You really badly want a pet. A creature that you can raise as your own, shelter and provide for. Unfortunately, you do not want to raise an animal that requires a lot of petting and cuddling. For you, it is more about having a bond with a pet which you can watch grow old with you. Dogs, cats and other common pets tend to be very high maintenance, and you would prefer an animal which will not get restless or bored when you are away. So, is there a pet out there that can fulfill all your desires?
Of course, there is! The animal which you can adopt and raise is none other than the humble turtle. Indeed, it is the reptile that you have seen around in the zoo and the discovery channel. You probably did not know that turtles could be raised as pets!
There are a few things that you must know about turtles before you purchase them. Turtles are reptiles that will live for a long period of time. So when you are investing in a pet turtle, remember that it is a long time commitment. Be prepared to watch your turtle steadily grow.
If you are looking for a pet which you can caress and pet, then you should reconsider your decision of acquiring a pet turtle. They are coy creatures that prefer solitude and would be uncomfortable with unnecessary contact with humans.
Moreover, turtles cannot be easily house trained as they are not capable of grasping simple commands which we may want to teach them. A turtle does as a turtle wills, hence be ready to clean up after them, if need be.
Another fact that you should looks at is the investment involved. Apart from your initial investment, an aquatic turtle will require an aquarium with a good filtration system to clean the water and probably some occasional Vet care. So make sure you consider all these factors and weigh them before you make your decision.
If you are ready to get a new pet turtle after considering all the above, you have probably made a decision that will give you great peace of mind and contentment. Remember, a turtle will be a silent companion which provides you strength from its steady reassuring presence. So, are you thinking of getting a pet turtle? This write-up will provide you in depth information on choosing your pet turtle.
- Where do you get the turtle?
You could buy your pet turtle from a proper pet store. Here, you can get all the necessary information on the breed of your turtle and information about its habitat requirements. Make sure you ask all the necessary questions about your pet turtle before you pick him up from the pet store.
Do not get your turtles from exhibitions or fairs where they may be sold at really cheap prices. These may actually be turtles which are picked up from their natural habitat. Do not try to tame wild turtles, as they will not be able to survive the transition from their natural habitat to being kept indoors as a pet.
Turtles which are bred in captivity have higher chances of survival as pets. They are used to human care and handling and will not be too agitated when they find themselves from their previous home.
You could contact a Vet who specializes in reptiles to find out where you can get your pet turtles and he might even direct you to a breed which is more suitable as a pet for you.
- How to choose a healthy turtle?
Before you pick up your pet turtle you have to do one thing – inspect, inspect, inspect. Observe the turtle of your choice very carefully before you buy it. There are certain ways to ascertain if your turtle is healthy:
Watch your turtle’s eyes carefully. Make sure that they are bright and are watching your movements. It should not have any difficulty in moving its eyes from one side to another. The eyes should not be puffy, or have anything encrusted at the lids. All these are indicators of an unhealthy turtle, which you should avoid.
Make sure that the turtle does not have any difficulty in breathing and does not resort to labored breathes. Your turtle should ideally breathe through its nose, and not through the mouth. So if you notice your turtle open mouthed always, it may be an indicator of respiratory problems.
If the turtle you are going for is an aquatic species, it will be in an aquarium. When it is submerged or floating around, observe and ensure that it is not tilting itself to one side or exhibiting any difficulty to swim around.
The next thing you ought to do is check the tutle’s shell. The designs on the shell may look patterned and very attractive to gaze at. Just do a double check to see if there are any cracks or burns. Most often the cracks would heal naturally and you would not have to worry much about them. As long as you do not mind your turtles with slight marks on their shell you are good to go.
Finally, when the turtle is not very intimidated by your presence, slowly lift it in your hand. Try to touch the shell lightly and make sure that is tough and hardy. Only the soft shelled turtles will have a leathery shell, that is their natural texture and nothing to worry about. When you are holding the turtle, check to see that its limbs are not hanging loosely. This could indicate some physical problems for the turtle and it would be advisable for you to avoid them.
Check for any bruises or discolouration on its skin, which might be an indicator of fungal growth, which should be treated soon.
Once, you have carried out the above and you are convinced that your turtle is hale and healthy, voila, you can pick up your pet turtle and take him home!