Pet Box Turtles in the Yard

A healthy, happy box turtle in a natural environment.

This captive bred turtle is able to live its life as close to wild as possible.  That is the best situation for a pet box turtle. If you see a box turtle in the wild, don't remove it from its wild home. It will always long for it and try to return.
This captive bred turtle is able to live its life as close to wild as possible. That is the best situation for a pet box turtle. If you see a box turtle in the wild, don't remove it from its wild home. It will always long for it and try to return.

Box Turtle Care & Other "Turtle" Stuff! :)

Care of captive bred pet box turtles..

A box turtle is a great, low maintenance pet for a small yard. Just be sure that your yard is very, very securely fenced so that your turtle can't get out and wander away. Your box turtle needs plenty of space - at least 9 square feet. Be sure it has soft dirt to dig in, a shady place to rest all day, and a water dish to soak in.

Your box turtle will need attention every couple of days during warm weather, but he or she will hibernate during the winter. Just be sure to watch for your pet box turtle when spring comes and be sure to have water available.

What DO box turtles eat?

Feed your box turtle fresh fruits and veggies. Strawberries, peaches, oranges, bananas, dark green leafy veggies like spinach, kale, romaine, and other dark lettuces. Do not feed iceberg lettuce. It has no nutritional value, and your pet can starve to death eating it.

An occasional spoonful of dog food (no more than one or two times a week) is appreciated. Box turtles also like bugs like earthworms, crickets, etc. Buy them from a pet store or a bait store. That way you will be sure they haven't been exposed to any pesticides.

Where to get pet box turtles...

Buy your pet box turtle from a reputable breeder who does not catch them in the wild. Or better yet, obtain your pet from a turtle rescue. Never catch wild turtles yourself. They are protected.

How long do box turtles live?

Be sure you are prepared to take good care of your box turtle for a long, long time. They can live to be 125 years old!

Copyright: SuzanneBennett: October 1, 2008

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Comments 10 comments

tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 5 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Hey Suzanne - don't you just love these animals!


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas Author

Yes, indeed! Mine are thriving in their natural habitat (my wildscaped back yard!)


Indian Chef profile image

Indian Chef 3 years ago from New Delhi India

Wow lovely. When we were kids, turtles would come out when it rains and gets little flooded but for last many years I have not seen any turtle or Tortoise.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

I know, we have destroyed habitat for turtles and tortoises all around the world. It is a sad thing, but it is possible to provide habitat and help them make a comeback.

Thanks for your comment! :)


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 3 years ago from India

Lovely blog.. Didnt know that turtles would eat so many things. Voting it up.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Many thanks! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Suzanne,

It sounds as though most people would have to make preparations in their wills to make sure that someone is going to take good care of an adopted box turtle if they live to be up to 125 years old. Amazing! How big do they get to be? I know someone who has tortoises in her backyard and supposedly they can make a mess of a yard since they are so large. I have not seen them but have heard from someone who knows that lady and has seen her backyard.

From what you say, turtles are territorial if they do not like being moved. Up, useful and interesting votes.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Yes, making arrangements in your will is a very good idea. Box turtles only get to be about the size of a half a grapefruit. They are not giants like the tortoises you mention. When I was a child I did find a box turtle once that was as big across as a dinner plate. Some nearby woods were being demolished to make way for apartments and displaced it. Sadly, my parents wouldn't let me keep it. It was probably ancient and probably met with a tragic demise.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Sad for that turtle that lost its habitat. That is happening to all types of animals as we keep building homes and businesses on what was once their territory. Will pin this as well as tweet.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Many thanks! Yes, and this was way back in the 1960s!

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