Can You Leave a Turtle Alone for a Week?

Can You Leave a Turtle Alone for a Week?

Turtles for the most part are quiet and uneventful pets. But that does not mean they do not require careful maintenance; they most certainly do. So, how do you, as a turtle owner, leave them unattended alone for a week? Can they live on their own for that long? 

You can leave a turtle alone for a week if you provide adequate food and clean water for that duration. You also need to ensure the turtle has ample space and facility for basking. However, if the turtle is very young or in poor health, you should not leave it unattended for that long. 

Contrary to what many people initially assume, turtles are not self-maintaining pets. They require close attention and love in order to survive and thrive in your care. If you have to leave them alone when you go out on vacation, there are certain measures you need to take to ensure their survival. 

So, in this article, we will take a closer look at turtles as a choice for a pet. We will discuss their chances of survival if left alone and how you can make sure they get the proper treatment even if you are not present. 

Can Turtles Stay Alone? 

Can You Leave a Turtle Alone for a Week?

There comes a point in every turtle owner’s life when they have to leave their precious little pal alone for a weekend or two. Turtles, needing a lot of space, are not suitable for taking along with you on the trip. 

Fortunately, turtles can live alone for an extended period. All you have to do is take some measures and you will be good to leave. 

Of course, this applies to healthy and adult turtles. Baby turtles need to be fed more frequently than adults. As such, they need constant care. 

The same goes for a sick turtle or a turtle that has a poor health record. Because in your absence they can easily fall into bad health. And without the proper attention, there is a great risk of them dying. 

Adults, on the other hand, can go on for weeks or even months without needing any food. Although, they require enough clean water and space for swimming and basking in the meantime. 

This does not mean you should keep your pet turtle starving for weeks, even if it is a healthy adult. But if you do need to go out for a week, rest assured that your turtle will be able to carry on without needing to be constantly fed. 

How Long Can a Turtle Live Without Food or Water? 

Turtles do not need to be fed constantly nor do they require water throughout the day. They need a balance between swimming in water and basking in the sun. 

Without food, a healthy and adult turtle can survive for 4 or 5 months. Baby turtles cannot go on for that long in starvation. But if you leave your pet turtle hungry for so long, you drastically raise the risk of them catching a severe disease. 

Turtles will survive for a considerably shorter time without water. The need for water is more immediate than food. Without water, the turtle will get dehydrated. They become more prone to various diseases and will dry out and die. 

Of course, there are factors that can notably affect these timelines. If your turtle has been fed properly up to now, then they will be able to manage a few weeks without food. On the flip side, if the turtle does not have access to clean water, their survival rate without food decreases greatly. 

The rate of survival can also change depending on the species. The amount of food and water a turtle requires will vary from species to species. So, it is best for you to get informed about the requirements of the particular turtle species in your care. 

How Do You Leave a Turtle Alone at Home for a Week? 

Can You Leave a Turtle Alone for a Week?

So, you have planned a week away for a long time but you have to leave behind your turtle friend. But do not worry. Here are some things you need to take care of before you head out. 

Make Sure They Have Sufficient Water 

For turtles, clean, cool water is absolutely paramount. And unfortunately, there is no device that can manage this task in your absence. 

So, before heading out, you should change the water with a fresh batch. Additionally, you should fill the tank as much as possible. This is especially pertinent in the summertime, as the water level can greatly decrease due to evaporation. 


Food can be a confusing matter. Should you leave them without any food or should you store their tank with extra meals? 

If you are only out for a short time, you really do not need to worry about feeding your turtle. They will hardly notice the absence of a meal.  

If you are going to be away for weeks, you can leave them some aquatic plants or feeder fish over the weekend. 

You can also get an automatic food dispenser for your turtle. These machines come in various shapes and sizes. You can configure and schedule a particular time when the machine will dispense the food. You can also adjust how much food they release each time. 

Ample Basking Area 

Basking in the sunlight is almost as vital for turtles as swimming in clean water. Without this facility, the turtle will get weaker as their bones and shell will develop poorly. So, make sure you place the tank in such a way that they can receive enough sunlight. 

Ask Somebody Over 

The best solution for leaving a turtle alone is giving the responsibility to a friend or a neighbor. They can come over once or twice a week to give the food, change the water and ensure that they are basking properly. 


Turtles need plenty of care and attention. But they are sturdy enough to survive without you for a week or two. Just make sure you have your turtle in a proper setup.

Gui Hadlich

Hey there, I'm Gui! These are my 2 good pals Ozzy and Luna. I've gone through the headache of figuring out what to do when either traveling with them or leaving them behind, and I know it can be a pain. I created Pets Travel Guide to make your life a bit easier when you love your pet but also love to travel!

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