We care a lot about all pets, and at Glenwood Pet Hospital, our reptile veterinarian recommends all turtles undergo a wellness exam once per year. This allows our team to track any changes in weight, behavior, and appetite as these may indicate changes in your box turtle’s health.
Necessities for Turtle Care in Erie, PA
Our team recommends the following elements of care to ensure your box turtle lives a long, happy and healthy life with you:
What is an Optimal Diet for a Box Turtle?
Box turtles are omnivores, which means they consume 50% vegetable and 50% animal matter, such as invertebrate and miscellaneous leafy vegetables. Just like with any pet, it is important to ensure your turtle’s diet meets their nutritional needs. Box turtles thrive on variety in their diets, so occasionally adding in some carrots, beets, squash, and bell peppers is a delicious and nutritious way to feed your pet. Commercial box turtle diets such as Exoterra can also be given. In addition, invertebrates must be given a richer food source before the box turtle consumes them. You may consider powder formulas or vegetables and green leaves. Avoid giving your turtle large amounts of goitrogenic vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy, which can damage thyroid function and lead to goiter. We recommend dusting their food with calcium carbonate only, without vitamin D3, such as Repashy Super Cal No D 3 times a week. Our turtle veterinarian can provide customized recommendations as well.
What is an Ideal Enclosure for Box Turtles?
Box turtles would do best in an outdoor enclosure which can guard against predators but provide access to direct sunlight as well as sufficient shade and hiding spots. Box turtles need a shallow bowl of water to drink out of and soak in. You will also need to provide a heat lamp for basking. This basking area should be approximately 90-95°F during the day, dropping 10 -15°F at night. If your turtle is housed indoors, it’s important to ensure they have access to direct sunlight each day. Providing a UVB bulb near the heat source is a great alternative if this is not possible. It will help your turtle produce vitamin D3 which aids in calcium absorption from the intestine. Too much vitamin D3 can lead to a potentially fatal disease. Check out exoterra.com or click here to learn more about UVB bulbs and how to choose the best one for your pet.