How to take care of turtles when they are young, sick and old:
Turtles are not as resilient as many believe. Although generally they are not the most difficult pets to take care of, you need to provide adequate turtle care. Many pet turtles unfortunately die early because their owners think they will be fine as long as they put them in a fish bowl and feed them any type of food.
The fact is, there are so many kinds of turtles and each of them have specific requirements for their food and environment. Most turtles do not really stay the same small size forever, and so aren’t suitable living in a fish bowl. Furthermore, a turtle may need to bask many times and so will require a heat or light source. There are many more things that are required to keep a turtle healthy and living long.
Use this turtle care guide to find out more
When you look for a turtles guide focusing on hatchlings, you won’t find many results. So let’s talk about taking care of baby turtles! First of all, hatchlings are very cute and so kids will want to pick them up and play with them. Be warned though that many turtle hatchlings carry Salmonella bacteria, and these can be passed on to people. The symptoms aren’t pretty, and will need to be treated. These little creatures in general don’t want to be handled too often anyway. So make sure you avoid carrying hatchlings or only handle them occasionally.
If your child handles a hatchling, make sure he/she washes his/her hands right away after handling. Because hatchlings tend to be really small, start with an aquarium that has very shallow water. The water should not be deeper than the length of the turtle’s shell. Young pet turtles will need to be fed about twice a day. It’s always a good idea to find a reptile veterinarian for recommendations and advice if you own hatchlings.
Just like humans, turtles can get sick. Turtle care can be challenging because turtles can have a number of symptoms like bulging eyes, shell sores, sneezing and coughing. If your pet has swollen eyes, apply Gentocin drops recommended by your veterinarian into its eyes. Treat skin wounds by using Betadine solution as prescribed by the vet. Betadine solution may also be applied to shell sores if allowed by the vet. If your pet is sneezing, coughing or not eating at all, ask for advise from your veterinarian right away.
When your turtle is old, it will require even more care and attention. You’d want to be able to keep your pet as long as possible, as these creatures can live for decades! All you really need to do is to provide the basic requirements and regularly maintain your pet turtle’s diet and environment. Simply keep the tank clean by using filters and doing a complete spring cleaning routine every 45 days.
Ideally, water in the tank is to be changed every few days. A funny odor and/or color in the water is a signal to change it. You may place a sucker fish (ask advice from the vet first) in the tank as this type of fish eats up algae. Regulate the water temperature by using a water heater.