How Long Should Turtles Bask In The Sun

How Long Should Turtles Bask In The Sun?

From time to time, I like to take my turtles outside to bask in the sun. It’s an activity that I truly enjoy doing. And, I am quite sure, my turtles enjoy it, too. 

If you are reading this post, you probably want to, or you are at least interested in doing the same thing. If that’s the case, great. Turtles love to bask in the sun. 

If you are a first-time turtle owner, you probably have a few questions. 

How long should turtles bask in the sun? Is it safe to take your turtles out in the sun? And other similar questions. 

In this article, we’ll answer all those questions. In addition, we’ll cover other similar topics, as well. But, first… 

How long should turtles bask in the sun? Turtles should bask on direct sunlight 20 to 30 minutes, couple times a week. Never let your turtle unsupervised while doing this activity. 

Now, let’s get started! 

Is It Safe To Take Your Turtles Out In The Sun? 

I own three red-eared slider turtles. Once in a while, I want to take them out to bask in the sunlight. As I said earlier, it’s an activity that both I, and the turtles enjoy. 

But is it safe to take them out? 

Taking your turtles outside is perfectly fine if you follow a few simple rules. Remember, the safety of your pet is the most important thing. You should never put them in danger. 

In the section below, we’ll talk about all the precautions you should take, and all the unexpected situations might emerge. 

What You Should Do To Make Sure Your Turtle Is Safe Basking In The Sun 

Let’s say that you want to take your red-eared slider out to bask on direct sunlight. 

What precautions you need to take, and what things should you be aware of? 

The first thing you should do is to ensure that there aren’t any predators nearby. 

I leave in an area where there are a lot of cats. I can’t leave my turtles without supervision because it’s too dangerous. 

There is always some cat looking for an easy meal. 

If there any predators in your area, whether are cats, raccoons, or birds, you should not leave your turtle alone. Which leads me to the next thing. 

More people can also make the turtle uncomfortable and feel unsafe to explore the environment. Make sure that’s just you and the turtle. 

If this is the first time you take your turtle outside, make sure that is only for a short period, 10 to 20 minutes. Set up a dry container, not in direct sunlight, with a shadow, and observe how it behaves. 

Next time you take your turtle out, it will be familiar with the environment, and it should feel more secure to explore it. 

Never leave your turtle without supervision! There are many stories where beginner owners have left their turtles outside more than it should be, and it didn’t end well. 

Final Thoughts 

As you have seen red eared sliders love basking in the sun. If you think about it, why wouldn’t they? 

Natural sunlight should be better than artificial light. In nature, wild turtles enjoy it every day. However, you need to be careful. 

Domesticated animals, such as common pet turtles, don’t have the same immunity as wild turtles. They didn’t grow up in the same environment. 

Chances are, your pet turtle has never left its tank. It hasn’t been exposed to direct sunlight. That’s why it is so important to be careful. Start small, and gradually increase the exposure of direct sunlight, every time you take them out. 

Follow the steps I’ve mentioned above to make sure your turtle is safe, and you are good to go. I am quite sure that you and your turtle will enjoy doing this activity. 

Now, I’d like to hear from you. Have you ever taken your turtle outside to bask in the sun? Let me know in the comments below! 

4 thoughts on “How Long Should Turtles Bask In The Sun?”

  1. Kind of funny… My RES was purchased as a male (I was naive) June 16th 2020.
    I had made two basking platforms due to an upper pond (plans) and lower pond (Koi). I placed her on the upper platform and she immediately dove in the water (that’s the last time I’ve had personal contact with her. She reacts as if she was a wild turtle, any view within 30+ feet and she dives into water. Anyway I digress, she will spend hours basking in the sun, even when we went over 100 degrees. She loves cooked chicken breast, and will eat her dried foods. We don’t know how she gets back to the upper pond, only saw her slide the water fall into lower. Gets along with out huge koi in the lower pond and has a hideaway in the ivy way towards the west. Anyway, regarding your dissertation: our RES loves the sun/heat. One of these times I would like her to swim up to us like you see at park lakes. Perhaps she needs a boy friend…

  2. I have a 7 year old snapping turtle who I raised. During the summer I put him out in the backyard and he likes to go under the lily plants or under a tree, sometimes he just walks back and forth Along The Back Fence and investigate the area . That the last couple of times especially today he will sit in the grass out in the open he will move out of his son into the Shaded area but this is a change in Behavior and I’m worried there could be something wrong. And bring him in before dark back to his enclosure and he gets to eat a couple hours after that his appetite is good you got lots of energy in his enclosure. I also have a children’s swimming pool in the backyard that I often put him in to begin with and he crawled out of it which is fine because I want it to be his choice.. is it normal that he would lie in the grass sometimes and son the other times he hasn’t moved very much should I be worried?

  3. I’m new to a 7 year old painted turtle. She wasn’t care for very well. I’ve had some trouble issues with her not eating.!I have offered her every thing but she will only take 2 meal worms and swim away she sniffs everything by basses it by. I have gotten a new basking plate forms and she has been in the basking area most of the last 3 days, her lights go out at 10 and back on at 9. I don’t know what she does in the dark

  4. I have two new baby red ear turtles had for two days they have eaten nothing and haven’t basket so have taken them in sum too see if that helps any suggestions thanks

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