Box Turtles of America Unite!
We make awesome pets ... of course, it helps if our humans give us healthy, happy homes to live in. That's easier to do when you understand how we live in the wild. So ... this site will share a mix of information on our natural habitats and habits, along with ways for your humans to mimic those in your home or yard.
Okay, humans, if you already have a box turtle, you know we're curious and friendly—even if we're not very cuddly!
But do you know how best to take care of us? Many humans aren't really sure. Maybe that's why you're here?
Well, we're here to help!
If you're thinking about getting a box turtle, you should know we need more care and attention than you might expect. That shouldn't discourage you from getting one, as long as you're prepared. But if you're hoping for a pet that's less work than a dog or cat, you might want to think again.
A few things to keep in mind:
- We're not very happy living in a glass aquarium or a cardboard box. We need an environment similar to our wild habitat. That includes a water source, loose material for burrowing into and a feeding area. At the very least.
- We regulate our body temperature by moving into sunny or shady areas as needed. We also need a certain humidity range to stay healthy. As a turtle caregiver, you'll need to set up a habitat with both warm and cool areas, and monitor the humidity.
- Feeding's not quite as simple as opening a can of cat food or dog food, either. We are omniverous. That means we eat "everything," both plants and animals. In captivity, we depend on you to provide the variety we need.
- Not all veterinarians will handle reptiles (that's what we are). We don't need annual vaccinations, but we can still get sick or hurt. If that happens, we hope you know where to take us. Please investigate veterinarians in your area ahead of time.
Don't worry, it's not really that hard. Many people have very pampered box turtles as pets. It's a lot of work to set up right. But once you do, we're really not that much trouble.