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Can Turtles Eat Raspberries? Vet-Reviewed Nutritional Facts & FAQ

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By Kerry-Ann Kerr

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Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Turtles can eat an assortment of fruit as part of a healthy diet, but are raspberries one of these fruits? Yes, your turtle can (and likely will!) enjoy raspberries, and being that they are packed with vitamin C, phosphorus, and dietary fiber, your turtle will also benefit from eating them. However, you might wonder how much to give, how to prepare them, and if turtles even like them. So, let’s take a look at all of that now.

Benefits of Eating Raspberries

Your turtle can enjoy raspberries occasionally, and they are the perfect quick, healthy snack your turtle will appreciate. They’re high in fiber and vitamin C, lower in sugar than most other fruits, and packed with essential antioxidants. Raspberries can also provide the following benefits:

  • Improve blood sugar
  • Support smooth digestion
  • Suppress inflammation

You can get them fresh or freeze-dried, but we always recommend feeding your turtle fresh fruit—freeze-dried berries contain less water, vitamin C, and more sugar, but they do ensure year-round availability.

Image Credit: Shutterbug75, Pixabay

Do Turtles Like Raspberries?

Yes, generally, turtles like the taste of raspberries, and fruit in general, over vegetables. Some turtles are considered carnivores, such as the Spiny Soft-Shell turtle, and they enjoy a diet of commercial turtle pellets and live animal protein.

However, if your turtle is an omnivore, they will prefer a diet of plant matter, animal protein, and pellets, with treats of fruits, turtle treats, or insects making up 5% of their total food intake. It’s a good idea to mix up the fruit and vegetables they’re eating so they’re getting the benefit from different types.

This means you’ll need to ensure your turtle isn’t eating too many raspberries; we recommend no more than one or two per week. While raspberries are lower in sugar than other options, they can still be harmful if consumed in large quantities; they are also considered a high-oxalate food. Oxalates can bind to minerals such as calcium and form calcium oxalate kidney stones, and the more they eat, the less calcium they can absorb. As turtles need a lot of calcium, this can lead to serious health problems, kidney problems, and cause soft bones.

How to Serve Raspberries to Your Turtle

Ensure you wash the raspberries thoroughly and remove the stem and leaves. Slice them and then serve them to your turtle! If you feed them freeze-dried raspberries, thaw them first and mix them with other fruits.

turtle eating raspberry
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Other Fruit Turtles Enjoy

Fruit should be offered in moderation and shredded or cut to prevent choking. You can also provide cantaloupe with the rind attached to keep their beak trim. Other fruits they can safely enjoy in moderation include:

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Melons
  • Peaches, plums and nectarines (with stone removed)
  • Pears

What Can Turtles Not Eat?

While on the subject of what you can share with your turtle, it’s always a good idea to take note of what they should not eat. Unsuitable food can cause stomach issues or be fatal if ingested. So, never offer your turtle:

  • Citrus fruit
  • Avocados
  • Cat or dog food
  • Earthworms or insects from your yard (they can introduce parasites, bacteria, and pesticides to your turtle)
  • Frozen or freeze-dried fish since they’re usually deficient in essential vitamins
  • Frozen vegetables or fruit since they’re usually deficient in essential vitamins
  • Raw beef or chicken
  • Toxic plants like amaryllis

Be Careful Not to Overfeed Your Turtle

If you have a pet dog, you might be familiar with how they “beg” for food. Turtles can also be guilty of this! They are opportunistic feeders, so if you aren’t careful, they will eat things they shouldn’t, or overeat. This can lead to obesity and fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis).

If you’re unsure how much you should be feeding your turtle, ask your vet for advice because their answer will depend on factors like their age, size, and species.

A little turtle eating carrots and broccoli from a rocky dish in a terrarium with red light
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators,Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

Not only can your turtle eat raspberries, but they can also be beneficial. It’s incredibly easy to overfeed your pet, especially when you’re new to being a pet parent and not paying attention. If you need help figuring out how much your turtle should eat, ask your vet for advice. Fruit should be enjoyed in moderation and always cut into bite-sized pieces to prevent choking.

Featured Image Credit: Dionisvera, Shutterstock

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