How big do pet turtles get


Pet turtles come in a variety of sizes, from the tiny musk turtle to the large and imposing alligator snapping turtle. Depending on the species, pet turtles can range from a few inches in length to over two feet long. While some turtles stay small, others can grow to be quite large. In this article, we’ll explore how big pet turtles can get and what factors influence their size.

What Are the Different Types of Pet Turtles and How Big Do They Get?

There are many different types of pet turtles, ranging in size from the tiny musk turtle to the large alligator snapping turtle. The most common pet turtles are aquatic species, such as the red-eared slider, painted turtle, and map turtle. These turtles typically reach a length of 8-12 inches when fully grown.

Semi-aquatic turtles, such as the box turtle, wood turtle, and mud turtle, are also popular pet turtles. These turtles typically reach a length of 4-8 inches when fully grown.

Tortoises are another type of pet turtle. These land-dwelling turtles come in a variety of sizes, from the tiny Russian tortoise to the large Sulcata tortoise. The most common pet tortoises are the Greek tortoise and the Hermann’s tortoise, which typically reach a length of 8-12 inches when fully grown.

Finally, there are the large aquatic turtles, such as the snapping turtle and softshell turtle. These turtles can reach lengths of up to 24 inches when fully grown.

No matter what type of pet turtle you choose, it is important to provide them with a suitable habitat and proper care. With the right environment and care, pet turtles can live for many years.

How to Choose the Right Size Pet Turtle for Your Home

When it comes to choosing the right size pet turtle for your home, there are a few important factors to consider. First, you should think about the size of the enclosure you plan to provide for your turtle. Turtles need plenty of space to swim, bask, and explore, so it’s important to choose a turtle that will fit comfortably in the enclosure you have available.

Second, you should consider the type of turtle you want. Different species of turtles can vary greatly in size, so it’s important to research the size of the species you’re interested in before making a purchase. For example, a red-eared slider can grow up to 12 inches in length, while a box turtle can reach a maximum size of 8 inches.

Third, you should consider the age of the turtle. Younger turtles tend to be smaller than adults, so if you’re looking for a smaller pet turtle, you may want to opt for a younger one. However, keep in mind that younger turtles require more care and attention than adults, so be sure you’re prepared to provide the necessary care before making a purchase.

Finally, you should consider the cost of the turtle. Turtles can range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars, depending on the species and age. Be sure to research the cost of the turtle you’re interested in before making a purchase.

By taking the time to consider these factors, you can ensure that you choose the right size pet turtle for your home.

The Pros and Cons of Keeping a Large Pet Turtle

Keeping a large pet turtle can be a rewarding experience, but it is important to consider the pros and cons before making the decision to bring one into your home.


Turtles are low-maintenance pets that require minimal care. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain, and they do not require a lot of space. Turtles are also very long-lived, with some species living up to 50 years. They are also very docile and can make great companions.


Turtles require a large habitat with a water source, and they need to be kept in a temperature-controlled environment. They also require a special diet, and they can be difficult to handle. Turtles can also carry salmonella, so it is important to practice good hygiene when handling them. Additionally, turtles can be difficult to find a veterinarian for, as not all vets are experienced in treating them.

How to Care for a Giant Pet Turtle

Giant pet turtles can make wonderful companions, but they require special care to ensure their health and wellbeing. Here are some tips for caring for a giant pet turtle:

Housing: Giant pet turtles need a large enclosure with plenty of space to move around. The enclosure should be at least twice the size of the turtle, and should include a dry area, a shallow water area, and a basking area. The water should be kept clean and changed regularly.

Temperature: Giant pet turtles need a warm environment to stay healthy. The enclosure should be kept between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with a basking area of 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. A heat lamp or ceramic heat emitter can be used to provide the necessary warmth.

Lighting: Giant pet turtles need both UVB and UVA lighting to stay healthy. UVB lighting helps the turtle produce vitamin D3, which is essential for calcium absorption. UVA lighting helps the turtle recognize day and night cycles.

Diet: Giant pet turtles need a balanced diet of both plant and animal matter. A variety of vegetables, fruits, and insects should be offered. Commercial turtle food can also be used as a supplement.

Veterinary Care: Giant pet turtles should be taken to a veterinarian for regular check-ups. The vet can check for any health issues and provide advice on proper care.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your giant pet turtle stays healthy and happy.

What to Feed a Pet Turtle to Help It Grow to Its Maximum Size

Turtles are omnivorous animals, meaning they eat both plants and animals. To help your pet turtle grow to its maximum size, it is important to provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods.

A good diet for a pet turtle should include a variety of proteins, such as earthworms, crickets, mealworms, and shrimp. These can be supplemented with commercial turtle food, which is available in both pellet and block form. Vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and squash should also be included in the diet. Fruits such as apples, melons, and strawberries can also be offered as occasional treats.

It is important to provide a variety of foods to ensure that your pet turtle is getting all the nutrients it needs to grow to its maximum size. It is also important to feed your turtle in moderation, as overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health problems.

In addition to providing a balanced diet, it is important to provide your pet turtle with a clean and safe environment. This includes a tank that is large enough for the turtle to move around in, as well as a basking area with a heat lamp and a UVB light. A clean tank with clean water is also essential for the health of your pet turtle.

By providing a balanced diet and a clean and safe environment, you can help your pet turtle grow to its maximum size.

Common Health Issues in Large Pet Turtles and How to Prevent Them

Large pet turtles are a popular choice for many pet owners, but they can be prone to certain health issues. It is important to be aware of these issues and take steps to prevent them.

One of the most common health issues in large pet turtles is respiratory infections. These infections are caused by bacteria and can be very serious if left untreated. Symptoms of a respiratory infection include wheezing, coughing, and mucus discharge from the nose and mouth. To prevent respiratory infections, it is important to keep the turtle’s habitat clean and free of bacteria. The water should be changed regularly and the turtle should be kept in a warm, humid environment.

Another common health issue in large pet turtles is shell rot. This is caused by a bacterial or fungal infection and can cause the shell to become soft and discolored. To prevent shell rot, it is important to keep the turtle’s habitat clean and dry. The turtle should also be kept in a warm, humid environment and its shell should be inspected regularly for signs of infection.

Finally, large pet turtles can be prone to metabolic bone disease. This is caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D in the turtle’s diet. Symptoms of metabolic bone disease include soft shells, weak limbs, and lethargy. To prevent this condition, it is important to provide the turtle with a balanced diet that includes calcium and vitamin D.

By taking the necessary steps to prevent these common health issues, pet owners can ensure that their large pet turtles remain healthy and happy.