With all the great turtle information available today, proper care and handling of your new pet must be easy to master. Although the turtle may seem like a shy and docile creature that hides inside its shell, it can, if provoked, use its beak and claws to defend itself. You should always keep two issues in mind when holding your pet: the safety of the person who is handling the animal, and the safety and well-being of the animal that is being handled.
First of all, if you have children under the age of five in your household, it is never advisable to keep turtles as pets. This also applies if there are pregnant women in the home, or people who have compromised or weak immune systems.
Turtles are known as notorious carriers of the Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella causes an illness called Salmonellosis, which infects the human intestinal tract, causing abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and at times, fever.
If you are a pet owner with a close relationship to your pet, the desire to hold, cuddle, or carry your pet around is certainly normal. It is very important to bear in mind that although turtles may appear to be calm animals, they do not appreciate being handled too much. If they become agitated or fearful, they will try to defend themselves by using their teeth and claws to bite and scratch. In fact, the majority of turtle information available states that they always prefer to be left alone rather than being carried around.
Even if you have already earned the trust of your pet, there are still precautions you must take to make sure that you avoid harboring unwanted bacteria, and that your pet is free from being stressed out.
When picking up your turtle, grasp it securely by placing your hands around both sides of its shell. Make sure that your fingers and hands are kept away from its head. It is important to keep the turtle’s head aimed away from you, so that the turtle cannot bite or latch on to your body.
Be very cautious whenever you handle your turtle. Never place your face, hands, or fingers near or in front of the turtle’s face or head, because it may reach around and bite, as some turtles have long necks. Always be quiet and calm whenever you are holding or approaching your turtle. Turtles have rather sharp claws that can scratch and hurt you if they are startled, stressed out, fearful, or uncomfortable.
Some other useful turtle information:
You should always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after you have handled the animal, its cage, or feeding dishes.
Never clean turtle tanks, dishes, or the turtle itself in the kitchen sink.
Never allow your turtle to roam unmonitored around the house, because it may leave traces of Salmonella on the carpets, floor, and other surfaces with which it comes in contact.
This beneficial turtle information should help you establish a close relationship with your pet, without compromising either its welfare or your health and safety as its owner.