Can Turtles Eat Watermelon? (Red Eared Sliders & More)

Turtles are adaptive creatures and can live in many different environments, but sometimes, that adaptability means they try to eat things that are not good for them. Though delicious to us, watermelon does not make up a completely healthy diet for turtles and may even be poisonous when it is excessive.

In this article, we’ll look at whether or not all species of turtles can eat watermelon. Why it may be harmful to them if they do, and other fruits you can feed your turtles instead of watermelon to ensure they get the proper nutrition they need while still enjoying their food as much as possible.

Can Turtles Eat Watermelon?

It’s an age-old question. You see a picture of a turtle with watermelon and wonder if your turtle can eat that sweet red fruit. Of course, the answer is yes and no. It depends on how big your turtle is and what kind of watermelon you are talking about.

Most species of freshwater and land-dwelling pet turtles are omnivores—they will happily munch on both plants and meaty treats like mealworms! However, just because they can doesn’t mean they should; most fruits and veggies aren’t harmful to your turtle, but not all varieties are beneficial.

What To Consider When Giving Watermelon to Your Turtle

The water content of watermelons can vary depending on how ripe they are. Due to their high water content, melons should be avoided for animals with short snouts, including tortoises and turtles.

Instead of giving your turtle watermelon, consider a mixture of 1/2 cantaloupe and 1/2 honeydew or 1/4 banana and 3/4 honeydew. If you must give your turtle watermelon, make sure it is no more than 10 percent of their diet.

Never give them ice cubes made from frozen melon juice, as these may cause bloat. Ice cubes made from plain water are fine. And never feed your turtle any part of a watermelon rind; if they eat any rind, immediately take him to an emergency veterinarian.

You also need to keep in mind that while most reptiles love fruit, some will eat only vegetables, so check with your vet before offering anything new.

Can Baby Turtles Eat Watermelon?

Yes, baby turtles can eat watermelon. Watermelons make a healthy snack for turtles and tortoises at any age! But to get enough nutrients from your watermelon, it’s essential to choose a variety that provides a wide array of vitamins and minerals.

A baby turtle should constantly be fed a varied diet of greens, fruits, and veggies to ensure they are getting enough calcium. If you have an adult or senior turtle, feeding them watermelon is still a good idea if you provide the other types of fruit and vegetables like spinach. It’s also important to remember that not all watermelons are safe for turtles.

Some varieties contain seeds that could cause intestinal blockages, so avoid buying seed varieties when shopping for your pet. Also, if you do give your turtle watermelon, keep in mind that too much sugar can be harmful to their health. So we recommend limiting their intake to no more than one small piece per day.

What Other Fruits Can Turtles Eat?

While watermelons are an excellent food choice for turtles, they can also eat other fruits. Keep in mind that, while they’re good to feed your turtle on occasion, you don’t want them to be their main diet because most of these foods are too high in sugar and fat. Nonetheless, some fruits can make healthy snacks for your pet:

  • Apples.
  • Bananas.
  • Blueberries.
  • Cantaloupe.
  • Grapes.
  • Kiwi.
  • Mangos.
  • Oranges.
  • Peaches.
  • Pears.
  • Pineapple.
  • Strawberries

turtle eating strawberry

Can Turtles Eat Watermelon Skin?

The skin is edible, and your turtle will enjoy munching on it. However, don’t give them too much because it can lead to a stomachache.

Also, be sure that you remove any seeds before feeding them to your pet, as they could cause intestinal blockage if ingested by turtles. If your turtle has never eaten anything other than pellets and insects, then introduce new foods slowly, so they don’t get sick from eating something unfamiliar.

Can Red Eared Slider Turtles Eat Watermelon?

While many turtles love watermelon, red-eared sliders are not among them. Trying to feed your pet turtle a piece of watermelon could be quite dangerous for both you and your pet. For one thing, watermelons contain an enzyme called bromelain that can cause severe gastric distress in turtles.

For another, most reptiles have very sensitive stomachs that can’t handle large quantities of fiber—and watermelon is full of it! As such, feeding your turtle watermelon may result in diarrhea or even death.

However, if you choose to feed your pet with watermelon, watch it closely after feeding. If any of the above symptoms appear, remove any remaining pieces immediately and contact a veterinarian immediately.

How Often Should You Feed Your Turtles Watermelon?

Many pet owners and turtle experts recommend feeding your pet one small piece of watermelon every once in a while (once a week) instead of feeding them in large quantities at one time.

See also: How long can Red Eared Slider Turtles go without food?

Is It Safe for Turtles to Eat Watermelon Seeds?

If you’re going to feed your turtle watermelon, remove all of its seeds first! The seeds can be harmful and even fatal for some species of turtle. Even if you have a type of turtle known to eat watermelon seeds, it is still a good idea to cut them out before feeding them to your pet.