5 Types of Pet Turtles You Can Have – Detailed Information

Looking for different types of pet turtles you can have? Read ahead to find out.

Turtles are popular pets as they have fascinating and appealing personalities. Their long lifespan makes them lifelong companions for you. 

There are many varieties of pet turtles. You can have the one according to your taste. Some are miniatures pet turtles, while others are big and heavy. Each one needs a different setup, such as some are aquatic and some are land-dwelling.

Some turtles are illegal as pets as they are so small that kids put them into their mouths. Hence, do your research before buying one.

confused between turtles and tortoises? Click here to find out the differences.

This article gives you the best types of pet turtles that are popular and relatively undemanding.

1. Common Musk Turtle: Irresistibly Cute Pet Turtles

Musk turtles are the most popular tiny aquatic turtle species. They are small pet turtles having a length of about 3-5 inches. Their size makes them one of the most popular pets. Have you ever wondered why these turtles are called musk? It is because they give a musky odor when they feel threatened.

Types of Pet Turtles

Behavior and appearance

The male ones are about five inches and have a long tail with spikes. The females are slightly smaller. Naturally, they are nocturnal. It is easier to handle due to its small size. The musk turtles need less space and small amounts of food. You can enjoy your favorite moments with your pet without worrying about high maintenance.

These turtles can get 50 years old. These are one of the pet turtles that stay small forever. Their dark brown or black shells are covered with streaks or mottles. Their breeding occurs in the spring and fall. Males have a thicker tale that ends in a spine shape.

Housing and Eating Habits

They live in shallow waters and would be happy in a small pond 18 inches in depth. Musk turtles climb high on the trees. Hence, take precautions to keep them in their ponds or aquariums. It is necessary to know how to care for pet turtles before adopting them. You should provide a warm area with a water tank containing a UV light bulb and filtration system.

What do these turtles eat as a pet? You can give them a commercially prepared diet. In the wild, this mini pet turtle eats small snails and mollusks. However, you can also provide them with cut-up fish and worms. They are not strong swimmers. Hence, they need shallow waters for a happy and healthy life.

2. Eastern Box Turtle: A Shy Pet

The Eastern Box turtles are land-dwelling and love to roam all day on a large area. They are small to medium sizes with an 8-inch maximum length.

Types of Pet Turtles

Behavior and Appearance

These turtles don’t tend to be aggressive and are usually shy. If they feel threatened, they slide into their shells. Males have red eyes, while females have brown eyes. This land pet turtle needs to be soaked after some time to keep its skin healthy.

This pet box turtle is fully terrestrial and active during the daytime. After the rains, they are usually more energetic. These Box turtles mature in 7-10 years. Females lay about 3-6 eggs in the spring.

Housing and Eating Habits

If you put your turtle in an aquarium, make sure it is at least 20 gallons. For indoors, you have to provide at least 4 square feet of space having sides at least 18 inches tall. Caring for pet turtles is extremely important for their proper growth. You would have to meet the requirements of heat and light for their proper growth.

If your climate is as hot and humid as that of the Eastern US, you can keep your pet outdoors. You should provide a shallow pan of water to the enclosure of the pet. Hence, your pet would be able to soak itself for a while.  

These box turtles eat vegetables, grasses, hay, snails, and slugs. You can also add supplements to the diet, such as low-fat dog food. Bright colored fruits also attract them. Young turtles need protein more than adults. 

3. Red-Eared Slider Turtle: An Attractive, Goofy Pet

The red-eared sliders are always one of the best options to keep as pet turtles. These little pet turtles are personable and usually friendly if they are hatched in captivity. They can beautifully slide on the rocks and look entertaining to the observers. 

Types of Pet Turtles

Behavior and Appearance

The red-eared pet turtles are cute and attractive species of aquatic turtles. Their adorable personalities make their owners feel excited. They might swim to you and give a gesture that they want food. 

Naturally, these tiny pet turtles show goofy behavior and make you enjoy the moments with them. Be aware not to take any red-eared slider from the wild. The turtles captured from the wild show aggressive behavior or might feel frightened and threatened.

They are small green pet turtles with yellow stripes. They also feature a small red spot on their heads that gives them their name, red-eared sliders. Baby turtles showcase a green shell. 

These turtles have two types based on their color. One species of these pet turtles is the pastel that shows yellow and green coloration. The other one is albino. Albino turtles are red when they hatch, but the color fades away as they get older. 

Housing and Eating Habits

These sliders are semi-aquatic and usually eat vegetables, worms, fish, and krill. They are great swimmers and enjoy underwater swims as well as basking in the sunshine. 

You should have a 75-gallon pet turtle’s tank that has a basking dock and UV lamp. The red-eared sliders make a lot of waste. Make sure to change the water of the tank daily to avoid health problems in the pet.

The red-eared turtles prefer warm and still waters. These water pet turtles also love to bask on the rocks that give them warmth. They can eat aquatic vegetables and fish. However, you can use commercially prepared turtle diets for a healthy upbringing of your pet.

4. Mud Turtles: A Cool, Low Maintenance Pet

The mud Turtles are one of the best pet turtles for beginners. This turtle is a popular pet as you can easily take care of it. They reach a maximum length of about 5 inches. They are semi-aquatic and have a long life span of 50 years.

Behavior and Appearance

The pet Mud Turtles are friendly. They can easily intermingle with other members of the same species and musk turtles. They become stressed when you try to handle them or lift them above the ground. When they are frightened, they release a foul smell to keep the threat away from them. Hence, keeping your pet turtle relaxed is the key to avoid any discomforting smell.

They have an olive-brown colored shell with a yellow plastron. There are yellow lines on the head. Some have beautiful yellow stripes. However, the yellow mud turtles exhibit a charming yellow head and neck.

Housing and Eating Habits

They are aquatic pet turtles and need a tank with a minimum capacity of 40-gallon. These turtles need a large space to swim, so you should provide a tank large enough for a comfortable swim.

A heat lamp of about 90 degrees Fahrenheit on the basking site is also necessary. They also need exposure to UV light for half day. These pet mud turtles diet is snails, fish, leafy green vegetables, and insects. You can also add supplements of vitamins and calcium to the food.

5. Mississippi Map Turtle: A Skittery, Social Pet

The beautiful map turtles are popular and common pet turtles. They provide fun to their observers. These turtles look enchanting in their aquariums as they have beautiful patterns on their body. It is an aquatic turtle and always wants to flee to the deep waters.

Behavior and Appearance

The Mississippi map turtles are friendly with their fellow turtles. However, the female is twice as big as the male and becomes dominant in the community of turtles. These are the pet turtles that want to live in the water without being disturbed. They can bite you strong. Thus, you should avoid handling them as they become upset upon touch. 

The turtle has lines similar to an elevation map. This beautiful design of its body makes it one of the most beautiful turtles to adopt. 

Housing and Eating Habits

These turtles like to live in deep waters. If you are plan to put them in an aquarium, make sure to give them strong water currents. Their natural habitat is in deep waters that have a turbulent water flow. Hence, they feel at home in rough water.

This pet turtle’s house should be a 125-gallon tank for large swimming space. You can make a basking area in the tank by adding gravel. Try to keep the water clean as these turtles spend most of their life underwater.

Food for these pet turtles to eat while swimming. Dark leafy veggies, insects, crustaceans, chopped apples, and fish serve as great food for your map turtle.

The Bottom Line

Turtles are beautiful and fascinating pets. Pet turtle’s proper care is crucial for their health. You have to fulfill their needs of light, heat, and space. Feeding them a balanced diet makes them active and smart pets. Turtles are one of the pets that can give you a company of a lifetime. Avoid handling them as it can make them stressed. Some pet turtles are big and need large space to roam, while others are aquatic.

There are different types of pet turtles. You should thoroughly research what do pet turtles need to stay well before adopting one. Then, why are you waiting? Explore which one is best for you and bring this life partner home.

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