Contrary to popular belief, turtles and tortoises are not easy to care for and should be carefully thought out before adopting one. Although they are not as demanding as other pets (dogs … cats … hamsters … fish … etc) they do need proper care.
Remember aquatic turtles can live thirty to forty years and box turtles and tortoises can live to be 20-50 or more years with proper care and it takes a person that's committed to care for them a long time.
Before purchasing any turtle or tortoise as a pet, careful research should be done. Many sellers get their stock from the wild and this is contributing to reduced populations in their natural habitats. Many turtles and tortoises get sick or die before reaching the sellers because they are shipped in inhumane conditions. Many of the personnel in pet stores do not have the knowledge to recognize disease symptoms
A customer not suspecting anything wrong can go home with a sick turtle and later, when symptoms are advanced, realize it is ill.
The more common pet turtles are the small terrestrial and freshwater turtles The red-ear slider (also known as the terrapin). Even though many are purchased as pets for children, children should always be supervised by an adult.
Female terrapins grow to be 10-12 inches in length and males 8-10 inches. They are generally shy around people.
They will eat both plants and animals as their primary food source.Pet terrapins diet should closely match their natural diet (crawfish, tadpoles, snails, and numerous aquatic plants). Other foods such as feeder fish, dead, earthworms, cooked egg with the crumbled shell included and leafy greens. Commercial turtle foods should be used sparingly due to insufficient scientific research and vitamin and mineral imbalances. Providing a wide variety of foods is the key to successively raising captive turtles.
Some common problems that often arise with pet turtles and tortoises are:
Lack of care by the owner.
Neglect causing bacterial infections and shell rot, fungal infections, respiratory infections, and low quality of life.
When considering a turtle for a pet there are certain human health issues that should be known. Turtles can carry the salmonella bacteria in their digestive system without becoming sick and can shed it periodically.
People should thoroughly wash their hands after handling turtles. They can become sick if they do not. The ones that usually suffer the most when exposed are children and those with weak immune systems. Death has been known to occur.
Source by Lamar Dean