are box turtles good pets

Are Box Turtles Good Pets?

Box turtles are a popular pet choice for reptile lovers, but new turtle owners may wonder if box turtles make good pets. Are they suitable for all families, or should they be avoided?

What are Box Turtles?

Box turtles are a type of land-dwelling turtle native to the United States. They are small, ranging from 4-18 inches depending on the species. They are easily identifiable by their unique shell, which can be hinged in order to close up completely.

Reasons Box Turtles Can be Good Pets

Box turtles can make excellent pets for many reasons:

  • Affectionate: Box turtles are gentle, shy animals that can develop a great affection for their owners.
  • Personality: Box turtles are intelligent animals with some individuals exhibiting personal, distinct behaviors.
  • Environment: Box turtles don’t require a great deal of space and can thrive in a variety of environments.

Reasons Box Turtles Can Be Challenging Pets

Although box turtles can make good pets, they can also be a challenge for some owners. Consider these reasons before committing to keeping one as a pet:

  • Care Requirements: Box turtles require a large amount of daily care. This includes careful diet and habitat maintenance.
  • Specialization: Caring for a box turtle requires a great deal of learning, and pet parents need to be prepared to dedicate the time to read up on their pet’s needs.
  • Lifespan: With proper care, box turtles can live for upwards of fifty years. This means a long-term commitment to care.


Generally, box turtles make wonderful pets for experienced owners. They are generally low maintenance, easy to care for, and can form strong bonds with their owners. However, they require specialized care and have a long life expectancy. Consider these factors before making the decision to bring a box turtle into your home.

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