My Dog Licked a Turtle What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 08/16/21 •  3 min read
The contents of the website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase this item or service, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain our own.

Dogs are known for being very curious about other creatures. What happens if a turtle and a dog meet? Well, it depends on the dog. Sometimes a dog may try to carry the turtle in his mouth, while other dogs may view the turtle’s hard shell as something to chew on! But what happens if a dog licks a turtle or carries the turtle in his mouth?

Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.

Has your dog licked a turtle? Are you worried your dog could become sick from licking the turtle? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog does something that he shouldn’t.

In this article, we’ll take a look at turtles and whether or not they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

What is a Turtle?

Turtles are reptiles that are encased by a protective shell. Many species of turtles live on land or in/near the water. Some turtles are kept as pets, while others live wild. It’s even possible for turtles to live in an urban environment! For this reason, it’s not surprising that dogs may sometimes encounter a turtle out in the yard. And if turtles are kept as pets, it’s also possible they may have a pet sibling who happens to be a dog.

Dogs and turtles usually don’t mix well unless they’re raised together from a young age. That’s because dogs are curious and want to play with just about anything. A turtle, to some dogs, is nothing more than a plaything and/or a chew toy. Needless to say, this is not good for the turtles.

But what happens if a dog licks a turtle? Can the turtle make a dog sick?

Turtles & Dogs

In most cases, if a dog licks a turtle, the dog should be OK. However, there’s the possibility that the turtle may be carrying salmonella. Some turtles, just like dogs and other animals, do carry this bacteria. So, there’s a small chance a dog could become infected with salmonella by licking a turtle. This is a rare problem.

Symptoms of Salmonella Infections in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog becomes infected with salmonella:

If your dog has licked a turtle and comes down with these symptoms, then it’s time to call the vet.

Treatment of Salmonella Infection in Dogs

The good news is that most dogs will fight off the infection on their own. However, it’s still a good idea to call the vet. One note, very young dogs, older dogs, and dogs that have underlying health issues may not be able to fight off the infection on their own. These dogs have a higher chance of becoming very sick.

The vet may treat your dog with IV fluids to help him rehydrate. In severe cases, it’s possible a dog may require plasma or a blood transfusion. The vet may also use steroids to keep a dog from going into shock.

The main takeaway from a dog licking a turtle is that in most cases, the dog should be just fine! Just watch him for any signs he’s getting sick, and then call the vet. In addition, be sure to keep your dog from playing with or chewing on turtles. Turtles can easily suffer major injuries from this type of treatment.

(Visited 1,324 times, 2 visits today)
Online Veterinary 24/7
Chat With A Veterinarian Online

Connect with a verified veterinarian in minutes. Licensed vets are available 24/7 to answer your questions. No need to worry about your furry family member.


Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

Keep Reading