What’s the difference between pet turtles and sea turtles?

Turtle Care GuideSo you’ve decided to purchase a turtle and wanted to read up a little about what kinds there are.Or perhaps you were taking a walk in the park and came across a turtle going about its business (slowly, of course) and you were wondering what kind it was.You’ve come to the right place! People often wonder what the difference between a pet turtle and sea turtle is. The information below will help you properly identify what kind of turtle you’re likely to encounter in your urban environment.


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Is a turtle the right pet for you?


For the most part any turtle is a good candidate for a pet. What you’re most likely to find at your local pet store are various types of semi-aquatic turtles such as red-eared slider turtles and painted turtles as well as a purely terrestrial type, the box turtle. Sea turtles and water turtles in general have more elaborate requirements than their semi-aquatic counterparts so you won’t find those as commonly available. If you do get one, however, despite their different needs once you’ve got the know-how they are as easy and fascinating to keep as the others. Sea turtles will live in a salt water mixture similar to what many tropical fish live in.

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To that end you can discuss your situation with the local pet store or consult a book and these resources should point you in the right direction regarding water treatment solutions, salt to water ratios and which plant life to include in the aquarium. Turtle Book with Guarantee Freshwater turtles, or terrapins as they are sometimes called, obviously enough require freshwater. Hence the water additives and food requirements are different to those of the sea turtle. Freshwater turtles tend to be much smaller than other species of turtles so it’s easy to put several of them together in one tank. They will enjoy swimming around together happily. Terrapins have webbed feet and softer shells than sea turtles. Sea turtles have flatter, harder shells with two hind legs and two, powerful flippers in the front. Turtles are actually very interesting animals. They enjoy being scratched gently on the underside of the shell but don’t like to be cuddled or constricted.


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Is a turtle the right pet for you?


They are will also begin to recognize you as their ‘parent’ once you begin bringing them food on a daily basis. They are also very social animals and are protective of their fellow turtles and will help each other out if in jeopardy.

Pet turtles are not throw-away animals or ‘disposable’ pets. Turtles can live a long time with the correct care, even up to a hundred years! Don’t be afraid to expand their habitat by adding trees, hiding areas, moss, water treatment and shelves. Turtles enjoy sun bathing so a heat lamp is a must for a happy turtle.

Remember to know the type of turtle you are buying! You don’t want to buy a snapping turtle on accident and bring it home just to have it use its 30 pounds of jaw pressure to remove a finger tip! Once you know the type of turtle you have or are getting you can fit a habitat to their needs.


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