Things to know before getting a turtle as your pet


Many people find pet turtles cute, and they may think that they are easy to care for. While it is true that caring for a pet turtle is not rocket science, it is equally true that you need to dedicate some time to think about what such an endeavor would entail for you. As the owner of a pet turtle, I want to give you some advice on the matter.

Why you might not want a pet turtle

To make things clear right from the get-go, let’s see some reasons that could and should keep you away from getting such an animal as your pet. First of all, you must bear in mind that, while the small pet you got from the pet store is just a little cute animal, this creature can grow, and, with its size, so the tank where you keep it should grow, too.

Do you have enough space for housing a decently sized tank for your growing turtle? If you live in a small apartment, my advice would be to get a different type of pet. Although there are species that do not grow that much, there are still other things that you should know.

Keeping the water clear in the tank is paramount for the turtle’s health. Cleaning the tank regularly involves a bit of mess and a lot of responsibility on your part. So, be prepared. Another thing you might not particularly like about having a pet turtle is that this animal does not enjoy being cuddled, petted, or anything similar.


Keeping your pet turtle healthy

Once of the most significant challenges of caring for this type of pet is to know when it is the time to take it to the vet. Besides caring for the environment where you keep the pet turtle, you will also have to pay attention to various warning signs.

For instance, if your turtle prefers to spend all the time in hiding, and it no longer eats or drinks fresh water, that should be an alert sign. A pet turtle that is ill will experience weight loss, and you may even notice signs like discharge from its nose, mouth, and eyes. Turtles can also suffer from diarrhea.

It is not easy to take care of a pet turtle on your own. That is why my advice is to take the small animal to a vet and let a professional run a checkup and give it the necessary treatment.

Care about your health, too

Turtles can be carriers of bacteria, Salmonella in particular. That is why you should always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your pet. The viruses and bacteria developing on the turtle’s shell and skin can be contagious, which is why such recommendations are valid.