Can Box Turtles Eat Pumpkin

Can Box Turtles Eat Pumpkin?

Box turtles are the best reptiles to keep in their homes because they like to eat what we eat, like vegetables, fruits, and proteins. What if you have tasty pumpkins to feed your turtles? There is no doubt that pumpkins are delicious and full of nutrients. But “Can box turtles eat pumpkins?” since these fruits are a rich source of vitamin A.

Box turtles can eat pumpkins. The seeds, skin, and flesh of pumpkin are full of nutrients for turtles. Interestingly, turtles can eat pumpkins in pureed, canned, steamed, or raw form. The raw pumpkin is the most nutritious option for turtles to maintain health. Wash the pumpkin and slice it into small chunks to serve to your box turtles.

However, the pumpkin and turtle story does not end here. There are many benefits and risks associated with feeding pumpkin to your pet turtles. Join me in this guide to learn about the topic, “Can box turtles eat pumpkins?”Let’s go!

Can Box turtles eat pumpkins?

Yes! Box turtles can eat pumpkins. If you are a turtle lover and want to share your pumpkin with your pet, you can definitely feed them. The main reason behind feeding pumpkins to your captive turtles is simple – “pumpkins are a rich source of nutrients.” It’s a fact!

Whether you feed them peels, leaves, seeds, or flesh of pumpkins, it’s all safe for your box turtles. It’s not only safe fruit for box turtles but also for many other species of turtles. More specifically, painted turtles live to eat pumpkins.

What are the nutrients present in pumpkins for turtles?

Pumpkins have many beneficial nutrients for box turtles. They are packed with fiber, vitamin A, Vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, and potassium. So, you can analyze that all these nutrients are essential for the health and wellness of box turtles.

Let’s see the number of nutrients present in 100 grams of raw pumpkin for your box turtles in the following table:

Folates16 mcg4%
Niacin0.600 mg4%
Pantothenic acid0.298 mg6%
Pyridoxine0.061 mg5%
Riboflavin0.110 mg8.5%
Thiamin0.050 mg4%
Vitamin A7384 IU246%
Vitamin C9.0 mg15%
Vitamin E1.06 mg7%
Vitamin K1.1 mcg1%
Sodium1 mg0.5%
Potassium340 mg7%
Calcium21 mg2%
Copper0.127 mg14%
Iron0.80 mg10%
Magnesium12 mg3%
Manganese0.125 mg0.5%
Phosphorus44 mg5%
Selenium0.3 mcg<0.5%
Zinc0.32 mg3%

Benefits of Pumpkin for Box Turtles to Eat:

Guess what! Pumpkins have many benefits for box turtles, but I don’t believe any other fruit has such great benefits. Let’s review the benefits of eating pumpkin for box turtles:

  1. Nutritionally-Rich Fruit:

Pumpkins are available in different forms, and each form has its own nutritional value. The nice thing is that all of these forms are good for the health of box turtles. You can feed them pumpkin puree, fresh raw pumpkin, cooked or steamed pumpkin, and canned pumpkin.

Overall, all of these forms of pumpkin are healthy for your pet turtles, but the most preferred option is the fresh raw pumpkin. It has a higher nutrient content than other forms. Moreover, pet turtles often don’t like cooked pumpkins except cooked meat. So, give fresh and pure pumpkins to your lovely and cuddly reptiles.

  1. Supports Healthy Vision:

Pumpkins contain beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. According to various studies, it’s essential to maintain good eyesight in box turtles.

Furthermore, vitamin A maintains the health of your turtle’s skin, eyes, and overall health. So, if your turtles eat pumpkins occasionally, it will help their vision problems.

  1. Improved Immunity:

Did you know vitamin C is an antioxidant present in large quantities in pumpkins? Its purpose is to promote a strong immune system in turtles.

Vitamin C helps to combat free radicals. It also protects the body of the turtle from illnesses and infections.

  1. Helps Lower Blood Pressure:

Potassium is also found in pumpkins. It is known to help regulate blood pressure in turtles.

Plus, adequate potassium intake contributes to balanced electrolyte levels. As a result, the cardiovascular system of your pet becomes healthy.

  1. Boosts Bone and Heart Health:

Pumpkin is a tasty squash that is a source of minerals like magnesium and calcium. It’s best to maintain a healthy heart and strong bones in box turtles. Thus, these minerals are vital for overall skeletal and cardiovascular well-being.

  1. Lowers the Risk of Kidney Stones and Type 2 Diabetes:

The fiber content in pumpkins is like a game changer in controlling blood sugar levels. It reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, which is very common in box turtles.

Additionally, adequate hydration from pumpkin consumption helps lower the risk of kidney failure.

  1. Eases Inflammation and Improves Digestion:

Last but not least, the fiber content present in pumpkin has another important benefit. It helps the turtle’s digestive system. Furthermore, it promotes a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, certain compounds in pumpkin may have anti-inflammatory effects, contributing to overall well-being.

And I’m reminding you again that I always offer pumpkin in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet. So, you should follow this strategy to maintain the health of your friendly reptiles.

Important things to Consider While Feeding Pumpkin to Box Turtles:

Don’t forget the following do’s and don’ts while feeding pumpkin to your box turtles:

  1. It would be best if you did not give pumpkin to your turtle every day as a regular diet. It’s an occasional diet.
  2. Pumpkins are just like friendly fruits that should be fed to them moderately. Too much consumption of pumpkins is unhealthy for box turtles.
  3. If your box turtle is used to eating pumpkins, you can also feed them other types of this fruit. For example, white pie and pepitas are good for them occasionally. Baby Pam, Autumn Gold, Baby Bear, spooktacular, Casper, and white pumpkin varieties are suitable.
  4. These pumpkin pieces should be appropriate for the turtle’s size to chew them and eat them properly. Typically, the pieces should be no larger than the turtle’s head.
  5. Remove the pumpkin seeds, as they can be a choking hazard. If you want to serve them pumpkin seeds, serve them mashed seeds.

How much pumpkin should box turtles eat?

Turtles should eat only a few pieces/chunks of raw pumpkin occasionally rather than a whole fruit. If you are putting pumpkin puree in your turtle’s food bowl, 1 to 4 tablespoons is enough to serve them.

Most importantly, give them these portions of pumpkin in moderation as part of their diet. Moreover, the amount of pumpkin a box turtle should eat depends on size, age, and overall dietary needs.

The general guideline for offering raw pumpkin to turtles is – a few small pieces are enough for turtles. You can also adjust the amount of pumpkin according to your turtle’s behavior.

How to prepare pumpkins for turtles?

It’s very easy to prepare pumpkins for turtles. You just need to wash the raw pumpkin before doing anything else. Now, cut it into several small and equal-sized pieces.

Then, try to remove all seeds. Crush the seeds of the pumpkin into small bits. In terms of peels, it’s your choice. If you want to remove the peels, then remove them. Otherwise, don’t remove the peels.

Many individuals steam the pumpkin. Everyone doesn’t need to steam it. You can skip this step and serve the pumpkin in raw form.

Read also: Can Turtles Eat Goldfish?

Can you feed pumpkin to baby turtles?

Absolutely 💯 Yes! You can feed pumpkins to baby turtles. However, peel and split them before providing them to your turtles. The best practice to feed pumpkins to baby turtles is hand-feeding the flesh.

Alternatively, there are other good practices, too, to feed pumpkins to baby turtles. For example, purchase cooked raw pumpkin or pumpkin puree. Then, mash it and provide it to your sweet baby turtles.

Check out this beautiful YouTube video about a turtle eating pumpkin joyfully. I hope you’ll enjoy watching it. It’s a soothing experience just to watch your pet eating delicious pumpkins.


  1. Do turtles like pumpkins?

Yes! Turtles like pumpkins, especially the ripe ones. This is interesting because ripe pumpkins taste sweeter than their other forms. If you are looking for a tasty pumpkin variety for your box turtles, go for a pie pumpkin, Jap, and Casper.

  1. What are the Risks of Pumpkin for Box Turtles to Eat?

Here are a few risks associated with eating pumpkin for box turtles:

  • Pumpkins have a bit of a high sugar content level, which is the basis of diabetes and obesity in box turtles if they eat it a lot.
  • If box turtles eat pumpkins excessively, their digestive system is significantly risky.

You can easily get that the risk is there if your turtle consumes anything excessively while ignoring other frequently used good items to eat. Otherwise, you can check out these fantastic Reddit fellows’ reviews about their turtles’ experience with pumpkins.


Our guide, “Can box turtles eat pumpkins?” comes to the final verdict. And the answer is YES! However, it’s essential to understand that box turtles are omnivorous, and you should feed them all sorts of vegetables, fruits, and other turtle foods they love. They like to consume pumpkin seeds and rinds along with the pumpkin’s flesh.

Now, the matter is shifted towards other turtles about eating pumpkins. Can you tell me, “Can red-eared slider turtles eat pumpkins?” Also, what’s your turtle’s favorite food? Let me know in the comments section.