What to consider when getting a pet turtle
Turtles are becoming an increasingly popular pet to have in the UK and this is no surprise! They are amazing creatures and a wonderful pet to have. But before taking the plunge and committing to this fantastic animal, it is important to consider what impact they will have on your life and how you must care for them. Here are a few things you may want to think about:
Your new pet turtle will not always be the tiny, cute thing you start off with. All different species of turtle will grow to different sizes but they can grow up to 8-12 inches long. This will require significant space in your home to house them in a tank. The size of the tank should be 4-5 times longer than the turtle's length, 3-4 times wider and 1.5 times deeper. A small tank will be perfect for a baby turtle, but when it starts growing, it will be essential to upgrade.
There are many different species of turtle which you can get in the UK. It is best to choose one which will be perfect for you depending on size, feeding habits and habitat requirements. All turtles need different things and you must read up on their needs before deciding to look after one. Read our turtle species guide to get a better idea.
All turtles require some kind of heat and light and adding on the habitat set-up, equipment and food - the costs can certainly add up. It would be a shame if you decided a turtle was not the pet for you, only to be left with specialist equipment which you can't get rid of! We can provide you with an excellent and reasonably priced starter kit to get you on your way but there are definitely more costs along the way. Especially (as mentioned before) when your little friend starts to grow!
As well as the electrical equipment needed, the decor of your habitat is very important to a turtle. They need space to swim but also a basking area in the heat. You will need to arrange the set-up with plants, rocks and wood to replicate a natural environment and keep your pet happy.
As with all pets, you will have to dedicate a large amount of time to a turtle. The tank they live in will need to be cleaned out - just like an aquarium - and this will need to be done every 2-3 weeks and you will need to do spot cleans every few days to clear up uneaten food and waste. This will take up a chunk of your time. Also, to make the most of your lovely pet, you will want to handle the turtle and play with them every now and then (making sure you have taken hygiene precautions).
Turtles can have a very long lifespan compared to most family pets. They can live almost as long as you - certainly a few decade - if looked after properly. Make sure you are ready to make this commitment. Turtles truly are pets for life!
Diet is very important to a pet turtle as with any animal. They must have a correct and varied nutrition plan to keep them healthy. This can include vegetables, turtle pellets and also livefood. Some people are uncomfortable with keeping livefood so this could be something that may put you off. Turtles are omnivores so need a lot of variety in their menu - just feeding them veggies and turtle food may not be enough.
All in all, turtles are lovely pets to keep. They are fascinating to watch and very interesting to learn about so if you have read this guide and still want one and feel you can care for it properly then go for it!
If you need any more advice of turtle keeping or equipment, feel free to ring our customer service team on 0161 351 4700.