Would Snapping Turtles Make Great Pets? What you need to know!

Have you ever been driving when you suddenly saw a turtle trying to cross the road? Like a good Samaritan, you pull over, get out of your car, and go to help the creature get to the other side of the highway. However, as soon as you see a strong jaw and hear an angry hiss, you immediately change your mind and back off.

While snapping turtles can be scary to some, they make excellent pets for others. However, snapper is not perfect for everyone. Common snapping turtles need experienced owners who are dedicated to caring for them.

So, do snapping turtles make great pets? Well, it depends on who you ask!

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Snapping Turtles as Pets

While they may look quirky, snapping tortoises are not for the faint of heart. While vegetables make up more than 60% of the snapping turtle’s diet, they also consume live fish, insects, and worms. These amphibians live very, very long lives and can be a serious danger to their owners. Their strong jaws can easily crush fingers. Because of this, the common snapping turtle should not be kept in a home with small children who could be injured accidentally.

In addition, snapper is legally protected in some areas and illegal to have as a pet. Always check your local laws and regulations before bringing a snapping tortoise home.

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The Right Habitat

You need a lot of space in your home to have a snapping turtle. Baby turtles need a large tank no smaller than 50 or 60 gallons. As your snapping turtle matures, you should increase its tank size to 250+ gallons. These animals can grow to weigh up to 25 kilograms or more. Ideally, you will keep your common snapping turtle in a fenced outdoor pond. If you live in a small apartment, this is not the right pet for you.

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Care Needs

As we mentioned earlier, the snapping turtle consumes both plants and animals. If you don’t want to feed your live fish or pet insects, don’t buy a snapping turtle.

You should feed snapper that is five months old or younger every day. Baby snapping turtles need to eat several times a day. Adult snapper only need to be fed twice a week.

In addition to commercial pellets and vegetables, the common snapping turtle eats small fish, guppies, crickets, and worms. Freeze-thawed chicks, ducks, and rodents make a great meal time after time.

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Not So Cute and Likes to be Hugged

If you’re looking for a social pet you can interact with, the snapping turtle isn’t for you. These people look but don’t touch the animals. You should handle your snapper as little as possible. If provoked, the snapping turtle will not hesitate to bite you.

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Is Snapping Tortoise Right for You?

If you are a reptile or amphibian enthusiast and are a seasoned tortoise owner, the snapping tortoise can be a great pet for you. If you have enough room for a large outdoor pond or indoor cage, don’t mind feeding your pet worms, and don’t want a snuggle companion, snapper can be a great addition to your home.


Featured Image Credit: Scottslm, Pixabay