Can turtles eat chocolate? You may share your tasty treats with your turtles and wonder, can turtles eat chocolate? The answer is no; they can’t eat chocolate because of its high sugar, milk, cocoa, emulsifiers, and preservatives. They have a sensitive stomach that finds it difficult to digest milk-based and high-carb products.
It is no doubt that chocolates are your favorite treat or dessert. You may want to have a chocolate production unit in your home, but you need to ponder before offering it to your turtle.
Can turtles eat chocolate? The answer should not have surprised you because many things in this world are safe for humans but harmful for animals.
Today, we will find out what potential harmful effects chocolate can cause to your turtle. It will make your decision easier not to let your turtle eat chocolate.
Why should you not feed chocolate to your turtle?
You know that your turtle is slow in almost every action. The analogy exists in its metabolic processes. Turtles have a slow metabolism, and therefore if they eat chocolate, it stays longer in the body. It is alarming because it should leave the body as soon as possible if there is something harmful.
Chocolate ingredients then get the chance to stay for long and circulate in all the body, even the brain. The obvious signs and symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle spasm in most cases. However, in cases of severe toxicity, your turtle may experience seizures and eventually death.
Let us discuss the harmful effects of chocolate in detail.
High sugar contents
Every 100g of chocolate contains 24g of sugar, which is very high. Turtle has a sensitive stomach that efficiently works when feeding the regular diet. However, when you feed a diet high in carbohydrates, the stomach is difficult to manage.
The high sugar content may cause insulin resistance or more than required fat production. The issues of obesity would be there when your turtle eats so much amount of fat. Obesity will increase the incidence of several diseases.
You may think that feeding small bits of chocolate won’t do any harm. You may be right if you have done for once or twice after a very long period. However, if it becomes regular, it can cause serious problems.
Turtles are not adapted to digest dairy-based products. They lack the enzymes needed for the digestion of milk-based products. Turtles are lactose intolerant which means that they can’t digest lactose which is the major component of dairy-based products.
Chocolate contains lactose, and it can cause irritation in the stomach and can develop diarrhea.
Did You Know?
We have written many articles about what turtles can eat. But did you know about this one? Can Turtles Eat Cucumbers?
Chocolate contains a lot of artificial flavors that are not suitable for the sensitive stomach of your turtle. Chocolate is loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives; these ingredients are bad for the health and wellbeing of your turtle.
Other than artificial ingredients, chocolate contains natural ingredients harmful to your turtle. Research has not been conducted to know the exact mechanism of action of these harmful ingredients, but they will wreak havoc in the turtle’s system, that is for sure.
Bad calcium to phosphorous ratio
Turtles need a 2:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorous in the body. The same ratio should be present in the diet. If the diet contains a different ratio than this 2:1, it will upset the calcium phosphorous ratio in the body.
Chocolate contains a 0.10:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorous that disturbs the body’s normal ratio, and the body suffers from severe metabolic upset.
What should you do when your turtle eats chocolate?
First of all, you don’t need to panic. You should remove any chocolate in access to your turtle and observe him for a few hours. If your turtle shows suspicious behavior, you need to bring it to your veterinarian immediately.
If your turtle does not show any reaction, you don’t need to do anything. Your turtle may have eaten only a small bit of chocolate.
Should you feed chocolate to your turtle?
Can turtles eat chocolate? You need to read clearly that you can’t offer even a tiny bit of chocolate to your turtle. It is not because they can’t digest it; they can digest most of its ingredients except some, e.g., lactose.
The ingredients your turtle can digest are toxic to your turtle. Therefore, it would not be wise to share your chocolate with your cute little turtle.