Pet Turtles: Lifespan, Behaviour, Maintenance Costs, and more.

How Long Do Pet Turtles Live?

Pet turtles live for at least 30 years. Some species have been known to live for 70 years or more, even in captivity. The actual lifespan of any turtle depends on its specie and the level of care given to it.

Key Takeaways

  • How long do pet turtles live?
  • The lifespan of different turtle species
  • How Do I Make My Pet Turtle Live A Long and Healthy Life?
  • Do turtles make good pets?
  • Do turtles like to be pet?

How Long Do Pet Turtles Live?

On average, pet turtles live for about 70 years. It’s common for turtles to die in their infant stage (or first 20 years) due to factors like improper care and poor environment. Small turtles are often mishandled, and this is one reason why turtles Live longer in the wild than in captivity. If you can take proper care of your turtle, it’ll live for over 25 years. But then again, it all comes down to the specie: some species have a life expectancy of 30 years, while some have the potential to live for up to 100 years.

Lifespan Of Different Turtle Species

Here’s the lifespan of some popular species of pet turtles out there. Note that this list shows the expected lifespan in captivity: They live for a much longer time in their natural habitat.

Red-eared Slider25 – 35 years
Wood Turtle40 – 55 years
Painted Turtle25 – 30 years
Map Turtle15 – 25 years
Eastern Box Turtle50 years +
Leopard tortoise100 years
Giant tortoise100 years old (minimum)

Tortoises live the longest: the oldest living tortoise recorded was Adwaita, a giant tortoise that lived for 255 years.

Why Do Turtles Live For So Long?

Well, in simple terms, they age slowly: in fact, everything is a bit slower for them. Turtles have a slow metabolism, and so things like aging and diseases take way much longer to process. They can also stay for long long periods without food or water (some turtles are known to hibernate under water for months without food or oxygen). It’s just their natural superpower; slow at everything and not easily killed by anything. From their hard shell to their insane longevity, turtles were made to last.

Why Do Turtles Live For So Long?

How Do I Make My Pet Turtle Live A Long and Healthy Life?

1. Feed It Proper Diet

The number one thing that can affect a pet turtle’s lifespan is diet. Feeding pet turtles can be tricky: you’ll have to know just the right kind of food your type of turtle eats. Softshell turtles eat fish and meat mostly, but species like the red-eared Slider consume fish, vegetables, and eggs.

If you do get a pet turtle, it’s important to research the right food combinations for your pet turtle. An improper diet can lead to vitamin A deficiency (which is very common among pet turtles) or Calcium deficiency.

Whatever you feed your turtle, don’t forget to throw in vegetables and fruits regularly: they help prevent diseases and deficiencies.

2. Create The Perfect Environment For Your Turtle

Most pet turtle owners don’t know how to create the perfect home for their turtle, and so the turtle ends up getting infected with diseases. A turtle’s home should always be neat and tidy, and should be of the right temperature too.

Just so you know, turtles need a lot of roaming space, or else they won’t grow. If it’s a water turtle, you’ll need a very large aquarium, and you also need to bring the turtle out from the aquarium occasionally so it can roam in the open and get sunlight.

3. Visit The Vet Regularly

There’s only so much you can do as a pet parent. To rest assured that your turtle is healthy and growing fine, you need to take it to the vet for regular examination and vaccination if necessary. Turtles (especially those kept outdoors) easily get infected with diseases. Only a vet can appropriately detect and treat such sicknesses.

Do Turtles Make Good Pets?

Turtles can be quite docile and easygoing, but they don’t make good pets for the following reasons:

Turtles Are Not Affectionate

Turtles don’t like to be cuddled or picked up. If you’re keeping a specie like the snapping turtle as a pet, it can easily bite you if you pick it up. So if you’re a person that likes affectionate animals, a turtle is the wrong choice for you. They don’t like being stroked, held, or cuddled and they don’t play with toys. Their unaffectionate nature towards humans is what makes most people cease from taking good care of them.

Do Turtles Make Good Pets?

They Are Disease Carriers

Turtles spread a disease calledSalmonella.” It is a disease that causes diarrhea and abdominal pains and may cause death or severe complications in children 5 years and under. Turtle owners are advised to always wash their hands after handling a turtle and to always keep the turtle’s bathing or grooming area away from home items. Also, it is advised that households with little kids or toddlers should not keep pet turtles. This is because kids can play with the turtles and use those same hands to eat or do other things without washing.

They Emit Odors

Turtles are reptiles, and so you can expect them to have some odor. Though turtles may not have very strong odors, they still produce unpleasant smells at times. You’ll also get odors coming from your turtle’s tank, especially if there is rotten food or poop in it.

They Are High-maintenance Pets

From cleaning the tank (removing poop and rotten food) to cleaning your turtle, feeding it right, setting the temperature right, giving it supplements, and regular vet visits, taking care of turtles can be a full-time job. If you’re not cut out for it, it’s best you don’t get one. You’ll just end up caring for it poorly and it’ll develop sicknesses and die young.

Turtles are High-maintenance Pets that’ll demand your time, money, space, and more.

Do Turtles Like To Be Pet?

No, turtles do not like to be pet. Some pet turtles however that have developed strong bonds with their owners may tolerate it.

Final Tips

Turtles can be quite an exotic pet to own. But since they are disease carriers, most states won’t allow you to keep them, even with a permit. However, if you are willing to risk Salmonella and you have the means to properly care for a pet turtle, go ahead and get one. Just pray they don’t outlive you though.


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