Friday, May 28, 2010

Pet Turtle Care: Quick Guide For the Red Eared Slider Turtle

Care of turtle pet

The red eared slider turtle, commonly known as red "eared" slider, is easily identified by red markings on the side of their face. Red eared slider turtles are the most popular breed of Turtle people own as pets. This is mostly due to their friendly temperament and often playful demeanor red sliders can make great pets, provided you know a little back ground information.

The red eared and all other breeds of turtle are usually viewed as an "easy" pet to own. Just put it in a bowl and feed it, right? The red eared slider turtle may not need to be walked like a dog or need flea treatments like a cat, but they do require a fair amount of education to be raised properly.

Be Ready for a Pet

Most new turtle owners mistake the low maintenance nature of owning a turtle for no maintenance. This can easily lead to illnesses or premature fatality. Turtles are a bit different from more popular indoor pets such as cats and dogs, but they do require attention to their environment, diet and health just the same.

If you get a red eared as a baby, do not be fooled by how small they are. They may look like a pebble in the hands of a child, but in just two years the average red eared slider turtle will grow to 12 inches. A ten gallon tank will not last the life of your turtle. Keep in mind that turtles grow to the size of their environment, so if you want a larger turtle, get a larger tank.


Feeding your red eared slider can become a simple routine, but you have to pay attention. A common mistake most first time turtle owners make is overfeeding their turtle. This is terribly unhealthy for your red eared slider.

If you have done this in the past, not to worry. It has happened to many because of the nature of the red slider. They tend to move around their tank very quickly splashing about in the water "begging" for food.

Anyone who has seen this act will tell you how cute of a little trick it is, but avoid temptation. A good rule of thumb is to feed your turtle a hunk of food the size of its head/neck or however much it can eat in 15 minutes.

As far as what to feed your turtle slider, turtle pellets are a good nutrient rich staple for your sliders diet, but try to incorporate a variety of leafy greens, vegetables and fruits as well. A well balanced diet is just as important for a turtle as a person or any other animal. For a welcome protein boost try bugs like mosquitoes, crickets and worms or feeder fish like minnows and guppies. A few examples of fruits and veggies for a sliders turtle would be sweet potato, squash, carrots, berries, bits of apple etc...

Final Tips
Remember to cook foods like carrots to make them chewable. Always feed your turtle in a separate little dish or tub with water in it. They mainly eat in water because they are unable to produce saliva. As an added bonus, Turtles have a habit of pooping while they eat. This way, you can easily clean up the mess and save your tank from having to filter it out.

The turtles red eared slider are a playful companion once they get to know you. I tried my best to cover the very basics. There is enough info on turtles to fill books, literally! With a little know how and willingness to learn anyone can own a happy, healthy red eared slider turtle. As a newbie try to concentrate on the turtles diet the most. This and other health concerns are the most common reasons for premature death or illness.