Pet Turtle of Choice:
Many children keep red eared sliders as pets because of the preconception that turtles are simply very easy to care for. While this may seem true when compared to other pet turtles, red eared sliders do require some degree of attention and maintenance. Though they hedge out the box turtle as the most popular pet turtle, red eared sliders require more attention than their fully terrestrial counterparts.
So why is keeping red eared sliders as pets so popular? First, it has a lot to do with the common conception of turtles, as slow, plodding bores. The disposition of red eared sliders flies in the face of this conception, as they are active and full of personality. When you approach their tank, their heads pop up and they watch you intently, waiting to see if it’s time to eat. If you put live feed in their tank, they’re all over it; chasing down every last fish or worm like it was their last. A clear-sided tank really lets you see what the life of a red eared slider is really like – active and full of energy!
Another reason why people keep red eared sliders as turtle pets is because they are quite a bit easier to care for than other reptiles and especially most fish. Unlike many other reptiles out there that people like to keep, sliders are not picky eaters. In general, your slider will eat anything in its normal diet if it can get to it. In addition, because sliders are both aquatic and terrestrial their skin and shells tend not to suffer from some of the dermal problems that other reptiles have. When it comes to taking care of fish versus taking care of a red eared slider there is no comparison. Sure, your slider needs clean, filtered water, but it doesn’t breathe the water like fish do. Sliders tend to be much hardier than fish and can handle sudden temperature shifts and the like if need be.
Another reason why keeping red sliders as pets is a trend is because they are simply different. Everybody has a dog, cat, or fish, but how many people have a turtle? Having a pet turtle stands out and makes a great way for kids to learn about life and taking care of something. As long as they are supervised, kids can learn a lot from taking care of a red eared slider, feeding and nurturing it for years!
Starting Out Right: Selecting the Best Red Eared Slider
You need to be very choosy and alert when selecting your new turtle. A healthy turtle will prevent future problems.
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