It’s rather rare that you come across someone who owns a pet turtle. It’s not uncommon but not everyone is interested in having a cute little reptilian buddy who carries its home around on its back. Although, they’re relatively low maintenance pets that can bring a lot of fun learning experiences to your family once you’ve picked the right turtle and learn how to best care for them.
Before adopting a pet turtle it’s crucial that you do your research and understand what species of turtle would be best for your family. On that same note, you need to know what kind of care goes into caring for that particular species and whether you can handle keeping up with their care or not in the long run. Turtles tend to live for many decades on average after all. Owning a pet turtle is undoubtedly a long-term commitment.
What Types of Pet Turtles Are There?
There are many species of turtle that can be adopted and cared for as a pet just as you might with a dog or a cat. These types of pet turtles vary from small pet turtles to aquatic or land pet turtles. The way you care for your pet turtle varies depending on their species, age, and natural habitat.
Small Pet Turtles
For some people, it is their life’s dream to own a pet that doesn’t grow much bigger than the size it is as a baby. This is especially popular with furry animals such as cats and dogs. It might come as a surprise to you that small or miniature turtles are also a favorite pet among turtle lovers.
A few species of miniature turtles include the mud turtle, the musk turtle, diamondback terrapins, and the spotted turtle are just a few examples of pet turtles that don’t grow to be more than a few inches long.
Small pet turtles are best for pet owners who do not have a lot of room or resources to care for a larger turtle that would need more room and supplies. They are also great for kids as a pet. Just be mindful that turtles can be carriers of various different diseases. Kids will need to be advised to always wash their hands after handling their small pet turtle.
Important information about Caring for a Small Pet Turtle
You’ll want to start off by making sure that you know what gender your new pet turtle is. This is important because female turtles, in general, don’t tend to grow as large as male turtles do. This will help to pick the right size enclosure or aquarium to keep them in.
You may not think so, but pet turtles also enjoy getting attention and feeling loved by you. This means interacting with them on a daily basis, whether this is when you feed them or clean their enclosure. Your pet turtle’s enclosure needs to be kept up with on a regular basis to prevent illness or infection from setting in.
Land Pet Turtles
Both turtles and tortoises make great first time pets for people of any age. Many species of turtles and most tortoises are considered land dwellers, meaning they spend their time on dry land rather than swimming around in the water.
One of the more popular land turtles to adopt is the box turtle. They stay rather small and aren’t too much trouble to care for. They just need a comfortable enclosure and a balanced diet. As for tortoises, the Russian and Greek tortoises are both great beginner pets, but they do require care that is specific to their species.
Red-eared and yellow-bellied sliders are among two of the more popular aquatic turtles that are kept as pets. They can grow up to a foot long, meaning they require a relatively large aquarium to swim around in.
Aquatic turtles can make great pets for young adults and other reptile enthusiasts; however, aquatic turtles don’t make as great of pets for children as land turtles do. Aquatic turtles take little more effort to care for and aren’t the easiest to handle.
Aquatic turtles require large tanks, regular hygiene, and a good diet in order for them to live happily as a pet. They can provide relaxing entertainment for the household as they casually swim around in their tank and will live for many decades if well taken care of.
Pet turtles are great to have as long as you know what species of turtle would make a great match for you and your family. There is a lot to consider when picking out the best turtle for your home.
You need to consider whether the species of turtle that you have in mind is good for children or not. It’s also important to consider whether you have the means to create the right type of enclosure for them, as well as keep up with any necessary maintenance needs that your pet turtles might require.