Proper Turtle Care for Responsible Pet Owners

We all need love in our lives, and that can come in many forms. From your spouse and children to parents and more, these are the people in our lives that put a smile on our face and keep us company. However, companionship doesn’t have to come in a human form. Pets can capture our hearts, and there are even health benefits involved when you decide to take a critter into your home and make it a member of your family. Just some of the benefits you can take advantage of include:

  • Development of stronger immune systems in children to help fight allergies
  • Decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Improved mood

While we typically think of cats and dogs when we consider pets, there are other options available that can offer you not only companionship but also a unique look inside of a lesser-known species. Turtles, when properly cared for, can make great pets, and there are some tips to follow if you decide this is the right choice for you.

Turtles Need Their Space

Let’s face it. We all need our own personal space to make our own, and your pet turtle is no different. It’s important that you’re able to closely imitate their natural environment in order for them to thrive. Bigger is better when it comes to the development of housing for you pet. An efficient guideline to follow is:

  • Four to six inches- no less than a 30 gallon tank
  • Six to eight inches- 55 gallon tank
  • Over eight inches- 75 to 125 gallon tank

Keeping It Clean

Once you’ve selected the right tank for your new pet, you’ve only begun the process. In a natural setting, the elements of nature keep turtles in a clean environment. However, a tank can quickly become stagnant, and this poses a number of risks not only to your pet, but also to your entire family including:

  • Salmonellosis
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache

Most of us have busy schedules, and it can be easy to forget to clean out your turtle tank. However, you don’t have to worry about missed cleanings when you make the investment in the proper canister filter for your turtle. These devices can mark a number of things off your to-do list including:

  • Waste cleanup
  • Monitoring chemical levels
  • Ensuring proper water flow

Don’t Capture Turtles in the Wild

While it may be tempting to simply take your pick of the litter out in the wild, it’s important to understand that these animals are not accustomed to captivity. Instead, opt to pick out your turtle from a trusted pet store. When you select, be sure to ask the pet store consultant if the turtle is captive-bred. If so, this decreases the chances of disease and parasites being present, and they will already be accustomed to commercial turtle food.

An Educational Experience the Whole Family Can Enjoy

There’s a lot to be learned from animals. While we typically limit our observations to animals such as cats and dogs, you’d be surprised at some of the interesting things you can learn from having a pet turtle. Just a few things you probably didn’t know about turtles include:

  • They don’t have ears
  • Box turtles can live as long as a century
  • Around 60 bones fused together comprise its shell
  • The hissing sound they sometimes make while in it’s shell is actually the sound of its exhale

There is a lot to be learned by deciding to take a pet turtle under your wing, and the whole family can take advantage of the many opportunities to better understand this fascinating creature. However, it’s important to understand that they require certain conditions in order to thrive. By following these care tips, you can be on your way to responsible turtle ownership that will bring joy for many years to come.