12 Reasons Not to Buy a Pet Turtle or Tortoise

I am a turtle and tortoise-lover. Though I've tried many times to keep these lovely animals, I've failed miserably. Learn from my mistakes.

Don't Buy a Pet Turtle or Tortoise If You're Not Ready

It's a little embarrassing to write this article, not only because everyone who knows me knows I am a turtle and tortoise nerd, but also because I have literally loved turtles and tortoises to death.

You see, even though I had read several books on these extraordinary reptiles, I still couldn't care for them as needed. Because of this, several have died under my (lack of) care.

Before you read the reasons you shouldn't get a tortoise or a turtle, I want to emphasize that I speak as someone who was convinced that he had the means and environment to keep such a wonderful pet.

Some people I've met can keep these pets alive, but few can keep a turtle or tortoise and have them thrive. If you're thinking about getting one, for the sake of these beautiful creatures, please read this list first and sleep on your decision. If you truly think you have the requirements to purchase a pet turtle or tortoise, then, by all means, go ahead—but only then!

Pop Quiz!

Four Things You Didn't Know About Turtles and Tortoises

Many people purchase baby turtles or tortoises because of how cute they are, not knowing that these animals have more to them that meets the eye. Here are four things most people don't know about turtles and tortoises:

  1. They can carry salmonella. In fact, selling small turtles (shells less than four inches long) was banned in 1975 to prevent the spread of Salmonella. According to the CDC, this ban "likely remains the most effective public health action to prevent turtle-associated salmonellosis."
  2. They live for a long time. If maintained properly, some turtles can live for decades (even longer than humans) and grow to be a foot long. Some box turtles in the wild are over 200 years old. (How'd you do on the pop quiz!?)
  3. If released into the wild, pet turtles can be a danger to local populations of turtles and tortoises. Because of the pet-trade, red-eared-sliders are now considered one of the world's 100 most invasive species.
  4. They need room. Turtles and tortoises need about 10 gallons of tank space for every inch of shell. Red-eared sliders are the most common and least expensive pet turtle, and they grow to 7 - 9 inches long, meaning you'll need 70 - 90 gallons of tank space.

Nine Things You Need to Know Before You Buy a Pet Turtle

Like any pet, you need to do your research before getting a turtle or tortoise. Here are nine things you need to think about before purchasing one.

  1. The start-up cost of buying a turtle and its habitat (which can be $600 - $1,200), is actually the cheapest part of turtle ownership. Your turtle will require hundreds of dollars in upkeep each year.
  2. Turtles can live for a very long time, often over 25 years. Be prepared to care for a turtle for its entire lifetime.
  3. Turtles need fresh, clean water and bedding. You should expect to spend about half an hour each day caring for your turtle. You'll need to find someone to help care for your turtle while you're gone.
  4. Most turtles and tortoises hibernate for 10-20 weeks. You'll need to make sure it has an appropriate hibernating environment.
  5. Your turtle or tortoise will need fresh fruit, vegetables, mice, and insects to eat.
  6. Turtles do not really interact with or particularly like humans. Keep in mind that your pet will mostly interact with you only at feeding time.
  7. Though cute, turtles and tortoises do not make good pets for children, especially because they can transmit salmonella.
  8. If you do choose to purchase a turtle or tortoise, choose the species carefully. For example, it probably doesn't make sense to have a turtle from a tropical climate if you live somewhere that gets very cold.
  9. Never purchase a turtle that was wild-caught. Before getting one, ask the dealer for proof that the turtle was captive-bred and raised. This will ensure safe pet-trade practices as well as help make sure you have a healthy turtle.

Necessary Equipment for Your Turtle and Its Cost

UV-A and UV-B Light Source

Glass normally filters out the ultraviolet rays that your turtle needs to be healthy. If you want your turtle to live indoors, you need to replace that light artificially with UV-B tube fluorescents paired with UV-A producing basking bulbs. The ‘basking bulbs’ sold at pet stores for around $10-20 don't produce UV-B.

UV-B bulbs run $20 - $70; UV-A bulbs run $10 - $20

Tank and Tank Stand

10 gallons of tank for every inch of shell

Around $200

Filtration System and Pump

For a turtle (being the messy creatures they are), you need a filter rated for twice the tank size (regardless of where the water level is). Even with a good filter, you'll need to clean its tank and change the water frequently.


Turtle Food

Face it, no one likes to eat the same thing every day. Pellets should only be one part their diet, which needs to include live food like worms, crickets, and snacks.

$45 / mo

Additional Supplies

(basking rock or surface, gravel, timers for lights, water heater, surge protectors)

$100 - $200

Total Set-Up Cost

One turtle and the supplies you need to house it will cost around $500.00 (on the cheap end) to $1,200.00 (with the best equipment).

$500 - $1,200

How to Care for Pet Turtles

12 Reasons Not to Buy a Pet Tortoise or Turtle

Even though it is, in theory, possible to provide your turtle with the environment it needs to thrive, most people don't have the time, money, or desire to put so much effort into their turtle pet. Here are the main reasons you shouldn't get a turtle or tortoise.

1. You Don't Have Enough Room

Like mentioned above, even the smallest turtles and tortoises require a lot of square footage to live happily. Many turtles also need both an aquatic and a terrestrial environment, a place where they can completely dry off.

A medium-sized tortoise such as a South American Yellow or a Red Foot requires serious square footage. It can be expensive to provide that in tank form, but don't think this means they can freely roam your house. Read the next reason to find out why!

2. You Can't Maintain the Correct Temperature Consistently

In a well-meaning attempt at giving my now-deceased Red Foot tortoise some more room to roam, I let him amble through my former Chicago apartment.

He disappeared! I couldn't believe it! It wasn't until several weeks later that I found his rigor mortised carcass. He had somehow found his way into the only non-heated room in the house.

Even without mishaps like this, it's difficult to maintain the correct temperature in a tank environment, and you'll need to purchase thermometers to make sure your pet is at the ideal heat level.

3. You Can't Give the Reptile a Secure Habitat

I once had a box turtle named Geronimo (not a good name for a turtle.) I thought I had a wonderful habitat set up for him in my yard with over 100 square feet of space surrounded by chicken wire. However, he either climbed out, or a cat jumped in and claimed him. Either way he disappeared within the span of a week.

If you try to give them the space they need in anything besides a tank environment, you'll find it hard to secure.

4. You Think You Know Everything Because You Read One Article or Book

I thought I knew everything I needed to know because I'd read one book about box turtles when I was a kid. I placed three healthy specimens in a barren enclosure on my porch. However, all three perished, overheating in this enclosure which didn't provide the required temperature gradient or shelter needed by all reptiles.

It was also too small, and lacked substrate. You will find a lot of conflicting information on turtles and tortoises published as if in great authority. If you are serious about being a good pet-owner, you'll need to read several sources to understand the high level of care that these animals require.

5. The Turtle and Tortoise Pet Trade Threatens Native Species

This reason could arguably be #1 on the list, but I wanted to get some of the extreme cautions out of the way first. Where I live (Wisconsin in the United States), there used to be a large population of box turtles.

Hundreds of thousands of these were sold to the pet trade and to educational/medical suppliers in the past four decades. The species is not protected, but I fear it's too late. I've been looking for them in the wild all my life and have never seen one. You can hear the same story all over the world: Asian, Indian, African (especially Madagascar species) are all on decline. In many parts of the world, it's against the law to own some species.

6. They Carry Diseases

I once cuddled up with my Red Foot tortoise and fell asleep only to wake up with a putrid warm and wet turd planted inches from my nose. Tortoises can carry salmonella and herpes to name two of the more upsetting diseases out there.

Although the claims that all small turtles carry salmonella are dubious, anyone handling these creatures would do well to constantly wash their hands after handling. Oh yeah, and don't take naps with them. Or give them to kids that might lick them or their fingers after handling.

7. You Can't Give Your Turtle or Tortoise an Adequate Diet

Most turtles and tortoises are omnivores, though some are strict vegetarians and others are carnivores. Each species has not only a varied diet, but in many cases each has a very specific list of foods that are usually only available in their home range.

Whatever you do, don't think your pet can survive on pellets from a pet store. This is a death sentence. All turtles and tortoises need a lot of fresh food.

8. Your Dog Might Eat Your Turtle

My roommates once had an ornery pet Chow. I came home from work one day to find the dog tearing open my box turtle. It was a tragedy.

Also, about a month later, the dog mysteriously died. I've read that many box turtles carry built up levels of toxins in their bodies because they eat mushrooms and other things that are poisonous to most other animals.

9. You Can't Afford a Head-Started Hatchling

In another mixture of misguided attempt at animal husbandry I bought a half-year-old leopard tortoise because he was cheap, around $100. Unfortunately, his enclosure was too close to a window. It wasn't encased because I thought that tortoises didn't need to be in a tank-type enclosure. I was wrong.

At that tiny size, the creature needed humidity and temperature that was strictly monitored, and grossly absent in the enclosure I provided. I brought the hatchling to a veterinarian where he administered a vitamin that brought him around for a few days.

Instead of taking the vet's advice and putting him in an enclosed tank until he was larger, I brought him home to his former enclosure. The tortoise perished a few days later.

10. You Want an Exotic Pet for a Status Symbol

This is maybe the worst reason to buy a turtle or tortoise. It means your heart is not really in it, and you will not be taking all the steps necessary to care for this environmentally needy pet.

If you want people to know how interesting you are, read a book or buy a Rolex. Leave these vulnerable creatures out of it.

11. Once You Buy One, They Are Not Easy to Rehome

Turtles are the most abandoned pet in the United States (probably because of the reasons I've outlined above). However, releasing your pet into the wild is a bad idea. It's very dangerous for the turtle (who is unlikely to survive), and to the native population, which it can infect with diseases or damage through increased competition for resources. Zoos are also often reluctant to take them, because of the aforementioned reasons.

If You Still Want a Pet Tortoise or Turtle, Get Informed

If you must buy a turtle or tortoise, read a lot about them. Ask trainers, vets, or zoo keepers how to successfully care for these delicate creatures. Just because they have a shell does not make them indestructible.

If I have exposed myself to ridicule here so be it. I deserve it. I should be ashamed of my gross mistakes in turtle and tortoise pet-care and I am. I hope that this article at least, will give some people food for thought about purchasing a turtle or tortoise.

I have vowed to never purchase another turtle or tortoise again, unless I own a property where I can provide it the absolute best environment.

Things to Consider If You Still Want to Buy a Turtle or Tortoise

  • Take into careful consideration all the many needs these animals require. They are wonderful and fascinating creatures. Read books, articles, and ask professionals their advice on turtle care.
  • If you must buy one, consider purchasing a red-eared slider as they are one of the easiest to take care of. It's also one of the few species that is actually doing too well in the wild as it invades the environments of species that lay eggs less frequently.
  • However, should you purchase a slider, be warned that because they are an aquatic species, they have a dynamic (read: odoriferous and gooey) bioload (poop) that needs to be filtered and cleaned frequently. (My thanks to a reader, Taylor, who wrote an eloquent rebuttal in the Comments Section on why Russian Tortoises are much easier to maintain as pets than Red Eared Sliders. Namely, they don't need a tank full of water to stay happy. Please read her comment below to find out more).
  • Box Turtles are absolutely not for beginners, nor are Red Foots, Spider Tortoises, or Pancake Tortoises. Choose your pet wisely, and don't be afraid to consult and listen to a veterinarian if you need help.

I encourage anyone with a knowledgeable opinion in the matter to leave more reasons below in the comments section.

A Heart-Warming Turtle Story From the Comments

Here's an excerpt from the comment section below (edited for clarity and length).

" . My son and I captured a nickel-sized hatchling painter this year, and held onto it for a day. My son begged and pleaded to keep it. Instead, we released it on the same lake where we found it (albeit a little closer to our house). A few months later we saw a small tortoise off the pier, near where we had released it. It had doubled in size and was covered in some algae, looking healthy and happy. We're so lucky to live near a turtle's natural home and to visit him like a neighbor!"

Questions & Answers

Question: Is it better to have two turtles? Are turtles and tortoises social with each other?

Answer: From the evidence I've seen, some turtles especially, are somewhat social. Bathing in the sun together, eating food together and of course sex. Two males might fight and damage one another so that's a pitfall to look out for. But once again, the amount of square footage per turtle or tortoise is a very relevant factor. I'd get two or more if I had the space and the time, but as for now, I don't.

Question: Why can't we have a turtle?

Answer: You CAN have a turtle. The point of this essay is that there is more to keeping turtles than many people might think. Some species are easier to care for than others, but ALL turtles and tortoises require a lot of space. They might survive in a small enclosure or aquarium, but it is unlikely they'll thrive and they may even be suffering in too small of a space. Reread the essay above and do your research before you become a steward to these wonderful creatures or any reptile.

Question: Can I keep a baby 1-year-old tortoise in an enclosed area in my yard with my two dogs?

Answer: I wouldn't, the dogs might get along they might not, they might eat the tortoise quickly or slowly. You could have the dogs or the tortoise in a dog-proof enclosure so they could share the space.

Question: I own an African Turnneck turtle. He is doing fine so far but is there anything special I should do to care for him?

Answer: I don't know the specifics for the turnneck turtle. There's some general information in my essay above, but it would be worthwhile to scour the internet and libraries for more info (maybe email a zoo keeper or vet as a last resort) I hope you enjoy researching more, I think I've seen the species you're talking about in zoos.

Alex on September 02, 2020:

Jesus Christ how many animals have you killed in your lifetime? I can hardly believe you cared for them the best you can if they all perished. I mean... you willingly ignored a vet's instructions. How did a cat climb into the enclosure, somehow carry your pet out of the enclosure and disappear? That makes no sense. I'm sorry but you sound like a dumbass who has no business caring for another living creature ever than someone who should be giving out advice on turtle/tortoise care.

BucketHoodie on September 02, 2020:

DONT take advice from this chump, he is clearly neglectful and doesnt know anything about raising turtles himself. Instead, consult an actual expert.

Tortellini on June 29, 2020:

Sounds like a mom wrote this so she didnt have to get their kid a pet...

Billlie Jean on June 16, 2020:

Turtle baby yes pets love

From billie Jean xx

Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on June 07, 2020:

Great question Bella! It's different for each species! I would google the turtle or tortoise species type and research from there.

Good luck!


Bella on May 21, 2020:

How do turtles mate and how long does it take.

Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on May 13, 2020:

TPel, ornate box turtles are beautiful, thanks for sharing your parents success story with the world.

TPel on May 12, 2020:

While I do not, nor would I ever, have a turtle as a pet for all the reasons listed, my parents have had a desert ornate box turtle for 50 years and a red-eared slider for 15. Based on their experience, the cost and time commitment listed here seem quite high. They invest a small portion of the time and money listed here to care for both. That said they are an incredibly long term commitment

Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on January 29, 2020:

Thanks again for all the comments. There was a filter set-up in the comments section and I didn't realize I wasn't seeing them all. I approved as many more as I could, although I left out those with vitriol.

As for the young people asking if they should get one, I would say if you've done the research and it sounds like you have a large, healthy environment and the proper diet then yes you could. Although if you're under 18 I would suggest having an adult oversee your animal husbandry.

As for those with concerns about my advice with turtles or me owning any, well I still haven't owned one in many years. I don't have the proper room for one. My advice comes from a place of wanting to heal where I have hurt. Instead of hiding my mistakes or denying them, I own up to them and try to let other people know how I made them so that they don't make the same ones.

I do still love tortoises and turtles and see them regularly when I can out in nature or at the zoo.

SCREW THIS on January 05, 2020:

ali wanted was a pet tortoise but after this my mum won’t let me have one

Concerned on December 29, 2019:

I am very concerned for what I have read here and in the comment section. You are an artist/author not an environmental scientist, herpetologist, or most importantly a veterinarian. The advice in the article is only about 25% accurate, and that is being generous. Your facts are mostly based on old rumors. You should not be giving any advise on how to care for turtles or torts or really anything that you have not been educated on. Please stop asking this man questions, ask someone who is an expert.

Further more if you find anything outside, if it is not a cat or dog, u leave it outside. Taking anything from the wild and keeping it is a death sentance.

Also releasing your unwanted anything outside is also a death sentence, and if it survives will most likely be a death sentance for the native species.

Every pet needs care AND vet visits. IF you think vets are too expensive do not get that pet.

And finally i am further concerned for the "suspicious" death of the dog that ate your turtle a "MONTH" after killing your turtle! It was clearly unrelated and most likely caused by some other type of neglect.

Your experience sounds to me like someone who was immature, potentially of college age and in their 20s. Who refused to listen to people who knew best, and do the work that was needed. At least you finally matured enough to realize you shouldnt have these under your care.

Good luck to you and your artistry, but please stop giving advise that you are not accredited to give.

Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on December 28, 2019:

Pizza turtle, if you can’t take it home on the plane then you shouldn’t have your aunt buy one. If you’re in as cold place as you are a Russian tortoise is the species used to the most cold. It depends on if you’re gonna keep the tortoise in the house or are you going to establish a safe territory for it outside.

I hope this helps! Keep doing your research and good luck.

Pizza turtle on December 25, 2019:

Thank u for all of this info. I need still help though. I cant decide what spiecies of torroise to get.

I live in a genrally cold country and my aunt lives in a genrally warm place. She might get me a tortoice that i will look after when visiting and she will look after when im gone. What tortoise should i get. I cant take it home on the plane

Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on November 15, 2019:

The least amount of impact on native populations might make you choose a red-eared slider. Especially good for a young person, they are generally very hearty. Wash hands every time they are handled and handle infrequently especially when they are young. Keep up the research on your own end too! Be well! Ben Zoltak

Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on November 15, 2019:

Thanks Annie, yes I will take your words to heart. I do my best to learn from my mistakes with pets and people and everything else under the sun.

Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on November 15, 2019:

Thanks for your kind words PBMalcolm, it's not easy being green! I mean that figuratively of course.

George.k on November 12, 2019:

I want to get a pet turtle for my 11-year-old, and to solve the salmonella can you just wear gloves?

Any tips for feeding and what kind of turtle?

Annie on November 09, 2019:

Thank you very much for your honest and detailed information on your experience and advise with these wonderful but complicated creatures. Don't take people's rudeness to heart, and don't be cruel to your own self because of the mishaps. You tried and you learned and you are sharing the wisdom!

l'oie on November 08, 2019:

What a horrible, careless pet owner, without common sense.. That being said, I hope this article serves to discourage similar people from obtaining and potentially killing turtles/tortoises.

PBMalcolm on November 03, 2019:

Poor Ben. No good deed goes unpunished, huh? Thank you for sharing your experiences at the expense of getting cruelly bashed:) While I do not agree with everything you had to say, I totally agree that the MOST IMPORTANT message to get from your article is to RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH before you get ANY pet, but particularly an exotic one. Don't buy with your heart, buy with your head. You are doing yourself, and particularly the animal, a disservice to rush into a decision to get a pet like this without asking hundreds of questions and spending many, many hours reading and researching what to expect. Signed: A lifelong Vet Tech and Wildlife Rehabilitator

Valerie on September 23, 2019:

What a great informative article. I have a tortoise I took in because former owner went through bad divorce, had to move and no longer had yard. It’s easy BUT also work. They MUST hibernate, they MUST be in a secure environment and they MUST have space to be happy. I can’t ever imagine having him in a cage. My back yard is 1,500 square ft and I feel like it’s enough but it could be more. Tortoises are travelers. I didn’t buy him, I took him in cuz I had the space. I can’t imagine getting an animal if I didn’t have the proper set up. Once he starts slowing down in the fall we bring him in garage and put him in comfy box to hibernate, you know it’s time when they are asleep about a week (Oct/Nov) Then he goes back in yard (April/May, living in Las Vegas) I made sure my yard is escape proof. And feed mostly dandelion greens/ chard/ cabbage etc, Occasional fruit and lettuce other veggies. I don’t know about turtles but I know that living in an aquarium is probably like being in a jail cell. I’m glad this author had the guts to share stories of mistakes made. I grew up with a tortoise, my dad took in, when we were kids. He did everything right, even went to a sanctuary to learn how to properly take care. One year (after having her about 10) she didn’t come out of hibernation. The same burrow she always went in. We were devastated. She had a big yard and great life, we’ll never know why, but we did the best. We’ve all made mistakes, and I feel this was written to PREVENT more in the future. In other words PLEASE DON’T BUY these animals. If AND ONLY IF you have the means PLEASE ADOPT.

Samantha on September 21, 2019:

Hey everyone, I am a kid. I was just wondering if this article is true because I was considering asking for a little turtle for my birthday coming up...would it be a good idea??

Amanda on September 15, 2019:

Whilst I appreciate the article it does seem to me some of your issues seemed to derive from carelessness and, well frankly, not using common sense! I mean if your given advice from a vet and ignore it the. That is not a responsible way to own a pet. But anyway I don’t want a tortoise or turtle but I was just reading about them for interest and was surprised who many people in articles, inc yourself seemed to talk of them as the same animal and yet I get the impression from others, that like the many different breeds of tortoise that these are quite differ t beasts requiring quite different care? No? I am unclear?! Thanks again though Amanda

Merritt on September 02, 2019:

This article is so right! My parents bought my eight year old a Russian tortoise for his birthday and it is the hardest pet I have ever owned. My son is too young to do any of the upkeep and I constantly feel like this tortoise is one step from death. It’s awful. I wish I had read this before I told them it was okay! I never imagined it would be this terrible.

elric on September 02, 2019:

are you kidding me beacus somepoeple have turtles as pets

Yrtle on August 05, 2019:

I am a turtle

Kevin on July 14, 2019:

This was an interesting article. However you write about tortoises and turtles as if they are interchangeable when they’re not. They are in fact very different creatures with different needs

Linneajg on July 13, 2019:

Your article explained exactly what I needed to know. I will NOT have a tortoise for a pet at this time. Thank you for the great information.

Ally on July 05, 2019:

I have a tortoise and he is the easiest pet I e ever had to take care of. Although i agree with some of the statements, the biggest thing is just to study and learn if you know what your doing they are easy to take care of. My Russian tortoise is kept in an terrarium and let out once a week for exercise. It is perfectly ok to keep a tortoise in a tank or terrarium if it is an adequate size. You do not have to have an enclosure outside to have a healthy tortoise! As long as you take them outside on the hot days they will be fine.

Lana Tainter on June 26, 2019:

I was given a baby red ear slider by my neighbor who didnt want him anymore I have him in a tank with rocks and water I change his water every day he likes warm water he wont eat fresh anything I have given him many fresh fruits and lettece wont touch them he only likes the food that I bought at the pet store and he only likes a certain brand he is very spoiled He has grown twice his size and as he grows I upgrade his tank I love my turtle and talk to him every day he has given me joy

Steve burke on June 18, 2019:

Hugely beneficial well written article thank you ..

Deb on June 18, 2019:

Thanks to all of you who posted without being nasty to the person who wrote the article. I'd just like to add that ADOPTING is the way to go, NOT BUYING! Take in the ones others discarded; don't create more havoc. thanks!

Lizzy on June 03, 2019:

Hi Ben,

Thanks for this great article. I think a lot of people take advantage of anonymous comment sections to say awful, mean things that they would never say if they could be identified. Same reason people can be a**holes in their cars on the freeway, but perfectly polite at the grocery store.

I think it took a lot of courage to share your stories of how challenging it was to raise pet turtles and tortoises. You sound like a kind and empathetic person - I'm sure you wouldn't be sharing your experiences if you didn't care about these animals.

I've been on the fence about getting one, and your article was helpful (along with others I've read online that echo your same points). In the end I've decided against it. Appreciate the time you took to write this article!

Ben Zoltak (author) from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on May 31, 2019:

Thanks Catbark! Sometimes I don't think people read the entire article, or they themselves profit from the pet trade and are quick to judge. I do think there are responsible turtle and tortoise dealers out there that work hard to help satiate the desire for pets while at the same time help to alleviate the pressure on wild populations. Thanks for the steel-heart response, it's not easy admitting out mistakes out in the open.


Ben Zoltak

TheWilbur5000 on May 25, 2019:

i have just got a tortoise and it couldn't be less trouble to keep. i enjoy caring for him and he is healthy and happy in a simple cage brought off The Tortoise Shop. i would never tell anyone not to get them or that they are hassle- it is one of the best best you can get in my opinion- quite, don't need to do anything accept give it baths and feed it right foods. they are friendly and happy and you can even teach them small, simple tricks! i think this article is completely false and somebody felt like writing a bad review and they posted it so people think a tortoise or a turtle is bad news. Author of this article: you have no idea what you are on about and quick question D you even own a tortoise or a turtle?

tagonio on May 19, 2019:

I have a wonderful pet Sulcata Tortoise and a Macleay River Turtle, I love them so much, and they take research and commitment, but they are amazing

why! on April 19, 2019:

how could you hurt them!!!!they just need love and care...

Clancy on April 13, 2019:

I have a little Macleay River turtle. He's one of the smallest turtle breeds in Australia. Squirtle is only around 6 inches but he still has a 250L tank (I think thats 66 gallons?) He has a lot of room and honestly the more room the better.

Author is a dickhead on April 08, 2019:

This guy absolutely sucks! Sounds more like he intentionally killed most of his “pet” turtles. What a DBAG! If your tortoise disappears, go find it you dick! If a vet tells you not to do something, don’t do it! Jesus you should never be allowed to adopt an animal again. Who even thought it was a good idea to publish your idiotic nonesense?

Toby on April 05, 2019:

Toby is about 65 years old.Barbara my wife found him on a big moor before we were married and we have been married nearly 65 years.He escaped twice but he was found after a local tortoise hunt.He has a large garden to explore and sleeps in a 5 star home.Feeds on apple garden peas and stuff he finds inthe garden.Hasa bath every two days.Onlyproblem He will out live us so my son will be next dad.Toby is a cracking pet.

VictorTepes on March 31, 2019:

I enjoyed reading your article very much. I used to be a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and would frequently take in injured turtles, usually eastern box turtles. I kept two of the turtles because their injuries were too serious to release them within the acceptable window of time for them to reclaim their territory. They were approximately 30-years old when they came to me and I had them both from 1996 until last Summer when one of them was able to climb out of her enclosure and run away. I guess she didn't like living with me but I miss her. I still have her old, scared but lovable friend "Grandma".

Turtle lover on February 27, 2019:

I have 4 turtles that i love dearly

1-Dimondback Terripen that is 20 yrs old i have had him every since he could fit into a planters peanut can and had plenty of room to move around my sister found him along 20 yrs ago in a water meter and kept him for 2 weeks and said she really didn't have time to take care of him i said i want him and my daughter and i try to come up with a name for him we could never xome up with the perfect name so we kept calling him mr.turtle and today when i speak to him he looks up at me with those darling little eyes. I have never seen a turtle with such a wonderful disbersistion as mr turtle has i can put him on the floor and he will literally follow me all over the kitchen i mean walk right behind me my family gets such a kick out of it the relationship thats between him and i.I can take my nose and kiss him under his neck and he stretches his neck out just as far as he can for me to do that.If anything happens to him my heart will be be crushed i love him so much so hes my first and well i mean well taken care off 55 gallon tank turtle dock heat lamp food pellets /shrimp/worms/apples/ crickets oh he really loves those. So yes i know how to take very good care of my turtles.But its not really all what you supply them its about how much love and attention you give them also.And my other 3 are treated just as good just like children don't do for one it you cant do for all.my other 2 are Red ear sliders Lucy&Ricky and i bought both of them in Nags Heads 10 yrs ago they were 2 tiny little turtles that needed a home.And my 4th one is a painter's turtle which of course is in a separate 10 gal.tank that my daughter and her boyfriend gave to me one day they were on a job site and her boyfriend step outside for a minute and saw something that looked like a quarter that he came from a hair of stepping on and he stop and said oh my gosh its a turtle so my daughter text a pic to me and asked me if i wanted her and i was like love at first sight YES' so thats how i got Marley.So i have had her for a year and she has her own little village with her dock heat lamp and all so with my Maltease and my Turtles and my family and friends im a and my new Grandbaby im a rich women.So if you want to buy a turtle you buy one if it doesn't work out then im sure you can find someone who would take it in .

Me on February 25, 2019:

I love tortoises so im looking at getting one but i will be very careful and look after it well

thanx this info is very helpful

Anonymous on February 02, 2019:

This whole article is more about how terrible of a pet owner you are rather than good reasons not to get a turtle as a pet. I have no intentions of getting a turtle for a pet, but you sound like a complete idiot when it comes to pet care. I’m sorry, but I care more about animals than your feelings...

rohit on December 18, 2018:

red glider is legal or illigal in india

Maria Bunny on December 15, 2018:

I’m sorry but... I’ve had 2 box turtles when I was 12, we had a very large backyard so dad told us we should leave them there. We never had problems with them, we also had 15 dogs (12 rat terriers and 3 chihuahuas) and all they did was play with them.

I recently got an aquatic turtle for my birthday (3 months ago), and although I don’t have all the fancy stuff I still let him sunbathe for 30 minutes a day and change his water daily. Many of you will say I’m not taking care of him properly but he looks healthy. I sometimes let him roam around the apartment and my chihuahua (puppy) loves to play with him, the old chihuahua I have however is scared of turtles.

Tortoise lover on December 05, 2018:

I need information about tortoises

turtlelady57 on December 01, 2018:

I found this article helpful. However my 10 yr.old Buddy, found at the size of a quarter & Miss Dott 6 yrs. old, half dollar size when found have been great pets. They pretty much come to me when they need anything. Timing is key to understanding they're needs. Turtles do play

Clumsy Turtle on November 25, 2018:

I have two turtles ,Jack and Jill ,they are red eared sliders and they are about 3 months old now, they healthy and they look happy , although i dont have any uvb or uva light, they are healthy , i take them for sunbath for 15min and its fine , you can see jill on my youtube channel ' Clumsy Turtle ' .

I care them with love and its enough for them . Why dont you directly say you dont like turtles ? I think you hadnt care them proper thats why they died (sorry for grammer)

Anonymous on November 25, 2018:

You know, not everybody thinks they know everything just because they read one article or book. I've been studying for months and read about like 32 articles. That's just you, I guess.

Dan on November 21, 2018:

Sorry, but you sound negligent. I think that these are examples of why YOU shouldn't have a pet, not examples of why I shouldn't...

tortoise on November 18, 2018:

for me i love tortoises they are amazing right !!!

O on November 17, 2018:

Turtles are one of the easiest pets to care for. If you've killed that many turtles, that's on you. My neighbour has had her turtle for two decades and it's completely healthy and happy. My friend also has had hers for a little less than a decade.

I have no idea how you killed so many of those turtles, man.

Wtf on November 14, 2018:

I’ve read the entire article && quite frankly, while you have some good points.. you literally just sound like an uneducated owner. You bought turtles && tortoiseshell and in MANY instances you didn’t have the right environment or did things that the MAJORITY of tortoise/turtle care articles, sites, && books.. say NOT to do.

You’re right though, you should NEVERRRRR buy another turtle or tortoise. By the looks of it, you’ve killrd enough

Justin D. Whitehead on November 09, 2018:

You've killed so many turtles... A... Are you The Shredder?

BORRIS on November 03, 2018:


Gillian Moore on November 02, 2018:

I have had a tort for about six or seven years. Torts are definitely a life commitment, as pets. They live for decades and a tort could outlive its owner. Therefore, if you are not ready for such a commitment, please think twice before you get a tort.

These cute animals are not at all easy to deal with. Unlike dogs and cats, torts cannot be trained to do anything: they only run for food.

I love tortoises on November 02, 2018:

thank you. I want a tortoise but now i understand how hard they are to take care of.

Turtlemom on November 01, 2018:

I have 2 tortoises and they no not take much to care for them the way this article states. Of course just like every animal they need care but not the way it's making it seem. I've had them for 2 years now and they have never needed that much care, they never needed to go to the vet or ever had mice to eat. The only thing I need to do constantly is make sure I clean up the food they don't eat so the tank doesn't get dirty, give them water and sometimes taking them outside. Also just to add something else, I have a dog and he does not try to eat them I let the turtles walk around the house he goes to sniff them and runs away. I'm pretty sure he is more scared of them then they are of him. I hold them, my turtles love the affection I give them, some people say "They are turtles what feelings do they have," but in all reality they love to be held and they love it when I gently rub the top of their head and underneath. Just wanted to put a little out there, but turtles aren't at all hard to care for unless you can't be buying food often. (Lettuce, apples, sweet potatoes and grapes) is what I feed my 2 lovely turtles. I hope this can help someone with some of the information they wanted :).

Turtle Mom on October 30, 2018:

I have two pet tortoises and the only thing I need to keep up with daily is taking the food they don't eat and tossing it out. They are quite easy to care for.

Boblarington on October 05, 2018:

Evryone should have a pet turttle

Tortoise lover! on October 04, 2018:

Tortoises do not require insects to eat! In fact that is not at all part of there diet regime nore do they eat mice!!!!! Some weeds i.e dandylions, milk thistle and succulents are fine with some veg fruit! They are also suitable for responsible children!

Gsjsksu on October 01, 2018:

They are wonderful creatures, just because you couldn't care for them don't try and put everyone else of

spenecr lewis on September 19, 2018:

A friend gave me a tortoise and I think I love it ....

Michael on September 19, 2018:

So basically... You have no clue as to how you care for any reptile and so you tell others not to, based on your EXTREMELY negligent experiences?

I'm not trying to be mean, but then you did kill so many with such simple and avoidable errors. You sound to me like someone who gets a reptile without truly studying them because you had a gerbil once in grade school.

There was a list of things I wanted to point out, but looks like some fellow named Bill already went down that line very well. I will only point out that anyone CAN give the animals all the things they need unlike you say, the problem is most are like you. They don't.

I picked a sulcata tortoise myself, rescued from a shelter (with those ones, that's typically best because many get them then throw them out). He's quite a healthy little fellow and a very enjoyable pet, a huge step down difficult wise than my monitor lizards who are all also very healthy (though half of them are aggressive of course, as they are larger monitor lizards) and thriving in my care. My families Sonoran desert tortoise is just as healthy too, though much older than my tortoise. We are constantly studying and tweaking every little thing for the animals, plus vet checkups yearly (or more should an issue actually arise, thankfully only had to do that once and resolved it within a week)

Caring for animals is as simple as studying up on them and actually using the information you read

Turtlegirl on September 17, 2018:

Just read an astounding amount of the comments below after reading this article. My first major response would be: Wow. Followed by: am I really surprised?

As a loving turtle mom who was a turtle enthusiast for years before I ever had them as pets I can tell you that I have done my fair share of research, and still do. That being said, I can also tell you that doing said research has led me to find various articles which seem to be either written on a completely scientific level which is very long and drawn out and not to mention hard to read, or are a lot like the above article which is individually opinionated and based on personal experience (not too good at that) instead of fact. Regarding research, my best advice is to do a lot and not rely solely on information on the internet. Read books, talk to RESPONSIBLE owners, talk to vets, and really investigate. This would be best before you get the turtle or tortoise, but I'm sure once you have one you're going to have a few questions over time that you need answers to.

Secondly, I'd like to comment on cost/attaining said pet.

If you exclusively buy a turtle and all supplies from a pet store, yes, you can pay a rediculous amount of money to start up. Fortunately, pet stores are not the only way you can ethically get a pet turtle. I liked that this article brought up the fact that turtles are one of the most abandoned pets, because it is completely true. Unfortunately people get tired of them or can't afford them and they want to get rid of them. Normally, before abandoning pet turtles, people do try to get rid of them. Craigslist is one great way to find some of these turtles who are in need of new homes. Reptile rescues are another good connection. I know that you might seem sceptical about Craigslist, or any other classified listing a pet turtle, but if you are knowledgeable you can find a good pet in need of a good home, and best of all you normally save a lot of money. I purchased my turtles (two southern sliders) from a lady off Craigslist. She had gotten too many and needed to re-home them. She provided me with lots of pictures and we talked over the phone before I visited them. She also gave me a very large tank, gravel, ornaments, and filter for them. In all, I paid her $80. It was the best purchase I have made in my life. I have two adorable healthy aquatic turtles that my family and I love. I have never had a single issue with either of the turtles (named Butters and Biscuit), and I feel so happy that I was able to help them and their owner by giving them a good home instead of just buying a turtle from a pet store. I think before you buy from a pet store it's always a good idea to see if there are any turtles that need immediate rehoming locally.

That being said, I have had Butters and Biscuit for a long time now and I am now looking to expand our family by rescuing more aquatic turtles who need new homes in my local area. Rehoming is not for everyone but I really feel good knowing that I can help.

On a further note, I'd like to add my opinion about the above article. To start, I'm glad they touched on turtle abandonment and the fact that turtles aren't the cheapest pets to keep, but as I noted above, cost is a variable based on aquirement. The supplies you purchase can also make a big difference in cost. For example, cheap bulbs ($15-$20) do not last long (maybe a few months at best) however a more expensive bulb can. The uvb bulb I bought when I got my turtles cost me $45 (bulb only) but has lasted for a year and a half now and is still going. If you do the math, that breaks down to me spending $2.50 per month for a bulb vs up to $10 per month. Investment in supplies seems to really pay off, or so I have found this far.

Second, I would like to think a person would begin to learn and therefore make needed changes after so many reptile deaths, this was very concerning to me.

To conclude, I am also glad the author discussed unethical capture and release in the wild. Preserving our natural species is very important, , not only for the individual species but also for it's natural biome. Please be responsible and protect our nature. Do not capture wild animals for pets or release pets into the wild, it is amazing how much is effected by one small act that may seem meaningless or of good intent.

Over all, I would rate this article of poor quality, but I would like to say that it has brought up many good discussion points in the comments. Hopefully the discussion can be a better resource for the articles readers.

Paul on August 26, 2018:

Hey, I found a small red ear slider few years back. Bought a large fishtank and been keeping it since. No hassle at all. Tank just has a water filter. Never needed a vet either.

I live in Pune, India.

If anyone needs one, I will be able to help too. Has taken me 4 years to be an expert on this species.

91- 8329668788

Osher on August 16, 2018:

I want a turtle

おPost an Entry on August 09, 2018:

Zendesk Chat - Google+

Kay on August 03, 2018:

Your article was most endearing! To own up to your sad mistakes takes courage!! Very helpful information! I think i will pass on owning a turtle thanks to the in depth and personal experience you have shared. You probably just saved a turtles life!

Himanshu jain on July 26, 2018:

I want turtle

Jo on July 16, 2018:

My family got a red-eared-slider turtle since August 1991, she is part of our family. Loking after her not always was easy, but we learned a lot, read every book, and in the last 27 years not even once took her to our local vet. All her brothers and sisters died from his care. Currently Margie is living with my brother and his family, she always was his pet, his dauthers love her, she is part of his family now. And compare to this article, Margie can recognize each one of us, and I got 5 siblings, plus my parents, nana and other relatives not to menotion my bro and sis kids. She recognize our voices, yes turtles got very sensitive senses of hearing.

If you look after your turtle, it's a best companion for rest of your life.

I concider taking my own turtle right now.

Name=none your beez wax on July 08, 2018:

I do not believe that tortoises are that bad. See I’m only ten and I have a Russian tortoise squirtle and he is doing great. So I don’t and will ever believe you. So I recommend to all of you DO NOT listen to this article!!!

Diane on July 07, 2018:

Senior citizen, alone would like a pet. Can't have cat or dog. Any suggestions?

Bill on June 30, 2018:

This article seemed like it was intentional discourageing potential buyers. Your lack of differentiation between tortoise and turtle care is also quite misleading. These rules are mostly based on one easily avoidable incident that could be prevented with even a small bit of common sense sense.

1. No idea why your example was the medium-sized red foot. It’s omnivorous and hard to take care of. Plus it gets to a decent size. Smaller tortoises like Russians are far easier to provide adequate enclosures for.

2. This must be made up. Who lets a COLD-BLOODED animal wander around a cold apartment without supervision? Even pet stores (who couldn’t care less how long the thing lives after the warranty is over) will tell you that adequate heating is required. Plus, most people can research if their tortoises can withstand the climate outdoors, saving much the hassle with temperatures.

3. Minimal effort can be put in to construct a wooden enclosure. Tanks rarely reach acceptable sizes and cost a load. Why not just hammer some wood together to make a cheap enclosure that can be any size you want? Predators always roam around to find prey, backyards are no exception. Throwing a tortoise out there to live in some enclosure with no bottom or roof is a death sentence. Not only can cats crawl in, tortoises can dig their way out easily unless the walls are buried deep into the ground.

4. Anyone who cares about their pet does not assume that they know everything and are constantly trying to find ways to improve their animal’s existence.

5. Buy em from breeders to prevent getting wild-caught ones

6. No animal is completely “clean”. Tortoises just happen to be on the infectious side of the spectrum. Washing hands and caution should always be exercised because nobody likes Salmonella. Also, side note, who cuddles with a tortoise? They feel like round stones with arms and legs. Their claws aren’t particular sharp but it certainly isn’t comfortable when they jam those claws into your flesh.

7. Care sheets and online resource can provide tons of lists with dos and don’ts so you don't poison your tortoise. It isn’t even difficult to find them.

8. Dogs are predators. As cute as a dog might seem, they could kill a tortoise with their plain curiosity. Diseases can also be transferred. Reptiles and dogs don’t mix, it isn’t rocket science.

9. Reasonable, babies are indeed hard to take care of. I still cannot believe that you disgregarded a bet or of pure... laziness? You shouldn’t be surprised that it dropped dead. Listening to vets is common sense.

10. Reasonable. Though it’s ironic that you say “leave these poor creatures of it” yet you’ve shown various instances where the same poor creatures have died in your hands from neglect because your heart wasn’t in it enough to LISTEN TO VETS or READ ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.

11. Reasonable

Jem on June 26, 2018:

Don’t think I want a turtle I thought they be really cool but the cost and work I don’t think this is the Wright thing for me.

Micky Memes on June 26, 2018:

Here’s the problems I have with this article

-Failure to comply with a veterinarn who is darn well more qualified than you to say what a turtle needs or doesn’t need.

-Killed several tortoises and turtles and refusal to completely take the blame.

-Says they can spread salmonella (reptile salmonella is found in their urate/urine, feces, and sometimes mouth so no they don’t “spread” it)

-Sometimes forgets that turtles and tortoises are two different animals

-Only specifies a few species

-Says almost all who bring them home does a bad job of caring for them

-Insultingly biased opinions used as fact.

I don’t think this article is the worst. It really isn’t. It actually does have some fair information, though you’ll have to look. Some turtles and tortoises just make horrible pets for most people, like Cherry head red foots, common red foot tortoises, sliders, snapping turtles, soft shell turtles, leopard tortoises, mata Mata turtles, and giant tortoises. I see those way too often than they need to be kept. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that there are plenty of great examples of other turtles and tortoises.

meme on June 21, 2018:

I have a tortoise and I will update its home to be healthier for her.

karis on June 13, 2018:

but i still want a turtle

Jeff on June 10, 2018:

You could of said what kind of dogs would eat a toirtose. I have had a toirtose for 2 years now and my Japanese chin has never gone near the thing.

Arielle on June 04, 2018:

Jesus, how do you live with yourself. Killing that many animals and not stopping? For god's sake, if these were fluffy kittens, you would not be so blase. I feel sick reading this article.

Qyll on June 04, 2018:

how could you possibly kill that many tortoises like holy, been a reptile keeper my entire life only time any have died that has been "my fault" was when flash frost occurred and the temps dropped below freezing for like the first time in 20 years never made that mistake again and never lost any more lizards because of it.

also turtles and tortoises are very different, you really should be differentiating between them as turtles are extremely easy to care for if u have a brain.

Gabe on June 03, 2018:

I have two red eared sliders for 20+ years, and they are not that particularly hard to handle. Most people tend to overfeed them I suppose, I only give them food when they try to "bite" my finger. They learned to do it softly though. As far as I see they don't need extra heating, however never put them instantly into hot or cold water because they can get cold. Otherwise after a few years, they will pretty much sign you what they want. For diet, they generally eat fish and juicy vegetables, but they pretty much eat every kind of meat you give them. They don't cost too much 2 kg of fish is enough for them for a year. At first they always try to escape, and they don't measure vertical distance well, so don't let them fall off something. However during hatching my female always tries to escape, so I watch out for her during that time. She really needs a sandy place otherwise becomes really crazy. They can spread salmonella for sure, but still less dangerous than other animals, with parasites. With time a very special relation will form with your turtles. They are pretty clever, my male even learned to operate the robot vacuum cleaner before I put it into a table where he cannot reach it, and they will love you in their way if you respect them.

Alice on May 15, 2018:

Should I still buy a turtle after reading this?

Michael on May 13, 2018:

I have had a mud turtle since 1994. He periodically has to move into a bigger aquarium but he gets a plentiful supply of goldfish, pellets, crickets, worms, and Bob has been a great pet. He was a rescue in 1994 where a woman found children hitting him with a hammer and cracked his shell. I kept it covered in Bag Balm and washed him frequently. He was the size of a coffee table coaster when he came to me. Now he is about 3 lbs and the size of a small dinner plate. He was found in the Chicago area and spent 4 years at college with me in Galesburg, Illinois. We moved home to Arkansas in 1999 and we now live in Oklahoma. Bob does take some time for care. I have a filtration system that the filters need changing every 3 weeks. He spends a lot of time asleep but is active at night. I have a light that changes light frequencies periodically so he experiences sunny, cloudy, dark, light, and even storms through the artificial light. His tank has 3 inches of gravel, smooth rocks, and an old cinder block in it that gives him multiple layers to sit and gives places for the goldfish to swim in under and around. After 24 years, he is just a member of my family.

Me on May 09, 2018:

Jesus christ you’re basically a turtle serial killer who tf makes that many mistakes when something’s life is on the line

justin on May 09, 2018:

what turtle eats mice?

Julie on May 02, 2018:

My daughter brought home a male and female RES from a friend who didn't want to care for them any longer. Most likely for the reasons mentioned above. I need to re-house them both since the female is quite large now. The cost of providing these turtles with a new habitat will run me over $1000 CA, which is in addition to the $1000 I have already spent. I feel so sorry for them, as they deserve to be in their own natural environment. Just may spend the $1k on shipping them to a RES sanctuary.

KingBuster on April 23, 2018:

I totally agree with Michelle Stirling. Tortoises and Turtles are not the same thing. I even have 2 baby Leopard Tortoises.

Kim on April 23, 2018:

Thanks for your candor. I really want a pet turtle my very small, city apartment really doesn't have space for a 10 gallon tank.

Ae47373 on April 15, 2018:

It sounds like a lot of these deaths were easily preventable. In one instance you even acknowledge disregarding a vet's advice, returning your pet to conditions you knew to be unsuitable, resulting in the turtle's death. It is misleading to say "few can keep a turtle or tortoise and have them thrive". All that is required is a minimum level of preparation, responsibility, and willingness to heed the advice of professionals.

Noah on April 14, 2018:

video didn't help me

Michelle Stirling on April 10, 2018:

You didn't take a vets advice and you're surprised the animals you were trying to care for died?

Also, you seem to think that 'turtles' and 'tortoises' are the same?


July on March 23, 2018:

I have 4 turtles. 2 Florida Cooters and 2 red eared sliders. All have their own aquariums and heaters and filters and islands and uvb lights. So no its not impossible to keep them happy and healthy. Im ready to get a tortoise too now

Jess on March 11, 2018:

Thanks for your honest report on your experiences with tortoises. I was sure it would be the pet for me, but your logic tells me that it won`t do at all.My problem is finding an ideal little pet for a lonely retired lady who is out quite a bit, namely, me! Probably it won`t be a good idea to get any pet now, I`ll have to watch animal programmes on tv instead!

Matt on March 11, 2018:

While there is underlying truth in this article, it is WILDLY EXAGGERATED! As a turtle parent of many many years, I can say that keeping turtles is an amazing experience. It just takes a little research and attention to detail. Don't try to discourage others just because you aren't responsible enough to keep a turtle. Also, 500-1200 for initial set up for one turtle????? I'd love to know what you smoked to come up with that figure. 50 gallon Clear plastic Rubbermaid storage bins can be bought at Walmart for 10 bucks, my entire setup cost me about 100 per habitat, and according to their vet, my turtles are healthier than I am, and will probably out live me. Educate yourself before writing articles.

mandit on February 16, 2018:

I have a two year old baby tortoise. she is a Russian tortoise. I got her when she was one. She is so sweet. she is two and a half now. she is healthy and a super easy pet to take care of. I think there are a lot of hype to take care of them. Its so easy. she is in a 40 gal tank the size of a large orange small grapefruit. she is healthy. I made her cozies. mine loves them I crocheted them and she keeps warm in the winter. she gets a bath once a week maybe twice. we don't have salmonella. my kids kiss her shell and head. I pet her all the time. she loves it. it takes time, handling a trust building. OH AND WE CUDDLE WITH HER. she sleeps with us in her cozy in the winter its very very cold at night. she is in fact nestled right next to me as I type this in her cozy. my daughter still cherishes her. my son adores her and is thirteen. if you love them, they become like family and not forgotten and they get depressed sure you should not buy one if your ready to add one like a member of the family. you will have an awesome friend. and the writer cant keep anything alive. btw fish in a fish bowl an anoles are difficult to keep alive... torts easiest pet ever, I bought a cheap heat lamp at Walmart. I don't use fancy lights they keep breaking and shes healthy as can be

Anomonys on February 03, 2018:

I personally think these are not good reasons on why not buy a turtle or tortoise. Who agrees?

Me on January 31, 2018:

Hello, I am very sorry about all the rude comments people have said on here. I own a female Red-Eared Slider who is now about 3 1/2 years old.

I am planning on giving her away to a pet shop, because I am moving and cannot take her with me. I appreciate your advice and your willingness to put your mistakes on display--it isn't easy!- but I hope you have found the right pet for you! Taking care of a turtle is difficult, as I am guilty of neglecting my turtle and desiring a pet with warmth and empathy.

This article should be accepted because it is the truth: I am not sure how much I spend on my turtle every week but food itself costs 10-15$ because it has a mixture (which I must buy at least twice a month). The 55 gal tank was bought years ago (on sale) for around 100$, and the two bulbs are around 15$ each, and they blow about once or twice a month! I am also a college student so that leaves me little time to take care of her. It is easy to disregard these words when you don't really take care of the turtle or give them minimal care, but only a dedicated owner can make the mistakes you have and tell about them. The mistakes you made were the result of much care and aspiration to be a good owner!

Overall, I think that your article is a lesson given from hard learned lessons that have sadly cost the lives of many turtles and tortoises, and you don't want that for anyone (or turtle) else. These words should be heeded not sneered at. Have a blessed day!

blink on January 27, 2018:

The only thing this article demonstrates is that YOU should not have a pet turtle. How many animals had to die before your dumb ass realized that YOU'RE too stupid to care for another living creature? Seriously, half your points reference at least one dead reptile; caused by you're staggering retardedness. This isn't an advice blog mate, it's prima facia evidence of relentless animal cruelty. Never write nor buy a pet again you absolute CRETIN!!!!!!!!!

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12 Reasons Not To Buy A Pet Turtle Or Tortoise Pethelpful By Fellow Animal Lovers And Experts

The Awkward Turtle

Now I know what you’re thinking. Lauren, don’t you have a turtle? Yes I do. In fact I have three lovely turtles. However just because turtles are a good pet for me, doesn’t mean they are a good pet for the average pet owner.

When most people go out to get an aquatic turtle they expect a small, low-maintenance pet. They want something easy enough to give to a child, basically one step up from a fish. If that is what you’re looking for, an aquatic turtle is most certainly not for you because…

1. Small turtles get big

If you’ve seen a turtle at a pet store chances are it was a red eared slider. These little guys have been popular since they starred in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, popular as they are, chances are you’ve never seen an adult red eared slider. The turtles sold in the vast majority of pet stores are either hatchlings or juveniles. Pet store employees will tell you that keeping young turtles in small tanks will keep them this size. Many unwary customers have believed these claims and taken home their little turtle with a small tank to keep it in…

…and in a few months they are dealing with a 7 to 12 inch turtle that doesn’t even fit in its little tank anymore. To live a halfway decent life an adult red eared slider needs a 70 gallon tank at the very least. Tanks that large are expensive, heavy, and hard to maintain. The reality is many red eared sliders end up released into the wild (where they become an invasive species) by their overwhelmed owners or staying in their tiny tank, in a few inches of dirty water, unable to even swim.

If one goes online or to a reptile expo it’s possible to find much smaller species of turtle that make more manageable pets than sliders. Musk turtles, mud turtles, male southern painted, and some male map turtles don’t get larger than 4 or 5 inches. But even a small turtle can take up a lot of space because…

2. Even small turtles need big tanks

Even if the turtle is small the tank it needs to stay happy and healthy will take up a lot of space. Turtles are active animals that need space to dive and swim. Keeping a turtle in a tank that’s too small will leave you with a miserable pet that spends all his time frantically pawing at the glass.

Most turtle experts suggest that for every inch of shell length a turtle should have at least 10 gallons of swimming space. For a 12 inch red eared slider that’s an 120 gallon tank. A 4 inch southern painted turtle, on the other hand, only needs a 40 gallon tank. That’s smaller than 120 gallons, but it’s still no measly commitment. A 40 gallon tank is 3 feet long and weighs over 450 pounds. And keeping it clean will be no small effort because…

3. Turtles are messy

What’s your idea of a nice afternoon? Is it hunched over, elbow deep in tank water, vacuuming turtle poop out of your aquarium? My guess is no. But if you want to keep your turtle’s tank clean (so the room doesn’t smell like a swamp) you will find yourself in this situation at least once a week. And let me tell you, the way a turtle tank smells when you’re cleaning it (with the filter off and all the crap from the bottom stirred up) is not a scent one wants to spend a lot of time experiencing.

And don’t even get me started on water changes. I do a 20% water change one week and a 50% water change the next week, alternating on and on until I do a full tank clean every 6 months. On a 40 gallon tank a 50% water change means moving 20 gallons of water out and 20 gallons of water back in. That sounds easy enough, but between sloshing the water out with a pitcher, carrying the buckets to the sink to be dumped, and waiting for the buckets to fill back up with fresh water afterwards it can take over an hour. To save time I’ve invested in a gravel vacuum and an Aqueon water changer which are absolute lifesavers. But those two tools are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the money you’ll spend on your turtle because…

4. Turtles are expensive

Now I’m not talking about the living, breathing turtle itself. Your run-of-the mill red eared slider is actually pretty cheap. However that inexpensive price sticker is deceptive, because you’ll spend the cost of your turtle many times over as you put together his habitat.

Remember how I said turtles are messy? Since they churn out so much waste you need a filter that is rated for 2-3 times the amount of water in your tank (since filters are only rated for fish). So if you have a 40 gallon tank you need a filter rated for around 80 gallons and a decent canister filter of that size will run you 70$-200$.

Then there’s lighting. When turtles haul themselves out of the water to bask they need two things: heat (to regulate their body temperature) and UVB (to help them process calcium). Some people like to skimp on the UVB, but without it turtles (with the possible exception of snappers and some musk turtles) develop a soft shell and metabolic bone disease which eventually leads to seizures and death. UVB lamps can be a little pricey and you’ll have to replace them every 6 months to 1 year (depending on the type you get) because the UVB output disintegrates over time.

There’s also the aquarium, water heaters, food, filter media, substrate, tank decorations, a basking platform, possible vet bills, and increased water and electric bills from the lights and water changes. Of all the reptiles you could choose, turtles are probably the most expensive.

But let’s say none of this scares you. You don’t mind the big tank, the icky water changes, and the extravagant price tag. You’ll happily lug buckets of turtle water and shell out the dough for new UVB lights every six months. That’s all well and good, but how long will you be willing to do that for?

5. Turtles live a long time

The oldest vertebrates on record have all been tortoises. That’s not a coincidence tortoises are extremely long lived. While you shouldn’t expect your baby slider to live to be 200, you should be aware that it will probably outlive your dog. With the proper care red eared sliders can live 30-40 years. Spotted turtles regularly survive to the ripe old age of 50, and oldest spottie on record is 150 and still kicking. This means that if you buy your kid a pet turtle you could very well be stuck with it decades after she goes off to college. Or, if you’re into spotties, you may need to make arrangements for your turtle in your will.

Even if the expenses, space requirements, and regular water changes don’t seem unappealing, ask yourself if you’ll be willing to provide this level of care for three to four decades.

If the answer is “yes” than congratulations, you’re weird, eccentric, or crazy enough to be the perfect candidate for a pet turtle! Welcome aboard!

Buy A Pet Turtle

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Posted: (1 days ago) They are harmless animals, if we're referring to the kind of turtle that you would purchase as a pet. You wouldn't want to bring home a snapping turtle to your family, but any found at your local pet store are great. 6. You can buy cute turtle stuff. There are knickknacks available for turtles like you wouldn't believe.

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Posted: (2 days ago) The eastern box turtle may just be the most popular box turtle kept as pets. They are called eastern box turtles as they are box turtles endemic to Eastern United States. Unlike the other turtles in this article, they are not aquatic, and as such need a terrarium, and not an aquarium.

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Posted: (2 days ago) Uncle Bill's most popular turtle species are the Cumberland Slider Turtle and the Sideneck Turtle. The Cumberland Slider naturally comes from North America. It is an aquatic turtle who occasionally will leave the water mainly for basking in the light. They can grow up to 6-12” in length and can live around 20 to even 40 years if cared for .

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Posted: (1 days ago) 3. All Turtles Carry Salmonella. Salmonella is a species of bacteria that many reptiles, but especially turtles, can carry normally in their intestinal tracts and are unaffected by it.They shed this bacteria in their stool intermittently. In people and other mammals, such as pet cats and dogs, this bacteria can cause horrible gastrointestinal problems, such as severe vomiting and diarrhea.

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Posted: (2 days ago) These are not ordinary pet turtles you can get in pet stores. These are wild animals that grow big and need different conditions compared to typical aquatic pet turtles. The second most important thing you should be aware of is the commitment you make when you buy a snapping turtle. Snapping turtles have a surprisingly long lifespan.

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Posted: (2 days ago) Turtles are fascinating, quiet and relatively undemanding in nature. This can make them an appealing option as a pet. Owning a pet turtle, however, won't be for every household. They aren't particularly interactive or cuddly creatures, they can carry diseases, and with their famously long lifespans, they may even outlive you.

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Posted: (2 days ago) I suggest you to make a thorough research before you buy a pet turtle. Now, let’s look at the list of turtles that don’t grow big. Mud Turtles. Mud turtles are small freshwater turtles native to the United States. They inhabit rivers, swamps, and lakes. These types of turtles are great as pets because they grow to a maximum size of 5 inches.

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Posted: (2 days ago) Red-eared sliders are the turtle species most commonly victimized by the “pet” industry. In their natural habitat, these turtles can wander up to 5.5 miles from water to find suitable habitat, search for a mate, or lay their eggs—but kept as pets, they’re often relegated to cramped, barren bowls or tanks that are wholly inadequate for .

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Posted: (2 days ago) Pet Items are items that can improve the stats, abilities, or XP gain of Pets. Each pet can only hold one item at a time and they are consumed upon use. To use them, equip a pet and right-click the pet while holding a pet item. Pet items are consumed on use and cannot be recovered. If you use another pet item, the previous one will be deleted and replaced by the new one. When you right-click .

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Posted: (2 days ago) Pet turtle care requires the right environment, and all baby turtles need climate control. A heat lamp should be next on your list of things to purchase for caring for a turtle. Some adult turtles will need them as well, especially if they are a breed that require certain temperatures to remain healthy.

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Posted: (2 days ago) Pet turtles cannot be released "to the wild" for a variety of reasons. Since most pet turtles have unknown histories, or were purchased from pet stores, they cannot be released for fear that they have come into contact with non-native animals while being kept as pets. In most states it is illegal to release a pet of any kind, even a turtle, to .

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Posted: (2 days ago) Turtles need a minimum 30-gallon size aquarium with a screened top. Their habitat should include mostly water, plus a bit of land for basking. Turtles eat a combination of vegetables, turtle food and, depending on the species, insects.

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Posted: (2 days ago) Many people do not realize how big aquatic turtles can get. Red-eared sliders, yellow-bellied sliders, and a couple of other commonly available pet turtle species will grow to 10–12 inches long and therefore require correspondingly large enclosures.

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Posted: (2 days ago) Below are some of the top turtles people buy as pets. One thing we highly recommend looking for when purchasing a turtle is to find one from a captive breeder. All of our partners sell captive bred turtles.

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Posted: (2 days ago) Hi, I have a fantastic fishh or turtle tank with everything you need to house turtles or fish. There are filters, water aerators, a water heater, water conditioners, the gravel, plants and log, platform, a fantastic cupboard/stand to keep everythingin and on and baby turtle food that will last ages. I paid over a $1000 for all of it.

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Posted: (2 days ago) How to Choose Between Grassland Tortoises and Water Turtles. If you're looking to own a pet turtle, you should know everything about them first. Then, you need to list down reasons why you want to own a turtle, what are the things you're looking for in your pet and if you can afford its requirements of food, shelter, heat, and humidity.

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These are the best temperature ranges for turtles: Water temperature should be kept between 72 and 77 F (22 to 25 C) day and night The wet side of your turtle’s habitat should be kept at 75 to 85 F (24 to 29 C) The dry side with a basking spot should be 85 to 90 F (29 to 32 C)

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Turtles are fascinating, quiet and relatively undemanding in nature. This can make them an appealing option as a pet. Owning a pet turtle, however, won't be for every household. They aren't particularly interactive or cuddly creatures, they can carry diseases, and with their famously long lifespans, they may even outlive you.

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Turtles can be phenomenal pets if you are willing to take the time to set up and maintain their environments properly and feed them according to their species-specific needs. And remember, just like our furry friends, turtles also need routine veterinary care as well. Most importantly, if you find out that a pet turtle is not for you, please don’t release it into the wild.

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Turtles as pets can be housed in a variety of enclosures.

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For small apartments the best, and the only proper turtle as pet is an aquatic turtle. So the size of the pet will not play a big role. Although you will need to consider getting a fairly large turtle tank. Aquatic turtles will grow from 5 to 11 inches long. Cost of the pet. There are two common turtles as pets found in pet shops.

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Aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles are popular as pets. The best-known species is probably the red-eared slider, but it's only one of several species of aquatic turtle that are commonly kept as pets. Many people do not realize how big aquatic turtles can get.

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While turtles might seem like the perfect pet—less work than dogs and cats, more interactive than fish—there are a few things to keep in mind before buying one. "They are definitely becoming more.

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Turtles as Pets. View Larger Image. . . To those of you looking for a pet where behavioural observation is your main desire, to the right pet for you. They are fairly easy to care for, they are more active and less dangerous than keeping other reptiles such as snakes. They are quiet and don’t require a great deal of care.

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Map turtles are among the most popular small turtle breeds kept as pets. This is because they are hardy strong swimmers that are easy to care for. Since they are quite commonly bred, map turtles are easy to find. In all, 13 species make up the genus map turtle, scientifically called Graptemys.

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