How to Get a Turtle out of Its Shell

Updated July 05, 2018

According to the website Turtle Puddle, there are more than 270 species of turtles. Some of these turtles reside on land, while others live in water. Many states sell turtles as pets, but individuals may see one trying to cross the street and rescue it. However you came about owning a turtle, you will want to get the turtle to come out of its shell so you can get a good look at it. A turtle will need to be coaxed out if its shell, too, if the turtle needs to see a veterinarian or have its beak trimmed down.

Set the turtle on the floor or the exam table and wait a few minutes. The turtle may begin to feel comfortable and come out of its shell.

Set a piece of lettuce or a few carrot pieces in front of the turtle's shell. Coaxing the turtle out with food will give you a chance to examine the turtle's head.

Place the turtle in a glass aquarium if it is extremely shy and won't come out of the shell on a table or floor. The aquarium will make the turtle feel safe, but is clear so that you can see into it to observe the turtle.


Stand behind the turtle when you set it on the floor so that it doesn't see you.


Move slowly when the turtle does come out of its shell. Sudden movements will scare the turtle right back into hiding.

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Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.