Can Turtles Eat Apples?

Can turtles eat apples? Yes! Turtles can eat apples, but only as a treat. Turtles’ digestive systems have difficulty processing apples because of their high sugar and acid content. Furthermore, the citric acid in apples might induce an upset stomach in your turtle and possibly cause it to vomit.

There are numerous factors to remember before feeding an apple to a turtle. For starters, be sure that the apples you use are pesticide-free. In addition, they should be raw or undercooked and free of seeds. Cooked apples or apple seeds might cause illness in your turtle. These may severely harm your pet’s digestive system, and it might become seriously ill.

It would help to consider their species, weight, age, and kind. These are important to remember since some fruit varieties might harm your pet turtle’s health. Terrapin snapping turtles can eat apples, while red-eared sliders are not allowed to consume them.

Read on for additional information about turtles and the foods they should or should not consume.

can turtles eat apples

How Often Should Turtles Eat Apples

Compared to other pets worldwide, turtles have the least selective eating habits. In the wild, all species of turtles are opportunistic eaters, meaning they will consume anything they can get their mouths on.

When it comes to apples, these little fellows won’t say no. The only exception is if you’re petting the animal, in which case you have complete control over and access to the food they consume.

Feeding them apples as a reward is OK, but you should only do this every now and then. Please don’t feed them the fruit as much as possible; think of other options instead.

Turtles do not possess the enzymes that are necessary to properly digest foods that are rich in both sugar and acid content, which the apple contains. Because of this, their stomach may become bloated, resulting in excruciating discomfort and possibly other complications. 

If you feed a slice of apple to your pet turtle and then notice that it starts acting strangely, you need to get in touch with a knowledgeable veterinarian who specializes in treating reptiles. This type of doctor can assess the issue and recommend an appropriate treatment.

Can Baby Turtles Eat Apples?

No. You shouldn’t feed your baby turtles an apple as much as possible. 

To begin with, baby turtles will not benefit from being fed fruit during their development. For these turtles to have a healthy brain development, they require a diet predominantly composed of animal proteins. 

Furthermore, apples can be extremely difficult for young turtles’ immature digestive systems to process. They may have significant bloating and gas after eating them. 

Just consider that an adult turtle cannot consume apples daily; if they cannot do so, how much more so are the younger turtles?

Can Box Turtles Eat Apples?

Ten percent of the box turtle’s diversified diet is allocated to fruits. As with other turtles, box turtles should only receive a modest amount of apples. After removing the peel and seeds, you must cut the fruit into small, consumable pieces. However, they prefer other fruits, notably citrus fruits, over apples.

Can Map Turtles Eat Apples?

Because map turtles behave like carnivores, a significant amount of their diet should consist of proteins derived from animals, at least 80 percent. You should reserve their consumption of fruits and vegetables for special occasions alone.

If they wish to eat apples, you should only seldom offer them one, preferably not more frequently than once per couple of weeks. If they consume more than that, it might be harmful to their health.

Why Vegetables are Better Than Apples

Turtles can consume both fruits and vegetables, although the former is the preferred option for their diet. Fruit is less nutrient dense than vegetables and should be served in smaller portions. 

As a general rule, you should feed your turtle green leafy vegetables. Leafy greens should make up at least 80 percent of your turtle’s diet. 

Vitamin A-rich veggies and fruits are ideal for your turtle’s calcium intake. Some of the best vegetables are kale, parsley, cabbage, and bell peppers. You can also feed them carrots, squash, and zucchini. Mussel, fennel, and cucumber are also other options.

On the other hand, some vegetables, such as onions and garlic, should be avoided.

What do Turtles Eat?

When feeding your pet turtle, you should stick to the basics. Pellets developed exclusively for turtles are the best option when shopping for turtle food. Most pet stores sell gut-loaded insects and earthworms to supplement your turtle’s diet. 

Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Turtles

To complement the above foods, you may also give your turtles treats. Snacks and treats high in vitamins and minerals are best for your turtle.


Calcium aids with the growth and maintenance of your turtle’s bones. The supplementation of whey protein also aids muscle growth. 

Offer lots of kale or other leafy greens to your turtle so that it may obtain the calcium it needs. You can give your turtle a small number of greens to eat daily. Crayfish, crickets, and roaches are all calcium-rich foods to eat on the go.


Your turtle’s robust bones are largely built thanks to the mineral phosphorus. Turtles can only absorb phosphorus if they have calcium in their bodies. 

An unbalanced phosphorus-calcium ratio can cause Metabolic bone disease (MBD). Because phosphorus is present in many meals your turtle frequently consumes, you will rarely need to give it extra of this vitamin.

Vitamin A

When it comes to turtles, a lack of Vitamin A can lead to various health problems such as respiratory sickness, visual loss, and ear abscesses, to name a few. 

Carrots, yellow squashes, sweet potatoes, leafy green vegetables, and fish or fish oil can all be added to your turtle’s diet in addition to pre-formulated supplements to gain the Vitamin A it needs.

Vitamin D

The best source of vitamin D for your turtle is direct, unfiltered sunlight. But if your turtle spends all its time indoors, you may boost Vitamin D intake through supplements.

A Balanced Diet for Turtles

Pet turtles are often omnivores, which means they eat animal and plant matter. The ideal food for your turtle will vary depending on various factors, including its size, species, age, and environment.

Adult pet turtles, for example, require a diet rich in animal products and fruits and vegetables. Between the ages of seven and 10, most turtles require more animal-based diets. 

Fish chow, turtle pellets, and drained sardines are all examples of animal-based pet food turtles may eat. They can also eat cooked chicken, beef, and turkey. 

Meanwhile, greens like collards, dandelion, and mustard greens are good plant food sources for your pet turtle. You may include a wide variety of fruits in their diet. Just make sure to feed them the right amount of proportion. 

Water hyacinth and water lettuce are non-toxic aquatic plants, and you can feed these to your turtle.

Depending on the species, feed an adult turtle once per day or two. For young ones, once or twice a day. Remember that most non-living meals, such as pellets, should be consumed within about 20 minutes, and any leftovers should be disposed of.


Can turtles eat apple slices?

Yes. Most turtles may safely eat an apple, but only in moderation and not too frequently.

What foods are poisonous to turtles?

According to Animal Shelters, the following plants are toxic to turtles: amaryllis, Carolina jessamine, asparagus fern, avocado leaves and seeds, azalea, rhododendron species, bird of paradise bush, and bird of paradise shrub.

Can a red-eared turtle eat apples?

The Red-eared Sliders are considered omnivores since they consume plants and insects in their diet. Apples are not a good choice of fruit for these turtles to eat, even if they consume other types of fruit. 

It is due to the high sugar and acidic content of apples, which is difficult for their digestive system to break down and may cause them to become bloated.

Are apples poisonous to tortoises?

Not really. Like turtles, it will need a lot of care and many more processes before feeding them apples. 

Tortoises have an insatiable appetite and, in almost all cases, will continue to eat until they burst. They will likely consume everything you offer them, regardless of what it is. 

However, given that some kinds of tortoises are known to be quite picky eaters, your pet may opt to overlook the apple.

Can Turtles Eat Apple Summary

So, can turtles eat apples? Yes, but it’s best to stick to the basics and give them a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. If you plan to do so, it’s also worth remembering to feed them in small proportions.

Remember to consider their species, weight, age, and kind when feeding your pet turtle. Thanks for reading!

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