Turtles are intelligent creatures. In the appropriate context, a pet turtle can be an excellent first pet for a kid. Children may have a lot of fun with them, they’re easy to care for, and it can be a great educational experience for them to take care of one.
Researchers have revealed that turtles can learn to navigate mazes better than rats, can be trained to execute simple tasks, and even have shown evidence of long-term memory.
Pet turtles for kids are the subject of this article. It is hoped that you will have all the information you need to get a turtle as a pet for your youngsters.
Are Turtles Ideal Pets For Kids?
According to experts, keeping turtles in households with children under the age of five can be dangerous to the youngsters, as they carry a variety of potentially harmful diseases, including the infamous salmonella. Kids can contract bacteria from these turtles, which can harm their health.
Keeping a turtle as a pet necessitates frequent attention, just like any other animal. Bad cleanliness in these turtles will make them prone to infections, which can infect your children.
If your child is at least seven years old and is interested in having a pet turtle, you can purchase one for him or her. If they lose interest in their pet, you will be responsible for its care. Consider these factors before you buy a turtle for your child.
Things To Consider Having Pet Turtles For Kids
According to Pet University, turtles are excellent pets for youngsters. However, there are several factors to keep in mind before purchasing a turtle as a pet for your child.
When it comes to choosing a turtle for a child, size matters. According to the FDA, the salmonella bacteria is likely to be present in little turtles, despite their cuteness and small size. Because children are more likely to touch smaller animals, they are more likely to get the bacterium into their mouths. A large-breed turtle may not be as easy to handle for a young child but can be kept as a pet comfortably.
A turtle is a turtle, and a tortoise is a tortoise, even if the phrases are often used interchangeably. Both Chelonian species belong to the same genus. According to Pet Education, turtles and tortoises have slightly different care requirements. Thus it’s vital to know the difference.
Chelonians who spend much time in the water are often referred to as “turtles.” However, tortoises devote the majority of their lives to land. “Terrapins,” a term that is rarely used to describe saltwater turtles, are the tortoises and turtles that go by this name.
To care for land tortoises, you’ll need a vast expanse of land and a fair bit of water for bath time. Subtropical temperatures (daytime highs of 70-85°F, nighttime lows of 60-70°F) are ideal for tortoises. They will likely be fine if they are adequately fenced into their outdoor enclosures. Inside the cage, you can plant some weeds. A place to hide and food to eat will be provided by this. They prefer to burrow; thus, a substrate that allows for this is required.
On the other hand, a large amount of water is required for aquatic turtles to sustain their life. 10 gallons of water per inch of a turtle is the basic rule. When fully mature, a red-eared slider turtle can measure between 10 and 12 inches in length (therefore, a 100-120 gallon tank would be recommended).
Depending on your chosen species, you’ll need a different quantity of land to accommodate them. Most of the time, a dry land area that is at least two to three times the size of the turtle will suffice.
Food And Diet Considerations
Choosing the correct meal for your turtle is critical to its overall health. Based on the type of turtle you own, you’ll need to do this differently.
Indoor Aquatic Turtles
- They will primarily be carnivores. Grasshoppers, grasshopper larvae, freshwater shrimp, and other small crustaceans are some of their favorite foods.
- You can sometimes give them earthworms, pillbugs, mealworms, or crickets as a treat.
- You can supplement their diet with greens, fruits, and vegetables to ensure they get the proper nourishment.
- Consider providing them with appropriate supper leftovers, such as greens, fruits, and veggies.
- There is no need to give them bananas or iceberg lettuce.
Outdoor Land Tortoises
- They’ll be primarily herbivores. Thus they’ll be looking for greenery to eat.
- Their preferred foods include shredded cabbage, romaine lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, grass, and weeds.
- Pears, strawberries, apples, raspberries, and peaches are some of the fruits they enjoy.
- Dandelion blossoms are also their favorite, but to avoid sugar overload, limit their consumption to once or twice a month.
Best 3 Pet Turtles For Kids
Turtles may be a terrific pet for children, and here are three of the most popular varieties. Even yet, there are a plethora of more species to consider. “10 Best Pet Turtles For Beginners – Pets That Being A Lot of Fun” is an exciting read. It’ll aid in your quest for more new species.
The red-eared slider is the first choice. These turtles spend a lot of time in the water. Even though red-eared sliders are some of the simplest turtles to care for, they are also tiny and should not be handled by children under age 5.
Even though they are typically kept in aquariums, these turtles can flourish in an outdoor pond due to the warmer temperatures and better shelter.
These turtles’ primary care is relatively straightforward because they are omnivores. In other words, you may essentially feed anything to your Red-Eared Slider. I would suggest giving your turtle a variety of things, such as leafy greens, crickets or mealworms, and turtle pellets from a store.
Eastern Box Turtle
Despite their bigger size than red-eared sliders, eastern box turtles require more specialized care than their smaller cousins. For this reason, they need a larger enclosure and often prefer to be kept outside in pen in the open air.
During their early years, when they are most susceptible, box turtles, which are omnivores, require a diet high in protein. Crickets, earthworms, worms, salamanders, slugs, fungi, dandelion, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are all eaten by these turtles, in addition to snails.
These turtles may be shy at first, but with the proper interactions and the least amount of handling, their timidity may be overcome. They may even come out to greet you if you bring tasty food. Your children will be happy to interact with them.
Russian Tortoises are famous because of their beautiful shells and tendency to roam. They prefer to be kept outdoors, just as box turtles. Considering their diminutive stature, most people with limited living space can make do with it. But other species of tortoise can’t keep up with their level of aggression, voracity, and vitality.
Children love them as first reptiles since they’re both educational and fun. These reptiles can live for decades and are much easier to care for than certain other species of reptiles.
Herbaceous and succulent plant foods are what the Russian tortoises eat in their native habitat as their primary source of nutrition. These tortoises don’t eat any animal protein! A diet high in fiber, low in protein, and high in calcium is recommended.
Where To Get Your Turtle
Finding a turtle that is healthy and long-lived is essential if you want your child to enjoy one as a pet for many years to come. Buying a turtle from a reputable pet store is recommended.
A phone call ahead of time will ensure that the store carries the specific breed of turtle that you’re looking for. A local reptile society or the internet may be able to help you locate a hard-to-find breed. But purchasing a pet turtle, especially a rare or exotic variety, can be costly.
Children who grow up with pets are more likely to acquire compassion for others, a sense of self-worth, and an ability to cope with stress. These are long-lasting gifts for your child that will continue to benefit him or her throughout their lifetime.
When deciding whether or not a pet turtle is acceptable for your child, consider all the factors mentioned above. There are many benefits to owning a turtle or tortoise, especially if you’re teaching your child how to be responsible and how to live everyday life.
Adopting a turtle necessitates thorough preparation, so do your homework. As your kid’s first turtle, you may wish to consider species that are smaller in size. Adopting a turtle as a pet entails a significant financial and time commitment. Make sure you’re prepared to put in the time, effort, and attention required to help your child properly care for the new pet.