Hunting keeps a turtle s minds

Cost of pet turtles


Generally something that comes to mind when adding a new family member is cost. Below we have created a small guide to give you an idea of what you are going to spend on your new pet turtle. Creating a comfortable habitat is important for your turtle.

It is possible you already have a turtle and came to us looking for some advice. We know you want to provide the best turtle care possible so below we have provided a list of things to give you a basic idea of what the basic items are. If you haven't cared for turtles before this will be a great place to start.

Time Considerations

Food Preparation

The time spent preparing food for your turtle is going to vary. Feeding pellets versus salad is going to make a big difference in time. The best option to compromise would be to do half and half.

An estimate for time would be around 10 minutes per day. Preparing some vegetables or worms etc is going to take a bit of time.

  • Do I have time to feed my turtle every day?

Expect to attend to food needs daily but it is good to know that turtles are able to skip a day. Try not to use skip days regularly, but you could use them when you are out of town.

Do not leave food in the enclosure to rot!

  • Daily Chores

    Changing the water in the box turtle water bowl, checking the temperature under the basking lamp, checking lights and heater for proper function, removing obvious feces, looking at the animal and talking to it. If you don’t have time for those, should you really have a pet? It takes 5-10 minutes a day to do these chores.

  • Weekly Cleanings

    The time it takes to clean an enclosure depends a lot on the setup. For water turtles, using good filtration is a key element in reducing water changes and cleaning chores. Enclosures should never smell bad or look dirty. It takes anything from 10-30 minutes to clean a well-set up enclosure.

  • Socialize with your pet turtle

    Spending time with your pet is important, they require attention too. If you don't have time, then it probably isn't a wise choice to have a pet.

  • Regular Care taking

    As with everything in life, things change. Business trips, vacations, children, these things take time. You need to be sure you can provide the basic care to your turtles even as responsibilities change. Pets should not be given away even when things change. Shelters are usually full, and adoptive homes are hard to find. Pets should never be released into the wild either.

  • Pet Sitter

    When travelling your pet will still need feeding and attention, friends and neighbors are fine for occasional pet sitting. If you are travelling for extended periods a professional pet sitter may be something to look into.

Space Considerations

  • Space for a full grown turtle

    As there are several different types of species, sizes can very. Once you have established your species the needed information can be found on care sheets. Females usually get bigger than males. You can change the setup as the turtles grow or build a large setup to begin with, this is entirely your call.

  • Safety

    Keep them in a safe environment away from other pets and young children.

  • Environment

    Be aware that turtles can overheat as much as they can be too cold. A top-floor apartment without air conditioning will be too hot for a box turtle in summer. Warming them up is a bit easier than cooling them off.

General Considerations

  • Do I know how to handle the animal?

    Yes, this matters. A turtle that’s turned on its back all the time, or dropped, or held by the tail is not going to be very happy. Turtles can be handled, but they are not lap pets, and they should not be left to roam on the floor without supervision. If you upset them they may bite.

  • Are you afraid of turtles?

    If your turtle bites you, will you still handle it? You will still have to move it for cleanings or vet visits (min. once a year).

  • Do you have young children?

    Education will be important here. When don’t handling or feeding the turtles, hands should always be washed with warm water and soap. Sometimes it is recommended not to have turtles indoors at all in households with young children.

  • Do you have other pets?

    Animals get jealous too! You will need to make sure to have an adequate enclosure protecting them from Dogs, cats, etc. We wouldn’t want them to get hurt playing with the bigger animals.

  • Why do I want a turtle?

    This is the first question to ask before buying a pet. It’s a good question to ask after doing this questionnaire. If you still want a turtle now, and you are confident that you can provide for it, go forth and enjoy turtling!

Financial Considerations

Cost can be up to you, it is possible to put something together at a low cost, but it also depends on how in depth your set up will be. Turtles are living beings and do deserve to be treated in a humane way, which means they should have acceptable living quarters.

Many items can generally be found new or used at swap meets, online auctions and classifieds.

  • Turtle-Tortoise-Terrapin:
Adopt from a friend, a rescue, through a club, from an animal hospital, through the newspaper.
Be aware that sometimes there are adoption fees, and rescues may require medical care.
$0-20
Animals from stores and private breeders.
Depending on the seller, these turtles may be in healthy or require some medical care. You should have all your pets tested for parasites. This is an important preventative measure. If your turtle has parasites they can be treated and this will prevent the spread or further illness.
$15-100
Designer Turtles from a reputable dealer/breeder.
Turtles with unique patterns or colors generally have delicate health. Extra care should be taken to ensure they are healthy and live a good life. If the turtle or turtles are shipped, be sure to soak them on arrival and take special care to make sure they are healthy.
Don't forget to have them tested for parasites!
No limit
  • Enclosure/Cage/Living Space:
Garage sales, swap meet, classifieds, these are all great for picking things up at to build your turtle enclosure.
For water turtles be sure the tank is large enough.
If keeping your pet turtle outside be sure to cover the enclosure to protect them from predators.
Be creative and think outside the box. Kiddy pools, buckets, cement mixers, etc. these can all be used to build a unique environment for your new turtle friends.
Online Auctions, Forums, Classifieds and pet stores as all great places to look for cages as well. Remember to think outside the box and don't be afraid to create a custom cage for outdoors or indoors for box turtles. This can be fit to your available space. $20-200
Customize! Build or have a custom environment made and make it fit your space! $80+
  • Heating/Basking/Lighting:
Desk lamp with incandescent bulb. Even cheaper is natural sunlight: Keep your turtle outdoors at least part of everyday (natural light is better). Balconies are safe and work great all year, but be sure your turtle is accustomed to the climate you are in.
Don’t forget to check classified, online Auctions, and garage sales!
Hardware store fixture with incandescent or ceramic heater. Ceramic heaters are great. The initial cost is greater, but they can be left on, all energy is converted to heat, and they last for many years. $30-50
Ceramic heating elements, fixture, and thermostat or rheostat. If you are using a high-powered heating element, a regulator is necessary to prevent overheating. Being conscious of the turtle or turtles important. Sometimes the pads can get to hot if they are not regulated. $40-150
Source: allturtles.com

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