All pets have upkeep costs, such as food and water, but exotic pets like turtles require much more.
In fact, simply acquiring a turtle can cost between $600 to $1,200 when you factor in the cost of a tank, lighting, and other accessories like basking platforms.
And the costs don’t stop there. A turtle’s diet also consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, and may include mice and insects, which cost more than ordinary canned pet food.
Exotic Pet Insurance For Turtles
Habitat and food expenses are not the end of it either.
There are also medical costs such as:
- Annual check-ups
- Sudden vet visits
To offset the costs, many companies today offer pet insurance, including those for exotic pets like turtles, for coverage.
But if that’s not enough to convince you, here are specific reasons why your turtle needs pet insurance.
1. Vet Bills Can Get Expensive
Veterinary visits, whether for regular check-ups or for treatment, cost a lot due to the equipment used and procedures done.
For turtles, this can include x-rays if your turtle is injured or stool sample testing to detect gastrointestinal problems.
More importantly, there are few veterinarians trained in reptilian care, as mentioned by the California Turtle and Tortoise Club.
Moreover, as an exotic pet owner, you would be required to bring your turtle for check-ups at least twice a year.
This routine check-up would involve:
- A physical examination
- Blood testing
- Skin scraping
- Microbiological testing
- Fecal analysis
- Radiological testing
This sounds like an overwhelming process, but it’s crucial to ensure your turtle’s health.
With pet insurance, you wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of these procedures.
2. Turtles Get Specific Diseases
Due to turtles being reptiles, they get diseases that are specific to their species and physiology.
Consequently, this would require specific treatment, which costs more due to the specialization needed to treat them.
Some of the most common diseases for turtles are shell infections and gastrointestinal parasites.
The shell infections are caused by fungi, bacteria, or parasites, and if left untreated, these infections can penetrate their shell and cause ulcers or even infect the bone below.
These infections can cause abscesses to appear on your turtle, and they need to be treated surgically. They would also need topical medication to aid in recovery.
Gastrointestinal parasites like roundworms may cause diarrhea or weight loss, and their treatment includes deworming medications.
Moreover, vets who have knowledge of treating exotic pets would charge more due to their specialized level of expertise.
Exotic pet care would cover the treatment and medicine expenses in the event your turtle encounters these diseases.
3. Pet Insurance Can Be Customized
Depending on your budget and your turtle’s needs, you can customize what goes into their insurance.
Sound Dollar outlines how exotic pet insurance takes into account the species of the pet being covered, its age, health status, and needs.
For turtles, annual exams and wellness care are covered by the most basic plans.
However, you can choose to add to your plan:
- Laboratory fees
- Required hospitalization
Choosing a health insurance plan that covers major accidents and illnesses is highly suggested for those who have turtles and other exotic pets, as, again, medical costs can be expensive in these types of situations.
Reptile Pet Insurance
Turtles are not only animal companions but also members of our family.
In our piece on ‘How Long Do Pet Turtles Live’, we discussed how turtles can have a life span of decades.
This is a long period of time compared to more common pets, and as such, we would want to ensure that they are taken care of their whole lives.
Turtle insurance is an investment that will help you do this.