Caring for a Pet Turtle

Caring for a Pet Turtle

Turtles are a great pet and a fun addition to your Lafayette home. A pet turtle is fairly simple to care for, but they do have very specific needs when it comes to housing and habitat. Turtles can live for quite a long time if their needs are being met. Taking good care of a turtle means following a proper regimen when it comes to their food, cages, and treatment.

Here are a few basics of turtle care:

Housing

Turtles need plenty of room. They also need the correct amount of moisture, clean water, and light, as well as a basking lamp. A minimum tank size of 40 gallons is recommended. Many turtle enthusiasts try to emulate a turtle’s natural habitat as closely as possible. Some set up their turtles with outdoor pens, which will encourage a turtle to hibernate in cold weather. Your turtle may dig into the ground, and not emerge until spring. Keeping a turtle in an indoor cage will likely prevent him from hibernating, though your pet could have an elevated risk of liver issues if they don’t get their seasonal naps. Your turtle’s exact requirements as far as temperature will depend on the breed, so do your research before setting up your shelled buddy’s cage.

Diet

Your turtle will enjoy catching and eating live fish, so you should get him some as a treat on occasion. As far as his normal diet, you can give your turtle commercial food sticks. Your turtle will need a clean dish of drinking water in addition to his swimming pool, since turtles often contaminate their pool water. You can also give your pet turtle some berries, and green leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, cabbage, alfalfa, and clover. Turtles do not have particularly good table manners, so you will need to be diligent about keeping your pet’s cage clean. Otherwise, spilled food particles can contaminate the cage as they decay.

Playing

Whether or not turtles play is somewhat debatable, but many turtle owners swear their turtles do enjoy stimulation. Try getting your turtle a floating log, or a collection of crab shells. You can keep your turtle happy by making sure his aquarium has plants and terrain that he can explore. Adding live feeder fish to his water will also keep him stimulated, as turtles enjoy hunting fish. You can also try rolling things in front of your turtle to see if he will chase them.

When it comes to training, well, your Lafayette turtle is not very likely to become a martial arts master, but you may be able to train it to respond to its name!

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