Types Of Softshell Turtles That You Can Keep As Pets!

Types Of Softshell Turtles That You Can Keep As Pets

Softshell turtles are popular pets and there are several types that can be kept. In fact, there are several softshell turtle species commonly available as pets.

These include the eastern spiny softshell turtle, the smooth softshell turtle, and the Florida softshell turtle, among others. Each type of softshell turtle has its own unique characteristics and requirements, so it’s important to research and choose the right one for you.

Whether you opt for a more common species or a rarer variety, keeping a softshell turtle as a pet can be a rewarding and fascinating experience. So, let’s explore the various types of softshell turtles that are suitable for keeping as pets.

Size And Lifespan

Softshell turtles come in a variety of sizes, making them a popular choice among pet owners. These turtles can range in size from small to large, with the largest species reaching up to 2 feet in length. The size of the turtle will depend on the specific species you choose to keep as a pet.

Additionally, the lifespan of softshell turtles can vary, but on average, they can live up to 30 years in captivity. It’s important to provide the right environment and care for these turtles to ensure they have a long and healthy life.

So, whether you prefer a smaller or larger turtle, there are various options available when it comes to keeping softshell turtles as pets.

Unique Characteristics

Softshell turtles possess unique physical features that set them apart from other turtle species. With their flat, pliable shells and elongated snouts, softshells have adapted to their aquatic environments. These turtles also possess webbed feet, enabling them to swim adeptly.

Softshell turtles exhibit distinct characteristics, making them intriguing pets for enthusiasts. Their unique shell design allows them to bury themselves in sandy substrates, camouflaging themselves from potential threats. Additionally, their agile swimming abilities make them efficient hunters, preying on fish, crustaceans, and insects.

The softness of their shells also enables easier mobility in water and helps in absorbing impacts. These distinctive traits make softshell turtles a fascinating choice for those seeking a unique and delightful pet. Whether it’s their ability to blend in with their surroundings or their prowess as aquatic hunters, softshells offer a one-of-a-kind experience for turtle enthusiasts.

Popular Species

Can Softshell Turtles Live With Other Turtles

Softshell turtles make great pets, and there are various species that you can consider. Popular softshell turtle species include the Florida softshell, the Chinese softshell, and the smooth softshell. These turtles have distinguishing features and differentiating factors among the species.

The Florida softshell, for example, has a round and flat upper shell with a long neck and a snorkel-like nose. On the other hand, the Chinese softshell has a sleek appearance with webbed feet and a long neck. The smooth softshell turtle, as the name suggests, has a smooth shell and a long, slender snout.

Each species has its own unique characteristics that make it a desirable pet. So, if you’re considering keeping a softshell turtle as a pet, get to know the different species to find the one that suits your preferences and requirements.

Housing Requirements

Softshell turtles make great pets, but it’s essential to provide them with suitable housing. Firstly, choose an appropriate tank size, ensuring enough space for them to swim and move around comfortably. Secondly, maintain the right water conditions by keeping the temperature between 75-85°F and using a good filtration system to keep the water clean.

Substrate should be fine sand or gravel, allowing them to dig and bury themselves. Provide hiding places like rocks or logs to create a secure environment. Additionally, softshell turtles are known for their love of basking, so a heating lamp should be placed above a dry area in the tank.

Lastly, make sure the tank has a secure lid to prevent any potential escapes. By setting up the perfect environment, you will ensure a happy and healthy life for your softshell turtles.

Feeding And Nutrition

Softshell turtles have specific dietary requirements. They enjoy a variety of foods, including live fish, worms, and insects. It’s essential to provide them with a well-balanced diet to ensure their health and longevity. Incorporating fresh vegetables and fruits into their meals is also crucial.

Leafy greens like lettuce and spinach can be given as an occasional treat. Commercial turtle pellets fortified with essential vitamins and minerals should make up the majority of their diet. However, it’s important to avoid overfeeding, as it can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Monitoring their food intake and providing proper nutrition is key to keeping softshell turtles as pets.

Care And Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance are essential when keeping softshell turtles as pets. Ensuring the quality and cleanliness of their water environment is of utmost importance. Regular check-ups and care routines must be implemented to keep them healthy. It is crucial to avoid starting any sentence with overused words and phrases to maintain a unique and engaging writing style.

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Handling And Interaction

Softshell turtles make unique and fascinating pets, but interacting with them requires caution. To establish a safe bond with your turtle, follow these tips. First, approach your turtle slowly and calmly, allowing it to become familiar with your presence. Use gentle touches and avoid sudden movements to prevent startling the turtle.

Always handle your turtle with clean hands and be mindful of its delicate shell. It’s important to support the turtle’s weight properly, using both hands to avoid any accidental injuries. Regularly spend time with your pet to build trust and reinforce the bond between you.

Remember to never force interaction if your turtle seems stressed or unresponsive. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a positive and enjoyable experience while interacting with your softshell turtle.

Potential Challenges And Considerations

Softshell turtles make wonderful pets, but it’s important to be aware of potential challenges. Health issues can arise, so it’s crucial to address them promptly. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure your turtle’s well-being. Look out for signs of respiratory infections or shell rot, and seek professional advice if necessary.

Provide a clean and spacious aquatic habitat to prevent bacterial growth and disease. Additionally, maintaining water temperature and quality is vital for their health. Remember, owning softshell turtles requires certain legal considerations. Check with local authorities to ensure you comply with regulations and obtain any necessary permits.

By being proactive and attentive, you can create a safe and enjoyable environment for your softshell turtle companion. Keep their health in mind, and make them feel at home.

Frequently Asked Questions For Types Of Softshell Turtles That You Can Keep As Pets

What Is The Best Soft Shell Turtle To Keep As A Pet?

The best soft-shell turtle to keep as a pet is the Chinese soft-shell turtle.

Can You Keep A Softshell Turtle As A Pet?

Yes, you can keep a softshell turtle as a pet as long as you provide proper care.

What Is The Friendliest Turtle For A Pet?

The red-eared slider is the friendliest turtle for a pet. It is easy to handle and interacts well with humans.

Are Soft Shell Turtles Hard To Keep?

No, soft shell turtles are not hard to keep as pets.


Owning a softshell turtle as a pet can be a rewarding experience for any animal lover. These turtles come in a variety of fascinating species, with each having its own unique characteristics. Whether you choose the spiny softshell turtle with its spiky shell or the Chinese softshell turtle with its impressive swimming skills, there is a softshell turtle out there for everyone.

It is important to note that softshell turtles require proper care and attention, including a suitable enclosure, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups. By meeting these requirements and providing a suitable environment, you can ensure that your softshell turtle thrives and lives a healthy life.

So, if you’re looking to add a unique and intriguing pet to your family, consider a softshell turtle. With their interesting nature and graceful movements, they are sure to bring joy to your home for years to come.

Alif Hossain Mishu

For years, I've been a devoted turtle owner, captivated by the charm of these adorable creatures from the very beginning. This passion has led me to write articles, sharing my wealth of turtle-keeping expertise with all of you.

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