Do Turtles Make Good Pets

Do Turtles Make Good Pets

A turtle is a wonderful pet and is an excellent addition to any family, especially if you live in a warm climate. But not everyone is right for turtles.

They are very rewarding pets. By taking the necessary precautions when purchasing a turtle, it will most likely live a long and healthy life

Turtles make excellent pets for a number of reasons:

They’re entertaining! Turtles, in general, may be a lot of fun, intriguing, and adorable pets to have around the house. They’re safe! They’re completely harmless.

Turtles are very intelligent species, and some species of turtles have even been known to show affection toward their owners. Turtles are easy to care for and don’t require a lot of maintenance.

 Most turtle species will learn to link humans with food and will beg for food in the same way that dogs do. When you approach them, they will typically come to the tank or run to the front of their enclosure.

Feeding pet turtles is a lot of fun, and seeing your turtle eat a variety of things can be fascinating. If you want them to, they’ll pursue feeder fish, hunt worms and snails, or search for hidden food in the enclosure.  They can be partially trained and are, in general, a lot of fun to have around!

The types of turtles are incredibly diverse. Most turtle owners are not common, therefore anyone who keeps turtles will likely be an individual compared to most pet owners.

Turtles come in all different kinds of colors, and it is very enjoyable finding what species works best for you and looks the most visually appealing.

Turtles are a fun choice of pet. Their bright colors and interactive nature make them an easy choice for a lot of people who are thinking about getting a pet. 


They’re a great conversation topic and appealing to anyone who visits or lives in your home. Although turtles require high water quality and much of the same equipment as fish, there are other parts of turtle care that are not required for other reptiles (particularly UVB lights!).

Keeping them can aid in the conservation of their species. Turtles are one of the fastest-dwindling vertebrates in the wild, with many distinct species becoming extinct or approaching extinction every year. You can contribute to the conservation of a turtle species by keeping one that is dwindling in the wild.

Some turtle species are more uncommon than others, making them more expensive; however, keeping them alive helps to maintain the population alive in case they become extinct in the wild. Keeping native turtle species in captivity ensures their populations survive and thrive for future generations. 

What’s the Difference Between a Turtle and a Tortoise?

These three-shelled creatures, turtles, tortoises, and terrapins have much more in common than one might think. They all belong to the Testudines order of reptiles making them distant relatives. These reptiles, collectively known as “turtles,” are distinguished by their unique shells and absence of teeth.

As pets become more popular, it’s important to know the differences between two similar creatures: turtles and tortoises. Turtles tend to live in water while tortoises come out onto land but both require special care when kept as beloved companions.

Turtles spend practically all of their lives in the water, as their flattened shells and webbed feet demonstrate. There’s also a distinction to be made between sea turtles and freshwater turtles, which are referred to as terrapins in various regions of the world.

Sea turtles are majestic creatures, boasting impressive lifespans of up to a century. On the other hand, freshwater turtles possess an amazing talent they can live both in and out of water. Tortoises have tiny legs and strong claws, making them lousy swimmers who spend their whole lives on land.

Why Don’t Turtles Make Good Pets?

The primary reason that turtles are not as popular as other reptiles are that they are very difficult to keep as pets. Turtles are truly majestic creatures, but their living arrangements require some very special consideration.

Turtles need plenty of room and a quality environment to thrive. They are completely aquatic, and they need a large, clean tank. They also require a lot of food and a lot of time to care for.

Here are some factors to look into before getting a pet turtle.

1. You Can Get Sick From Turtles

Turtles may seem harmless and even cute, but they can harbor harmful germs that cause infectious diseases. 

Even if you think your pet turtle looks healthy, it’s important to remember they are capable of carrying Salmonella in their feces which means always washing your hands after handling them.

These germs can quickly move from their bodies to the water in their tanks and their homes. It’s also for your benefit to keep the turtle tank clean.

Otherwise, infections carried by the turtle could make you sick. Salmonella was widespread during the same time period when hatchling red-eared sliders were popular, and the two are likely to be linked. it’s just their nature. Turtles can carry tapeworms, which can cause illness. 

2. Turtles make a lot of mess:

Turtles, in particular, are clumsy creatures. Especially those that live in the water, are notorious for making a mess of anything they consume.

Although they take a wide variety of foods, they won’t hesitate to rip and tear in the water, even in pellets. This can result in deteriorating water quality and a potentially stinky mess.

To keep their tank from becoming a dirty mess, you’ll need good filtration and regular water changes, which are both time-consuming and costly. Turtles can also produce a lot of waste after feeding, necessitating the use of a powerful filtering system.

Many people who don’t have the correct filtration or don’t change their water often enough need to completely rebuild their setups and clean everything properly. This can be time-consuming, untidy, and an unpleasant experience all around.

3. Turtles Need a Lot of Space

Even though turtles are reptiles, they are also mammals. They are naturally very large creatures. Turtles are usually around two feet in length, and they can grow up to 20 inches in length.

They also weigh anywhere from four to 30 pounds. The sheer size of a turtle can make it difficult to keep them in small tanks, and this is especially true for larger turtles.

A minimum tank or enclosure size of 100 gallons is required for an adult red-eared slider, although 200-300 gallons is preferable.

Turtles will be grateful for every gallon of space you provide them. For most adult turtle species that are competent swimmers, there is no such thing as an excessively large enclosure.

Red-eared sliders, Map turtles, Diamondback Terrapins, and Painted turtles are all huge turtles that flourish in a large enclosure, preferably a pond.

Many individuals are unable to keep aquariums larger than 100 gallons, so if you are unable to give a tank of this size, an indoor mini pond, or an outdoor pond, look for a less common species that can be kept in a smaller container!

 4. They Don’t Like to Be Handled

Turtles are naturally very shy and sensitive creatures. They will not enjoy being handled or handled by you. You should be gentle when handling turtles, as they will feel frightened and defensive. 

Turtles may connect you with food and ask for it at the enclosure’s walls, but once fed, they often refuse to interact with you. Because they are still wild creatures and not domesticated like cats or dogs.

They will almost always prefer a dark hiding location or an area away from the bustle of a human hand. Even if the turtle has already eaten, it is likely that they are still asking for food at the enclosure’s walls.

5. Turtles can be costly to keep:

Although turtles are relatively inexpensive, they can be expensive to keep. Turtle enclosures, aquariums, and food are some of the most expensive items you’ll need to buy to keep a turtle.

You will need to purchase a tank, an enclosure, food, and additives, as well as any equipment you’ll need to clean the tank.

Turtles are also messy creatures that can make a big mess, so you’ll need to have the right filtration system and regular water changes.

More waste will result from increased use, and more water space implies more water to filter. To maintain good water quality, high-powered filters that flip the enclosure’s volume over 2-3 times are strongly recommended.

Filters, a larger cage, and long-term upkeep can cost upwards of $800, yet you can save money by being careful with your turtle care.

It’s also tough to maintain a consistent temperature in such a huge pool of water, especially if you reside somewhere with cold winters.

Turtles are renowned for their ability to outwit even the most secure enclosures, making them challenging creatures to try and keep in an outdoor pond.

6. They Are Invasive

Despite its popularity and charming appearance, the Red-Eared Slider has caused headaches worldwide with its reputation as a great escape artist.

Owners too often unprepared for proper care have sadly contributed to them becoming one of the most pervasive turtles on earth.

Native turtle species may suffer as a result of this since they compete for resources and may spread illnesses, resulting in a dramatic drop in native species.

When invasive species are released, it is catastrophic to natural turtle populations, thus it is never a good idea to release your pet turtle into the wild.

Introducing a breeding group of new species or illnesses into healthy populations and wiping them out, can have disastrous consequences.

Under no circumstances should a turtle that has been maintained as a pet be released into the wild. If you are unable to care for your turtle, it should be put up for adoption.

7. They May Be Dangerous

Turtles are not inherently dangerous, but they are also not naturally docile creatures. When stressed or hungry, they may be prone to biting.

They may also be prone to other dangers, such as getting stuck in the filters or in the aquarium. You may need to be vigilant when you are cleaning the tank, and be ready to free the turtle if it gets stuck.

 Turtle bites are painful, but their claws can be just as harmful if handled improperly. The more difficult it is to handle a giant turtle, the more difficult it is to handle a little turtle.

Although it is recommended that you should not handle your turtle until absolutely required, it is unavoidable at some times.

Larger turtles have extraordinarily powerful legs and limbs, and they will shatter your grip if you do not hold on tightly.

8. They Need a Significant Investment Of time

Turtles are large and slow-moving creatures, and they are expensive to care for. The maintenance of a tank is not a quick process, and you will need to spend a lot of time tending to it. If you’re not prepared to dedicate a lot of time to your turtle, it’s probably not the right species for you.

In addition to the time investment, there are a lot of other factors that make turtles difficult to maintain. Turtles are sensitive creatures that can suffer from stress and other problems when maintained in captivity. If you are unable to properly care for your turtle, you should either put it up for adoption or find a responsible owner who can.

You can feed the turtle in their enclosure, but by the end of the week, the uneaten food and waste will have blocked your filter (or at the very least made it messy), and you’ll have to do a lot of maintenance.

If the tank is not kept up, it will be necessary to change the majority of the water and completely clean the filter material.

Turtles demand your undivided attention to their needs, as well as your willingness to invest time in their long-term well-being.

Why You Shouldn’t Get A Turtle As A Pet


Turtles make a lot of messes. Their water can soon get contaminated, causing odors or health issues in your turtle. Also, a filthy aquarium is an eyesore in anyone’s home.

To maintain the water clean, you must change the water on a regular basis, clean the filter, or take steps (such as feeding outside the cage).

Otherwise, your tank may become clogged with algae or dirty in general. For a happy and healthy turtle, clean water is essential.

The pricing does not often reflect the actual cost of the turtle, but rather the expense of long-term care and maintenance. The cost of replacing filters, aquariums, and turtle food can soon add up.

Keep in mind that keeping turtles is a long-term commitment, so make sure you have money set aside if you decide to do so.


Specifications for Size Most turtle species can grow to be quite huge, so plan ahead! Most aquatic turtle species require 80-120 gallons of swimming space to flourish. Otherwise, your turtle’s health could be compromised, and its growth could be inhibited.

In a small enclosure, turtles will not act naturally or be content. For many cold-tolerant turtle species, a well-fenced outdoor pond is a good alternative to indoor aquariums. Large turtles necessitate more costly filters, larger enclosures, more food, and overall higher costs.

Turtles will seek food, but once fed, they will flee from humans and will only tolerate or appreciate being held or pet in rare situations.

Turtles, on the whole, want to be left alone and will not appreciate too much engagement, as it can be harmful to their health if they are handled excessively.

It will cause them tension and may result in a range of issues. It is not harmful to your turtle to handle it once a week or for short periods of time on a regular basis.

They Have Long Lifespans

The lifespan of aquatic turtles can be anywhere from 30 to 80 years. Some turtle species live for over 100 years. Their slow metabolism and lack of need for food (which can be harmful to their health) make them much healthier and longer-living than most mammals.

In general, aquatic turtles can live up to 40 years, and most species have been recorded to live up to 100 years. They are capable of living in the wild for up to 60 years. If you do not properly care for your turtle, it could become sick or die.

harder to care for than many other animals. They will not tolerate changes in their water, temperature, or any other aspects of their habitat.

Their diet is essential to their well-being, so it is essential to feed your turtle properly. If you find yourself unable to provide a pet with the attention and care they need, consider putting them up for adoption or finding an owner who can give them the love and support that any animal deserves.

Which Turtles Are Best for Beginners?

If you are interested in a Turtle as a pet, you should read the sections below to help you choose a turtle species that is right for you.

Choosing the right turtle species for you is very important, as it will determine the species of turtle that you keep.

Carefully consider your lifestyle before selecting a pet. It’s essential to match an animal with the right environment and human companion.

The most popular turtles for beginners are the following:

Painted Turtles

Musk Turtles

Map Turtles

Easy-to-care-for turtles are great for beginners because they require very little maintenance. The following are some of the most common and easy-to-care-for turtles that you can keep in your home.

Turtles are friendly and good swimmers, although they are more sensitive to water quality than Map or Painted turtles. Map turtles are shyer, but if raised properly, they can be delightful and forgiving starter turtles. 

Painting turtles are enjoyable and easy to care for, and it may help raise captive numbers and secure their survival.

Because they live in ponds and lakes, they can survive a few missed water changes before becoming harmed, though this is not recommended


As you can see, Aquatic turtles are one of the best choices for a first-time turtle owner. They are very easy to care for and maintain, and they are very good at adapting to any situation.

It is very important to take the time to properly care for your aquatic turtle before you get it. If you are not able to care for it properly, you should either find a responsible owner who can do it for you or find a place where you can get it adopted.

Remember, if you are looking to adopt a turtle, you should first make sure that you can properly care for it before you adopt it. 

Turtles can make good pets, but with their extremely long lifespans, high maintenance costs, and risk of injury or sickness, they are not the best choice for everyone.


 What is the best turtle species for beginners?

The most popular turtles for beginners are the following:

Painted turtles

Musk turtles

Map turtles

How do I know if my turtle is healthy?

When you first get your turtle, you should ask your veterinarian to look at it. Your veterinarian can check to ensure your turtle is healthy and can tell you if there are any diseases that your turtle may be suffering from.

They’ll make sure you have all the information and support needed to maintain a healthy, happy home for your shelled friend.

How do I feed my turtle?

Aquatic turtles can live on a diet of just about anything. They can eat insects, worms, leaves, and even small fish. The only thing that they will not eat is meat.

Is it essential to keep my turtle in a special enclosure?

Aquatic turtles are finicky creatures, relying on clean water conditions to survive a single change in quality could make all the difference between life and death.

They can become stressed if they have to swim in a pool that is not well-maintained. You should make sure that you have a pool that is properly maintained and that you are taking care of it properly.

 What is the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?

With their streamlined shells, turtles are designed to cut through the water perfectly for a life spent swimming. On the other hand, tortoises have domed carapaces that make them better suited for living on land.

How do I take care of my turtle?

To keep your turtle healthy, you should provide a safe and clean enclosure. This should include a clean water snout.

You should also make sure that you are cleaning your turtle’s enclosure regularly. This will help to keep your turtle healthy and keep it clean.

How do I give my turtle away for adoption?

Unwanted turtles are usually accepted by local rescues or adoption services. Amazon is a good place to start looking for a new home for your pet, but online social media groups can also help you locate a new home for your turtle.

Because many shelters and rescues are overrun with red-eared sliders, it’s sometimes preferable to find someone with a fenced-in pond or protected outdoor location to take in your unwanted turtle rather than going to a shelter.

How much does it cost to own a turtle?

If you buy stock tanks instead of aquariums, keep things outside to avoid heating costs, use brumation to save money in the winter, or build your own filters to avoid excessive filtration costs, turtle care can be economical.

For $80-$150, I can set up a decent red-ear slider habitat outdoors with a 130-gallon stock tank and filtration.

Turtles can be a costly hobby if they are kept in aquariums with purchased filters, costing anywhere from $300 to $600. 

Is it difficult to keep a turtle?

Turtles aren’t particularly difficult to care for. They merely need to be aware of their requirements and know what to look for when caring for them.

Understanding the importance of appropriate filtration, good water quality, and rotating the feed are key aspects to remember when keeping turtles. 

During the summer season, turtles thrive. The warm water temperatures offer ideal conditions for them to be active and enjoy swimming. This is why it’s considered the best time of year to keep a turtle as a pet.

Can I breed turtles?

Yes. Red-eared sliders are among the easiest animals to breed. Red-ear sliders are not endangered, so breeding them is not a problem.

What is the best type of turtle to keep?

The 6 Types of Turtle Species That Make Great Pets

Red-Eared Slider

African Sideneck Turtle

Western Painted Turtle

Mississippi Map Turtle

Common Musk Turtle

Spotted Turtle

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *