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Home > Turtles > Where to Buy a Red-Eared Slider Turtle in 2024 (Adoption, Online & Retail Options)

Where to Buy a Red-Eared Slider Turtle in 2024 (Adoption, Online & Retail Options)

Red Eared Slider Turtle in an aquarium

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If you’re thinking about bringing a red-eared slider home, there’s no shortage of options for you to pick from. They’re great household pets that live a long time, and because of this, you have various options to choose from, whether you’re buying from a store or adopting.

With that in mind, we’ve highlighted some great places you can get a red-eared slider turtle and what you can expect from each option. No matter which one you go with, you’re getting a great new pet to hang out with and care for, so check out the options available below.


Red-Eared Slider Turtle as Pets: What to Know Before Welcoming One Into Your Home

There are a lot of unique care requirements that go into getting a red-eared slider turtle, but by far the most important to keep in mind is that they can live up to 40 years. This means when you get a red-eared slider, you’re getting yourself into a long investment, so ensure you’re in it for the long haul before bringing one home.

They also require rather large enclosures and a more complicated diet, so do plenty of research so you know you can do everything necessary to care for one before you make the commitment.

A happy red-eared slider turtle
Image Credit: Simon_g, Shutterstock

Where to Adopt Red-Eared Slider Turtles

Just because you want a red-eared slider turtle doesn’t mean you need to rush out to a pet store or order one online. Red-eared sliders can live up to 40 years in captivity, and this long lifespan means many people change their minds after they get one.

These pet turtles still need a home, and you might be the perfect second chance. We’ve highlighted three ways you can find a red-eared slider turtle that needs a new home for you here:

1. Local Animal Shelters

One of the best places to find a red-eared slider is a local animal shelter. While not every animal shelter will even take turtles, most major metropolitan areas will have at least one turtle shelter you can check out. And since turtles can live up to 40 years, even if you get an “older” turtle, you should still have plenty of time with them.

2. Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society

The Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society is one of the largest turtle rescues in the country, and if you live anywhere in the northeast, reaching them is easier than you might think. Red-eared sliders are a pretty common turtle, so if you have your heart set on one, you shouldn’t have to wait too long to get one to bring home.

Red Eared Slider Turtle
Image Credit: David Byron Keener, Shutterstock

3. Marketplace Sites

Because not every shelter takes turtles, rehoming turtles through marketplace sites is extremely common. Just ensure you don’t fall for a scam when finding a turtle through a marketplace site, and don’t think you need to turn over a ton of money to get one.

Where to Buy Red-Eared Slider Turtles Online

We recommend purchasing red-eared sliders from an online turtle store as a last resort, but if you’re looking for a specific type of red-eared slider, it might be your best choice. But keep in mind that some online stores are better to shop from than others. But even with these two online stores, you should do your own research and check out some of the online turtle forums to learn from people who purchased their turtles online in the past.

1. The Turtle Source

Whether you want a turtle or a tortoise, the Turtle Source has several options for you to pick from. They almost always have a regular red-eared slider turtle, but they also have unique options, including the albino red-eared slider, the paradox lime phase albino red-eared slider, the caramel pink albino red-eared slider, and so much more.

If you’re looking for a super-specific red-eared slider turtle, it’s tough to top the prices and selection from The Turtle Source.

A red-eared slider turtle
Image Credit: Chemari, Shutterstock

2. American Reptile Distributors

The American Reptile Distributors has everything reptiles, but they also have various kinds of turtles for you to pick from. They don’t have quite the same selection as The Turtle Source, but their turtles tend to cost a little less for older ones, and they still have some unique color options for you to consider.

How Much Does a Red-Eared Slider Turtle Cost Online?

If you’re going to purchase a red-eared slider online, you can expect to spend between $15 and $100, depending on the age of the turtle. Younger turtles are at higher risk and a little harder to care for until they grow up, but they also tend to cost a little less.

The quality of the turtle also plays a huge role. Finally, while the average red-eared slider turtle will cost between $15 and $100, if you want a rare color pattern or style like an albino, they’ll typically cost significantly more.

Pet Stores That Sell Red Eared Slider Turtles

While you can order turtles from the comfort of your home and have them show up at your door the next day or two, there are a few advantages to going to the store to pick up your turtle. For starters, you can check out the turtle in person before you hand over any money, ensuring you’re getting a healthy turtle every time.

They also generally cost a little less than purchasing online, and you can get all the supplies you need while in the store. Just know you won’t always have the selection you want.

1. PetSmart

PetSmart is one of the largest pet stores in the United States, and if you want a pet turtle, they’re a common place to consider. You can get a turtle from PetSmart for less than $50, and they’re a bit older than many of the turtles you purchase online.

Just keep in mind they don’t always have the best selection, so you’re usually getting a regular red-eared slider turtle without any complex color patterns or features.

red eared slider turtle basks on a rock in a turtle pond
Image Credit: Gerald A. DeBoer, Shutterstock

2. Petco

Petco is another huge pet retail store, and while they’re not as transparent about their pricing for red-eared slider turtles, they do have them for sale in-store. They also sell everything you would need to care for them, giving you a one-stop shop to take care of everything you would need for a red-eared slider.

How Much Does a Red-Eared Slider Turtle Cost in Stores?

If you go into a store to purchase a red-eared slider, you should spend less than if you purchase one online. Most of the time, you can get a red-eared slider for between $30 and $50, and you might even be able to get one for less if you can find a good coupon.

The tradeoff for the lower price is that you usually don’t get unique color options like you would when purchasing online, but you do get a healthy turtle at a lower price.

Red-Eared Slider Turtle Breeder Information

Unless you want a very specific color trait or another specific physical trait, there’s no reason to find a breeder for a red-eared slider turtle. You can find them in shelters, rescues, or at a local pet store without any difficulties.

However, if you’d rather support a local breeder over a large chain store, there’s nothing wrong with that! If you are looking for a breeder, ensure the turtles are in good health when you get them, and always try to get a health guarantee when purchasing them.

red eared slider in water_Manfred Richter_Pixabay
Image Credit: Manfred Richter, Pixabay

Tips for Adopting or Buying a Red-Eared Slider Turtle

Whether you’re adopting or purchasing a red-eared slider turtle, you want to ensure you have everything you need before you bring one home. This means giving them a large enough enclosure and all the supplies you need to keep it in great shape.

Moreover, keep in mind it’s best to physically be able to check out the turtle before you purchase them and be able to see the area where they live before you bring one home. While this isn’t always possible, the more you can look over, the more likely your turtle won’t get sick as soon as you get them home.


Red-eared slider turtles are great pets, but if you don’t do your research, they can be a bit more challenging to own. They also live quite a long time, so ensure you’re ready to keep them for the next 40 years before bringing them home.

However, many red-eared sliders need a great new second or third home, so if you want a pet turtle and don’t want the long-term commitment, consider adopting or rescuing an older red-eared slider turtle instead of getting a baby.

If You Are Interested in Turtles:

Featured Image Credit: DiPres, Shutterstock

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