How to care for a turtle at home?


To people who know little about the features of these ancient reptiles, it may seem that to keep such a pet is a very simple and simple thing. Indeed, turtles were domesticated for a long time, and in many matters they are more unpretentious than other reptiles. However, they need quality care. It is important to meet the needs of your unusual pet, the only way he will be able to live in captivity for decades. How to care for a turtle at home, so that she lived comfortably, had no difficulties, avoided injuries and illnesses?

Variants of the content of domestic reptiles

Turtles can not be called rare pets, and often they are found in private owners. In addition, rarely any zoo, aquaterrarium or zoo corner does without such inhabitants. Often, owners keep their armored pets in the same way as other pets, allowing the bug to crawl around the house freely. They put bowls for food and water, and even try to acquaint the reptile with a tray. That is, the animal remains at large and, of course, does not go beyond the dwelling.

But does the tortoise itself have such a free life? Most zoologists believe that this situation is unacceptable. It is impossible to identify the reptile with cats or dogs, it is too different from them, and not only in appearance.

Being free, the turtle is in constant danger. She can begin to eat small debris, get stuck in any device, get sick with a cold, having been in a draft. In addition, there are cases when the owners themselves stepped on their pet or stumbled over its shell. To avoid tragic situations, it is necessary to provide the pet with a safe territory - a spacious terrarium where he will be comfortable and convenient to dwell.

How to equip the turtle terrarium?

The most ideal option for the turtle is living in an aquarium, the size of which would allow her to freely walk, eat and sleep. You can also equip a wooden box, but it is desirable that one of the walls was transparent. Home improvement for reptiles includes the following:

  • installation of a house in which the turtle could sleep and just relax - for these purposes, you can use a clay pot, which is enough to turn, or a plastic container,
  • feeding trough - when installing it, it is important to take into account the strength, dimensions and sluggishness of the reptile - a light, unstable bowl will be constantly turned over,
  • drinking bowl - a mandatory element, the water should be clean and fresh, it should be replaced daily,
  • heater - Most reptiles love heat, even water individuals go to land to warm themselves. But you can not put the aquarium in direct sunlight or near the heating devices - the turtle can quickly overheat. It is better to install the device in the area of ​​the feeder and drinker so that it maintains the air temperature within 25 ° -27 ° C,
  • UV lamp - it is necessary, because under its rays in the body of an animal, vitamin D3 is synthesized, which participates in the processes of calcium absorption. It perfectly imitates sunlight, just install the lamp should not be less than 20 cm from the bottom of the tank,
  • thermometer - turtles need stable temperature indicators, in order to monitor changes, it is worthwhile to install a measuring device.

Covering the bottom of the tank

It is covered with soil or bedding of hay. In the first case, the particles of the material must be large, so that the bug does not eat enough pebbles. The second option is more summer, since in winter it is not so easy to find hay. Sanding the bottom is allowed, but some reptiles eat it. If such behavior is peculiar to a pet, then it is better to refuse sand.

Another option is to fill up a layer of sand, and lay a layer of large pebbles on top of it - the pet will grind claws about them. Representatives of some species love to dig, in this case it is worth putting more material in the tank so that the turtle can enjoy. You should not use as a soil pieces of paper, clay particles, sharp gravel, fillers that are designed for cat trays, even wood.

Reptile Housing Care

Consists of a number of activities:

  • bottom cleaning - it is spent every day, you should clean up excrement and other garbage,
  • washing feeders and drinkers - wash as it gets dirty, it is advisable to do it more often
  • water change - it should not stagnate, so it is replaced fresh every day.

Turtles love to swim, but many zoologists recommend carrying out water procedures no more than 1 time per week. If the shell gets dirty, you can wipe it with a soft, damp sponge. It is not necessary that the reptile is completely submerged in water, it is enough for her to be in it by 2/3. It is important that the head is above the surface. Water should be warm, temperature not less than 30 ° С.

While washing the reptile, you should gently wash with a sponge or hands with the limbs, muzzle, carapax, without touching the eye. Heavily soiled areas can be washed using baby soap. Similar procedures Turtle very much. You can understand this by the relaxed, calm state of the pet, and even a contented face. Stretching the pleasure of a pet is allowed for 20-30 minutes.

Upon completion of the procedure, the reptile should be wetted with a soft velor or terry cloth and released into the terrarium. As for young turtles, bath days can be arranged more often - 2-3 times a week.

Claw clipping

In nature, reptiles independently grind claws, they also try to do this when they live in captivity. But it is necessary to ensure that they do not grow more than expected. To do this, cut them regularly using sharp scissors or a special clipper.

The procedure should be carried out very carefully and carefully: only the white part of the nail plate is clipped, since the blood vessels of the blood system are located in the dark areas.

Are walks helpful?

Carrying a pet out is possible, it is useful for reptiles. But only if it is warm, dry weather and the air temperature is not lower than 25 ° С. The turtle will happily wander along the green lawn or lawn, breathing fresh air. It is important to choose a suitable site - calm, clean, where the reptile will be protected from overly curious or aggressive animals.

You should always watch her - despite the apparent slowness, these armored often flee from their owners. If the place turns out to be noisy, the bug will hide and will not even show its nose from its shell. These pets love to feast on fresh greens, you can let them go for a walk where dandelions, clover, plantain, timothy and chamomile grow.

Frequent diseases of domestic turtles

The most common causes of diseases of these reptiles are associated with improper care:

  1. Injuries. Often, pets fall from a height and get broken. In these cases, they are put in plaster or splint, which the reptile wears for a long time, since it takes a long time for the bones to grow together.
  2. Necrosis of the shell. May develop due to mechanical damage. Pathology is considered serious and requires long-term treatment. A solution with a disinfectant effect is constantly applied to the affected area.
  3. Catarrhal diseases. It is a frequent disease that a reptile picks up when it cools or turns into a draft. Understand that the pet is cold, you can for copious discharge from the nose and breathing difficult. In most cases, therapy is prescribed, which includes taking antibiotics and vitamin preparations.
  4. Intestinal disorders. Diarrhea often torments turtles. It can be caused by both eating spoiled food and infectious pathogens. It is advisable to show your pet to a veterinarian and pass an analysis of feces. Based on the results, appropriate treatment is prescribed.

Turtles are strange, unusual creatures that have inhabited the earth for many millions of years. They have adapted well to life in captivity, but still need good conditions and quality care. In this case, their life cycle will last at least 30 years.

Ways of content

Turtle quite often can be found in houses and apartments. Some owners allow them to move freely around the premises, equip a separate place for food and drink (almost like for cats), even try to teach to the toilet. That is, in this case, the animal is in free mode, but within the boundaries of the apartment, of course.

Moreover, such freedom can be dangerous for a turtle. She can accidentally swallow household garbage, get stuck in a heating radiator, catch a cold in a draft. There have been cases when the inhabitants of the apartment accidentally attacked their shell of armor ...

In short, for the maintenance of a turtle and good care for her need a terrarium - its own territory.

Turtle Terrarium: Equipment

High-quality care for the homemade reptile is provided only in the terrarium - a glass box where the tortoise walks, feeds, sleeps. The terrarium may not necessarily be glass, but be a wooden box, for example. But it is desirable that one of his side was from a transparent material.

The interior space is recommended to equip the following elements:

  • a house for sleeping and rest (an inverted plastic or clay pot with a hole is fine),
  • the feeder must be sufficiently stable so that the animal does not accidentally overturn it (how to feed a domestic turtle can be read in this article),
  • drinker with daily changeable drinking water,
  • a heater to create a comfortable temperature in the part of the terrarium where the trough and water bowl are located (at least +26 degrees),
  • a lamp with an ultraviolet lamp to imitate sunlight,
  • Thermometer for temperature control.

At the bottom of the terrarium is usually arranged soil or litter, which is often used as hay. In the summer, of course, this is possible and very convenient: you can change it often. But in the winter in urban conditions it is difficult to find hay.

You can lay sand, but there have been cases when turtles were swallowed. However, many owners of these reptiles carpe the bottom of terrariums with sand, and on top they lay large flat pebbles. In the sand, many turtles like to dig in, but pebbles are needed for a very specific action: animals love to grind their long claws about stones.

About turtles hygiene

Proper care of a pet is impossible without maintaining a clean habitat and personal hygiene of the animal.

You should always maintain cleanliness and order in the rooms. The owners often release their turtles for walks, so you need to ensure that they do not swallow household garbage, as well as foreign objects lying on the floor.

The bottom of the terrarium should be cleaned daily of excrement, the feeder and the water bottle should be washed as often as possible. Water in the drinker should be changed every day, as fresh aqua is recommended for turtles.

All turtles are very fond of water treatments. Bathing is usually carried out once a week, but many experts advise washing armored pets as they become contaminated. Warm water for hygienic bathing (with a temperature not lower than +30 degrees) is poured into a separate container at the level of 2/3 of the turtle growth, so that the head is above the water surface.

How to bathe?

Shell, tummy, paws and face gently washed with a sponge or hand, trying not to hurt the eyes. Places of heavy pollution may be washed with baby soap. While swimming you can see that the turtles like it very much: they calmly allow you to pour water on yourself. Therefore, such a pleasant procedure for them can be carried out longer - up to 30 minutes.

If you have brought small curious cubs of turtles in the house, you can bathe them more often - three times a week.

The benefits of walking

On a warm dry summer day at a temperature not lower than +25 degrees it is recommended to arrange a walk in the yard.

You can take a turtle on a green lawn or grassy lawn and let it go for a walk in the fresh air.

The place you need to choose is quiet and clean. With a high level of external noise, the animal can get scared and hide under its shell. Do not make the turtle nervous.

Plants at the site of a walk should be edible - dandelion, clover, plantain.

If the tortoise is sick ...

Diseases are usually caused by improper care.

Injuries. The turtle can fall from a high place and get a fracture. In this case, you need to impose a tire or plaster and be patient, because the process of accretion of bone tissue can take a long time.

Necrosis of the shell possible as a result of any mechanical damage. This is a rather serious disease that is very difficult to treat by constant treatment of the affected area with disinfectant solutions.

Cold. During the walk the pet may catch a cold. You may experience a very strong runny nose, shortness of breath. Veterinarians in such cases prescribe antibiotics, and for the general strengthening of the body - vitamin complex.

Stomach upsetbut. Improper diet can cause diarrhea. It can be infectious or appear due to malnutrition (spoiled foods, for example). In any case, you need to pass feces for analysis and begin the appropriate treatment after determining the cause of the disease.

Caring for a turtle at home has a number of features, but in general is not so complicated. You can even entrust this activity to children, but with periodic monitoring by adults, of course. Watching the behavior of these leisurely animals is very interesting. That is why the first acquaintance of children with pets very often begins with turtles.

A short video about the maintenance of turtles at home: