Are Turtles Good Pets

Are Turtles Good Pets to Have? And Why They Aren’t

Are turtles good pets to have? 

If you are searching for the answer to this question, you are probably interested in buying a turtle. But, you are not quite sure if that’s the right decision. 

I get it! It’s a valid concern. When you get a pet, you get a commitment, as well. And before you make any rash decision you want to gather as much information as you can. After all, you don’t want to buy a turtle and later on realize that you can’t properly take care of it. 

I personally own three turtles and I can tell you that there is a lot of misinformation on the internet when it comes to keeping turtles as pets. In this article, we’ll cover both the positives and negatives of owning a turtle. 

I am confident that by the time you finish this article you’ll be able to make your own decisions whether turtles are good or bad as pets. In short… 

Do turtles make good pets? Turtles are great beginner pets, however, they are not that low maintenance as it seems at first sight. They require care as any other pet. 

Now, let’s see why a turtle may be a great pet for someone, and a terrible pet for others.

Why turtles are so great pets

If you ask me turtles are one of the best pets you can own. But that’s just me. 

People keep different kinds of pets. Some keep fish, others keep cats and dogs. And there are people who keep exotic animals, as well. In terms of difficulty, turtles are somewhere between. Here are some of the things that make turtles such as good pets. 

Less Work Than Dogs and Cats

Turtles are no low maintenance pets by any means. However, they are easier to take care of compared to dogs. You don’t need to take your turtle on a walk every day. You just need to set up an appropriate habitat and make sure you do it right on the first try. Ongoing care is not that difficult. 

They Stay Relatively Small

Turtles stay relatively small compared to other pets such as dogs and cats. The only space turtles will occupy is the tank you set up for them. 

They Live a Long Life

Unlike other pets, turtles live for decades. When you buy a turtle, you commit possibly for a lifetime. It’s a comfortable feeling to know that your pet is not going anywhere in a foreseeable future. In general, people tend to attach to their pets and it is sad when they pass away. If you take care of your turtle the right way, you will get a lifetime companion. 

Why turtles don’t make good pets

Keeping turtles as pets have negative sides, too. Let’s look at some of the things that make turtles bad pets. 

Turtles Live a Long Life

You see that the lifespan of turtles is mentioned as a positive and as a negative. Some people can’t make such huge commitments. If you are one of those people, you should not buy a turtle. 

They Carry Salmonella

Aquatic turtles carry salmonella! Turtles smaller than 4 inches are forbidden for sale in the United States. Be careful when handling a turtle! And, don’t forget to wash your hands afterward. 

Turtles Don’t Like To Be Handled

One of the best things about pets, in general, is the interaction you have with them. However, turtles are not animals that like to be handled, or even worse, to be played with them. If you like to have more interaction you should buy a dog. 


The cost of the turtle itself is not that high. However, if you combine all the necessary equipment plus the additional accessories, the cost of owning a turtle quickly adds up. 

Do turtles make good pets for kids? 

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t buy a turtle. The number one reason, though, is because your kid begs for a pet. I’ve seen many parents fall victim to this. Their kid wants a dog, but they think that would be a huge responsibility. 

Instead, they buy a turtle. And by that, they make a huge mistake. You may think that keeping turtles is easier than keeping a dog, however, it is not that simple. 

Turtles are not low maintenance pets. And, definitely they are not good pets for kids. 

Turtles carry salmonella! Young children should avoid contact with turtles, and if any contact occurs, they should immediately wash their hands. 

Final Thoughts 

Are you ready for a pet turtle? If you are confident that you can handle all the negatives, and you can provide all the necessary living conditions, I believe you are. 

But if your kids beg for a turtle, or you just saw a cute turtle in the pet store and you want one, I would advise you to not buy a turtle. At least, not right away. First, make sure that you have the time and the right resources for taking care of a pet turtle. 

Turtles are great pets, but only for those ones that treat them like any other pet. 

Now I’d like to hear from you! Do you think a turtle is the right pet for you? Let me know in the comments below! 

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