When selecting a pet, the word turtle doesn’t necessarily roll off the tongue like a cat or dog, but turtles can make good pets as well. Especially if you are limited by space but still long to care for a pet. Turtles can be considered the perfect pet, requiring less work than a dog or cat, can be more interactive than a fish, however there are some points to consider before heading off to the pet store and purchasing one or two.
The pet store is mentioned here, and not going to the local creek and capturing one, taking it home and placing it in a modified aquarium or enclosure. This is dangerous and limits the life of the turtle, as chances are they may not live well in captivity. It is best not to take any chances here, as health and safety should be of high consideration. This is because many turtles carry salmonella, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and others at risk should avoid contact with turtles. Ensure to be extra careful to wash hands thoroughly after touching them. There have been instances that Turtles of less than 4 inches in size can become a risk to young children who have been known to place them in their mouths.
It is important to pick the right variety as some turtles can start out small but grow to the size of a garbage can lid, so do your homework ahead of time when selecting a type and gender of turtle to call your own. In many species, females grow to be much larger than their male counterparts.
Caring for any pet is paramount, and turtles are no exception, they require more maintenance and space than most people generally assume, they can also live for decades, so a turtle is a long term commitment. It must be known, that depending at what stage of your life you are in, the pet turtle may well outlive its owner.
Turtles require a varied and sometime messy diet, room to roam in an aquarium and strict temperature control. Their habitat needs to be cleaned more often than many people realize, although water turtles require less maintenance than box turtle or other varieties.
It is always good to know your pet turtle, as they can be beautiful pets and can be cool to own. They’re extremely interesting and have individual personalities. But they are exotic pets, and pet store owners are generally an extremely poor source of information about them. Experts advise seeking out a local turtle and tortoise society or club for information and animals. Turtle societies can answer questions about caring for pets and promoting turtle welfare.
Turtles are hardy and can be wonderful pets, experts say. Just know what you’re getting into, and how to care for them properly to ensure a healthy life for the turtle, its owner, and native species in your area.
If you are considering a turtle as a pet, or already own one, please share your stories with us, as we would like to know your thoughts.