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Leaving RES Unattended

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At times, people need to leave their turtle unattended. One or two day periods are generally acceptable. For longer periods of time, we do recommend that people plan ahead. Feeding is a primary concern and a healthy adult slider can safely go several days without food. Adding aquatic vegetation may help, though sliders do have different appetites. Leaving feeder fish is also an option and how successful it would be depends on the ability or inability of your turtle to capture food. Having multiple RES complicates this situation since some are more aggressive and adept at feeding. It is not recommended to leave small or recently ill turtles unattended.

Patience For longer absences, it is recommended that there be someone who can check and feed the turtles every other day. There are several other precautions to take. Water should be as clean as possible and the filter media should be cleaned or replaced. Water heaters and UVA/UVB light and basking areas should be checked and in normal condition. If not done so already, lighting periods can be set with a simple electrical timer. The tank should be secured for potential escapes kept safe from other pets. If your area suffers from regular power outages, it is even more important to have someone regularly check the equipment as well. Certain filters will run dry after a power outage with the potential of causing a serious electrical hazard.

Leaving a Turtle with Someone Else

There are some veterinarians that may house pets for a short period of time. You should only look into one that you know is capable of properly housing an “exotic” pet. You should also personally know them and have prior experience with them. Ask them questions and examine where they will keep your turtle.

Another option is to setup up a temporary turtle habitat at a willing person’s residence. You have the advantage of determining where to setup a tank (a plastic tub would suffice) and add some basic filtration, basking, lighting and heating. Leave a care sheet, feeding schedule and information and emergency veterinary contact information. Instruct them on how to check the water/basking temperatures and how to handle and hold a turtle.

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This page updated: 2011/01/28 Copyright © 2005-2011 Red Ear Slider. All rights reserved.