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Land Turtles as Pets

Rutuja Jathar Mar 9, 2020
Land turtles are the best kind of pets that one can have. This article provides more information about these creatures.
There are different animals that can be domesticated with certain pet care measures. When it comes to turtles, it can be safely said that they make the best pets, be it land or aquatic pets. Land pet turtles expect minimal care and adapt easily to the surrounding.
Caring for a pet turtle doesn't require large yards and a lot of toys. All you need to know is the requirements of your particular turtle and it will surely reciprocate the love you shower on it.
It is true that there are different types of turtles who spend most of their lives in a water body. They all breathe and need a sufficient amount of time to refresh their lungs from time to time. There are also some turtles that like to stay more on land than underwater.
The most popular land pet turtle is the box turtle or tortoise. These are heavy and have dome-shaped backs. They cannot swim as swiftly as the aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles. Tortoises range from fairly-small like the Egyptian land turtles to enormous-sized like the Aldabra tortoise.
Turtles can be kept indoors, but it is always best to keep them outdoors for the sake of convenience.

Types of Land Pet Turtles

Turtles can be widely divided into two categories, aquatic turtles and land turtles. There are various types of pet turtles that might attract you, but when it comes to land turtles, there are two main types.

Box Turtles

Box Turtles are fairly-small animals which are native to the US. They spend most of their time on land but love to stay near a water body. Typically, box turtles have a smoother carapace, leaner head, and feet with claws and toes.
They are omnivorous and can also eat some live organisms like earthworms and crickets. If proper water hygiene is maintained, then there are lesser chances of them falling sick.

Wood Turtles

Wood Turtles Wood turtles are actually semi-aquatic and spend an equal amount of time on land as well as in water. North American wood turtles were the most sought after, but they were later replaced by the South American and Black wood turtles. Since wood turtles are semi-aquatic, caring for them requires equal knowledge of both kinds of turtles.

Considerations while Choosing a Pet Turtle

As it has been said earlier, these turtles do not require much care but they do require the initial TLC that you ought to offer them being a proud pet owner. Before selecting a land pet turtle, you should take a look at the following criteria.


They must be small or at least medium-sized, the carapace length should be less than 10 inches. Especially if you have a moving job, it is best to start with a smaller turtle. Make sure you can provide enough enclosure space for the turtle wherever you go.

Native Turtles:

Choosing a turtle which easily adapts to your climatic conditions is the best thing to do. Native turtles will naturally adapt best to the native conditions rather than exotic turtles. Exotic species may not respond that great to the traveling ordeals and climate changes.


The important thing to consider while keeping land pet turtles indoors or outdoors is to ensure that the climate is well-suited for the kind of turtle that you have selected. You should make sure it can adapt to the condition in which you want to groom it.


Their daily diet depends upon the species. They can be herbivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous as well. They need to be fed adequate amounts of calcium, protein, vegetables, and fruits. If you are not sure about exactly what they eat, then you can also go for ready-made food items available in the market.
The smallest-sized turtles must have an area of about 4' x 4' and larger to serve as their enclosure. Substratum is very important for them to make tunnels and burrows.
If you are planning to bring them inside the home, then make sure you provide them enough thermal gradient inside their enclosure. You can use UV-B emitting fluorescent bulbs that also provide them the required heat.
Those of you who are planning to bring home a land pet turtle, make sure to check for the prophylactic antibiotics. These animals can suffer from diseases caused by several fungi, viruses, and parasites.
Hence, it is ideal to give the wild turtle a measured dosage of prophylactic antibiotics after consulting with the veterinary health care provider. For better results, you can adopt a baby turtle. You must take care of your pet the way it demands, whether it is about providing food or water.