Caring for Terrapins


Ongoing Terrapin Care

Ongoing terrapin careTerrapins are delicate creatures and not an easy pet to keep. They need proper care and attention of the owner – without which they may die soon.

Life span of a terrapin is more than 30 years, so the responsibilities of the owner also become a long-term affair.

An ambience as similar as their natural habitat is necessary for a long and happy survival. Poor husbandry causes a number of health problems or diseases and without treatment they can even be fatal.

Proper and balanced diet, controlled water temperature, clean water to swim in, sunlight or artificial UV light, careful handling, regular health check ups, etc can make one a successful owner of a terrapin.

Some of the key areas of ongoing terrapin care are shown below:

Diet – A hatchling needs non-vegetarian food like meat, fish, insects, cuttle fish, etc. while an older one can be given leafy vegetables and commercial foods. A calcium-rich balanced diet is very much important for them.

Water temperature – It should be carefully monitored, as both too high and too low temperatures can be harmful since they are cold-blooded creatures.

Water Quality – Clean water is essential. Hence, by regular replacement, filtration and removal of solid dirts manually by net or siphon the water can be kept clear of the left over foods and droppings which cause terribly foul smell and growth of various microorganisms.


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Sunlight or artificial UV light – Terrapins love basking in the sun for the need of UV rays to generate Vitamin D for a healthy and hard shell. If natural sunlight is not possible to be provided, the terrapinarium should be equipped with an artificial UV light source.

Handling – Careful handling is necessary. Hold them firmly from the sides with a good support of both hands to prevent fall. A bad fall can cause death by breaking of shell, neck, limbs or head.

Avoid painful bites or scratches by a terrified terrapin. Every pre- and post-contact with a terrapin, washing hands with soap and disinfectant is necessary to prevent ‘salmonellosis’. Don’t allow a child below 5 years to handle a terrapin.

Health check ups – Regular health check up by an able veterinary doctor helps to detect various infections and other internal and external health problems. Application of antibiotics, vitamin A or a minor surgery in time can save them generally.

Keeping terrapin as a pet is no doubt expensive. But along with other accessories, these lovable creatures need an unconditional love of the keeper too. If you need to brush up on your terrapin care skills check out this handy terrapin care guide.

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