Can Turtles Eat Oranges? (are they safe )

Turtles are beautiful creatures that can also make for beloved pets.

If you’re lucky enough to have one then you’ll want to be fully informed of their dietary requirements, and we commend you for doing your homework. 

We’ve put together this article to explain everything you need to know about turtles and their appetite for oranges.

Are they good for them, or will eating them cause trouble?

Read on to find out!

Can my Turtle Eat Oranges?Yes, they can eat orange. unfortunately,There are no research and scientific case study that says orange are harmful to turtles. It is however prefferred to give your turtle orange in small quantity.

Here is a cute video of a turlte eating a orange. Read on to know more!

We usually think of them as being a good, healthy foodstuff, and that’s what they are for us, but that does not necessarily apply to our pets.

What’s good for one animal can be of no benefit to another, or potentially even be dangerous.

When it comes to turtles and oranges the key, as it often is with a lot of things, could be moderation.

Even those who do feed their pets orange only do so on the odd occasion. 

Most fruits are not considered a vital part of a turtle’s diet, and if they are given to them it should only be done so as a treat.

They (fruits in general, not oranges) should make up no more than ten percent of their food intake.

The Nutritional Value of Oranges for Turtles

Let’s take a closer look at what makes up an orange to see if they could have any benefits for your turtle.

They need diets rich in certain vitamins and minerals so they can grow and be healthy. Are oranges packed with the right stuff for them?

  • Vitamins

It’s common knowledge that oranges are a fantastic source of vitamin C.

So that should be good, right?

The thing is, turtles don’t really require all that much vitamin C. Vitamin A and calcium are what your pet really needs.

  • Calcium

Hooray! They also contain calcium, that thing your turtle does need a lot of in its diet.

This is because of its shell, which is made primarily of bone. Do oranges pack in enough to make up for the other nutrients, or lack thereof? 

Despite having a lot of calcium, they’d still be a poor source for your turtle and should definitely not be used as a way of giving this vital mineral to them.

When we say they need a lot we mean it, and as something that should only be given as a rare treat an orange isn’t going to do the job.

Related post –> Do Turtles Need Calcium?

  • Fiber

Oranges have a lot of fiber.

This is something else that’s good for us, but is it what your turtle needs?

Not really.

When advising on the types of foods to include in your turtle’s diet, experts often leave those that are high in fiber off their lists.

  • Carbohydrates and Sugars

Neither of these is very good for your pet.

A fat turtle isn’t something you see often, but apparently, it can happen!

Both should be strictly limited in their diet.

As we saw many people state while researching this article, oranges just don’t do a lot for turtles.

They don’t give much of what they need, and there’s definitely enough bad to outweigh the good.

Are Oranges Bad for Turtles?

So do people who feed their turtles oranges report any downsides? Have any studies uncovered adverse effects?

Let’s go into the potential problems we found.

  • The Citrus

A lot of the resources online did not just single out oranges as being no-gos for turtles.

They referred to citrus fruit as not being appropriate overall, and they are often singled out among fruits in general.

Citrus is considered to be too acidic for turtles, and it is not something they eat in the wild.

  • Your Turtle’s Stomach

Too much sugar and fiber will lead to gastrointestinal issues for humans and animals, and as we said oranges contain a lot of both.

This can result in diarrhea and other unfortunate problems. 

It would stand to reason that the same would apply to turtles, though even if it didn’t that would not be the extent of the trouble.

The bacteria in your turtle’s stomach is only able to digest a little sugar.

Excessive amounts can actually kill off this bacteria and lead to poisoning.

This is why it is advised that your turtle’s fruit intake is strictly moderated, and sugary human treats are off the menu altogether.

We found a lot of testimonials while doing our research, and thankfully it seems no turtles have been harmed.

The owners whose turtles do get to enjoy the occasional piece of orange have the good sense to greatly limit the amount. 

We would hope that anyone who did decide to use orange as a treat would never do so in such quantities as to cause these problems.

  • Kinds of Fruits for Turtles

We’ve explored the potential upsides and downsides of oranges with turtles. We also took a look at some other fruits for comparison.

While there are some potential negatives of feeding them orange, we’re pleased to report that there are certain fruits that make good alternatives.

Some suggest Apples, strawberries, and kiwi as good options.

Mango, melon, and papaya are also quite rich in vitamin A, something your turtle does need, which is why others recommend feeding them these.

Also read – >Can Turtles Eat papaya?

Keep in mind that even these fruits should still make up a small portion of your turtle’s diet (ten percent), and fruit should always be washed before feeding it to them.

What Foods Should my Turtle Avoid Eating?

Oranges could be an option every once in a while, but are there foods your turtle should avoid at all costs?

We may not have the time to go into all of them here, but we’ll list a few to get you started:

  • Anything dairy
  • Raw meat
  • Garlic and onion
  • Avocado Peel
  • Mushrooms
  • Rhubarb and tomato plant leaves (Also read -> Can Turtles Eat Tomatoes?)
  • Human food (like fried stuff)

Anything high in phosphorus should also be regulated.

Turtles need it along with the calcium for bone and shell development, but the ratios need to be kept right.

If they get too much of one and not enough of the other it can lead to trouble. 

For example, too much phosphorus will cancel out the calcium they are receiving and make them unable to metabolize it, which can lead to metabolic bone disease.

They should always have more calcium than phosphorus, getting between a 1:1 and a 2:1 ratio.

There’s also Vitamin D3, which sounds like it would be good for your turtle, but when over supplemented can actually be dangerous.

Thankfully you won’t find this in oranges, as it doesn’t come from plants. Big sources of vitamin D3 are oily fish, liver, and egg yolks.

Also Read-> Can Turtles Eat Eggs?

Again this is far from an exhaustive list, so keep doing what you’re doing and get stuck into that research.


So, should you feed oranges to your turtle?

It seems you can in small amounts, but we think you should skip it.

There is a lack of clarity and some people do give them to their own pets, but we do know one thing for sure: there are better alternatives. 

Instead of giving them oranges go for something that you know will be good for them and won’t cause any issues, even if you are just looking for something for treat day.

Frequently Asked Questions About Turtles and Oranges

Can my turtle eat orange peel?

As with the fruit itself, there are contradictory opinions on eating the peel.

Some recommend it, and others say they shouldn’t.

Those in the ‘no’ camp cite the possibility of pesticide residue.

It’s worth noting that some who have fed orange to their turtles say that they’ve eaten the soft fruit inside but left most of the skin, so maybe they aren’t big fans of it anyway (or perhaps those were just particularly picky turtles).

Is there a specific kind of turtle that should not eat oranges?

There are many different turtle species, and their dietary requirements can change depending on the type.

One of the main differences seems to be between the requirements of land and water turtles.

Though they tend to eat a variety of animal and plant life, some are herbivores and eat less protein.

We were not able to find any turtle type that would experience effects outside the norm from eating oranges.

That isn’t to say there isn’t one out there, though. Research is still ongoing about the effects of citrus on turtles. 

Given that there are over 300 kinds, make sure you look up the specifics for the diet of your own pet.

Can baby turtles eat oranges?

You’ve got yourself the cutest baby turtle, and you think they deserve a treat.

Is it okay to give them a bit of orange, just this once?

Given the general debate, we would suggest you find something else. 

An adult turtle with a fully developed stomach may be able to handle some orange now and then and avoid the potential problems, but a young one is going to have less of a tolerance.

Also read

Can Turtles Eat Cucumbers

Can Turtles Eat Fish Food? 

Can Turtles Eat Celery 

Further reading and sources

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