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The Cost of a Pet Turtle You Need to See This main picture

If you are interested in getting a turtle as your next pet, it’s important to know how much a turtle costs. In today’s article, we will review how much each species of turtle costs, and also discuss how much it costs to care for a turtle.

How Much Does a Turtle Cost?

Most pet turtles cost between $5-$50. Red eared sliders are typically the cheapest, and can be found for as low as $5-$10.

Box turtles tend to be the most expensive, and typically start at around $50.

How much is a turtle?

Below is a pictogram that has the general range of how much a turtle costs by species.

how much does a turtle cost

Here is a general price range for some of the more common types of turtles and tortoises if you are based in North America.

  • Red-eared slider $5-$25
  • Common snapping turtle $20-$40
  • Common painted turtle $20-$40
  • Musk turtle $20-$40
  • Common wood turtle $20-$100
  • Albino red-eared slider ~ $200-$1,000
  • Albino snapping turtle ~$300-$5,000

These prices are all dependent on things such as; local availability and stock, season, etc.

While the cost of a turtle is certainly something you should pay attention to, you should also choose a turtle based on their size. For example, red-eared sliders and painted turtles usually reach a size of at least 10 inches long. This means they will eventually require a tank that is 100+ gallons.

If you are not able to support that big of a tank, you should consider a smaller turtle such as a musk turtle. They usually only grow to a max of 5 inches.

You should also think about whether or not you want an aquatic turtle. If you don’t want to deal with water, then you should consider a box turtle.

Aside from the cost of the turtle, you should also keep in mind the cost of their habitat. You can check out my video below to learn more about the cost to set up a turtle tank.

Where should you buy a pet turtle?

The availability and price of turtles will vary heavily based on where you are located. An easy place to start is at your local PetSmart or Petco. You might also want to check out any local pet stores in your area.

Before you go to the pet store, I highly recommend calling beforehand to makes sure they have the turtle you are interested in. Since breeding can be dependent on the season, there may not be turtles available in the pet store year around.

Aside from turtle stores, you can also look online to see if there are any local breeders in your area. While local breeders tend to be a little more expensive, they usually have a wider variety of turtles to choose from.

Another option is to buy your turtle from an online store. I have never tried this before, but you can choose your turtle and then they will ship it to you. Make sure you look at the reviews of the website before you purchase a turtle from them.

You should also be aware of the 4-inch law when you are purchasing a turtle.

Before you buy a pet turtle, you should read my article on what to know before getting a turtle.

The 4-Inch Law

Yep. This goes for the United States as well, as what is widely regarded as the “4 Inch Law” was introduced in the 1970s to combat turtle and tortoise overbreeding as well as limit the effects of salmonella poisoning (turtles often carry it).

how much pet turtles cost content

The “4-Inch Law” expressly forbids the sale of any turtle or tortoise that has a carapace (shell) that is less than 4″ long.

This means that hatchlings and very young turtles are illegal to sell. If you ever happen to come across a hatchling being sold in any pet store or breeder shop in the States, please avoid the temptation to purchase it, as this would only continue to enable this type of illegal behavior.

How much does it cost to take care of a turtle?

How much does it cost to take care of a turtle

When it comes to how much it costs to take care of a turtle, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that it can be pretty expensive to buy all of the equipment that you need for their habitat. The good news is that after you buy all of their equipment, the only thing you will have to continue to pay for is their food.

Below is list of the equipment you will need for your turtle tank along with a price range for how much each equipment costs.

While these are the main things you will need, there are additional items you should consider including a substrate, decorations, etc. You can learn more in my article on accessories for turtle tank.

If you buy the cheaper equipment, then the total for everything will be around $270. If you add in the cost of the turtle, that will put you at right around $300.

While this might seem like a lot, as I mentioned earlier, after you have your turtle and equipment, the only money you will have to spend in the future will be for food.

cheap turtle supplies