Why Turtles Are Terrible Pets   1 comment

I adore turtles. The babies are cute, the adults are fierce. Snapping turtles in particular are a favourite because I think of them as living dinosaurs. But as much as I love snappers, I would never, ever, want a dinosaur for a pet. Here are a list of reasons that I have compiled about why turtles make terrible pets.

1. They Swim in Their own Poop! Turtles are dirty. They smell. A lot. And they carry salmonella; a nasty bacteria that can make you very sick. Every time you touch your pet turtle you have to scrub your hands afterwards. Because they are dirty creatures, they dirty their living space quickly. Cleaning turtle tanks and keeping a clean filter takes a lot of work! This brings me to my second reason…

2. They Live in a Teeny Tiny Tank! Personally, I don’t think it’s fair for our wild reptile friends to be kept in such closed quarters. As a hatchling, a 5 ft by 2 ft tank may sound OK but for an adult turtle, this is hardly a spacious area. And who has ever heard of taking your turtle for a walk? Plus, a leash would fall off every time your turtle stuck their head back in their shell!

(Photo: A. Leifso)

3. They Need Special Care! If your turtle gets sick, you can’t just take them to a regular old veterinarian to get fixed up. They need to go to a special veterinarian. (And when I say special I mean more expensive).

4. Commitment! Turtles can live for a REALLY long time. They have the potential to live for about 100 years! That means that your pet turtle will probably outlive your marriage, or, if you are Kim Kardashian, your pet turtle will probably outlive all your marriages.

5. Loyalty! Turtles are not the same as a cat or dog. They are not loyal to you. They don’t like you. They will never like you. They will never run for help if you fall down a well (because they don’t care about you). Don’t mistake their swimming up to you when you approach, because sadly, it doesn’t mean they are excited to see you. You are simply their source of food. You are a means to an end.

6. My final reason for why turtles make terrible pets is because they are not cuddly. If you want a loyal friend, get a dog. If you want a cuddly friend, how about a feline? Because while hatchlings are adorable, they will not warm your feet at night in bed.

— Ashley Leifso


Posted November 7, 2011 by thinkingturtles in Uncategorized

One response to “Why Turtles Are Terrible Pets

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  1. I agree so much!! A former co-worker purchased two tiny Red-Eared Sliders and tried to keep them in a vase on her desk. I got her set up with a proper tank, filters and lights, and taught her a few things about caring for turtles (and I also ended up cleaning the tank once a week). I’ve since done my best to discourage other folks from getting pet turtles by telling them the extent of their care. As far as I know, these turtles are still alive — they ended up going to a family who were experienced with turtles.

    I instead take advantage of the warm months (I’m in Massachusetts) to view wild turtles and take photos of them.

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