Friday, May 28, 2010

Pet Turtle Care: Turtle Care For a Red Eared Slider

Care of turtle pet

If you're thinking of getting a turtle, know that a red-eared slider makes a wonderful pet. It has green skin with bright yellow markings, and the namesake red mark behind its eye. Red-eared sliders are surprisingly complex, however, which is why it's recommended that an adult - not a child - be responsible for their care. Like all aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles, the main ingredients of their care are warmth, clean water and being fed the correct diet. This article will give you an introduction to the basics of turtle care for red eared slider.

First of all, it's good to be aware that although they are only one inch long when they hatch, they can grow up to 12 inches in length as adults-so you can't just place them in any small glass fish tank. They will grow. This takes time, of course, since they live 50-70 years, but they reach sexual maturity at 2-4 years and will already be quite large by then. An adult red-eared slider generally needs a 55-gallon aquarium.

The air temperature in the aquarium should be 75 degrees F, and the water temperature should be between 75-86 degrees F. You will probably need a reptile lamp to maintain the air temperature and a submersible heater to keep the water warm. If the water is too cold your turtle will develop digestive and other health problems. On the flip side, don't place the tank in a place where it receives direct, constant sunlight, or your turtle could overheat.

Young red-eared sliders are strictly carnivorous but become omnivores as they become older, and will require a balanced diet of meat and vegetables. Meat like lean, raw beef or cooked chicken is good and should supplement commercial turtle pellets and green, leafy vegetables. Turtles are messy eaters so it's best to move them to a separate container to eat. Please note: they must be in water to eat. Allow them to eat for 15 minutes before moving them back to their tank. Juveniles should be fed daily but older turtles can be fed every two days.

The aquarium water needs to be changed on a regular basis; otherwise the water will fill up with decomposing food scraps and turtle feces and urine. Not only will this present a health hazard to your pet, but will look unsightly and smell. If you feed your turtle in a separate container, you prevent them from fouling their habitat so quickly, and you will only need to clean the tank weekly. In this cleaning you should siphon off from 25-50% of the water and "vacuum" away debris then refill the tank with clean, warm water. The entire tank should be drained, thoroughly cleaned and refilled every 1-2 months.

If you wish to pick your pet turtle up and hold it, grip it firmly with both hands. Dropping your red-eared slider will seriously injure it or could even prove fatal. In addition, if it becomes frightened, it might scratch or bite. For these reasons, a child under 5 years of age should never handle the turtle. Also, carefully wash your hands with soap after holding your pet to prevent the possibility of contracting salmonella.

Turtles are not that expensive to buy, but their care involves an ongoing investment of time and money. It costs something to feed them properly and to take them to the vet when they're ill. It's important to monitor them for signs of illness but even more important is to be consistent and careful in their daily care so that you hopefully prevent them from becoming sick in the first place. The investment, if you're willing to make it, pays large dividends in that it allows you to watch the antics of a most interesting pet for many years.

Pet Turtle Care: Caring For Your Red Eared Slider Turtle

Top 3 Things Your Slider Needs to Be Healthy

Red eared sliders are a popular exotic pet. They may look small in the pet store, but they can grow up to 12 inches and live up to 30 years. These animals require a long-term care commitment, and there are three things that every slider needs to live a long life and to be healthy.

Enough Space - Sliders like lots of room to swim, and need more of it as they grow larger. Whether you home your turtle in a pond or an aquarium, a good, general rule is 6 gallons minimum per inch of turtle. Sliders also spend time on dry land, so an accessible, fairly large, flat area out of the water is needed - this place is called a "basking" area.

Proper Heat - Warmth helps stimulate a turtle's immune system, so a warm environment helps keep your slider healthy. Warm water around 75 - 85 F is good for your pet, while a warmer temperature in the basking area of around 90 - 95 F is required. Natural sunlight is also beneficial to your slider, so consider exposing your turtle to the sun a few hours daily if possible.

Clean Water - Red eared sliders spend most of their lives in water, so clean, warm water is a must. Regular water changes need to be done, because even though the water may look clear and clean, waste products such as ammonia and nitrite can build up to dangerous levels and need to be removed by taking out the old water and replacing it with new water. Additionally, although turtles may not be as sensitive as fish to chlorine, it's still a good idea to dechlorinate any new water you put in the tank. Any introduced chlorine may negatively affect the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium which then affects the breakdown of waste products, causing the water to "dirty" faster.

Caring for red eared sliders properly will help your turtle live a long and full life in your care. It will also give you the satisfaction that you're taking care of your pet the best way possible. Don't you owe it to your red eared slider to learn about caring for it in a way that meets all its needs?

Pet Turtle Care: Food to Give Red Eared Slider Turtles

Care of turtle pet

When it comes to feeding your red eared slider turtle you have to make sure that you are giving them the right amount of vegetation and animal protein. Make sure that you are feeding them a balance between the two so that they are getting the right amount of nutrients and vitamins.

As babies they need to eat large amount of animal protein because they have a very large carnivorous side to them. However, it is still a good thing to feed them a few vegetable materials.

Don't be surprised though if they don't eat much of the vegetation till they are older. When they become adults you can pull back on the animal materials and feed them mostly vegetation.

You can offer red eared slider pellet food. They have a bit a mixture of the right amount of vitamins and minerals. They are sometimes more convenient for pet owners. But this should not be the only thing that you feed them. It is great if you mix their food up a bit to keep them from getting bored and to make sure that they are getting all of the nutrients that they need to be healthy.

Food To Feed Red Eared Sliders

When it comes to feeding them you can give them earthworms, live feeder fish (this includes goldfish, guppies, minnows), waxworms, crickets, aquatic snails, daphnia, earthworms, silkworms, mealworms, and blood worms. These should only be given to small turtles. Adult red eared slider should eat larger animal items.

When feeding turtles vegetation stick with collard, kale, bok choy, mustard, dandelions greens, and dark green leaf lettuce. Never feed them iceberg lettuce because it does not have much nutrition.

If your turtle lives in a pond or aquarium you can always add aquatic plants to feed them. They love to snack on submerged plants like frog-bit, water hyacinth, water lettuce, azolla, anacharis, and duckweed.

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.

Pet Turtle Care: How to Tell the Gender of Red Eared Slider Turtles

Care of turtle pet

How to tell the gender of red eared slider turtles is important. Many pet-owners enjoy the antics of their Red-eared Slider for months or even years without concerning themselves as to whether their pet is a male or a female. Eventually, however, curiosity prevails and they want to know. Perhaps they're thinking of adding another turtle to the tank and think it would be best to have a male and a female.

In addition, many pet-owners daydream about their turtles mating, seeing their own pets lay eggs, and having the thrill of seeing those eggs hatch into baby turtles. If it happens naturally, that's one thing. But it's generally not recommended to try to match-make a male and female to produce young unless you're a professional turtle breeder.

But just the same, how do you tell the difference between genders?

As a general rule, female Red-eared Sliders are bigger than the males. A fully-grown female might have a shell measuring 11 inches in length, but a male will rarely ever grow more than 8 inches long. Adult females are also heavier, weighing more than 4 pounds.

But what if you don't have fully-mature pets? How do you tell? The fact is, until they are at least 4 inches long it's sometimes difficult to know. Well, one way to tell is by the length of the front claws: a male Red-eared Slider usually has longer front claws than the female-relative to his size, of course. However, if your turtle is too young or is late in going through a growth spurt, then this won't necessarily be a sure way to tell, at least not by itself.

Here's another thing to look for: male Red-eared Sliders also have longer, thinner tails than females, with a small vent (cloaca or hole) near the middle of the tail, halfway between the shell and the tip of the tail. Females have short tails and their vent is nearer the base of their shell, almost under the overlap of the shell.

One obvious way to tell is if your pet turtle lays eggs-and yes, female turtles will sometimes lay eggs without a male turtle being present.

Males also have in-curved bellies while females have out-curved or flat bellies. Don't turn your turtle upside-down to get a look, however, as this is detrimental to its health. Instead, lift it just high enough to peer at its underside.

Some of the above methods of determining the sex of your turtle are less definitive than others; however, if most or all of the signs point one direction, then it's pretty certain that you have correctly determined your turtle's gender. If you're still in doubt, however, and really want to know, ask your vet the next time you take your pet turtle in.

A reminder: wash your hands with water and soap after every time you handle your turtle. Turtles are often contaminated with Salmonella, and the bacteria that cause this disease can transmit a disease called Salmonellosis to their owners. Every year, in the United States alone, turtles (together with other reptiles) transmit 74,000 known cases of Salmonellosis to humans. So be careful!

Pet Turtle Care: The Red Eared Slider and Other Popular Varieties

Care of turtle pet

So you're thinking of becoming a turtle owner! You have read all the books you can read. You have asked veterinarians and turtle breeders for information on how to provide proper care. Your only concern now is this: Which type should you purchase?

As a prospective owner, it is not recommended that you start with types of turtles that are difficult to care for. This will not be good for either you or the pet. You may expose you and your family to illness, and unnecessarily harm or even kill the turtle. So to prevent problems, you must know which are the best types of turtles to select as common household pets. What are the most popular turtle pets?

Check this list...

1.Slider Turtles
Found in the southeastern United States, Red Eared Sliders are the most popular among turtle pets. They love to bask on logs and riverbanks and tend to slide into water whenever they sense danger (thus their name). Red Eared Sliders can be very tame-but they also bite. They grow as long as 12 inches, therefore they require very large tanks or an outdoor pond. Most of the Red Eared Sliders are carnivorous
when young; but become herbivorous as they grow.

2. Box Turtles
Growing to about six inches long, Box Turtles are found all over the world in damp areas, such as forests. They are one of the most favorite turtles to keep as pets. They cannot be placed in too much direct sunlight, so prepare a shaded area for them. Box Turtles also hibernate in winter, and require a separate area with sources of moisture, such as dirt and leaves. Box Turtles have high, dark, domed
shells that allow them to completely secure themselves from their predators.

3.Painted Turtles
Painted Turtles are generally small, growing only between four and seven inches long, and make great turtle pets. They are the most prevalent North American water turtle, found in the wild all across Canada, and south to Georgia and Louisiana in the United States. They have dark, fairly flat-topped shells, with red markings around the edges, yellow stripes on their heads, and red and yellow stripes on their necks, tails, and legs. Their plastron is completely yellow. Captive-bred Painted Turtles need a diet of about 25% meat, 20% or so turtle pellets, and the balance fresh greens and vegetables.

4. Mud Turtles
As their name suggests, Mud Turtles are frequently found in muddy areas; but, they also reside in other humid areas, as well as in sandy habitats. Reaching about five inches in length, they require sunlight and fresh water in their living areas. These turtles, which lie dormant during winter, dig deep holes in the mud for their hibernation period. After choosing from among this list, go to your nearest pet breeders, animal shelters, rescue centers, or pet shops to buy your pet turtle. If purchasing from pet shops, be careful, though. You have to know if the turtles are captive-bred or have lived in the wild. Captive-bred turtles are highly recommended for turtle pets. Those turtles that have come from the wild may not be healthy.

Pet Turtle Care: Tips on Care and Diet for Red Eared Slider Turtles

Care of turtle pet

Taking care of the Red Eared Turtle takes more than just a container decorated with colorful pebbles and filled with water. These animals have specific housing needs, and require special diets and close monitoring; all this in order to ensure their health and safety, and allow them to live out their maximum lifespans. The following tips about the Red Eared Turtle should help you come to a decision as to whether you are ready to become an owner, or, if you are already one, give you useful advice on how to take better care of your turtle pet.

If your are just in the planning stages of purchasing a red eared turtle, there are a few things you should look out for to make sure that your pet is in perfect condition and not ill before you bring it home. Healthy turtles of this species should be alert, responsive, and bright in appearance. You will know if the turtle is alert and responsive if it pulls its legs back into its shell when you pick it up. Otherwise, Red Eared Slider Turtles that seem to be passive when you do this are most likely to be stressed out or sluggish. They are in great shape and health if they have clear, open, and clean eyes. Their noses should be free from discharge or mucus, which are signs of respiratory sickness.

Red Eared Slider Turtles may appear delicate and cute when they are just hatchlings, and many novice owners may assume that small, plastic containers or tanks would make adequate housing for them. This theory is a mistake; as the turtles grow into their adult size, they will reach up to twelve inches in length.

You must, therefore, prepare a suitably sized dwelling place, ideally a large tank or pond. A red eared turtle that has received the right kind of care and monitoring can live for forty years.

One should always remember that it is never wise to try to return a turtle to the wild when it becomes an adult, because it will not be equipped with the skills necessary for self-preservation and survival, especially if it had been kept captive most of its life.

A red eared turtle can excrete a lot of waste material, and you must keep its housing clean, by placing a good filter into its tank, and by feeding it in a separate tank or container.

Red eared slider turtles are omnivorous, although as young turtles, they show a preference for small animals, such as earthworms, shrimp, mealworms, crickets, and krill. These may have to be cut into smaller portions when fed to the hatchlings. If your pet is already an adult, you may offer it larger prey, such as tadpoles. As the turtles mature, you should shift to vegetables for the majority of their diet; for example, collard, dandelion greens, and green beans.

You can determine the sex of your turtles only when they have become mature. You should allot a nesting area on which the females can lay their eggs. Be sure that this area, and the entire place in which the turtles dwell, are escape-proof and free from predators.

These facts about Red Eared Slider Turtles should serve as sound and helpful advice on how to take care of your turtle pets.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pet Turtle Care: Choosing the Right Turtle and Terrapin Food

You may think that all pet turtles and pet terrapins are the same and therefore have the same dietary requirements. Actually, depending on the kind and breed of turtle, they can have different dietary needs but they all require an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals that you can either supply to them through their food or through supplements.

There are varieties of vitamins and mineral supplements that you can feed your pet turtle or terrapin. These are able to provide a little bit of additional dietary support and nutrition that may be lacking from their regular diet.

Most kinds of vitamin and mineral supplements can be given to them once or twice a week as part of their regular feeding. In general, if you provide your pet turtles and pet terrapins with a healthy variety of fresh, leafy greens and other fresh vegetables they should get most of the nutrition that they need from those.

Certain breeds of turtles also enjoy worms and other fresh vegetables. Some turtle owners also provide their pets with a calcium block to snack on to help take care of calcium needs which can be a little bit more difficult to supplement through the normal dietary feedings.

You should also always make sure that you provide your pet turtles with a constant supply of fresh water that is always clean. Provide it to them in a shallow bowl so that it is easy for them to drink from.

Depending on the specific breed of your turtle, you may want to check with the local pet store, or ask an expert online about any additional guidelines and nutritious needs that your pet turtle may have. It is also a good idea to do your research entirely before you decide what kind of pet turtle or terrapin to get so you can be sure that you will easily be able to get the supplies and food that your pets need.

Whatever kind of pet turtle you get, you should remember that turtles and terrapins both have a long life expectancy. So when you decide to bring one home as your pet you need to be willing to commit to it for many years, maybe even your entire life!

Pet Turtle Care: Do You Know What Aquatic Turtle Food to Feed Your Pet?

Many people feed their turtles aquatic turtle food and vitamins and mineral supplements but I think providing your turtles with a natural food source is by far the best option and having such an all round balanced diet should mean that there is little need for supplements. I feel that supplements should only be given if the aquatic turtle food in their diet is lacking in a particular mineral.

I like to use as many natural turtle foods as I can to try and simulate the same type of foods that the turtle would naturally get in the wild.


Aquatic turtles eat all sorts of fish including Goldfish, Minnows, Trout and Guppies.

The fish can be fed whole or chopped, but a good tip is to freeze the fish for a couple of days prior to feeding to your turtle as this helps get rid of any parasites being transferred to your turtles environment. Fish should be given once or twice a week.

Greens and Vegetables

The turtle food you give to your turtle should also include a good variety of fresh leafy greens and vegetables including lettuce, cabbage, alfalfa, and clover.

Sometimes they will also eat berries, so you can try it and see.


Having said that about supplements, there is one that I do like to give my aquatic turtles. I give them a calcium block because this mineral is a bit more difficult to provide in their normal diet and by having this on their dry area allows them to snack on it in between meals.

Different breeds of aquatic turtles require different foods so before you get your turtle make sure that you ask at your pet store about any additional requirements and I would also recommend you research thoroughly before you decide which turtle to buy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pet Turtle Care: How to care mud turtle

Do You Know How to Care For These Cute Turtles?

Turtle ownership requires sufficient knowledge in proper turtle care. It is something that is not easy to do. It requires the owner's time and money. For this reason, if you are interested in owning a turtle, you must ensure first that you are ready to provide care and take responsibility.

First and foremost, you must determine which species is the easiest for you to care for. By doing so, you can assure yourself of happy turtle ownership, and, on the part of the pet, a happy life in captivity. If you are a novice, a mud turtle may be the best for you. They are cute, small, and generally docile. More importantly, mud turtles have the ability to adapt well to captivity; thus, they make good pets. Males have curved-in plastrons and long tails. The female mud turtles, on the other hand, have flat bottom shells and short tails.

The Mud Turtle is divided into 2 genera, the Kinosternon, found in North and South America, and the Pelusios, found in Africa. They are small, seldom growing longer than five inches, require little maintenance, and are commonly kept as pets. Due to their small size and minimal care requirements, they can easily be kept indoors or outdoors. If outside, make sure that they receive a lot of vitamin D3, which is important to the growth of the shell; if inside, provide them with a UVB bulb in order to receive the same amount of necessary vitamins. As their name suggests, this little turtle likes damp or muddy housing. If they are maintained outdoors, this is easily achieved. If not, make sure that they are kept in a large tank with clean water.

They require swimming and basking areas, which can be as simple as a pile of rocks placed near the water's edge to facilitate entry and exit. Make sure that these are smooth rocks to prevent injury. Put some water plants in its tank to make the mud turtle feel safe. The water should not be deeper than a few inches, thereby allowing them to breathe easily above the water and to swim properly. A filter system, heater, and regular water changes are musts in your mud turtle's housing. The water temperature should remain at

Originating in North and Central America, mud turtles can live for as long as 40 years with proper husbandry. They breed from March to May. Mud turtles, which have one to two hinges on their bottom shell, also hibernate during the winter.

Semi-terrestrial turtles, mud turtles are omnivores. They prefer to eat live tadpoles, snails, fish, insects, and carrion; but, they can also be provided with some plant matter, such as green, leafy vegetables. Young mud turtles require daily feeding. As they grow, feeding drops to two to three times a week. They also need calcium supplements for bone growth and for prevention of health complications. In addition, mud turtles, along with other turtles in the family of Kinosternidae, can release a stinking musk scent as a last defence against a dangerous predator.

Pet Turtle Care: Spoil Your Pet Turtle With 4 Treats Turtles Love

The most important part of owning a turtle is to make sure that you fully understand pet turtle care. When you know how to care for your turtle properly, you will be able to enjoy many long years with your little friend. You of course want to make sure that your turtle is a happy turtle, since it is bringing you so much joy into your life. To ensure that yours is as happy as a turtle can possibly be, make sure that you are providing him or her with little treats.

1. Outside Play Time
If your turtle is pinned up inside the house all day long, try making sure that he or she gets the opportunity to visit the outdoors once in a while. Take your turtle out into your yard, away from cats or dogs that may attack, and let him or her roam around the yard a little. The natural sunlight is a wonderful way to bring health and happiness to your turtle. You may also find that your turtle finds little pieces of grass or tiny bugs that he or she will enjoy munching on. These fresh snacks are very nutritious and are a nice treat that your turtle will love.

2. Yummy Snacks
If there is a favorite treat that you do not normally buy such as freeze dried shrimp, wax worms or an expensive fruit, depending on the type of turtle you have, you might want to add some into your turtle's food dish for a special treat. You want to make sure that you do not go overboard with the treats though because you have to be careful that the diet you give your turtle is a balanced one.

3. New Cage or Aquarium Furniture
Whether it is a floating ledge for a water aquarium or a nice little cave to hide in for a dry cage, there is something out there that your turtle would love to have added to his or her little enclosure. By adding a little something special to the enclosure of the turtle, you will allow him or her to have something new to explore and make use of.

4. A Play Mate
You can introduce a playmate, such as another turtle of the same breed, into the home of your turtle. It is wise to make sure that you are bringing in the other gender to make sure that there will not be any territory fighting. You also want to make sure that the turtle you bring in is about the same size as the one you already have in order to make sure they are good companions.

In the end, proper pet turtle care is all about doing what is best for your turtle. This includes diet, exercise and cage cleaning but also should include providing love, affection and treats every now and then. You will feel joyful knowing that you are providing everything you possibly can to make sure that your turtle leads a happy life.

Pet Turtle Care: Important 5 Tips For Caring Pet Turtle

Having a turtle as a pet means you may have more responsibility then you planned. They need more care then most people are aware. Female and male turtles need separate care. It's important to do your research and make sure you understand how to care for your turtle properly!

The first step in caring for your turtle should be to understand how to tell the difference between female and male turtles. They need different kinds of care so this is important!

Here are the 5 most important tips you should know and understand about caring for your turtle:

1. Environment - It is very important that you understand what type of environment conditions your turtle needs. Different types of turtles need separate kinds of environments. For example -- some may need wet, dry, or both types of habitats! It is critical that you now what is suitable for your turtle to make sure he stays happy and healthy!

2. Diet - Another very important thing to understand is what type of food and diet your turtle needs to stay healthy and happy. Your turtle's food and water should always be fresh. His water should be served in a shallow bowl for easy access. Do your research because different types of turtles need different diets. You should also make sure you don't feed any food that may make your turtle sick!

3. Living Conditions - Some turtles prefer to live alone, while others need company. Turtles with living conditions that aren't correct may become unhappy, unhealthy, lonely, and/or overcrowded. You should read up on your type of turtle to make sure you have this correct.

4. Daily Care - Your turtle needs daily care from you. Most people don't realize that turtles DO need a lot of care. It's important that you realize this and care for your turtle every day. Buying a pet turtle requires a lot of commitment and dedication. They also have a very long lifespan, so you should definitely read into these considerations before buying one.

5. Life Expectancy - You and your turtle may be together for around 30-50 years. If you are not fully committed that number may not be realistic for your situation. This is why it is so important that you completely understand your turtle's needs.

Turtles are really wonderful pets and I'm sure that you'll have a long, amazing life together!

Pet Turtle Care: Your Turtle Source

What Should You Ask Before Buying a Turtle?

Turtles can be bought in pet shops or from breeders. If someone wanted to purchase a turtle, he could go directly to a store, visit the breeders he knows, or even find online sources. But have you ever asked yourself where your pet turtles (and the rest of the turtles in pet shops) come from? Have you ever taken the initiative to find out? Sometimes it helps owners-whether prospective, beginning, or experienced-to know where the turtles come from, to be able to take extra precautions against disease or even illegal trading.

1. Turtles From Their Original Wild Habitats

Wild turtles are caught to be sold to the pet industry. This can be quite an unlucky fate for these turtles. From the very moment they are captured and taken from their natural habitats, stress and fear can cause them terrible consequences. It is not surprising then that some of them die or are injured en route to captivity. In their natural settings, turtles do not follow a fixed time and schedule for their feedings and water consumption. When captured, they may become lazy or listless. This process of capturing and taking turtles from their original environment also affects the population of the turtles in the wild, and may even present damage to their natural habitat. It has been reported that the search for gopher tortoises had unscrupulous turtle collectors wrecking the natural habitats, like rock crevices and bogs, of the animals. These actions can greatly damage the ecosystem as a whole.

2. Ranched Turtles

When wild-caught turtles are raised to a marketable size in captivity, or their eggs or hatchlings sold, we consider them to be "ranched." At least 10% of adult ranched turtles will die from overcrowded conditions, and ranchers will have to resort to making up the balance by taking even more turtles from the wild. Baby red-eared sliders are said to be the biggest number of ranched species raised for export on farms in Louisiana.

3. Captive-bred Turtles

Captive-bred turtles, raised by pet owners or small retailers, are animals caged for a long time, which are then mated with other captive turtles. The eggs they lay are then sold through on-line dealers or pet stores.

4. Turtle Farming

Turtle farming means that the turtles are born in captivity and have had 0% exposure to the natural environment. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service studies and reports, a very large percentage of the total turtle importation in the US is almost always of animals seized from their wild habitat.

If you know the source of your pet turtle, the novice owner should go to his veterinarian to have his turtle examined. This is especially true for turtles that initially originate in feral locales. These turtles may carry very serious diseases or illnesses that can be dangerous to you and your loved ones. Remember, turtle ownership should be an enjoyable endeavor for you and your family. It should never place you or your loved ones in danger of compromising your health. You cannot, simply by looking at a turtle, determine if it has an illness or is carrying a disease. Only your veterinarian can tell. This is why it is so important to purchase a turtle from a reputable breeder or store, and to have an independent examination by your veterinarian.

Pet Turtle Care: How to Buy a Turtle

Pet Tips You Need to Know

Turtles make delightful pets for children, teens and adults. Not only are they fascinating to observe, but they have the added benefit of living for fifty or more years-yes, even a Red-eared Slider four inches long will live half a century! It can be your family mascot for generations. But anyone wanting a turtle should be aware that, contrary to what you might think, turtles actually require a great deal of care. For this reason they might not make the best pet for a young child. But if your child is responsible and won't simply neglect his or her pet when the novelty wears off, and truly has her heart set on one, we will give you some tips on how to buy a turtle.

You can buy turtles all over the place-even in a flea market. Animal shelters sometimes have abandoned turtles as well, though they might be diseased and require the care of a vet. The most recommended places to buy a turtle are in a pet store or from a turtle breeder. These outlets are more likely to house and care for their turtles in a professional, sanitary environment. Just the same, check that their animals aren't being held in grimy tanks under overcrowded conditions.

Also, very importantly, the salespeople at a pet store or breeders will be knowledgeable about turtles and be able to answer the many questions that you should ask before purchasing a pet and bringing it home. For example, you should first ask about the different types of turtles-aquatic, semi-aquatic or land tortoises-and decide which kind is best for you. Once you've settled on the species you want, you'll need to ask what kind of food that particular turtle eats, what kind of living conditions it requires, how often its tank needs to be cleaned out, etc. Be sure to get the exact name of your breed so that you can look it up on the Internet later to find out more feeding and care tips.

Select a turtle with bright eyes that aren't milky looking. Clear eyes are a sign that it's healthy. Don't pick a turtle that has a soft or discoloured shell, or cracked and dry skin, as those are sure signs that the animal is ill. In addition, a healthy turtle should squirm and try to get away when you pick it up, wiggling its little legs and head. (Some turtles carry the disease salmonella, but you can't really tell if your choice is infected or not-so just make sure to always-always!-wash your hands with soap after handling them.) It's also best to buy a young turtle rather than an old one, as a young turtle will be more adaptable and be able to change to a new diet easily. Finally, if your choice appears to be quite little, have the vendor measure it, as it's illegal to sell a turtle less than three or four inches long.

Before actually buying your pet turtle and bringing it home, make sure that you have something to bring it home to. Turtles-especially aquatic breeds like Red-eared Sliders, etc., require a rather complex habitat, and you can't simply bring it home and keep it in a glass bowl for several days. You need to have your pet's happy home set up and waiting for it when it comes in the door. You will need to buy an ample-sized aquarium, some pebbles and plants for the bottom, flat rocks or brick to stack on top of each other (to create a dry area above the water), and turtle food. You will also need to buy a reptile lamp for your pet to bask under, as that's what keeps its shell healthy and firm.

Now you're ready to buy your pet turtle and bring it home!

Pet Turtle Care: Buy a Pet Turtle

What You Need to Consider Before

Turtles make great pets, which is why you will find lots of pet owners prefer to buy a pet turtle and raise it as their pet. They are fascinating creatures that can live for half of a century or so. We may think that turtles do not need utmost care but actually, they also require enough attention from their caretakers. Some of the species may not be appropriate for little kids who are not yet responsible.

Mostly, a turtle enthusiast may buy a pet turtle among reliable pet stores which are found in every location. Also, a highly recommended source of healthy pet turtles is a breeder of different turtle species. Essentially, breeders are recommended and most preferred because they have room for these animals and they have facilities to care for baby turtles in suitable and sanitary environments. But one thing that should be ensured is that the turtles should not be confined in overcrowded tanks and containers.

Those who buy a turtle from breeders or pet stores have to ensure that the store/breeder is a lot knowledgeable regarding turtles. For instance, you have to let them differentiate the characteristics of turtles and tortoise to avoid confusion. Once you are done choosing the species to bring home, inquire about the pet's diet in order to provide the appropriate nutrition.

Find out the breed or species whenever you buy a turtle for more reference should you have to look for additional feeding and care tips. When choosing a pet, pick one with bright and clear eyes being a sign a hale and hearty turtle. Never choose one with faded or soft shell as well as dry or cracked skin. These can indicate an ailing pet.

To efficiently buy a turtle, you have to consider some characteristics of turtles that will indicate that it is a healthy one. A vigorous turtle should wriggle and try to flee from grip and that it should wiggle its head and legs considerably. Beware of risky salmonella when handling turtles. After handling them, thoroughly wash both hands with soap and clean water.

Buy a pet turtle which is young. Prefer them over adult turtles since younger ones can easily adapt. Arrange an appropriate tank for your turtle. Plus, you can grant it with additional plants and stones inside the tank. And of course, do not fail to supply your pet turtle with sufficient amount of food and fresh water.