Can Tortoises Eat Raspberries? (Why Fruit Is Bad)

Yes, tortoises can eat raspberries. All tortoises can eat fruits in moderation, although some species of tortoise are fruit eaters in the wild, and some aren’t. Fruit, in general, should be kept to a minimum and treated as ‘treats’ for tortoises.

Can Tortoises Eat Raspberries

Are Raspberries Good for Tortoises?

Strictly speaking, raspberries – and all fruits in general – are not good for tortoises.

Even the ‘fruit eating’ tortoises, like the red-footed and manouria, for example, would only eat a small amount of fruit in the wild.

It’s our job as owners to try and replicate what our tortoise’s diet would be in the wild as closely as possible.

Therefore, keeping raspberries and other fruits as an occasional treat is the best bet if your tortoise is to maintain optimal health.

How Bad Are Raspberries on Fruits for Tortoises?

The important thing to note is that raspberries are not toxic or poisonous in any way. It’s simply that fruit in general is not good for tortoises.

The main issue with fruits is the sugar content. Tortoises and this applies to some species more than others, find it hard to process sugars.

If a tortoise has too much sugar in its diet it can upset the balance of bacteria in their digestive system and cause them anything from an upset stomach to some serious health issues in the long run.

Honestly, I don’t know any owners who do not give their tort’s a little fruit here and there as a treat. So don’t feel bad about giving them a little raspberry here and there!

What Should You Feed Tortoises for a Balanced Diet?

Weeds and plants, along with vegetables will make up the bulk of a tortoise’s diet. Although, it’s very important that you give your tort as varied a diet as possible.

The rule of thumb when feeding a tortoise is to try and replicate what their diet would be in the wild as closely as possible.

To do this, you need to know what species of tortoise you have and what kind of terrain it is native to.

To help you out, broadly speaking tortoises are split into two groups; species that are native to rainforests and similar climates, and the species that are native to deserts and arid climates.

For example, some of the species that are commonly kept as pets that come from South America and tropical climates are:

  • Yellow-Footed tortoise 
  • Red-Footed tortoise
  • Elongated tortoises

The diet for these species of tortoise is made up primarily of wild plants and foliage throughout the summer, and they will eat a lot more fruit later in the year as it falls from the plants.

Some of the species that are commonly kept as pets that come from Europe, desserts, and less tropical areas include:

  • African Sulcata
  • Hermann’s tortoise
  • Horsfield’s (Russian) tortoise
  • Indian Star tortoise
  • Leopard tortoise

These tortoises eat a lot less, if any fruits in their diets naturally, so it’s not as necessary for you to feed them fruit.

Author Tip: If you’re really interested to know what your tortoise really wants to eat, you should do a little research into where your species of tortoise comes from.

Plants Tortoises Can Eat

Plants and vegetables make up the bulk of tortoises’ diet. Here are some of the plants that are safe for them, so which are easy to grow at home:

  • Plantain
  • Dock leaves
  • Aloe vera
  • Brambles (remove thorns!)
  • Hibiscus
  • Evening primrose
  • Mustard leaves
  • Forget-me-nots
  • MulberryChicory
  • Chickweed
  • Clover

Vegetables Tortoises Can Eat

Vegetables are one of the best ways you can provide nutritionally dense foods for your tort. Here are some vegetables that tortoises love:

Fruits Some Tortoises Can Eat

Some species of tortoise, like the yellow and red-footed tortoises, munch on fruits in the wild and will enjoy nibbling on some in their terrarium.

Some of the most well-known fruits that are safe are:

  • Strawberries
  • Squashes
  • Pear
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Kiwi
  • Apple
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Grapes
  • Banana
  • Figs
  • Papaya

What Can Tortoises Not Eat?

As we’re responsible for giving tortoises stuff to eat, it’s important you know the foods that are potentially dangerous.

This isn’t a complete list, but here are all of the common foods and plants I was able to reliably confirm may be harmful:

Plants to Avoid Giving to Tortoises

  • Holly
  • Yew
  • Azalea
  • Buttercups
  • Tiger Lily
  • Hydrangea
  • Rhododendron
  • Morning glories
  • Azalea
  • Ivy/Poison Ivy
  • Mistletoe
  • Buttercups
  • Hemlock
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Foxglove
  • Yew

Foods to Avoid Giving to Tortoises

  • Avocado
  • Yogurt
  • Beans
  • Citrus fruits
  • Parts of nightshade plants
  • Chili Peppers
  • Rhubarb
  • Bread

Can Greek Tortoises Eat Raspberries?

Greek tortoises, also called spur-thighed tortoises, are native to a few locations around the world, primarily Southern Europe and Southwest Asia.

They are a species of tortoise that eat fruits in the wild. They typically eat more fibrous fruits like apples and pears, but a small amount of raspberries are not going to do any harm.

Can Indian Star Tortoises Eat Raspberries?

The Indian Star tortoise is a fun tortoise to keep as a pet and it has some wonderful markings.

Native to India, as the name suggests, and Pakistan and Sri Lanka, this species would not eat raspberries in the wild so it’s not advisable you give your Indian Star raspberries.

Summary

Generally speaking, fruits are not recommended for tortoises as it’s hard for them to process the sugars. That said, a little treat here and there doesn’t do any harm, as long as you know the fruit does not pose a toxic threat.

Raspberries are perfectly safe for tortoises. So, as long as you feed raspberries to your tort on a rare occasion, it shouldn’t cause any issues.

Resources

Image credits – Taken by author; copyright PetAdviceHub.com

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