Many of us have been considering getting turtles as pets. However, we should learn about proper turtle care before proceeding. This allows us to go through all the various responsibilities and considerations. With some knowledge, we could improve our chances drastically to keep our pets healthy and happy for many years to come. In general, we should be able drastically improve the life quality of our pet turtles by offering suitable location to live. However, this could also depend on the type of turtle we want.
There are about two hundreds turtle species suitable for pets. There are four groups of them, aquatic, box, tropical and desert. Obviously, we need to set up an aquarium or at least a tank with pond for aquatic turtles. Tropical and box turtles require humid and war requirements. Desert turtles are hardier and they can survive in hot and dry environment. It should be noted that some aquatic turtles could expand their size rather quickly.
We should consider where we should keep our turtles at home. Larger turtles can be kept at the backyard pen or in a garden pond outside our home. However, we should make sure that the outdoor condition is ideal for our turtles. It is a bad idea to let tropical turtles outside during winter. Also, we shouldn’t let desert turtles outside when it rains heavily almost each day. To simplify things we should choose species that match our own climate. In any case, even the best indoor habitat can’t rival the natural sunlight and fresh air.
In any case, we should avoid overcrowding the turtle pen, even if they are living in an open space; more turtle could mean more waste and this may result in poor hygiene. Fully-grown turtle could require reasonably large pen. If we decide to put our tropical and aquatic turtles in outdoor, garden pond, it is necessary to make sure that our pets can get enough sunlight. The pond shouldn’t be located near a tree, because it can get dirty easily with falling leaves and twigs. Decomposed leaves at the bottom of the pond will increase the level of nitrates, causing high ammonia levels and low pH. Also, the pond shouldn’t get excessive sunlight, because this could encourage the growth of algae.
If we decide to keep the turtle indoor, we should provide enough UVA and UVB lighting to keep them healthy. These special lamps are available in pet stores and depending on the species, we need to determine the ideal temperature range. Heaters, chillers and dehumidifier could be needed to achieve proper environment.
It is important to keep the diet of our turtles well balanced and this is an important part to keep our pets healthy. Each turtle species has different eating habits, so we should know what they typically consume in the wild. Some turtles are carnivores, while others are herbivores. Herbivores shouldn’t eat meat, because this could cause severe digestion and nutritional problems. Also, carnivore turtles will starve if we feed them with green vegetables.