Do Box Turtles Need Water?
Box Turtles are popular pet reptiles, prized for their longevity, beautiful colors, and relatively low-maintenance lifestyle. However, do box turtles need water?
Adding Water for Hydration
Box turtles need access to water to stay hydrated. You should keep a shallow dish of water in their habitat, and if possible mist them lightly each day to provide additional hydration. The dish should be shallow enough that the turtle is able to get in and out of the dish easily, but deep enough not to fully spill when they enter or exit.
Swimming and Bathing
In addition to providing hydration, providing access to water can be beneficial to your turtle’s mental health. Box turtles are fond of swimming and can be taught to play in the water–this makes for a fun activity for both you and your pet! Use a shallow container when swimming, and ensure the turtle can climb out easily when they are done.
When your turtle isn’t swimming you can also give them shallow baths, to help rinse off dirt, algae, and other debris from their shells.
Caring for Your Turtle’s Water
Providing clean water for your box turtle is essential for their health. Uneaten food and waste products will quickly pollute the dish, so be sure to clean it out once or twice a week. You should also strive to use dechlorinated water, which can be done in several ways:
- Boiling the water for several minutes
- Using a de-chlorinating product such as AquaSafe
- Leaving the water out to stand overnight, giving any chlorine a chance to dissipate
In summary, box turtles need access to water to stay hydrated, but they also love to swim, play and bath in it. While providing access to water, remember to keep the dish shallow and clean, and to de-chlorinate the water before use.