How to choose the right turtle for you

red eared slider

By Mary Beth Miller

If you’ve decided to add a turtle to your family, congratulations to the reptile family!

But all joking aside, it’s important to know how to choose the best turtle for you. You can’t just choose a turtle based on their looks or availability. Turtles come in all shapes and sizes, with different living environments and dietary needs that you will need to be prepared to accommodate.

The best way you can pick the ideal turtle is by taking some time to learn about the different species of turtles. We have all the tips you need to know in order to choose the perfect turtle companion.

Considerations When Choosing A Turtle:

Before you add a turtle to your family (be sure to check out your local reptile rescues or adoptable animal apps like Petfinder), ask yourself the following questions:

  • What temperament would I like to see in my turtle?
  • How big would I like my turtle to get?
  • Is the appearance of my turtle important to me?
  • Do I have the means to accommodate the needs of my turtle?
  • Do I need a permit or license to keep a turtle in my location?
  • Am I prepared to provide a safe, high-quality, species-appropriate home for the lifespan of the turtle?

Once you have answered these questions, you can begin your search for the perfect turtle companion. The following turtles are perfect for turtle owner beginners (click on the links for more detailed information about each species):

Red Ear Slider Turtle  – The most popular species of turtle in the world! The red ear slider can grow up to be 11 inches in size and are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and meat. The red ear slider is a sun bather and requires special lighting, as well as a place out of water to bask. 

Caspian Pond Turtle – The Caspian pond turtle or the striped neck terrapin, can grow to be nine inches in length and is perfect for owners over 12 years of age. These turtles are omnivores that require both plant vegetation and meat to fulfill their dietary needs. The Caspian is a semi-aquatic turtle, meaning that his enclosure will require both water and land.

Painted Turtle – The painted turtle is well named, displaying an array of colors. The painted turtle is medium sized, growing to about seven inches in length. This turtle is an omnivore, is semi-aquatic and is ideal for teenage to adult ownership.

Painted Wood Turtle – Not to be confused with the painted turtle, the painted wood turtle can be found in Central America—which is why it also referred to as the Central American wood turtle. This turtle is semi-aquatic, but can only swim in shallow water, and requires large sun basking areas in captivity. This species of turtle is an herbivore, meaning they eat plant based material. However, this turtle does eat the occasional worm or insect that enters his tank.

African Sideneck Turtle – The African aquatic sideneck turtle is primarily an aquatic turtle, but they do require a small land area to bask. These turtles can grow up to eight inches in length and are omnivores.

No matter which type of turtle you bring into your home, make sure to follow up with an exotic veterinarian who specializes in reptiles to ensure your turtle is getting everything he needs. The lifespan of the average captive turtle can be 20-50 years (or more!), and the quality of the living environment has a direct impact on their longevity. Turtles make excellent pets, with distinct and wonderful personalities; the more informed you are going into the relationship, the happier your turtle will be!



mary-beth-miller-pawedinMary Beth Miller is a registered veterinary technician from southeast Iowa. She works in a large/small animal veterinary clinic and also volunteers at the local Humane Society, Emergency Animal Care Center, as well as the Iowa Parrot Rescue. Her passion lies in helping save the lives of animals. MaryBeth has three dogs, a Siberian husky named Rocky and two rescue dogs named Sambita and Nina.

We’re on a mission from Dog

Republic Fetchfind beagle no shadow

We’re on Day 10 of our equity crowdfunding campaign raising $750K in capital. 

We are building FetchFind for pets and the people who love and care for them, so we want to open up the investment opportunity to more than just traditional, accredited investors. We want to grow our company with AND alongside the people who wholly understand the emotional connection between some 80 million US households and their collective 200 million pets. 

Equity crowdfunding has been made possible only recently under new laws, and it’s exciting to be part of this leap forward in democratizing the startup investment market. Republic, a spinoff out of AngelList, is hosting our campaign where anyone can invest as little as $50 in exchange for a part of our company.

I’m thrilled to say our funding is going strong, and picking up even more steam as our investors tell their friends and colleagues, who then tell THEIR friends and colleagues, and so on. The power of a crowd is truly amazing.

The power of one can be just as amazing. A recent investor, Jason Feldman of Chicago Pet-Friendly Real Estate, asked that the FetchFind Monthly Pro subscription he received as a perk be donated to a new business or animal rescue organization. (Because that’s how Jason rolls; if you don’t know him, you should. He’s a real mensch.)

For investors who are already in the pet space, this is pretty valuable perk (and a great way to onboard and educate your employees.) But if you or your friends/colleagues aren’t in the pet industry or super-interested in the online education, the FetchFind Monthly Pro subscription is a transferrable asset, and a wonderful way to give back to local businesses and the animal rescue community.

If you’d like to become part of the future of quality pet care, join us as an investor.  We’d love to welcome you to the FetchFind family.

If you can’t invest right now, please consider helping us to spread the word by sharing the link:

With great appreciation and love,

JM Sig copy

Jamie Migdal
CEO, FetchFind

Spring is here – get out and volunteer!



By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

I find it a lot easier to contemplate new projects when the weather starts warming up. Maybe it’s the longer days. Maybe it’s the rising sap. Whatever it is, every year around this time I feel like doing a wholesale purge of all the stuff I’ve accumulated over the winter and starting something new.

Lots of shelters and rescues get busy in the spring, too, and many see an uptick in adoptions as the weather gets better. With the increased activity, many of these organizations find themselves short-handed and scrambling to take care of the potential adopters as well as the animals. The start of kitten season also puts additional stress on limited resources.

If you’re interested in doing volunteer work with animals but don’t know exactly what you want to do, check out the opportunities at one your local shelters. The larger shelters generally have a range of volunteer opportunities available, and most will allow cross-training into different programs. These shelters tend to have a wait list, so if you want to sign up be prepared to wait a bit for an open orientation date.

Almost all shelters and rescues need foster volunteers, so if you can have pets in your home this is a great way to help without committing to a certain number of hours at an outside facility. Many rescues are foster-based, which means they can’t bring an animal into their program without already having a foster home lined up for it.  A foster pet’s expenses (food, medicine, vet visits, equipment) are covered while in your care, so it’s a great way to be involved for very little cost.

You can also volunteer with your own animals, through programs like Pet Partners. Opportunities for animal-assisted therapy range from educational programs with at-risk youth to hospital or care home visits to de-stressing sessions with college students. Some organizations even allow human-animal teams to include pets other than dogs and cats, such as birds, horses, miniature pigs, and llamas.

In addition to all of the other benefits, volunteering is a great way to build or fill in gaps on a resume. Beyond taking care of the animals, most places will have volunteer opportunities available for people with social media, marketing, photography, clinic, and special event experience; and, if you don’t have the experience but want to get some, it’s a great way to get started.

Where are your favorite places to volunteer? We’d love to hear from you!


Did you know that you can post your volunteer opportunities on our job board? Register for a profile here or contact us at for more details!