When it comes to the care of your pet turtle or terrapin are you sure you know what you're doing? Or perhaps you've read up on it a little but find you keep forgetting important things, like changing its water every three days or so?
Turtles actually need a pretty well thought-out environment to live happily in, as well as a lot more care and attention than people realize.
Probably one of the best ways to keep reminding yourself of how to care for your pet is to pin a ‘care sheet’ somewhere really obvious, like above the turtle's tank for instance.
This care sheet can be one you print out from a good website or one you create yourself using information from different sources. In any case, the more research you do, the better.
One of the most important aspects to turtle care is, obviously enough, what you feed them. What are less obvious are the subtle differences between turtle types in terms of what to feed them and at what age. A general rule of thumb is if it's a baby turtle you feed it meat (cooked or fat-free) and as it gets older you start adding more and more leafy greens to its diet. Older turtles will be almost entirely herbivorous but a balanced diet is still essential.
But does a slider eat the same thing as a painted turtle? And what precisely does a terrapin eat? (A terrapin, by the way, is usually just the term used for pet turtle in the United Kingdom so you need to figure out what kind of ‘terrapin’ you have before finding the right care sheet for it. )
Further, what on earth is the right environment for a box turtle? (Also known as a tortoise, the box turtle is a fully terrestrial reptile so do not put it in water, it will drown. And die. )
Then again, you've got details like nutrition supplements and ambient temperature to think about. There are mineral and vitamin supplements you can add to your turtle's diet about once a week or so but how much is right for your pet?
What kind of turtle needs what kind of supplement? It is generally advisable to put a calcium block in the turtle's dry habitat for them to snack on occasionally. That helps to ensure good shell health, as do daily doses of unfiltered, natural sunlight.
In any case, a turtle care sheet that you create and keep updating regularly as you learn more about your turtle can make all the difference. If you are away on a trip, for instance, or your turtle out-lives you (some grow to be a hundred years old!), then the care sheet will ensure that your pet continues to be cared for in the best possible way.
Liked this article? Read more at: Turtle and Terrapin Care Sheets