One of the oldest living species of reptiles, turtles are becoming a more popular pet choice. Turtles are generally considered safe but there are some special considerations that need to be made if you’re going to keep a turtle. Most turtles are harmless but they have been known to bite from time to time. Moreover, turtles sometimes carry salmonella and as such they’re not always the best choice for pets, especially if you have young children. Still, if you educate yourself about proper turtle care, they make great pets.
First of all, let’s talk about their habitat. Turtles are found on every continent except Antarctica and they usually live in rivers, forests, oceans, lakes, deserts, and grasslands. They are truly versatile creatures. Turtles have scales and lay eggs and are known as ectothermic because their body temperature depends on the temperature of their environment. Because they are ectothermic in nature, turtles usually need exposure to ultraviolet light from UVA/UVB producing bulbs or natural sunlight.
Moreover, pet owners need to understand that turtles are a low maintenance pet alternative. In fact, some turtles live for 50 years or more and they can grow to very large sizes. Turtle aquariums need to match the size of your turtle so you need to do some research about the specific species of turtle you wish to have for a pet. People who have turtles for pets learn quickly that they need a lot of care. Large turtles can make a lot of waste and all turtles need to eat a variety of different foods including fruits and vegetables.
So, while turtles are cute and sometimes make fun pets, don’t make the mistake of thinking that they’re easy pets. In addition to the fact that they live for many years, turtles often need a lot of special care.