How much does a turtle cost

How much does a turtle cost?

Let us know how much does a turtle cost? about. Turtles are one of the most low-maintenance pets you can find. They are slow-moving and not demanding, yet they are unique and can be quite entertaining. If you are interested in buying and keeping turtles, make sure you have a budget to properly care for them.

Bringing Home a New Turtle: One Lump Cost

Buying a tortoise is one of the primary one-time costs you’ll encounter. Getting a proper attachment for them is usually a one-time cost as well. This is because turtles aren’t very hard on the material they live with, so they don’t need to be replaced very often, if at all.

How much does a turtle cost?


Some people will be looking to resettle their turtles. Since turtles are generally not very expensive pets, in the beginning, they are often not associated with a relocation fee. Instead, rescuing a turtle will likely be free as long as you are all prepared with the right ingredients.


  • $10–$40

If you want to adopt a turtle, you can visit a local pet store or even a pet shelter. If someone in the local community couldn’t find a new home for their turtle before time ran out, they probably gave them to a pet shelter. Pet stores are likely to have a small range of turtles up for adoption as well.


  • $50–$100

If you are a serious turtle owner, another option is to adopt them from a breeder, where you can expect the price of your turtle to range from $50 to $100. Although there aren’t many turtle breeders out there, you can find them for rarer and more interesting turtle varieties. Often, even if a breeder raises typical turtle species, they will be more expensive than adopting or buying them from a pet store.

Painted Turtle:$20-40
box turtle:$25-50
Red-eared slider:$10-30
Common Wood Turtle:$20-100
How much does a turtle cost?


  • $200–$800

The amount you spend on supplies for your turtle enclosure is primarily up to you. Most of the supplies you buy in the beginning will be a one-time investment in an animal that will last as long as you can. Tortoises in captivity can live from 10 to 80 years!

List of Turtle Care Supplies and Costs

Veterinary Checkup (Annual):$45-$75
Tank Supplies and Equipment:$100-$400
excess supply:$5
the carrier:$10
Food and Treats:$20-40/month
Food and water bowls:$10
How much does a turtle cost?

annual expenditure

$200-$500 per year

Annual expenses for a turtle typically range between $200 and $500 each year, depending on what kind of food you want to feed them, how often you clean their bedding, and the interior of the tank. and how many toys or supplies you keep inside the tank.

A veterinary appointment is also a good chunk of the budget to factor in a turtle’s annual expenses, but we’ll detail this below.

Health care

$45-$200 per year

Mainly, all you need to worry about for tortoises is their annual vet checkup. They don’t require a check-up when you first buy them because they don’t get vaccinated, they don’t have to be microchipped, and any surgery to remove or neuter them is extremely invasive.

check up

$45-$75 per year

Check-ups are usually the only aspect of health care you will need to worry about for your turtle. Take them to a vet who knows about reptiles and give them a full one at a time without doing anything aggressive. This treatment should be enough to verify their overall health for the next year.



Vaccinations are completely unnecessary for most reptiles, and this includes turtles. These boxy little animals do not have many of the things they suffer from and thus do not need to be protected using shots .

Not only are vaccinations completely unnecessary for pet turtles, but they are also not obtainable. The pet health industry has never had a reason to develop vaccines for tortoises, so there isn’t one you can give to your pet.



Again, dental care at the hands of a vet is completely unnecessary because tortoises do not have teeth. Instead, they resemble birds in that they only have one beak. Turtle teeth are believed to have been found on fossils, but modern-day turtles no longer have a powerful jaw that can easily gnaw through their prey of choice.

treatment for parasites

$15-$150 per year

One of the few things that turtles can suffer from is becoming infected with parasites. Like almost any other creature, turtles can contract parasites such as flukes, tapeworms, flagellates, and nematodes.

Without treatment, some of these problems can be life-threatening. If you think your turtle is infested with parasites, perhaps from some of their food, take them to your vet. They advise them on proper medicine and treatment to get rid of their unwanted friends.

emergency situation

$100+ per year

It can be challenging to estimate how much you can expect to spend if your turtle needs any emergency surgery or treatment. This doesn’t happen often because you can carefully monitor the safety of their environment. Try to keep at least $100 for turtle-related emergencies so you’ll be prepared if they happen once or twice in a turtle’s very long life.

Medications for ongoing conditions

$50-$150 per year

Ongoing conditions are very unusual for your turtle which will require them to be on constant medication. However, perhaps as they age and their bodies change, they may have a problem. It’s not common for turtle medications to be too expensive, so you don’t need to worry about paying too much for their maintenance each year.


$48-$1,200 per year

Turtle insurance is not a common practice as they are generally very cheap pets. However, some of these animals are considered exotic and may be worth a few in the right market. If you want to protect your turtle or your investment in them, taking out insurance is not a bad idea. Turtle insurance often starts at around $4 each month, but can increase to more than $100 if your turtle species is rare enough.


$240-$480 per year

Your turtle’s diet will depend on their species. Terrestrial turtles are omnivores and require a mixture of insects such as grubs, earthworms, or snails and fruit with leafy greens.

You can easily find a good mix of turtle food at a pet store or order some if you want more control over your diet. It’s easy to add food for your turtle to your grocery list.

environmental maintenance

$130-$200 per year

The maintenance of your pet turtle is not very high. Once you make that initial investment, their environment is easily managed. You may want to replace old toys or tank equipment every now and then, but the budget for that is minimal. Make sure their heat lamps are always working correctly and that their environment is relatively clean, and your tortoise will be happy.

treated water:$30/year


$40-$120 per year

Turtles are simple creatures and don’t need much to keep them entertained. There are some turtle toys or structures you can get for them, but it is entirely up to you and how much you want to invest in your turtle annually.

Total Annual Cost of Owning a Turtle

$285-$555 per year

The overall annual cost of owning a turtle can be low, especially when compared to other common household pets. The figures above for the total annual cost of owning a turtle do not include the initial purchase of your turtle or their cage, because once you get this setup, you won’t have to make those purchases again.

Owning a Turtle on a Budget

Turtles are not difficult pets because they are so low-maintenance. It doesn’t take much to keep them occupied. Try to invest in a high-quality tank and materials for their enclosure initially, and the rest of the time you should have a relatively inexpensive turtleneck.

You can easily get rid of them by spending just $20 a month on them and keep them completely happy and healthy.

Saving Money on Turtle Care

There aren’t a lot of ways to save money on caring for your turtle because they are already cheap. You shouldn’t skimp too much on their bedding and the food you give them because they are the most influential parts of their lives.

In the beginning, you can get a tank that is high-quality, but then get cheaper materials to keep inside their enclosure, unless you can save up to replace them with good stuff.


The initial cost of acquiring a tortoise and all of their supplies may seem a bit high to some, especially if you are going for high quality items. You can spend $400 or more if you want. However, breaking the bank with turtles isn’t necessary, and you can supplement their enclosure as time goes on.

Once you’ve made those initial investments, it’s very easy and relatively inexpensive to care for a turtle year-round. Make sure you have something set aside for emergencies, and then relax and enjoy your new pet turtle!