do box turtles need water

Do Box Turtles Need Water?

Box turtles are popular pets, although their natural habitat tends to be outdoors. Many people keep them as family pets and are often curious about their care requirements, particularly if they do not have access to natural water sources. Is providing water essential to the health of box turtles?

What Do Box Turtles Naturally Drink?

In their natural environment, box turtles have access to sources of clean water that are available in ponds, streams, and other water sources. They will typically drink directly from these sources, although they will also engage in mud bathing when available.

Do Box Turtles Need Water Indoors?

If kept as an indoor pet, box turtles will not necessarily require direct access to water in order to stay healthy. Unlike other reptiles which need to drink regularly for hydration, box turtles obtain most of the water they need from the food they eat. It is generally recommended that fruits, vegetables, and other calcium-rich foods should make up the majority of the box turtle’s diet in order to provide adequate hydration.

Benefits of Offering Water

Although box turtles do not necessarily require regular access to water, there are some benefits that can be gained from providing it. This includes providing box turtles with a place to cool down, as well as providing environmental enrichment. When it comes to hydration, water can also be beneficial if your pet’s diet is lacking in moisture.

Offering Safe Water

If you decide to offer water to your box turtle, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to only provide them with clean water that has been treated and filtered. This is especially important if you have a turtle that is kept indoors. Secondly, the bowl should be shallow enough for the turtle to access it easily, and no deeper than two inches. This will also help to prevent the water from becoming too dirty too quickly.


Providing your box turtle with access to water is not absolutely essential to their health. However, in certain circumstances, it can be beneficial. Make sure to take the necessary precautions to ensure the water is clean and safe for your pet.

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