There’s something special about turtles. Maybe it’s their cute little faces or the way they can soak up the sun on a warm day. Regardless of what it is, turtles make great pets for people of all ages! If you’re considering adding a turtle to your family, read on for some important pet facts.
What types of turtles make good pets and why.
Turtles are unique pets because they can live in both freshwater and saltwater. Many turtles can be kept in a spacious aquarium or outdoor pond, but some species require more specific habitats to stay healthy.
Turtles are also susceptible to heat, sunlight, and humidity levels. They should always have access to shade and fresh water for drinking.
Types of freshwater turtles that can make great pets.
There are many types of freshwater turtles that would make good pets, depending on your household and lifestyle.
Some popular choices include:
• Map turtles– These turtles have a domed shell, webbed feet, and long tails used as rudders for swimming.
• Painted turtles– Painted turtles are very common, with bright yellow or orange markings on their shell. They are also the only North American turtles that hibernate in the winter!
• Musk turtles– Musk turtles have musky scent glands located behind each eye.
Types of saltwater turtles that can make great pets.
There are fewer types of saltwater turtles to choose from, but they are still popular pets. Some species to consider include:
• Green sea turtles– These turtles are named for their greenish shell color and have a long lifespan of up to 50 years. They also have a very gentle temperament so that humans can handle them.
• Hawksbill turtles– The hawksbill turtle gets its name from the shape of its head, which looks can live in both freshwater and saltwater like the red-eared slider (see below). Other types must be kept in an aquarium because they cannot survive in a pond or have limited water access.
• Red-eared turtles– Red-eared sliders make great pets because they can live in both freshwater and saltwater! They can even be domesticated and will happily eat food from your hand.
What do turtles eat, and how do you ensure they get the food they need?
Saltwater and Freshwater turtles eat a variety of different foods. Green sea turtles and red-eared sliders, for example, can be fed commercial turtle pellets, frozen fish (like goldfish), shrimp, krill, earthworms, and crickets. You should experiment to find out what your turtle will eat. The pet store where you bought your turtle can recommend a good diet for your new pet.
Musk turtles, map turtles, and painted turtles eat live foods like crickets, worms, minnows (feeder fish), insects, and earthworms. You can also feed your turtle raw or cooked chicken meat with bones. Turtles will chew their food with their strong jaw muscles located in their necks.
What kind of habitat do I need for my turtle?
You will need at least a 50-gallon aquarium or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid as the habitat for your turtle. The aquarium should be filled with two to three inches of water.
The water must be kept clean and changed daily. If you use tap water, let the chlorine dissipate before adding it to your tank. A water conditioner is needed if you use chlorinated tap water, and it can be purchased at pet lid. You can build your own enclosure out of wood, plexiglass, or any large container that will allow the turtles to get in and out easily. You should use sand as a substrate because it is easy to clean. Gravel can be ingested during feeding and lodged in the turtle’s intestinal tract.
You will also need to provide rocks for your turtle to climb on, a place to hide, artificial plants for decoration, and some heating device if needed (depending upon your turtle’s needs). There are many types of aquarium heaters available that you can use for turtles.
Male turtles should only be housed with other males, as they will fight to the death if kept together. Females can usually live together without problems. However, if you have any tank mates, keep an eye on the turtles to make sure that they aren’t being picked on or harassed by another turtle.
What is a turtle’s life span?
A turtle’s life span depends on the type of turtle you have, its habitat, and how it is cared for. A pet Red-Eared slider, for example, can live up to 40 years if properly cared for. Some turtles have lived longer than 100 years in captivity!
What are common health problems in turtles?
Many things can cause health problems in turtles. If they are not given the right amount of food, water, or light; if they are not kept clean; or if they are not allowed to hibernate when necessary, then it is easy for them to become sick.
Turtles with respiratory infections may have bubbles coming from their noses, be it wheezing or gasping for air, breathing rapidly with the mouth open, or having crusty nostrils.
If turtles are kept in dirty habitats that are too cold, they may develop respiratory infections, so keeping their homes clean is essential. Turtles can also contract bacterial infections if they have injured themselves on rocks or other sharp objects in their tank. If you notice any cuts on your pet, immediately take it to the veterinarian.
Health problems in pet turtles also include hook and roundworms, internal parasites, mouth rot, shell rot, metabolic bone disease if not given a good diet with calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation. These diseases can usually be prevented with proper diet, environment, and a yearly vet checkup.
If you suspect that your turtle is sick, take them to a reptile vet for an examination and diagnosis. Many veterinarians treat turtles with respiratory infections by placing them in an oxygen tank and antibiotics.
How do I find a good veterinarian for my turtle?
It is not easy to find a veterinarian who treats turtles, but you can contact your local herpetologist society for information on where to locate one. If there is no herpetologist society in your area, check with the State University or a major zoo in your area to see if they have a reptile and amphibian department that has a veterinarian on staff.
Where do turtles come from?
Most turtles in pet stores are red-eared sliders bred in captivity in the US. However, some wild-caught turtles have been caught for sale illegally in the US and other countries. These turtles may carry salmonella bacteria, which can make you very ill. You should always wash your hands after holding turtles to avoid contracting this bacteria.
The habitats of different breeds of turtles vary depending on their native region. Some are adapted to the cold areas with aquatic features, some are land-based but have access to water, and some are aquatic and live in either freshwater or saltwater.
Turtles can also vary significantly in size and type depending upon their breed. Some breeds, such as the red-eared slider, are aquatic turtles that live near rivers and lakes, while others, such as the box turtle, are terrestrial (live on land). Terrestrial turtles like to burrow, while aquatic turtles like to swim. The map turtle is found in the Great Lakes region and prefers to live on land near water.
Provide your turtle with plenty of UVB light.
Most turtles also enjoy basking under a UVB light as well as a heat lamp. Make sure you have both a heat lamp and a UV light to provide your turtle with a healthy, room temperature environment with plenty of light to bask under.
This type of light mimics sunlight, essential for the turtle’s health. Turtles need to bask in the sun and regulate their body temperature.
You can purchase special lights for your turtle at pet stores or online that provide both UVA and UVB light. They should receive 12 hours of light a day with a timer.
General Facts About Turtles as Pets
You need to know some general facts about turtles before bringing one home. For example, most types of turtles can be very aggressive when they’re hungry! Make sure your turtle’s tank has a secure lid and resist the urge to feed it at night when it won’t be able to see you. You should also only feed your turtle in its tank, not while you’re holding it.
In addition, turtles require special care, and their housing is very important. Make sure there’s plenty of room in your turtle’s tank for swimming and that you keep the temperature between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also provide a good hiding spot for your turtle where it can feel secure while sleeping or during its molt.
When all of these things are considered, it’s easy to see why pet turtles make such great companions. They’re low-maintenance pets that can survive in many different types of habitats and get along well with humans if they’re handled correctly. If you follow the rules above, a turtle could make a great addition to your family!
Fun facts about turtles that you may not have known before!
- The oldest turtle fossil dates back to 230 million years ago, while the earliest known dinosaur fossil was dated about 243 million years ago.
- Although they may be slow, turtles are capable of short bursts of speed to escape predators or other dangers.
- The fastest turtle, the leatherback sea turtle, can reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour.
- Turtles are one of the few reptiles that have a beak for biting.
- The jaws of other reptiles are created from the bones of their mouth, but turtles have a jaw that’s made from a beak-like bone instead.
- Turtles can’t swim backward; they only go forward and downward.
- The only turtle that can swim backward is the mud or musk turtle; these turtles are only found in North America.
- Turtles had to go through a lot of evolution before they developed shells.
- Their ancestors were much weirder and didn’t have the hard shell many turtles do now.
Turtles are a fantastic pet for those looking to add some color and excitement to their life. They come in many different colors with unique personalities, so you will never get bored!
We hope you enjoyed learning about these fantastic animals. Have a happy day!
Matthew Mansour is a professional life coach, fitness trainer, health coach, a blogger with over 800 articles published to date. He enjoys reading and researching books that are reflective of the nature of who we are as humans, understanding the complexity of our minds, and using it as an advantage to propel us forward in life.
He is a self-help enthusiast and he is not ashamed about it! He’s always looking for his next fix of inspiration, motivation, insight, and wisdom from those who have been there before him!
He also does a lot of courses and research on the latest and greatest in the area of self-help, life coaching, and health.
He likes to share his discoveries with anyone who is interested in listening! His personal goal is to help people achieve great results in their lives, that is why he also has a blog about self-improvement.
He loves animals and he currently lives in New Jersey with his loving wife and his recently born child.