How Much Does A Pet Turtle Cost

How Much Does A Pet Turtle Cost? (Full Price Breakdown & Comparison)

Thinking of getting a pet turtle? If yes, one of the things you need to know is how much you’re going to spend on your preferred species. We researched and compared the cost of a pet turtle from different stores and put together some helpful info in this guide about pet turtle cost.

So, how much does a pet turtle cost? You can expect to pay around $10 to $100 for a pet turtle, depending on the species, age, local availability, season, etc. However, the more exotic turtle species are far more expensive and will cost you hundreds of dollars, from $250 to $500 or more. Some exotic species cost thousands of dollars!

In this guide, we’ll go into deeper details about how much a pet turtle will cost you at Petco, PetSmart, and other popular pet stores. We’ll also discuss other important details like the cost of different turtle species, baby turtles, whether a turtle is a cheap pet to maintain and so much more.

How much does a turtle pet cost?


As we have just hinted in our intro above, the pet turtles price can be as little as $10 bucks to as high as $ 500 plus.

The price greatly varies depending on a variety of factors such as turtle species, age, local availability, where you buy from, and so on.

How much does a turtle pet cost

We’ve prepared the table below to show you the price comparison for some of the most common pet turtle species in the US:

Turtle SpeciesPrice Range (USD)
Red Eared Slider$10 to $25
Yellow Bellied Slider Turtle$10 to $25
Common Snapping Turtle$20 to $70
Eastern Painted Turtle$25 to $60
Western Painted Turtle$15 to $60
Mississippi Map Turtle$15 to $40
False Map Turtle$20 to $50
African Sideneck Turtle$30 to $100
Common Musk Turtle$20 to $50
Spotted Turtle$100 to $250
Wood Turtle$70 to $250
Eastern Box Turtle$100 to $500
Ornate Box Turtle$130 to $500
Diamondback Terrapin$270 to $600
Indian Star Tortoise$500 to $750
Albino red eared slider$500 to $1000
Albino snapping turtle$3 to $5000

We arrived at these price estimates for turtle pets after comparing the prices from reputable pet shops like Petco and PetSmart.

These prices may go up or down depending on the turtle demand and availability in your locality, size, gender, health, etc.

The indicated price range for each turtle species encompasses the cost of a baby turtle (i.e., a pet turtle below 6 months) to an adult turtle over 6 months old to 2 years.

How much does a turtle pet cost

This price list is just a rough approximation and the actual price will depend on various factors listed below:

  • Species: As it’s evident from the table above, each turtle species comes with its own price tag. The rare species are costlier than the common ones.
  • Size/Age: Baby turtles are generally cheaper compared to adults. This is based on the logic that the breeder has raised the baby to a particular stage, thus the expenses are added to the bill.
  • Availability: Turtles in your local pet shop may be costlier depending on where you live.
  • Health condition: Ever heard of B Grade turtles? These are simply defective turtles and stores tend to sell them at discounted rates compared to healthy ones.
  • Seller: The price also varies as you move from one breeder or pet shop to another. Comparing 2-3 stores before making the purchase will help you get the best deal available.

The red-eared slider, commonly referred to as RES, is the most common and popular pet turtle in the US. It’s readily available in pretty much any state and getting one at your local pet shop will be easy.

It also makes one of the cheapest and most beginner-friendly pet turtles.

Some species like the African Sideneck and Mississippi map turtle are less common than the RES. This explains why their price is almost twice that of the slider.

Most of the other species featured on the table are within an affordable price range and great for beginner turtle owners looking for low-maintenance pets.

However, the exotic species which are quite rare are going to cost you quite something. A good example is the albino red eared slider; a baby goes for up to $400-$500 while an adult will cost you up to $1000 or more!

Collectors are even willing to spend thousands of dollars on unique, rare specimens which are most likely illegally captured.

How much are the turtles at Petco?

The average price of a turtle at Petco can go from as little as $25 to as high as $500. The price depends on the species, size, markings, age, and overall turtle appearance.

In other words, the store will provide you with a wide variety of pet turtles with different price ranges for you to choose from. The price will also depend on where you’re located.

How much are the turtles at Petco

Overall, the best way to know how much turtle pets sell for at Petco is to contact your local Petco store and find out the price of the specific turtle species you plan to buy.

How much is a pet turtle at PetSmart?

The price of a pet turtle at PetSmart is about $30 to $50 depending on the type of turtle you choose and your exact location. Some species are seasonal and not available in all their stores.

At the time of writing this post, we found out that PetSmart offers two types of turtles namely full grown red eared slider turtles and the African Sideneck turtles whose prices are $29.99 and $44.99 respectively.

How much is a pet turtle at PetSmart

We changed the pet store location and noticed that the pricing of these species didn’t change. However, the availability varied as we moved from one area to another.

Given this price range, we can all agree that PetSmart offers their pet turtles are a relatively cheaper price. Even better, they allow you to pay in 4 monthly installments if you’re unable to pay all the cost upfront.

How much does a baby turtle cost?

The average price of a pet baby turtle is around $10 to $100, depending on the species of turtle you settle for.

However, if you go for exotic baby turtle pet, then you’ll need to spend more, usually between $250 and $500.

The species plays a key factor in determining how much you’ll pay for a baby pet turtle.

How much does a baby turtle cost

For instance, a red-eared slider baby turtle costs between $10 and $15, a baby common musk turtle costs between $20 and $25, the eastern painted turtle costs between $25 and $30, and a map turtle goes for about $25 to $70.

However, more exotic turtles like the Indian star tortoise may cost you anything from $500 to $600.

Just as with adult turtles, we advise you to research well before buying a baby turtle to ensure you only buy healthy pets from reputable pet shops and breeders.

Comparing 2-3 sellers before making a purchase will ensure you get the best deals available.

How much does a box turtle cost?

The average cost of a box turtle falls between $30 and $200. The actual price can vary depending on a variety of factors such as species, age, availability, etc. The rarer the species, the more expensive it gets.

How much does a box turtle cost

Here’s a quick breakdown of the cost of various box turtle species:

Box Turtle SpeciesPrice Range (USD)
Eastern Box Turtle$30 to $150
Three-Toed Box Turtle$100 to $400
Florida Box Turtle$100 to $450
Aquatic Box Turtle$30 to $100
Ornate Box Turtle$150 to $450
Desert Box Turtle$300 to $500
Chinese Box Turtle$350 to $650
Indonesian Box Turtle$30 to $50
Asian Box Turtle$150 to $300
McCord Box Turtle$7000 to $10,000

Again, keep in mind that these prices are just rough estimates and can vary depending on the pet shop you get your box turtle from.

As you can see from this table, each species comes in a different price range. The eastern box turtles and three-toed box turtles are more readily available and will cost you around $30 to $100.

On the other hand, the McCord box turtle (one of the rarest species of box turtles) will cost you anything from $7000 to $10,000!

Is owning a turtle expensive?

To be honest with you, owning a turtle for the first time will require you to spend a good amount of money.

The pet turtle itself is a pretty cheap investment as you have seen above and anyone can afford a pet with just a few bucks.

But the real issue comes up when you consider the fact that you must set up a healthy and comfortable environment for your newfound friend.

Is owning a turtle expensive

To achieve this, you’ll need to invest in various equipment, ranging from a turtle tank to a UV B lamp, water filter, water heater, basking platform, turtle food, and more.

And the total cost of these items will be way more than what you spent on your pet turtle.

Here’s the estimated amount of money you’ll spend as a new turtle owner:

Pet turtle$10 to $100
Enclosure/aquarium$50 to $250
Substrate$7 to $18
Turtle tank filter$35 to $300
Basking spot$8 to $70
UVB lamp$20 to $50
Turtle tank heater$10 to $70
Turtle food (one month)$25 to $30
Firs checkup by the vet$45 to $75

Before you buy that pet turtle, make sure you can afford the above list of essential items. You should also research the special needs of the turtle species you plan to get to see if you’ll be able to maintain it.


1. What is the best pet turtle to buy?

There’s no specific type of turtle that earns the title of the best pet turtle. However, some of the best, beginner-friendly species that are easy to take care of include the red-eared slider, eastern box turtle, painted turtle, false map turtle, African Sideneck turtle, and the common musk turtle.

2. What is the cheapest pet turtle?

Most of the common pet turtles are generally cheap provided you don’t go for an exotic species. The cheapest pet turtle will cost around $7 to $25. Examples include the red-eared slider, yellow-bellied slider, map turtle, mud and musk turtle, painted turtle, and snapping turtle.

3. Where is the best place to buy a turtle?

There are many pet stores where you can get your new pet turtle. But not all of them have reputation for selling healthy turtles. Thus, you need to do your research well to ensure you only buy from reputable breeders or pet shops. Also, comparing the price of different stores will help you get a better deal.

Final Verdict

That’s it for our guide on the cost of a pet turtle. Keep in mind that the price lists we have provided you with in this guide are just approximations from our own research. The actual price of a given turtle species can vary from seller to seller. The price is also dependent on other factors such as size, age, availability, and the type of species you go for.

Owning a turtle for the first time may require you to spend a lot of money as you’ll need to set up a turtle habitat. But once you overcome the initial cost of owning a turtle, things will get easy and cheap for you to maintain. Remember, that not all pet shops sell you healthy turtles, so you’d want to do your own research to ensure you buy from reputable breeders/sellers.

How Much Does A Pet Turtle Cost