(A few short quick notes about the article: the turtle species in the article, Emydura macquarii, is native to Australia and is a common pet turtle there, where a basic reptiles license is required to purchase one for a pet. The disease mentioned is mycobacterium, but the tips and reminders apply to owners of any species of turtle. Lastly, the turtle picture in the article, cute as it is, is not a Emydura macquarii turtle, but is in fact a slider. Tsk, tsk Discovery…)

In an article titled Pet turtle disease could spread to humans, readers / pet turtle owners are urged to “ensure their turtle has clean water, a balanced diet and access to UV light” and to be particularly careful if you or children are handling turtles or the water in a turtle tank, especially if you have cuts or other open wounds.

These should be stuff pet turtle owners already know and practice. Because turtles (and other reptiles and animals) carry salmonella, proper care should be taken to ensure the health of oneself and one’s family. Some important basic safety tips to remember:

  • always wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet turtle
  • I extend this to washing any body part or thing that comes into contact with your pet turtle, the water in the turtle tank, or any other tank related equipment/paraphernalia.
  • Don’t handle a turtle or put your hand in its water if you have a wound or cuts on your hands or arms
  • Don’t wash your pet turtle or other turtle stuff in your kitchen sink
  • If you do, do disinfect it
  • Don’t let children handle pet turtles unsupervised. Make sure they wash their hands thoroughly afterward and that they don’t kiss or put the turtles in their mouths or anything like that

Do you have any other safety tips you would like to recommend? Leave them in the comments.