Turtles are very difficult to care for as pets, having complex dietary and lighting requirements. Many people don’t realize how long they will live or how big the turtles will get. Red-eared Sliders, the most common species sold as a pet, can live for over 40 years and grow to about a foot in length. A full grown slider will require a much larger pond than the small aquarium you buy to house it as a hatchling. Many species of turtle and tortoise can grow even larger or live much longer.
Properly cared for a pet turtle or tortoise may outlive its owner!
If you are serious about adopting turtles be sure to carefully research the turtle’s needs. The care for each different turtle or tortoise species varies greatly. Care books and guides are often dated and inaccurate – there have been tremendous advances made in reptile husbandry in the past few years. Even the most helpful store clerk can not possibly tell you everything you need to know about your turtle in a five-minute conversation! Check out the Tortoise Trust website for well-researched articles and information on turtle husbandry and conservation.
Don’t shop… adopt!
If you are ready for a life-long commitment and must buy a pet turtle, please consider adopting animals from others unable (or unwilling) to care for them. Contact a re-homing organization such as Little RESQ.
Contact a vet if your pet is sick
Please contact a veterinarian if your pet turtle is sick. We cannot provide advice over the phone or by email, and cannot treat pet turtles at our facility.