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Things To Consider Before Getting A Turtle

April 15, 2022

National Turtle and Tortoise week starts. Turtles may not be the most popular pets, but they do have some devoted fans. They also have some unique charms: they’re not only super cute, they’re also fun to watch. However, it’s important to do some research before choosing to adopt one, as they have some very specific needs. A Bourne, MA vet lists a few things to consider below.

Other Pets

This isn’t to say that you can’t have both a turtle and a dog or a cat, but you’ll need to keep them separated. The last thing you want is for Fido to hurt your shelled buddy!

They Need Specific Conditions

This applies to many reptiles and amphibians. Turtles have some pretty specific environmental needs. You’ll need to not only carefully create the right environment, but closely monitor the conditions. Ask your vet for specific advice, including habitat setup, diet, and wellness care.

They Live A Long Time

Turtles are among the most long-lived animals on the planet, with some species living hundreds of years. In fact, it used to be common for families to pass turtles down through generations, as shelled, slow-moving heirlooms. While many of the turtles often sold as pets don’t live quite that long, you definitely want to check your potential pet’s expected life span.

They Can Carry Salmonella

This may be the biggest potential downside to having a turtle. This is also the main reason to be careful when adopting a turtle for a child. Granted, simply washing your hands thoroughly before and after handling your turtle or his belongings should protect you. However, it does mean that turtles may not be a great fit for households with small children, seniors, or anyone that is immunocompromised.

They Can Be Invasive

One issue that is quite problematic in the turtle world is the fact that, due to pet trade some turtles that were former pets have been wreaking havoc on delicate ecosystems. The red-eared slider is a perfect example of this. These turtles are extremely popular pets. Unfortunately, when released, they can use up resources that would otherwise have supported native turtles. Before adopting a turtle, make a commitment not to add to these issues by releasing an unwanted pet into the wild.

Do you have questions or concerns about turtle care? Contact us, your Bourne, MA animal clinic, today!

Posted in General Health

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