Are You Thinking Of Getting a Pet Turtle?

Turtles may appear to be low-maintenance pets, but people considering getting one should keep in mind that they require years (perhaps decades) of specialized care. Turtles can potentially spread illness. These reptiles, like all species, belong in their native surroundings.

Adopt instead of shopping

When small animals, such as turtles, are bred for pet stores, they are sometimes mistreated and forced to live in awful conditions – if you want to adopt a hamster, check for a local rescue first, and avoid pet stores.

Salmonella is carried by turtles.

Salmonella is more than simply a food-borne infection; turtles and other reptiles carry salmonella bacteria that can be easily transmitted to humans. A little turtle may appear innocuous, leading parents to believe they are a safe pet for children. However, the disease risk is so significant that selling tiny turtles in the United States is forbidden. (See note below.)

Salmonella normally causes a few terrible days of fever and diarrhea, but some patients end up in the hospital with potentially fatal consequences. Children, the elderly, and individuals with diminished natural resistance to disease as a result of pregnancy, cancer, chemotherapy, organ transplants, diabetes, liver disorders, or other diseases are the most vulnerable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It is prohibited to sell small turtles.

To avoid the spread of salmonella, the sale of small turtles with shells less than four inches long was prohibited in 1975. According to the CDC, the prohibition "likely remains the most effective public health action to prevent turtle-associated salmonellosis." Some dealers attempt to circumvent the legislation by claiming an exemption for legitimate scientific and educational objectives. However, just stating that the turtle would be used for educational purposes or offering the turtle for free with the purchase of a tank does not make it legal. Furthermore, some states and municipalities forbid the holding of turtles. To learn more about turtle ownership laws, contact your local animal shelter or animal control. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforces the restriction on small turtle sales and offers the following consumer advice: Small turtles are not suitable as pets.

You do not have to touch the turtle to become ill.

Salmonella can dwell on surfaces, so you don't have to touch the turtle to get infected. According to a 2006 study published in the journal Pediatrics, exposure to reptiles was one of the most important risk variables in determining whether infants got salmonella. Infants should avoid handling reptiles. They are most likely infected indirectly, such as when a parent touches a turtle or cleans a turtle's tank before holding a youngster.

Turtles require specific care for the rest of their lives.

Turtles are frequently marketed as low-maintenance pets, but the truth is that they require specialized care and plenty of space to thrive. Turtles can't live in a little dish with a plastic palm tree. They require proper lighting, temperature, and water filtering. Countless pet turtles perish as a result of poor care. Turtles transported via postal or other delivery services frequently perish in transit.

Turtles, on the other hand, can live for decades and grow to be a foot long if properly cared for. That is a lifetime obligation for which many people are unprepared. If you've done your homework and are ready for the dedication and responsibility that comes with becoming a turtle, Instead of adding to the demand for turtles by purchasing one from a pet store, we recommend adopting one from a local animal shelter or rescue group.

Turtles should never be left outside.

If you get a turtle and then realize you can't care for it, you don't have many options. Rescue organizations are swamped with requests to take them. People sometimes release turtles thinking they are "freeing" them, yet it is usually unlawful to release turtles outside. Turtles released may perish or carry sickness that kills other turtles. If they survive, they have the potential to outcompete local species for food and habitat, endangering native biodiversity. Red-eared slider turtles, which are popular in the pet trade, are native to only a portion of the United States, but they are spreading across the country and around the world. They are now among the top 100 invasive species on the planet.

Please don't get a turtle as a pet to safeguard your health, the environment, and the animals!

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