Can Turtles Eat Cranberries?

cranberriesTurtles love cranberries! In fact, a healthy helping of cranberries can actually be good for your pet. Cranberries are very low in calories and are a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Plus, they are one of the few fruits that is high in vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and a strong capillary (blood vessel) system. It also helps maintain healthy gums, teeth and bones. Cranberries are an excellent source of phosphorus which is needed to help build strong bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also important for normal muscle and nerve function.

Why are cranberries good for turtles?

Cranberries are very high in potassium which is an electrolyte our bodies need in small amounts. Potassium is necessary for muscle and nerve function, maintaining fluid balance in the body and regulating blood pressure. Cranberries also contain phosphorus which is important for healthy bone and tooth development as well as normal muscle and nerve function. Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C which is essential for a healthy immune system and helps maintain healthy gums, teeth and bones. Vitamin C is also needed for normal collagen and elastin formation which helps give our skin its elasticity and smoothness. Collagen is the main component of connective tissue. Connective tissue holds our organs, muscles, bones, skin and other tissues together. Elastin is a protein that gives our connective tissue elasticity and helps it return to its original shape after being stretched.

How do you feed a turtle cranberries?

Cranberries can be added to any turtle food or ration. You should always test the food or ration before feeding it to your turtle to make sure it meets the nutritional requirements for his/her age and stage of life. Remember, turtles get most of their nutrition from their food and not from eating vegetation. If you are feeding a pelletized diet, add a few tablespoons (15-30 ml) of cranberry juice to the bag every day. You can also add the juice to the water in which your turtle is swimming. Cranberries can also be given in a fresh fruit salad. Turtles can eat fruit as long as it’s not a major part of their diet. Just mix a small amount of cranberry juice with some chopped up fruit (like bananas) and you have yourself a nutritious and tasty treat.

How long does it take for a turtle to digest cranberries?

Cranberries are very high in acid. Acid in the body helps break down and eliminate toxins. This is especially important if your pet has an illness or is on any type of medication. If he is not ill, eating cranberries will not harm your pet. However, if your pet is suffering from any kind of illness, the acids in cranberries will help his body get rid of the disease causing toxins. It takes about 24-hours for your pet’s digestive tract to completely process the acids in cranberries.

Will a turtle get sick from eating too many cranberries?

Overloading your pet’s system with acids can cause diarrhea, stomach upset and even kidney problems. Too much acid in the body can also lead to excess calcium being deposited in the bones, which can lead to brittle bones and even kidney failure. Always keep in mind that too much of anything is bad!

Does eating cranberries make a turtle more or less likely to get sick?

Eating cranberries does not make a turtle immune to getting sick. However, it does help his body fight off many illnesses.

Can I give my turtle cranberry juice instead of fresh cranberries?

Yes. You can make your own cranberry juice by blending one cup (240 ml) of unsweetened cranberry juice with one cup (240 ml) of water. You can also buy unsweetened cranberry juice from your local feed store. Make sure the cranberry juice you use does not have any additives or preservatives. If it does, you may want to consider buying organic cranberry juice. Add a little bit of the homemade or organic cranberry juice to your pet’s food or ration every day. Be sure to test the food or ration first to make sure it meets your pet’s nutritional requirements. Remember, the juices are much more concentrated than the cranberries so a little goes a long way.