Are Turtles Good Pets? Purpose, Details & FAQ


an eastern box turtle on a pathway

There’s no denying that, as People, we love our pets. Thousands and thousands of American households have a minimum of one pet and plenty of pets, from canines and cats to rabbits, fish, guinea pigs, ferrets, and extra. Amongst them is the turtle, which has turn out to be fairly common over the previous couple of a long time. The query is, are turtles good pets? The reply, a minimum of based on the Humane Society of the US, is not any, and for a number of good causes.

Within the article under, we’ll make clear the explanations for the Humane Society’s stance. We’ll additionally have a look at a number of the the explanation why turtles nonetheless may make good pets. It’s very important data that may allow you to make one of the best determination on whether or not to carry a turtle into your own home.

Why Don’t Turtles Make Good Pets?

The Humane Society of the US believes that turning a turtle right into a pet will not be a good suggestion. Sure, they’re docile creatures, and a few breeds are engaging and enjoyable to observe. In addition to that, nonetheless, turtles will not be simple to take care of, particularly for first-time homeowners.

Turtles Can Make You Sick

As an grownup, there’s an excellent likelihood you’ve heard of the food-borne sickness salmonella brought on by the salmonella micro organism. Whereas most individuals get sick from consuming meals tainted by the micro organism, it’s additionally carried by reptiles, together with turtles.

If the turtle you undertake has salmonella micro organism on their physique, it may simply be transferred to you or different folks in your loved ones. The chance is so excessive that it’s unlawful in the US to promote small turtles. The well being threat they pose to kids, senior residents, and other people with lowered resistance attributable to different well being points is just too nice.

Baby snapping turtle on hand
Picture Credit score: Hoth Prepare dinner, Shutterstock

The Salmonella Micro organism on Turtles Can Be Transferred to Others by Contact

Figuring out the danger posed by salmonella micro organism is highest for kids, you may assume that, as an grownup, it’s okay to personal a turtle. The issue is, if you happen to contact your turtle or their tank after which contact another person, you possibly can switch the micro organism to that individual.

The journal Pediatrics carried out a study in 2006 that discovered one thing very attention-grabbing and terrifying. Publicity to reptiles was a giant reason behind salmonella poisoning in infants. When you think about how unlikely it’s to have an toddler deal with a turtle or different reptile, it’s solely logical that the Salmonella was transferred by another person.

Turtles Are an Invasive Species

Many people undertake a turtle or two, considering they may make nice pets. Sadly, after they notice they not need the animal, there are few choices to re-home them. Rescue teams normally don’t take turtles as they’re overwhelmed by requests, which leads many individuals to let their pets free into the wild.

What’s the issue with setting them free? First, it’s unlawful to let a turtle free within the wild. Second, your pet turtle may carry illnesses that kill wild turtles or different animals. Then there’s the truth that some turtle species will eat the meals native species eat, inflicting their decline. It’s turn out to be so dangerous that turtles at the moment are on the record of the 100 most invasive species on the planet!

a read eared slider turtle at a national park
Picture Credit score: marie martin, Shutterstock

Turtles Can Stay for A long time

Think about if the canine you bought as a toddler lived so lengthy that, while you retired, they have been nonetheless with you. That’s what can occur with a turtle, as these animals can stay as much as 30 years or longer in captivity. And after we say longer, we’re speaking about 50, 60, and 70 years.

That’s an extremely very long time to be a caretaker for any pet, not to mention one that may’t provide you with any real affection. Plus, your turtle received’t keep one dimension like a canine or cat however will proceed to develop its total life, forcing you to get ever-increasing tanks and different gear to your pet.

You Can’t Undertake a Child Turtle

In the event you assume it will be good to get a child turtle to your baby as a pet, assume once more. Not solely do they pose a real well being threat to your baby attributable to salmonella, however promoting turtles below 4 inches in size wherever in the US is unlawful.

Turtles Want a Lot of Specialised Care

Many imagine that turtles are “simple to take care of,” however the actuality is way from that. These animals want giant tanks, for instance, and specialised filtration methods just like aquarium fish.

Turtles additionally want specialised lighting to make Vitamin D and stop bone anomalies, they usually require a number of cleansing of their our bodies and habitat. In brief, turtles are tougher to take care of than most individuals imagine they’re.

red eared turtle in aquarium
Picture Credit score: Mark Leung, Shutterstock

What Elements Make a Turtle a Good Pet?

There’s no denying {that a} turtle is an enchanting animal. (In the event that they weren’t, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wouldn’t have been a worldwide phenomenon for the final 40 years!) Turtles have distinctive personalities and transfer slowly sufficient that children can take a protracted have a look at them every time they like.

Turtles can also train youngsters concerning the world and what it means to place one other creature’s life in your palms, figuratively talking. Feeding a turtle can teach kids about nutrition and the duty it takes to take care of an animal.

A turtle may be a good selection for an older baby or an grownup who desires a docile pet that doesn’t demand a excessive degree of consideration. You will need to, nonetheless, go into the scenario together with your eyes broad open to the downsides of turtle possession.

Ultimate Ideas

Though they’ve some superb attributes, protecting a turtle as a pet appears to have extra negatives than positives. The worst of those negatives is the danger of salmonella poisoning, particularly for young children and seniors.

Specialized care, the issue of re-homing an undesirable turtle, and the truth that they’re thought of invasive don’t assist, both. All these elements put collectively make turtles a poor selection of pet apart from essentially the most devoted and diligent folks. Due to this fact, most veterinarians suggest not adopting a turtle and as an alternative choosing one other species of pet.


Featured Picture Credit score: Merely Pictures, Shutterstock

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