Friday, August 14, 2015

The Joy of Pet Turtle Love - Pixel Shares Fun Info on #ReptileCare

This post is a sponsored post. I am being compensated to help spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but 'Pixel Blue Eyes: Her Tails of Adventure' only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD® and PetSmart® are not responsible for the content of this article.
Mommy and Harriet, her first and most beloved box turtle.

Being a pet parent is such fun. It doesn't matter what kind of pet you have, as long as you know how to care for your pet, love it and play with it, you will have many wonderful experiences and at the same time, learn a great deal. It's a journey of joy and adventure.
I'm channeling my inner turtle right now under this blanket and let me tell you, it's pretty fun! Mommy says it's important to know the facts about what your turtle, or any reptile pet, will need to help it succeed, so it can thrive and really enjoy life. She's really grateful for resources like the petMD® Reptile Center that provides information on #ReptileCare and so much more. If you click on the Reptile 'Articles' link, it lists a bunch of articles on every topic you can imagine. It's really fascinating. You'll be so reptile smart after reading these articles, you'll be the best reptile pet parent ever! Speaking of learning, Mommy wanted to share some interesting things she learned along the way in her years of being a turtle parent.

Interesting Questions and #ReptileCare Information on Living with Box Turtles:

Do Box Turtles Like Living Indoors?
Mommy's box turtles enjoyed their large indoor habitat. They would come to the plexiglass window and greet Mommy in the mornings when they woke up, and interacted well with the living arrangements within the habitat. They had warming lamps, 3 pools, several rocks and lumps of wood to climb on or get under, lots of living plants to enjoy, and real dirt to burrow in. Mommy lined half the enclosure walls with images of forests, waterfalls and scenery the turtles would love. Mommy also made sure they had a set "day" of 10 - 14 hours (depending on season) and "night" time, so their body clocks would stay consistent. The box turtles had a lot of variety in their diet to make life good too!
What General Temperatures and Conditions Do Box Turtles Need?
Box Turtles generally need warm, moist conditions in an enclosure, but it depends on where the box turtle is from. It's important to have both a warm and a cool side in your enclosure so that your box turtle can regulate its body temperature. The warm side should have a warm spot provided by a low wattage light bulb that reaches 80°F-90°F (27°C-32°C). The cooler end of the enclosure should generally stay between 65°F-75°F (18°C-24°C). If you make it any colder, they might try to hibernate. You can purchase inexpensive thermometers to ensure the temperatures are within range. Make sure the soil is moist, at least in one section of the enclosure. Not wet, just moist. Box turtles live in the forest floor where all the moist fallen leaves are, so they enjoy and need that humidity that leaf litter can provide. Misting half of the enclosure once a day should do the trick for your box turtle.
Do Box Turtles Like Dogs?
A lot of them do, and the same goes for dogs liking box turtles. My older sister Morgan, who was a standard black Schnauzer, LOVED Mommy's first turtles Harriet and Lucky. Morgan would hang out with the turtles when Mommy would take the turtles outside to get some sun and explore. The turtles never snapped at her and always let her sniff at them because she was so gentle. Mommy always kept a keen eye on her beloved turtles, but one time little Harriet got away from her, and Mommy was frantic. But Morgan loved Harriet too, so when Mommy said, "Go find Harriet, Morgan," she immediately started sniffing the ground looking for her! Sure enough, Morgan led Mommy right to Harriet, who was up against the shed behind a flower bush, no doubt looking for a tasty snack to eat. Morgan became the box turtle guardian from then on.
Do Box Turtles Like to Swim?
There are all kinds of turtles who are water turtles, and people often see box turtles near water...but box turtles do not seek water out to go swimming. They normally only like water that is neck deep. They use water for a few reasons:
 - when they are thirsty/to get a drink
 - when they wish to cool down/to soak their body
 -  to procreate with each other
 - to lay eggs (at least that is what my Harriet did 3 separate times, though she was infertile and the eggs never hatched)
Incidentally, Mommy did have one box turtle, Henry, who LOVED to swim in a sink full of water. He would swim and swim and swim, just like he was a little dog. It was very cute. She'd take him out, but if she set him on the side, he'd dive back in again. He loved it!
1. Girl Box Turtles have Brown Eyes and Boy Box Turtles have Red/Orange Eyes - Always!
2. Box Turtles can live between 50 - 100 years! Really!
3. When you see a box turtle crossing the road...ALWAYS help cross to the side it is headed, or it will start back over again to get to it's original destination.
4. The age of a box turtle can be generally determined by counting the rings on the plates (scutes) of the turtle's shell (carapace), similar to the rings on a tree. Each ring equates one year.
5. A box turtle's shell does not get fully hard until it is approximately 7 years old.
6. Some box turtles will come when called, just like a dog. Yes indeed! It's truly amazing and so adorable. Here's one adorable example.
Do Box Turtles Make Noise?
Not really. They are very quiet animals. Oddly enough, they can be semi loud eaters, depending on what it is they eat. Mommy told me that she believes that part of it is the sound the food makes but part of it is their jaws working and grinding at the food. Thank goodness they don't eat crunchy Rice Chex late at night when you are trying to sleep!

What is a Box Turtle's Favorites Fruit?
Strawberries were, claws down, the favorite fruit of Mommy's box turtles. Apparently, it's a favorite for other box turtles too. Mommy loved watching them eat and thought it was so cute how they'd wear the fruit on their face like a toddler. Take a look at this fun video by a fellow box turtle lover showing her box turtle enjoy a big, red, juicy strawberry. It's very sweet and makes Mommy miss her Box Turtles very much!

Remember that when you have your own reptile, one of the very best resources for information, articles and excellent veterinary care help is the petMD® Reptile Center. The center's content continues to expand with more information and all kinds of interesting articles about turtle care, #ReptileCare and will answer all kinds of questions you may have as you care for your turtle or other reptile. And as you set up your indoor habitat for your new reptile, don't forget the incredible selection at the Reptile Purchase Center at PetSmart®, where you can find everything you need to make the perfect home for your turtle or other cool reptile.


  1. That's very interesting Pixel! I've not had turtles as pets, but I have helped quite a few get across the road! I also had to stay clear of one by the road ditch where I live - it was a snapping turtle who was annoyed that I wanted to mow by my drive.....He won the staredown and I went back up the drive!!

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    1. Thank you for helping some cross the road. I know they appreciated it! Snapping turtles can be awfully mean Mitzi. They are not very nice if you ask me....and sort of intimidating looking. I hope you got to mow your drive later on.

  2. Sea turtles have been victims of over worldwide harvesting and only seven species are left in existence today. Of the seven a whopping five individual species are present in Nicaragua. These turtles include the Olive Ridley Turtle, the Loggerhead Turtle, the Hawksbill Turtle, the Leatherback Turtle, and the Green

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