One of the most unique pets that you can get is a turtle. A turtle has its own ways of showing affection. It has a relatively small size that would not require it to have a large home. Some people think that it is simple to own a pet turtle. Whilst you won’t need to take them outside for a walk, train them or even keep them company…. That doesn’t mean they don’t come with some important care requirements.

Things To Consider When Raising a Pet Turtle

A turtle usually has a longer lifespan than most animals that are taken in as pets. Owning one is an investment since you need to ensure that it lives a comfortable and healthy life. It is crucial that you are aware of the things that you must do to ensure that you raise your pet turtle the proper way. You may refer below to some of these important things that you must consider:

You must know which category your pet turtle belongs to since this will determine how you build its home. Among the many species of turtles out there, there are some that can be brought home and raised as pets. Turtles can be characterized based on their habitat. For pet turtles to live comfortably, you must make sure that you are able to mimic their habitats when you build them their homes. Below are the categories based on a turtle’s habitat:

One of the categories is the terrestrial turtle. These turtles are land-dwelling turtles. They are comfortable living in damp areas and prefer to spend more time staying on land. They love to dig. You should make sure that you put dirt, soil or sand into your turtle’s home.  Even though they prefer to stay on land, they still require a good amount of water to live. You should make sure the soil or sand you put in its home is moist. Do not put your pet in a glass tank since the glass can heat up and may cook your pet turtle.

The other category is the aquatic turtle. Aquatic turtles need to have clean water for swimming. This is important when you build your turtle home. Also, there should be an area with dry land so that it can rest and enjoy itself digging around and sunbathing.

Turtles need to have their habitats cleaned regularly.

A turtle is known for making a mess in its habitat. It is a sloppy eater. You might wonder why the body of clean water you built for your turtle would have decomposing particles. These are usually from the food that it leaves under the rocks under the water. Also, a turtle will defecate anywhere. You need to make sure that your turtle avoids drinking water that has been contaminated by the waste it has made. You should always be aware of what your pet turtle is doing so that you can prevent it from hurting itself.

Feeding Your Pet Turtle

Aquatic turtles are omnivores. This means that there are fewer restrictions on the types of food that you can feed them. You can give it a mixed diet of commercial foods, meats, and vegetables. Some of the common foods that an aquatic turtle can eat include turtle pellets, mealworms, crickets, feeder fish, and green leafy vegetables. You must keep in mind that if your pet has not eaten the vegetables after hours, you should remove them from its habitat. 

Terrestrial turtles usually eat plant-based foods. These may include green vegetables, bell pepper, cauliflower, squash, sweet potato, melon, kiwi, and other fruits. You should be wary though since turtles can easily lose interest in the food that they are eating. If you feed them more than what is required, then the excess food will just make the water in their habitats dirty. You may start testing how much your pet turtle can eat by giving it a quarter cup of fresh food. If your pet turtle quickly finishes all of the food, you can add small portions to check if it is still hungry. When you notice that your pet turtle is eating the food at a relatively slower rate, then that would signify that it is near its limit. This will then tell you the right amount of food you should feed the turtle on a daily basis.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.