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Where to Buy a Pet Turtle? (Plus, Overview of the Best Places)
Turtles can make great pets. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are great options for everyone. They need a bit more work than most people realize, so be sure that you know everything that goes into owning one of these turtles before you decide to adopt one.
In many areas, it is illegal to own turtles, so you should carefully check your local laws before searching for stores. Many retail chains will not sell turtles in areas where it is illegal, but they may sell turtles in other places.
Retail Stores That Sell Turtles
Online Stores That Sell Turtles
It is possible to purchase turtles online. They can survive shipping without a problem as long as the temperature is correct. Just be sure to purchase these turtles from a quality source. Otherwise, the turtle may not be healthy.
Can You Legally Buy a Turtle?
Turtle laws can be quite complicated. Turtles are available in some areas but not in others. You can often not own native turtles, though some states allow captive-bred native turtles to be owned. You do need to keep a record of where the turtle came from, though.
Turtles carry salmonella, which is why they are banned in some regions. Therefore, we highly recommend checking the laws in your area before making a purchase.
Is Owning a Turtle Expensive?
The initial setup can be expensive, but after you purchase all the starting equipment, turtle care is often not that expensive. The startup cost can be as much as $600 or even $1,000. Beyond that, turtles will only cost a few hundred dollars a year for food and replacing any equipment. Turtles live a long time, so you will be paying these maintenance costs for a while.
However, these costs are spread out quite a bit, so you can budget appropriately.
The laws around owning turtles can be complicated. Different areas have different laws. Sometimes, laws from the federal level may counteract state laws or vice versa. Therefore, the very first thing that you should do is check your local laws.
If you cannot own a turtle legally in your area, you should not purchase one. Most local places will not sell them, and many online stores won’t ship them to you.
If you can legally own a turtle, you can either purchase one at a local store near you or online. Online stores will often have the most selection. So, if you’re looking for something specific, they are the best options.
However, going to retail stores means you can skip shipping, which takes a great deal of stress off of the animal. That said, it’s mostly up to your preference. If you do purchase a turtle online, be sure to only purchase it from a quality source.
Featured Image Credit: Freeartfeelant, Shutterstock
Kristin is passionate about helping pet parents create a fulfilling life with their pets by informing them on the latest scientific research and helping them choose the best products for their pets. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one day!