Turtles make amazing pets. Learning how to care for a pet turtle the right way is certainly worth the time, effort, and money you may spend. Remember, there is no excuse for the premature death of your turtle based on neglect or lack of knowledge. The five tips I’m about to share with you can help you provide a long, healthy, and happy life for your little friend.
Educate yourself. Learn about the specific breed of your turtle. Is it a Box Turtle, a Slider, a tortoise, or something else? Know its special dietary needs, temperature requirements, and social temperament. The more you know about your turtle, the better off you will be.
Prepare your home. There is much work at hand. You must purchase or build your turtle’s tank. You would be very wise to seek out a vet with experience helping turtles. Do this in advance so you know exactly where to turn in case of emergency (and for insider tips). A little preparation now will lead to smoother sailing down the road.
Never use chlorinated water. This goes for your turtle’s swimming water just as much as its drinking water. At minimum, pour your tap water into a large container and let sit for 24 hours before adding it to the tank. This will allow the chlorine to dissipate. Ideally, however, you will want to use spring water.
It is imperative that you provide your turtle with a mercury vapor UVB heat lamp for basking. This type of lamp will provide your turtle with sufficient amounts of vitamin D3, which prevents bone disease and premature death. Without this lamp, your turtle is in serious trouble, so please do not overlook its importance! Leave the light on for about half of each day.
You MUST maintain the proper temperature in your turtle’s tank. Of course, this varies from species to species, but generally speaking, 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 70 degrees at night are generally accepted as rule of thumb. You will want to purchase an under water heater to achieve this. Again, knowing the unique requirements for your specific turtle’s breed is absolutely necessary.
So these are five important guidelines for you to follow to ensure your turtle enjoys a long, happy life with you. Remember, turtles can live a very long time. In fact, some are known to actually outlast us! With this in mind, understand that your initial investment of time, learning, and money will be well worth it in the grand scheme of things.
Turtle pets on a budget-if you think this is impossible, read on!
Keeping turtles as pets has certainly come a long way over the years. Nowadays, a number of channels are available for interested people, whether they are prospective pet owners, novice turtle keepers, or experienced turtle keepers, teaching them how to save money while still providing excellent care.
Turtles are fairly adaptive creatures and generally share similar diets. There are many different materials that can be used for the turtles’ housing that will serve as excellent reproductions of their natural wild habitats.
Experienced turtle owners recommend large plastic containers because they are cost-effective, easy to clean, and portable. You must choose one which is large and wide enough to give your pet turtles suitable room for swimming, basking, and hiding. Compared to glass aquariums and tanks, which are expensive, hard to clean, and not at all portable, this alternative choice of housing for turtles is highly convenient and recommended for the budget-conscious.
Novice turtle owners may initially be attracted to small, colorful pebbles and rocks that make the turtle’s place of dwelling look more attractive and pleasing to the human eye. However, note that these materials really are impractical to purchase, as their purpose is purely aesthetic. When it comes down to real and practical turtle care, the pebbles and rocks used to decorate the housing of the turtle only make it harder to clean and filter. Instead, you should go for sturdy, large, and broad stones or rocks, which the turtles much prefer for basking and hiding.
Turtle owners understand that it is natural for their pets to relieve themselves of a lot of waste. Turtles kept in tanks should be provided with the right type of filter to ensure a clean environment. This may strike novice keepers as an expensive factor in turtle keeping, but there are actually cost-effective filters available that are of excellent quality. The filters should also be compact so that they will not infringe on the turtles’ room for swimming and moving around comfortably.
As most turtles are omnivorous, turtle owners should be pleased to discover that they can feed their pets a great variety of foods that can be readily and economically purchased. As turtles eat both plant and animal matter, you need not buy pricey and manufactured pet food, which may not satisfy the required food intake of the turtles.
Red and green leaf lettuce, fig leaves, squash, green beans, corn, silkworms, earthworms, crickets, slugs, and cooked chicken or turkey are just some of the types of food that most experts recommend for turtles. Note that once a week the diet of your pet turtles should be augmented by reptile vitamins to ensure their health and immunity from potential disease, as well as keeping them from getting obese.
In reality, with a little creativity and resourcefulness, and lots of love and dedication on the part of you, the owner, keeping your turtle happy and healthy can be relatively simple and inexpensive.
Karma Williams is a pet turtle care enthusiast who has raised turtles for over 23 years. Discover more about turtles by visiting the turtle pets page of her website. Get your free 10 part Pet Turtle Care mini-course, valued at $49, by visiting her PetTurtleCenter website and requesting it. Check out her eBook entitled “The Ultimate Guide to Pet Turtle Care.”