Can You Own A Sea Turtle? The Ultimate Guide For New Aquarists

There are many species of reptiles in the world, but turtles are one of the oldest. They are a one-of-a-kind choice for pets due to their tough exterior and sluggish movements. They are hardy animals, and taking care of them can be a lot of fun. Most turtle species may live for decades, meaning that keeping one as a pet is a commitment for the rest of your life, even if they appear like low-maintenance pets.

Things to Do before Getting a Sea Turtle

Turtles need a significant amount of specialized care and lots of space to develop. Turtles may live for a very long period, and during their lives, they continue to mature and get larger. They need very specialized living conditions to have a life that is both enjoyable and healthy for them.

The improper care and handling of small turtles often result in the animals’ untimely death. Pet Turtles that are shipped almost never make it through the journey alive, and those maintained in inadequate housing at pet shops have miserable lives.

If you are thinking of purchasing a turtle, the first thing you need to do is choose the species you want. Because there are so many species, various types of habitats are required. The ideal choice is to get a turtle not from a pet shop but from a local animal shelter or rescue organization rather than purchasing one.

Think about the other important parts of turtle care, such as where you’ll keep them, what you’ll feed them, and any measures you’ll need to take to protect yourself and the turtle.

Water Conditions

The water in the ocean is salty and includes all of the minerals that a sea turtle needs to survive. These reptiles spend the vast majority of their time swimming in the water where they live. They periodically ascend to the water’s surface, breathe fresh air, and descend again into the ocean’s depths. Additionally, sea turtles do not approach close to land unless they really have to.

Therefore, the habitat that sea turtles inhabit is usually quite saline. The relative humidity and the water pressure are different in the center of the ocean compared to the land. The sea turtles will never get used to a cage, no matter how elaborately or tastefully it is decorated.

How to Feed

The kind of turtle that you choose will play a role in determining the diet that you provide for your pet. The diets of turtles living in the sea and those on land are quite different. Most of a turtle’s food will often consist of fish, insects, green leafy vegetables, and mealworms that have been frozen. They need a diet of 80 percent veggies and 20 percent fruits to maintain a healthy balance—turtles like eating fruits and vegetables like peppers, melons, and squash.

The sort of turtle you have and the size of the turtle you receive will determine the amount of food you feed them each day. Your turtle does not need food on a daily basis, but it should get food between four and five times a week at the very most. This is not the case with juvenile turtles in the water, however, since they need food on a daily basis.

Which Species Are Legal And Which Are Not?

There are seven different subspecies of marine turtles, and the majority of them are considered endangered in the United States. The following sea turtle species are considered at risk of extinction in the United States and should not be owned as a pet.

  • Hawksbill Sea Turtle
  • Leatherback Turtle
  • Green Turtle
  • Kemp’s Ridley Turtle

What are the repercussions if the authorities discover a sea turtle in your backyard? They have the authority to impose a fine of more than $20,000 on you and to send you to jail for a period of six months.

However, you can keep tortoises or the most common yellow-bellied sliders as pets because they are legal and are not an endangered species. Still, this doesn’t mean that you can be careless with them!

Yellow-bellied slider

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Will a turtle bite you?            

Even though they are not normally hostile, these water reptiles may bite if they perceive that they are in imminent danger. Additionally, sea turtles have strong jaws and beaks that are fairly sharp, which results in their bites often causing a great deal of discomfort. The bite of a sea turtle may often cause significant lacerations to the skin and, on occasion, even shatter human bones.

Q: Is it safe to keep a sea turtle as a pet?         

The following are some of the charming characteristics of turtles: They are shy, adorable, and humble all at the same time… Turtles, on the other hand, do not have the same warm and fuzzy sentiments toward humans as people have when they see the slow-moving animals cautiously poking their heads out from their shells. This may cause people to feel love for turtles.

Q: Which kind of turtle makes the best pet, and why?

Red-Eared Slider, One of the most well-known and widely kept of all the aquatic turtle species is the red-eared slider. They are rather active, and they are readily accessible. In comparison to some of their other cousins, they are often nicer and friendlier.

Red-Eared Slider


We only encourage you to own a sea turtle if you are up for the work and the commitment. If you don’t have any experience with caring for animals, getting a turtle just for the sake of having one as a pet might endanger both you and the animal. Therefore, we kindly ask you to show consideration and avoid owning turtles that are either against the law or considered to be in danger of extinction.