How To Care For Pet Box Turtles
Turtles that have the ability of retracting into their shell, completely closing up with no flesh left exposed, all thanks to a moveable hinge on the lower shell, are known as box turtles.
It is quite personable to keep a box turtle as a pet and they are quite a beauty. A common problem is that these turtles are not properly taken care of and end up dying. Taking box turtles from the wild or buying wild caught turtles from pet stores should be avoided. Only captive bred box turtles from breeders and dealers make appropriate pets.
Keeping box turtles in large indoor enclosures or outdoors is the most appropriate way of housing them. Keeping them in tiny aquariums is not the right way to house box turtles. A large Rubbermaid tub can also make an appropriate container if a box turtle has to be kept indoors. Unlike glass aquariums, Rubbermaid tubs or even specially built wooden boxes tend to be quite beneficial.
A combination of leaf mulch, potting soil, sand and sphagnum moss can make an appropriate substrate for pet box turtles. Humidity is ideally held by such a substrate if it is misted daily. To get a sense of security, box turtles often hide under a hollow log or burrow into the substrate. Thus, along with the substrate, appropriate hiding places for box turtles should also be placed in their container. To ensure that the toenails of the box turtles remain in good shape, flat rocks should also be placed in one spot.
Humidity is essentially required by box turtles. Eye irritation and respiratory illness can be caused by dry air. In fact a box turtle can be literally killed by dry air.
Some sort of pool should also be avoided to box turtles since they love to wade and soak in water. Along with replacing the water everyday, their water container also needs to be regularly cleaned since box turtles have the habit of defecating even in their own water containers. Box turtles should be soaked in water daily if they are kept indoors. Outdoor enclosures should even have deeper ponds since box turtles find swimming quite enjoyable even though they are rather clumsy at it.
Greens, insects, fruits, fungi, mollusks, veggies and worms make ideal turtle food that would be enjoyed by them to a great extent since box turtles happen to be omnivores. Half of the diet of pet box turtles should comprise of plants and as for the other half of the diet, they can be fed animal foods.
Both psychologically and physiologically, box turtles require good light. Access to direct sunlight is required by all reptiles, including box turtles. To provide them adequate light and warmth, an additional incandescent bulb should also be placed in a box turtle’s container.
Box turtles are capable of surviving in various temperatures. Apart from a warming light bulb, it is not necessary to provide additional heating to a box turtle. As long as box turtles are properly taken care of, their life expectancy is quite long.