How Often Do Turtles Poop?

While this question might seem a little bit odd, it is an important factor that can determine whether is your turtle healthy or not. Therefore, it is important for every turtle owner to know about this aspect of their pet’s life. So, how often do turtles poop? 

Depending on the diet, age, and species, this period of time can variate. For example, baby turtles poop a little bit oftener than adults. Also, a big impact on their frequency is their diet. If your turtle has a well-balanced diet with all the needed nutrients, it will poop every two or three days, on average. 

How Often Do Turtles Defecate?

A turtle

Depending on turtle type and diet, turtles defecate every 2 or 3 days. This period of time can be dilated or shortened by different diseases, stressful situations, and diet diversions. However, a normal and healthy turtle should poop every 2 or 4 days. 

Reasons Why Your Turtle Poops Less Frequent

The periodicity of your turtle’s poop can show a lot of changes in their organism. In most cases, when your turtle is pooping less frequently than on average, this can mean a lot of different things. Nevertheless, it is a problem that must be solved. 

Here are the most common reasons why a turtle is pooping less frequently than before. 


Constipation is a health issue that can be caused by a variety of things. However, it is, in most cases, the health issue that blocks your turtle’s intestines and causes your turtle to poop less frequently. Constipation can be caused by many things. 

First of all, stress. Yes, turtles can be stressed too. There are species that can get stressed from the smallest change in their habitat or diet. Therefore, you need to be very careful with them. 

Secondly, constipation can be a symptom of a larger problem. From indigestion to other various digestive system conditions, constipation is listed as a symptom to all of them. If your turtle suffers from constipation for a long period of time, it would be a great idea to consult a veterinarian and medicate your little pet. 


Your turtle’s diet is the most common thing that can cause constipation. There are a lot of different factors that can cause constipation regarding your turtle’s diet. 

First of all, your turtle needs fiber. Fiber is a microelement that helps your turtle’s digestive system to push the excrements out easier and faster. Without fiber, turtles can suffer from constipation, indigestion, and diarrhea. The good part is that fibers can be found in practically every type of veggie and fruit. Also, leafy greens contain a lot of fiber. 

Secondly,  you give your turtle bad foods. Your turtle’s digestive system is very weak. It isn’t adapted to a lot of foods that we are eating without any problems. Dairy products, for example, are very bad for turtles. Not only will they cause indigestion because your turtle’s stomach doesn’t have the right enzymes to digest them, but also they can cause constipation. 

Also Read: What Can Turtles Eat From Human Food?

Lack of Space

It is vital for a turtle to have the right amount of space to live in. If your turtle won’t have enough water to swim in, it will make its life harder and more uncomfortable. Therefore, you need to upgrade your aquarium if you haven’t done it since you bought a baby turtle. 

The best thing to do about this problem is to solve it from the beginning. Many turtle owners buy small tanks for baby turtles because they don’t think about the time the little pet will grow. For me, the best tactic is to buy a big aquarium for your baby turtle and to let it grow. Also, if you follow this tactic, you can enhance your turtle’s growth and it can grow a little bigger than usual. 

In addition to that, remember, more space means more exercise. The more your turtle will swim and walk, the better its organism will work. All the systems will be working, the blood flow will be amazing, all the nutrients that were absorbed will be used and your turtle will drink more water. Space is very important for a turtle. Don’t forget about the fact that turtles once were wild animals and it is their instinct to be free. 

Also Read: Do Turtles Fart?

What Does a Healthy Turtle Poop Look Like?

turtle poop

Yes, it is true, the consistency and color of your turtle’s poop can mean a lot of things and by just observing these two factors you can quickly diagnose some problems your turtle might have. Of course, without blood work and experts you cannot tell for sure. However, you can just observe the gravity of the situation and make a fair decision. 

The poop of a healthy turtle with a proper diet should look brown or, if your turtle is eating a lot of greens, slightly green. The consistency should be much like small logs or pellets. It shouldn’t be runny or watery, which are signs of some diseases. However, your turtle’s poop will vary according to its diet and well-being. 

If your turtle’s poop is white, it can be caused by uric acid. Your turtle cloca is responsible for both the urinary and digestive tract so, the combination of poop and uric acid is commonly observed. However, if your turtle’s poop is always white, it can indicate some health problems. 

Keep an eye on black turtle poop. It can indicate some internal bleeding caused by little cuts or blockages. It is a serious problem and, as soon as you saw it, you need to call a veterinarian and get an appointment right away. With the help of specialists and medication, it will be taken care of very fast. 

Lastly, watch after runny or watery poop. It is a sign of diarrhea. It can be caused by a variety of things, from infection to poor diet. However, if your turtle is particularly unlucky, diarrhea can be caused by parasites. They are the worst thing your turtle might encounter. Either way, you need to call a veterinarian and get your turtle’s some medication right away. 

Also Read: Do Turtles Burp?

How do Turtles Poop?

The main organ that makes pooping possible is your turtle’s cloaca. It is the fancy word for a butt. Their cloaca is practically a little organ that is responsible for pooping, urinating, and even laying eggs. 

The process is much like with other reptiles and animals in general. The digested food goes to the intestines where all the nutrients get into the bloodstream and the remains of the digested food are pushed further. After a long ride, they get to the cloaca and from there, to the outer world. 

How Long Does it Take Turtles to Poop?

This information varies from turtle to turtle. Mine, for example, is pooping every 30 minutes after feeding. However, there is no similar turtle. So, the expected time for your turtle to poop is from 5 minutes to one hour after feeding. 

It is a good thing to study this pattern in order to understand your turtles better. It is a good idea, if you have an enclosed tank with no filters and a relaxed turtle, to just change the tank for feeding and pooping. Yes, you heard me right. For most turtles, it can be a little stressful. However, it is a nice choice for ones that aren’t as stressed as others. 

Other Related Questions

Here you can find the answers to the most common questions on this topic. 

Do Turtles Poop in Water?

Yes, turtles prefer to poop in the water. That is because their bowels are more relaxed and comfy in water and the pooping and feeding sessions are more comfortable for them in water. 

However, it is a problem for turtle owners. Excrements mean infections and possible diseases if the water won’t be properly cleaned after. Therefore, if you have a small aquarium, you must have a filter. With larger aquariums, the concentration of excrements won’t be harmful to your turtle. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to change the water every week or so. 

Do Turtles Poop when Scared?

Yes, turtles can poop when scared. Pooping can be a sign of fear and other stress that occurs on your little pet friend. However, it is very uncommon for turtles to poop out of fear of stress. Much oftener a turtle can get constipated out of fear and stress. 

Do Turtles Eat Their Poop?

Yes, turtles can eat their poop and it is a very big problem. If it happens for you to see the poop disappearing all the time, it can mean your turtle is eating it. It’s a big problem that can be solved by putting your turtle in another aquarium for its feeding/pooping session. 

Eating their poop can lead to serious health issues. Poop contains many toxins and other unhealthy stuff that needs to remain out of your turtle’s body. Also, poop is often mixed with uric acid, another chemical that can harm your turtle’s digestive tract.


Now you know everything there is to know about turtles and their poop. Finding out more about your turtle’s excretory system is a good thing if you want to know more about your turtle’s health. Poop is a good health indicator. 

Dorothy Razo

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