My Children Want To Keep A Pet Turtle, I Need Help
English: A Red-Eared Slider turtle, keeping defensive with only the nostrils and the eyes above the water surface. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Kids are always going to be kids and that’s just part of their nature. Nothing is as cool a having a pet when your young because it’s “your pet.” There comes a time for every parent when their child asks them if they can keep that wild animal as a pet. The aquatic turtle is a very popular choice by children because they’re such a fascinating creature.
Most are small in size and have the ability to hide in their shell whenever they desire. They can also live on water and land. Heck, now that I write this.. I want a pet turtle. I’ve created a help guide for parents to let their kids have pet turtles safely.
Choosing a Tank or Habitat
Depending on what species turtle you are choosing as a pet, will determine how large of a cage you will need. I’ve seen turtles in 20 gallon aquariums and I’ve seen entire backyards devoted to a cage with fence to keep the tortoise in. Research the full growth size of your turtle and decide what size of a cage you will need.
Needed Habitat Surroundings
All turtles need certain requirements to live healthy lives. They need a mixture of water versus land. The species of turtle will also tell you their habitats of living in the natural habitat. Some species live in water more than others while some can live on land more. Water, land, sunlight, and food are going to be the core requirements. Of you can’t get real sunlight, you need to get an artificial UV light that replicates real sunlight. This is a big key for turtles because they bask in the sunlight.
Viruses and Bacteria – Beware
Turtles and tortoises have the ability to contract salmonella to humans which makes it very important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling the animal. The outside shell of the turtle is the most prone spot for salmonella. Years ago, there were cases in which mostly younger children were obtaining the sickness. Weaker immune systems are more prone to it (children and elderly). If hands are washes good after each handling, chances are very slim of anything occurring with it.
Food and Exercise
Research what your species of turtle eats and obtain that same food. Don’t go the lazy route and just buy “turtle food” at your pet store because it is going to suck to the tortoise. You grabbed this animal from living nature, the least you could do is feed it what it is used to eating.
Don’t leave the animal in the same cage for too long. It’s unhealthy and nobody wants to stay cooped up like that. Take your animal out in your yard and let it live life and walk around. I don’t think it’s going to run away on you. Spoil your animal and make it have a food life. I’ve even dug water holes in my back yard for the turtles to lay in on the weekends while I mow my lawn and such. At the end of the day, it’s about the animal being happy.
Author Chris Weber loves aquatic animals and caring for them as pets. It’s important to know the hazards and what to worry about when it comes to pet turtles.