Is a Turtle Right for You?

Red-eared sliders are great pets, but they're definitely not right for everyone. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering purchasing one. Here's an honest look at the pros and cons of turtle ownership.

A Quick Breakdown

Pros

  • Low Daily Maintenance: A turtle isn't like a dog, you don't have to let it out several times a day.
  • Not Needy: Most turtles are happy to dig in their cage and bask most of the day. You don't need to handle them.
  • Minimal Space - Unless you're wanting to keep several fully grown adult turtles the space requirements for a turtle are pretty minimal. You just need a habitat large enough (see 7 Things Every Turtle Needs)
  • Long lived - Red-eared sliders and other turtles can live up to 50 years (a friend forever!).

Cons

  • Not for small kids: Turtles can carry salmonella, and that is a risk that isn't worth taking with a young child.
  • Difficult Occasional Maintenance: You don't have to do it often (a few times a year probably), but cleaning a turtle's cage can be quite an ordeal. Get a good filter and change water often!
  • Not Cuddly - If you want a furry companion, or even a pet to hold, a turtle isn't a good choice.
  • Long lived - Red-eared sliders and other turtles can live up to 50 years (big commitment!).