Turtles as Pets: Care & Information | PetSmart

Various species of water turtles are kept as pets in the United States
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Red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) are aquatic turtles native to central and southern regions of the United States. These reptiles are common in the wild in their range, and they're commonly kept as pets. Captive red-eared sliders thrive when they reside in settings that are similar to their outdoor habitats: wet and warm. They'll need a heat source, a spot to pull out of the water and bask, and just the right amount of water.
There are many different types of water turtles in the world today, and many of them can be kept as pets
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Many native, wild-caught turtles are still sold as pets, even though this practice is illegal in Indiana. The collection of wild turtles has caused many species to become endangered, especially when combined with habitat loss, water pollution and predators. Predators such as raccoons eat a large number of turtle eggs each year, and some species do not even breed until they are several years old, meaning that it can take many years for a population to become established. You can help protect Indiana’s turtles by helping to preserve turtle habitat, especially wetlands, through local conservation organizations or the The Five Most Important Things To Do When Keeping Aquatic Turtles
Photo provided by FlickrExpert tips on keeping aquatic turtles
Photo provided by FlickrI highly recommend above-tank basking platforms for most aquatic turtles.
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Turtles are wild animals that belong in the ocean, but turtles also make very good pets. Turtles need to be cared for just like every other pet. They need to have a good diet and plenty of room. Pet turtles are usually kept in a box with rocks and water, but you need to take them out and play with them at least once a day. Food for turtles include green vegetables such as broccoli leaves and cabbage, fruit, snails, chopped up earthworms, slugs, snails, shrimp with the shell, and chopped up fish (keep fish slightly frozen or thawed to get rid of parasites). A turtle may die very early in captivity, but with the proper care and diet, turtles can live for many decades. Unlike cats and dogs that require expensive procedures such as shots, operations, grooming products, medicine, etc. Turtles aren’t as complicated to have as a pet.If you are considering keeping freshwater turtles as pets, it is important to understand that like any reptile, they require special care. Painted turtles, red-eared sliders and Reeve's turtles are among the most common freshwater turtles chosen for pets. While habitat and nutrition are important factors to consider when it comes to caring for your freshwater turtles, keep in mind that captive turtles also require preventative health care. Handling your pet freshwater turtles is also a matter of concern, since captive breeds are still capable of spreading disease.These freshwater turtles were originally discovered in eastern and southern Africa. They make great pets because they are most active during the daytime, and are easily acquired since they are not on the endangered species list.Why turtles live so long also tends to be somewhat of a mystery. One element that seems to play a large role, however, is turtles’ relatively slow , which helps them process things like diseases and aging at a different rate from birds or other domestic pets. It also helps them live for extended periods without food or water.Turtles are quiet and calm pets with generally very hardy personalities. They aren't as temperature sensitive and are easier to handle than other pet reptiles. Both terrestrial and aquatic pet turtles are common in pet stores, but aquatic turtles have a tendency to be more active, making them more enjoyable to watch. However, with the exception of red-eared sliders, most water turtles prefer not to be handled frequently.Many turtles are called green turtles. Officially, only sea turtles have the name "green turtle" or "green sea turtle." These massive turtles are endangered and are not kept as pets. Freshwater turtles, however, like red-eared sliders, painted, yellow-belly sliders and cooter turtles are commonly called green turtles, even though that is not their official name. These kinds of turtles are kept as pets and are widely available at pet stores and aquariums.