Is Having a Real Turtle for a Pet a Pain to Upkeep?

Updated on October 07, 2015
J.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
9 answers

I've had fish before and I HATED it. We have a dog so taking care of a pet isn't a problem - I just hated the cleaning of the tank part. Anyway, my brother in law wants to get a pet turtle for my son as a christmas gift and I'm wondering what that entails in terms of cleaning and any other upkeep it may need. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

ugh I have read enough! No turtle for my little guy. thanks everyone :)

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answers from Boston on

They're gross. More work than a fish...and some need heat lamps and special lights. Pass on this gift...

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Phoenix on

If you don't like cleaning tanks then don't get a turtle either. We have 6 Betta fish all in their own tanks. The longest I've had one is 4.5 years and I NEVER cleaned it's tank or changed the water. Easiest "pets" ever. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

Depends on the type of turtle. Some can have a plan tank and others are water turtles. The water ones have to have clean water thus filters that clog from them shedding.

If you can gently persuade your brother to get another type of pet I would suggest it. You already have a dog. The other thing would make your brother come to your house and clean the tank and I don't think he wants to do that.

Good luck in not getting the turtle. Let it have a forever home somewhere else.

the other S.

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answers from Lakeland on

I think it would be much like taking care of a fish with more of a stinky odor.

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answers from Washington DC on

your BIL is kind of a goof. :) i had turtles as a kid and loved 'em, but you don't see them around much any more. it's mostly because of the salmonella worry (which is real) but also because they're novelty pets, and the novelty wears off fast when you've got a smelly little tank to keep clean for a pet that doesn't give you anything back in the way of warm fuzzies or purrs or affection.

i mean, i'd take it for ME if someone offered. but it would probably be a problematic gift for you and your kids (especially if the upkeep will land on you.) if you're going to clean a smelly cage often, go with a rat. so much more fun and smart and interesting and affectionate.

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answers from Springfield on

if you thought cleaning a fish tank was bad don't get a turtle. they need water and land. i had one, it was a huge pain to clean its tank. much worse than a simple fishtank with a few goldfish. ask your brother in law to consider something else.

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answers from Austin on

The problem with little turtles is that kids like to hold them, and they look so cute. But they are a real salmonella danger. Just look up pet turtles and salmonella. Pet turtles should only be kept by people who are aware of salmonella and who are mature enough to handle them very very responsibly.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Is it safe to assume your BIL doesn't have kids? Because who in the world would gift a pet to someone else's kid??? I guess it's truly the gift that keeps on giving :)

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answers from Sheboygan on

Wow-Starr almost talked me into getting a spider-lol.

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