What To Do If A Turtle Is Trying To Escape?

Written by Mehwish Imtiaz

Reptile lovers these days are more interested to get low maintenance and long-living pets. In this respect, turtles make one of the best pets kept by any pet lover. When you bring your turtle home from the pet store, you make plans to have many happy years with your new little lovey dovey turt. However, after a few days, your turtle’s only behaviour is to try to escape. This can not only be quite disappointing but also may leave you in wonder with a big ‘WHY’.

A pet turtle attempting to escape is a regular event among new turtle owners. Most turtles spend their entire lives in their aquariums and do not attempt to run away even once. But if your turtle is facing some issues, it will try to escape. The issues can be related to habitat, food, survival, fear from other pets etc.

In this article, I will discuss all the factors that can develop unrest in pet turtles due to which they try to escape. Moreover, how you can prevent such events from happening.

Some important reasons for a turtle to escape are:

Dirty Water

This is frequently a major issue for new turtle owners. Turtle tanks may become exceedingly dirty very quickly. Your turtle will try to flee if the water becomes too contaminated. They search for a better and cleaner location to settle. The answer is simple, you can simply change the water and thoroughly clean the tank.

How To Clean The Turtle's Tank?

Make sure the tank is clean. To be sure the water you’re putting in the tank is safe for turtles, use a water testing kit. The amounts of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia should be extremely low. Filters should be added to your water to guarantee that it remains clean.

Maintain a regular cleaning schedule to keep the tank clean in the long run. Once a week, you should clean out your turtles’ tank. Purchasing water pH tests can assist you in determining when the tank needs to be cleaned. It will save you time and effort.


Another reason your turtle could try to get out of its aquarium is stress. Other situations, as well as an inadequate habitat, can be stressful. Turtles like prey animals, are easily stressed and will seek out safer environments if they are.

Putting yourself in the turtle’s shoes is the greatest approach to figure out whether something is bothering him. If you believe something might bother you, it will undoubtedly bother the turtle. After you’ve removed the stressors, your turtle should begin to settle down and return to its natural behaviour.


Hunger is another reason your turtle is attempting to escape. If your turtle isn’t getting enough food, it will attempt to exit its enclosure in search of nourishment. As a good pet owner, you must ensure that your turtle receives adequate nutrition daily.

Food should be given to your turtle at least four or five times per week for adults and daily for juveniles. It’s tough to know how much food to offer your turtle, but most experts recommend giving it enough to eat in 15 to 20 minutes. You should also avoid overfeeding your turtle, as this may cause it to become overweight.


A pregnant turtle will behave abnormally. It will be showing behaviours like not eating, sunbathing, digging around, and attempting to exit the tank. Pregnant turtles do this not because they dislike the tank, but because they need to find a suitable location to lay their eggs.

Turtles lay their eggs on leaf piles or burrows they dig, never in water. As a result, the tank is not an appropriate setting for this.

There is nothing you can do to make your turtle calm down if she is pregnant. You’ll have to wait till she lays the eggs. One crucial fact to remember about turtles is that they can become pregnant even if no male is around. The difference is that the eggs will not be fertilized, and so no baby will be born. As a result, even if you only have a female turtle, she can lay eggs.

Need To Explore

To keep their bodies and minds busy, turtles need to explore, hunt and have a lot of room. Tanks will never be able to deliver what nature does.

Turtles aren’t supposed to be kept in captivity. If their surroundings aren’t exciting enough, they can get bored or melancholy. The easiest way to make the turtle feel at ease inside its tank is to try to recreate the turtle’s natural habitat.

Poor Diet

Turtles need healthy and enough food for their well-being. If they do not get a proper diet, they will escape away.

The size of the head approach is an ideal way to feed your turtle the right amount of food. Find a small container, such as a medicine cup, a shot glass, or a bottle cap, to use for this procedure. This container should be roughly the same size as your turtle’s head. Then you load that container with food to the top. This is the amount of food you should feed your turtle daily.

Some important aspects of the good health of the turtle will also be discussed later in this article.

What You Can Do To Avoid Turtles From Escape?

Turtles don’t require the same level of daily care as cats and dogs, such as walking, grooming, and caressing. But they still demand a lot of attention. Many pet turtles escape as a result of their owners’ carelessness. Their owners do not have an understanding of how much care turtles require.

Among reptiles, turtles lifespan is one of the longest. It means you could be purchasing a pet that could last several generations in your family. Before you go to the pet store, make sure you and your children are aware of the duties that come with keeping turtles as pets.

If your turtle will be happy then thoughts for escape will not come to its mind. Taking care of its diet, exercise and joy are important. Try to keep them as happy as you can. It is an important key factor.

These are some important methods that you can follow to keep your turtle happy and adjust to a new place.

Good health

A poor diet can also increase the chances for your pet o escape. You may be providing enough food for your turtle, but it is not something it would consume in the wild. A proper diet should include a variety of food and providing fish as a live snack is important. Follow-up of a regular diet schedule is also important.

Variety In Food

Turtles are omnivores with a voracious appetite. Turtles, like humans, require a variety of nutrients in their lives. A well-balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals is beneficial for the happy and satisfied life of a turtle. 

Your turtle will develop to full size if it eats a balanced diet of leafy green vegetables, insects, and prepared turtle foods. Fruit or even flowers may appeal to your turtle. Make sure you know what kind of turtle you have so you can feed it the right food.

The stomach of the turtle is not evolved to digest lactose as effectively as humans. So avoid feeding them dairy products. Also, don’t feed your turtle any processed meals. It’s ideal to eat whole, dairy-free foods.

Providing Live Animals

Turtles enjoy chasing their prey. You will provide your turtle time for exercise and entertainment by feeding live food. Live crickets, mealworms, and wax worms are all tasty insects that turtles like eating. To keep your turtle’s diet interesting and nutritious, add different insects, or even live fish and shrimp, throughout the week.

Follow Up Of A Regular Schedule

You care about your turtle, and it cares about you. But you should not feed it every time you see it begging. Turtles are opportunistic feeders in the wild. They never know when their next meal will arrive. Whenever they see you, they come towards you with an open mouth. They do this because they expect that you will feed them. If you deviate from the plan, your turtle will most likely become overweight.

  • Adult or mature turtles only need to be fed a few times per week. However, younger turtles require daily feeding. If you over-feed your turtle, he or she may grow obese.
  • Water should be available at all times. Many turtles will take their food while swimming. If they do not do so, you should keep your turtle’s food in the same place in the tank. Your turtle will always know where to go for food if you do it this way.
  • You should present food as your turtle eats it and remove any uneaten or partially eaten food after around five minutes to avoid overfeeding.

Provide Them With Space

Turtles like to swim, bask in the sun, and being active. You should provide them with adequate so that they can grow properly and enjoy these activities. Estimate your turtle’s possible size and purchase a tank that will accommodate his growth. We cannot confine them in a small space.

Glass aquariums with a length of three to four times the turtle’s length are the best. Turtles can completely submerge themselves in water, as well as a place to exit the water and dry entirely. Remember that the larger the tank, the happier the turtle will be.

Recommended Products For Your Turtle

Some important products are recommended so that your turtle does not escape and stay comfortable.

Turtle Tank Aquarium

It is a unique home for your turtle. It provides your turtle with a healthier and more spacious environment. Your pet can also play in this little playground. It is an inexpensive initial setup for baby turtles. It is very easy to maintain. Your turtle will love this cute home.

You can buy this on Amazon for $14.99.

Basking Platform

It comes with a built-in ramp that will assist your favourite reptile in getting onto the level surface. There’s also a small container for your turtle’s food. At the same time, the turtle will be relaxing and eating snacks. It’s a turtle’s paradise. With minutes after seeing this, your turtle will be basking and soaking up the sun.

You can buy this on Amazon for $27.

Floating turtles Pellets

It’s a vitamin and mineral-fortified reptile meal. It is made with high-quality components such as Gammarus shrimp. It will be a well-balanced diet for your turtle’s long-term health. To conserve nutrients, the container is light-shielded. For adult aquatic turtles, it provides 1.4 ounces of floating pellets.

You can buy this on Amazon for $3.96.


Turtles are not very fond of running away. However, if they do, there must be a problem. Identify the actual problem and work accordingly. If you cannot figure out the matter, taking help from the vet without any delay is the best option.

I hope this article helped you find your way. In case of any other query, you may drop down the comment, or contact us. I will be happy to help.