Can Box Turtles Eat Oranges? What You Can and Can’t Feed

Some people own box turtles as their pets, or you can find them in your yard, so you find yourself caring for them. When doing so, their diet is one of the most vital factors to maintain their health, so you need to ensure they eat nutritious foods. However, they don’t have the typical human diet, or those similar to cats and dogs.

As they are omnivores, you may wonder, “can box turtles eat oranges?” It’s possible, but you need to be wary! Read on to find out if you should feed your box turtles oranges and what else you can feed them.

can box turtles eat oranges

Can Box Turtles Eat Oranges?

As mentioned, box turtles are omnivores and can consume animal and plant-based food. The proportions of animal and plant-based food depend on their age and the species of box turtle being fed.

In terms of feeding them oranges, it is allowed, but only in small and limited quantities. There aren’t any conclusive studies that show if citrus fruits like oranges are harmful to turtles, but these animals do reap health benefits when given a variety of whole foods, such as small amounts of fruits and veggies.

In general, box turtles will need more greens and leafy vegetables. They are also allowed fruits such as varieties of berries, grapes, apples, and papaya.

Check out this video on box turtles and what they can and can’t eat:

Giving Your Box Turtle Oranges

Feeding your box turtle oranges has its benefits, since it’s high on vitamin C. With that said, there are dangers to feeding them oranges, or other certain fruits for the matter.

Box turtles need a balanced diet and while it won’t do them harm offering small pieces of oranges every now and then, it’s best to do this infrequently.

When you feed your turtle orange or other fruit, you have to consider the amount of fruit sugar (fructose) it has. Turtles are smaller than we are, so they shouldn’t be consuming as much sugar as we are. That’s why small pieces of oranges will go a long way, and the sugar is more potent to box turtles than it would be when we consume it.

If you feed them too much sugar from fruits like oranges, it alters pH levels of their digestive tracts. As a result, it can kill large quantities of natural gut bacteria required to maintain the best gut health. The worst that can happen is a toxic shock from sugar overconsumption, a potentially fatal condition.

To care for your box turtle better, be sure to give them only very small pieces of oranges and fruit once in a while. Or, it’s better if you avoid feeding it to them altogether!

When you feed them an orange, start with only a tiny piece to see if they like it. Some box turtles may find it delicious, wanting more, however, others may not like the acidic taste. If your box turtle doesn’t like it, dispose of the orange and offer them other vegetables instead, rather than sugary fruits.

Wrapping It Up

Most turtle species are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals. However, this doesn’t mean they are allowed to eat everything they see! While they are allowed to consume oranges, it’s best to feed them much more nutritious foods.

I hope that my article answered your question, “can box turtles eat oranges?” Now that you know the answer, be more aware of what the box turtle can or can’t eat for them to have a healthier and longer life.

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