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Having a Turtle as Your Pet

By Jay Schindler TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

Do you remember reading children's books with turtles as the main pet? Children adore turtles as pets. They are very interesting creatures and there are many species. When you decide to have a turtle for a pet, you will need to know the exact species for the proper care. Let us look at some turtle species you can own. There are two types of turtles, the terrestrial and the aquatic. This means the first type of turtle spends more time on the land, while the aquatic turtle needs to have a great deal of water.

Box and mud turtles are the terrestrial turtles. They require land to hibernate during the winter and sun on during the day. Most terrestrial turtles need 12 hours of sunlight, which can be provided by a UV lamp. Turtles are very susceptible to temperature changes often living in 80 degrees during the day and 70 degrees during the night. Terrestrial turtles also need water not only to drink, but also to swim around in.

Aquatic turtles are sliders and painted turtles. Sliders typically live in swampy areas or near lakes with a lot of mud. They tend to basic in the sun during the day as well as swim to cool off. The painted turtle like the slider is mostly aquatic so they spend more time in the water than out sunning themselves. The painted turtle is the most complicate turtle to take care of because they require special care.

Once you have decided on the type of turtle you wish to have you will then know what size tank you need. Most turtles require a 40 gallon tank or larger to have room for land and water. You will want to have plants in the tank, but make sure they are not poisonous to your turtle because they will eat them. You pet shop should be able to tell you the right type of plants to have. Wood chips and bark are not a good idea, not only do they harbor bacteria and molds, but the turtle can eat them. A turtle does not have a large digestive track and therefore wood chips often cause blockages. Certain turtles can even have small rocks to burrow under along with the dirt.

Some proper food for turtles is often lettuce, goldfish, special feed sticks, berries and insects depending on the species of turtle you own. Water is very important to your turtle. You never want to give them tap water to drink. It is also best to give them natural spring water or non- chlorinated water for swimming in. Chlorine and other chemicals of tap water can cause bacteria in their digestive systems.

Turtles can make great pets if you know a little about their habitat needs. Turtles are wondrous creatures that you can find in most warm climates walking along the roads or basking in the sun, so what better way than to give you child a great pet than to own a turtle. Keep in mind that turtles are sensitive and you will not want to handle them a lot. They do need to hibernate to live a longer life requiring you to keep the turtle somewhere little children cannot disturb them during the fall period. Turtles are both fascinating and novel pets for children.

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