Are you considering getting a pet turtle? These guys may not be the quickest pets around, but they are actually very cute and can be lots of fun. Just like any other animal, turtles need proper care in order to thrive. A North Phoenix, AZ vet discusses turtle care in this article.

Children and Turtles

Turtles can make great pets for kids, but, in part because of the risk of salmonella, they aren’t suitable for young children. While each child is different, turtles are generally not recommended for children under 12.


Turtles are some of the most long-lived animals on the planet, with some species living well over a hundred years. Before adopting a turtle, be sure you can commit to your pet for its entire lifespan.


There are huge variations in the adult sizes of turtle species. Some will only get to be about 7 inches long, while others can grow over two feet. Do plenty of research before shopping!


Diet also varies according to species. Most land turtles can eat leafy green veggies, like Romaine lettuce, as well as some fruits. Aquatic turtles need a diet that is more meat-based, so will require things like shrimp, crayfish, and grasshoppers. Most turtles should only be fed every other day, and will need their food to be cut into manageable bites.


Different types of turtles have different environmental requirements, so you’ll need to do some research on your specific pet. For instance, tropical land tortoises require warmth and humidity, while aquatic turtles need lots of water. Many turtles need heating equipment. Some will need basking lamps. Make sure to do your research!


It’s extremely important that turtles’ tanks be kept very clean. You’ll need to thoroughly wash and disinfect your pet’s habitat about every two weeks. If your water isn’t filtered, you’ll need to change it about every two days. You’ll also need to provide your shelled buddy with fresh water every day. You’ll also need to remove waste and uneaten food daily.


Turtles can be quite timid, so give your little pal plenty of time to get used to you. Handle your pet carefully and gently. Some turtles do bite, so be very careful when handling your shelled friend.

Do you have questions about turtle care? Call us, your North Phoenix, AZ veterinary hospital, today! We are happy to help!