Are Turtles The Right Pet For Your Family?

Updated: Feb 10




Turtles!

When I get the urge to wander

Whether close or way down yonder

I have no worries when I roam

Because I’m always close to home.


In Invasion Of The Cubecumbers, Kara gets her order of Super Rare Dimple Cheeked Box Turtles. While her turtles are trainable and snuggly, what's it like to own a real turtle? Are they the right pet for your family? Let’s take a look at the upsides and considerations of turtles as pets.


Upsides:

  1. They are QUIET. No chirping, screeching, howling.

  2. They can have interesting personalities!

  3. Some can live outside (with care)

  4. They (probably) won’t chew your furniture.

  5. They are great for people with dander allergies. Achoo!

  6. There are aquatic and semi-aquatic species, so you can choose the type of tank you prefer (though even aquatic turtles will need some “land” to bask on.)

  7. Turtles need a good diet, but not a complex one. Fruits, vegetables, and insects make up most turtle diets.

  8. Turtles themselves are pretty low maintenance.


Considerations:

  1. They aren’t cuddlers. If your family is looking for a pet that will tolerate handling, a turtle probably isn’t a good choice.

  2. They have very specific housing requirements. They not only need a tank and food, but also UVA/UVB lights, a water filtration system, and other things. Also, their tank needs to be LARGE and will need the water changed often (at least once a week) even with a filter.

  3. They can carry salmonella that can make you sick. So even if you pick them up, you need to wash your hands. And no kissing! This might be a difficult rule for a young or tender-hearted child to understand and follow.

  4. They are extremely long lived for a pet-25 years or more. That's a good thing! But also something to consider once the kids move out.

  5. They can grow very big, depending on the species.


So you can see that a turtle is an excellent choice for a family who has a lot of time, space, and energy for maintaining a tank and is looking for a quiet, allergy-friendly pet that they can observe but not handle much.

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