Buying Turtles As Pets

Buying a turtle as a pet requires some forethought and planning, much like buying any other pet. There are a few important considerations to go over, such as what kind of turtle you want, what its needs are and whether you will be able to provide for it.

A lot of people assume that having turtles as pets does not require a lot of work or care. In fact, buying turtles and bringing them home as a pet takes a lot of commitment and care.

The average life expectancy for turtles is around fifty years and that is one of the main things to consider when you want to buy a turtle. Especially if you are buying a turtle as a pet for a child. While turtles are easier to care for than certain kinds of pets, they do still need love and attention and the proper environment and diet to be able to have a healthy life.

Depending on the type of turtle you choose as your pet, you will need to do the proper amount of research in order to know what kind of environment that they need to live in and what they require for food.

Most pet turtles have similar needs as far as diet is concerned that is basically a variety of fresh vegetables, lettuce being one of the most popular choices. (Avoid iceberg lettuce, however, as this can cause diarrhea.) There are different kinds of turtles you can look into owning, including semi-aquatic turtles and fully terrestrial ones.

They are all similar in a lot of ways but each one has specific needs and you should talk to an expert at your pet store when buying one. You need to pick a turtle that is most suited to your own home life and your ability to provide it a good life. Some pet turtles do not require as much in the way of special lighting and heating conditions as others, so you should make sure you know enough about the different kinds of pet turtles when you want to buy one and take it home as your next pet.

You can have a wonderful relationship with your pet turtle, and many people who take the time to get to know all about their turtle find that it is possible to create a fulfilling and rewarding bond with them.

Tarantulas as Pets

Spiders can make great pets! I wouldn’t suggest anyone with arachnophobia (fear of spiders) having one as a pet, but even beginner pet owners can take care of some types of spiders.

Tarantulas are the most common type of spider kept as a pet, and have become more and more popular as a pet in recent years. Although people tend to fear keeping a tarantula as a pet, it is often more harmful to the animal than to the pet owner. Tarantulas can die from a short fall if their abdomen ruptures, so great care must be taken when handling one.

Tarantulas are venomous, but in most species the toxicity of their venom is not strong enough to seriously harm a person. A tarantula bite can be compared to a bee or was sting. In most cases, it is harmless, though a person can have an allergic reaction to spider bites in much the same way that some react to bee stings.

There are hundreds of species of tarantulas and some are more aggressive than others. A few types that are great for beginners are Chilean Rose (Grammostola rosea), Curly Hair Tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum) and Costa Rican Zebra (Aphonoplema seeman). The first is often the most highly recommended as they are considered the most passive of tarantulas.

In general, ground-dwelling or burrowing tarantulas are ideal for beginners, as they tend to be slower which decreases the chance of escaping their habitat or their owner’s hands.

Most pet dealers sell only female tarantulas, as these make the best pets. Females live much longer than males as pets, and male tarantulas will wear themselves down trying to escape to find a mate.

The ideal habitat for a tarantula is a small, plastic terrarium or aquarium. Be sure to check that the lid is secured tightly, as tarantulas can be surprisingly strong. Line the bottom of the habitat with potting soil that can be dampened every so often.

Include a water dish and objects for the spider to hide in. Food can include small insects like crickets and moths. Also, make sure all items within the cage are soft. Tarantulas are climbers and if they fall on rocks or sharp objects, they can die. Temperatures should be above 70 but less than 90 degrees within the habitat.

Female tarantulas may molt about once per year, and when they do this, they will flip onto their side or back. It isn’t dying (a dying tarantula will often curl its legs under itself), and should not be touched while on its back. After the spider molts, which can take a few hours, it is extremely fragile and should not be handled for at least a week.

The best thing to do if you’re interested in keeping a tarantula as a pet is to research the particular species, as they can vary greatly, and remember to handle it gently. Believe it or not, but you are far more dangerous to a tarantula than it is to you.

Educational Value to Having Classroom Pets

Educational value to having classroom pets: Pets bring so many new ways to learn in the classroom. Teachers can use these lessons for so many things and subject matters, the list is never-ending. You can use having the animals to enhance so many areas of education. I have a few ideas and would love for you to post your ideas. Have you done this in your classroom? Share your experience.

Make a care plan with your students.

Who is going to care for the animal? What a great way to teach them to take turns? Each child will have a chance to be responsible for feeding and caring for the animal even cleaning the pets “home” should be a shared responsibility. Make a poster or bulletin board to be fair in giving each student a turn with the pet.

Who is going to name the pet? What a great way to teach them how to vote and that their vote actually makes a difference.

Ideas to use in the classroom:

Math-how much does the animal weigh, how long is the animal, how much is it going to cost to feed the animal, use a measuring cup for the food and water. The possibilities are endless.

Science-learning how to take care of the pet, what kind of habitat the pet needs, what types of food is best, what part of the world did this animal originate from? Allow your students to help by bringing in things for the habitat. Let each student pick something they would like to contribute to the pet and that will help them understand what all it takes to take care of an animal.

English/Language Arts-What words would the children use to describe the classroom pet? They can do journal entries daily to use their spelling and grammar skills. Each day pick another subject about the animal they can write about. Use some of the words for spelling test or vocabulary. I’m sure you have tons more ideas. Please share them in the comments section.

Children can learn social skills by taking turns caring for the animal. They learn compassion and empathy. Animals in the classroom also have a calming effect to classroom behavior. They reduce aggression and encourage spontaneous communication between students and teachers. Even the verbal communication with the animal is great, It’s been documented that even children with special needs do much better with pets, what better way to help a child who is frustrated to hold a fuzzy animal? Not that you looking to add a trained “special needs dog” to your classroom or anything but snuggling with a hamster can still have the same kind of calming effect on the child.

Be sure to check with parents before choosing a pet for the classroom. The last thing you want is a child who is allergic to a pet that you have chosen.

Have fun with your new pet and you will be surprised how well your children will love and care for this animal.