Pumpkins taste good and are super nutritious. But can pet turtles eat the pumpkin fruit since it is rich in vitamin A? And as you might know, turtles need lots of food containing vitamin A for their overall health.
Can turtles eat pumpkin? Absolutely. Turtles can eat pumpkin, including the seeds, skin, and flesh. In addition, they can eat the pumpkin either raw, steamed, canned, or pureed. However, raw pumpkin is the most nutritious option. You just need to wash it properly and slice it into smaller chunks.
But that’s not all. So, read on to find out if there are any benefits or risks to pet turtles eating pumpkins.
Can You Feed Pumpkin To Your Pet Turtles?
You definitely can feed pumpkins to your pet turtles. The pumpkin seeds, leaves, and peels are all safe for your turtles to eat. They are rich in many nutrients, which are essential for different turtle species, including box and painted turtles. Some of the beneficial nutrients pumpkin packs include:
- Vitamin A and C
- Vitamins B1 and B6
- Copper and iron
- Calcium and potassium
But here is the thing; pumpkin is only safe if you feed it to your reptile friends moderately and occasionally. This is because it contains high sugar content. As such, your turtles could develop diabetes and obesity from eating too much. Also, excess pumpkin in their diet may lead to digestive distress.
With pumpkin being safe, you can feed different types of this fruit to your turtles, like pepitas and white pie. But overall, the Casper or white pumpkin, commonly used for decorations, is the sweetest of them all. Other pumpkin varieties are baby bear, Autumn Gold, baby pam, and spooktacular.
Guess what! You can feed pumpkin to your turtles in different forms, and each packs many nutrients. These forms include:
- Canned pumpkin
- Fresh raw pumpkin
- Pumpkin puree
- Cooked or steamed pumpkin
Overall, fresh pumpkin is the preferred option because it is deemed to contain a higher nutrient content than the rest. Besides, pet turtles don’t like cooked food except when it is meat. Therefore, it is best to feed raw and fresh pumpkins to these lovely reptiles.
Do Turtles Like Pumpkin?
Absolutely. Turtles like a ripe pumpkin because it has a sweet flavor. Some of the tastiest pumpkin varieties include Casper, Jap (kabocha), and a pie pumpkin.
Health Benefits For Turtles Eating Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a highly nutritious squash. As such, there are several health benefits for pet turtles eating this fruit, but in moderation. These include:
- Supports turtles’ healthy vision
- Rich in vitamin C for improved immunity
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Boosts bone and heart health
- Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes and kidney stones
- Improves digestion and eases inflammation
How Much Pumpkin Should Turtles Eat?
Turtles should eat just a few pieces of raw pumpkin once in a while and not a whole fruit. In the case of pumpkin puree, your turtles can take 1-to-4 tablespoons of the pumpkin.
How Do You Prepare Pumpkin For Turtles?
You first wash your raw pumpkin and cut it into several pieces. Then, remove the seeds and crush them into tiny bits. As for the peels, you can choose to remove them or not. You could also steam the pumpkin, although not recommended.
Can You Feed Pumpkin To Baby Turtles? If So, How?
Yes. However, you must remove the peels and slice the pumpkin into small chunks. Then, hand-feed the pumpkin flesh to your turtles. Alternatively, you can buy pumpkin puree or cook raw pumpkin and mash it before feeding it to the baby turtles.
Now, check out this video of a mature turtle enjoying a few pieces of pumpkin without the seeds and skin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Box turtles can eat raw pumpkin on an occasional basis. This is because these turtle species are omnivorous and love eating all sorts of fruits and vegetables. Box turtles will even have pumpkin rinds and seeds. You just slice the pumpkin into pieces or lightly steam them for ease of eating.
Yes, you can occasionally feed pumpkin to red-eared slider turtles. The pumpkin is easy to eat and digest for these turtle species. Even better, pumpkins are rich in various nutrients essential for red-eared slider turtles, such as vitamin A and C. So, the turtles can eat any type of pumpkin.
Absolutely, since their diet comprises both plant and animal protein foods. However, the nutritional value of pumpkins is not enough to meet the dietary needs of painted turtles. Therefore, you should not let painted turtles eat pumpkins daily. Instead, these turtle species should only eat pumpkins as an occasional snack.
Turtles can eat different types of pumpkin varieties, either raw or steamed. But since pumpkin is a fruit, pet turtles should take it in moderation, just like other types of fruits.
This is because the fruit boasts high sugar content that could lead to weight gain. Not to mention, the fruit is rich in phosphorus, which may inhibit calcium absorption in high amounts.