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REPTILE / new pets

Tortoise & Turtle Supplies: What You Need To Care For Your Pet

Turtle and Tortoise Checklist


Bringing home your new pet turtle or tortoise is incredibly fun and exciting! But wait, do you have everything you need to take care of your new reptile friend? You’ll need some specific turtle supplies to properly care for them in the way that they deserve. From turtle supplies and accessories for their new home to crickets, worms, and fish to keep their tummies happy, learn about everything you need to keep your pet happy and healthy


Turtles vs. Tortoises: Are They Different?


Let’s be honest, they look very similar. So what’s the real difference between a turtle and a tortoise? Well, for starters, the biggest distinction between the two is that they live in different places. Turtles live in or near bodies of water like oceans, lakes, and ponds, while tortoises live only on land. But that’s not all. Here are some other ways to tell the difference between a turtle and a tortoise.


  • Turtles have paddle-shaped front legs and their back feet are webbed, while tortoises have sturdier forelimbs that are not webbed and are designed to help hold their weight.
  • Tortoises are vegetarian (aside from the occasional insect) while turtles are omnivores, so they eat both plants and animals.
  • Turtle shells are thinner, while tortoise shells are rounder and more dome-shaped.
  • Tortoises only use for water is for drinking and bathing.


Turtle and Tortoise Checklist: What Do I Need to Take Care of My Pet?


As a pet parent, giving your pet turtle or tortoise the proper care is your first priority. Though the checklist for turtles and tortoises is similar, the items needed to care for them do differ somewhat. Therefore, you should refer to the turtle and tortoise checklists below to ensure that you have the right tortoise or turtle supplies for your pet.


If you have an aquatic turtle, you will need the following turtle supplies to help your reptile live their best life:

  • Appropriately sized aquarium/turtle tub
  • Screened lid
  • UVB bulb and fixture
  • Basking bulb and fixture
  • Aquarium heater
  • Habitat thermometer and hygrometer
  • Canister filter
  • Water conditioner
  • Sturdy turtle dock
  • Branches and non-toxic plants
  • Pelleted food
  • Crickets, mealworms and waxworms


And if you’re the proud pet parent of a tortoise, the checklist below is your guide for all the tortoise supplies you need:

  • At least 189-liter (91cm long) terrarium (Larger for multiple tortoises)
  • Screened lid
  • Daytime UVB bulb and fixture
  • Basking bulb and lamp
  • Nighttime bulb or ceramic heat emitter
  • Habitat thermometer(s) and a hygrometer
  • Spray bottle for misting or 
  • Automatic Fogger
  • Reptile carpet/bedding
  • Hide
  • Food dish
  • Large, shallow water dish
  • Prepared tortoise pellet blend
  • Calcium powder and multivitamin powder


Though fascinating to watch, turtles and tortoises are shy and physical affection can stress them out if you handle them too much. Always supervise kids when playing with these pets, and always wash your hands after touching your reptile. Consult a veterinarian if you have any questions regarding your reptile friend’s health or their care in general. 


Whether you’ve chosen to bring home a turtle or a tortoise, PetSmart has the best turtle supplies and tortoise supplies to help you bring your pet out of their shell and into your heart. We carry the best reptile habitats, terrariums, heating and lighting solutions, cleaning and water care, feeders and food storage, and everything in between.


PetSmart also offers convenient shopping with curbside or in-store pickup. Need something today? We have select items available for same-day delivery in most areas powered by DoorDash. For items you purchase frequently, PetSmart has Autoship that automatically delivers the items you want to your door as often as you’d like. Check the website to see which items are eligible.


Information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your pet and is not a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health-related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, contact your veterinarian.