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Do Turtles Smell? 2 Easy Steps To Get Rid Of Bad Smell

Do turtles smell? Ahh! Maybe they do, perhaps they don’t. What I am sure of is that bad smell is always irritating to everyone. No one wishes to stay in a smelling environment. I believe it is also the reason you are here. To know whether your turtle smells or if your turtle would smell when you get one. Well, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will know whether turtles do smell and if they do, why do they smell and a remedy for it. Stay tuned.

Do turtles smell?

Well, it all depends on how you keep your turtle. Generally, turtles have no smell at all. What results in their smell is the environment they live in. A dirty environment with rotten foods, particles, and vegetation will result in a foul odor that transfers to the turtle. These particles may even get stuck to a turtles shell and decompose making the turtle have an unpleasant smell.

Although turtles do not smell, some do produce a foul smell intentionally. These turtles will do this as a form of defense. Most of the turtles that use this defense mechanism tend to be small in size and can be swallowed whole. I will explain more on this below, so ensure to read till the end.

How To Wash Your Turtle

How To Wash Your Turtle

Like I have said earlier, turtles will not smell unless they are in a dirty environment. As we know, turtles are very messy, and you need big filters to keep the water in their tanks clean. Sometimes, the filters will fail to clear all the dirt, and you will have to do it on your own. After feeding your turtle, you have to ensure that the food remains are removed from the tank or else they may get stuck on the turtle’s shell and decompose. Most of the time, when turtles have an awful smell, it is caused by materials that have gathered on their shell which end up rotting and producing the foul smell. When this happens, you should clean the turtle.

So, how do you clean your turtle?

Best Way To Clean Turtle Tank

To clean your turtle, you will need a toothbrush and a container. A new toothbrush is recommended to avoid bacterial infections. The container is just to hold your turtle while you clean the tank. You should be aware that you cannot clean the turtle and forget the container or clean the tank and leave the turtle. That is zero work.  

Now that we know that, we start by cleaning our hand thoroughly with clean water to remove all dirt, cream, or soap. Fill the containers with water i.e. the one holding the turtle and the other one which will act as the source of the cleaning water. Do not clean the turtle with the water from the container holding it. The water is full of germs and bacterias. 

Also, remember not to use any soap or detergent. They may harm your turtle. Pick your toothbrush and turtle by its sides and start scrubbing gently in a circular motion. Start from the edges going inwards and pay attention to the edges. After cleaning the top part, pay the same attention to under the edges. This is where algae, bacterias, and other particles gather. Clean gently and when done, use a lamp like the ones on the turtle’s aquarium to check for any missed spots. After the bath, throw away the toothbrush as well as the containers unless you want to spend time cleaning and disinfecting them.

How To Clean The Tank

I have mentioned that you cannot clean the turtle and leave out the tank. Therefore, the next step is to clean the tank. To clean the tank, you first have to remove the components inside, including the turtle. The components include heaters, filters, and lights. Remove the substrates as well and place them aside to be washed later on. Once this is done, the sides of the tank mostly have algae growing on them. The best way to remove this dirt is by use of a magnet sponge. Put a part of the sponge on the inside and the other part on the outside and clean easily. Clean the part placed aside and when done return every component to the respective place. Read this detailed post How to Clean Turtle Tank – 4 Easy Steps

How To Get Rid Of Turtle Smell?

This is a simple task when you are dedicated to the health of your turtle. Ensuring your turtle is always clean does not only get rid of the turtle’s smell but also provides good health to the turtles. I have explained how to clean your turtle and the tank. Ensure you do it regularly to keep the turtle happy and get rid of the foul smell.  

How To Prevent Bad Smells In The Future

Preventing bad smells is as easy as just feeding the turtles. All you have to do is to ensure that you feed your turtle in a different container. Food remains the main cause of turtle smell mostly. The food remains will rot and the foul smell is transferred to the turtle. The food remains can also get stuck on the turtle’s shell. To prevent this foul smell, you will need another container filled with water.

When feeding the turtles, place him in that container. Let him feed there and leave him for an extra 10 minutes. Turtles eat and defecate some minutes after they have eaten. Once all this is done, feel free to return him to his tank and you will have saved you so much effort and time for cleaning.

If you happen to have more than one turtle, the process is the same. Remember to feed them on at a time to prevent them from fighting for food. Pour away the water and clean the container for later use. This is a beneficial technique and will surely help avoid bad smells.  

Smell As A Defensive Mechanism

I mentioned earlier that some turtles do produce a foul smell as a defensive mechanism. Due to their small size, they risk being swallowed wholly. Their sizes rarely exceed 6 inches. To avoid being swallowed, they produce a foul smell. It is rare to find a predator that will eat a turtle that has an awful smell unless it is very hungry. The foul smell is produced by the small glands found under the carapace. The turtles with this defense mechanism include the Eastern musk turtle, the stinkpot also known as the Sternotherus Odoratus.


Does A Pet Turtle Stink?

Pet turtles do not stink unless they live in a stinky environment. Most of the times the foul smell is from the remains of the food they eat, plants that grow on their shells, and other decomposable particles. The best way to prevent the foul smell is to keep the turtle and tank clean.

In conclusion, we understand that turtles have no smell at all. The only time they smell is when they are dirty or they are trying to defend themselves from a predator. We have learned how to clean the turtles as well as the tanks and how to prevent the foul smell. Do this regularly and you will have a healthy turtle, and you will not have to worry about a bad smell.

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