Before getting yourself any kind of a pet whether it is a domesticated cat, an iguana, a guinea pig or a red-eared slider, you have to prepare yourself not only financially but also mentally and psychologically.
Getting a pet means introducing a new member into the household; you have to make room for it, provide it with required basic needs and give it the special attention it deserves. So jumping the gun is not a good idea.
While many animals can be kept as pets, specific animals have definite temperaments, nutritional requirements, environmental needs and many other details that you need be able to oversee to avoid getting your pet sick or depressed.
Red-eared sliders, also known as red-eared terrapins, may appear small, shy, and slow but these turtles are actually really fun to keep around. They are relatively easy to care for and that is also one of the reasons why they are known to be one of the most popular reptile pets in the world.
However as a human companion to the red-eared turtle, you do have to be familiar with several things about it first before actually bringing it home. This is to ensure that you’ll be prepared for anything that happens to your pet and to make sure that it lives a happy and healthy life for years to come.
1. Red-eared sliders live long.
These terrapins, famously called sliders because of their uncanny ability to slide off of rocks or logs without any difficulty, can live up to 40 years in the ideal circumstances.
That is, if you give it enough love and affection – provide it with the proper food and a nice home. If you are the one that grows tired of things real quick, the red-eared slider maybe not be a good pet for you.
Getting a red-eared slider is entering into a friendship; a commitment that includes you taking care of it and not releasing it out of your house after the initial excitement has rubbed off.
You will be providing it with proper diet and housing for a long time, so it’s better to look and plan ahead to see if the red-eared slider has a place in your future.
2. Fully-grown red-eared sliders can grow up to 12 inches.
All animals look cute when they are still tiny little babies but remember they won’t stay as babies for long. Do not be surprised if after a few years your pet slider grows into a full 12-inch turtle.
You definitely need to keep this in mind when buying a tank for your turtle. If you have enough space in your home, you can also opt to provide it with its own pond. Red-eared turtles thrive in an outside pond.
If you are going to keep them indoors, they do require UV lighting, water heating, room for swimming, a basking light, basking area and a filter. If you opt to buy a large tank instead, you can also put some accessories and gravel in the tank, which your pet will absolutely love to explore.
If kept indoors controlling the temperature in your turtle’s living space is necessary to maintain their active metabolism. The natural habitats of red-eared sliders are freshwater systems, including streams, lakes and swamps, where the water is calm and there is plenty of room to bask.
3. Red-eared sliders can be a tad messy.
Shy as they are, they seem to make quite a mess with their waste so aside from maintaining a water filter, you also have to regularly change the water and clean the tank.
Algae and unwanted bacteria, which will easily make your pet sick, have to be constantly cleaned out. Also, be on the lookout for uneaten food or leftovers which if left too long in the tank, will cause a lot of problems for your terrapin.
4. Red-eared sliders can get pretty hungry.
These turtles eat a diet of fish, earthworms, algae and other plants. A good retailer/breeder or a vet will advise you on readily available and easy-to-prepare red-eared slider food. They may also offer you guidance if your pet is difficult to feed or seems to have some nutritional deficiencies.
Red-eared sliders are known to get a little excited during feeding time: they also do sometimes try to catch your attention to show you if they are hungry. However, overfeeding can be an issue – even in turtles obesity can be a problem.
So there you go, these are the 4 important things to keep in mind before you go get yourself a red-eared sliders to keep as pets.
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