A Beginner's Guide To Owning A Pet Turtle

A Beginner’s Guide To Owning A Pet Turtle

Turtle, and tortoise, can be a marvellous pet to own.

Turtles mainly live in the water, while tortoises live on the land.

I will be using both the names interchangeably.

However, having a turtle in your home can surely be a challenging thing.

Turtles don’t fall short in cuteness and have their fair share of admirers.

They are shy, quiet, docile, and harmless yet very intelligent beings.

Many people consider them among the exotic pets.

Since they are reptiles, they also don’t shed fur like mammal pets.

If you are planning to get your first pet turtle, there are some useful tips below. So, read on!


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What To Keep In Mind?

Tortoises are long-living animals as opposed to other traditional pets.

Firstly, you should understand what is necessary to provide them with a healthy and comfortable life.

More important is that you should prepare yourself mentally too.

Having a turtle as a pet is a long time responsibility, especially if you compare its lifespan with other common pets.

A tortoise, on average, can live for 50 to 100 years. It means that they might outlive you.

Some other factors are also noteworthy before you finalize your decision.

So, let’s learn about them.


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How Do They Behave?

Generally speaking, tortoises tend to be docile, calm, and shy.

So, you won’t have to worry about any noise or mess, which is commonly the case with other pets.

You can be at work, tension-free. They can, however, grow too much in size, in fact, too big to handle.

Turtles, when they are small, don’t like to be touched.

Frequently taking them in hands can put them in stress.

So, keep this in mind while bringing a pet tortoise to your home, especially if you have kids.


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Where to Keep Them?

As tortoises can grow significantly in size, keeping them indoors is out of option.

They will need a generous space to feel at home.

So, I will suggest keeping them outdoors, but you must keep into account the climate of your locality.

In colder areas, you might need to take them inside during night-time or through the complete winter season.

It can also create difficulties as you might not have enough space inside your house for an adult turtle. Some species also hibernate.

However, they need specific environmental conditions for hibernation.

If you can’t provide those conditions, it can also become a problem.

So it is better to ask the pet shop, before buying, what type of climate conditions are their turtles accustomed too.

What Do Tortoises Eat?

It may be surprising for you to see how much they can eat.

Tortoises’ appetite varies significantly with specie and age.

It is also the responsibility of the owner to maintain a balance of calcium, phosphor, and fibre in the diet.

Considering their lifespan, keep in mind that providing food for them can take a lot out of your budget as well as time.


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What Health Problems Should I Be Aware Of?

Respiratory infections are common in Tortoises, especially in those who grew in unhealthy environments.

Symptoms of these infections include weight loss, loss of appetite, and lethargy.

Fortunately, antibiotics are available to treat these infections.

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) is also common in tortoises.

It is caused by the deficiency of calcium in their diet.

Ultraviolet rays of type A and B are also needed by tortoises to metabolize the consumed calcium, which they intake through food.

It means they need to be exposed to sunlight daily.


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Owning a turtle as your pet can be an overwhelming experience.

However, if you keep in mind the above tips, I am sure you will be getting the hang of things in no time.

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