Proper Turtle Care part 3

Caring for a turtle

Maintenance of the Tank

We now come to the most important part of turtle care it can literally be a matter of life and death for our amphibious friends.  Carry out regular water changes every week, removing approximately a third of the tank’s volume. Replace this with fresh water at the same temperature at that in the tank, and treat it with a water conditioner first. Always wear suitable gloves when carrying out this task, and tip dirty water directly down an outside drain, and never down the sink, because of the risk of harmful bacteria being present in the water. It is also essential to keep equipment used for your turtle separate from other household items, and always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, with a germicidal soap as a further precaution.


Health care for a turtle

Provided that they are kept in a clean environment, and receive a good diet, then turtles are very healthy by nature. The issues that used to afflict them in the past, such as swollen eyes or distorted shells, were typically related to an inadequate diet, notably deficiencies of vitamins A and D3 plus calcium. Beware if your pet’s appetite starts to fall away over the course of a week or two though, as this can be a non-specific indicator of an underlying health issue. In the first place, however, check the heater is still working properly, and that the water temperature has not fallen, as this will depress the turtle’s metabolism and activity. A digital thermometer attached to the side of the tank will make this task easy.  If for any reason there appears to be a problem with you're turtle then please don't hesitate to take them to a turtle doctor (Vet).

Turtle First Aid

What do you do when your pet turtle becomes sick or injured? Sometimes the cause may be simple and easy to fix. Other times you may need to take your turtle in to see a veterinarian.



Why is my turtle not eating?

try this troubleshooting steps.

Is the temperature of the tank warm enough?

If turtles get too cold, they don’t eat as much and start thinking about their long winters nap.

Does your turtle like the food you are offering?

Some turtles, like humans, are very picky eaters. They have their favorites and their not so favorites. Start off with their favorite foods first, then slowly introduce other menu items.

Is your turtle under any stress? Are they being handled too much, traveling lately, or do they have new tank mates?

Many new animals often experience this stress and it may cause them to not eat properly. Just keep trying and have lots of patience. They may take several weeks before they eat again.

Your turtle not eating may also be a sign of something more serious, see a vet if regular eating doesn't resume.

MOST common causes for not eating.

Do not leave food in the enclosure to rot!

  • Daily Chores Changing the water in the box turtle water bowl, checking the temperature under the basking lamp, checking lights and heater for proper function, removing obvious feces, looking at the animal and talking to it. If you don’t have time for those, should you really have a pet? It takes 5-10 minutes a day to do these chores.
  • Weekly Cleanings The time it takes to clean an enclosure depends a lot on the setup. For water turtles, using good filtration is a key element in reducing water changes and cleaning chores. Enclosures should never smell bad or look dirty. It takes anything from 10-30 minutes to clean a well-set up enclosure.
  • Socialize with your pet turtle Spending time with your pet is important, they require attention too. If you don’t have time, then it probably isn’t a wise choice to have a pet.
  • Regular Care taking As with everything in life, things change. Business trips, vacations, children, these things take time. You need to be sure you can provide the basic care to your turtles even as responsibilities change. Pets should not be given away even when things change. Shelters are usually full, and adoptive homes are hard to find. Pets should never be released into the wild either.
  • Pet Sitter When traveling your pet will still need feeding and attention, friends and neighbors are fine for occasional pet sitting. If you are traveling for extended periods a professional pet sitter may be something to look into.

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