Adopting A Turtle

Turtle Adoption Day is November 27th. Turtles may not be the most popular pets, but they do have some wonderful attributes. However, they are living beings, and need quite a lot of care to stay healthy. A Lexington, KY veterinarian lists some things for you to consider before adopting one below.


Turtles don’t just outlast hares in races: they will also outlast almost all of our animal companions, as far as longevity. Some live to be over 100 years old! Think carefully before proceeding.

Buy Responsibly

Turtles are unfortunately often mistreated by sellers. In fact, it has been illegal to sell baby turtles since 1975. Be sure to buy from a reputable source. Or, better yet, adopt!


Another thing to consider is the fact that turtles can carry diseases, such as salmonella. If you want to get your child a pet turtle, you’ll need to be diligent about making sure that your little one washes their hands very carefully before and after handling the turtle or its things. If anyone in your household is at heightened risk, whether due to immune deficiency, pregnancy, or other issues, this would definitely be a major concern.

Do Your Research

Different types of animals vary greatly on the amount and type of care they need. Turtles are not exactly low-maintenance pets. Many require aquatic environments. Others may need to eat very specialized diets. Do plenty of research!

Choose The Right Type

There are many different types of turtles. Not all are suitable pets, especially for beginners. Some good starter turtles are the Red-eared slider, Painted turtle, and Box turtle. Do plenty of research on the type of turtle you want to adopt. You’ll need to look at longevity, habitat, full size, and dietary needs.

Keep Them Confined

Did you know that it’s illegal in most places to release turtles into the wild? They’re actually considered invasive species, because they can pass diseases on to local wildlife. Plus, pet turtles aren’t really equipped to fend for themselves, and may not survive. Never release turtles, or let them go outdoors unsupervised. Adoption really is forever!

Get The Right Vet

Turtles are unique in many ways, so you’ll need a veterinarian that is experienced with them. This can also be a great source of information and advice.

Do you have questions about turtle care? Contact us, your Lexington, KY veterinary clinic, today!

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