Do Tortoises and Turtles Fart?


When you observe tortoises and turtles from a distance, it won’t occur to you that they can pass gas. If you own one or two, you must have noticed some bubbles from their rear during baths. It may be a new concept to you, but it is possible. 

Tortoises and turtles can fart when they have a high gas build-up. After eating a heavy and gassy meal, some foods remain undigested, causing them to fart to release the excess gases. They do it through their excretory systems, just like other animals.

Farting is a regular occurrence, especially when there is excess gas that needs expelling. We wish to understand how the tortoise and turtle’s excretory systems work to comprehend this process further. Keep reading to learn more about this and other facts about these reptiles. 

Do Tortoises and Turtles Fart

Can Tortoises and Turtles Pass Gas?

Farts result from excess gas in an animal’s body. During the day, gas builds up from inhaled air and undigested food, mainly carbohydrates. This excess gas needs to be eliminated, and it comes out as farts. With all the food that turtles and tortoises eat, gases may build up in their digestion tracts. 

Tortoises and turtles fart occasionally. It is normal behavior that indicates proper digestion and excretion. It shouldn’t alarm you as an owner since it’s their way of relieving themselves. The farts depend on the individual pet and its species; hence, it varies in sound and smell. It may be silent or loud and can be smelly. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell unless you place them in a bath and see air bubbles from their rears. As it turns out, tortoises and turtles love to excrete when in the water. Thus, the best time to notice them farting is when you bathe them. 

As an owner, you are liable when your pet farts excessively. If you feed them many carbohydrates, their gas levels build up since some bits remain undigested and form gases in their bodies. You will then find them farting regularly, trying to expel some of these gases. Turtles specifically tend to fart because of the frequent gulping of air bubbles while underwater.

You can also expect the gas released to be pungent, but it shouldn’t worry you. It may result from the combination of the food ingested or because the pet’s body is wired like that. If it becomes too much, such that it’s a nuisance because of the terrible smell, it’s best to watch out for any factors responsible.

How Do Tortoises and Turtles Fart?

Many myths surround the reptiles’ excretory systems, with some people believing that some reptiles poop from their mouths. We aim to bust such myths by proving that tortoises, turtles, and other animals have a similar excretory system, even when it comes to farting. 

Most tortoises and turtles fart through their rears. When there’s excessive gas in their system, it passes through the rectum to the anus, where it comes out as farts. It is the passage they use when defecating too. You can tell that they have farted because it comes out with a sound depending on the particular pet or its species; it can be too loud or unnoticeable. It may also happen frequently or occasionally, depending on the pet’s diet and how much gas is present in their systems. The higher the gas levels, the more frequent the farts will be.

These reptiles love being in the water, and it’s the only time they feel comfortable. Therefore, it is usual to find them defecating or urinating when they swim or when you bathe them. You may also see bubbles emerging from the water, meaning they also love passing gas while in water. Unless you are keen on your pet or the farts are loud, you will seldom hear the sounds until you see bubbles when they are in the water. 

Other owners decry that the farts are too smelly, making it unbearable to be around them. It could be due to their diet. As we will discuss, certain foods make the reptiles bloated and cause their farts to be frequent and too smelly. Interestingly, the sound made by the farts depends on the reptile’s size; the bigger it is, the louder the farts will be. 

What Makes Tortoises and Turtles Fart?

Excretion in animals is a regular and healthy occurrence; therefore, it is alarming when they don’t do it after a long time. The frequency depends on certain factors that you mostly instigate as a pet owner. We investigated the possible reasons why tortoises and turtles fart and what causes the continuous passing of gas.

Farts are the aftermath of excess gas caused by the type of food they eat. When the food is digesting, the gases remain in the system. Farts result from foods such as asparagus, Brussel sprouts, and cabbages. These foods cause excess gas and are the leading causes of smelly farts. If you repeatedly feed the reptiles these vegetables, be prepared for persistent and pungent gases.

Farting can also be due to water bubbles that they gulp during swimming or baths. The swallowed air combined with gassy foods causes them to fart excessively. When they are underwater, they are in their comfort zone. Thus, they are likely to release gas when soaking. They also tend to defecate and urinate in the water.

If you want to prevent the constant and smelly farts, it’s best to monitor their diet, ensuring that they don’t eat the gassy vegetables. Avoid providing them or eliminate them from their diet altogether. It’s also possible that your pet could be passing gas excessively because it’s bloated. You can check for signs on their bodies by observing whether they have any swelling; it is best to consult a vet in such cases. To prevent bloating, it would help to feed them the right food and the right amount. Otherwise, the pet may become overweight or bloated most of the time. Bloating is one of the reasons for the frequent passing of gas; besides, your pet may be uncomfortable too.

How To Prevent Excessive Farting

The foods your pets eat have a direct correlation to their digestion and excretion. If the foods are gassy, your pet will fart more frequently. Let’s look at how you can prevent your pet’s excessive farting.

Some foods are the leading cause of your pet’s excessive farting. They are not in any way harmful, but they cause gas to build up in your pet’s body. It is advisable to limit them in their diet or substitute them with other nutritious foods. Avoid celery and iceberg lettuce because they have little nutrients to offer your pet. When you feed them healthy food, the reptile’s digestive system and excretion will work correctly. 

For a healthy pet and better digestion, it is vital to provide healthy and nutritious foods. Consider adding protein, leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and flowers to their diet. Also, remember to give them plenty of water to help in proper digestion and excretion. You can also soak them frequently to aid in hydration and excretion; thus, they won’t get bloated.

It is also wise to be wary of foods with high levels of oxalic acid. These are foods like spinach and beets. They block calcium absorption in the body, which leads to your turtle or tortoise having calcium deficiency-related issues such as the softshell. It would help if you also considered giving your pets calcium supplements for better health and calcium digestion. When your pet has a healthy metabolism, it will not have excessive gas. 

Similarly, avoid gassy foods such as cauliflower and broccoli. Not only do they make your pets fart, but they also make the gas smelly. When tiny bits of these foods fail to digest in the system, they create a lot of gas, and since they have combined with digestive fluids and stayed in the stomach for a while, the result is smelly farts.

Tortoises and Turtles Do Fart

Unless you spend a lot of time with tortoises and turtles, their farting may be funny at first yet surprising. It is normal for them to pass gas since it is just like excretion. They need to release excess gas in their bodies; hence, it comes out as farts. It may be a loud, smelly fart or a quiet one, hardly noticeable. If you have never seen your pet farting, pay close attention the next time you bathe them, especially after a heavy meal.

It is also essential to understand that the farts have a direct bearing on their diet. If they feed on gassy vegetables such as cabbages and cauliflower, they will likely get bloated and fart incessantly. However, when they feed on healthy, nutrient-rich foods, their metabolism will improve, and gas build-up will reduce. Therefore, you have a role to play as an owner to determine whether your pets fart persistently or not.

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