How to Take Care of a Land Turtle

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Land turtles need less maintenance than some other types of pets, but they do have their own special needs. They need the right environment and care to keep them healthy. The right home and food will provide much of what they need.

Things You'll Need

  • Terrarium
  • Food
  • Clean water
  • Reptile vitamins
  • Hard surface

Create a Habitat

  • Put together a turtle habitat. A land turtle terrarium should have a water area where the turtle can sit or even swim in his water. Another area should have food. Still another should have things that the turtle can climb on and hide under. This will make the turtle comfortable when he wishes to hide. A terrarium can be made from a large glass or fiberglass aquarium or it can be constructed especially for the turtle. The habitat should be large enough to allow the turtle plenty of room to roam around.

  • Keep food in the land turtle's cage. Different types of turtles eat different types of food. Most will eat fruit, lettuce and small animals. Snails, slugs and worms are preferred by some turtles. Mashed fruit is preferred by others.

  • Replace the food and water to keep it clean. The turtle's waste will have to be cleaned out of the habitat regularly.

  • Mix reptile vitamins in with the turtle's food occasionally. Pet turtles sometimes suffer from vitamin deficiencies that can be prevented with vitamins in liquid or powdered form. Most pet stores carry these vitamins.

  • Take the turtle for regular walks. Walking on a hard, rough surface like concrete or asphalt will keep a land turtle's nails trimmed. Without these walks to file the nails down, a turtle's claws can grow long enough to cause injury to himself and anyone who handles him.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wash your hands after holding your turtle. Some turtles carry salmonella and can transmit it to humans.

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