Can You Keep a Painted Turtle As a Pet?

Yes, you can keep a painted turtle as a pet. Painted turtles are one of the most popular aquatic turtle species kept as pets due to their small size, bright colors, and friendly disposition. When cared for properly they can live 20+ years in captivity and make wonderful long-term companions.

To give them the best life possible it is important to provide them with an adequately sized aquarium equipped with proper filtration and heating/lighting systems, plenty of swimming space, basking areas, and hiding places.

Additionally, they need a diet that consists primarily of insects supplemented with leafy greens such as kale or spinach along with some commercial turtle food pellets or sticks. They also require regular water changes to help keep their environment clean and healthy so plan on dedicating about 10% of your time each week towards upkeep and maintenance tasks related to your pet’s habitat.

What Does a Painted Turtle Eat?

Painted turtles are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. They feed on a variety of aquatic vegetation, as well as insects, small fish, and worms. As juveniles, Painted Turtles tend to be more carnivorous than adults; however, their diet will shift over time to become more herbivorous in nature. Additionally, they may also occasionally consume carrion (dead animal flesh) if it is available.

Do Painted Turtles Live in Water?

Painted Turtles are a species of freshwater turtle native to North America that typically live in slow-moving rivers, ponds, and lakes. They spend most of their lives in the water but can leave it for brief periods to bask in the sun on logs or rocks. Painted Turtles have adapted well to living both on land and underwater since they possess strong webbed feet which allow them to swim quickly underwater and walk slowly on land.

How Long Do Painted Turtles Live?

Painted turtles are an incredibly hardy species that can live up to 40 years in captivity, while they typically have a lifespan of 10-40 years in the wild. They require plenty of clean water and sunlight for optimum health, as well as a balanced diet that includes both animal and plant proteins. With proper care, these turtles can be long-lived companions for many owners.

Do Painted Turtles Hibernate?

Painted Turtles are one of the most common species of turtles found in North America and they do hibernate in winter months. During hibernation, painted turtles will bury themselves in mud or sand at the bottom of a pond or lake to keep warm. The turtle’s body temperature drops significantly during this time, slowing their metabolism until warmer temperatures return.

While some painted turtles may emerge occasionally throughout the winter season for brief periods, many remain dormant under the frozen surface until spring arrives.

Painted Turtle Aquarium

Painted turtles are a popular choice for aquariums due to their vibrant colors and active personalities. They require a good-sized tank with plenty of swimming space and basking areas, as well as filtration equipment like canister filters or powerful hang-on-back models to keep the water clean. Painted turtles need a diet rich in aquatic plants, insects, small fish, pellets, worms, and other high-protein foods.

Additionally, they should be provided with UVB lighting and warm temperatures between 75°F – 80°F (24°C – 27°C). With proper care, these beautiful animals can live for up to 30 years!

How Big Do Painted Turtles Get?

Painted turtles are one of the most popular types of pet turtles, and they can grow to be quite large. The average adult painted turtle will typically measure between 4-10 inches in length, with females generally being larger than males. However, some individuals can reach 12 inches or more in size!

It is important to provide these reptiles with a proper diet and an appropriately sized tank in order to keep them healthy and comfortable as they grow.

Painted Turtle Tank Size

When it comes to painted turtle tank size, the bigger is always better. Turtles are natural swimmers and will need plenty of space to move around. A minimum 20-gallon long aquarium is ideal for a single adult painted turtle, though larger tanks (40 gallons or more) can be used if you have multiple turtles or plan on keeping them long term.

Make sure your tank has a secure lid to prevent escape attempts – and don’t forget about adding some décor like rocks and driftwood!

Can You Keep a Baby Painted Turtle As a Pet?

Yes, you can absolutely keep a baby painted turtle as a pet! Baby painted turtles are active and inquisitive animals that make great pets for beginner reptile keepers. Not only are these little turtles beautiful to look at with their colorful shells, but they also stay relatively small so they don’t require an overly large habitat or enclosure.

Plus, being omnivorous, they need both plant matter and animal protein in their diet. Even though the initial cost of setting up your baby painted turtle’s tank may be expensive, once it’s done you won’t have to replace much equipment over time. As long as you provide them with clean water on a regular basis, regular temperature checks, and plenty of food especially calcium-rich foods like shrimp or crickets – then your little buddy should be happy and healthy!

What Can I Feed a Painted Turtle?

Painted turtles are an aquatic species, and they require a varied diet to stay healthy. While store-bought turtle food is available, most of their diet should be made up of fresh foods you can find in your grocery store or grow yourself.

Leafy green vegetables such as kale, lettuce, and dandelion greens make up the bulk of their dietary intake but also include fruits like strawberries and melon; cooked proteins like fish or boiled chicken; vegetables like squash and carrots; insect larvae such as mealworms or wax worms; small amounts of nuts and seeds; and a variety of other items including live plants.

Make sure to cut these items into pieces small enough for them to easily eat before feeding them! Additionally, because painted turtles are cold-blooded creatures that need more energy than what their food alone provides, providing regular access to direct sunlight is essential for keeping them healthy by allowing them to absorb vitamin D3 from the sun’s rays.

Can You Keep a Wild Painted Turtle As a Pet?

Keeping a wild painted turtle as a pet is not recommended. Wild animals should stay in the wild and be respected for that purpose. Furthermore, painted turtles require specialized care and diets that can be difficult to provide in captivity.

They must also have access to warm water temperatures or else they won’t thrive due to their need for basking spots. Additionally, it can be illegal to keep certain types of wildlife without proper permits from your local government, so it’s important to do your research prior to trying to take one home with you.

In general, if you are considering getting a pet turtle, it is better to adopt one from an animal shelter or rescue group instead of taking one from the wild this way you know exactly what kind of environment it needs and will get all the necessary health checks beforehand!

Is It Ok to Pick Up a Painted Turtle?

When it comes to picking up a painted turtle, the answer is generally no. Turtles are wild animals and should be left in their natural habitat. Picking up a painted turtle can damage its delicate shell, disrupt its behavior, or even cause it harm by stressing it out too much.

Even if the turtle does not seem scared when you pick them up, it may still experience pain from being handled for an extended period of time depending on the species and size of the animal. Additionally, turtles carry bacteria that could potentially make humans sick if there is direct contact between both parties.

So while admiring these creatures from afar can be a wonderful experience, we must remember to keep our distance and respect their space so that they remain safe and healthy in their natural environment!


Painted turtles can make great pets for those looking for a fun and unique pet. Although they require more specialized care than many other types of animals, the rewards are worth it when you develop a bond with your turtle. With proper housing, diet, and veterinary care, these interesting creatures can live happy lives in captivity.