For many people, owning a pet is the ultimate dream. Whether you live in a small apartment or a big house, having an animal companion is what many can’t wait for. Dogs, cats, rabbits, snakes, and fish are all very popular animals that are often chosen as pets. Another great pet option for beginner and advanced pet owners alike can also be a painted turtle!
Where are painted turtles from?
Painted turtles are the most common kind of turtles that can be found in the United States. Ranging anywhere from the Canadian border all the way down to Mexico, these fun little guys are everywhere. They can be found in any marshes, slow-moving rivers, ponds, and lakes throughout the states.
Painted turtles can also be found in pet stores all across the United States. Additionally, there are private breeders around to purchase from as well. If you’re looking into owning a painted turtle, you should purchase one instead of trying to find one in the wild.
Whether wild-caught or store-bought, your painted turtle can carry various kinds of bacteria. When you buy your painted turtle from a reputable store or breeder, you decrease your risk of spreading any harmful bacteria from the turtle to you or to anyone in your family.
Painted Turtle Care
If you want to own a painted turtle, you must know the proper steps to care of a painted turtle. One of the most important steps is that you must provide a habitat that has everything that a painted turtle is going to need to be happy.
When it comes to size, a painted turtle will need at least a 55 gallon-sized tank to be happy. Keep in mind though, the more space your painted turtle has the happier he will be! Also, if you’re considering having more than one painted turtle, you will need to have at least a 55 gallon tank.
You can learn more in my article on how to set up a painted turtle aquarium.
Do Painted Turtles Swim?
Painted turtles will spend most of their time swimming. Therefore, when setting up your new buddy’s living space, make sure that you have plenty of water for him to swim around. While you want to have most of the tank filled with water, your painted turtle is also going to need places to get out of the water and take a break. It would be beneficial to have multiple basking spots if you have the space.
Painted turtles also enjoy having places to go that allow them to hide if they feel overwhelmed or stressed. Be sure that you have at least two places to hide per painted turtle. This is because painted turtles can become territorial if there isn’t enough space.
In order to properly care for your painted turtle, you’ll need more than just a tank filled with water and places to hide. Your painted turtle is going to need the water in his habitat to be filtered and heated.
He is also going to appreciate it if you have a UV light above any basking areas. This is important so your turtle can dry oﬀ and get vitamin D.
What does a painted turtle eat, and how much do you feed it?
Now you’re probably wondering what you’re going to need to feed it. Well, painted turtles are omnivores. This means they can eat a little bit of plant matter and a little bit of animal matter. This being said, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to feeding your new little friend.
The most common food option chosen for painted turtle owners would be pellets from a pet store. However, it is important to note that you shouldn’t feed your painted turtle only pellets.
Make sure you are supplementing your painted turtle’s diet with other fresh foods such as lettuce, parsley, and even dandelions! Just check that no pesticides or chemicals have been spread over your lawn before you oﬀer your turtle anything from outside!
You can also give your new little buddy some crickets, worms, or other insects as a tasty treat.
Will a painted turtle ever need to see a vet?
Now you’ve decided on getting a painted turtle, great! You bought all the supplies needed to set up the best painted turtle habitat around, but what’s next? Well, now you need to research vets in and around the area you live in to find one that will take care of your painted turtle.
It is essential to have the name and number of a veterinarian oﬃce that will work on turtles as any number of things can happen when you own a pet.
Once you find the best veterinarian to help you with any possible health problems you may have, you’re ready to get a painted turtle!
What kind of temperament does a painted turtle have?
Just like any animal, a painted turtle may bite someone that gets too close to their head. Painted turtles tend to enjoy being left to their own adventures whether in a tank at home or in the wild. However, they can be handled on occasion.
These turtles can also be housed with other painted turtles or other animals that naturally live in similar environments. Just remember that if you plan on having a painted turtle (and companions), make sure you have enough space!