Turtle Pets 101 – A Guide For the Novice Owner

Turtle pets have special needs and specific demands that must be taken into consideration. You should not offer your turtles, which are reptiles, the same treatment you give to your pet dogs and cats. Fortunately, great professional advice is now readily available to the novice owner, gleaned from experienced veterinarians, scientists, and knowledgeable turtle keepers.

The first thing to consider in the basic care of your turtle pets is their housing requirements. Your turtles’ dwelling must be designed to replicate their natural habitat as much as possible. You can house your turtle pets in a plastic or glass tank or aquarium, or in outdoor pens. Just be sure that the area is a large enough space in which the turtles can live comfortably, allotting no less than thirty gallons per turtle.

Divide the tank or area into two parts: one for land and the other for water. Turtles are solitary animals and like to spend time hiding, so be sure to allot an area in which they can be alone. Try to use large rocks instead of small, colorful pebbles from the pet store, since the rocks are more practical. The small pebbles, although aesthetically pleasing, only make cleaning the turtle’s home difficult and time consuming! Remember, you should be cleaning the turtle’s housing at least once a week.

If you have acquired your turtle from a pet store, it would be wise to talk to the shop associate who has knowledge about the turtle’s history, and who can give you useful advice. Inquire about the right kind of water for your pet, since utilizing tap water risks upsetting your turtle’s pH balance.

Install a heater in the housing to maintain a temperature ranging from 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. You may also position the housing of your turtle pet in an area where it can receive abundant natural lighting.

Turtles kept outdoors are more likely to hibernate than those which are kept indoors. Hibernation plays a key role in keeping turtles healthy. It has been discovered that non-hibernating turtles have higher risks of developing liver diseases.

Turtles are mainly omnivorous, although in their early years they will most often favor eating small animals. As they mature, their food preferences also broaden. They must be fed substantial amounts of protein, calcium, and Vitamin D to keep their shells sturdy. They also enjoy a diet of snails, live crickets, vegetation, and small fish. Moderation must be observed in feeding your pets, because obesity is common among turtles.

Turtles dislike being handled or passed around. Do not take your turtle pets from their shelters just to cuddle or carry them around, as this may stress them out. Some turtles may even feel so threatened that they will snap or bite when they are handled or disturbed.

Turtle care also requires excellent sanitation on your part. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your turtle pets.

Responsible turtle care is fairly easy if you are prepared to devote sufficient time to look after your pet. Remember, your turtle is a living being. It deserves the best home, food, and protection you can provide, to ensure that it lives a happy and healthy life, maximizing its lifespan.

Source by Karma Williams

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