Box turtles are great pets because they are small, calm, and a joy to have. Here is a beginner’s guide on caring for box turtles.
What Is A Box Turtle?
A box turtle is a terrestrial turtle that mainly resides in North America. They aren’t exactly the perfect pet for beginners but that does not mean that you cannot learn how to care for them. This type of turtle can grow to very old age which means that you should be up for a long-term commitment and care for this animal. A mature box turtle can grow up to five years and for about fifty years old.
The first thing you should do when you get a box turtle is to consult an exotic veterinarian. Not all turtles are created equally which means that some of them have special needs. Your vet will tell you the ideal conditions in which the turtle will thrive.
The primary characteristic you must keep in mind is how easily the box turtle is affected by stress. The mere presence of stress can alter everything in them, from their mood to their health. Turtles deem it stressful whenever they are being constantly touched so you must keep in mind to lessen the frequency of touching or carrying your turtle. They are also easily affected by an abrupt change in their environment. They get easily disoriented so make sure that any change you do in his environment will be performed gradually.
The best location for a box turtle is an outdoor pen. Make sure to fill it with the appropriate bedding. The turtle must have easy access to drinking water. The humidity and temperature levels should be comfortable for them. These turtles thrive better when they are living outdoors. You do not have to make them stay outside all year long but they will definitely appreciate living outside during the warmer months of the year.
You still have the choice to keep him indoors. If you will just make sure that his pen is sizeable enough for him to roam around freely. The heat level and humidity should be comfortable and up to par with the turtle’s needs. The landscaping should be walkable and there should be a water source, a hiding place, and a spot that the natural sunlight hits for him to bask in. You can use a lamp as a replacement for the sun. You can try using an aquarium with appropriate bedding and accessories in his house.
The top necessities of box turtles include food and water. They are omnivores so their diet should be varied. Their food must have ample sources of protein as well as some sort of vegetation so that they can get the nutrients and fibers. You can incorporate food like pink mice, lean meats, insects, veggies, as well as some fruits. You will eventually know the favorite foods of your pet so just watch out for that.