A turtle’s shell is made of living tissue and needs oxygen and sunlight to remain healthy. If you own a turtle, it’s important to inspect his shell monthly and clean it of the fungus and grime that could mask an infection.
Here are a few tips on cleaning your turtle’s shell safely:
- Soak the turtle for a while in lukewarm water to loosen any debris.
- Using a wet washcloth, gently rub the turtle’s shell to lift off any algae or grime. Shedding small flakes is normal, as long as it isn’t excessive.
- Clean beneath the shell or carapace and wipe carefully around the head, legs, tail and neck as these areas are more sensitive.
- Rinse the turtle in water. If needed, use a soft toothbrush to remove some of the algae.
- Do NOT use detergents or cleansers as these will strip the shell of its oils and may harm your turtle.
- Now inspect the shell and rub it with your fingers to feel for any soft spots, cracks or discolorations, which could be signs of shell rot or infection.
- If the shell looks healthy, dry it off. If it seems dry or brittle, however, apply a coat of turtle shell conditioner.
A monthly cleaning and visual check will keep your turtle healthy and happy. Need turtle food and other care products? Visit Pet Supermarket for food, aquarium supplies and more.