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Where to Buy a Turtle or Tortoise (Breeders & Things to Know) 

European pond turtle (Emys Orbicularis)

Petkeen 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.

There are few creatures as intriguing as the turtle and tortoise. While they’re two distinctly different creatures, either can make a great addition to your home. Here, we highlighted a few different turtles and tortoise breeders that you can check out in the United States. Most will even ship to you!

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Turtles or Tortoises Breeders in the United States

Turtles or Tortoises Breeders Near Me

  • Turtle and Tortoises – Turtle and Tortoises is one of the top turtle and tortoise breeders in the United States. Whether you’re looking for an ultra-rare Albino Pink Belly Sideneck turtle or a more traditional slider, Turtle and Tortoises has what you’re looking for. Turtles and Tortoises is in Central Florida, but they can ship anywhere in the continental United States.
  • Tortoise Supply – Tortoise Supply is in Las Vegas, Nevada, but there are plenty of shipping options to anywhere in the continental United States if you’re not local. However, keep in mind that Tortoise Supply only has tortoises. But with such a large selection, you can find both massive and smaller tortoise varieties that are perfect for your home.
  • Arizona Tortoise CompoundWith a large facility in Arizona, the Arizona Tortoise Compound is the go-to place if you’re shopping for a tortoise. They don’t offer turtles, but if you’re shopping for tortoises, you’re not going to find a larger selection. They have just about every tortoise variety on the planet, and they’ll even ship them out to you! Keep in mind that while they have tons of tortoises, you might have to wait a little while for a hatchling if you’re shopping for a rarer variety.
  • PetSmart –  While PetSmart might not have the largest selection and doesn’t offer delivery, it does have locations all over the country for you to shop at. This means if you don’t happen to live by a turtle breeder, PetSmart might be your only option if you want to pick up your turtle in-store. PetSmart turtles are also among the lowest-priced options out there, so if you’re looking to save a few bucks and want a common turtle, it’s an outstanding choice.
loggerhead sea turtle swimming
Image Credit: David Mark, Pixabay

Turtles or Tortoises Breeders That Ship

  • The Turtle SourceWhile their name might be The Turtle Source, they have tons of turtles and tortoises for you to choose from. The Turtle Source facilities are in Fort Myers, Florida, but they have options to ship anywhere in the continental United States.

Turtles or Tortoises Rescue 

While there aren’t a ton of turtle rescues that you can adopt turtles or tortoises from, there are a few that you can donate to help support.

These options include the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society and the Turtle and Tortoise Rescue of Arroyo Grande.

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How Much Does a Turtle or Tortoise Cost?

eastern box turtle in the wild
Image Credit: JamesDeMers, Pixabay

When you’re trying to determine how much to spend on a turtle or tortoise, it all comes down to what you’re looking for. While you can find common turtle varieties for as little as $30 from PetSmart, there are other tortoises out there that can cost close to $2,000!

It depends on what you’re looking for, and keep in mind that you need to provide your new pet with enough space to thrive. Their needs can vary quite a bit depending on the breed that you choose!

Finally, keep in mind that if you’re shipping a turtle or tortoise to you, you’ll need to add about $100 to $150 to the price of your turtle.divider-turtle

The 4 Things to Ask a Turtle or Tortoise Breeder

1. Genetic History

While you might not be able to get too much information about your turtle or tortoise’s genetic history, the more information that you can get, the better. This could be something as simple as knowing if its parents were wild-caught turtles or tortoises.

2. How Long They’ve Been Doing It

When it comes to breeding, experience matters. The longer the breeder has been in business, the more likely that they’re putting out quality turtles and tortoises.

turtle inside tank
Image Credit: Manuel Manteiga, Pixabay

3. Facility Size

The last thing that you want to do is support a company that doesn’t give their turtles and tortoises the space that they need to thrive and stay happy. The good news is that many of the turtle and tortoise breeders on this list have multiple acres dedicated to their facilities, and this keeps their breeder turtles and tortoises happy and healthy.

4. Health Guarantees

Turtles and tortoises tend to be healthy creatures, so if a breeder isn’t willing to give some sort of health guarantee against genetic conditions, that’s a red flag.

But keep in mind that health guarantees for turtles and tortoises aren’t as common as they are for cats and dogs, so it’s not the end of the world if a breeder doesn’t offer one. You can try to reach out to past customers to see if they’re having any issues if you’d like.divider-turtle

The 3 Things to Know Before Buying a Turtles or Tortoises

The last thing that you want is to bring home a turtle or tortoise only to realize that you’re not ready or are unable to take care of them. Therefore, we decided to highlight the three most common mistakes that new turtle or tortoise owners make.

1. Keep in Mind Their Final Size

This is especially true with tortoises, but it’s something that you need to keep in mind with turtles too. Consider that the Sulcata Tortoise can reach 3 feet in length and 150 pounds in weight, so you need to ensure that you have plenty of space for them before you bring one home.

The same is true for turtles, as you’ll need to ensure that you have plenty of space inside their enclosure once they reach their maximum size!

bog turtle_Jay Ondreicka_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock

2. Setting Up Their Terrarium

While you might think setting up a turtle terrarium is easy, keep in mind that these reptiles need both water and land sections to thrive. For tortoises, even small ones, they need plenty of space to roam, despite their slow speed.

Double-check all the requirements for their terrarium, and get everything set up before you bring your turtle or tortoise home.

3. They Live a Long Time

If you’re looking for a short-lived pet for your kid or yourself, a turtle or a tortoise isn’t the way to go. Many turtles and tortoises live well over 100 years, which means you’ll need to make arrangements on who’s going to care for them after you’re gone.

Turtles and tortoises are lifelong additions to your home, so don’t get one without the expectation that you’ll be caring for them for the long haul.divider-turtle

Conclusion

While turtles and tortoises are often lifelong additions to your family, that’s often part of their appeal. They live a long time and are beautiful creatures to watch, and fortunately, for you, there are plenty of tortoise and turtle breeders for you to choose from!


Featured Image Credit: Onkel Ramirez, Pixabay

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