So you’re thinking of becoming a turtle owner! You have read all the books you can read. You have asked veterinarians and turtle breeders for information on how to provide proper care. Your only concern now is this: Which type should you purchase?
As a prospective owner, it is not recommended that you start with types of turtles that are difficult to care for. This will not be good for either you or the pet. You may expose you and your family to illness, and unnecessarily harm or even kill the turtle. So to prevent problems, you must know which are the best types of turtles to select as common household pets. What are the most popular turtle pets?
Check this list…
1. Slider Turtles
Found in the southeastern United States, Red Eared Sliders are the most popular among turtle pets. They love to bask on logs and riverbanks and tend to slide into water whenever they sense danger (thus their name). Red Eared Sliders can be very tame-but they also bite. They grow as long as 12 inches, therefore they require very large tanks or an outdoor pond. Most of the Red Eared Sliders are carnivorous when young; but become herbivorous as they grow.
2. Box Turtles
Growing to about six inches long, Box Turtles are found all over the world in damp areas, such as forests. They are one of the most favorite turtles to keep as pets. They cannot be placed in too much direct sunlight, so prepare a shaded area for them. Box Turtles also hibernate in winter, and require a separate area with sources of moisture, such as dirt and leaves. Box Turtles have high, dark, domed shells that allow them to completely secure themselves from their predators.
3. Painted Turtles
Painted Turtles are generally small, growing only between four and seven inches long, and make great turtle pets. They are the most prevalent North American water turtle, found in the wild all across Canada, and south to Georgia and Louisiana in the United States. They have dark, fairly flat-topped shells, with red markings around the edges, yellow stripes on their heads, and red and yellow stripes on their necks, tails, and legs. Their plastron is completely yellow. Captive-bred Painted Turtles need a diet of about 25% meat, 20% or so turtle pellets, and the balance fresh greens and vegetables.
4. Mud Turtles
As their name suggests, Mud Turtles are frequently found in muddy areas; but, they also reside in other humid areas, as well as in sandy habitats. Reaching about five inches in length, they require sunlight and fresh water in their living areas. These turtles, which lie dormant during winter, dig deep holes in the mud for their hibernation period. After choosing from among this list, go to your nearest pet breeders, animal shelters, rescue centers, or pet shops to buy your pet turtle. If purchasing from pet shops, be careful, though. You have to know if the turtles are captive-bred or have lived in the wild. Captive-bred turtles are highly recommended for turtle pets. Those turtles that have come from the wild may not be healthy.