Keep in mind that your pet will mostly interact with you only at feeding time. Though cute, turtles and tortoises do not make good pets for children, especially because they can transmit salmonella. If you do choose to purchase a turtle or tortoise, choose the species carefully.
So, what is the best type of turtle for a pet?
Best Beginner Pet Turtle and Tortoise
- Choosing a Pet Turtle or Tortoise. Turtles and tortoises can be such a joy for children and adults.
- Red Ear Slider. Red ear sliders are native to parts of southern United States.
- Box Turtle. There are several locales of box turtles.
- Razor-backed Musk Turtle.
- Russian Tortoise.
- Greek Tortoise.
- Red-Footed Tortoise.
5 of the Best Pet Tortoises
- Mediterranean Spur-thighed tortoises. The Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) is a species that IÂ canâ€™t recommend highly enough.
- Leopard tortoise.
- Red-footed tortoise.
- Indian Star tortoise.
- African Spur-thighed tortoise.
Other Turtle Species With Long Lifespans. Other species of wild turtles and tortoises have even longer lifespans than pet turtles. Some tortoises can reach or surpass 100 years in terms of their longevity, with sea tortoises approaching similar numbers.
Heating and Lighting. Tortoises will also need a good source of heat, ordinary light and a source of UVB light. This does two things; it provides a basking source for the tortoise and a source of UVB. Remember, tortoises are cold blooded and cannot regulate their physiological body temperature as we can.
But tortoises can live a very long time (anywhere from 50 to 100 years). If you take one as a pet, be prepared to provide a lifetime of care and consider that your pet might even outlive you if you choose to keep one as a pet.
Tortoises make wonderful pets, but be warned -- like all other reptiles, they can carry salmonella, a bacteria that can cause temporary infection in humans. Not everyone who's exposed to tortoises will get sick from salmonella, but infection is possible. Preventive measures are your best defense against illness.
The breeds of tortoise that hibernate do so for health reasons. Irregular hibernation will adversely affect the tortoise's health and lifespan. Most Mediterranean breeds are biologically set to hibernate for a period of time; it is unnatural for tortoises to be awake and eating 365 days a year.
For Christians and Native Americans, the dolphin is a symbol of protection, and its image is said to bring good luck. Tortoises – Tortoises are considered a good luck symbol in Feng–Shui decorating. The tortoise is one of the four celestial animals in feng shui; the others are dragon, phoenix and tiger.
Feeding your tortoise. Tortoises like a variety of plant-based foods, says Dr. Jaynes. Produce: About 80% of your pet tortoise's daily diet should be fresh vegetables like kale, dandelions and collard greens. Offer your tortoise fruit every third or fourth feeding.
Also known as the Arctic whale, the bowhead is by far the longest living mammal on Earth. Some bowhead whales have been found with the tips of ivory spears still lodged in their flesh from failed attempts by whalers 200 years ago. The oldest known bowhead whale was at least 211 years old.
Things You'll Need
- A large enough enclosure.
- Lamps that emit heat and UV light. ( For indoor enclosures)
- Well-balanced foods.
- Water to soak/bathe the tortoise, to maintain their enclosure's humidity and to keep the substrate underneath moist.
- Hiding/sleeping place(s) for them.
- A water dish.
Tortoise and turtle. Turtles will usually return to the same beach where they hatched to lay their eggs. Tortoises live on land. They cannot swim in water while turtles can swim and even float in water.
WITH PROPER CARE, the most common pet species will live longer in captivity than they do in the wild. With improper care, they will live considerably shorter lifespans than they would in the wild. Wild lifespan of red-eared slider: 20 to 30 years. Captive lifespan (with proper care!) as long as 40 years.
Turtles commonly carry Salmonella bacteria on their outer skin and shell surfaces. People can get infected with Salmonella by coming in contact with: Turtles or other reptiles (lizards, snakes);
Turtles carry salmonella. A small turtle may seem harmless, giving parents a false sense that they're a safe pet for children. But the disease risk is so great that selling small turtles is illegal in the United States.
Though their shells provide very effective protection, most turtles will bite to protect themselves if necessary. This is especially prevalent among wild turtles, but pet turtles may bite as well. While this is a relatively minor concern for owners of small turtles, bites from large turtles can cause severe damage.
Small bird species, such as budgies, canaries, and finches, are good options for people who live in apartments or condominiums with limited space. Landlords often impose monthly "pet fees" on tenants who own cats and dogs, but many don't consider birds to be pets.
Turtle vs. Tortoise. Tortoises and turtles are both reptiles from the order of Testudines, but in different classification families. The major difference between the two is that tortoises dwell on land, while turtles live in the water some or nearly all of the time.
Desert tortoises should be fed a combination of grasses, leafy greens, and cactus flowers, with a small amount of fruit. Grassland grazers like leopard tortoises should be fed a variety of grasses and leafy green vegetables. You should not feed them other vegetables, fruits, or meat.
Hermit crabs are among the more unusual pets, although they do make interesting, easy care companions. They must find larger shells as they grow, and owners of these pets must provide progressively larger shells as their pets grow. In the wild they are omnivores, feeding on both plant and animal material.