Owning a turtle doesn't mean just popping the pet in an enclosure and leaving it. You need to provide fun enrichment activities for your pet.
We have provided 13 fun toys for your pet turtle.
The Importance Of Enrichment
Toys to provide enrichment are essential to turtles that are kept in captivity. Enrichment helps them stay healthy and happy.
Studies have found that turtles get stressed and depressed when alone in a habitat that is scarce.
Providing toys and stimulation for your pet turtle is more important than you may have been aware of.
Best Toys For Turtles
1. Plastic Balls
Plastic balls, such as ping pong or golf balls can be great enrichment toys for your pet turtle, enabling them to push them around their enclosure.
Plastic balls also float, which can add an extra element of excitement.
Be aware that plastic balls should not be allowed to stay in the tank for extended periods, they are prone to mold and can block the water filter.
2. Treat Balls
You've probably heard of treat balls for dogs, but did you know you can get great treat balls for your turtle?
The Tortoise Treat Ball is a healthy feeder treat ball, which enables you to feed your turtle fresh foods.
It reduces the risk of food wastage It entertains your turtle, encouraging natural behavior and enriching their environment.
It's an excellent want to relieve stress and make feeding time a little more fun.
3. Floating Treats
Turtle treats are a great way to get your turtle moving and chasing after its food, as it would in its natural environment.
Be careful not to provide the treats too often, as it can make the tank messy and could damage the water filter. Also, it's worth noting that not all turtles are attracted to the treats.
The floating treats make treat time a great play experience for your pet while being natural, attractive, and nutritious.
4. Colorful Marbles
Getting your turtle to chase a colorful marble is just another way to get your pet to exercise and display natural behaviors.
Colored marbles can be rolled around the enclosure or placed to add color and enrichment for your pet.
Be careful with larger turtles that could potentially swallow smaller marbles, resulting in unwelcome impaction.
5. Live Plants
Live plants are the best way to provide a natural habitat for your turtle, helping to reduce stress and make them feel comfortable and happy.
There are some good live plants you can choose from, which provide great hiding places, they are also safe to eat.
You may need to replace the plants from time to time, as turtles tend to bite their plants, which causes the plant to die in the long run.
Some of the top live plants for a turtle enclosure includes:
Amazon Sword is a blade-like aquatic plant that is durable and popular.
This beautiful plant is easy to care for, it's short-stemmed and has bushy leaves.
Crystalwort is a floating plant that grows in thick clumps of green threats, which are bright green in color.
They grow in a ball shape when you don't trim them.
Eelgrass is an underwater grass with quarter-inch leaves.
The plant has roots anchored into the sand or grass. It is flowering and often confused as seaweed.
It provides excellent hiding places while adding that finishing touch to your turtle tank design.
Frogbit is an easy aquatic plant to care for and introduce into your turtle enclosure.
It's ornamental, beautiful, and floats on the water, which provides great hiding for your turtle pet.
Waterweed is a very attractive plant, surviving underwater with white flowers, which push through the water surface with delicate stalks.
It also offers excellent hiding for your pet turtle.
6. Moss Balls
Moss balls made from live marimo moss are a welcome addition to your turtle enclosure.
These balls do more than entertain your pet though, they also prevent algae growth and assist with water filtration, making them a must for a turtle habitat.
Fake moss balls can also be good toys for your pet.
Your turtle can push the ball around for stimulation, they can also eat the moss and it's completely safe.
7. Air Stone
Air stones have been used in freshwater aquariums for years, helping to oxygenate the water.
Turtles also love the air stones, which cause air bubbles which they can swim in and play with.
The Hygger Aquarium Air Stone Kit includes a nano air disc stone, control value, check valve, suction cups, tee connector, and a reducer, which releases bubbles that are smaller, uniform, and denser, encouraging a double oxygen dissolving rate in the water.
It pushes out smaller and denser bubbles which are more fun for your pet with quiet operation.
8. Flashing Bath Toys
Turtles have excellent color vision, so adding colorful and flashing bath toys to their enclosure can add great excitement, exploration, and fun.
The flashing bath toys can float on the water and stimulate your pet, encouraging it to explore and exercise.
The Floating Bath Toy flashes vivid colors and changes colors when it is touching the water.
The lights automatically turn off when you remove them from the water.
It is non-toxic and high quality with a long shelf life.
Hides are not only for enrichment but are essential to provide your turtle with safety and privacy within their enclosure.
A turtle that is constantly exposed without a dark hiding place will get stressed.
The Penn-Plax Reptology Shale Step Ledge is an ideal choice for your pet turtle.
It looks realistic and fantastic in your pet’s habitat. It is hand-painted and will blend in seamlessly with the aquatic environment. It provides a place to hide, climb and explore.
10. Basking Platforms
A basking platform is attached to the side of the enclosure and can be placed just above water level providing a place where your pet can get out of the water and soak up the UV rays.
Basking platforms enable your pet to mimic its natural behaviors in the wild while encouraging climbing and basking.
The BigTron Turtle Platform is suitable for turtles up to twenty centimeters.
It comes with suction cups and support frames.
You can fix it to the bottom of the tank and it's exceptionally durable, providing a floating island.
It does not impact the water quality and provides a place for your pet to climb and play.
A brush is not a toy, but it is essential for every turtle pet owner.
It can help when your pet is itchy to helping remove any retained scutes.
A high-quality bottle brush is ideal for the job. This brush has a suction cup, which enables you to attach it to the inside of the enclosure, allowing your pet to rub itself against the brush as and when it wishes.
It's not recommended to leave the brush in the enclosure, as it can develop mold.
12. Floating Log
Floating logs add some natural elements to your turtle enclosure while offering your pet the enrichment and stimulation it needs when living in captivity.
The Zoo Med floating log is designed to float on the surface, providing a place to explore, climb and hide, helping to reduce stress and improve happiness and health. Floating logs do not roll over, keeping your pet safe.
They are natural-looking and made from quality resin that floats at the surface.
Your pet can bask on top of it or hide inside it.
It is designed with a bottom-weight, which prevents the log from rolling over, even if you have more than one turtle basking on the top.
13. Tank Mate
Turtles can get lonely when living alone in a tank, so adding a tank mate could be the solution.
Adding a few freshwater fish, shrimp, or even snails can give your pet the company it needs, though bear in mind that it's not uncommon for turtles to eat these tank mates.
When adding a tank mate, try and choose fish, shrimp, and snails that are larger than your turtle’s mouth to reduce the risk of them being eaten.
Snails are excellent at removing algae from the sides of the tank, shrimp eat any leftover food, so they are beneficial as well as a tank mate for your turtle.
Turtle Enrichment Activities
In addition to the number of great toys you can provide your pet turtle with, you may want to consider actually carrying out some enrichment activities. Activities enable you to enjoy some quality time with your pet.
Outside the Enclosure
Most of the semi-aquatic turtles are able to go without water for a period of time, such as red eared sliders.
Find a safe place in your room or home where your turtle can roam, allowing it to explore outside its enclosure.
It's recommended to choose a tile floor or wooden floor over carpet, as many turtles will pee when nervous.
Always add a hide, so if your turtle feels nervous or stressed it can return to its hide.
If you notice your turtle feeling stressed and unhappy, return it to its enclosure immediately.
There are numerous turtle pet owners who claim their turtles love watching television.
Turtles do have excellent color vision and the colors on the screen could provide them with entertainment.
You don't have to take your pet out of its enclosure, simply place the enclosure in the room where your pet can see the television.
You can turn treat time into an enrichment activity.
Feed one treat at a time, get your turtle to work for it, such as dropping it into the water and letting your turtle chase and catch it.
You don't have to purchase specialist turtle treats, but rather choose nutritious options, such as:
- Dried shrimp, which contain essential fats
- Proteins, such as crickets, mealworms, and boiled eggs
- Vegetables, such as beans, beets, peas, and carrots
- Greens, including carrot tops, collard greens, and spinach
- Fruits can include apples, strawberries, mango, and banana.
Adding enrichment activities and toys for your pet turtle will reduce depression and help your pet be happy and comfortable.
Turtles struggle when living in a sparse environment, offer them plenty of activities and toys to ensure your pet remains active, happy, and safe.