Although not a very common animal, tortoises are an excellent choice for those who want to have a pet that is not overly large or emotionally demanding, like a dog or cat, for example. However, one should be aware that turtles are animals that require special care.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Tortoise
Some turtles are endangered, some belong to protected species, and some are banned from trade. For example, a turtle encountered on a trip should not be taken out of its natural habitat. Not only is this inhumane, but it is a criminal offense in most countries and can lead to legal problems. Therefore, doing a little research before you get involved with the police is a good idea.
Also, always quarantine new turtles before bringing them into contact with other specimens, especially if their origin is unknown. Also, remember that these animals should not be handled too often because of the potential for infections and accidents.
Another thing to remember is that turtles (or any other small animal) should not be given to children. Accidents are the most common cause of death of house tortoises, and most of them are caused by children’s mishandling or possession. So if you want to teach children responsibility, give them specific jobs. Don’t let them take care of living creatures. Save both the animal and the child from suffering.
How Can I Take Care of a Turtle?
Caring for a tortoise depends mainly on the species to which it belongs. In general, there are two types.
A habitat with enough water and space for the turtle to swim safely is necessary. Usually, a large aquarium is used (so as not to impede growth), with fresh or salt water and space on land for resting and sunbathing.
Turtles like to swim, so the tank should be deep enough for them to dive. The aquarium should be placed where it is exposed to sunlight, which is good for their body temperature regulation and their shells and bones.
Second, keeping the water clean is very important to turtle’s health. This prevents the growth of potentially damaging bacteria.
Therefore, you will need to purchase filters for the number of turtles you keep and change the water regularly (we recommend keeping them in pairs to prevent boredom and depression). Temperature control is also necessary and should not be less than 25 degrees Celsius or more than 28 degrees Celsius.
This avoids thermal shock, as they cannot regulate their body temperature like mammals. Also, to prevent hibernation in turtles, which is not true for all species and can be a problem if you don’t know how to handle them.
Land turtles require more space than water turtles to move. This is because they spend more time on the ground. Of course, the area must be free of outside enemies (cats, dogs, some birds).
You must also provide a place where they can swim. A pond in the backyard will work well when the turtle reaches adulthood. Until then, a small aquarium will suffice. These turtles also need shelter for sleeping and hibernating, if necessary.
Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that some turtles like to burrow in the mud, and if they don’t realize it and the area dries up before they can escape, they may die.
These pets are easy to feed, so turtles are not expensive to care for and do not require much food. Feeding them something high in calcium is generally recommended, but they can eat any vegetable or fruit, and some eat meat.
Aquatic turtles tend to like sweet foods, so be careful about the amount you give them. Too much food can be harmful, so be sure to clean up after eating to prevent the growth of bacteria due to spoilage.
They can also eat rice and corn, and mixing their food with plants and flowers is a good idea. If left in the garden, they may eat snails, worms, and slugs, which are their natural food source.
Let us know if these few tips have helped you in the comments below!