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How Expensive Are Turtles? Complete Guide

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Turtles are cute, but they also eat a lot of food. When buying a turtle, it is important to know how much you may be spending on its food, enclosure, and possible vet bills.

Turtles are reptiles that live in water. They belong to the order Testudines (meaning “turtle”) and family Chelydridae (which means “shell-bearing”). The average size of a pet turtle is between 8 inches and 12 inches long.

Spotted pond turtles

Turtles can be found in almost every habitat from freshwater lakes to saltwater oceans. Some species even survive in extreme environments such as deserts or polar regions.

But, how much do turtles cost? Keep on reading for a complete breakdown of costs, and lots more!

What Kinds Of Turtles Are There?

There are over 350 different kinds of turtles around the world. Each kind has its own unique characteristics. For example, some turtles have shells while others do not. Some turtles have retractable claws while others don’t.

Some turtles lay eggs while others give birth to live young. And some turtles are completely aquatic while others spend most of their time on land.

The following is a list of some of the most common types of turtles:

Painted Turtle

Painted turtle

This type of turtle lays eggs that hatch into baby painted turtles.


Terrapin on a rock

These turtles are native to North America. They have no shell and come out of the water when it gets hot.

Box Turtle

Eastern box turtle on white background

These turtles are native only to Florida and Texas. They have a hard carapace that protects them from predators.

Chinese SoftShell Turtle

Chinese softshell turtle on white background

This type of soft shelled turtle lives in China and Southeast Asia. It’s called soft because it doesn’t have a bony shell like other turtles.

Leatherback Turtle

Leatherback turtle sitting on the sand

This type of leathery turtle comes from Africa and South America. They’re known for having a very large shell.

Green Sea Turtle

Green sea turtle on the beach

This sea turtle can grow up to 20 feet long. They live in tropical waters all around the world.

Hawksbill Turtle

Hawksbill turtle swimming in the ocean

This type of sea turtle lives in the Indian Ocean. Its shell looks just like a half moon.

Loggerhead Turtle

Loggerhead turtle swimming in the ocean

This turtle is native to the Atlantic Coast of North America. They have a flat head with a big bill.

Olive Ridley Turtle

Baby olive ridley sea turtle

This turtle is an endangered species. They live in warm seas all around the world. Their population is declining due to illegal fishing.

Kemp’s Ridley Turtle

Kemp's ridley turtle at the beach

This turtle was named after John Kemp who discovered this species in 1838. He lived in Australia.

Flat Backed Turtle

Flat backed turtle crawling on sand

This type of flat backed turtle is native to the Indo Pacific region.

Black Footed Tortoise

This tortoise is native to Central America. It’s also known as the Giant Tortoise.

Spotted Turtle

Spotted turtle on white background

This turtle is found in the Caribbean and South America.

Yellow Bellied Slider

Yellow bellied slider on white background

This turtle is native only to the United States. It’s called a slider because it slides through the mud when it wants to get away from danger.

Common Eared Turtle

Common eared turtle

This turtle is common in the Mediterranean Sea.

How Much Does A Turtle Cost?

When you buy a turtle online, there are many things you need to know before making your purchase. You should consider how much space they will take up in your home, what food they eat, how much care they require, and how long they will live.

If you want to learn more about buying turtles online, then keep reading!

Space Requirements

Turtles need lots of room to move around in. They are cold-blooded creatures, so they cannot regulate their body temperature by themselves. In order to stay warm, they must be able to crawl around and bask in the sun.

So, if you plan on keeping a turtle indoors, make sure you provide plenty of space for them to roam around.

Food Requirements

Turtles are omnivores which means they eat both plants and animals. They will eat anything that they can fit down their throat. Some turtles even eat bugs and worms.

However, some types of turtles prefer certain foods to others. For example, box turtles love eating leaves while wood turtles prefer roots.

Care Requirements

Turtles are not pets but rather wild animals. They do not belong in homes or apartments where there are children and dogs. If you decide to adopt a turtle, you will need to provide them with proper care. Make sure you research how to properly care for turtles before adopting one.

Lifespan Expectations

The lifespan of a turtle depends on its environment and genetics. The average lifespan of a turtle is between 25 and 30 years. But, if you feed them well, they could live longer than that.

Different breeds of turtles will live longer than others depending on their size and health, and they will consequently cost more.

Tortoises tend to live for longer than turtles. Most tortoises live for over 60 years.

What Are The Average Prices Of Turtles?

If you’re wondering how much turtles cost, here is a complete breakdown of prices:

  • Box Turtle – $40-$60
  • Wood Turtle – $80-$100
  • Green Turtle – $150-$200
  • Leatherback Turtle – $300-$500
  • Hawksbill Turtle – $400-$600
  • Olive Ridley Turtle – $800-$1000
  • Chinese Soft shell Turtle – $1500-$2000
  • Indian Pond Turtle – $3000-$4000
  • Kemp’s Ridley Turtle – $5000-$8000
  • Flat Backed Turtle – $6000-$10,000
  • Black Footed Tortoises – $12,000-$15,000
  • Spotted Turtle – $20,000-$25,000
  • Yellow Bellied Sliders – $3500-$4500
  • Common Ear’d Turtle – $7500-$9500

Turtle VS Tortoise

Turtles are reptiles, whereas tortoises are considered to be part of the class Reptilia. There are many different kinds of turtles. There are land turtles, sea turtles, freshwater turtles, and marine turtles. Land turtles include box turtles, red eared sliders, and soft shell turtles.

Sea turtles include green turtles, hawks bills, loggerheads, and leatherbacks. Freshwater turtles include painted turtles, snapping turtles, musk turtles, and cooters.

Marine turtles include olive ridleys, hawks bills and greens. Some people think that tortoises are actually lizards. However, they are classified as reptiles.

What Are The Differences In Cost?

Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudine. They come in two varieties: tortoise and freshwater. Both types of turtles need moist environments, but tortoises need drier conditions than freshwater turtles. They also eat different foods.

Tortoises eat mainly plants and insects, while freshwater turtles prefer fish. Tortoises eat plants and vegetables while turtles eat meat. Turtles are aquatic creatures. They need water to survive.

As such, they’re not suitable for land-based environments. You should consider buying a turtle if you want an aquatic pet. Turtles are native to Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America, and Mexico.

The cost of a turtle depends on its size, gender, and age. Small turtles are less expensive than large ones. Male turtles are more expensive than female turtles. Young turtles are much more affordable than older ones.


Small turtles are less expensive than big ones. This is because small turtles don’t require as much food. Bigger turtles need more food. Therefore, they’re more expensive.


Male turtles are more expensive than females. This is because males are stronger and healthier than females. Females produce eggs, which are more valuable than male turtles.


Older turtles are more expensive than young ones. This is because old turtles are bigger and stronger than young ones.


Breeds like the Galápagos tortoise are more costly than others. This is because they take longer to mature and grow up faster.


Different species have different costs. For example, tortoises are more expensive than other turtles.

The Average Price Per Turtle

Volunteer holding a baby sea turtle

Turtles can be expensive, but they are also very cheap. A turtle can be bought for as little as 50 dollars, or as much as 2000 dollars. Prices depend on the species and breed of turtle, the age, the seller, and other things.

The price of the turtle will also depend on several factors. This includes the type of shell it has, its age, its gender, and whether it comes from an endangered species, and whether it was born in captivity or in the wild.

The age of the turtle will change the price. Baby turtles are usually cheaper than adult ones because they require less food and maintenance. Adult turtles are generally more expensive because they have been bred in captivity, and they may have special needs.

Gender will also affect the price. Male turtles are generally more expensive than females. Female turtles are easier to keep, and they don’t require any special attention. On the other hand, male turtles grow faster, and they can reproduce at younger ages.

Breeding Turtles Can Be Expensive

You might think that breeding turtles are easy, but it can actually be quite difficult. Breeding turtles require a lot of time, effort, and money. It takes about 8-10 months to raise a baby turtle from hatching to adulthood.

During this period, the parents must eat twice as much as usual. And, when the babies are ready to be released into the wild, they are still too small to survive without help.

This means that raising turtles is not only hard work but expensive as well. The most common way to buy a turtle is through pet stores. Pet stores sell to both adults and babies. They also offer advice on how to care for your new pet.

Some people choose to buy turtles directly from reptile dealers. These dealers are usually located near zoos or aquariums.

Reptiles sold by these dealers are typically raised in captivity. However, some reptiles are purchased from the wild. If you want to purchase a turtle from the wild, make sure that you know exactly where it came from.

Where To Buy Turtles

You can purchase turtles from breeders, online retailers, and pet shops. Breeding your own turtles is illegal in some states. In other states, it is legal. It is important to note that turtles are illegal to import into the United States without a permit.

Where Not To Buy Turtles

You shouldn’t buy turtles from pet stores. These stores have a lot of sick and unhealthy turtles. They don’t care about the welfare of the turtles. They just want to make money off of them. This means that you won’t get healthy turtles.

You can avoid these types of stores by looking for a reputable breeder. Breeders will take good care of their turtles. They will provide them with proper food and water. They will keep them clean and safe. They will even help you train them if you ask.

How Easy Are Turtles To Care For?

Turtles are easy to care for. They only need fresh water and food. They don’t need a lot of attention. However, they do need regular feeding and cleaning. If you neglect them, they may die. They also need to be kept away from cats and dogs.

How To Make An Enclosure For A Turtle?

Enclosures are basically wood boxes. There are several ways to build enclosures. One way is to use plywood or particle board. Another way is to use concrete blocks. If you want to go this route, you will need to buy concrete blocks.

You can also use cinder blocks. Cement is poured into the block and then sand is added to create concrete. Once the cement is dry, you can add gravel and rocks.

You can also buy pre-made enclosures. You can find these online. You can also visit local hardware stores and ask them to sell you one.

How Much Are Turtle Vet Fees?

The vet fee varies depending on the state where you live. Some states charge very little. Other states charge a lot. You should check with your veterinarian before buying a turtle. Ask him/her how much he charges.

What Should I Put In My Turtle’s Enclosure?

Your enclosure should contain three things: Freshwater, shelter, and food. The freshwater should be changed every two weeks. The shelter should be made out of wood. Wood is best because it doesn’t rot. The food should be crickets. Crickets are cheap and nutritious.

What Enclosure Should A Turtle Have?

Turtle swimming underwater in an aquarium

Turtles are reptiles that lay eggs. Their shells are made of calcium carbonate. The shell protects them from predators. A turtle needs a specific amount of water to survive.

Small turtles can survive in a 25-gallon tank. Large turtles need a 75-gallon tank. Turtles need a lot of space to live. They prefer living in ponds than in tanks.

Outdoor Enclosures

Turtles are aquatic reptiles. They can be kept indoors or out. They don’t require a pond. They can eat plants if necessary. Their enclosure does not require substrates. You can buy them online for around $100.

Turtles need basking lamps to stay warm. They need a place to dry off before they go back into the water. These two items cost around $30 each. The Zoo Med Reptile heaters work great! You need to install them in the tank before adding your turtles.

Also, you need to get a submersible heater for the tank. Turtles do better if they get the right temperature. They don’t like cold weather. You can buy a cheap UVB light for about $15.

You’ll also need a reflector for the light, costing around $30. To save money, you could use an old aquarium thermometer to control the temperature of the tank. Finally, you’ll need a dimmer thermostat for about $50.

How Much Is Turtle Food?

The average turtle needs 1/2 cup of feed per day. Feeding time varies depending on the species. Some species eat once a week while others eat twice a month. You can use commercial turtle foods or homemade diets.

Commercial foods are more expensive, but they contain all the nutrients your turtle needs. Homemade diets are cheaper but not as nutritious. It’s best to mix both types of food together.

How Long Does It Take To Train Your Turtle?

It takes between 4-6 weeks to fully train your turtle. You can start training your turtle when he’s 3-4 months old. Training includes teaching him to walk on his own legs. You can teach him how to climb stairs and jump over obstacles. You can also teach him to swim.

When you first bring home your new pet, make sure that he has access to water and shelter. He needs to be able to move around freely. Make sure that he doesn’t feel confined. Let him explore his surroundings.

As soon as he feels comfortable with his new environment, introduce him to toys. Remember to keep your turtle safe. Never leave him alone without supervision.

The Average Price Per Tortoise

Tortoises are slow-moving animals that eat insects. They are very loyal to their owners. Their shells are hard and thick and can live up to 100 years. A tortoise costs anywhere from $50 to 2000, depending on the species and age.

Hatchling tortoises are cheaper than adults. Private sellers often offer tortoises for sale. Tortoises are very expensive animals. You should buy them when they’re young because they get bigger over time.

They also need lots of space to roam around. If you want to buy a tortoise, make sure you know what kind you want before buying. They can be easily bought online or from pet stores. You can expect to pay around $125-$150 for a tortoise.

There are various factors that determine the price of a turtle. These include the type of turtle, the breed, the size, the color, the gender, and the age. Here are some examples of these differences:

  • Size – The larger the turtle, the higher the price.
  • Color – The darker the color, the more expensive it is.
  • Gender – Males tend to be more expensive than females.
  • Age – Older tortoises are more expensive than younger ones.
  • Breed – Breeds like the Galápagos tortoise are more expensive than other breeds.
  • Species – Different species have different prices. For example, tortoises are more expensive than turtles.

What Kind Of Enclosure Should A Tortoise Have?

Tortoises need light, heat, air circulation, and water to survive. Keeping them inside is important because they need to stay warm and dry. Tortoises should be kept in indoor tanks or terrariums. Their shells protect them from predators and help them regulate temperature.

If you want to keep tortoises outside, you must provide a heated enclosure. This will prevent their shells from cracking. You can buy a reptile house online for about $300. You can also build one yourself using PVC pipes and wood.

Outdoor Enclosures

Turtles should be kept outside in an enclosed space. They should not be allowed to dig holes underneath the enclosure. They should also not be able to climb over the fence.

Building a wooden enclosure costs around $50-$100. Turtle beds should be made out of various substrate materials including coconut fiber, peat moss, and sphagnum moss.

Your initial substrate cost should be around $20-$30. You will have to spend more than that every 3 months.

Tortoises are cold-blooded creatures, so you’ll need to provide them with a place to stay warm. Outdoor tortoises can get the necessary heat from sunlight. Even though they’re outdoors, they still need to be kept indoors sometimes.

That’s why they also need a basking lamp to help them stay warm. The lamp itself costs about $30. The fixture that holds the lamp costs about $25.

Tortoises require UVB lamps to help them develop their shells and bones. Also, they need a reflector to protect themselves from harmful rays. A UVB lamp costs around $15-$20 at pet stores.

A reflector costs approximately $30. A dimmer thermostat is needed to regulate the temperature inside the terrarium. Only have a thermometer to make sure the thermostat works properly.

How Much Is Tortoise Food?

Tortoises are herbivores. They feed on weeds, hay, and grasses. They are not carnivorous. They may eat some insects but avoid eating plants treated with pesticides.

Place the tortoise’s food in loose soil, so it can ingest the substrate. Visit a reptile and amphibian veterinarian once a month.

When you visit the vet, issues such as diet, housing, temperature and humidity levels, and other things will be relevant. A physical exam is performed by the vet doctor. Diagnostic tests may be done at an additional charge. Medications may be prescribed if needed.

How Long Does It Take To Train Your Tortoise?

It takes time to train your tortoise. Some people say it only takes 2-3 years to train them. Others say it takes 5-6 years. You can start training them when they are young. As soon as they reach adulthood, they become independent.

How Long Should My Tortoise Live For?

You can expect your tortoise to live for up to 30 years. However, there are many factors that affect how long they live. These include: age, health condition, genetics, environment, and diet.

What Are The Different Types Of Tortoise?

There are different types of tortoises. Each type has its own unique characteristics. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Green Tortoise – This is one of the oldest species of tortoise. They grow between 4 and 6 inches. Their lifespan is usually 10 to 15 years.
  • Red-Eared Slider – This is the smallest tortoise. They grow between 1 and 2 inches. Their lifespan is 20 to 25 years.
  • Red-Footed Tortoise – This is the largest species of tortoise. They can grow up to 7 feet long. They can live up to 50 years.
  • Gopher Tortoise – This is another large species of tortoise. Their lifespan is around 40 years.

How Much Are Tortoise Vet Fees?

Vet fees vary depending on the location where you live. Pet shops often offer discounts for vets who treat reptiles. Check online or call local veterinarians to find out what their rates are. If you want to save money, ask your vet for a discount.

How Can I Make Sure My Tortoise Doesn’t Get Sick?

Tortoise on white background

Your tortoise needs to be healthy. Keep them away from sick animals. Don’t let them come into contact with other pets. Clean their cage regularly. Use good quality substrates. Avoid giving them foods containing antibiotics. Provide clean water, and keep them well hydrated.

Can I Buy Baby Tortoises At Pet Stores?

Yes, you can buy baby turtles at pet stores. There are several varieties available. Ask your pet store employee which ones he/she recommends.

How Do I Feed My Tortoise?

Feeding your tortoise is easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Fill your tank with fresh water.
  2. Add about 3 gallons of water to your terrarium.
  3. Put the tortoise inside.
  4. Wait until the water level decreases before adding more water.
  5. Mix the food thoroughly.
  6. Pour the mixture into the terrarium.
  7. Close the lid.
  8. Leave the food in place for 24 hours.
  9. Remove the food and replace it with new food.
  10. Repeat this process every week or two.
  11. Be sure to change the water frequently.
  12. Change the water after each feeding.
  13. Watch your tortoise closely. If he/she shows signs of illness, seek help immediately.
  14. Monitor your tortoise’s temperature. If it gets too hot or cold, take action immediately.
  15. Give your tortoise plenty of space to move around.

Final Thoughts

Turtles are great pets, and they’re pretty easy to care for. But like any animal, they still need proper maintenance. Follow these tips so you can enjoy your turtle for as long as possible!

We hope that this guide to the overall costs of adding a turtle to the family has helped you. Thanks for reading!

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.