Can Tortoises Eat Apple? – ANSWER by a VET!

Apple flesh, meat, and skin are safe for your pet tortoise. Wild tortoise feed on apples in the wild. However, I would avoid feeding apple seed to my tort; it contains cynanic.

There is a lack of data on the best fruits to feed tortoises. Experts believe that tortoises may not adequately digest fruits because their digestive systems were not designed to process them. When I heard that tortoises should not be fed apples, I wanted to look into the matter more.

Can Tortoises Eat Apples?

For tortoises to consume apples without the deadly apple seeds, they must remove the seeds first. Tortoises from the Mediterranean region and those from the Grazing Tortoise Conservation Area should consume apples sparingly, if at all. Tortoises can eat apple blossoms and immature leaves. Tortoises are poisoned by cyanic compounds found in older leaves.

On the other hand, rainforest tortoises do not mind eating apples because they do it frequently in their native habitat. Apples are an ethnic cuisine to some tortoise species, such as the grasslands and desert tortoises.

Apples should be fed in moderation to tortoises whose digestive systems are not adapted to starch. Second, keep in mind that the cyanide found in apple seeds is lethal to tortoises.

ALSO SEE: Can Turtles Eat Peppers?

Is Apple Good for Tortoises?

Foods that don’t add a lot of fiber to the tortoise’s diet should only be used as a treat, as herbivores, tortoises rely on their diet for survival.

Following is a list of tortoise species and the food they enjoy.

Pet owners of Mediterranean tortoises and grazers have reported no problems while giving fruits to their pets when consumed in moderation. Some specialists advocate avoiding fruits for these tortoises.

Tortoise ownership as a pet is still a mystery, but research is being done to fill gaps.

The nutritional value of 100 grams of apples

Nutrient Value
Water 85.56 g
Fiber 2.4g
Protein 0.3g
Sugar 10g
Calcium 6.00mg
Phosphorus 11.00 mg
iron 0.12mg
Niacin 0.091 mg
Riboflavin 0.026 mg
Thiamin 0.017 mg
Vitamin A 3.00 mcg
Beta carotene 27.00 mcg
Vitamin B6 0.041 mg
Vitamin C 4.6 mg
Vitamin E 0.18 mg
Vitamin K 2.2 mcg

Feeding an apple to a tortoise can help it stay hydrated.

Our tortoise food-related posts on this blog have repeatedly stressed the need to keep your pet hydrated.

Contrary to popular belief, the provided tortoise did not originate from a region where water is readily available. As a result, tortoises should not drink water, yet they regularly require it.

Torts may stay hydrated by eating food that is high in water content, in addition to giving them water in a bowl.

However, the amount of water in the diet shouldn’t be the deciding factor when it comes to feeding your tortoise.

Like other foods, apples are high in water content, and when combined with other fruits like watermelon, they add to turtle hydration.

Insoluble and Soluble Fibers and Proteins

Like many herbivorous animals, tortoises rely on dietary fiber for energy, which is turned into carbs in the tortoise’s digestive system.

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For tortoise dry matter meals, the fiber content should range between 10% and 40% of the dry matter, with 18% to 28% being regarded as optimum.

As a source of fiber, apples can be used to supplement a tortoise’s diet with other fiber-rich foods.

When it comes to the tortoise diet, protein should be a minor component. A tortoise isn’t well adapted to digesting proteins. Excessive protein synthesis might lead to an abundance of urea and uric acid, which necessitate a large amount of water to flush out of the body.

Tortoises still need proteins; thus, some of their dry matter food must be made up of them. According to industry standards, about 15% to 35% of the dry matter should be protein.

The presence of starch in the tortoise diet in the wild is rare and should be avoided, or starch-rich food should be consumed in moderation.

They are better able to digest starch than other tortoises because of their diet of fruits in the jungle.

As a result, these tortoises should only be fed apples in moderation because they contain starch.


The baby tortoises need a lot of minerals to grow and develop properly.

For tortoises to grow and develop properly, they must have minerals in their diets. Tortoises would be stunted or suffer from poor shell formation without these elements.

Calcium and phosphorus are the two most critical nutrients for a tortoise’s growth and development.

However, the tortoise body’s absorption of the two minerals is unfavorably affected by each other.

Phosphorus reduces calcium absorption in two ways when present in food at a higher quantity than calcium.

Phosphorus, unlike calcium, is easily assimilated by tortoises.

Calcium and phosphorus combine to generate calcium phosphate, which is insoluble and limits the amount of calcium absorbed by the human body.

Calcium to phosphorus ratios of 2:1 or 1:1 is suggested.

When feeding vegetables or fruits with a greater phosphorus concentration than calcium, be cautious.

The tortoise needs calcium for a variety of reasons.

  • Bones and shells begin to form.
  • Help keep the pulse and blood pressure in check.
  • The balance between the acid and the base
  • Increases muscle and nerve contraction and growth.
  • Boosts iron absorption
  • Activation of enzymes

Phosphorus is essential for tortoises.

plays a role in the chemical process that leads to the creation of energy

Transferring genetic material has a positive effect on bone formation and growth.

Enhances the transmission of nerve and renal signals

There is no need to supplement tortoises’ diets with phosphates, but calcium must be added to their diets.

Many calcium supplements are accessible online that may be added to the diet by dusting.

Vitamin D levels in the tortoise’s body also impact calcium absorption. The tortoise’s body must have adequate vitamin D to absorb calcium properly.

Exposure to the sun or a high-quality UVB lamp in your tortoise’s habitat can provide vitamin D.

Minerals that are needed in small amounts are referred to as miscellaneous. These elements may be found in the table above.

Can Tortoises Eat Apple


Vitamins, like minerals, are critical to tortoise growth and development.

Some of these minerals are essential for good health, and deficiency in any of them may be deadly. Some of these vitamins can be found in abundance in apples.

Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins are the most common types of vitamins.

Vitamins A and K are examples of fat-soluble vitamins, which must be absorbed into the body through lipids.

The tortoise’s growth and development are greatly aided by Vitamin A, which is involved in several biological processes.

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Vitamin A is essential to tortoise health.

Promotes the health of the skin and mucous membranes; safeguards the eyes; safeguards the reproductive system.

On the other hand, Vitamin A can have life-threatening health consequences if it is ingested in excess.

When it comes to vitamin A precursors, beta carotene is the best since the body only converts it into vitamin A in the required levels and then flushes out any extras that aren’t needed.

Tortoises with a balanced diet have virtually no risk of developing these health issues.

Additionally, apples contain vitamin K, which is essential in blood coagulation.

Water-soluble vitamins make up the second group of vitamins. Because they are eliminated in the urine, these vitamins have an advantage over fat-soluble vitamins in that they can never create health concerns if consumed in excess.

The vitamin B complex serves as a representative of water-soluble vitamins. The list of vitamins and their significance in a tortoise’s body is shown in the table below.

Vitamin Importance
Vitamin B1, thiamine regulator in the carbohydrate metabolism
Vitamin B2, riboflavin is a co-enzyme in energy release
Vitamin B3, niacin, also crucial to the energy metabolism
Vitamin B6, pyridoxine involved in energy conversion from glycogen and in the synthesis of hemoglobin and antibodies

How to Prepare and Feed Apples to the Tortoise

First, search for apples that have been cultivated without pesticides.

Thoroughly clean them

Make a few slicing motions, and then take out the apple core.

The cyanide included in apple seeds is lethal to tortoises to make matters worse.

Apples may be combined with a variety of different fruits and vegetables.

To avoid food contamination, take out any leftovers at the end of the day.

Risks of Overfeeding Apples to Tortoises

Like most other fruits, Apples contain a high sugar content since tortoises’ digestive systems are not accustomed to processing starch. Your tortoise should not be fed an excessive amount of apples.

Another issue is that apples’ high sugar content might upset the microorganisms in the tortoise’s stomach, reducing the body’s ability to synthesize and absorb important nutrients like Vitamin C.

Can Russian Tortoises eat Apples?

Apples may be fed to Russian tortoises without the seeds. According to tortoise specialists, the high sugar content of apples and other fruits is not suitable for tortoises from the Mediterranean region like Russian tortoises. In addition, they may devour the young leaves and blooms of apples.


Can Tortoise eat Apple Skin? 

As long as the apples are free of pesticides, tortoises may eat the skin. If you want to feed your tortoise apples, do it in moderation since they have a high sugar content that can severely impact their health if overfed.

Can Sulcata Tortoises eat Apples? 

Sulcata tortoises may eat apples. Despite this, apples can be given to sulcata tortoises in moderation because they are grassland tortoises and do not naturally consume apples. There are health risks associated with eating an excessive amount of apples because of the fruit’s high sugar content.

Can Red Foot Tortoise eat Apples? 

The red-footed tortoise can eat apples. Tortoises in the rainforest eat 30 percent of their food in fruits, and the red-footed tortoise is no exception. On the other hand, red-footed tortoises should only eat apples as part of a well-balanced diet.

What Fruits can a Red-Footed Tortoise Eat? 

One of the rainforest tortoises, a red foot tortoise, eats anything from bananas to strawberries to apples to kiwis and many more exotic foods.

Can Russian Tortoises eat Apples?

Even though Russian tortoises can consume apples without the apple seeds, scientists advise against feeding apples to Mediterranean species like Russian tortoises since they cannot digest high sugar levels in fruits. In addition, they may devour the young leaves and blooms of apples.

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Can Sulcata Tortoises eat Apples?

Sulcatas are not used to obtaining sugar and water in plenty of natural habitats. Berries, strawberries, organic banana pieces, cantaloupe chunks, and cantaloupe with skin are all acceptable snacks, as are organically grown peaches (no pits), apricots, and pears.

Can Desert Tortoises eat Apples?

Treats. It’s okay to give your tortoise the occasional pleasure of sweet fruit, but this shouldn’t be a regular component of your tortoise’s diet. Apples, bananas, grapes, peaches, plums, tomatoes, apricots, figs, mangoes, oranges, and pears are all nutritious in moderation.

Can Red-Footed Tortoises eat Apples?

Fruits make about 10% of the total. Grapes, apples, oranges, pears, prickly pear fruit, peaches, plums, nectarines, dates, all varieties of melons, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, mangoes, and tomatoes are all included in this category. The increase is set at 20% for red- and yellow-footed tortoises.

Can Horsefield Tortoises eat Apples?

The Mediterranean tortoise is the only turtle that can’t consume apples in moderation. Leafy greens such as kale, mustard, collard greens, carrot leaves, and other vegetables such as Yellow or Green bell peppers, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower make up the majority of a Horsefield tortoise’s daily diet.

Can Hermann Tortoises eat Apples?

The nutrition of a tortoise should resemble that of a wild one. Leafy greens and grasses are a good source of nutrition for your pet. Supplement the greens with smaller amounts of vegetables and fruits such as a few pieces of broccoli, a few slices of cabbage, a few slices of cauliflower, a few slices of cucumber, and a few slices of strawberry.

Can Spur-Thighed Tortoises eat Apples?

Your pet tortoise won’t get sick from eating apples, so don’t be afraid to feed them. In addition, it’s a fruit loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that’s great for your pet reptile, too. Compared to other, more “fattening” fruits, it has fewer sugars and calories.

Can Marginated Tortoises eat Apples?

For tortoises to consume apples without the deadly apple seeds, they must remove the seeds first. Tortoises from the Mediterranean region and those from the Grazing Tortoise Conservation Area should consume apples sparingly, if at all. Tortoises can eat apple blossoms and immature leaves.

Can Leopard Tortoises eat Apples?

The diet may also include commercial diets. Tomatoes, apples, papayas, cantaloupes, honeydews, watermelons, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, mangos, and bananas may make up a tiny component of the leopard tortoise’s diet.

Can Tortoises Eat Applesauce?

Yes, tortoises can consume applesauce.

The concept of tortoise owners feeding their pet turtles apples maybe a little scary, but in moderation, it is safe. The fact is that, as omnivores, most tortoise species can consume apples without any ill effects.

Can Baby Tortoises eat Apples?

Yes, tortoises can eat apples when they are young.

Tortoises can eat apples, and doing so is good for them. It’s a delightful snack also high in fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. “What is this?” As with any other fruit, providing apples too frequently might be harmful.


While the rainforest tortoise can consume apples without difficulty. When feeding fruits to grassland or Mediterranean tortoises, exercise caution. Unlike other torts, the Rainforest consumes fruit in its native environment and is used to the high sugar content of the fruit.

Remove the apple’s core before feeding it to your tortoise, as the seeds contain cyanide, which is toxic to them.

In other words, instead of being the sole source of nutrition, apples should be included in a varied diet.

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