Caring for turtles: 3 rules for caring for pet turtles
At first glance, turtles appear to be the ideal pet. They mostly stay in a tank, they eat small pieces of food … what is it they don’t love? The problem is, turtle care is a bit more advanced than that. Turtles are unique animals that have their own quirks, and the more knowledgeable you are as an owner, the easier it will be to care for turtles as a pet.
1) Never overfeed your tortoise: Turtles are like dogs when it comes to food. If you give them too much food and leave them alone, they will eat themselves up to obesity. This is incredibly unhealthy and can lead to some serious illnesses that require a high cost of treatment by the vet.
Turtles don’t have access to an endless supply of food in the wild and if they did, they would eventually eat themselves up to obesity. A good rule of thumb is to feed your turtle a piece of food no larger than the head and neck, and then let him eat for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, remove the food and that’s your daily feed.
2) Always keep the environment clean: This is for your benefit and also for the turtle. Turtles are messy eaters and they don’t care in the least where they defecate. Food scraps and rotten feces in the swimming area create an unsanitary environment, not to mention a tank that will make your entire living room smell bad!
Make sure you get a powerful filter for your swimming area with a capacity of at least twice the capacity of the water, and scoop out large chunks daily to prevent the water from turning acidic. Establishing an area in the turtle tank or even an eating area outside the tank will reduce the amount of old food that is spread.
3) Turtles don’t like to be mistreated: This is particularly true for children who love nothing more than turning the turtle in all sorts of directions to explore the different sides of the shell. The problem is that turtles are easily stressed when handled.
When they are really small, it is actually illegal to sell turtles less than 4 inches long because the smaller the turtle, the more likely a child will put it in their mouth and get salmonella poisoning. All turtles of all sizes carry the salmonella gene, so whenever you need to handle the animal, be sure to wash your hands before and after.
Wash before touching the tortoise to avoid contaminating the tortoise and then wash afterwards to avoid contaminating yourself. It goes without saying that turtles are NOT good pets for children, an adult must constantly maintain the turtles environment.
Taking care of turtles is a lot like taking care of other pets if you think about it. Any pet requires that you provide them with a safe and hygienic environment to live. There should be nothing in that environment that allows the animal to potentially harm itself. Turtles are very similar in this regard. You should keep in mind that turtles do not necessarily know what is best for them and they do not care about being tidy. As long as you are informed, you will do a good job taking care of the turtles.