September 8, 2023

7 pet turtle breeds that can make good companions for your kids

Turtles are fascinating pets that have been popular for many years. They are low maintenance and can be a great choice for kids who are interested in animals but may not be ready for a more demanding pet like a dog or a cat. Turtles come in many different breeds, each with their own unique characteristics and requirements. In this article, we will look at 7 turtles that can become great companions for your kids.




1. Red-eared Slider

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Red-eared Slider

The Red-eared Slider is one of the best turtle breeds for pets only for good reason. They are relatively easy to care for and have a friendly and sociable personalities. These turtles are native to the southern United States and can grow up to 12 inches in length. They are omnivorous, and their diet should consist of a mix of animal and plant-based foods.

Red-eared Sliders are very active and enjoy swimming, so a large aquarium with a basking area and plenty of water is essential. They are also known for their beautiful red markings behind their eyes. With proper care and attention, a Red-eared Slider can be a great companion for your kids.

Species Overview

Scientific Name: Trachemys scripta elegans

Size: upto 12 inches 

Life expectancy: More than 20 years.

2. Painted Turtle

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Painted Turtle

The Painted Turtle is another common pet turtle breed native to North America. You can found them in many different environments, from shallow ponds to fast-moving streams. They are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet of insects, worms, and plants.

Painted Turtles are relatively small, growing up to 10 inches in length. They are also known for their beautiful shell markings, which can include bright red, orange, and yellow patterns. These turtles are generally docile and can make great companions for kids.

Species Overview

Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta

Size: 5.5 to 6.0 inches

Life expectancy: Usually 20 to 30 years but they can also live over 50.

3. Eastern Box Turtle

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Eastern Box Turtle

The Eastern Box Turtle is a beautiful and unique type of pet turtle usually found in eastern United States. They are known for their beautiful domed shell and colorful markings. They are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet of insects, worms, fruits, and vegetables.

Eastern Box Turtles are relatively small, growing up to 8 inches in length. They are also very docile and enjoy spending time outside of their enclosure, exploring and interacting with their owners. With proper care and attention, an Eastern Box Turtle can be a great companion for your kids.

Species Overview

Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina (terrapene c. carolina)

Size: 4 inches by 6 inches

Life expectancy:  50 to 100 years




4. Spiny Softshell Turtle

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Spiny Softshell Turtle

The Spiny Softshell Turtle is a unique pet turtle breed that is native to North America. They are known for their unique flat and spiny shell, which allows them to blend in with their surroundings. They are carnivorous and enjoy a diet of insects, fish, and other small aquatic animals.

Spiny Softshell Turtles are relatively large, growing up to 20 inches in length. They are also very active and enjoy swimming in large aquariums with plenty of space. With proper care and attention, a Spiny Softshell Turtle can be a great companion for your kids.

Species Overview

Scientific Name: Apalone spinifera

Size: Up to 21 inches weighing upto 25 pounds

Life expectancy: 50 years

5. Diamondback Terrapin

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Diamondback Terrapin

The Diamondback Terrapin is a beautiful and unique pet turtle breed. They are native to the eastern coast of North America and are known for their beautiful diamond-shaped shell and colorful markings. They are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet of insects, worms, and small aquatic animals.

Diamondback Terrapins are relatively small, growing up to 10 inches in length. They are also very active and enjoy swimming and basking in large aquariums with plenty of space. With proper care and attention, a Diamondback Terrapin can be a great companion for your kids.

Species Overview

Scientific Name: Malaclemys terrapin

Size: 6-9 inches long

Life expectancy: 25 to 40 years

6. Musk Turtle

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Musk Turtle

The Musk Turtle is the smallest turtle breed that is native to North America. They are known for their small size and their unique ability to produce a musky odor when threatened. They are carnivorous and enjoy a diet of insects, worms, and small aquatic animals.

Musk Turtles are relatively small, growing up to 5 inches in length. They are also very docile and do not require a large enclosure, making them a great choice for families with limited space. They are active and enjoy swimming, so a shallow aquarium with plenty of space is important. With proper care and attention, a Musk Turtle can be a great companion for your kids.

Species Overview

Scientific Name: Sternotherus odoratus

Size: 2.0 to 4.5 inches

Life expectancy: 40 to 60 years 




7. African Aquatic Sideneck Turtle

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African Aquatic Sideneck Turtle

The African Aquatic Sideneck Turtle is a unique and fascinating pet turtle breed that is native to Africa. They are known for their distinctive sideways-facing neck, which they use to protect their head and shell from predators. They are omnivorous and enjoy a varied diet of insects, worms, and aquatic plants.

African Aquatic Sideneck Turtles are relatively large, growing up to 12 inches in length. They are also very active and enjoy swimming in large aquariums with plenty of space. They are also known for their unique and colorful markings, making them a popular choice for pet owners. With proper care and attention, an African aquatic sideneck turtle can be a great companion for your kids.

Species Overview

Scientific Name: Pelomedusa subrufa

Size: 7 and 12 inches

Life expectancy: more than 50 years

Final Thoughts: In conclusion, there are many different types of pet turtles, but the best breed of turtle for a pet is the one that can become great companions for your kids. Each breed has its own unique characteristics and requirements, so it is important to do your research and choose a turtle that is best suited for your family’s lifestyle and needs. With proper care and attention, a pet turtle can provide years of enjoyment and companionship for your kids.

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