Is Turtle Pee Harmful To Humans?

Written by Emma Watson

Turtle pee, like other animals excreta, contains the metabolic wastes from the body. However, when you let your pet roam freely in the house, you get worried that pee, poo or saliva can be harmful to humans. Moreover, children always love to play with their turtles. So, you need to know what should you be careful of.

In this article, I will be addressing one of the unaddressed topics about keeping Pet Turtles At Home.

Yes, you read it right. Not only the turtle’s pee is harmful to humans, but it can also cause serious complications leading to death. One of the most pronounced ones is its potential to cause human brain damage when it comes into your contact.

Therefore it is suggested to wash your hands every time after handling your pet or cleaning your turtle’s urine.

Why Makes Turtle Pee So Harmful For Humans?

Turtles usually break down protein and ammonia. Ammonia is packed as urea. The concentration of ammonia is so high that it becomes toxic. Turtles can not simply drink water and pass this urea through kidneys at once. This will cause kidney failure in turtles. This much urea will overwhelm the kidney with salts. Because of this ammonia and urea, the pee of turtle’s becomes toxic or poisonous.

Moreover, there is a high percentage of salmonella in the urine and all the excreta of the turtle. Even the food shared by the turtle have them. Salmonella can cause severe food poisoning and other lethal diseases in humans.

Other problems include:

  1. Health problems during pregnancy.

Salmonella is present on their skin as well. Turtles sometimes poop and pee in the tank. Pooping in-tank makes it easy for them to eliminate the stool. Hence, the salmonella spreads all in the habitat. Pregnant women are at risk. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching your pet turtles.

  1. Swelling either of the spinal cord or brain and is usually referred to as meningitis.
  2. Dehydration
  3. Bacteraemia is a problem in which bacteria spreads and enters the blood.

Keep Pregnant And Children Under Five Away From Turtles!

Yes, always be cautious with the turtle’s handling. Children under 5 are at the most risk of infection from turtles. The little turtles seem cute and comfy. However, they can be so dangerous that the US banned the sale of little turtles less than 4 inches.

Do not be fooled by their cute innocent appearance. They are inhabiting millions of deadly bacteria on them.

The same goes for pregnant women. Any infection can be life-threatening for the fetus.

Symptoms Of Infection By Turtle's Pee:

Symptoms of infection by turtles in humans include

  1. Belly pain
  2. Fever or chills
  3. Bacteria in blood
  4. Blood in your stool
  5. dark or amber-colored urine
  6. Reiter’s Syndrome (it is the same as arthritis triggering the pain or swelling in joints)
  7. Dehydration (not enough fluids or water in your body)
  8. Nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting
  9. Headache
  10. Muscle pains or myalgia

Why Is My Turtle Peeing On Me Every Time I Pick Him?

Animals usually pee when they are frightened or threatened.  In short, they pee when they find any danger or experience any kind of mishandling. Don’t hold your turtles for a longer period of time. Furthermore, don’t pick them up too frequently.  Handle them with great care and hold them gently. Make them trust you.

Another main reason is that your turtle is young. Turtles who are used to handling and being around people would not discharge any body fluids. If they are young or not used to their owners yet. Then, it may occur.

How To Stop My Turtle From Peeing Every Time During Handling?

As discussed above, they pee out of fear of mishandling. So, you can perform the following method in order to avoid this behaviour of your turtle.

Fair handle your turt, and they will halt doing it if you pick up a tamed turtle at someone’s house. He might not pee onto you. But be careful! He may bite because you are a stranger to him.

The Normal Colour Of A Turtle's Pee:

Turtles pee is of different colours, indicating their health levels.

  • Colourless

It is normal and consists of small urates (small white pieces). At the same time, the whole other portion is a liquid.

  • Yellowish:

Yellow pee indicates any sort of liver disease. It can be either pale yellow or yellowish-green. This is due to bIliverdin or less amount of bilirubin.

  • Dark Brown:

The darker colour shows dehydration. The urine becomes dark brown and thick.

Will Turtle's Urine Harm The Walls Of The Bladder?

Yes, but it harms to a small extent. Turtles convert urea or ammonia into uric acid, a less toxic form. This uric acid in urine is easily stored by the bladder For a longer period.

Toilet Training A Turtle:

It is rare and is unlikely to toilet train a turtle. But in some circumstances, it is possible to train your turtle to poop on a specific surface. One best option is to monitor your turtle’s urine and pooping routine. Then put your litter box at that place where he/she is used to poop or pee.

Why Do Turtles Urinate In Water?

The water itself is retained in the case the turtles don’t come over a drink for a whereas and must reabsorb the water. They basically flush and refill the tank by peeing and drinking according to their capacity. They can, at that point, keep going for weeks or for longer, if fundamental, on their new water supply.

Is Turtle Poop Harmful?

Yes, it is. Turtle’s gut and faeces consist of salmonella. Salmonella can affect humans. Their droppings consist of salmonella, which can easily spread in the tank water and to all the habitats. You can then easily catch salmonella. It can cause belly pain, diarrhoea, vomiting. So, you need to take proper care of your hygiene while handling turtles.

Do Turtles Urinate From The Mouth?

No, they don’t urinate from the mouth. Instead, they are only removing the urea from their mouth. Scientists have revealed that turtles contain a specific protein used to remove urea. This protein is not present in the kidneys but is in the mouth. The urea in the body goes to the bloodstream of turtles, and then it is removed from the mouth.

So, typically it’s not urination. In fact, it is healthy. Peeing through the mouth is an efficient process. Most of the animals remove 50 urea more from the mouth than from the kidney routes.

They remove urea from their bodies to avoid any kidney infection or failure.

In other words, the turtle with a mouth full of bitty could ultimately help humans who are known to have kidney failure. Presently, mortal cases with failed likes must know the process of dialysis to remove the waste from the bloodstream.


You see, Turtle’s pee is very harmful to humans. You should not allow younger children or those who are not careful with hygiene to go near the turtle. Moreover, pregnant women should avoid getting in contact with any turtle’s stuff.

However, do not be afraid. There is nothing to worry about if you are careful with washing your hands and clothes when you handle your turtle. These amazing pets will leave no stone unturned, making your house the happiest place to live.

In case of any other query, you may drop the comment or contact us by email. We would be happy to help.