If you are considering buying a red eared slider as a pet there are a number of things that you need to do to ensure that you are prepared for the new addition to the household as well as to ensure that the turtle that you buy is going to be healthy.
Some of the things to do to prepare yourself for the arrival include: Learn about the needs of the red eared slider: These are semi-aquatic creatures who will need to be well looked after for maximum health.
Before you bring your red eared slider home you should spend time learning more about its habitat and environmental needs, its dietary needs and preferences, and its temperament.
Get a home set up: Before you bring the slider home make sure that you have its new habitat set up ready.
This includes getting a tank, ensuring there is a section with water and an area of 'dry land' for basking, and getting other essentials such as a water filtration system and a UV lamp so that your turtle can bask.
You can be very creative with the tank but even if you want to minimise make sure that there are some plants, rocks, maybe even some small logs for the turtle to feel at home.
Finding your turtle Before you purchase a red eared slider there are also a number of things that you should consider in order to make sure that you get a slider that is healthy and that will be happy.
This includes: Buy a captive bred slider: You should always opt for a slider that has been captive bred rather than one that has been caught in the wild.
This is because the wild ones may become very stressed and very ill as a result of their change in environment even if you have tried to make it as similar to their natural habitat as possible.
Look out for signs of illness: There are a number of signs that can indicate poor health in a turtle.
For example, a soft shell can indicate bone disease, lack of responsiveness could indicate illness, and cracked or broken shells can lead to serious problems.
Make sure that the red eared slider is not thin but is not too plump looking - they should be fleshy but not with rolls of fat.
Also, check that there is no discharge or swelling in the eyes as this can be a sign of illness in read eared sliders.