Choosing your pet
Always buy pets from reputable pet stores that keep their aquariums clean and their turtles healthy. The turtle you choose should have bright, clear eyes, and should resist vigorously when you pick him or her up, paddling hard in the air as if trying to get away. When you touch the head or legs, they should 'retract' back into the shell. Avoid the ones that have dry, cracked skin or soft shells. The water the turtles are in should be clean and not cloudy, and look for signs of flaking on their necks.
You can usually tell the difference between a male and a female turtle by the length of their tails and the size of the back of their shells. Males have a longer tail while females are generally bigger in size.
Some people think it's the right thing to do to buy a sick turtle and nurse it back to good health, but unless you know exactly what you are doing, the little animal would probably be better off staying at the pet store, where the personnel have been trained to look after sick animals.
The great news is you can probably buy your pet with the allowance you've saved up. That way, you won't take your new friend for granted, and will give it all the attention it deserves. You can get a red-eared slider for as little as 8 dollars (just ask dad to convert this amount into your local currency).
Next: Care and feeding
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