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Tips on How to Take Care of Your Pet Turtle

Here is how you should care for your pet turtle

Caring for a pet turtle might seem simple and easy, but turtles, just like your dogs and cats, require frequent cleaning and good care. Turtles are amazing creatures and can live alongside you for decades to come. Here are a few tips on how to take care of your pet turtle.

Taking care of your turtle depends on what type of turtle you plan on getting. There are many different species people like keeping as pets, but we will talk about some of the most common types in this article.

Red-eared sliders, commonly known as  water turtles, unlike their name, they still requires land to live.

Central American Wood Turtles are mostly herbivores but don’t mind a worm or two here and there. This species is also commonly called the ornate wood turtle.

Painted turtles have colorful shells and are omnivores. This type of turtle is the most common species in the United States.

These are the most common types of turtle’s people keep as pets. Some species might require different care, so be sure to talk to your vet about taking proper care for the different species.

Taking Care of Your Pet Turtle

Feeding Your Pet Turtle

Feeding your turtles requires learning if your turtle is a herbivore or an omnivore. Some worms love plants and vegetables exclusively, and others love eating all types of worms, bugs, snails, and even fish.

Most turtles are only required to be fed once or twice each day. Unlike dogs and cats, turtles don’t really like to snack a lot, but they need a regular and scheduled diet. If you are unsure about what the best diet for your specific turtle is, contact your vet or pet store for assistance.

Turtle’s Housing and Environment

It would be best to house your turtle in the largest space possible in your home. It should have water for the turtle to swim in and land for when it wants to come out and bask in the light. Also, other than just swimming water, the turtle needs a separate spring for fresh drinking water.


A good rule to follow is having the water’s depth twice as long as your pet turtle’s length. You also need to make sure you use non-chlorinated water. Install a water filtration system in your turtle’s tank so you don’t have to regularly clean and change the water. The cleaner the water remains, the healthier your turtle will be!

Other than water, your turtle should have space to come out and explore in its tank. Soil and moss are great, but avoid small pebbles and stones as your turtle might choke on them. Maybe place a large slanted rock for your pet to relax on. Make sure your tank has a secure cover, so your pet turtle doesn’t escape!

Turtles also need light and heat. Don’t use normal lightbulbs to light up the tank. There are many reptile lamps available in the market that emit both light and heat that are safe for animals. UVA and UVB light bulbs are also great light sources for your turtle’s tank!

Cleaning Your Turtle

Most times, turtles stay clean on their own as they spend most of their time in the water. But still, they do need to be cleaned every once in a while.

For cleaning your turtle, use a toothbrush and lukewarm water. Scrub the turtles’ shell and limbs with the toothbrush gently to clean off the dirt that builds up on them. Don’t forget about all the creases and wrinkles your turtle has, as that’s where most of the dust and debris collect. Don’t use shampoo or soap on your turtle without consulting your vet beforehand, as they can cause irritations to the turtle. Just use clean lukewarm water a toothbrush, and when you are done, just rinse your little friend off and place it back in its tank!

Final Thoughts

Keeping a turtle as a pet doesn’t require too much effort on your part. They are durable creatures and don’t mind being left alone. Just make sure their environment and housing are clean and sufficient, and provide them with the right nutrition they need, and you are good to go!

Written By Lisa Lee

Lisa Lee is a proud mother of three living in sunny San Diego county. With three children under 10 years old and a pet pug named Daisy, Lisa sure has her hands full. Before starting her career as a family lifestyle writer, Lisa worked as a third grade elementary school teacher. Through her time teaching and parenting, Lisa has become quite the expert at dealing with children and wishes to share her vast knowledge and experiences with other fellow parents.


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