idea to share grapes with your Box Turtle about once a week. You can give them only one or two grapes at a time.

How To Feed Box Turtles Grapes

Preparing grapes for your Box Turtle is easy. First, you’ll want to buy seedless grapes from the store. Otherwise, a seed might cause impaction or a blockage.

You won’t need to worry about peeling the skin off the grape since that’s safe for your turtle to eat.

However, Box Turtles don’t have teeth. So be sure to cut up the grape in small pieces so that it’s easy for your turtle to pick up and eat without being a choking hazard.

Can Box Turtles Eat Red, Purple, Or Green Grapes?

Box Turtles can eat all kinds of grapes in small amounts and moderation. There isn’t much difference between the three colors.

However, purple and green grapes are usually seedless, so you won’t need to worry about picking out the seeds.

On the other hand, red grapes usually have seeds. So, if you feed red grapes to your Box Turtle, then you’ll need to take the time to pick out all of the seeds in each grape.

Can Box Turtles Have Grape Juice?

No, they cannot drink grape juice. The number one reason for this is that grape juice is high in sugar. Also, depending on the brand you buy, they probably have additives and preservatives.

Pureeing grapes yourself would be the healthiest option, but it’s best to feed them regular grapes if you’re going to feed your turtle grapes at all.

What Happens If I Feed My Box Turtle Too Many Grapes?

Unfortunately, if your Box Turtle consumes too many grapes, then they could get sick. For example, they may get a gas build-up, which will cause them to get bloated and not want to eat.

In addition, since they can’t digest a high amount of sugar, they could end up obese. They will have a harder time trying to process insulin, which could cause diabetes. Also, it might make your Box Turtle feel sluggish.

Finally, pyramiding might occur. Pyramiding happens when your turtle is getting too much phosphorous and not enough calcium.

If you notice that your Box Turtle has stopped eating or they’re feeling lethargic after eating a couple of grapes, then you can skip feeding them for a day and wait for them to feel better.

Also, stop feeding them grapes for a while to ensure they’re feeling better. If they’re still not feeling better after a couple of days, then it might be time to call your vet to make sure nothing else is going on with them.

What To Feed Box Turtles Instead Of Grapes

Remember, fruit should only be about 10% of your Box Turtle’s diet. This is because they’re omnivores and get the majority of their nutrition from live food and various vegetation.

However, fruit can be a tasty treat for your turtle once in a while. But if you’re not comfortable feeding grapes to them, there are other fruits you can try giving your Box Turtles.

For example, Box Turtles can eat the following fruit in moderation:

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Melons
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Plums

There are other fruits you can feed your Box Turtle as well. But, remember, most fruit is high in sugar.

So, no matter which fruit you feed your Box Turtle, be sure it’s in small amounts and moderation. 

Conclusion

Your Box Turtle will enjoy a grape once in a while. The flavor will add a little something extra to their meal. However, be sure you only give them one grape once in a while so that the fruit doesn’t backfire on them.

Overall, your turtle will thank you for adding a delicious treat to their meal.

Learn more about turtles here or click here to learn whether turtles can eat broccoli or here for whether they can eat mealworms. You can also find out if box turtles can eat tomatoes here.

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Jason Williamson

By Jason Williamson

Jason is a huge animal lover with many pets of his own. He loves sharing all his knowledge of all creatures here and learning more whenever he can.