Having a box turtle for a pet can be enjoyable and worry-free, considering that these creatures require very little maintenance compared to other pet varieties.
But in order to help prolong the life of your box turtles as pets, you need to provide them a suitable and sustainable habitat for them to live in and ensure that they would feel comfortable by allowing them an environment that would mimic their own.
Box turtles are not too demanding
This is one of the best advantages of having a box turtle for a pet, it does not take much to make them survive in a domestic environment. All they need is a suitable place where they could move around and a sizable area, water, lighting and some natural amenities like those that you can find in nature.
They also need ample supply of water and a small area for them to swim or wade around in water or some plants, rocks and logs.
Box habitat for box turtles
A small tub or a couple of wooden creates wonâ€™t be enough for your average box turtle but you can have one made by a handyman or carpenter, even you yourself if you have some carpentry skills on your belt.
You can have a rectangular wooden enclosure measuring 3 feet wide, six feet long and a foot and a half high side walls to keep your box turtle from climbing over.
You can place beach or river sand on half of the habitat box and the other half with an aquarium substrate, preferably sphagnum moss since it can retain moisture by just adding some clean lukewarm water to it daily.
Just make sure to do some research on what else you may be able to use as a substrate for the flooring that would not be hazardous to box turtles like wood chips, for instance.
Add shelters and other amenities
Box turtles, aside from their shells, often seek isolation in the comfort of crevices or secluded areas, so you may want to create a similar hideaway by using either halved big clay pots and placing them on top of the substrate, enough for the turtle to crawl in and have its moment of peace.
You can also use an old bucket that you can open on one side and big enough for a turtle to hide in.
You also need to provide a heat lamp since turtles are cold-blooded creatures, they may sometimes want to bask in some warm light, just make sure to place it in a part of the box where it is not too close to the substrate or from the enclosure itself in order to just provide the ideal warmth the turtles need. You can also use a small basin placed with water so the turtle can swim around.
Check regularly for signs of rotting or wastes to avoid getting the turtle sick
Make sure to check on your box turtle habitat from time to time. Remove items that would show signs of decay or rotting so that bacteria and germs could not thrive and endanger your box turtle. Also check for visible signs of wastes in the box and make sure to have the area clean to avoid contamination on your box turtle. Never leave excess food in the box as it could spoil and breed harmful germs and attract insects.