Have you ever considered having a turtle as a pet? Well, most people will say that turtles are the best animals to have as pets considering that they require very little attention, little care and less work in general compared to other pets like dogs and cats. While this has some truth in it, it is not all true. Turtles are like other pets, and they need the attention you give to the other pets. That is what you sign up for when you get a pet. Turtles do require some work to keep them healthy and happy. In this article, I will be explaining some of the things you will need to figure out before you get a turtle. You will learn how to take care of a turtle, what to feed them, and how to keep them healthy. Stay tuned as I will also mention some of the best turtles to have as pets.
Is it wise to get a turtle as a pet? Pets are awesome creatures, but before getting a turtle for yourself, you should have made so many considerations. Although these small reptiles may seem harmless, they carry some bacteria that are harmful to human beings. You should also be dedicated to keeping the turtle healthy. The good part about getting a turtle is that they do not require much attention. It is up to you to decide what you want. Just be careful when getting the turtle.
Let us now find out whether a turtle is a right pet.
Turtle As A Pet: Is Turtle A Good Pet?
When you look at all, you get with the little effort. You may conclude that a turtle is a good pet. This is true as you only need to keep his environment clean, provide him food, and a basking area. This is unlike dogs where you have to exercise them each day and avoid leaving them for a long time alone or else; they will get anxiety. This makes turtles the best pets, especially for busy people. However, this is not always the case. Some turtles carry salmonella bacteria which is very harmful to human beings. The bacteria might leave lying in the hospitals. At times, you may find yourself with diarrhoea and fever. Before getting a turtle, ensure you get them from a local animal shelter or a rescue team. Avoid pet stores.
Another thing to take note of is that although turtles are said to require very little maintenance, this is not entirely true. Turtles need expert care to thrive. Stay tuned as I talk more on pet turtle care below. If you are ready to provide all the turtle requires, I would say that the turtle is the right pet for you.
Pet Turtle Care
Turtle care may be difficult at first before you get used to it, but after some time you become very well acquainted with what is expected of you. The first thing you should understand is that turtles need an aquarium that is big enough for them, heating and lighting, well though of diet, proper handling and healthy living in general. As for the tank, it should be big as turtles are great swimmers. The smallest tank should be at least 55 gallons. Here, you can put them together with other big fishes. Don’t put small fish or else they will be eaten. Heating and lighting are the next essential requirement of turtles.
To keep them comfortable, you will need to have a heat bulb on the dry side of the tank and another underwater heater to control the temperature inside the water. The temperatures should always be around 22 to 28 degrees Celsius and on the basking area around 29 to 32 degrees Celsius. As for the lighting, you will need light bulbs that can provide the turtle with UVA and UVB rays. This is their top priority, so don’t deprive them of having it. The lights should stay on for about 12 hours every day to replicate the natural environment.
How To Take Care Of A Land Turtle
With land turtles, what you should always keep in mind is that you should not always keep them inside their tank. They need to experience both indoor and outdoor habitats. This gives them healthy lives, and they can live for over 50 years and some for much longer when taken well care of. Once you get a land turtle, the first thing to do is get a big tank for it and fill it with all the necessities such as a heater, lightings, substrates and decors and not forgetting the basking area. Control the temperatures and humidity levels depending on the turtle you have. One other important thing is to create a hiding spot for your land turtle. Now that you are done with the indoor environment, you need an outdoor enclosure as well. Remember to keep the enclosure safe to prevent them from escaping and keep them safe from predators. The environment should be large and filled with substrates. Remember to include the plant that the turtle loves. The environment should replicate the natural habitat. To care for the turtle, you will need to feed him the proper diet, ensure that you visit a vet regularly and keep his environment clean and don’t change it as he grows. Let us now look at a pet turtle’s diet.
What Do Pet Turtles Eat?
One of the requirements of a turtle is to have a proper diet for healthy living. Diet is a vast topic, and I will try to make small. Land turtles like the box turtles are omnivores. They will need to feed on meat, fruits, and vegetables. Be careful as feeding him too many proteins and calcium may be harmful to his health. It is wise to feed him proteins like crickets, slugs, snails, fish, and other animals just two times in a week. The remaining days, try fruits and vegetables. You can give him fruits like apples, grapes, banana, tomato, strawberries, carrots, etc. Turtles are mostly attracted to brightly colored fruits. As for the vegetables, you can try corn, beets, squash, peas, yams, and carrots. Greens such as lettuce, kales, spinach, and collard greens are also good.
To find out more information read our post What To Feed a Turtle? 6 Easy Steps [with Pictures]
Pet Turtle Facts
Here are some interesting facts about turtles you may want to keep in mind. The first thing to note is that turtles are swimmers, but not all turtles can swim.
The female turtles do not require the help of male turtles to lay eggs.
Even aquatic turtles do not spend their lifetime in water; they need dry land.
Turtles can outlive you when you take good care of them.
Turtles do recognize their owners.
What Is The Best Turtle To Have As A Pet?
Different turtles make nice pets. These turtles include the pond sliders, the eastern box turtle, the painted turtles, false map turtles, African aquatic side neck and the razor-backed musk turtle. The are other good turtles, but these are the ones I narrow down to.
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Turle As A Pet?
Having a pet as a turtle is very cheap. Little aquatic turtles can go for as low as $20 and $30 to $100 for the different species of land turtles. What is expensive is setting up the turtle environment. After the setup, you will be good to go.
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