New... pet? need some help


11 Years
May 9, 2008
bootheel of missouri
Today I guess I got a new.. pet? My uncle brought us what appears to be a box turtle I dont know where he got it or when but he didnt want it anymore I guess and brought it to me because he knows we have so many other animals. But I have never had a turtle before and have no clue how to care for it. So I have been doing some reading but its alot to take in and im trying. I was wondering if someone experienced in turtles could give me a list of things im gonna need? Right now he is in a 29 gallon aquarium with newspaper because it is all I had at short notice but I will fix him an appropriate place tommorrow when I find out what exactly is appropriate for him. do they have to be inside or do they live well outside I was thinking of letting him out in the fenced area to roam around and then bringing him back inside does that work or no? Like I said I know absolutely nothing about them so I dont even know what else to ask so any information would be greatly appreciated
Can't help much, as I haven't had one either, but always wanted one! Good luck with him!! I would try to identify him, that will help with specifics and I know there is tons of info on the internet. Maybe try calling a turtle or tortoise rescue for info?
fo mine I had a heat light, wood chips for the bottom( mine liked to burrow) and a hollowed log for it to go into. Make sure to give it protein like crickets and meal worms along with veggies. I am pretty sure pet stores sell box turtle food, but make sure to check protein content it is very important.
We used to find one every year and then turn it out after keeping it a lil while. Then found out that was a BIG NO NO!! seems that they have a heck of a memory and once you turn them back out they will take off on a road trip to find where ever it is that they were found at, most die before ever finding their long lost home.

we always fed ours fruits and bugs. They do like things to hide in, I'd say turning him out in a fenced yard would be ok, as long as its safe from any predators and can't get anywhere to hid that you cant get to like, under a building or house.

Good luck with your lil fellow, I love box turtles!!
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First, you need to find out for sure what kind of turtle it is. It makes a difference as to what care it needs. It would also be very helpful to know how long your uncle had it and how he cared for it while he had it. If he just got it, you can still let it go if you take it back to wherever it was that he found it. It should probably not be released otherwise.
If it is a species native to where you live, then it can live outside in a secure pen year round. But even if it is native, you may not want to let it stay out this winter if it is not in good health or has been kept indoors for years.
I have two eastern box turtles that live in an outdoor pen year round. They burrow underground for the winter.
Thanks for all the info I am trying to figure out all the things im gonna need im going out of town tommorrow to go to pet store to get the supplies needed. For right now I moved him to a rubbermaid container with plain dirt in it and put some turnip greens in there for him to eat I will have to get the uv lights and turtle food etc tommorrow. I know that he hasnt had it long his step daughter is always bringing things home and she found it in the road and brought it home. I dont know where she found him though because they dont live in my town. They were keeping him in a shed before they brought him here. What kind of container is best for their water? I put a ceramic cat dish in there and it has dirt all in it from walking through it. I guess I need something bigger anyway since I read they are suppose to be able to soak in the water. sorry once again about all the questions I usually have all this research done before getting a new animal.

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