Monday, May 3, 2010

Pet Turtle Care: 3 Things You Must Do When Setting Up a Pet Turtle's Home

If you plan to acquire a turtle as a pet you are sure to be pleased with this new addition to your household. Just remember turtles are the kind of pets you spend most of your time watching and not handling. These animals do need some special attention and you should learn the basics about pet turtle care before you bring one home. Here are 3 tips that will help you establish the perfect environment for a turtle.

1. Choose the Setting

You should make certain that you prepare the right type of home for your new turtle. This depends a lot on the species that you select as well as their size and their habits.

Turtles are fairly adaptable but they still are happiest in a setting that suits them. You can set up a glass terrarium by using any aquarium. Some turtle owners will even use a box or a goldfish bowl to house their new pet. One of the best homes for turtles is created outdoors with a wire pen.

If you choose an aquarium/terrarium for your turtle's new home it will give him room to move around and protect him from any predators. You can also watch your pet and observe his unique habits. This is a good home for all types of turtles.

A heavy box is an inexpensive choice and when the box becomes soiled you can always discard it and get a new one. However, it will not provide a great deal of protection if you have a dog or cat that wants to pay a call on the turtle. A goldfish bowl is also inexpensive, and easy to clean. However, a goldfish bowl is not a good choice for most turtles because there is not enough room for them to move around. Some people have even tried to put turtles in a fishbowl that is filled with water. Listen closely, turtles are not fish and they cannot swim 24 hours a day. You will drown your turtle if they do not have rocks or wood to climb on so they can come out of the water and rest.

An outdoor pen is an excellent home for turtles if you remember to follow a few simple rules. The pen must have wire in the bottom as well as along the sides so that the turtle can not burrow his way free and become exposed to predators and other dangers. You will have to clean this outdoor home on a regular basis to keep your turtle safe and healthy. The wire you use must be strong enough to provide protection for your turtle and the holes should be spaced closely together.

2. Basic Necessities

Turtles need fresh water daily. They should have water for both drinking and swimming. Flat bottomed containers that are weighted are good to use for a turtle. This will help prevent any accidental spills as the turtle climbs and crawls about in his home. Water should be changed every day and any container that you are using needs to be thoroughly cleaned. For proper pet turtle care you must have separate feeding and watering containers. Turtles can be given earthworms, lettuce, chopped carrots and commercial food preparations, but you need to make sure that they get enough calcium in their diet.

3. Extras

Turtles like to hide and a piece of hollow wood that they can climb into gives them a nice, private cave that they can call home. These hollow logs can be purchased at most pet stores. Clean straw is another nice touch that makes the turtle's environment more welcoming. Check at the pet store and see what they have in stock. If you want to make sure that you are giving your turtle good care you should also include proper lighting and temperature. These cold blooded animals will benefit from having consistency in their environment.