Taking care of land turtles is less complicated than what you would expect. Be ready, however, to provide the brand of care and nurturing that they specifically need. Since land turtles live for many years, you should be ready for long-term ownership and commitment as well as to maintain a budget for taking care of an exotic pet. If you’re bent on making sure that your land turtle lives out its maximum lifespan, you have to know and consistently follow the necessary measures for taking care of it.
Make an initial visit to a veterinarian
This is an essential start for your pet turtle. Discuss with him if the turtle you plan to raise is fit to live in captivity. It must have a healthy disposition to begin with so that your effort in providing the best habitat, diet, and overall wellness will not be wasted.
Mimic your turtle’s natural home settings
Research your turtle’s natural habitat and try to provide a home very similar to it. This is important in keeping your turtle happy and satisfied, and will contribute a lot to its good health. In addition, make sure that there is plenty of space for your turtle to roam around. Provide an area devoted for eating, preferably set on a piece of stone, and an area with water, where it can sit and stay for a certain period of time. Finally, provide a place where it can have its private retreat. This may be a rock that can give it a protective shade. A turtle’s home can be similar to an aquarium, ideally made of fiberglass.
Feed your turtle with the appropriate kinds of food
Grated vegetables such as lettuce and kale, small animals such as snails, crickets and mice, and mashed fruits such as melons and berries, can supplement the dietary needs of your pet. Its drinking water should be dechlorinated. Feed it only once or twice a day. A land turtle is very sensitive. Give it enough privacy, especially while feeding so that it can appreciate its food.
Keep your turtle’s surroundings clean
Change your turtle’s water regularly. Although your turtle’s habitat should be kept untouched and undisturbed, make sure that it is free from any element that can attract rodents and other pests.
Handle your turtle carefully
Unlike most pets, turtles do not appreciate being handled frequently. They can get irritated with too much handling and touching. Hold them only when during cleaning time. This is the time for you to assess closely any unusual or unhealthy signs in its body. Be gentle to avoid making it feel threatened or scared. Handling your turtle roughly can cause it to bite.
Implement necessary hygienic measures
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your turtle. Research shows that turtles can carry strains of salmonella. Proper disinfection methods will prevent the transmission of the different diseases brought about by these microorganisms.
Turtles are interesting companions. Know their worth, give them adequate care and nurturing, and you will certainly reap the benefits of companionship from your pet land turtle for a long, long time.