How To Keep A Box Turtle As A Pet?

If you are considering a reptile pet, then a box turtle might be the perfect choice for you! Box turtles are not only undeniably cute, but they are also relatively easy to care for and can be quite rewarding to keep as a pet. In this article, we will explore the basics of how to keep a box turtle as a pet. We will help you understand their diet, habitat needs, proper care and handling, and more. Read on to discover all you need to know about keeping a box turtle as a pet.

How to Keep a Box Turtle as a Pet?

How to Keep a Box Turtle as a Pet?

Box turtles are a great pet for those looking for something a bit different. They are relatively easy to care for and can live for many years. With proper care, they can live up to 30 years or more! In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of keeping a box turtle as a pet.

Choosing a Box Turtle

When selecting a box turtle, it is important to make sure it is healthy and has been properly cared for. It should have clear eyes and a healthy shell. The shell should be firm and have no cracks or damage. Look at the turtle’s feet and toes for signs of damage or injury. If you are buying a baby box turtle, make sure it has been raised in a healthy environment and has been provided with adequate nutrition.

Housing Your Box Turtle

The housing for your box turtle should be large enough to accommodate its growth. A 20-gallon tank is recommended for an adult box turtle. The tank should include a dry area with a substrate, such as sand or mulch, as well as a shallow water area. The tank should also include a basking area with a UVB light and a heat lamp.

Diet and Nutrition

A box turtle’s diet should consist of a variety of live foods, such as earthworms, slugs, snails, and other insects. It is also important to provide a variety of vegetables, such as kale, squash, and carrots. A vitamin and mineral supplement should also be added to the diet.

Cleaning and Maintenance

The tank should be cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and fungus. The substrate should be changed every few weeks and the water should be changed weekly. The turtle should also be cleaned regularly to remove any dirt or debris from its shell.

Handling and Bonding

It is important to handle your box turtle carefully and to provide it with plenty of time to adjust to its new environment. It is also important to provide plenty of time for bonding and to allow it to explore its environment. Handling should be done gently and with respect for the turtle’s needs and preferences.

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Health Care

It is important to provide your box turtle with regular health care. This includes monitoring its health and providing any necessary veterinary care. An annual vet visit is recommended to check for any potential health issues.

Environmental Enrichment

To keep your box turtle happy and healthy, it is important to provide it with a stimulating environment. This can include providing the turtle with plants, branches, and other items to explore and climb. You can also provide the turtle with interactive toys and other items to keep it stimulated.

Safety and Security

It is important to make sure your box turtle is safe and secure in its environment. Make sure the tank is securely closed and the turtle is not exposed to any dangers. It is also important to keep other pets away from the turtle to prevent them from harassing or injuring it.

Temperature and Humidity

The temperature and humidity levels in the tank should be monitored regularly. The tank should be kept at a temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity should be kept between 65 and 75 percent. If the temperature or humidity levels are too high or too low, it can be dangerous for the turtle.

Disease Prevention

It is important to take preventative measures to protect your box turtle from any diseases or parasites. This includes providing clean water, a nutritious diet, and proper housing. It is also important to quarantine any new turtles before introducing them to the tank.


Caring for a box turtle as a pet can be a rewarding experience. With proper care and attention, a box turtle can live for many years. It is important to choose a healthy turtle, provide it with adequate housing, and make sure it has a nutritious diet. It is also important to provide the turtle with environmental enrichment, safety and security, and regular health care. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your box turtle will have a long and healthy life.

Related Faq

Q1. What kind of Box Turtle should I get?

A1. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find box turtles for sale in pet stores or from breeders. However, if you are looking for a pet turtle, it is best to find a captive-bred box turtle from a reputable breeder or rescue. Captive-bred turtles are more likely to be healthy and well-adjusted to life in captivity. Wild-caught box turtles may have parasites or diseases that can be hard to treat.

In North America, the common box turtles (Terrapene carolina) are the most popular species for keeping as pets. These turtles are found in a wide range of habitats, from woodlands and prairies to deserts and wetlands. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, which makes them appealing to pet owners.

Q2. What kind of habitat do Box Turtles need?

A2. When building a habitat for your box turtle, it is important to create an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible. This includes providing a substrate that is similar to the soil they would find in the wild, such as coconut coir, sphagnum moss, or potting soil. The substrate should be deep enough for the turtle to dig and bury itself.

You should also provide a large water dish for your turtle to soak in, as well as hiding places and areas to climb. The habitat should be large enough to accommodate your turtle’s needs, as well as any other animals you may have in the enclosure. The temperature inside the habitat should be monitored, as box turtles need both a warm and a cool area to regulate their body temperature. Finally, the habitat should be kept clean and the water should be changed regularly.

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Q3. What should I feed my Box Turtle?

A3. Box turtles are omnivores, so they will eat a variety of foods. In the wild, they eat a variety of plants, insects, worms, and other small animals. In captivity, they can be fed a variety of commercial turtle pellets, as well as occasional treats such as earthworms, crickets, and small pieces of fruit. It is important to provide a variety of foods to ensure that your turtle gets all the nutrients it needs.

It is also important to provide calcium and vitamin supplements to your turtle’s diet. You can buy commercial supplements specifically formulated for box turtles, or you can provide calcium powder and a vitamin supplement to be added to their food. The added supplements will help keep your turtle healthy and help prevent metabolic bone disease.

Q4. How do I handle my Box Turtle?

A4. When handling your box turtle, it is important to be gentle and take your time. If your turtle is scared or agitated, it may try to bite or claw you. It is best to let the turtle come to you, rather than trying to pick it up. You can also use a towel to help pick up the turtle and keep it from escaping.

When handling your turtle, it is important to support its entire body. Do not put too much pressure on your turtle’s shell, as this can cause it to crack. You should also be aware of your turtle’s legs, as they can be fragile and easily injured. Finally, be sure to wash your hands after handling your turtle, as they may carry bacteria or parasites that can be harmful to humans.

Q5. How often should I clean my Box Turtle’s habitat?

A5. The habitat should be cleaned on a regular basis to keep it sanitary and ensure your turtle’s health and safety. You should remove any uneaten food and waste from the habitat as soon as possible. The substrate should also be replaced on a regular basis, as it can harbor bacteria and parasites.

The water dish should be cleaned and refilled with fresh water every few days. You should also check the temperature and humidity of the habitat on a regular basis. Finally, you should check the enclosure for any signs of damage or escape routes that your turtle may have created.

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Box turtles make great pets and can be a ton of fun to own. With the right environment and proper care, they can live a long and healthy life. With some patience and research, you can create the perfect habitat for your box turtle, one that will keep them safe and healthy. Be sure to always keep their home clean and provide them with plenty of food and water. With these tips, you can ensure that your box turtle will enjoy a long and healthy life as a pet.

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