How do I handle my turtle safely?

Handling a turtle can be a delicate and potentially dangerous task if not done properly. If you’re a new turtle owner, it’s important to learn how to handle your turtle safely to prevent injury to both yourself and your turtle. In this article, we will discuss some tips and tricks for safely handling your turtle.

Wash Your Hands
Before handling your turtle, it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria or disease to your turtle.

Approach Your Turtle Slowly
Approach your turtle slowly and calmly. Sudden movements or loud noises can startle your turtle and cause them to retreat into their shell or attempt to flee.

Support Your Turtle’s Body
When picking up your turtle, it’s important to support their body properly. Place one hand under the turtle’s shell, near the front legs, and the other hand under the turtle’s hind legs.

Keep Your Turtle Close to Your Body
Once you have your turtle in your hands, keep them close to your body to prevent them from falling or jumping. This will also help your turtle feel more secure.

Avoid Squeezing or Dropping Your Turtle
Turtles have fragile shells that can be easily damaged if squeezed too tightly or dropped. Be gentle when handling your turtle and avoid squeezing or dropping them.

Do Not Hold Your Turtle by Its Tail
Never hold your turtle by its tail as it can cause them pain and injury. The tail is an important part of a turtle’s body and should not be used for lifting or holding.

Keep Your Turtle Away from Your Face
Avoid bringing your turtle close to your face, as turtles can carry Salmonella bacteria which can cause illness in humans.

Monitor Your Turtle’s Behavior
Monitor your turtle’s behavior while handling them. If your turtle seems agitated, restless, or is attempting to escape, it may be time to put them back in their habitat.


In conclusion, handling a turtle safely requires some attention and care. Wash your hands before handling your turtle, approach them slowly, support their body properly, keep them close to your body, avoid squeezing or dropping them, do not hold them by their tail, keep them away from your face, and monitor their behavior. By following these tips and tricks, you can safely handle your turtle without causing harm to either yourself or your turtle. If you have any concerns about handling your turtle or their behavior, consult with a veterinarian who specializes in reptile care.