Terrapins are reptiles and are often kept as pets. Unlike turtles, terrapins are pets that are best suited to people who would rather watch the animal than handle it. Terrapins are smaller than turtles and have a much lighter shell. They also have webbed feet, since they spend so much of their time in the water.
When you are considering getting a terrapin as a pet, there are a few things you will need to make sure your terrapin is healthy and happy.
1. Terrapins require a large habitat.
While it does not have to be indoors, an outdoor habitat must be safe from predators. There are many animals that can pose significant hazards to terrapins. Pets such as these require you to take all precautions to keep your terrapin safe from any item that might be in the habitat. Your terrapin will require a wet and dry area in their habitat as well.
2. Source of heat
Terrapins are unable to regulate their body temperature internally. You will need a source of heat, such as a heat lamp, so they can draw the warmth they need from their surroundings. Ideally, the habitat should be kept between 70 and 80 degrees to keep your terrapin healthy. Be sure to think about your terrapin if you experience a power outage. Your terrapin’s guide can provide you with alternatives if this should occur.
Your terrapin’s care should also include the right type of diet. Most are not picky eaters; however, they do require a diet that consists of many different foods, such as mealworms, lettuce and bananas. Cuttlefish bones will also provide the necessary calcium.
Some of the foods terrapins like are:
- Meat (small bites of cooked chicken, turkey, or beef)
- Worms (mealworms, wax worms, or earthworms)
- Terrapin pellets (found at most pet supply stores)
- Powered bone meal (provides calcium)
4. Fresh water
Your terrapin will also need fresh water daily. Since water is such an important part of a terrapin’s life, you need be sure it is clean and filtered. Your terrapin’s guide is a great source of information on how to set up a filtered watering system. Change the water weekly to keep your terrapin healthy.
Terrapins can make great pets, but only if they have the proper care. While you will undoubtedly have questions about your terrapin, your terrapin’s guide will be able to provide most of the answers. Be sure you keep your terrapin safe from any other household pets you may have and keep small children from picking it up.
Terrapins can bite, so you need to exercise some caution when dealing with them. As long as you give your terrapin a comfortable habitat, a good diet, fresh water, and keep them safe, your terrapin will give you years of enjoyment.