They move slow, they don’t fetch, and they’re not cuddly—but turtles can make fascinating companions! World Turtle Day was established by American Tortoise Rescue 17 years ago to create awareness about these wonderful creatures and the need for adoption of homeless pet turtles.
There are over 270 different varieties of turtles and tortoises, and many make great pets for beginners. If you’re considering adopting a turtle, here’s a quick turt-orial:
- Turtles and tortoises are not low-maintenance pets. While routine turtle care isn’t difficult, maintaining a proper environment is extremely important and can require some effort.
- When it comes to enclosures, the bigger the better. Both tortoises and turtles require land and water and room to explore.
- Tortoises are herbivores, turtles are omnivores. If you don’t want to have to feed your pet insects, goldfish or mealworms, opt for the former.
- Both turtles and tortoises need sunlight or UVB light to help their shells develop properly.
- If you buy a turtle as a baby, it will need lots of TLC, just like a human one.
Finally, it’s important that you have a veterinarian experienced in the care and treatment of turtles. At Northwest Neighborhood Veterinary Hospital, we treat pets of all shapes and sizes, including turtles and other reptiles.