Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, are low in calories, and high in nutrients.
However, if you’re new to owning your pet turtle you might be wondering: Can turtles eat blueberries?
In this article, I will cover some key information about a turtle’s diet, from whether they can eat blueberries to their nutritional content.
Keep reading to find out more.
Can turtles eat blueberries?
Yes, it is safe for turtles to eat blueberries. However, when it comes to feeding your turtle blueberries and other sweet treats, moderation is key.
As healthy as blueberries are, they contain acid and sugar. Your turtle’s body isn’t built for a berry-rich diet. As a result, if you are feeding your turtle blueberries on a regular basis they could be at risk of developing a variety of health issues.
For instance, they could begin to develop kidney and digestive problems. In addition to this, their weight and development might suffer. In the wild, turtles rarely eat sweet fruits, and thus, their body isn’t used to digesting and metabolizing them.
If you want to give blueberries to your pet turtle, only feed them blueberries in moderation. Blueberries should never be a part of your pet’s daily diet. A couple of berries a few times a month is more than enough for your turtle to digest.
Can turtles eat the skin of blueberries?
Yes, turtles can definitely eat blueberry skin as long as it is clean. However, the fruit’s skin is usually prone to pesticide exposure. As a result, you must buy responsibly and clean your fruit thoroughly before feeding your turtle.
Is it safe to feed your turtle frozen blueberries?
Yes, it is safe for your turtle to eat frozen blueberries. However, you will want to make sure that you allow the blueberries to thaw slightly before feeding them to your turtle.
Not only are blueberries still super nutritious even after being frozen, but once they are frozen, no bacteria can grow on them. However, contrary to popular belief, freezing does not kill bacteria, so you will need to be extra cautious to thoroughly wash your blueberries before you place them in the freezer.
As a result, it’s a great option to freeze blueberries before giving them to your turtle as a treat. That being said, you shouldn’t feed them ice-cold blueberries. To thaw them for your turtle, place the blueberries in a bowl of water or run them under the tap.
Nutritional Benefits of Blueberries
Blueberries are packed to the brim with nutrients. They’re dense in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, known to boost bone health, blood pressure, and so much more.
To put their nutritional content into context, a 1-cup (148-gram) serving of blueberries contains:
- 4 grams of fiber
- 84 calories
- 15 grams of carbohydrates
- 24% of the RDI of Vitamin C
- 36% of the RDI of Vitamin K
- 25% of the RDI of Manganese
- Small amounts of various other nutrients
As your turtle won’t be eating nearly as much as a cup of blueberries, their nutritional content will differ. However, the fact remains that they are a nutritious food for your pet to eat in moderation.
Health Benefits of Blueberries
There are a variety of health benefits associated with blueberries, as they’re an incredibly nutrient dense food.
One of the biggest benefits of feeding your turtle blueberries is that they contain a generous serving of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been known to bolster a turtle’s immune system, minimizing the risk of possible infections and allergies developing due to a weakened immune system.
You want your turtle to be as healthy as possible, and vitamin C can promote a healthy immune system.
Blueberries also contain vitamin A. Vitamin A is fundamental to a turtle’s diet as it is an antioxidant that helps in the growth and repair of tissues. In addition to this, it is important for proper functioning of the eyes, skin, mucous membranes, and ducts.
Is it safe to feed your turtles blueberry plants and stems?
Generally speaking, no. Turtles shouldn’t eat blueberry plants and stems for the same reasons that we wouldn’t particularly like to eat them, either.
This primarily comes down to the fact that these parts are regular recipients of pesticides and fertilizers, but they also wouldn’t taste very nice! Alongside this, they also contain tannins and some diuretic compounds.
However, if your turtle accidentally consumes blueberry leaves and stems, it’s not the end of the world. Blueberry leaves and stems aren’t poisonous, they just shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities.
If your pet accidentally consumed a small amount, then they should be able to digest that without any complication.
Considerations When Feeding Blueberries to Turtles
Berries are nutritional powerhouses, but blueberries are very acidic for your turtle’s digestive system. Blueberries primarily contain citric, quinic, and malic acids, amongst small levels of others.
If you feed your pet turtle too many blueberries on a regular basis, then you increase their chance of having an upset stomach due to these acids.
In addition to this, the acids can alter the digestive tract’s pH balance, destroy colonies of good bacteria, and create a good entry point for toxins to enter your turtle’s bloodstream.
Blueberries contain sugar in the form of glucose and fructose which your turtle’s digestive system isn’t well-suited to digest in large quantities. These compounds are known to cause cholesterol spikes and insulin resistance in turtles.
The majority of fruits and vegetables contain pesticides, and blueberries are no exception. Pesticide and herbicide exposure may not kill turtles outright, but frequent exposure to them may weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to diseases over time.
Yes, your turtle can eat blueberries. However, you should only feed your turtle blueberries in moderation as a treat.
Like many other fruits and sweet treats, blueberries shouldn’t be part of their daily diet, but make a nice treat for them every once in a while.