Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pet Turtle Care : The Shell Game

Pet Turtle Care

Turtles are old friends. Literally. Remarkable reptiles, they are capable of living for more than 100 years! But that’s not to say that they are impervious to disease and other health issues; they must be given as much care and attention as any other pet if you want your turtle to live to its fullest potential.

Glass Houses

One fallacy about aquatic turtles, such as the red-eared slider, is that they can be kept in simple plastic tanks with no added heat sources, special lighting or water filtration. Not true! They require the same habitat conditions as most other reptiles. That means that their swimming water must be very well filtered (usually with a submerged aquarium filter); the water should be changed frequently; a source of ground (belly heat) must be present, and ambient temperature within the turtle enclosure must be between 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too low, they will stop eating and will become susceptible to illness. If the temperature is too high, it will damage them.

Long Turtle, Long Life

Another common misconception is that salmonella, a serious bacterial infection that affects humans as well as animals, is exclusively a “turtle problem.” In fact, all reptiles can carry and transmit the salmonella bacteria, but turtles seem to be a far more prevalent source. It is because of the threat of salmonella transmission that it’s illegal to sell turtles with a body length of less than four inches; turtles larger than that size tend to harbor significantly less salmonella bacteria.

When humans contract salmonella, though, turtles are rarely to blame. Bad “people food” is more likely the culprit if salmonella creeps into a human’s system. The disease is especially dangerous for small children and adults with compromised immune systems.

Though rare, it is the possible that a person could get salmonella from turtle touching. Fortunately, that problem is easy to avoid. Do not allow small children (age five and under) to handle turtles at all; older children and adults must wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after coming into contact with a turtle. It’s that simple.

Tip Top Turtle

It’s simple to keep your turtle from becoming a shell of its former self if you follow some basic rules. Do not let them become chilled or overheated, and watch for mouth rot (common in turtles, usually indicative of unclean living conditions), appetite problems and especially shell abrasions. If deep enough to penetrate the outer shell they can lead to serious infections. Aquatic turtles should be in water as much as possible to prevent their shells from drying and cracking. Eating problems indicate either disease or inadequate belly heat within the enclosure. And like all reptiles, turtles require full-spectrum lighting in order to metabolize Vitamin D. Get the basics down, and you’ll be turtle-certified and ready to adopt in a flash.

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Pet Turtle Care : The Best Way To Take Care of Your Pet Turtle

Pet Turtle Care

Turtles are one of the most popular creatures in the pet store. Many people, at some point or another, can remember owning pet turtles or knowing someone who owned pet turtles. If you are thinking of getting a pet turtle, then here is some of what you need to know to make sure that your turtle gets the best pet turtle care.

Pet turtles do best when they are kept outside. These are animals that like to hibernate during the winter months, and if they are kept inside, they won't hibernate because they won't be able to tell what time of year it is. If they fail to hibernate, they might develop liver problems. Another reason to keep pet turtles outside is that doing so enables you to create an entirely natural environment for them to live in. The more natural the environment the better pet turtle care you are giving.

If you do decide to keep your pet turtles indoors, make sure they have at least a forty gallon tank in which to move around. This is because there needs to be room for a dry land area as well as a water only area and enough room between the two for the turtle to travel comfortably. At least one third of the tank needs to be devoted to land. Some of this dry land should have direct access to rays offered by a UV light. The best way to do this is to place large and flat rocks under the lamp, to give the turtles an area on which to sun themselves. The tank needs to be kept at about eighty degrees during the day and at about seventy degrees at night.

Unfortunately, turtles are not pets that were meant to be played with. Pet turtles are more like fish and best watched through the walls of the tank. Turtles are cold blooded pets and it takes them a long time to adjust to changes in the temperature. Taking the turtle out of its nice warm tank causes quite a shock to the turtle's system, and could cause damage to the pet turtle's immune system. Proper pet turtle care dictates that your turtle's environment be as unchanging (with the exception of getting slightly colder in the winter) as possible.

If you do handle your pet turtles, make sure that you wash your hands afterwards because some turtles are carriers of salmonella. You also need to make sure to keep the turtle's environment as clean as possible. The water needs to stay as fresh as possible and all waste must be removed immediately. You might even want to invest in a water filtration system to make sure the water in the tank stays clean.

In order to give your pet turtles proper pet turtle care, make sure the turtles get twelve hours of sunlight. Get a UV lamp for your turtle tank with a timer and keep the tank a room that doesn't experience much change in its light.

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Pet Turtle Care : How To Take Care Of A Turtle - Important Points

Pet Turtle Care

You might want to know how to take care of a turtle. After all, turtles are among the cutest, most adorable pets around. Make no mistake though. They may not seem as demanding as other common house pets but they do have crucial needs. Since turtles do not bark and jump around, you usually have to anticipate what your turtle needs. Here are a couple of important considerations when taking care of your turtle.

Consider Different Species

You should never forget that not all turtles are alike. There are different species and sub species. This means that each one could have different housing, feeding and water needs. There are differences in how to take care of a turtle even within similar species. Box turtles for example are divided into American and Asian turtles. Each group has different care requirements. Your first concern should therefore be to clearly identify what species your pet turtle belongs to. Only after you have identified your turtle can you recreate the perfect conditions for raising it.

Outdoor Habitat

Turtles do not normally live in solid indoor habitats. As much as possible, the home that you prepare for them should closely resemble their natural homes. That means they should ideally be kept outdoors. This is the main secret to how to take care of a turtle successfully.

Outdoors, they should have a wide enclosure that is at least 15 feet from side to side. An enclosure should have a water source in which they can use to dip in. They should also have a basking area as well as a shaded area.

Indoor Home

You may not be able to supply a fully protected outdoor enclosure. In this case, you do have to settle for an indoor turtle home. Take note that there are aquatic turtles that love to swim in deep water and there are also turtles that prefer shallower areas. You should find out what your turtle is so you can prepare the right indoor home.

Aquatic turtles should be kept in aquariums with deep water, a basking area, heat source and a light source. Those that are mainly terrestrial with some need for water should be kept out of aquariums. They would do better in wide wooden or plastic homes with the right substrate and a wading dish. The ideal substrate for a lot of turtles is potting soil. Wood shavings may result in some health problems. Pine is particularly poisonous. Your turtles wading and drinking water should not contain chlorine.


Turtles are generally omnivores. Turtle species however can be predominantly plant eaters or animal eaters. Again, you have to find out what your turtle is before you will know how to take care of it. In general, turtles benefit the most from a variety of mixed foods every meal time. You can mix worms with vegetables and fruits. Some turtles do not eat everyday while others may not eat at all for a string of days. You therefore do not need to panic right away. Just keep an eye on your turtle's physical activity. If it is active and moving about, then there might be no need to worry.

These are only basic tips on how to take care of a turtle. There may be other important points that you need to take note of. Just remember to find out first about your turtle species before doing anything else.

Visit http://www.TurtleTanks.Org to find out everything you need to know about Pet Turtle Care.

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Pet Turtle Care: Caring for a pet turtle

Pet Turtle Care

Keeping a turtle as a pet has come a long way from the plastic palm tree set-ups of old. From the common box turtle to the less-common Ornate Wood Turtle to the extremely rare albino soft shell, there's a turtle for every lifestyle, budget, and personality. Turtles make fascinating, peaceful pets, but their penchant for longevity means you must be prepared to devote as many as thirty or forty years of care and attention to your new reptilian friend. If you're ready to share your heart and home with one of nature's most ancient and mysterious creatures, then read on for some great pet turtle care advice.

The type of care your turtle will require depends, for the most part, on the type of turtle you plan on getting. While you will certainly want to learn as much as you can about the specific breed of turtle you select, there are some basic rules that apply to pet turtle care, and these rules are different for the two main categories of turtles-water turtles and land turtles. To ensure your turtle's long life and happiness, you should strive to give him a comfortable, home-like environment. For water turtles (such as sliders, coots, and map turtles) this means providing at least 20 gallons of tank space complete with a small "island" for basking, a heat lamp for simulating sunlight, and a UVB light to help the turtle absorb maximum nutrients from his food. Water turtles are graceful, speedy swimmers, so the more swimming room they have, the better! Land turtles (such as box turtles) require plenty of room to roam with hollowed logs or flowerpots to hide in, natural vegetation, a basking area with a heat lamp, and a shallow dish of water for soaking. Many people choose to keep their land turtles outside in specially designed pens. This enables the turtles to not only enjoy the great outdoors, but to hibernate in the winter just as they would in the wild.

While the housing needs of water and land turtles differ dramatically, their diets are actually quite similar. As you learn to take care of a pet turtle, you'll discover that turtles, like most people, are omnivores. This means you'll probably be adding some groceries to your list! There are several varieties of pre-made "turtle chow" available at pet stores, but it's best to use those products sparingly and offer your turtle a wide range of foods. Most land and water turtles alike will happily devour crickets, earthworms, and snails. Water turtles love chasing feeder fish such as minnows and goldfish around their tank and many will also eat cooked chicken, shrimp, and tuna Never feed your turtle hamburger meat, as it's far too high in fat for your turtle to digest properly. Turtles also enjoy a nice salad or fruit plate from time to time. They're particularly fond of Romaine lettuces (never feed iceberg or spinach), dandelion greens, carrots, cantaloupe, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, and apples. Who knows! Having a turtle might just help you on your way to healthier eating habits (though we probably can't say the same for exercise).

While you may not feel like a pet turtle care expert right now, you'll hopefully have many happy years to become one! Caring for a pet turtle can be an experience that is both unique and rewarding in a pet-keeping culture dominated by dog and cat owners. While a turtle may not greet you at the door or curl up purring on your feet, it provides a lower maintenance option for busy people who don't have time for a dog or cat. At the end of a long, hard day, a turtle's gentle, peaceful, low-stress personality will surely be a calming influence and inspiring refuge in a speed-driven society. Take some time to relax, munch on a piece of fruit, and enjoy time well spent in the company of your new turtle!

About The Author: Barry S. Mcgee is a pet enthusiast. His site at: provides advice and information on all aspects of pet care for all types of pets including dogs, cats, ferrets and others and makes it easier for pet owners to choose the best solution for their companion's care.

For answers to all your pet care questions, please visit:

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Pet Turtle Care : Your Turtle's Behavior

Pet Turtle Care

Turtles are fascinating pets to own, but many people get them not knowing how to care for them. They need to have the right amount of space, light, shade, and moisture to survive. You need to learn what turtles require before you get one.

The best place to keep a turtle is outside. Turtles hibernate in the winter and if they are kept inside they won't hibernate. This can cause them to develop liver diseases. A turtle's natural cycle should not be messed with. Also, if you keep a turtle pen outside you can create a completely natural turtle habitat.

Some people that keep turtles inside use refrigerators to make them hibernate. This is not recommended though because if the refrigerator suddenly rises in temperature or if the power goes off, the turtle's hibernation will be interrupted. This can be fatal for them. If you plan on keeping your pets inside, just don't let them hibernate.

Also, if you keep your turtle inside, you must have a tank that is at least forty gallons. There has got to be enough room to have a land area and a water area. Two-thirds of the aquarium should be water and one-third should be land. You also need a place where they can lay in the heat of a lamp. You should keep the tank around eighty degrees during the day and seventy degrees at night. Turtles are cold blooded animals so they take a long time to adjust to temperature changes. For this reason, you should not take the turtle out of the tank to play with it. This sudden change in temperature can harm their immune system.

Some turtles do carry salmonella so be sure to wash your hands after handling them. Your turtle's environment also needs to be kept clean. Keep the water fresh and keep any waste out. You might want to get a water filtration system to keep the water clean.

You should not use tap water for the tank, because tap water contains chlorine and fluoride. This can really mess up the ph balance. De-chlorinated water needs to be used for the swimming area and filtered water for them to drink. There are many commercial diets available for turtles. Dietary requirements differ depending on the species. You should feed your pet two to three times a week.

Do not put any wood chips or tree bark in your tank. If a turtle ingests this, it can cause problems. It will also get contaminated very quickly and cause molds or fungus to grow.

Turtles need twelve hours of sunlight. You should get a UV lamp for your tank to provide the vitamin D3 that sunlight gives off if you keep it inside. They need this to stay healthy. This is why you will often see turtles sitting out in the sun. Try to keep the tank in a room where the light doesn't change that much.

Turtles also need a shelter to go in. They are sold at pet stores, but you can also make one using wood or stones. If you decide to keep plants in with your turtle, just make sure they aren't poisonous to them.

Try to pay attention to your turtle's behavior and take care of it the best you can. Turtles are very interesting to watch and will provide lots of enjoyment for your whole family.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Pet Care