What are the benefits of using turtle shell care products?
Which turtle shell care products are the best?
Turtle shell care products have a variety of purposes depending on their formulas.
These products range from shell conditioners, anti-fungal baths, water conditioners for aquatic turtles, antibacterial sprays, and even dietary supplements to support shell health from the inside out.
Many turtle shell care products help in the prevention of cracked shells and diseases affecting shell growth.
Other shell care products treat conditions such as shell rot or fungus and algae overgrowth.
There are many turtle shell care products to choose from, and I have narrowed it down to the top five best products to keep your turtle’s shell healthy.
My number one pick for turtle shell care products is Nature Zone Turtle Shell Saver. This nourishing shell conditioner is full of healthy oils to provide your turtle’s shell with moisture to prevent cracks. This oil also adds a nice shine to your turtle’s shell and helps to keep it clean.
This article takes a deeper look at this shell oil and its benefits, along with details on other top-rated turtle shell care products.
Turtle Shell Care Products In This Review
What Makes a Good Turtle Shell Care Product?
A turtle shell care product will help maintain your turtle’s shell’s health, which is the most important part of its body.
There are many diseases affecting turtle shells, causing symptoms such as pitting, cracking, and peeling.
Monitoring your turtle’s appearance is essential in ensuring its overall health.
Using a turtle shell care product such as a shell conditioner regularly will give you the chance to inspect the shell thoroughly as you massage the product into the shell.
For aquatic turtles, there are water conditioners and supplements to aid in shell health.
Some of these skin and shell treatments even treat fungal infections and prevent algae growth.
Turtle shell care products are not always topical products such as shell oils or sprays.
Vitamin supplement powders are essential for your turtle’s shell’s health and appearance, and they should not be overlooked as a shell care product.
What You Should Look For in a Turtle Shell Care Product
For a shell conditioner, such as oil you massage into your turtle’s shell, be sure to look for a blend of oils made especially for turtle and tortoise shells.
Some beneficial oils providing moisture to a turtle’s shell include sunflower seed oil and jojoba oil.
Aloe vera gel may also have a soothing effect on your turtle, and it is a good humectant, keeping the shell from drying out.
For issues with fungus, a specially blended bath treatment just for turtles and tortoises is readily available.
The fungal bath blend includes safe essential oils such as sweet basil and clove oils.
Turtle shell care products for aquatic turtles such as water and health conditioners should be made especially for turtles and be able to be safely ingested by turtles.
Calcium and vitamin D3 supplements should be specifically made for turtles to ensure the proper amount of nutrients are provided for your turtle’s optimal health.
What You Should Avoid in a Turtle Shell Care Product
Look for turtle shell conditioners made from all-natural ingredients to avoid exposing your turtle to any unnecessary chemicals.
After all, you will be massaging this conditioner into your turtle’s shell, and it will absorb these ingredients into its body.
The same holds for fungal bath products, as well as water and health conditioners.
Avoiding your turtle’s exposure to any unnecessary chemicals will help keep your turtle healthy and happy for many years to come.
You should never rely solely on a turtle shell care product to treat a serious shell wound or shell rot.
If there are any red, slimy patches on your turtle’s shell, or if the shell is injured in any way, you should seek veterinary care as soon as possible for proper treatment.
Choose supplements formulated without phosphorus, as this inhibits the turtle’s ability to process important nutrients properly.
You should also use a calcium supplement without vitamin D3 if your turtle is exposed to an adequate amount of UVB lighting to avoid D3 overdose.
Best Turtle Shell Care Product Reviews
Here is my list of the five best turtle shell care products, including how and when to use each one.
Each product on this list has its unique way of caring for a turtle’s shell’s health.
Nature Zone Turtle Shell Saver
- Turtle shell saver moisturizer and conditioner
- It is for reptile and small animals
- Keeps shell strong and healthy
This moisturizing blend of sunflower oil, jojoba oil, and aloe vera gel is applied by placing a few drops on your turtle’s shell and then massaging it in gently with your hands.
This rich moisturizer will keep your turtle’s shell strong with regular use.
The creamy formula absorbs into the shell quickly without leaving a sticky, greasy residue.
Rich in protein, this shell conditioner prevents your turtle’s shell from becoming very dry and cracking or chipping.
Using a shell conditioner also allows you to bond with your turtle as you massage its shell.
You should also take this time to inspect your turtle’s shell for any signs of dryness, cracking, or injury.
Regularly monitoring your turtle shell’s appearance will make you more aware of any signs of infection or illness, allowing for more prompt treatment.
The Turtle Shell Saver will even make your turtle’s shell easier to clean.
By making the shell, so shiny, dirt and dust wipe away with a soft cloth.
- Improves shell strength and promotes healing
- Helps to keep shells flexible and healthy
- Makes shells shiny, so dirt and dust slides right off
- Available in a 2-ounce bottle
Nature Zone Turtle Fungus Bath Treatment
- Quality and performance driven products for your pet
- Tested for safety and health
- Provide a better quality of living for your pet with Nature Zone
This bath treatment is used to prevent fungal and bacterial infections in your turtle.
All-natural active ingredients such as sweet basil, celery seed, and clove oils gently treat and effectively remove fungus from your turtle’s shell and skin.
This fungus bath treatment also helps to prevent a turtle from developing puffy and swollen eyes due to being in captivity.
Any species of aquatic, semi-aquatic, or even terrestrial turtle is susceptible to developing fungus either on their shell or skin.
Common causes of fungus include poor water quality, improper basking temperatures, and an unclean habitat.
Soaking your turtle in a fungus bath treatment several times during the week will safely kill the fungus and bacteria.
Killing this fungus and bacteria is important in preventing diseases such as shell rot and upper respiratory infections.
- Made from natural essential oils
- Inhibits and kills fungus and bacteria
- Tested for safety and health
- Available in a 2-ounce bottle
API Turtle Fix
- Contains one (1) API TURTLE FIX Nonbacilli Turtle Remedy 4-Ounce Bottle
- Treat topical bacilli infections on the body and limbs and rapidly heals damaged tissue, reddening of the skin, white cloudy film on the skin, and open wounds
- Contains natural, botanical tea tree extract; safe for turtles, frogs and other aquatic/semi-aquatic reptiles and amphibians
This antibacterial turtle remedy helps treat bacterial infections on the shell and limbs of a turtle.
Turtle fix also works well with aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles by mixing the remedy directly into their tank.
All-natural cajeput oil soothes and prevents bacteria growth in wounds.
This antibacterial treatment also promotes faster healing of damaged tissue, reddening of the skin, a cloudy white film on the skin, and open wounds.
Turtle Fix is also used to prevent shell rot from infecting damaged shells.
If you are using Turtle Fix to treat a shell injury, and it has not started to heal within 6 days, you should seek a veterinarian’s care for further diagnosis and treatment.
- Treats topical bacterial infections on the shell and limbs
- Rapidly heals damaged tissue, skin reddening, white film on the skin, and open wounds
- Safe for turtles, frogs, and other aquatic and semi-aquatic reptiles and amphibians
- Available in 4-ounce and 8-ounce bottles
- TURTLE HEALTH CONDITIONER Slow-release dissolving blocks help create a healthier environment for aquatic turtles amphibians and other reptiles
- CONTROLS DISEASES Controls a variety of common diseases and disease-causing organisms including salmonella for the safety of aquatic turtles and their owners
- SLOW RELEASE Each sulfa-medicated block dissolves slowly and lasts up to 60 days
This shell care treatment is used to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria on an aquatic turtle’s shell.
Salmonella is a common bacteria found on turtle shells and is easily spread to humans through handling.
TetraFauna ReptoGuard is placed in your aquatic or semi-aquatic turtle’s tank, where it slowly dissolves, spreading the treatment throughout the water.
Each slow-release block starts working immediately and lasts for up to 60 days.
The ingredients in ReptoGuard are safe for all life stages and sizes of turtles.
This conditioner also aids in preventing shell rot by killing harmful bacteria which form on cracked or injured shells.
- Controls salmonella and other bacteria
- Releases medication as it dissolves
- Each block treats up to 20 gallons
- Available in packs of 3 turtle-shaped blocks
Zoo Med Repti Calcium
- Highly bio-available source of calcium carbonate
- Free of harmful impurities (not from Oyster Shells)
- Safe levels of Vitamin D3
This calcium supplement supports healthy bone and shell growth and prevents diseases such as metabolic bone disease.
Metabolic bone disease is incurable, and it is considered a fatal disease.
Formulated with precipitated calcium carbonate, this supplement is available both with and without D3.
D3 is necessary for the turtle’s body to metabolize calcium properly, and a turtle can synthesize D3 from the vitamin D they absorb through UVB lighting.
If your turtle receives 10-12 hours of UVB light every day, you may wish to purchase this calcium supplement without D3 to avoid a very rare condition known as D3 toxicity due to overdose.
Give this calcium powder supplement to your turtle by sprinkling its food right before mealtime.
To easily coat insects, place the insects in a plastic container, add some of the calcium supplement, cover with a lid, and gently shake the container.
- Phosphorus free calcium supplement
- Available both with and without D3
- Scoop or sprinkle the powder from the jar with the dual-access lid
- Available in 8-ounce, 12-ounce, and 48-ounce jars
Do You Need to Clean Your Turtle’s Shell?
A turtle’s shell will generally not need much maintenance from you when it comes to cleaning.
There may be times where your turtle gets covered in dirt or mud after spending some time outdoors, and you will need to clean its shell.
However, if you have to clean your turtle’s shell regularly, there are three common causes:
- There is hard water in your tank.
- There are too many algae growing in the aquarium.
- Your turtle has a fungal infection or shell rot.
Once you have eliminated these three common causes, it is unnecessary to regularly clean your turtle’s shell.
However, you may want to massage a turtle shell conditioner into your turtle’s shell once a week to keep it moisturized and shiny.
Do At-Home Shell Care Products Cure Shell Rot?
There are many at-home remedies and products readily available, and they kill different types of fungus and bacteria, which may lead to shell rot.
These have proven to be effective home treatments.
However, without knowing the underlying causes and possibly unknown infections involved with each case of shell rot, it is always best to seek the care of a veterinarian as soon as you see symptoms.
Turtle shell rot symptoms include small pits and divots in the shell, soft spots, areas of bloody discharge, and scutes falling off of the shell.
Does a Turtle Completely Shed Its Shell?
Almost all turtles shed the skin on their head, neck, and limbs, but only aquatic turtles shed entire scutes from their shell.
Turtles who spend most of their lives on land don’t shed these scutes.
Instead, new keratin growth forms underneath the scutes, allowing them to grow larger and expand the shell with the turtle’s growth.
Aquatic turtles, however, completely shed individual scutes.
This allows them to avoid any potential algae growth on their shell.
An aquatic turtle will also need a basking spot with a warm temperature to get dry regularly.
This drying process is part of ensuring a smooth shedding process.
Never peel loose skin or scutes off of a turtle, as this will lead to discomfort and possible infection.
Besides Using Turtle Shell Care Products, How Should You Protect Your Turtle’s Shell?
Many shell problems are easily prevented by following just a few simple rules.
Always maintain a clean habitat and closely monitor to ensure proper temperature and humidity are being reached in the environment.
Reptiles depend on their external environment to help regulate their body temperature.
You also need to give your turtle enough space to move freely, remove any sharp objects which might puncture your turtle’s shell, and provide the optimal amount of UV lighting for basking.
Feed your turtle a varied diet and add calcium supplements to support strong bone and shell growth.
Keep your turtle safe from pets, especially large dogs, which may bite and injure its shell.
Most importantly, you should regularly monitor your turtle’s shell appearance to note any cracks, injuries, or other unusual changes.
If you notice any of these changes, seek the care of an exotic veterinarian right away for proper diagnosis and treatment.