Turtles as pets: Care and concerns – Part 6

I have a red eared slider turtle. i keep her in a large plastic tub that cost me 20 bucks at a hardware store. i have a filter and a heater for her as well as a light bulb that gives her the necessary UV rays.

she usually eats just the turtle food i buy. she seems to prefer the “monster diet” aquatic turtle food.

i also have some rocks in there that she can climb on so she can sit in the bulb’s light and dry off, the UV rays keep her shell hard and tough.

i have let her go outside in the grass. our cats sniffed at her and then just kept an eye on her, they never really bothered her otherwise. you have to keep an eye on her outside though because she can move a surprising distance and she won’t come if you call her.

every now and then a flake will come off of her shell. this is normal and similar to a lizard shedding its skin. i just remove the flakes from the tub as i find them.

to clean the tub normally i just use a small fish net to scoop out any gross stuff. then once every few months i take her out of the tub and clean off everything that’s in there, as well as her and the tub itself. then i put water back in and the heater and i leave the heater on for about half an hour before putting her back in there.

recently i bought a floating dock for her to use instead of the rocks, this should make her trips to dry land a lot easier.

they can certainly bite and their jaws are quite strong. they won’t bite off your finger but it will hurt and you will need tog et the bite disinfected.

children should not handle the turtle much and if they do then they should wash their hands immediately afterwards since salmonella is known to lurk on turtle shells. some water cleaners can keep the incidents of salmonella down though. the easiest way is to have some hand sanitizer nearby and always clean your hands with it after you pick up the turtle.

for a treat i will catch her insects or fish to put in the water. she especially likes big water beetles when she catches them at least and usually she does. these should be more like a treat for the turtle though and not their main diet. they will also eat vegetables and things like that.

if your turtle gets an eye infection you should feed them little bits of liver or something else that is high in vitamin b. you can also get eye drops for them that will keep their eyes healthy.

so i love my turtle, they are a very calm pet that won’t wreck your house or anything, just be careful with them, they are more high maintenance than you might think.

and please don’t buy some poor little turtle and just throw it into a little plastic container and feed it scraps and hope it lives. that’s just mean, get something at least resembling a proper tank and a filter a water heater and a light bulb for it. and then feed it proper turtle food, and take care of it. turtle’s aren’t cuddly so don’t pick it up and hug it.. too much, i guess an occasional hug wouldn’t hurt it. remember though the turtle will probably just think you’re going to eat it. so be careful.

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