What type of turtle likes to be held

Turtles are a popular pet, and many people enjoy their company as well as the opportunity to interact with them. Turtles can make great companions and many people who own turtles love to hold them. But not all turtles like to be held – some like spending time on their own, while others may become overwhelmed or scared if held for too long. It is important to understand which type of turtle likes being held in order to create a safe and comfortable environment for your pet. Turtles are some of the most beloved pets. They have an endearing personality, and for many people, having a pet turtle can be incredibly rewarding. But like any other pet, the best way to care for a turtle is to understand their needs and preferences. One important question that many turtle owners wonder is what type of turtle likes to be held? This article will provide insight into the types of turtles to be held and provide helpful tips for owners on how to safely handle turtles.

Types of Pet Turtles

While most turtles are wild, many are adopted as pets each year. Keep in mind that turtles are sometimes considered exotic pets, so there may be local or state laws that restrict their adoption.

Turtle Breeds

There are many turtle breeds, but their varying activity levels, shell patterns, and personalities make some better pets than others. Popular pet turtle breeds include:

Red-eared slider: This is one of the more popular aquatic turtle species. They are friendly, social, active, and widely available at pet stores. Red-eared sliders grow to be 12 inches long and have a lifespan of 20-30 years. You’ll need to invest in an aquarium full of water with a basking area, plus a UV light to help regulate its body temperature.

Red eared slider turtles are an incredibly popular species of turtle in the pet trade, and it’s easy to see why. The red eared slider is a medium-sized turtle that can grow up to twelve inches in length, making them the perfect size for a home aquarium or tank. This species is known for its beautiful colors, which range from deep blue to olive green with bright yellow spots on their heads and upper shell. They also have a distinctive red stripe behind each eye, giving them their name.

These turtles make terrific pets as they’re relatively low maintenance and hardy animals. Red eared sliders can live up to 40 years if given proper care and attention. They need one gallon of water per inch of shell length along with plenty of places to hide out during the day such as rocks or logs.

African side-neck turtle: These are unique aquatic turtles that have longer necks than other turtle breeds. They can grow to be 7-12 inches long and live for up to 50 years. Since African side-necked turtles like to dive, have a deep tank filled with water and a basking area with a UV light.

The African side-neck turtle is an incredible species of reptile that has existed for hundreds of millions of years. Native to areas throughout Africa, the African side-neck turtle can be found in a variety of habitats including rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. These turtles are so named because they have the unique ability to retract their heads sideways into their shells rather than pull them straight back like most other turtle species.

As well as being known for this distinctive trait, African side-neck turtles also possess a number of other fascinating features. For one thing, their shells come in various shapes and sizes with some having long horns on top or ridges along the sides. They also have extremely sharp beaks which help them feed on prey such as small fish, insects and plants. In addition to this diet they are also known to scavenge carrion from time to time.

Eastern box turtle: This species can live indoors or outdoors but does need a lot of space with both dry land and water in their habitat. This turtle grows to be 5-7 inches long and lives 30-40 years in captivity. While it doesn’t need water to swim in, plan to have a shallow pan of water for splashing.

Western painted turtle: Sometimes confused with the red-eared slider based on coloration, these turtles are known for their detailed and bright shell markings. Their colorful shells make them popular choices. Western painted turtles grow to be 4-12 inches long and can be up to 50 years old. Like other breeds, western painted turtles require a tank with water, a basking area, and a UV light. 

Mississippi map turtle: This turtle has a unique dorsal fin along the back of its shell and is sometimes referred to as a saw-back turtle. They grow to be 5-10 inches long and can live 30 years. Not only do they prefer deep water, but they like to have a current. Invest in a strong filter that churns the water, and make sure there is a piece of “land” to rest on.

Common musk turtle: While they don’t like to be handled a lot, these turtles are popular since they are small and require less space for their habitat. They are only 3-5 inches long but can live for up to 50 years. Common musk turtles don’t need deep water, and instead prefer shallow water where they can touch the bottom of the tank.

Spotted turtle: These pretty turtles have distinctive markings on their shells. Even though they are one of the smallest turtle breeds, between 4-6 inches, they can live for up to 100 years. Spotted turtles prefer shallow water where they can touch the bottom of their tank, and they do better in an outdoor environment until they mature.

Yellow-bellied slider: These turtles are popular choices because they’re active during the day and fun to watch. Yellow-bellied sliders grow to be 9-13 inches long and 30-40 years old. Tanks should be 75-100 gallons with water for swimming and a place to rest in the UV light.

Reeve’s turtle: Reeve’s turtles are very social and, with patience and consistency in care, can grow to enjoy being handled and petted. They grow to be 6-9 inches long and live up to 20 years. They like having water to swim in and a spot to sunbathe.

Wood turtle: Wood turtles grow to be 5-8 inches long, so they require a decent sized habitat. They live up to 50 years and can be very social and are easy to care for compared to other species. Wood turtles are not aquatic, so their water should be low enough that they can touch the bottom of the tank.

Tips for Getting a Pet Turtle

Preparing your home for a turtle: Turtles are not always compatible with other types of pets. Make sure your pet turtle has an enclosure where it will be safe from other pets and activities in your home.

Turtle habitats: Turtles are cold-blooded, so they require a heat source to help regulate their body temperature. Some turtles are totally aquatic, while others prefer to move between land and water. Knowing what type of tank you’d like to have can help you pick the right turtle breed for you.

Appropriate housing ensures that your pet feels safe and stress-free, leading to better health outcomes. If you’re unsure of the specific needs for your particular breed of turtle, contact a local veterinarian to learn more.

Handling turtles; Turtles are very intelligent, but training varies by species. Some prefer to be left alone, while others like being held, handled, and even petted.

Sanitation: Since reptiles carry diseases like salmonella that can be dangerous to humans, your pet turtle should be kept in an enclosed tank. Occasional handling and time of the enclosure is okay, but be sure to wash hands and disinfect surfaces if you let your turtle roam around the house.

Feeding your turtle: Turtles require a variety of fresh vegetation in their diet. You may be tempted to just feed it lettuce, but your turtle needs nutrients from a variety of sources.

Veterinary care: Seek out a veterinarian who specializes in the care of turtles. In fact, acquiring the help of a veterinarian before adopting is highly advisable. A veterinarian can help you navigate local laws and find a reputable breeder for adoption. Establishing contact with your veterinarian from the beginning also ensures that your pet turtle has optimal housing conditions from day one.

Best Type Of Turtles to be Held

The best types of pet turtles are all a ton of fun to own. We frequently hear from owners who can’t stop telling us how amazing these little reptiles can be!

But there are a lot of options out there, which can make it hard to choose the perfect species for you. Fortunately, this guide makes it easy. We narrowed this list down to only *the best pet turtles, so all you need to do is scroll through and pick your favorite!

Mississippi map turtles:

Hailing from the lakes and stream of the Mississippi Valley, Mississippi map turtles are gorgeous little creatures with tons of personality. The reptile gets its name not only from its native habitat, but also from the distinct look of their shells. The carapace features several ridges and lines that mimic the markings on topographic maps. These reptiles don’t get as large as some other freshwater turtles. Males are the smaller of the bunch, averaging out at 3 to 5 inches. Meanwhile, females can reach lengths of up to 10 inches.

Like other semi-aquatic pet turtle species, Mississippi maps require a well-maintained tank with land and water. These creatures are powerful and active swimmers. They spend most of their time diving deep in the water. While they may be slow on land, they are speed demons when swimming! A natural-looking habitat is a must for Mississippi map turtles. They thrive in lush environments filled with underwater vegetation and natural decor. The land portion doesn’t have to be as complex. In fact, all this type of pet turtle needs is a small perch to bask in the light. If you plan on owning a Mississippi map, it’s important to focus your attention on creating a safe and healthy underwater environment.

Common musk turtle:

Sometimes referred to as the stinkpot musk turtle, the common musk turtle is best for herp-lovers who aren’t afraid to get a little messy You see, these pet turtles produce a musky liquid whenever they feel threatened or scared. The orange liquid releases from the plastron and has a very pungent odor. Like the musk of a skunk, the smell is not easy to get rid of!

For this reason, it’s best to observe the common musk turtle from afar rather than handling it. They will get more comfortable with you over time. But there’s still a risk of experiencing that smell if you handle it excessively! Odors aside, the common musk turtle is a joy to care for. They are beautiful creatures that blend in well with their natural surroundings. The shell takes on several muted shades of dark brown, black, and gray. However, the head features some signature yellow stripes that make it easy to identify. Powerful and prolific swimmers, common musk turtles will spend most of their day exploring the underwater habitat you create. They don’t need a ton of decorations to stay happy. However, plants, floating toys, and some driftwood are always appreciated.

Red eared slider turtle:

The red-eared slider is a popular species in the herpetology community. This is due, in large part, to their active nature. Plus, they have some stunning good looks to boot. The most identifying feature of this turtle species is the striking red patch of skin just behind the eyes. The rest of the skin features stripes of dark olive green and yellow. So those two stripes add a cool accent to the turtle’s body.

Red-eared sliders are on the larger side. They measure about 12 inches long when fully grown. As a result, you’re going to need a significantly large enclosure. These guys will need about 10 gallons of water per inch of length! If you plan on keeping more than one, you’ll need to up the ante even more. Curiously enough, red-eared sliders aren’t very territorial. They can live in small groups without any issues. That is, however, if you have a large enough habitat. Groups can cohabitate and even socialize. You might see them stacked on top of one another, which is an interesting sight to behold.

Wood Turtle:

Here’s a species that you’re not going to find at every pet store. Wood turtles are a bit rarer than others on the market. They often fetch a higher price tag, as most come from breeders. You might see a wild-caught specimen every once in a while. Avoid those at all costs. Wild populations are on the decline, so collecting them is illegal in most regions.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a wood turtle, you’re in for a treat. These reptiles are very active and exhibit some unique behaviors.On dry land, wood turtles have no problem sharing their habitat. They socialize with one another and coexist in peace. But the second they go in the water, things change. They can get a bit territorial in the water. These pet turtles are known to dry to drown others that encroach on their space. So, you have to be careful about providing plenty of space for your turtles.

Razorback Musk Turtle:

This gorgeous turtle species lives a unique lifestyle. Razorback musk turtles are almost entirely aquatic! You can usually find them lounging around the bottom of the aquarium or swimming around. It’s rare to see them go on land.

Frequently Asked Questions:

If you are looking for a turtle that you can hold and pick up, the box turtle is a great choice. Another popular pet turtle that enjoys being held is the red-eared slider. Red-eared sliders are a bit larger than box turtles, but they can still be easily carried.

The Wood Turtle is known for being very friendly, with the right handling and interaction, and pretty hardy. Their needs aren't as complex as most aquatic species.

The best varieties for beginners are male painted turtles, U.S. mud and musk turtles, and male red-eared sliders, she says. "Turtles require more maintenance and space than most people generally assume," Pauli says, "and they live for decades, so buyers should be aware that they are a pet that may well outlive them."

If you want to make an easy choice, then Red-Eared sliders are a great option. They are the most popular species of turtle, and they are readily available in most pet stores. Depending on their size, you can sometimes get Red-Eared sliders for under $20 from a local pet store.


In conclusion ,there are many different types of turtles to be held as pets. From the large and majestic sea turtles, to the smaller and more colorful box turtles, every type of turtle offers its own unique charm. They also provide a great learning experience for children and adults alike, as they offer a chance to observe the natural behaviors of these fascinating creatures up close. Whether you decide on a sea turtle or box turtle, or something else entirely, owning a pet turtle can bring much joy into your life.

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