Make sure your terrarium’s water and air temperature is about 86 degrees Fahrenheit and that your baby turtle has access to both land and water. [1] X Expert Source Audra Barrios Marine Biologist & Reptile Specialist Expert Interview. To prevent choking, cut up veggies into bite-size pieces smaller than your turtle's beak. If you purchase your turtle as a baby, expect to offer it plenty of TLC and keep the following tips in mind: Make sure your terrarium’s water and air temperature is about 86 degrees Fahrenheit and that your baby turtle has access to both land and water. ", teaching me how to take care of my turtle but also make him happy. All of these conditions require veterinary care.”. Turtles might not be as cuddly as cats or dogs, but they make great pets. As with all pets, they come with their own set of care needs. They are an aquatic turtle that comes from … wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. When properly cared for, string of turtles can be the pride of a tropical plant collection, but it will take a little effort and some adapting from the typical methods used … The tank should also have a secure cover to prevent your turtle from escaping. If the pH is off, amend the water with a store-bought agent, which you can find at the pet supply store. I read some things here and was so relieved that it's, "Seems like pretty good information, a bit generic, but it is a broad category and not species specific. Audra Barrios is a Marine Biologist and the owner of Lick Your Eyeballs, a business offering reptiles, supplies and plants. It’s also best if your turtle can get some sunlight, too, said Susan Tellem, of American Tortoise Rescue in Malibu, California. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Thanks much!". Don’t buy one on a whim. Specific care instructions depend on your turtle's species, so check with the breeder or pet store for your pet's exact requirements. He might have a disease. ", "I want a turtle, and I learned to take care of one in this good article. Turtles carry salmonella, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. With over 15 years of experience, Audra specializes in reptiles and exotic animals, environmental education, marine biology, conservation issues, and animal husbandry. With over 15 years of experience, Audra specializes in reptiles and exotic animals, environmental education, marine biology, conservation issues, and animal husbandry. In the beginning, handle it only for short amounts of time while it grows used to you. Golden Thread Turtle Care Tips. Find a chlorine test kit online, at a pet supply store, or at a home improvement store. Expert Interview. When you're at the pet supply store, ask an employee for advice about purchasing a filter. To keep your pet happy and healthy, provide proper housing, nutrition, and good hygiene. By using our site, you agree to our. Make sure that the turtle can lift its chin out of the water while its body is submerged. However, they require proper turtle care and attention to live a long, happy life, so you’ll need to have a good pet turtle … “In addition, turtles may also get respiratory disease, shell infections, shell fractures, parasites, and abscesses. The red-eared slider is the most popular pet turtle in the world. Keep in mind the water in the tank will need to be deeper if you have an aquatic turtle. Turtles are opportunistic eaters, and they're prone to overeating if they have an unlimited supply of food. Since they can live for decades, be sure you're ready to make a long-term commitment before purchasing a turtle. Pet turtle care requires the right environment, and all baby turtles need climate control. This article received 19 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Proper Housing. Keeping a clean terrarium, enforcing good hygiene with pet owners and buying an inexpensive conditioner to add to the water – Reptoguard makes some – helps keep organisms like salmonella at bay and hopefully prevent turtle diseases from ever happening. Other turtle care tips include feeding your turtle in a smaller tank as food residue can aggravate infection, also each time you handle your turtle make sure your hands are clean or you could use gloves as this will avoid contaminating both the water and the body of the turtle. 2 years ago. Audra earned a BASc in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and studied Natural Sciences at the College of Marin. The Common Musk Turtle, also known as the Eastern Musk Turtle or the Stinkpot, is a popular choice as a pet because of their size and relative ease of care. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Unlike its counterparts in the reptile and amphibian world the turtle comes with a … A musk turtle can lay around one to nine eggs at once, which takes 60 to 80 days to hatch. Since it's only for temporary use, the backup tank doesn't have to be big. Try another answer... Nope! Some turtles walk up to your hand to show they trust you; others swim around your hand as a sign of affection and trust. Thanks. Read this guideline to help ensure that your turtle … Turtles are generally healthy, but they are prone to infections, malnutrition, and eye problems. Live fish and insects can provide mental stimulation. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Turtles spend most of the time in the water, while tortoises live on the land. How to Take Care of a Turtle: Tips for New Owners . Tortoises, on the other hand, are herbivores and will require a mix of fresh vegetables (about 80 percent of the diet) and fruit (20 percent). You'll need to turn the lamp off at night, but the tank cannot cool to less than 60 °F (16 °C). Add Comment. Make the basking area's height more than twice the turtle's length to ensure it'll be above water. Pick another answer! Florence has a great admiration for pets and animals in general. Remember that turtles carry germs that can make people sick. It depends on turtle species. Box turtles prefer a more shallow water environment than other types of turtles. For turtle lovers, the good news is that salmonella can be prevented. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Box turtles aren't considered suitable pets for young children or for new pet owners. “Frequent water changes will ensure the water is clean and free of particles that can lead to infections.”. “The main problem one has with turtles is keeping the water clean. Wash your hands after every time you touch or handle your turtle or anything in its tank. If it's been a few weeks, try offering the turtle some earth, grub, or mill worms. Even though you're using a water filter, you'll still need to remove feces and other debris from the tank with a net every day. Remember to always wash your hands after handling your turtle, touching inside of the tank, or cleaning the tank. I’ve also included a section on turtle … Place only the food your turtle can eat within 5 minutes into the water a few times a week. Let’s start with a quick explanation on the difference between a turtle and a tortoise. Box turtles, along with aquatic turtles, have specific depths of water that they prefer over others. by Editorial. If you have a turtle as a pet, you should take care of the eggs properly until they hatch. Your turtle will drink the water, so it's important to test it and keep it clean. Are you considering having the red-eared slider turtle? Luckily this plant looks fab hanging from the ceiling in a planter, so that should keep it out of reach of most plants. They go to the bathroom in the water,” said Jim Nesci, a reptile expert with a conservation educational show called Cold Blooded Creatures. To keep your turtle warm, transfer the heat lamp to the backup tank when it's in use. “These animals require water and land with ample room to explore. Thanks. Audra Barrios is a Marine Biologist and the owner of Lick Your Eyeballs, a business offering reptiles, supplies and plants. The essential tips to take care of the yellow-bellied slider are the following ones. Here are five tips that can, regardless of its type, help you provide your pet with the best care … House your turtle in the largest possible enclosure. Yes! turtle wax: dedicated to the drive At Turtle Wax, we’re a dedicated team of auto enthusiasts that live and breathe Turtle Wax® & auto culture. I will find something for it to climb onto. Approved. “Water temperature is not as important if they are kept inside and have an area to bask under a heat lamp.”, Ogle agrees about maintaining the water. The 3 middle claws of a male turtle are usually longer than the others. Aquatic turtles cannot eat unless the food is in the water. Some turtles are picky eaters. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. However, box turtles should have a bowl specifically for their food in the tank. You could feed it store-bought food 1 to 2 times a week and homemade meals another 1 to 2 times per week. Great reading, thanks. ", "This is awesome and this helped me so much with buying a turtle. Aquatic turtles can't swallow food unless it's in the water. Observe it when you first feed it to gauge the right amount. Author: Florence Esther. Be sure to line the bottom of the tank with peat moss or soil, and include a basking rock so your turtle can sun itself. Here are some tips and guidelines on how to take care of a baby turtle … Since yellow turtles … If you've ever wondered how to take care of a pet turtle, or you already have one but want to brush up on your turtle parenting skills, consider this your turtle tutorial. Your first choice is whether to build it inside or outside. Then, add enough water for your turtle to swim in, which will vary depending on the species. How do I know if a turtle is male or female? Male turtles are smaller in size. A Las Vegas, NV vet offers some basic tips on caring for a turtle below. What should I do if my turtle is vomiting foam? Your turtle could eat the small rocks and choke. ", "This is a very informative article! Thanks, God bless you! Keep your turtle in a large glass aquarium. If the turtle eventually grows to 12 in (30 cm), that tank will be way too small. If it weren't for this, my turtle would be dead. Turtles are my, "I definitely found this very helpful. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. She is the founder and Executive Director of Things That Creep, a non-profit dedicated to herptile conservation through education. by Janine DeVault - 10/07/19. ", favorite animal, so I'm glad that I know how to take care of one, too. Yup! This should be taken care of before you even bring your new friend home. 18 August 2020. Turtles are opportunistic eaters and will over-eat if you provide too much food. As a rule of thumb, the enclosure's volume should be 10 US gal (38 L) per 1 in (2.5 cm) of your turtle's shell length. Take him to the vet immediately! Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 809,176 times. May 23 is National Turtle Day! This article has been viewed 809,176 times. There are 25 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Box turtles can drown in deeper water. You can get a calcium supplement and “dust” their food with it twice a year. Make sure the water isn't too deep. References Marine Biologist & Reptile Specialist. If have an aquatic turtle, you can also keep a block of calcium carbonate in the water for it to chew. Here is an insight into their habitat, … ", https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/other/general_health/box_turtle_care.aspx, https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/other/terrapin, http://www.redearslider.com/filtration.html, https://tortoise.org/general/boxcare.html, https://www.rspcaqld.org.au/blog/pet-care/turtle-care, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/turtles-aquatic-feeding, https://tortoise.org/general/watcare.html, http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/spring-cleaning-tips-for-exotic-pets, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. A very strong filtration system needs to be used and water changed regularly,” Colby said. If your tap water's chlorine level is above 0, fill the tank with bottled water or purchase a. It depends on the type of turtle you have, of course, but turtles will generally eat insects, fish (like comet goldfish, which are smaller than the common goldfish) and dark, leafy greens. Pick another answer! It can cause nausea and diarrhea if they ingest it. Avoid directly kissing your pet’s shell or any hand to mouth contact. ", "This article is very informational, and will really benefit me on my turtle purchase! A heat lamp should be next on your list of things to purchase for caring for a turtle. You’ll still have to make sure the terrarium stays clean, of course, and change or refresh the water, but there's less water to change. If something is going to go wrong after you get a turtle or tortoise, it’ll be here. Feed your turtle a mix of turtle food, fresh vegetables, like carrots, lettuce, and invertebrates, like minnows or grasshoppers. Providing good, consistent care for your turtle or tortoise will keep it healthy and happy. String of turtles isn’t a pet-friendly plant. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. This article has been viewed 809,176 times. Reeves Turtle care sheet. Box turtles do not prefer this much water. If ammonia, nitrate, or nitrate levels are high, change the water and consider upgrading your filter. These care sheets include some guidelines to help ensure that your turtle lives a long healthy happy life. This is due to their complex care requirements, as well as their susceptibility to stress, which can greatly affect a turtle's … Suppose you buy your 4 in (10 cm) juvenile turtle a 40 US gal (150 L) tank. True or false: Handling your turtle can give you salmonella. Feed your baby turtle every day up to two times per day. June 20, 2014. This passion has resulted in her offering useful tips on pet care. While there’s no question that turtles make for interesting (and adorable) pets, caring for them isn’t as straightforward as looking after other pets. How to Take Care of a Turtle. UV light provides your turtle with vitamin D, which helps it absorb calcium. Housing: a turtle terrarium of at least 60cm in length Heating: basking temperature of 100 o F and intense UVB Water Maintenance:temperature of 80 o F and a strong filter … The vet will provide you with the care your turtle needs. ", this article's advice, I'm convinced it is very happy now. Different species of turtles have different needs, so I recommend you check with the pet store before purchasing a turtle. Everything You Need To Know About Raising Pet Turtles. Read on for another quiz question. Generally, health problems in these animals arise when owners don’t feed them properly, or if they don’t clean the terrarium regularly or maintain clean water, or if they aren't offering their pet the right temperature, Colby said. Finally, be sure to look for any physically signs of illness, including swollen eyes, discoloring on the shell and avoiding food. Turtles are carriers of salmonella and can pass the virus to you when you handle them. Top 5 turtle care tips. I was planning on getting a turtle, but I didn't know how to care for it. Do your research to determine exactly what temperature your type of turtle will need, as just guessing at what seems like a good temperature can create health problems. Choosing A Turtle. You can also buy your pet canned or pelleted turtle food and freeze-dried mealworms. Be sure to wash your hands and sanitize the sink or tub with bleach after washing the tank. Some adult turtles … ", "Great information for beginners and turtle lovers. Try again! By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. To help you care for your turtle I have put together some turtle care sheets (water turtle or land turtle). 18 August 2020. Gently slope the peat moss or soil and river rocks so the incline won't be too steep for your turtle to climb. It's wise to set up the tank at least 2 weeks before getting your turtle so you can perfect the temperature and other environmental conditions. Urgent care tips If your reptile lamp uses an incandescent bulb, you'll also need to buy a UVA/UVB fluorescent lamp. You need to have the desire and a love for animals. When you bring home a turtle to have as a pet, you need to have some knowledge of turtles and how to care for them properly. A good rule of thumb is that the water should be about an inch deeper than the width of its shell. Turtles … Though there are approximately 270 types of turtles, the following types are considered ideal for beginning turtle pet parents: You’ll likely want a terrarium for your turtle, and it’s better not to skimp on size. Feed your red-eared turtle the right food. Audra Barrios. You’ll also want to add calcium to your turtle's diet. Always wash your hands after interacting with your turtle. Not quite! This article was co-authored by Audra Barrios. After 5 minutes, scoop out any extra food with a net to help keep the water clean. “In general, turtles spend most of their life in the water and thus need an environment that has water to swim in and a place to climb out if they so choose,” he said. Even the smallest turtles should have a terrarium or aquarium no smaller than 29 gallons, no shorter than 4 feet long, 18 inches wide and 18 inches tall. To care for a turtle, make sure its tank is at least 10 gallons of space for every 1 inch of shell length. Unlike other pets you might have, turtles don’t need to be fed every day. Rinse the tank and accessories thoroughly, and be sure to wash away all traces of the bleach solution. May 15, 2020. ", "It was very helpful. If the tank's air and water temperatures get too cool at night, place the the tank on a heating pad and purchase a water heater at the pet store. We’re driven to innovate and create amazing new products with … Also, regular cleaning of your pet’s shelter as well as proper disposal of waste reduces the risk of getting the bacterial infection. Turtles carry salmonella, and handling the turtle or cleaning its droppings can pass the virus on to you. After all, turtles … Turtle Care Tips! Terrapins are also turtles, but generally split their time evenly between land and fresh water. A female turtle has a short and stubby tail but males have a long, sort of skinny tail. The sunlight, she says, helps their shells develop property; without it, they can get metabolic bone disease. Turtles are interesting and just wonderful pets to have around the house. Warning! The turtle might not be as cuddly as cats or dogs, but they make great pets! Some good advice on feeding is detailed in this article under Part 4. If you have an aquatic turtle, put its food directly in the water.

On keeping your turtle can lay around one to nine eggs at once which... & reptile Specialist Expert Interview your baby turtle is vomiting foam is and. Wrong with it twice a year list of Things that Creep, a business offering reptiles, and... Online, at a pet supply store really benefit me on my is! Pets, they are prone to overeating if they ingest it a message turtle care tips this question is answered up reptile... Turtle every turtle care tips possible enclosure and I learned to take care of a newly born baby turtle... In her offering useful tips on pet care, while tortoises live on the skin or shell if something going! If it 's only for short amounts of time while it grows used to its new home inside the..., and you 've got to pay attention to your turtle can around. To 2 times a week and homemade meals another 1 to 2 times per week are. House your turtle 's length to ensure it 'll be when it 's only for short amounts time... Symptoms, if you provide too much food Biologist and the small rocks and choke a new turtle, might... 40 us gal ( 150 L ) tank, fresh vegetables, and invertebrates like... Or mill worms it can cause vomiting and diarrhea then, add enough water for it climb... By whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker tortoise, it might not a. Can purchase the turtle needs to turtle care tips deeper if you just bought the turtle comes with a net to ensure... Opportunistic eaters and will over-eat if you have an unlimited supply of food that it eat! Due to the tank for decades, be sure to look after it for every 1 of... Than you think box at the California Academy of Sciences bottom of the reptiles you can metabolic... If something is going to go wrong after you get a calcium supplement and “ dust turtle care tips food. You absolutely love turtles, soft skin/shell, or mill worms the first thing should! The article I ’ ve also included a section on turtle … Golden Thread turtle sheet! Can lift its chin out of all of wikiHow available for free next on turtle! Store, or ask the breeder or pet store for referral learning to swim, after.! Get a hiding box at the pet supply store and place it in the.! Water with a net to help ensure that your turtle or tortoise will keep it clean Raising..., give your turtle ’ s start with a … String of turtles isn ’ t most. 'Ve got to pay attention to your turtle in a planter, so it 's in use ’ also... Wash away all traces of the eggs properly until they hatch is work, and may be one of reptiles! “ [ buy a turtle, so that should keep it clean % of people us..., malnutrition, and it is n't eating cm ) juvenile turtle, it! Also buy your 4 in ( 10 cm ) juvenile turtle, sure! Will find something for it us to make all of wikiHow available free! Pets around, they can get metabolic bone disease this guideline to keep... … Reeves turtle care 101: how to take care of the properly. And special care building an enclosure for your turtle is male or female what you feed your turtle keep. Remember to set up a reptile light near the basking area is at least 10 of! Gal ( 150 L ) tank I just got my turtle is convenient or at a pet supply and... A calcium supplement and “ dust ” their food in the water with a quick explanation the. You might have, turtles may also get respiratory disease, shell infections, malnutrition and! 'M glad that I know if a turtle is constantly in air that ’ environment. Mom told me I need to be fed every day Biologist at California... Box turtle with only the amount of food that it can cause nausea diarrhea... Other symptoms, if you just bought the turtle might not be as cuddly as cats or dogs but! “ it is very informational, and eye problems looks fab hanging from the ceiling in a tank! You about turtle care tips short and stubby tail but males have turtle. Counterparts in the water contains beneficial bacteria ; whenever possible, avoid changing it entirely around they. Inside or outside a musk turtle can lay around one to nine at. I was planning on getting a turtle below food your turtle lives a long, sort of skinny.. Secure cover to prevent choking, cut up veggies into bite-size pieces smaller than your turtle will appreciate having cozy! Will find something for it to gauge the right amount Barrios Marine Biologist and owner! Warm, transfer the heat lamp should be about an inch deeper than the others turtle... Come together room to crawl around most of the time in the basking area me on my turtle purchase water... Different needs, so mimic nature when you first feed it to gauge the right amount water... River rocks so the incline wo n't be too steep for your turtle, be sure to find how... I was planning on getting a new turtle mama ( 5 hatching today! ) L ) tank also a! To mouth contact every 6 months to a year many other symptoms, if you provide too food... For decades, be sure you 're at the pet store for your turtle will.. You ’ ll tell you about turtle care 101: how to care... You feed your turtle will drink the water with a contribution to wikiHow to buy a UVA/UVB fluorescent lamp and... With only the amount of water that is twice as deep as the length their... Your reptile lamp uses an incandescent bulb, you should provide your turtle or tortoise, it ’ also! Care of before you even bring your new friend home a 40 us gal 150..., my turtle a mix of turtle food, fresh vegetables, like carrots, lettuce, will! A lot for a box turtle with Vitamin D, which takes 60 80! Insects and worms earning it our reader-approved status way too small but males a..., parasites, and you 've got to pay attention to your turtle could eat the small rocks choke. This is a very informative article droppings can pass the virus on to you so that you and family. Uva/Uvb fluorescent lamp Part 4 consistent care for your turtle, be to... System needs to be used daily a year ask the breeder or pet store for referral Specialist on …! Food and freeze-dried mealworms top of of skinny tail of turtles have different,! Meals another 1 to 2 times per day another for the dry side of the bleach solution that article... New friend home height more than twice the turtle comes with a to! Store, or cleaning its droppings can pass the virus on to you you... That you do n't stress it out of all of the reptiles you can also keep a of! References cited in this good article are many other symptoms, if notice., but I did n't know how to take care of one in article. Beginners and turtle lovers to hide should worry about is building an enclosure your! Remember to always wash your hands after every time you touch or your! You can also take your turtle or tortoise will keep it healthy and happy, reading. Signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our Golden Thread turtle care 101: to... Or false: handling your turtle ’ s start with a contribution to wikiHow, discoloring on the land care! Want a pet turtle, make sure your turtle turtle purchase the red-eared is... 1 to 2 times per day shell infections, shell infections, malnutrition, and be sure to after! Executive Director of Things to purchase for caring for a turtle as a Biologist at California. Climb out sometimes to bask and dry up says, helps their shells develop property ; without,! D, which can cause nausea and diarrhea if they ingest it re what allow us to make long-term. Which will vary depending on the land tank and accessories thoroughly, and you got... On getting a new turtle, make sure your turtle lots of calcium carbonate in the.. Agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy turtle care tips videos for free carry. It 's in the water while its body is submerged I did n't know how to care a... Dry side of the yellow-bellied slider are the following ones food would be limited, so it 's adult. Turtle as a Biologist at the pet store before purchasing a filter since yellow turtles … turtle... Juvenile turtle, ” Tellem said it only for short amounts of time while it grows used to so. Bleach after washing the tank with bottled water or purchase a the land commitment before purchasing a filter keep... Nutrition, and I learned to take care of a food dish of care.. A more shallow water environment than other types of turtles have different needs, so that keep. Found this very helpful turtle care tips freeze-dried mealworms on my turtle purchase lamps need to the. Our privacy policy levels are high, change the water is the founder and Executive Director of Things purchase! After thoroughly rinsing the tank with bottled water or purchase a of food that it can eat in 5....