Turtle at home


Land turtles are considered one of the best types for keeping at home, as they are characterized by increased vitality and unpretentiousness to the habitat. They easily adapt to a new place, do not require particularly difficult conditions of maintenance and care, have small dimensions suitable for an apartment and at the same time are relatively inexpensive. All these advantages contribute to the fact that it is representatives of this type that are most often chosen as such an exotic pet.

Land turtles at home

If you care about the new pet in the house, then in no case should you leave it to live on the floor: land turtles are very sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and drafts. For starters, it is best to place the acquired animal in a spacious box, and in consequence, by all means move it to a more habitable place.

Land turtles at home will be best to feel in a spacious horizontal low terrarium or a large aquarium (without water), whose volume is in the range of 60-100 liters. The width of such an abode should be 3 times the width of the animal itself. A spacious terrarium that meets all these requirements is the key to the happy life of a land domestic turtle.

In order for the animal to rest from the annoying attention of people, it needs to install a small house in the terrarium where you can always hide. Even a wooden box with a hole may be suitable for this purpose.

Terrarium selection

The bottom of the terrarium, where your land turtle will live, should certainly be covered with soil, 3-10 cm thick. You can use non-flavored sawdust, but their disadvantage is that they quickly become dirty. It would be more successful to use hay as a soil, which the turtle can eat, but there is nothing dangerous for the health of the animal. It is even better to use hay in combination with the addition of flat stones and pebbles, which are larger than a turtle's head. Unsuitable ground options for a terrarium in which the land turtle will dwell are land, sand, and cat litter. Such a soil can be swallowed up by a turtle, which will lead to various digestive problems, and it is not so easy to treat the animal.

Providing a special microclimate

In its natural environment, the land tortoise lives in a warm climate, therefore, when living in your home, it should also provide enough heat (+ 20 + 35 ° С). Juveniles should be irradiated with ultraviolet in winter, and in summer these animals need frequent sunbathing at home. In winter, the ultraviolet lamp should function daily, in the summer - no more than once a week, while the usual light lamp should be constantly illuminated at least 12 hours a day. The presence of a sufficient amount of light is necessary for the normal development of the turtle shell.

Land turtle at home: care

Caring for a land turtle is minimal. Once a week, it should be bathed in a basin with warm (up to + 30 ° C) water, the level of which should not be higher than half of the shell. When molting the animal when bathing it is useful to add a teaspoon of soda to the water. Strongly grown claws can interfere with the tortoise when moving, so they should be shortened, best of all with the help of a manicure nail file.

It is important to constantly clean the terrarium as it gets dirty. Change the water in the drinking bowl and clean the plate from the food you need every day.

In summer, land turtles can be walked on a grassy lawn, the main thing is that it is warm (from + 20 ° C).

Eating tortoises in the house

The best care for these animals - a balanced diet. "How to feed the land turtle?" - A question that arises from any inexperienced host. Land domestic turtles perfectly eat various vegetables and fruits, greens and dandelions, and such products must necessarily be included in the diet of these animals. They can also be given earthworms and snails without shells, and in the summer they can indulge in strawberries, dandelions, raspberries and grass. All food for land turtles must be finely chopped before serving. Calcium supplements and vitamins should be added to food from time to time. Food is served on a large shallow dish.

The mode and food menu for land turtles is set according to their age. Young turtles need to be fed daily, and adults - abundant, but every other day, including once a week in their menu of minced meat.

Tortoise: what is worth knowing about hibernation

The assertion that land turtles should hibernate annually is not always true. At home, it is even undesirable. The thing is that only an expert can prepare an animal for hibernation and ensure the correctness of such rest, and otherwise the tortoise can sleep forever. If your pet stays for a long time in a corner of the terrarium and eventually seeks to dig into the ground, then it is likely that he is preparing for hibernation. To prevent this, the animal must be fattened and carefully familiarized with the specialized literature on ensuring the hibernation of turtles so that your pet leaves it alive and healthy.

Land turtles at home with good care and proper nutrition can live up to 15-30 years. Taking this animal into the house, you take responsibility for its life, and how you take care of your turtle depends on how many years it will delight you with its presence in your house.

Street tortoise aviary do it yourself

  • turtle-home
  • 24-01-2017, 22:47
  • 1 183

Warm summer, radiant sun, fresh air with the aroma of floral nectar. Many will agree with me that hiding these generous gifts of nature from their pets will be a real blasphemy. Why not arrange your reptiles holiday season? I propose to build an enclosure for the tortoise. Let me share my experience in creating summer pens. What materials will be needed for the aviary, what infrastructure should be in the abode of the bug and how to build an aviary in general?

Drinking bowls for tortoises, types and varieties

  • turtle-home
  • 5-01-2017, 22:05
  • 1 565

In a competent terrarium, each item has its own meaning and purpose. In the world of tortoises there should be no chaos. The abode of these lovely and charming creatures should be thought out to the smallest details. Particular attention should be paid to the layout of the kitchen corner, in particular the source of drinking water. Let's talk on this topic. What is the land turtle drinker best suited? What are the types of drinkers and how to exploit them?

Types of Exotic Turtles

Before you lead this creature in your home, you will need to know that there are several species of turtles. And, depending on what kind of animal you are going to start, the care of him will depend.

Thus, the most common option are freshwater turtles, represented by red-eared turtles or land Asian. At a young age, red-eared turtles have a bright color (yellow or red spots on the ears) and a plastron with blurred patterns, but over time, this “airbrush” darkens and the turtle becomes more relaxed coloring. As for the behavior of such turtles, they are quite nimble and active by the standards of the turtle, they are not afraid of low temperatures and do not hibernate. Like many aquatic turtles, red-eared birds grow rapidly, and in 5 years of their life in your home, turtles with a shell diameter of 5 centimeters can turn into a big turtle - the diameter of its shell is 30 centimeters or more. So, consider this fact, buying a baby and be prepared for the fact that from time to time you will need to take care of the expansion of the terrarium.

And, here are the Central Asian tortoises, those at a young age are painted in calmer tones, which remain almost unchanged throughout the life of the tortoise. They grow more slowly, and their size is also smaller. They have slow movements, but if the room is hot, the turtle begins to act more actively. And, in their terrarium, such turtles will behave restlessly, therefore, installing their terrarium - remember this - it would be better if it stands on a stable and level surface so that the lush turtle will not inadvertently turn it over.
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How to choose a turtle

Turtles grow fast

When choosing a turtle as a pet, first of all, pay attention to the behavior of the animal - it is like a litmus test of the state of health of the turtle. Do not forget about the external examination - the shell should be without cracks, there should be no spots on the skin of the tortoise, the mucous membranes of the mouth should be light pink in color, the saliva should not be viscous, the breath should be silent, there should be no discharge from the mouth and nose .

Choosing a healthy animal - you will save yourself from disappointment in the fact that you just got used to the animal, created comfortable living conditions for it, and it got sick and died.

Going for a turtle - do not forget to take the tank in which you will transport it home. For land animals suitable cardboard box with cut holes, and for the water - a glass jar. To transport a water turtle in a cellophane bag filled with water is strictly prohibited.

Before you buy a turtle, you must build a terrarium for it. Be sure to make sure that it is spacious enough and comfortable for land turtles in such a terrarium there should be a shelter-house, and for water turtles there should be an island on which they can rest from the aquatic environment.
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Why not buy exotic species of turtles

And, although it is not so easy to buy an exotic turtle, some lovers of this species still manage to find real exoticism, get it in their home, have time to brag to their friends, and then ... bury the poor creature. The fact is that if you first start a pet of this species, and previously did not have such experience, you need to choose the pet version as much as possible adapted for home living. Caring for him is easier, and these creatures are more unpretentious. While some exotic species require special conditions of detention, which in the conditions of an apartment and a terrarium is not so easy to create. As a result, the animal suffers and suffers, starts to hurt and dies. In addition, exotic species of turtles are more selective in terms of diet, they need a special temperature and humidity. In a word, exotic is too troublesome and unreliable. Therefore, if you are not a fan of this species and not a tortoise scholar with experience, you should not be bought at the persuasion of sellers and an exotic unusual kind of pet.
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What land turtles eat

Naturally, you will have to feed your new pet with something. And, his health will depend on the correctness of the diet. Therefore, remember the basic rules for feeding land turtles. They can be given fruits, berries, vegetables, grass, tree leaves, meat, low-fat cottage cheese, boiled eggs, oat-flakes soaked in water. Such turtles are not averse to eat beetles and snails (garden and without a shell). The mode and frequency of food, as well as the size of servings, depends on the age of the turtle. So, young individuals eat daily, whereas turtles older than a year can eat every other day, but in large portions, and mostly vegetable food.
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What do water turtles eat

The diet of aquatic turtles is vegetable food, mineral supplements, special vitamins. However, taking into account the peculiarity of the habitat - water, make sure that the remains of food do not float in the water and do not begin to rot in it. This will cause the water to become cloudy, and harmful microorganisms will begin to develop in it. Therefore, it is better to feed the water bug on the island of sushi, or do it with tweezers - when the turtle sticks his head out of the water - you can offer her her favorite delicacy - meat, vegetables and fruits, boiled eggs and gammarius.
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How to find the floor of a turtle

You are probably interested to know who lives in your terrarium - the female or male. Well, if you have not been told about this in the pet store, then you and I will have to try to independently determine the sex of the animal. And, we will be guided by the length of the tail - in males it is long and wide at the base, whereas in females it is shorter. Similarly, males have longer claws and a flat plastron, whereas females have short claws and a convex plastron. You can also try to determine the sex of the iris, but a lot depends on the type of turtle. In an ideal way, by comparing several individuals, it is possible to determine their sex almost unmistakably, while focusing on the appearance of one turtle, you can make a mistake.
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Do turtles need ultraviolet light?

Experienced breeders of turtles at home say about the need for ultraviolet radiation of our turtles. However, it is necessary to use low-power ultraviolet lamps for such spa treatments, starting from a short exposure time, gradually increasing it. Also, watch your pet's behavior - if the tortoise behaves restlessly - it may be too hot, and even burns can appear on the skin of the tortoise, so check the lamp power or interrupt the ultraviolet therapy session.
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Does a turtle need steam

Many tortoise breeders are interested in the question - are they a companion animal of a turtle, and do they need company? In other words, does it make sense to start not one, but several turtles, so that they are not bored? In principle, if you are not going to be professionally engaged in breeding these animals, the turtle in your terrarium can live in splendid isolation. If you are seriously thinking about business on turtles, then start not 2, but 3 individuals, of the same age and size - 2 females and 1 male. It is not worth to wind up 2 males, as they will be in conflict for the territory and for the female. As for water turtles, it is better to keep them separately and reduce them only for mating, since they can behave aggressively towards each other in their daily life.

In case you notice that the animals start to conflict - do not allow the turtle wars and bloodshed - spread them out on different terrariums.

By the way, if you have a turtle already living in a terrarium and you have acquired a new one or a new one - do not rush him or her into the old-timer. At first, a 2-month quarantine of isolation of the animal must pass, and only if the turtle feels normal - can you share it with another individual.
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Terrarium features

We have already said that the terrarium should be sufficiently spacious and comfortable for your pet to be comfortable in it. For land turtles, you can choose a plexiglas terrarium, for water turtles made of glass or plastic (but not only toxic). In principle, today in pet stores there is a large selection of such houses for turtles, so you will surely be able to find the most cost-effective and comfortable option in which you will be able to create for your turtle the necessary indicators of temperature, humidity and light. As for the life of the land tortoise outside the terrarium, despite the fact that some of the owner of such turtles practice this method of pet existence, it is better not to keep the bug in such conditions. Firstly, the probability of damage or injury is too high, drafts will also not add health, the animal may get confused or stuck among furniture, catch a cold on the cold floor. In addition, chemical cleaning products for turtles are contraindicated, and since you use them during harvesting, the animal can get poisoned ...
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Video about turtles:

As you can see, the peculiarities of keeping turtles at home are full of nuances. And, what we told you about today is just the tip of the iceberg. However, if you are aware of the full degree of responsibility and are ready to comply with our recommendations - feel free to choose the type of turtle that will become your pet. By the way, according to zoopsychologists, turtles are very attached to their owners and they have real emotional contact with them.

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Which turtles are better to prefer

In most cases, future owners prefer the steppe (Central Asian) turtles, since there is no need to purchase any additional devices for their maintenance. Adults reach a size of 20 cm, and also have a shell with a yellowish-brown shade and brown spots.

The land turtle leads an active lifestyle in the morning and in the evening, but in the daytime and at night it hides in some kind of shelter. Consequently, such an inhabitant needs to reproduce all the conditions for a comfortable stay at home.

В естественной среде сухопутная черепаха впадает в спячку, поскольку очень жаркие или очень холодные климатические условия, которые подразумевают нехватку еды, это животное не переносит. However, this will not happen at home, because the temperature and the constant availability of food allow the turtles to stay awake throughout the year.

Land Tortoise Housing

The land turtle very sensitive to temperature fluctuations, as well as drafts, so do not risk the health of the animal, and leave it to live right on the floor. In the first days it is best to pick up a box for your pet, which will become a temporary shelter, and in the future to provide normal housing.

The best place for a land tortoise will be a small terrarium, or an ordinary glass aquarium of 60-100 liters is quite suitable. The turtle's dwelling should be about three times larger than itself, and then the animal will feel quite comfortable.

In order for a pet to hide at any time, it is necessary to install a small house of appropriate size in its home.

Turtle shelter flooring

Soil is a prerequisite for a land turtle terrarium. The size of the flooring varies from 3 to 10 cm. Sawdust that does not have an odor is quite suitable as a substrate, however, they quickly get dirty, as a result of which it will be necessary to replace it more often. The best choice would be hay, which the animal can safely eat, without harming their health. Also suitable hay with pebbles and pebbles, the size of which exceeds the size of the pet's head.

The worst bedding for a land turtle at home is land, cat litter and sand. An animal can swallow such a flooring, which will adversely affect its health.

Climate conditions for domestic turtles

For a tortoise it is quite typical to dwell in a warm climate, so the main task will be to correctly recreate it at home. The required temperature in the terrarium should be from 20 to 35 ° C.

Young turtles need to get ultraviolet rays in the cold season, but in the summer you need to more often make them in the sun. In the winter period, the lamp with ultraviolet rays should be constantly on, but in the summer one day a week will suffice, provided that a simple light bulb is turned on at least 12 hours a day. In the absence of normal lighting, a pet's shell can develop poorly.

Care features

Such an exotic pet as a domestic tortoise does not require special attention. It will be enough to bathe the animal once a week. To do this, you need to collect warm water in a basin, the temperature of which should be + 30 ° C, and reach exactly to the middle of the tortoise shell. When an animal is subject to the process of molting, it is necessary to bathe it with the addition of soda, in the amount of one teaspoon, it will be very useful for the body. Grown claws in an animal must be shortened with a nail file for manicure.

It is necessary daily to provide your sweetheart with clean drinking water, and also to clean the feeder. Cleaning in the terrarium should be carried out as needed.

In the warm period of the year, at a temperature of + 20 ° C and above, it is possible to release the animal on the grass.

Feeding features

What to feed domestic land turtles? The best option for the owners of this exotic animal will be:

All this must be given to your pet without fail. The snails without shell and earthworms may well enter the diet of the domestic turtle. For feeding, all food must be cut into small pieces. Sometimes it is necessary to introduce vitamins and calcium supplements into the diet. Feed the turtle can be given in a small flat plate.

Young individuals need to be provided with a sufficient amount of feed each day, while adult turtles should be fed fairly densely every other day, and be sure to add minced meat to the diet.

Land Turtle Hibernation

Experts say that turtles just need to hibernate once a year. However, at home, this is definitely quite difficult to do. Since it is necessary to provide the pet with the necessary conditions for hibernation and also for the withdrawal of a pet from annual hibernation. Consequently, you need to study a lot of literature to make for your pet a good environment that will allow him to get out of hibernation in a normal healthy state.


And how many domestic turtles live? A land turtle can delight its owner over a period of 15 to 30 years of life. Unfortunately, most experts are unanimous in the opinion that 30 years is almost the maximum age for a domestic land tortoise. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules and your pet can live a few happy years more.

Having brought such an exotic inhabitant home, you place a great responsibility on yourself, and it will depend only on you how long and happy his life in your house will be.

And if you are still undecided on who of the exotic pets, look dearer to you at home iguana or chameleon.

Watch the video about the care and maintenance of the domestic turtle below and, of course, leave your comments!

Basic information

The types of these reptiles living nowadays are divided into two groups: sea (intended for living in large pools that are filled with sea water) and terrestrial. The latter species has many varieties, differing from each other in size and ways of care and maintenance.

Domesticated turtles are most often land animals. They use water only for bathing and drinking. As a pet, you can start almost any reptile, but future owners should remember: the larger the pet, the larger the terrarium it needs.

About 40 species of turtles are protected by law, resulting in the emergence of such a concept as illegal import, export and sale. Illegals generally place reptiles in unbearable living conditions, which is why some do not reach the pet store, while others die after purchase or even transportation. Therefore, be careful when choosing a place where you are going to buy your future pet. To make sure of a legal sale, ask the seller to show the relevant documents. This will ensure that you get a healthy animal.

To learn how to care and how to feed a domestic turtle, it is enough to find out which group it belongs to. The most popular types of land reptiles that can live in homes under specially created living conditions:

● Central Asian steppe - listed in the Red Book, despite the fact that it is the most common among pets. The length of its shell is no more than 30 cm, and the limbs have four fingers each.

● Mediterranean Greek and Caucasian. The breed has about twenty subspecies that live in different climatic zones and landscapes. These reptiles differ from each other in color (usually dark yellow) and size of shell (not more than 35 cm). There are five fingers on their front paws, and spurs on their hind legs.

● Balkan - looks like a Mediterranean turtle, but its shell size is much smaller (no more than 30 cm.). It has a yellow-brown color with dark spots. At a young age, the colors are bright, but over time they will fade.

● Egyptian turtles are the smallest - 12 cm is the length of the yellow shell. There are dark rims on the shields. Behavior like an ostrich - with the slightest looming danger has the habit of burrowing in the sand.


If you are allergic to the fur of cats or dogs, but the desire to have a pet doesn’t get any less from this, then domestic turtles will help you. Caring for them is not so difficult, if you always take care of your pet. The first thing you need to think about the terrarium. First of all, it should be as close as possible to natural conditions. If you are unable or for some reason do not want to do this, then domestic turtles are not for you. Living in an empty box for these animals means slow death.

If you are still confident in your abilities, then proceed to the arrangement of the terrarium. Usually this is a spacious pen (you can buy it yourself or make it yourself) with low sides so that the animal can walk on its own. In the "apartment" must be a drinking bowl, feeder and shelter house. An example is a photo posted in this article. Domestic turtles, like any other living creatures, should be kept so that they have enough space for free movement. Over time, your pet can grow up and, perhaps, then she will need a new, more spacious terrarium.

Here it is necessary to place the heater, ultraviolet and bright enough lamp for lighting. Such measures are necessary because the tortoise home land lives in the wild for a twelve hour day. During the daytime, the temperature should be at least 24 ° C on one side of the terrarium, on the other about 30 ° C, and at night not less than 22 ° C.

The bottom of the house is usually lined with primer. Also suitable pressed or large shavings, hay, earth, smooth small pebbles. Shelter and swimming pool should be in the cool side of the terrarium, and in the warm - a platform of flat stone or tile, where the turtle will bask.

Get ready to clean the feeder, the ground and change the water daily. If your turtle is a representative of a tropical species, then it needs a high humidity. To do this, it is enough from time to time to spray the terrarium with water.

Arrangement of vegetation

In order for a dwelling to be safe for the life of a turtle, it is necessary to know its breed and what natural conditions are inherent to it. Stones and roots of plants should be placed so that your pet has the opportunity to easily get around them or if you want to climb them.

Corners for reptiles terrarium - shelters in which they rest, so there is not necessarily to place any vegetation. This is usually done for the purpose of decorating with safe flowers such as sheflera, aechmeier, sanseviera, gusmaniya and aloe.

Plants are best placed in pots, and the ground covered with stones so that the turtle does not get to the roots. Climbing plants also look spectacular.

Do not forget about the safety of the animal. To do this, avoid poisonous flowers, do not spray them with protection against pests and reliably hide the wires (such as lamps and heaters) from the turtle so that it does not bite or scratch them.

You will be an excellent host if you ask in advance about how to feed domestic turtles, all the more so that it is easy to follow the diet. Mostly all reptiles are herbivores. Therefore, experienced owners advise not to give their pets dairy and meat products, dry food and bread. The best options are vegetables, fruits and greens.

An adult turtle needs to be fed once every 2-3 days, and a small one every day. Cut different types of vegetables into small pieces and give them in the form of a salad, so that it does not consume one product. From the fruit do not forget to remove the bones.

The source of protein for turtles is beans. Greens - dandelion, vetch, coltsfoot, parsley, carrot tops and so on will be good vitamin supplements. You can also buy supplements at pet stores.

Domestic turtles should be cleaned once a week. Those who are not yet three years old - once every three days. For swimming use boiled water with a temperature of about 32-34 ° C. In the drinking bath, it needs to be changed daily, because it is often contaminated.

The liquid in the tank where you are going to wash the animal should be at the level of 2/3 of the height of your turtle. The head must be on the surface. Gently spend a soft sponge or hand on the shell, paws and muzzle. If it is too dirty, you can use baby soap. After bathing, wipe your pet dry and release it into the terrarium.

The rules of perfect care include walking in the fresh air. The best season for this is summer. Turtle domestic land can walk in the open air, but only under a number of conditions that must be strictly followed. On the day when you are going to bring your pet out, it should be warm (the air temperature is not lower than 25 degrees Celsius), the soil is warm and dry. The surface for this can be both soft grass and gravel with shallow sand.

Be extremely careful when choosing the right places. Domestic tortoises are almost always herbivores. Therefore, the plants in which you walk your darling, must be edible. Avoid debris and sharp objects. Choose quiet and cozy corners for walking with turtles. Being in a noisy place, they are nervous and hiding in their shells.

If you do not know anything about this, then it is better not to try to stack it. Only knowledgeable people should be engaged in this business. Especially if you have created all the necessary conditions for a normal life, then your pet does not need hibernation.

In the photo of homeland turtles you can see what they look like before wintering. Usually these reptiles are hammered into a warm dark corner and set their heads forward. This happens with a reduction in the longitude of the day, that is, in October.

If you decide to provide winter rest to the turtle, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian. Before hibernation, you need to perform a number of procedures, namely: to carry out weight control before and during wintering, completely release the intestines from food, gradually reduce the temperature in the terrarium, etc.