Is a pet turtle right for you?

Are turtles the right pet for you? Whether you’re thinking of getting a turtle or other pet, it is important that you do your research before you go to the pet store. It’s also important to know if you can even take care of the pet in the first place.  I, a turtle owner, will help you answer the question if a pet turtle is the right for you. Let’s get swimming!

Consider the Following’

1. Lifespan

This is probably one of the biggest things that people forget about these shelled creatures. They live a very long time. This can turn off a lot of people from owning the animal, simply because they don’t if they will be able to provide for it the animal’s entire life. 

Red Eared Slider: 20-30 years

Yellow Bellied Slider: 30-40 years

Painted Turtle: 25-30 years

Musk Turtle: 30-50 years

Mud Turtle: 20-50 years

Map Turtle: 15-30 years

Box Turtle: 50-100 years

2. Size

Another overlooked part of turtle care is how big they can get. Turtle size is determined by their shell length which also determines how big of a tank you will need. A good rule of thumb is 10 gallons per inch of shell. Many people will put their turtles in too small of a tank for their size, which doesn’t give them much room to swim. To give them the proper environment, keeping size in mind is needed.

Red Eared Slider: Up to 12 inches

Yellow Bellied Slider: 5-13 inches

Painted Turtle: Up to 8 inches

Musk Turtle: 4-4.5 inches

Mud Turtle: Up to 5 inches

Map Turtle: 5-7 inches

Box Turtle: 4.5-6 inches

3. Environment.   

With turtles, you need to simulate what they would experience in the wild as close as possible with proper water conditions, lighting, heating, and space. Every turtle tank should have a powerful filter that can take care of the copious amounts of waste that turtles produce. Any turtle set up should also have a basking area with heating and UVB light provided. The water should be heated with an aquarium heater. Tanks are probably the most common option to house a turtle, but size matters. And the bigger, the better. Remember the 10 gallons per inch of shell rule. 

If you feel that one or more of these is a deal breaker, then a turtle is probably not the pet for you. Turtles are more work than what people think which leads to them being one of the most neglected pets in the pet industry. Don’t get an animal just because you think it’s cute or cool if you can’t take proper care of them. It’s just not fair to the animal. 

Hope this helps you find the right pet for you!

 

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