I think turtles make great pets! My mom used to be a second grade teacher and during the summer we would keep all of the various classroom pets at our house. One of my favorites was Jimmy Murtle the Turtle, an American Box Turtle. He was a sweet, calm pet that was relatively easy to care for. They eat a lot of vegetables, so we would just give him the ends of carrots or lettuce heads, it was like a compost pet! They also like fruits, fungus, mollusks and worms. They are great pets but they DO need proper care. First, I don’t think an aquarium is fair; its just too small. We had Jimmy in a large wooden pen which he seemed to enjoy. Box Turtles need a pool of water to swim in, which must be cleaned daily. They also require special moist soil and need to be misted daily with a squirt bottle. These turtles are a bit bigger and more sturdy than their smaller cousins, so they make great pets for kids.
I think turtles are great pets for children. They have a long life expectancy, around 40-50 years. Turtles are happiest when they have room to walk around, so even though most people keep turtles in tanks and aquariums, it’s best to keep them in a space like a large tub. Turtles are great for kids because they are able to take them out of the cage and interact with them.
Turtles can be wonderful pets if cared for properly and the owner has educated themselves on the risks involved with handling turtles. Turtles do increase the risk of certain diseases in a household, especially with children under the age of 5. Turtles have been known to spread salmonella, as it is a naturally occuring bacteria on the turtle’s skin. If one chooses to become a turtle owner, it would simply be important to know the risks and take precaution: wash hands thoroughly after handling a turtle, wash surfaces that the turtle has been and separate the turtle from sources of food or at-risk individuals.
Water turtles (such as the red-eared slider) are good pets for kids because they are low maintenance (and I personally think turtles are great pets), but if your child wants a pet he can snuggle up with and play with, then maybe turtles aren’t the best fit for you. Water turtles can be taken out of their cages, but they don’t interact and play the way cats and dogs do, which may disappoint some children. However, turtles are great because they don’t take up much space, are quiet, and kids can easily care for them and feed them. Kids also tend to like reptiles.
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