How Long Can Pet Turtles Stay Underwater?

baby turtle

When it comes to turtles staying underwater, there are a lot of things you do not know. Most people often do the mistake of classifying turtles as amphibians because of their ability to stay underwater over an extended period. 

This assumption is very wrong as turtles are not amphibians. Although they can stay inside water for over 30 minutes depending on the specie, you should know that they still belong to the reptile family. You might be a little curious about how long turtles can stay underwater and a lot more. Allow us to indulge you.

How Long Can Pet Turtles Stay Underwater?

One thing you should know is that turtles can stay underwater for a long time. These animals can stay underwater for over 30 minutes, some can even stay underwater for weeks. During this period, they do not take oxygen through their nostrils, they take the oxygen through their skin.

You should know when it comes to staying underwater, most pet turtles and other types of turtles, in general, do this when they are hibernating. The act of hibernating is a very important thing for most turtles and they do this during the coldest time of the year. Most turtles are known to hibernate when the temperature falls below 50 degrees. 

Many people often ask how a turtle hibernates, well, the answer is relatively simple. A turtle hibernates by slowing down its entire metabolism process. When a turtle hibernates, the rate at which the body works is slowed down. The metabolism process which ranges from breathing to digesting food and a lot more will be slowed down to the barest minimum.

Turtles often tend to hibernate in different places. Some hibernate in light waters while some other turtles often hibernate in deep waters, some even hibernate in squashy muddy places as long as there is soil and water there.

You should know that turtles hibernate when the weather becomes too cold. If the weather is too cold for the body system of your turtle, there is a pretty good chance it’ll go underwater to hibernate for a long period. It would only stop hibernating when the sun is out or when the weather becomes less cold.

The pet turtle is a cold-blooded animal that can’t adapt to extreme weather conditions, this is why it needs to hibernate occasionally and it does this by staying underwater. 

What Is the Metabolism Rate in Turtles?

When it comes to the metabolism rate in turtles, you should know that this largely depends on the weather. The way the body system of your pet turtle works is largely dependent on the weather or the temperature where your pet turtle stays.

The colder the weather, the slower the metabolism rate, that is, the slower the rate at which your turtle body system works. When the temperature becomes extremely cold, the metabolism rate of your turtle will be at its lowest. At this point, your turtle can go up to 2 weeks inside water without coming out till it feels the temperature or humidity has improved. 

On the other hand, it is an entirely different scenario when the temperature or weather is warm. The warmer the climate, the higher the metabolism rate. In simplified terms, it means the body will function more when the weather or climate is warm.

In warm climates, pet turtles cannot stay underwater for more than 30 minutes, this is because their body will need as much oxygen as possible and they wouldn’t be able to get the required level of oxygen by staying underwater.

How Long Can a Red-Eared Slider Turtle Stay Underwater?

A red-eared slider turtle is one of the most popular you will find in most households. Most turtle lovers often keep this type of turtle as a pet. These slider turtles can hibernate over an extended period. They do this by slowing down their metabolism rate for as long as a couple of weeks.

If you keep them as pets during the winter period, it is best to find a place where they can hibernate. They will prefer places with soil and water, this way, they can easily slow down their metabolism and absorb the oxygen in the soil while they hibernate.

How Long Can a Painted Turtle Hibernate?

This is one beautiful specie of turtle that will catch your attention. The painted turtle is just like the sliders, they can be easily adopted as pets and they can also be found in a lot of households. 

These turtles also hibernate throughout the winter. The moment the climate falls below 50 degrees, the turtle begins to look for a hibernation spot. Once it finds the spot, it slows down its metabolism and stays there till the climate gets above 50 degrees.

How Can I Take Care of my Pet Turtle?

There are a lot of things you need to put in mind if you will like to take care of your pet turtle. You should know that there are different methods you can use to take care of different species of turtles. Here are some general methods when it comes to taking care of turtles.

Step 1: Build a Proper Cage

This is one of the most important things you should do if you are looking to take proper care of your pet turtle. You should take your time to build a proper cage for your pet turtle. There are a lot of things a good cage must possess. 

You need to ensure the water in the cage is large enough. This will allow the turtle to move around freely. You also need to ensure there is a basking area, clean water, soil or moss, and a lot more. All these things play an important role in the health of your turtle.

Step 2: Give your Pet Turtle a Proper Diet

This is another important thing you need to do if you are looking to take proper care of your pet turtle. You need to ensure you give your pet turtle a proper diet. The type of diet you give your pet turtle will determine how active, happy and healthy it will be

You need to feed your turtle with a lot of proteinous food ranging from insects to rodents and canned turtle food. You can also feed your turtle with vegetables as turtles are known to eat some type of vegetables. Nutrition plays a very important role in the health of your turtle.



There are a lot of things you should consider when it comes to the health of your turtle. There is the food, house, basking area, and a lot of other things. All these things play a very important role in the health of your turtle.

Apart from these, one question a lot of people tend to have in mind is how long a pet turtle can stay underwater. You should know that a pet turtle can stay underwater for a very long period. During hibernation, they can even stay for much longer. This information and more have been discussed above.

Written by Sarah Rivera

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