How Often Should I Let My Turtle Out?

Your turtle, besides swimming in the aquarium, isn’t quite getting the needed time and space to stretch its muscles. Nevertheless, there is a way out of this situation. You can let your turtle walk into your apartment or your house. So, how often should you let your turtle out? 

It depends on your aquarium’s size and your turtle’s level of activity. If your turtle is super active, its diet is well-balanced and it is full of energy and beneficial nutrients, it would be a great idea to let your turtle walk around the house every day. If you want to find out more on this topic, read the article below. Enjoy!

Should you Let your Turtle Out of Its Tank?

a turtle swimming in a tank

Yes, it would be a great idea to let your turtle out of its tank. It would get its muscles to stretch and work harder than they could do in the water. Also, your turtle won’t ever be obese. In coupe with a good, balanced diet, a little bit of walking around the house would do great for your turtle’s health. 

In addition to that, your turtle’s lifespan will grow significantly. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your turtle’s health. It could benefit its heart, respiratory systems, and even the bones. As a coincidence, the weakest points in your turtle’s health are the respiratory system and bones. Thus, a good diet and some exercise should do the magic and strengthen your turtle’s body.

Also, it’s just fun to have your turtle walk around the house. This way, your turtle is becoming a full-fledged member of the family. Like a cat or a dog, your turtle would be able to interact with your kids or with you. Isn’t it amazing? 

Also if you have a place where you can put some walls in order to retain the turtle a little bit, it can be a really good idea. This way, your turtle will be able to walk and stretch its muscles and you won’t be stressed about possible dangers it might encounter. 

Can you Let your Turtle Roam Around the House?

a turtle roaming around the house

Yes, as long as it’s safe for it. The thing is, your turtle is very unsafe in your house. A pet owner’s house is filled with potentially dangerous objects that could hurt the turtle. Sharp objects, wedgy corners, and little pieces of sand or glass can hurt your turtle’s skin and damage the shell.

It isn’t the best idea to let your turtle walk around the house if you have just eaten and there is human food on the floor. Your turtle cannot digest most of the products that we are eating daily. For example, bread is very toxic for turtles, and bread crumbs are everywhere after a hearty meal. 

Another thing you should think about is other pets. If you have a big dog or even a cat, it can really hurt your turtle. There is a simple solution to this problem. Make sure your other pet has been acclimatized with the turtle. Let your turtle walk around the house in the companion of the other pet and supervised by you or a person you trust. This way, with a bit of luck, they will get to know each other and become some kind of friends. 

Yes, it’s a little obvious, but keep in mind the fact that your turtle is freely rooming around when you have people over. They could just step on your little pet and, if it is a little turtle or a soft-shelled species, your friend could easily destroy it. Just remind your friends that you have a freely rooming turtle in the house or just keep your turtle in the aquarium while you have some friends over. 

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Turtle Roam Around?

a turtle walking outside

While letting your turtle roam around the house seems like a pretty nice idea, it can backfire pretty hard if you don’t respect some boundaries. Letting your turtle walk freely can lead to some dangerous problems for both the turtle and you. Here are the things that might happen during your turtle’s little adventure in your house. 

Dangerous for Your Turtle

Yes, your house is dangerous for your turtle. If we are letting out the possibility of being stepped on or eaten by a dog or a cat, there are some serious health problems that can be caused by roaming around.

The first and most dangerous is infections. Yes, you heard me right. Your floor isn’t exactly the cleanest part of your house. Also, there are always some little sharp objects that can cut or puncture your turtle’s skin to let the infection in. If you won’t spot the damage on time and won’t disinfect the cut, your turtle could end up with an infection in its bloodstream. From that point, only a veterinarian and some serious medication can help your little pet. 

Also, remember about human foods that can end up on the floor. Bread crumbs, for example, are probably the most dangerous food your turtle can find. Bred isn’t exactly the healthiest product for your turtle. It can cause bloating and indigestion due to the fact that it can contain dairy products and lees. 

Last but not least, your turtle has a very weak respiratory system. This means that a dusty floor can really mess up your turtle’s health. You can end up with a lot of coughing and some respiratory infections. In other words, keep your floors clean before letting your turtle out. 

Dangerous for You

Yes, your turtle could be dangerous even to you. Salmonella is a very nasty infection that can cause a lot of trouble to the person that gets it. Unfortunately, turtles are well-known to be carriers of Salmonella infection. In order to know for sure if it’s safe for you and your family to let the turtle outside the tank is better to get some bloodwork done. 

The Salmonella infection is very easily spotted by just doing some medical tests. For turtles, even poop can be the best way to find out whether is your turtle infected with Salmonella or not. This infection isn’t dangerous for reptiles and amphibians. However, for humans, Salmonella can be deadly. 

The percentage of death from Salmonella is less than 1%. However, the symptoms are very nasty. The good part is that Salmonella can be cured within 5 or 7 days with heavy medication and antibiotics. Thus, is better for you to just make sure your turtle hasn’t got Salmonella.

After the bloodwork, make sure you don’t give your turtle some products that can cause Salmonella. For example, raw chicken is the source of most Salmonella outbreaks for turtles. 

Can You Let Your Turtle or Tortoise Roam the Garden?

a turtle roaming outside

Yes, you can let your turtle roam the garden. Actually, it is a very good thing for your little pet to get some sun outside. Not only will the overall health improve but also your turtle will get better psychologically. However, the most impact will be taken by your turtle’s health. 

The first and most important thing is vitamin D3. Your turtle must have high amounts of vitamin D3 in order to absorb high amounts of calcium. Calcium is probably the most crucial mineral for your little pet. It is vital for its bones, shell, nerves, and muscles.

Without calcium, your turtle will simply die in a matter of weeks. However, by letting it outside, you can be sure that your turtle is getting enough light in order to absorb high amounts of calcium.

However, I can’t stress enough how careful you need to be when letting your turtle outside. 

While your house is filled with dangerous things that could hurt your turtle, you can double, even triple the number of danger sources when you go outside. From the grass your turtle can eat to all the pointy and sharp garden tools it could get into. 

You must always supervise your turtle while it goes outside. Even if it is just basking in the sun, you can’t be completely sure of its safety. 

Also, you shouldn’t let it in contact with other animals. Yes, it can have some friend turtles in the aquarium. However, these friends are your turtles and are supposedly tested for Salmonella and other infections. 

Others, especially wild animals, aren’t tested. So, all the animals your turtle can encounter are possible sources of infection for you and your little pet. 

Last but not least, the grass that your turtle is walking on can be treated with pesticides and other dangerous chemicals. It is your yard and you should know what you put in it. Therefore, be aware of the possible dangerous chemicals that your turtle might eat or inhale. 

Also Read: Best Tanks for Red-Eared Sliders

Can You Walk a Turtle?

Yes, you can walk a turtle. However, not most pet owners would prefer such a slow-moving creature to walk beside. You need to remember that most turtles are very slow, they don’t match the pace of a human at all.

So, if you want to walk a turtle, you can either take it to the park by car and let it roam around with you on a leash for some time or just walk nearby your house and make the best out of this little pet. 

Also, while taking your turtle for a walk, remember the possible damages it can get. If you take it into a public park, chances are that your turtle can stumble on some sharp pieces of iron or, even worse, glass.

Thus, if you want to walk your turtle, it is better to scout the terrain first and make sure it doesn’t have some sharp objects that could cut and bruise your little pet. 

The most advantageous thing about taking a turtle on a walk is the fact that you could never lose it. Seriously, what should happen to you to lose such a slow creature out of sight, right? 

Walking a turtle shouldn’t be exactly a walk where you glance at beautiful lake views. You can’t just take your turtle with you and walk as you would walk with a dog or even a cat. A turtle needs permanent attention and supervision. Therefore, we think that it would be a better idea for you to not take your turtle on a walk. It is not the pet you can take with you on a long, relaxing walk. 

Can You Put a Leash on your Turtle?

Yes, you can put a leash on your turtle. There are some pretty nice leashes for your little pet friend. While putting it on a leash might seem all games and fun, you need to be very careful with a turtle on a leash. If you are thinking about a leash, I suppose you want to take your turtle on some walks in the park or somewhere else. 

Be very careful with that. 

As a turtle owner, you must know that turtles are very sensitive to all kinds of damage. From dust and sand that gets into the respiratory system to some glass pieces that would cut and bruise their skin. All these things make you be very careful with your turtle. 


Now you know about all the advantages and disadvantages this idea might have. You can let your turtle roam freely around the house. However, you must be aware of the possible consequences these actions might have on your little pet.

It can get cut, bruised or even stepped on. Therefore, if you decide to let it walk in your yard or house, you must supervise it all the time. 

Dorothy Razo

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