12 Reasons Not To Buy A Pet Turtle Or Tortoise

Pet turtles and tortoises are often seen as cute and low-maintenance pets, but owning one isn’t as simple as it seems. In fact, there are many reasons why you should think twice before bringing one into your home.

From their complex care needs to the potential health risks they can pose, it’s important to understand the many reasons why owning a turtle or tortoise may not be the best idea for you. In this article, we’ll explore 12 of the most compelling reasons why you might want to consider a different kind of pet.

12 Reasons Not to Buy a Pet Turtle or Tortoise

12 Reasons Not to Buy a Pet Turtle or Tortoise

Are you considering buying a pet turtle or tortoise? While they may seem like cute and low-maintenance pets, there are several reasons why you should think twice before bringing one home. Here are 12 reasons why you may want to reconsider:

1. Long Lifespans


Turtles and tortoises are known for their long lifespans, with some species living up to 100 years or more. While this may seem like a benefit at first, it’s important to consider the long-term commitment required to care for a pet that could potentially outlive you. Before bringing one home, make sure you’re prepared to provide care for the animal for its entire lifespan.

2. Size and Space Requirements


Many species of turtles and tortoises grow to be quite large, requiring a lot of space to move around and thrive. This means that a small aquarium or terrarium may not be sufficient, and you may need to invest in a larger enclosure or outdoor habitat. Additionally, some species require access to both land and water, which can complicate housing and care requirements.

3. Specialized Diets


Different species of turtles and tortoises have specialized dietary needs, and it can be difficult to provide the right nutrition for your pet. Some require a diet of live insects, while others need a variety of fruits and vegetables. It’s important to research the specific dietary needs of the species you’re interested in before committing to owning one.

4. Health Issues


Turtles and tortoises are known to carry salmonella, which can be harmful to humans. Additionally, they are prone to a variety of health issues, including respiratory infections and shell rot. Providing proper care and monitoring for signs of illness is essential for keeping your pet healthy.

5. Expense


Owning a turtle or tortoise can be expensive, especially considering the specialized equipment and food required. Additionally, veterinary care can be costly, and the long lifespan of these pets means that you’ll be responsible for their care and expenses for many years to come.

Read Also:  Do Box Turtles Live In Water?

6. Legal Restrictions


Some species of turtles and tortoises are protected by law, and it may be illegal to own or sell them without the proper permits and documentation. Before bringing one home, make sure you’re familiar with the laws and regulations in your area.

7. Mess and Odor


Turtles and tortoises can be messy pets, producing a lot of waste that needs to be cleaned up regularly. Additionally, they can produce a strong odor that may be unpleasant for some people.

8. Limited Interaction


Unlike dogs and cats, turtles and tortoises are not very interactive pets. They may not enjoy being handled or played with, and they can be difficult to train or bond with.

9. Potential for Abandonment


Unfortunately, many pet turtles and tortoises are abandoned by their owners when they become too difficult or expensive to care for. This can lead to overcrowding in animal shelters and can be detrimental to the health and wellbeing of the animals.

10. Ethical Considerations


Finally, it’s important to consider the ethical implications of owning a turtle or tortoise. Many species are taken from the wild to be sold as pets, contributing to the decline of wild populations. Additionally, some species may not be well-suited to life in captivity, leading to stress and health issues.

In conclusion, while turtles and tortoises can make interesting and unique pets, there are several reasons why they may not be the best choice for everyone. Before bringing one home, it’s important to carefully consider the long-term commitment and specialized care required, as well as the ethical implications of owning one.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about why you might not want to buy a pet turtle or tortoise:

Can’t I just keep a turtle or tortoise in a small tank?

No, turtles and tortoises need a lot of space to move around and explore. They also need a variety of temperatures and lighting conditions to stay healthy. Keeping them in a small tank can lead to health problems and a decreased quality of life.

It’s also important to note that many species of turtles and tortoises grow quite large, so even if they fit in a small tank initially, they will eventually outgrow it and need a larger enclosure.

What about the cost? Aren’t turtles and tortoises cheap pets?

While it’s true that you can often find turtles and tortoises for sale at relatively low prices, there are many ongoing costs associated with keeping them as pets. You’ll need to provide a suitable enclosure, as well as food, lighting, and heating equipment. Vet bills can also be expensive if your pet gets sick or injured.

Additionally, some species of turtles and tortoises have specific dietary needs that can be costly to meet. It’s important to do your research and budget accordingly before deciding to bring one of these animals into your home.

Can’t I just release my turtle or tortoise into the wild if I can’t take care of it?

No, releasing a pet turtle or tortoise into the wild can have serious consequences for both the animal and the ecosystem. Many pet turtles and tortoises are not native to the area where they are being released, which can disrupt the local ecosystem and introduce diseases to native species.

Read Also:  What Do I Need For My Red Eared Slider Turtle?

Additionally, pet turtles and tortoises are often not equipped to survive in the wild, as they may not know how to find food or avoid predators. It’s important to find a responsible way to rehome your pet if you can no longer care for it.

What about the emotional benefits of owning a pet?

While it’s true that pets can provide emotional support and companionship, it’s important to consider whether a turtle or tortoise is the right pet for you. These animals are not as interactive or social as dogs or cats, and may not provide the same level of emotional fulfillment.

If you’re looking for a pet that will be more interactive and social, you may want to consider a different kind of animal or a different species of turtle or tortoise.

What can I do if I really want a turtle or tortoise?

If you’re set on getting a pet turtle or tortoise, it’s important to do your research and make sure you’re prepared to provide the proper care and environment for your new pet. Consider adopting a turtle or tortoise from a rescue organization or reputable breeder, rather than buying one from a pet store or online retailer.

Make sure you have a suitable enclosure and all the necessary equipment before bringing your new pet home, and be prepared to provide ongoing care and attention to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy.

12 Reasons Not to Buy a Pet Turtle or Tortoise 2

DO NOT Get A Pet Turtle Until You Watch This Video!


In conclusion, owning a pet turtle or tortoise may seem like a good idea at first, but there are many reasons why it may not be the best decision for everyone. From the high maintenance and costs associated with their care to the potential risks they pose to both humans and other animals, there are many factors to consider before bringing one home.

While turtles and tortoises can be fascinating creatures to observe, it’s important to remember that they are not low-maintenance pets. They require a specialized diet, a suitable environment, and regular veterinary care to thrive. Additionally, they can live for many decades, which means that owning one is a long-term commitment.

Ultimately, the decision to own a pet turtle or tortoise should not be taken lightly. Before making your decision, be sure to research the specific needs of the species you’re interested in, and consider whether you have the time, resources, and commitment required to provide them with a happy, healthy life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *