red eared slider

What You Need To Know About Pet Turtles

It’s no secret that turtles make adorable pets. While they may not be the cuddly type, turtles are cute and easy to take care of — with proper preparation. If you’re wondering how to take care of a pet turtle or how to spot the symptoms of some health challenges they face, keep reading!

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For A Pet Turtle

A bit of background research is all that’s required when it comes to setting up the perfect living conditions for your new pet. That’s why we’ve put together this list of turtle care basics:

  • Habitat: It’s crucial for turtles to have spaces big enough for them to move around. They also require a certain amount of heat. When you decide on your specific turtle, be sure to do extra research regarding its needs and requirements.
  • Diet: Turtles don’t need to eat every day. A mix of insects, vegetables and pellets four to five times a week is all they need.
  • Sunlight: Sunlight plays a crucial role in your turtle developing a strong, healthy shell. Putting your turtle tank somewhere with access to the sun is generally a good idea.
  • Lifespan: Turtles can live for up to 20 years. If you’re considering buying one, make sure you’re in it for the long haul!



Health Issues For Turtles

To keep your turtle fit, happy and comfortable, it’s essential to learn about the common health issues they face. Inspecting your turtle daily ensures you’re aware of its health and can keep an eye out for any of the following health issues:

  • Fractures: Any breaks in your turtle’s shell will most likely be fixable by a vet. To avoid fractures, keep your pet’s shell thoroughly clean at all times and never drop your turtle.
  • Shell Infections: Infections may arise from contaminated turtle shells. Cleaning their shells regularly is an excellent routine to get into for proactive health care.
  • Parasites: Roundworms are common parasites found in turtle feces. While they are hard to detect, be on the lookout for diarrhea and weight loss.
  • Respiratory Diseases: A vitamin A deficiency is the cause of most respiratory infections. If you notice swelling around your turtle’s nose and eyes, a loss of energy or lack of appetite, they may be suffering from a cold. Try adding in more spinach to your pet’s diet.


When To Call A Turtle Vet

Keeping a close eye on your turtle’s health will enable you to detect the signs of common illnesses early on before they become serious. If you do notice any of the above symptoms, give your turtle vet a call. It’s always better to be safe than sorry — especially when it comes to your beloved turtle!

Interested In Adding Turtles To Your Family?

As an AAHA-accredited animal hospital, we provide top-notch health and informational services for exotic animals and comprehensive health plans for your pets. For more information, call University Animal Clinic today at (941) 253-5218 or contact us online. We also invite you to visit our location in Bradenton, Florida.


Contact us today to learn more, or request a veterinarian appointment online.

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What Our Clients Have To Say

I took my galah Rosie for a general physical. The staff and vet took the time to show me (as a new bird owner) how to clip nails and wings and what to look for as far as outward signs of her health.

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I just moved to Florida, and looking for a veterinarian I came across university animal clinic walking around the plaza so I decided to stop in and get information on the veterinarians, the women at the front desk was so kind and caring, I unfortunately forgot her name.

Karen Hulty

Can’t recommend highly enough!!! The staff is extremely friendly and the Vet is energetic and very knowledgeable and easy to talk to! They work with exotic animals which is a plus! We brought our bearded dragon that formed an abscess and they had her all fixed up in 20 minutes!!

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I love Dr. Rill. Our little Cafe had been struggling with an ear infection for almost a year and Dr, Rill never gave up on making her better. I learned so much from him. I love his assistants! They are kind and treat the animals with respect. And, they are kind to us humans as well.

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Pet Parent

Thank you to Doctor Simonson, Casey, Dr. Sam and the rest of the team for taking care of Wrangler! You all treated him like a pet of your own and made me feel so comfortable leaving him with you to watch over after such a scary incident. Everyone at your office is so knowledgeable and caring.

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Best EVER!!! Dr. Leigh is fantastic!!! I am moving my dog’s care to her. This is after growing up with the same vet (22 years). She spent time with my dog and did a thorough examination. She took time to discuss treatment plans for her arthritis. Dr. Leigh and the techs are so knowledgeable.

Dog Parent

I wasn’t holding my breath that a vet would work hard to help diagnose my leopard gecko. I was wrong. The doctor worked hard to diagnose why our pet lizard stopped eating & ran a battery of tests.

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Vets and staff are knowledgeable and efficient. Clean and friendly Vet office. My dog now goes in to see her Vet with out balking.

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