If your kid has been yearning for a pet, a turtle may seem like an obvious choice. It may appear to be more exotic compared to a goldfish and require less maintenance than a dog or cat. In actuality, pet turtles take a lot of responsibility and upkeep, and their long life makes them more like a big investment than a pet. So, before you go out and get one, make sure you know everything there is to know about keeping a turtle as a pet safe and active.
Selecting the species of your pet turtle
There are several distinct species of turtles; however, box turtles and red-eared slider turtles are among the most typically picked up as pets. Dark skin featuring yellowish patterns and towering, dome-shaped shells give box turtles their name. Adults normally reach a length of around 6 inches. The most popular pet turtle is the red-eared slider turtle. These are the ones you’ll see swimming about in aquariums at the local pet shop. While newborn turtles are typically 4 inches or less, adults may develop to be 11 inches long, which implies you may need to expand your tank in the coming years.
Making a Home for Your Turtle
Turtles are classified into two groups depending on their habitat: terrestrial and aquatic. Box turtles represent terrestrial turtles that live on land. They can be seen in humid regions around the world, like the mossy portions of woodlands. If you reside in a temperate climate, an outdoor cage featuring tall walls as well as a top to keep predators out is great for a box turtle. Arrange an indoor environment for your box turtle if you reside in a cooler or hotter region.
Aquatic turtles, like the red-eared slider, prefer muddy, swampy places with dense vegetation, including ponds and lakes, as their native environment. They need a habitat that includes both freshwater where they can swim and dry terrain for resting, hiding, and sunbathing. A tank with a capacity of at least 40 gallons must provide enough space for your pet turtle to walk around in.
What to feed your pet turtle?
The majority of turtles seem to be omnivores, meaning they consume both meat and vegetation. Box turtles consume worms, snails, apples, bugs, cantaloupe tomatoes, and lush green vegetables, among other things. Dandelion leaves too are abundant in vitamin A and calcium, making them a wonderful pick for a pet turtle’s diet. Snails, on the other hand, are a box turtle’s ultimate favorite diet – as long as they are pesticide-free. While box turtles are immature, they consume meat, but as they get mature, they switch to a more vegetarian diet.
For aquatic turtles to consume their food, they should be served in the water. Snails, crayfish, and salamanders are examples of sliders. Together with their usual diet, they may eat morsels of meat, fruits, or vegetables. Mature sliders, with exception of box turtles, keep consuming meat. Live goldfish should be fed to the aquatic turtle minimum of once every week, according to turtle specialists. Turtles enjoy chasing their prey, so catching their food will provide them with both entertainment and exercise!
Several pet stores sell food sticks, which are uniquely formulated sticks, which include all of the minerals, vitamins, and protein that the pet turtle requires for a balanced diet. Both land-based and water-based turtles can benefit from the addition of food sticks to their diet.
Should you feed your turtle pizza?
Real turtles can’t eat pizza since they are not capable of digesting dairy; therefore, a cheese-covered snack is out. If you want to feed your pet turtle your favorite pizza, see a physician first because meals designed for humans might be toxic to reptiles like turtles.
How frequently you should feed your pet turtle?
Younger turtles must be served twice per day, in addition to occasional nibbles. Mature turtles could be fed once every other day, but they like to eat in the morning. Please remember that begging for meals is among a turtle’s most endearing traits! It will swim up against the glass at the edge of the water and open and close its jaws in a chewing action if it notices you approaching.