Can Tortoises Eat Honey? (Yes! With Benefits)

Although honey is delicious food, it can’t be eaten by every animal. For example, dogs and cats can’t eat honey because their bodies don’t produce the enzymes necessary for digesting it.

Tortoises, on the other hand, can eat honey, do have the enzymes to digest honey which is why it can be safely introduced to their diet, with various benefits.

Health Benefits Of Honey For Tortoises

In addition to the fact that honey is a sweet and delicious food, it has many health benefits for tortoises. The antioxidants in honey help reduce oxidative stress, which is one of the leading causes of aging. It also helps prevent diabetes because it has a low glycemic index.

Tortoises can also gain a variety of nutrients from honey such as iron, vitamin C, and zinc. In addition, eating honey helps tortoises increase their energy levels and improve their immunity.

Supervising Your Tortoise While It’s Eating Honey

One of the most common mistakes that people make with their tortoises is that they offer them too much of something sweet like honey because they assume that it will only benefit them. While letting your tortoise eat a little bit of honey from time to time can be good for both of you, you have to be careful not to give your tortoise too much.

Too much sugar isn’t good for tortoises for several reasons. First, eating too many carbohydrates can put stress on the kidneys which can result in kidney failure and possibly even death if it occurs regularly.

In addition, if your tortoise eats a lot of sugar then he or she will likely gain weight which can cause health problems such as arthritis and heart disease.

What Do Tortoises Eat?

Tortoises eat a wide range of foods, including leaves, flowers, fruit, and insects. They also enjoy honey in their diet. In fact, some people feed honey to their tortoises as a treat.

Tortoises also enjoy other sweets, including fruits and vegetables. Some tortoises love a little bit of cantaloupe or watermelon. Carrots are another favorite, and many people try to hand-feed their tortoises tiny carrots or baby food carrots with no success.

It’s best to offer your tortoise a variety of foods rather than one food all the time. Each species is different in its preferences, so it’s important that you learn what your tortoise likes and doesn’t like in terms of fruits and vegetables before you begin feeding him or her.

Bugs and other invertebrates make up an important part of the diet for most tortoises. Grasshoppers, crickets, worms, spiders, moths, and other insects are easy for a tortoise to catch and nutritious as well. Some people think it is cruel to offer bugs to their pets, but many people do it anyway without worrying about what anyone thinks of them!

You can easily catch small bugs at home with a few pieces of netting stretched across a large container. The bugs will happily crawl in and get stuck inside so you can scoop them up and feed them to your tortoise.

Invertebrates have been available for decades to keep tortoises happy and healthy, but what about the staple foods that most people think tortoises eat? Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce or kale, are traditional basic foods for tortoises. These foods are generally not very nutritious or tasty, yet many people continue to offer them to their tortoises.

Other popular choices include apples, bananas, and pears. There’s nothing wrong with these items on occasion, but they should not be offered on an everyday basis. All of these fruits are high in sugar (fructose), which is a poor choice of food for a reptile that doesn’t store excess energy well in its body fat the way higher mammals (including humans) do.

What Food Is Poisonous To Tortoises?

There are some common foods that should never be offered to tortoises because they are unsafe and can lead to illness or death. Some of these include avocados, tomatoes, mushrooms, rhubarb leaves, and stems.

If you feed any of these items to your pet you will see that it is not particularly interested in them. This is a sure sign that they are not nutritious and won’t provide any benefits for your tortoise.

Since many people like to offer their pets junk food such as candies, chips, and french fries it’s important to know what food is toxic to tortoises. These products may seem harmless if you have a pet tortoise (after all they only eat plants, right?), but they can lead to serious problems if fed on a regular basis or in large quantities.

These include chocolate, caffeine-containing beverages (colas), dried beans such as lima beans or black-eyed peas (they contain an enzyme inhibitor that decreases the absorption of calcium), and high-fat, salty foods like potato chips.

Beyond these basic tips for food safety, there is also the question of what to feed in terms of diet. This can be complicated because tortoises, like human beings, are omnivores. In addition to plant matter, they will naturally eat insects.

This means that you need a variety of different foods that can be changed on a regular basis in order to maintain optimum nutrition and health.

Generally speaking, this means avoiding iceberg lettuce and other vegetables in favor of dark leafy greens, papaya leaves (which have carotene), and lots of fresh fruit that include some forms of protein such as peas or beans.


Yes, Tortoises can eat honey, there are many benefits for introducing it to their diet. Honey is a source of vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, and it can help to improve shell health.


Photo by David Cadenas on Unsplash

Photo by Alexander Mils on Unsplash