Keeping a pet turtle can be a fun and rewarding experience. It is often thought that turtles do not require much care because they just lie around or swim all day. However, this is far from the truth. Turtles like most reptiles require a specific diet and living environment depending upon their age and species type.
This is why it is not good to give a turtle as a novelty pet. The new owner must be well informed as to the proper tank maintenance, dietary needs, adequate care, and health concerns to look out for. If your new turtle is kept in an ideal environment, you can expect to have this pet for many years. Some pet turtles have been known to have lived for 100 plus years.
The buyer should be aware that pet turtles can spread salmonella, which is typical for pet turtles to have. You must wash your hands after every time you pick up a turtle. This is why pet turtles should not be kept around an expecting family, one with small children, elderly adults, or anyone with an immune system problem.
There are many different turtles species, and even though you may be able to buy a turtle from an online source, you should check your local laws concerning pet turtles. Often it is illegal to possess a specific turtle if it is a native species of your area. Different species of turtles will require completely separate environments and husbandry. It is best to keep these turtles in their proper settings. Even though you may have two of the same turtles, it can often lead to fights if there are only one female and more than one male. They can get aggressive, especially during mating season, so keep an eye out for that.
You should also plan a visit with a reptile specialist sometime within the first year and every year. Keeping your turtle in check with a vet is your new friend’s best defense against possible diseases. A reptile vet specialist will be able to recommend changes in diet and things to look out for. Don’t be surprises if your vet even tells you that you should change the living environment. This happens a lot with new turtle owners as they sometimes overlook the obvious.
Be sure to visit a reptile rescue center or adoption agency if you are looking to get a new pet turtle. These centers operate on a nonprofit schedule and often do not have the funds to keep the turtles for as long as they can live. If you can rescue a turtle from a center, you are doing both the turtle and the center a huge favor and supporting their efforts. You may even be able to have the best advice form these centers since they have spent so much time caring for these reptiles they often have the best information. Another plus to this type of adoption is the turtle will be in the best health, and you will receive a detailed background into your new pet.