One of the most commonly found aquatic turtles in North America, painted turtles are also popular as pets. Their relatively small size, mellow temperament, and gorgeous shells make them a fine choice for beginner and expert reptile owners alike.
Enjoying the company of a pet painted turtle starts with finding a place to buy or adopt one. Many people look for painted turtle breeders as a source for their new pet. To help you out, we’ve found painted turtle breeders all across the US and listed them in this article.
Pet Keen advocates for adopting before shopping. We understand there are many reasons for seeking a breeder, though, so we encourage it to be done the right way. Learn more.
Painted Turtles Breeders in the US
Even though painted turtles are found in nearly every freshwater habitat throughout the country, you should look to get a captive-bred reptile rather than a wild one. Captive-bred turtles are generally healthier and adapted to living with humans. In addition, laws may vary by state regarding the legality of capturing wild turtles. Play it safe and stick with buying from a breeder.
Painted Turtles Breeders Near Me
Painted Turtles Breeders That Ship
Painted Turtles Rescue
How Much Does a Painted Turtle Cost?
Painted turtles can cost anywhere from $30-$150 depending on their age, sex, and which species of painted turtle you’re buying. If you buy a turtle online that must be shipped, expect a $45-$50 shipping fee on top of the price of the reptile itself.
When your new painted turtle arrives, you’ll need to have a suitable habitat prepared. Since they are aquatic turtles, you’ll need an aquarium or tank large enough to provide at least 10-20 gallons of water habitat for swimming. Some other items you’ll need to purchase for your painted turtle might include:
Things to Ask a Painted Turtles Breeder
Before choosing a painted turtle breeder, take the time to do your research and ask any questions you need to feel comfortable with your choice. If you’re able to find a breeder within a reasonable distance, try to visit them in person to buy your turtle. This will allow you to see if the animals are healthy and kept in clean, suitable housing.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re purchasing captive-bred painted turtles rather than wild-caught ones. We talked about this a little bit earlier in the article. Buying captive-bred generally gets you a healthier pet. You’ll also be sure to stay on the right side of the law, since capturing wild turtles isn’t legal in every state.
If you’re buying from an online reptile store/breeding operation, ask whether they offer a live arrival guarantee. Most experienced breeders also know what they’re doing when it comes to the proper packaging and shipping of live animals. However, not everything is within their control and of course, you want to end up with a living pet at the end.
You should also see if the breeder offers a health guarantee for their shipped painted turtles. Generally, this means the breeder promises the animal is healthy enough to survive the shipping process. A 7-day guarantee is pretty typical. In some cases, the breeder may require proof that the painted turtle was placed in the proper habitat if your new pet does meet an untimely demise.
Many online reptile stores also sell food and equipment you might need to care for your new painted turtle. Ask the breeder what food and habitat your new pet has been raised in or what they recommend you use. In many cases, this can help ensure your new painted turtle has a smooth transition into your care.
The 3 Things to Know Before Buying a Painted Turtle
1. Painted Turtles Are a Lifetime Commitment (Yours and Theirs!)
Painted turtles live on average 25-30 years in captivity with proper care. However, it’s not at all unheard of for one to live as long as 50 years! Before you buy a painted turtle, be sure you’re prepared to care for what could end up being a lifelong companion.
2. Painted Turtles Are a Hands-Off Kind Of Pet
Though they are docile animals by nature, painted turtles aren’t comfortable being handled frequently. Though it might be hard for you to see it, handling can stress a painted turtle quite a bit. In addition, painted turtles, like many reptiles, carry the Salmonella bacteria on their shell and skin, which can cause serious illness in humans.
Occasional handling to check the painted turtle for illness or injuries is okay or when moving the animals to clean their cage. Follow proper hand washing techniques after handling your painted turtle.
3. Their Health Is Entirely in Your Hands
Nearly all illnesses that painted turtles can develop are the result of improper or dirty living conditions and inadequate diet. Your painted turtle’s health and lifespan are very much in your control. This is one reason why it’s so vital that you think seriously about the responsibility involved before you commit to buying a painted turtle.
Owning a painted turtle provides many opportunities for observing and interacting with these beautiful reptiles. Preparing to welcome any new pet to your family can be an exciting and intimidating time, especially for an exotic pet like a painted turtle. Hopefully, our guide to painted turtle breeders in the US will make the process a little easier and assist you in finding and selecting the perfect new pet for your family.
Featured Image Credit: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock