**This article has been specifically written for pet sitters and how they can reduce their exposure to COVID-19.** COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease in humans, initially discovered late in 2019. Although all coronaviruses are related, they are not all the same virus. As a pet sitter, it is important to limit direct contact with your clients. People can shed the virus without showing any symptoms of disease, so it is important to practice physical distancing even with clients who appear healthy. It is also important to limit your contact with potentially contaminated items in your clients’ homes, whether they are at home or not. The most important things you can do to minimize your risk of infection, and minimize the risk of transferring infection to your clients, is to be cautious when interacting with clients and when touching anything that could be contaminated, wear a mask, and maintain at least 6 feet distance from your clients. Communicate with your clients regularly during this pandemic. Having information about your clients’ health can help you avoid taking unnecessary risks. Finally, if you develop any signs of COVID-19, including cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath, it is important that you stay home from work.
For the purpose of this discussion, the common and popular Red-eared Slider will be used.An improper environment is the second most common cause of health problems encountered in reptiles (number one is nutrition). Properly housed and fed turtles grow rapidly, are healthier and happier.
Box turtles are omnivorous, which means that they eat both plant and animal based foods. Some box turtles, like the ornate box turtle, eat insects. They have a sharp eye and keen sense of smell. Young, growing box turtles, up to 4-6 years of age, tend to be primarily carnivores and adults tend to be herbivorous.
By far the most common species of pet turtle is the popular box turtle, which will be the subject of this discussion. Box turtles may be housed indoors or outside, depending upon environmental conditions and owner preference, in an escape-proof enclosure that ensures the safety of the animal (providing protection from predators or other animals).