While many people find exotic pets to be cool, many pet owners are still quite reluctant to veer away from having dogs and cats as their animal companions. The thought of having exotic pets seems so out-of-this-world when one thinks of the special care needed for such unusual critters. However, such isn’t really true since not all exotic pets are hard to keep. Some may even be easier to maintain than typical pets. One example of easy-to-keep exotic pets are box turtles.
When buying box turtles it is best to avoid doing it during the cold seasons as box turtles hibernate during such times. Box turtles tend to be stressed during the winter due to the dehydration and starvation that comes with hibernation.
A good box turtle would feel solid and weighty when you pick it up. Check for its strong reflexes by gently tugging its hind leg and seeing if it quickly and strongly pulls its legs away. The face and limbs should have no swellings, the eyes should be alert and clear. There should be no discolorations or slime on the shell. There should be no secretions coming from the mouth and nose. There should be no breaks, cracks, or overgrowth in the beak. Common sense would usually help one find the tell-tale signs of bad condition.
Boxed turtles live well both indoors and outdoors. They just need an enclosure that allows them enough space to live in. The enclosure should be at least 36 by 12 inches and have a wall high enough to keep the turtle from climbing out. Box turtles prefer living on slightly moistened potting soil that has no coarse substrates that may damage their shells. There should be enough water for the turtle to dip in and climb out as it wants. For cold areas, there should be a heat source such as a heating pad to regulate the temperature.
Box turtles need only to be fed once every morning for youngsters, and every other day for adults. Box turtles need a balanced diet that contains both animal and plant materials. Varied vegetables are good when combined with canned dog food is usually recommended for the turtles. Other owners feed box turtles with mashed chicken liver, earthworms, slugs, and small insects.
Keeping box turtles as exotic pets may be a good decision for many. They are easy to live with and easy to maintain. It is also very enjoyable to witness these creatures grow and live.