Turtles are reptiles that can also be considered pets up to this day. They are low-maintenance creatures. Before you adopt a turtle, make sure that you will conduct research first. Turtles are one of the animals that can live long, even longer than you.
Some reports said they had encountered a turtle surviving for more than one hundred years. Accept the fact that you are entering into a long-term commitment by dedicating some of your time to give them specialized care. Many can describe turtles are boring. Have you ever met the five outstanding and friendliest turtles?
As years pass by, turtles are continuously becoming popular pets all over the world. African Aquatic Side neck Turtle, False Map Turtle, Painted Turtle, Eastern Box turtle, and Pond Slider (Red-Eared Slider / Cumberland Slider) made it to the top five friendliest turtle pets. Different people have different expectations as well. So, handle your expectation. If you are interested in one of these turtles, learn about their life span, care requirement, and diet.
#5 African Aquatic Sideneck Turtle
These tiny aquatic turtles came from North America. You cannot find these turtles instantly. They are difficult to find, unlike other turtles. Among other turtle species, these American aquatic side neck turtle has an adorable smiling face.
They can grow for up to 12 inches and live for 25 to 50 years. Although they are little turtles, they still need a large tank as they like to roam around. As an owner, it is your job to make your pet comfortable in any way.
- Provide them the best possible care that you can offer.
- Before you adopt one, ask yourself, ” Am I ready?” If yes, then you can proceed to learn their care requirements.
- Prepare a glass aquarium with 40 gallons.
- Provide UVB light as it helps the pet to maintain strong bones and keep their shell healthy.
- With an installed UVB Light, your turtles can normally function their body.
- The temperature should range from 80 to 85 F. In water temperature, 75 F is enough.
- For the Basking spot, it should be 95 F.
If you are willing to have an African Aquatic Sideneck turtle as your pet, you must understand that they need specialized care or else their life would cut short unexpectedly.
African Aquatic Sideneck turtle as a pet brings positive vibes around with their smiling face and adorable-looking appearance. One more thing, they don’t hibernate. They are active all year round.
African Aquatic Sideneck Turtles has different diet requirements from other species of turtle. They can surprisingly eat meat. They can eat the beef heart, fish, aquatic insects, shrimp, prawns, snails, and cooked chicken. A commercial turtle treat, seeds, fruits, and vegetables will also do. For greens, you can offer romaine lettuce, dandelions, red-leaf lettuce, and collard greens. If you have an adult side neck turtle, they like leafy green veggies the most. In addition, they also eat earthworms, frogs, shrimps, crabs, and mollusks.
#4 False Map Turtle
These North American Aquatic Turtles can live for 30-50 years. It is not a surprise if these turtles can live long. However, it can only be possible once they have proper care, a balanced diet, and affection. Unlike other turtle species, false map turtles have an easy-care requirement.
The females are way bigger than the males. The male can survive in a 20 to 25-gallon aquarium, and females need a 75-gallon tank. Turtles need UVB light to stay healthy.
A vitamin called D3 is necessary for turtles to absorb calcium. The body produces Vitamin D and turns it into Vitamin D3 as the skin collects UVB rays. The water temperature should be 75 F with an ambient temperature ranges from 80 to 85 F and a basking spot of 80 to 85 F.
As an owner, it is your responsibility to check the required nutrients for your pet. False Map Turtles are generally omnivores. They eat insects, vegetables, and commercial turtle foods. In terms of their favorite food, they like to eat freshwater mussels and snails most of the time. They can also eat fish, crickets, worms, aquatic insects, and aquatic plants.
If you have juveniles, they eat hyacinths, duckweed, and other aquatic plants. If you are a beginner, it is advisable to use commercial turtle foods. It contains all the nutrients your pet need for their growth and development.
A baby false map species, unlike baby snapping turtles, may refuse to eat commercial food. In this case, you can alternate the food with chopped earthworms, bloodworms, guppy, and live goldfish. These live foods provide the turtle the exercise they need as they have to chase their food.
#3 Painted Turtle
A Painted Turtle can live for 25 to 30 years. While they may not expect to live for a very long time like other turtles, make sure that you can provide all the care requirements they need to reach their maximum life span.
These turtles have four subspecies, and they are eastern painted turtle, midland painted turtle, southern painted turtle, and western painted turtle. Despite their differences, they all deserve equal treatment, especially with their housing setup. These creative-looking reptiles are for beginners that can stand with a long-term commitment.
The tank can be a regular glass aquarium with a size of 15 to 20-gallon. They also need UVB lighting for adequate vitamin D3 development. Without these UVB lighting, they cannot process calcium in their body.
Aside from it, these turtles like a consistent temperature. So, make sure that when the season changes, it will still be balanced from 75 to 85 F with a water temperature of 75 F and a basking spot of 95 F.
These turtles can eat while swimming. So basically, painted turtles can eat anything that floats around them. However, just because they can eat everything does not mean you will allow it. Aquatic turtle pellets are essential food for your pet as it gives all the nutrients they need, especially the Vitamin D3.
They can also eat fresh leafy vegetables, dark leafy greens like dandelion greens, parsley, romaine, and other food that you can offer regularly. For their favorite treats, you can give freeze-dried shrimp and fresh-chopped apples. But you have to remember that it should not reach more than the 10% of their diet. Painted turtles also eat some insects such as crickets and worms. For fish, avoid fatty fishes like goldfish.
#2 Eastern Box Turtle
These land turtles from the Eastern United States can live for 40 to 100 years. Some reports said that there are Eastern Box Turtle that lives over 100 years. Among other turtles, these Eastern box turtles are one of the oldest living turtle species with an impressively long life span. Before you plan to adopt one, make sure that it is legal in your country. You cannot go to the wild and take them. It is against animal welfare.
You can raise an eastern box turtle whether you are a beginner or not, as long as you can make this long-term commitment. These pets are ideal for an outdoor enclosure set up with 4 x 4 ft. However, they must be living with a consistent temperature of 60 F. If you want to take them indoors, the tank size should be 20 gallons.
Just like other turtles, they need UVB lighting to get an efficient amount of Vitamin D3. If they do not have this particular vitamin, their shell and body will decay. Worst, it can lead to premature death. The temperature must be 75 to 80 F and a basking spot of 95 F.
Eastern Box Turtles can eat everything. They can accept whatever food that they eat. But, as their owner, you should be aware of the foods that they eat. Thoroughly check the nutrient it contains and if it is good or bad for their health. Their food regularly should be low-fat protein. Feed them vegetables like dandelions, collard greens, and romaine lettuce.
You can also offer them live foods such as earthworms, mealworms, crickets, and grasshoppers. A snail and grubs can be a perfect meal for these turtles too. If you want an alternative supplement, you can prepare cooked lean meats and low-fat dog food. Do not forget to give them fresh water since they are not aquatic turtles. If you are finding ways to bond with your pet turtle, feeding time would be perfect.
#1 Pond Slider (Red-Eared Slider / Cumberland Slider)
Red-Eared Slider and Cumberland Slider belong to the same species called pond sliders or Trachemys Scripta. Both have care requirements. In terms of their looks, they are just similar. This freshwater turtle came from the southeastern United States that can live for 20 to 40 years and grows between 6 inches and a foot in size.
They tend to live longer and reach the 60s if they experience proper treatment coming from their owners. To make it possible, you must provide their basic needs such as clean water, a place where they can swim and bask, a heat source, and a well-balanced diet. Since they are freshwater turtles, you will need to prepare a glass or acrylic aquarium with 55 gallons.
They need UVB Lighting to support their needs for Vitamin D3 and to get calcium. Their ambient temperature should only range from 75 to 89 F with a water temperature of 75 to 84 F with basking spot temperature of 90 F. Keep the water clean every week or every four weeks, depending on the size of their tank and the performance of the filter. You can use a water testing kit to measure the nutrient levels in the water. However, it is optional. Unlike other turtles, they do not mind if people handled them too much. With that, they are undeniable the friendliest pet turtle species in the world.
These turtles need varieties of nutritious food to live their life to the fullest. The foods allowed with these turtles should be rich in calcium and an adequate amount of phosphorous. They eat seafood, fruits, vegetables, insects, and even commercial turtle food. For veggies, they eat leafy greens such as collard greens, dandelions, mustard greens, bok choy, and kale. For dark greens, romaine is okay. Besides, they can also eat carrots, green beans, squash, broccoli, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. For fruits, mangos, berries, melons, apples, and pears are allowed.
Can Pet Turtles Be Affectionate?
Before you adopt a turtle, you have to understand that the bond between you and the turtle is not the same as when you have a pet dog. They may not be as intelligent as the dogs that can learn most of the basic commands from their master. The only thing that they have in common is affection.
If you had your pet for a couple of years now, you probably developed attachments with your pet. Indeed, some turtles can show concern but only for their owner. From the day that you held them, they can able to recognize you as days passes by. They also even learn your voice.
You cannot fool these creatures as they are enthusiastic in familiarizing even the tiniest details from their owner. Turtles are playful creatures and active. Some people mistakenly think that turtles are slow. But anyone who has ever owned a turtle can prove that it is not. Once you let them out, they will run around the corner of your house.
If some turtles can show affection, some turtles prefer to be alone. They never wanted to be picked up and handled by everyone around them. These turtles belong to those busy people with their careers and have no time to bond with their pets. However, this situation will not last for long if you are determined to create a strong bond between you and your pet turtle. It takes time and patience to make it possible. Before you try to play with them, make sure that they are in their best mood.
Final Thoughts: Top 5 Friendliest Pet Turtles
All animals have their own basic needs. As an owner, you have to ensure that you are giving them the best possible care that you can offer. It doesn’t matter if they are not like dogs that are easy to please. How you treat them reflects on how they behave towards you. Some turtles are naturally not in the mood to bond with humans.
They do not crave human touch and prefer the comfort of themselves. Fortunately, some turtles are friendly to the point that they see you as their family. You are lucky if you have one of these five turtles as your companion. It is always simple, give them want they need, and they will make you feel loved by their love languages.
Turtles are not for every household. But they are interesting to keep, and they are undemanding with their nature. Some people are attached to their pet turtles as they see turtles differently from other’s points of view. They may not be as cuddly as other pets, but these five turtles can be the best companion you will ever have.
Hezekiah is a pet lover since birth, according to his parents. He started writing for the Pets Checklist in 2020. He is fond of playing with and taking pictures of different friendly animals around his neighborhood. He loves to read and write articles about pets, science, and music.