How Much Is A Turtle? All You Need To Know

If you wish to buy a turtle, you should think about how much is a turtle? Fortunately, Turtles are less expensive than cats and dogs, but they require continuous and committed care throughout their lives and a proper habitat to live in. Learn more about the possible costs of having a turtle in the sections below.

How Much Does a Pet Turtle Cost?

Turtles vary in price depending on their species. Red-eared sliders, one of the most common pet turtles, may be acquired in pet stores for as low as $20, but some types can be obtained through breeders for considerably more.

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African side neck or Mississippi map turtles, which are less common than red-eared sliders but are popular as pets, may cost nearly twice as much.

Whatever sort of turtle you buy, it’s critical to conduct your homework ahead of time and get suitable housing for your pet’s size, according to Dr. Biascoechea. Russian and Greek tortoises, which live primarily on land, may grow approximately 12 inches long.

However, other varieties of turtles, such as the African spurred tortoise, can grow to be up to 33 inches long and weigh up to 220 pounds.

Tortoise vs. Turtle Costs

As you might expect, the expense of purchasing the turtle pales in comparison to the cost of maintaining it.

First, you must evaluate the expense of constructing an enclosure, the cost of feeding, and ultimately, the cost of medical care (such as veterinarian check-ups). Enclosure requirements include the section itself, lights, heating, a water filter, and other items.

How much is a turtle

While tortoises and freshwater turtles are turtles (reptiles of the order Testudines), their requirements vary. Tortoises prefer dry cages, whereas turtles (excluding box turtles) demand watery settings.

Tortoises are predominantly herbivores, and as such, weeds, greens, and other plant debris account for 50-70 percent of their diet. On the other hand, Turtles are primarily carnivores, with proteins accounting for 50-70 percent of their diet (fish, insects, crustaceans, and worms).

Of course, most pet stores sell commercially available tortoise and turtle food. You will also need to supplement their meals with vitamins and minerals that they cannot obtain due to their imprisoned existence.

How Much Does A Tortoise Cost?

Tortoises, unlike turtles, are land animals. They do not necessitate the use of an aquarium or a pond. However, depending on their size, they often demand more area Tortoises may and will take up as much room as you do.

An outdoor enclosure is preferable to an interior chamber. However, keeping an outside cage all year might be difficult unless your temperature is comparable to the tortoise’s original habitat.

The initial cost of a tortoise might range from $50 and $2000. The price is determined by various criteria, including the tortoise’s species and breed, age, and the breeder you buy from.

How Much Does A Turtle Cost?

Turtles are semi-aquatic critters that require an aquarium or pond. The initial cost of getting a turtle ranges from $20 to $200. However, depending on the type and age of the turtle.

The initial cost of a turtle might vary from $50 to $2000. The price is determined by various criteria, including the species and breed of the turtle, its age, and the vendor.

Choosing From Where to Buy Your Turtle

Turtles and tortoises can be obtained via non-profit adoption and rescue groups in addition to pet retailers and breeders.

Turtles frequently end up at rescue organizations because potential pet owners acquire them without understanding the time and care commitment turtles necessitate.

Depending on the rescue, you may be requested to pay an adoption fee, which is frequently equivalent to the cost of a store-bought turtle.

Rescue turtles are sometimes given away for free as well. Avoid buying a turtle online or from a pet business that offers young turtles under four inches long.

Turtles can carry salmonella, and the selling of juvenile turtles less than four inches long was banned in the USA in 1975 due to these health dangers. Wash your hands after handling any reptile, as you should with all reptiles, to prevent infection from spreading to people.

The Cost Of Owning A Turtle

A turtle may be the best pet for you if you want something out of the usual. Turtles are not the most cuddly of pets, but they can be highly amusing.

When it comes to maintaining a turtle as a pet, the setting is significant. Your turtle will spend the bulk of its life in its tank, so make sure it has adequate room and is appropriately outfitted to meet your turtle’s needs.

Setting up your turtle tank is a significant upfront cost, so consider it before deciding on this pet. Other upfront expenditures, as well as recurrent monthly fees to feed and house your turtle, should be considered.

Bringing Home A New Turtle – One-Time Costs

We know that pet turtles may not be expensive to acquire. You must consider the additional expenditures involved with it, such as the cost of housing and feeding your turtle.

Before bringing a turtle home, make sure you have the right environment set up. An aquatic turtle’s habitat differs substantially from that of a terrestrial (land) turtle. Therefore you should know what sort of turtle you want before going shopping for resources.

In addition to your turtle’s housing, you’ll need enough food to get started, and you should budget for the initial doctor appointment to get your turtle on the right track.

Provisions and Setup

The tank is the most expensive item to consider while maintaining a pet turtle. Because your pet will spend most of its life in the tank, it should be as big as possible.

Turtle Provisions and Setup

Average Cost (Low) Average Cost (High)

Tank: $75 $350

Tank Supplies & Equipment: $150 $425

Initial Food and Bedding: $30 $60

initial Vet Visit/Vaccinations: $60 $90

Total – $315 to $925 (Excluding the neuter/spay surgery)

Cost of Turtle Ownership – Annual Expense Breakdown

When raising pet turtles, most of your costs will be incurred at the outset. Before you even bring your turtle home, you need to buy all of your tank equipment and have everything set up. You’ll need to allow your turtle sometime to acclimate once you’ve done so.

After your turtle has settled in, you may begin your feeding schedule. Dietary requirements differ from species to species, so do your homework to establish how frequently you should feed your pet turtle.

In addition to monthly feeding expenditures, annual costs for veterinarian exams, emergency treatment, and tank supply and equipment replacement should be considered.

Annual Medical Expenses

Your turtle should be in good health for many years if you feed it healthy, adequate food and maintain the tank clean. However, it is a fantastic idea to become acquainted with the situations to which your pet turtle may be prone.

Take your turtle in for an annual vet visit to keep track of his health. Again, the cost will most likely be in the $60 to $90 range.

Food And Supplies

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Feeding a turtle isn’t usually expensive, so investing in high-quality commercial turtle food is worth it. To ensure that your turtle’s nutritional needs are satisfied:

  1. Research his dietary requirements and follow the feeding guidelines on the packaging.
  2. In addition to commercial food, provide your turtle with fresh items such as vegetables, fruits, insects, and feeder fish.
  3. Estimate $45 to $60 a month for food to prepare for the cost of feeding your turtle. Though feeding will be a regular monthly expense, you also need to budget for one-time payments to replace items such as toys, tank equipment, and other supplies.
  4. Set aside $20 every month in savings to ensure you have the cash when you need it to replace anything.

Total Annual Cost Of Owning A Turtle

Though purchasing a turtle is economical, keeping one is more expensive than many people assume. Turtles require a massive cage with specific equipment and a specialized feed to be healthy.

Here’s a short rundown of the annual cost of keeping a turtle: 

Purchasing/Adopting = $25 to $150

Cage and Installation = $250n to $850

Annual Veterinary Fees = $50-$80

Monthly Food and Supplies = $25 to $50

Before bringing any pet into your house, make sure you can afford to maintain it. Turtles may live for up to 50 years, so they are not for the faint of heart. Make sure you have the time, room, and cash to care for your new turtle properly.

How Much Is A Ornate Box Turtle?

Ornate American Wood Turtles are among the gorgeous turtles you can acquire as a pet, which means they are more expensive.

A newborn Ornate American Wood turtle will typically cost between $80 and $90. In comparison, a juvenile Ornate American Wood turtle will cost at least $120, with some of the more costly selections costing as much as $275.

Even though they are rather pricey in comparison to other turtles, they are still excellent starter turtles. So, if you genuinely like those turtles and the price range is reasonable for you, you should acquire this turtle; the fact that you are unfamiliar with turtles will not be an issue.

How Much Is A Turtle At A Pet Store?

Turtles vary in price depending on their species. However, the most common pet turtles breed may be acquired in pet stores for as low as $30, but breeders can obtain some types for considerably more.

How Much Is A Red Slider Turtle?

Tortoise, Red-Cheeked Slider Turtle

Red-eared sliders are frequently available at pet stores. Still, it’s ideal for getting a turtle from a reputable breeder or rescue group that can provide you with detailed information on the animal’s history and health.

A red-eared slider costs about $30 on average in pet stores, although a quality breeder would likely charge a bit more. Choose a turtle that is active and aware and that is eating.

Look for red indicators, including lethargy, odd feces, shell discoloration, swelling, or extra mucus. Take notice of the turtles’ living conditions at the pet store, breeder, or rescue.

How Much Is A Turtle Tank?

A terrarium or aquarium, or turtle tank should cost between $150 and $250, plus extra charges for lighting, thermometers, a basking platform, a ramp into and out of the water (if you have an aquatic turtle), and a turtle tank filter system, which may cost up to $400.

How Much Is A Real Turtle?

Turtles are semi-aquatic critters that require an aquarium or pond. Depending upon the factors such as breed and age of the turtle, the initial cost of getting a real turtle ranges between $30 and $250.

How Much Is It To Buy A Pet Turtle?

Prices for common turtle species range from $20 to $150. The most common pet turtle is generally the least expensive, while less common species, such as wood turtles, maybe slightly more costly. Prices for aquatic and terrestrial species are comparable.

How Much Is A Turtle At Petco? 

Stop by Petco and look at the live turtles and tortoises for sale if you want a shell-backed companion that will make you happy. While they appear to be similar, there are several significant variations between turtles and tortoises.

Turtles, such as the red-eared slider, prefer a more watery environment, and their habitat should reflect this. This requires at least a 40-gallon tank half-filled with water for them to swim in, as well as a dry spot for your turtle to rest and warm-up.

At Petco, you can buy a turtle ranging between $20 to $200.

How Much Is A Box Turtle At Petco? 

If you still want a carapace buddy but don’t want a wet pet, look at Petco’s box turtle selection for sale. You can get these creatures at a price ranging between $30 to $250.

These nature enthusiasts simply need enough water to consume and take a little bath. Their environment should also have edible ground that is deep enough to allow for some digging. 

How Much Is A Sea Turtle?

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A sea turtle cannot be kept as a pet since it is on the endangered species list. Most of them are in a protected class and grow to be quite large in adulthood, making it hard to supply them with a suitable aquarium within your home.

How Much Is A Snapping Turtle? 

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The average price for a newborn alligator snapping turtle is between $50 and $80; however, the cost of buying a turtle depends on various factors such as age, breeder, etc.

How Much Is A Box Turtle At Petsmart

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You can easily acquire a box turtle at Petsmart in the price range of $30 to $250. The price of the turtle would depend on the age of the turtle, along with various other similar factors.


When it comes to adopting a turtle, there are various considerations to consider. Time commitment and expenses are two of these variables. The first investment might be as little as $500 or as much as $1700.

Expenses include:

  • The cost of the turtle.
  • Constructing the habitat.
  • The cost of food.
  • Several other items.

Of course, the beginning costs are always the most expensive. Continuing expenditures are significantly lower.

Unplanned events, such as accidents or illness, might, nevertheless, be troublesome. You must account for the unknown. Here is to hoping we hope this article has given you an approximate figure to work with.


Can you buy a baby turtle?

Yes, one can buy a baby turtle. A baby turtle’s price might vary substantially. Depending on the turtle type, expect to pay between $20 and $100. Some exotic turtle species might even cost between 0 and 0.

Is it illegal to buy a turtle online?

Pet turtles whose shells are less than 4 inches long are banned from selling or distributing because they carry salmonella. Tiny turtles were prohibited as pets in the United States forty years ago because they contain salmonella, a bacteria that produces a highly unpleasant and occasionally fatal infection in humans.

Do turtles bite?

Even though their shells provide excellent protection, most turtles will bite to defend themselves if required. This is more common in wild turtles, although pet turtles can bite as well. While bites from tiny turtles are minor for owners, bites from giant turtles can inflict catastrophic injury.

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!