If you’re thinking about introducing an adorable little pet tortoise into your home (and backyard) then besides making sure that your tortoise has a comfortable living environment and plenty of space to explore, there’s something else that you’re going to need to make sure you do right – and that’s your tortoise’s diet.
Unlike a pet dog or cat, tortoises can be a little tricky to feed, especially as they’re not a common type of housepet, and aren’t as sociable in nature as a dog or cat, which means that it can be extra tricky trying to distinguish between what a tortoise likes and dislikes, not to mention whether or not the food in question is actually good for your tortoise.
If you’re currently asking yourself – “Can my tortoise eat an apple?” – then you’ve clicked on the right article! The good news is that there are a wide variety of different foods that are suitable for a tortoise to eat, including a wide range of colorful and fortifying fruits.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about feeding your tortoise apple. You’ll find a breakdown of what type of tortoise can eat apples (as well as which types can’t) as well as the nutritional value and benefits of introducing apples into your tortoise’s diet. Ready? Let’s jump straight in!
Can Tortoises Eat Apple?
This is a very important question to ask, and it’s important to keep in mind that not all tortoises may be able to eat apples.
Generally speaking, all types of fruit-eating tortoises will be able to eat apples, as well as other types of fruits, due to the fact that tortoises are omnivore by nature and take most of its nutrients from foods such as fruit and vegetables, including apple.
However, regardless of which type of tortoise you have as a pet, it is extremely important that you remember to remove any apple seeds that may be present in the apple you plan on giving to your tortoise, as apple seeds are toxic to all species of tortoise and may cause poisoning.
In addition to this, as we said above, not all tortoises may be suitable for eating apple, and the main species included within this are Mediterranean tortoises, as well as all Grazing tortoise, as these two types of tortoise species do not encounter apples within their natural habitat, which then, therefore, means that their digestive systems might have a hard time trying to digest them properly.
If you do have a Mediterranean or Grazing tortoise that you would like to feed apples to, then we recommend that you slowly introduce this fruit into your tortoise’s diet so that there will be a much lower chance of any problems arising.
Aan example, many owners who wish to introduce apples into their tortoise’s diet will start off slow by chopping up very small pieces and placing one or two into their regular food, or by slicing small amounts of apple and giving small portions of it to their tortoise to see whether or not they like it, as well as if they have any issues with digesting the starch properties within the apple.
As a side note, if you have an apple tree or buy your apples from a local source, then you might often notice that your apples come with leaves attached to them.
While feeding your tortoise, make sure that you remember to keep in mind that even though tortoises can eat fresh leaves from an apple, they should under no circumstances be given older apple leaves that are beginning to decay, as these types of leaves contain something known as a cyanic compound, which is not only toxic to tortoises but can actually be fatal if congested.
What is the Nutritional Value of an Apple?
If you are planning on feeding your tortoise an apple, then do keep in mind that the nutritional value of an apple can vary greatly, depending on the species of apple it is, as well as the quality of the conditions that it was given to grow in. However, to give you a general idea, here is the average national value of a standard apple you can get from any grocery store:
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What are the Benefits of Giving a Tortoise Apple?
So, now that you have a general idea of the nutritional value of an apple, let’s take a look at some of the health benefits that feeding your tortoise an apple can bring about:
1. Better Digestion
First things first, one of the biggest benefits that choosing to feed your tortoise apple can bring is more efficient digestion. This is because apples are enriched with plenty of fiber which will help to aid in the digestion of your tortoise, while also improving overall gut health.
2. Increased Hydration
Besides helping to aid in digestion, another huge benefit of feeding your tortoise apple is an increased level of overall hydration due to the high water content level present within apples.
Thanks to this, it means that many tortoise owners like to feed apples to their tortoises during the hot, summer months as a refreshing and nutritious snack.
3. Healthy Immune System
Much research has been undertaken with regards to the nutritional benefits of apples in animals, and many studies have concluded that apples have the power to boost the overall strength of an animal’s immune system.
Wondering why? The main reason for this comes down to the fact that apples are enriched with fortifying Vitamin C (alongside a variety of other vitamins) that will play a huge role in helping your tortoise’s immune system, while also being able to protect against harmful pathogens.