Medical Care for Your Pet Tortoise – Most medical conditions are a result of poor living situations and wrongful care, which can easily be avoided. You should schedule a regular checkup with your vet so that you can notice early signs of disease or parasites. The most common diseases in tortoises are:
Parasites Trauma Respiratory infections Shell rot Dehydration Metabolic disorders Obesity Malnutrition Wounds and burns
Here are some easy things you should and should not do to ensure smooth sailing with your tortoise: Do not:
Purchase a wild-caught tortoise. Only purchase a tortoise from a known, certified breeder. House your tortoise with other reptiles or tortoises. Leave any sharp edges in your tortoise’s enclosure. For example, avoid gravel, walnut shells, and cedar chips; These can be swallowed and cause internal damage. Place heating or light sources within your tortoise’s direct reach. Allow your tortoise to roam your house unsupervised. Expose your tortoise to your cats or dogs. Protect them from predators. Give them dog or cat food. Let small children or inexperienced people handle your pet tortoise. Let them near pesticides.
Check the enclosure’s temperatures each day, both during the day and at night. Monitor their food intake, and feed them a quality, varied diet. Protect them from predators. If they live outdoors, supply them with protection from the elements. Provide natural sunlight when possible.
How Do I Know If My Tortoise is Sick? Check on your tortoise daily to monitor physical changes. If you see one of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact your exotics vet !
Shell pyramiding Soft shell Abscesses Injuries Ticks Diarrhea
Dehydration Respiratory infections Kidney disease Bladder stones Shell infections Intestinal parasites
- 1 How do you take care of a tortoise for beginners?
- 2 Do tortoises like to be left alone?
- 3 How not to hold a tortoise?
- 4 Do tortoises get attached to their owners?
- 5 How often should I let my tortoise out?
- 6 How can I tell if my tortoise is happy?
- 7 Can I keep a tortoise in my room?
- 8 Can I cuddle with my tortoise?
- 9 What is the easiest tortoise to maintain?
Are tortoises easy to take care of?
2. Tortoises. Just like a turtle, a tortoise is a low-maintenance pet that is more than happy to be left alone for long stretches of time. As long as you are feeding your tortoise a healthy diet and you give it space to roam, you do not have to do much to keep your shelled friend happy.
How do you take care of a tortoise for beginners?
Tortoise Care Tortoises are long-lived, hearty, and reasonably easy to care for. They are not an ideal pet to keep indoors, and not a pet that is played with, cuddled, or handled very often. Tortoises thrive best where they get sunshine and fresh air. Some tortoises are shy and reclusive, while others are charismatic, inquisitive, and have personality.
There are numerous species of tortoise kept as pets. The tortoises most commonly seen in the pet trade are generally those that are the easiest to breed and care for. These include:
Red-footed Tortoise ( Geochelone carbonaria ) Yellow-footed Tortoise ( Geochelone denticulata ) Sulcata Tortoise ( Geochelone sulcata ) Leopard Tortoise ( Geochelone pardalis ) Greek Tortoise ( Testudo graeca ) Russian Tortoise ( Testudo horsfieldii )
Each species of tortoise has its own special requirements. What follows are very general guidelines. Readers are strongly encouraged to seek more detailed information on the particular type of tortoise they own. The gender of a mature tortoise can usually be determined by external characteristics. Male tortoises generally have a concavity on the plastron (lower shell). The male’s tail is longer than the female’s, and his vent is located down towards the tip of his tail.
Long lived: 50 to 100+ years Lay 3-30 eggs (varies by species) which incubate 90-150 days before hatching
Red-footed and Yellow-footed tortoises are omnivores requiring a varied diet of fruits, vegetables, and quality tortoise chow (Marzuri tortoise chow). Animal protein may be fed in small amounts. Sulcata and Leopard tortoises are fed a high-fiber diet of grass hay, leafy greens, vegetables, and tortoise chow. Fruits are fed sparingly or not at all, and no animal protein is provided. Greek and Russian tortoises should be fed a high-fiber, low-protein diet of leafy greens, grass hay and vegetables. Fruits are fed sparingly or not at all. Tortoise chow may be added to the diet of the Russian tortoise, but should limited in the diet of the Greek tortoise or not offered at all. All tortoises seem to enjoy brightly colored fruits and vegetables and diversity in their diet. Dark, leafy greens are best: kale, collards, dandelion, mustard greens, and romaine Some experts recommend dusting the diet with a veterinary powdered calcium supplement several times a week. The Greek tortoise may require a higher calcium intake than other tortoises, and free-choice cuttlebone is recommended by some. Provide fresh food and water daily. Adult tortoises may be fed every other day. May be territorial and fend off other turtles from their food.
Enclosures should mimic the natural environment of your tortoise. Adjust the type of enclosure to fit the type tortoise you have. Sulcata, Leopard, Greek, and Russian tortoises generally require a warm, dry habitat, whereas, Red-footed and Yellow-footed tortoises prefer a tropical, humid environment. Overly moist environments will promote fungal growth and affect tortoise health. Provide all tortoises with access to shallow water for soaking and drinking. Timothy hay pellets (rabbit food) make suitable bedding for most species. Optimal temperature range for the enclosure is 70-90°F (21-32°C). Require basking area and shade to allow regulation of body temperature. Provide a shelter or hide-box at the cool end of the enclosure. Supervise any other pets when around your turtle. Russian and Greek tortoises may hibernate in the winter. Only healthy tortoises should be hibernated. Information on hibernation should be sought in other literature. Leopard, Sulcata, Red-footed and Yellow-footed tortoises do not hibernate Indoor tortoises need at least 5% UVA/UVB lighting. Light bulbs should be changed every 6-9 months, as UV output will decrease long before the light bulb burns out. Male tortoises may be aggressive and territorial towards other males.
Routine physical examination every 6 to 12 months. Consult a veterinarian with experience treating exotic pets if you have any questions or concerns about your box turtle’s health. Annual fecal examination for parasites. Blood tests as recommended by your veterinarian.
Common Medical Conditions
Upper respiratory tract disease Swollen eyelids Pneumonia Parasites Metabolic Bone disease Retained eggs Burns (heat lamps) Trauma (vehicle, predator)
: Tortoise Care
How do you take care of a tortoise?
Tropical tortoises need a humid environment (up to 80% but with a humidity gradient in the enclosure). Unlike some arid species, tropical tortoises should be fed occasional animal protein in the form of frozen pinkie mice, earthworms, slugs, canned cat or dog food, or commercial tortoise pellets.
Can I leave my tortoise alone for 3 days?
Leaving your tortoise home alone – In our research, we came across some tortoise owners who were confident to leave their tort alone for four days, given it had enough food to last it till they’re back and that the temperature in the habitat didn’t require any manual adjustment.
There were however, a lot of owners that said they’d never leave their torts alone and would be terrified of doing so. We found that a lot of Russian tortoise owners who lived in cooler places would confidently leave their tort alone for a few days.If this is the option that appeals to you the most, make sure your tort has enough food for the time you’ll be gone and has lights and heating on a set timer so that it doesn’t overheat or get too cold.
The problem with this is that you might experience a great deal of anxiety thinking about all the things that could go wrong. We asked tortoise breeder Suzi Newman if she’d leave her tortoise alone if she went on holiday and this is what she told us: “I would never leave a tortoise on its own for four to five days.
I would be petrified that it would somehow flip over and there’d be no-one there to turn it over – in four or five days time you would come home to a very dead tortoise! There is also a potential fire hazard here as with anything electrical. I have also seen a case where the basking lamp has slipped down from where it was suspended and sat on the soil in the table, and scorched it so much it started to smoke.
There’s also the fact that a tort left on its own for four to five days will have no fresh water or food for that time. When I go on holiday I have to get a house sitter.The owners of the hatchlings that I have sold, either get family members or trusted friends to call in twice a day or they bring their torts back to me and I holiday sit for them.” Suzi is a Hermann tortoise expert and breeder.
- See her website to get in touch, learn more about what she does or read expert tortoise care advice.
- She’s also a member of the Tortoise Protection group and is listed as a trusted breeder on their website.
- A lot of tort owners feel the same as Suzi, but there are also those who seem to leave their torts alone for four to five days without any issues occurring.
Some even say they feel calmer about doing this over having a tortoise-illiterate friend or relative look after their tort, too afraid bad care could often be worse than no care. Tortoise expert and breeder Ed Piroj on the other hand said he himself leaves his tortoises alone when he goes away for less than ten days: “They are reptiles.
If they are well fed and well hydrated they can go months without food or water. Dropping the temperature will help.” You can join Ed’s tortoise keepers group here, If you went for this option, you’d have to prepare properly. Owners describe various ways in which they prepare before going away, leaving the tort to its own devices.
Some overfeed for two days before departing, others over-soak to help prevent dehydration in the days to come. The one real upside to this option is that it’s free and that your tortoise is unlikely to be injured by a well-meaning but inexperienced friend or relative. Most shops cannon take responsibility for your tortoise, even if they let you leave it there for a few days
Do tortoises like to be left alone?
Are Tortoises Social Animals? Can They Be Happy Living Alone? Tortoises are complex creatures that have become popular as pets in the last few decades. As a tortoise owner, it’s important that we understand their biological needs to give them the best quality of life possible.
While this includes providing them with a balanced diet, an appropriate enclosure, and the right lighting, it also means considering are tortoises social animals or do they prefer to be alone? In the wild, tortoises are considered to be solitary animals therefore will predominantly exist by themselves, only coming together for breeding.
They may gather together in areas with a high density of food, however, they are unlikely to exhibit any social behaviours with one another. In fact, tortoises can be territorial, in which case any negative interactions that occur could result in injury. Lots of research has been done around the development of tortoises within their eggs and the hatching process, and it may not be common knowledge that tortoises will all hatch and leave their nest at the same time. This is so that all the hatchlings have a better chance of survival, and so that they can work together to dig out of the nest.
- This is all done through communication with one another and is probably the one time in their lives that they are the most social, in order to survive.
- While most tortoises are perfectly happy to live solitary lives, certain species are thought to be more social than others.
- For example, ( Gopherus Polyphemus ) create burrows alongside other tortoises which can be referred to as colonies.
While they are still classed as solitary animals, they have been reported to interact with their neighbours which is uncommon within other tortoise species. Despite this, it is not common to have a gopher tortoise as a pet. Red-footed tortoises are also known to exist in colonies and are common pets to have, therefore they could be a good option if you want more than one pet tortoise.
- It is also thought that different personality types will also affect how social your tortoise is; a shy tortoise will be less likely to interact with another tortoise, or with their human than one that is considered outgoing.
- Despite the fact that tortoises live alone, there are social behaviours that can, and do, occur both in the wild and in captivity.
The two most common social interactions are those to do with aggression or courtship. tend to stem from the territorial nature of tortoises however they can be a result of several different circumstances. For example, female tortoises that are carrying eggs can become aggressive if they feel the need to protect their space or are feeling threatened.
Once they lay their eggs, you may find they also act protective over the nest, too. Male tortoises are known to fight over food, space, and females. Fights between males often lead to serious injury. In the wild, males are able to move away when challenged however in an enclosure, fights can become a lot more serious if they are unable to escape.
Probably the most common social behaviour researched in both captive and wild tortoises, courtship is widely documented in different species and is something you are likely to see as a tortoise owner if you own a male and a female. Mating behaviours and courtship rituals include head bobbing, various vocalisations, and the male may even bite at the female’s back legs.
Although tortoises, like other reptiles, usually live alone, many people still keep more than one tortoise in their without any problems at all. If you want to have multiple tortoises, there are some things that you should keep in mind. As tortoises are known to be territorial, you need to provide enough space that they can move away from one another if they need to.
Make sure there are separate houses, different areas for them to be cool, and separate food and, too. Never force interactions and let your tortoises interact as much or as little as they want to. Not only do you want to provide separate bowls, but make sure that you give that your tortoises won’t fight over a lack of resources. You should always consider the sex of your pet tortoises before putting them together. Experts strongly advise against keeping two males together as they will likely become aggressive and cause each other harm. Similarly, if you keep a male and a female, the male will often give all of their attention to the one female, which can lead to the female feeling stressed and constantly trying to move away from the male.
- In these scenarios, it’s a good idea to have one male with two females so that his advances are spread between the two.
- Alternatively, housing two female tortoises is the best option and is strongly advised if you want to have multiple tortoises in the same enclosure.
- Different tortoise species would rarely interact with each other in the wild therefore it is not recommended to mix species in captivity.
Not only do they have different biological needs, but they also can be carriers of different disease and parasites that can negatively affect other species. For example, a parasite found on a Galapagos tortoise can be healthy and normal, however, the same parasite could cause health problems if found on a red-footed tortoise.
- It’s not a good idea to house two tortoises of largely different sizes together.
- The larger tortoise may become dominant and prevent access to food or water to the other tortoises, or may not allow them to bask adequately.
- If a fight starts, for whatever reason, the smaller tortoise will likely be worse off and suffer from injuries or could even be killed.
If they come out unscathed, it is likely that they will be stressed which can cause further health problems later on. Try to match the size of your pet tortoises as much as possible to avoid dominance and conflict. If you buy two baby tortoises then, although you can assume they will grow at similar rates, it is difficult to know what sex they are when they are so young, which can cause issues as they grow older if it turns out you have two male tortoises.
Alternatively, buying two adult tortoises of a similar size means that you know the sex of each, but also, as slow-growing reptiles, their size shouldn’t vary too much in their adult years. If you do buy two baby tortoises then you may find that they don’t start showing aggression or dominance until they are a few years old.
Similarly, even if you have adult tortoises, these social behaviours may only develop under certain circumstances. This is why it is important to monitor your tortoises and separate them if you notice any changes in behaviour that could cause harm or stress.
If your tortoise raises their shell towards another tortoise, this is a sign of dominance and can lead to fighting.Headbutting or hitting their shell against the walls of the enclosure is another sign of dominance.Tortoise beaks are sharp and can cause damage, therefore if one of your tortoises is biting another, check for injuries and separate them if necessary. Males will nip at females during mating however if they do this to a male then it’s a sign of aggression.If your tortoise is not eating or drinking normally, or perhaps they are not coming out to bask during the day, then this could be a sign of stress and you should monitor your tortoise’s interactions more closely to see if there is something to be concerned about.Similarly, if one of your tortoises seems to be hiding a lot, it could be that they are retreating from other tortoises in their enclosure.
If a tortoise of yours begins to show any signs of stress or if it begins fighting with others in the enclosure, then you should be prepared to house it separately to ensure they continue living healthy and happy lives.While some tortoise owners are happy to watch their pets with minimal disturbance, others will want to be able to interact with their pet tortoise, and that’s okay too!This will largely depend on your tortoise’s personality and if you have had them since they were a juvenile, however, some tortoises can enjoy interacting with their humans and will show positive social behaviours towards them., or slowly nudge their legs so as not to startle them; if they retreat into their shell or try to move away then it’s a good idea to leave them be however some tortoises will respond positively and will let you stroke their shells, legs, or head.
As wild animals that are predominantly solitary creatures, they do not get lonely and are perfectly happy to live a life of solitude. Tortoises are not social creatures and do not need the same social interactions that other animals may need to develop and survive.
- Do not feel guilty if you only have one tortoise; they can be happy and healthy individuals as long as you provide them with everything else that they need to thrive.
- It is natural for tortoises in the wild to come across other individuals therefore it is safe for you to introduce two of your pet tortoises from separate enclosures as long as they are both healthy.
Consider what we mentioned before in regards to their size, species, sex, and personality, and always observe any new interactions closely. Be prepared to intervene if one of your tortoises becomes aggressive and separate them if they become stressed or frustrated.
- It’s a great idea to do this in an outdoor enclosure where they have lots of space and can retreat if they need to.
- You may put them in the same space and find that they don’t interact at all and that is quite normal; and let them move around the space as they feel comfortable.
- While tortoises are not classed as social animals, this doesn’t mean that they can’t co-exist harmoniously when given the proper environment.
However, even when following all of our guidelines, your tortoises may just not get along so be prepared to house them separately and always act in the best interest of your beloved pets. Do you have more than one tortoise? Are they housed together? Let us know about your experience raising tortoises, we’d love to hear your tips.
Can I let my tortoise roam the house?
Why a Tortoise Shouldn’t Roam Around The House – Like any common house pet, wandering can lead to a variety of unsafe outcomes for you and your animal. In addition to safety, the home also does not provide a suitable environment for tortoises to exist within. Tortoises should not wander around your house because:
There is no proper enclosure set up They could get lostYour house does not replicate natureThey often carry many germs (such as Salmonella which is typical of reptiles – read about it in our article here )
Unless you have a room specifically designed for your tortoise, which many people do not have in their home directly, there is no sturdy enclosure for them to stay within. Enclosures are designed to keep the tortoises safe and their whereabouts known.
Should I soak my tortoise in water?
Bathing – Bathe your tortoise on a regular basis to help keep it well hydrated. This is especially important if your tortoise is kept indoors under heat lamps and in enclosed environments. Some tortoises will drink in the bath water while others will choose not to but do give your tortoise time to take a drink and rehydrate.
A soak of approximately 15 – 20 minutes in tepid or luke-warm water will be sufficient. Use a container which is deep enough so that your tortoise can’t climb out, and fill it with enough water to reach just above the line where the top shell (carapace) meets the bottom shell (plastron). During the bath, your tortoise may expel stored urine and drink to replenish its water supply.
The bath water may also stimulate your tortoise to defaecate. If your tortoise is dirty and needs a good clean, then use a soft toothbrush to gently brush its shell and limbs. After the bath make sure your tortoise’s legs are dry before returning it to the soil substrate so that it doesn’t accidentally rub its eyes with soil clinging to wet legs.
Hatchling and young tortoises should be soaked daily decreasing this to every other day as they grow older. Older juvenile tortoises should be bathed 2-3 times a week and adult tortoises bathed weekly, but more frequently if kept indoors under heat lamps. All tortoises should be bathed daily or every other day in the period of winding down in preparation for hibernation.
Only use fresh water and do not add detergents of any kind and NEVER polish/shine a tortoise’s shell with oil or shell conditioners as they will clog up the pores. Oils and conditioners are not natural and would never occur in the wild.
How not to hold a tortoise?
So you (or your child) wants. A tortoise!. Do you realise the pitfalls? Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended. For tortoise, terrapin and turtle care and conservation
A tortoise is not a toy, it is a living creature and also a very much endangered one.It will suffer if handled too frequently.It is certainly not for children under twelve whose hands have not developed large enough or strong enough to carry a struggling tortoise.Sufficiently strong to even break the grip of an unwary adult, a tortoise can suffer great trauma or broken limbs and shell from being dropped. A tortoise should only ever be handled with two hands, they hate being picked up, it is not natural to them. Have you considered its environment? Is your garden large and secure enough – a tortoise will escape if it possibly can.They are expert climbers and have been known to climb walls, fences and even trees. Some dig and conceal themselves deep in the soil. Are the plants in your garden poisonous to a tortoise? Although they seem clever in many ways, they do not necessarily have enough sense or instinct to differentiate between what is good to eat and what is toxic.Do you use weedkiller? – or even worse slug pellets, which are fatal to a tortoise and will cause it to die a slow and painful death. A tortoise has a metabolism which is directly coupled to the temperature of the surroundings; it cannot either feed or digest its food properly if it is cool – ie below about 20°C.On those cold days in early and late summer, have you all the right facilities to keep it at the right temperature indoors under a lamp? A pen with a wooden floor is preferable and you will need plenty of newspaper as a tortoise is not fussy about when and where and how often it needs to discharge urine and faeces. Some tortoises need to hibernate in this country. Have you the facility to do this successfully? The animal will start to slow down and cease to feed at the end of September and needs to completely clear its gut of food to prevent a build-up of toxins over the winter months.It will need a quiet, cool, dark but frost-free place to spend the winter months. A cool attic is probably the best place but it needs to be well insulated from the heat of the house.The hibernating area must be rat and mouse free or your pet may be found to have been literally eaten alive during the winter.Have you access to suitable insulating material for the animal to sleep in? Not hay or straw which may be infested with mites or cause respiratory problems.Shredded paper from an office shredder is ideal or if this is not available then newspaper can be used. A tortoise, like all other animals, can carry many germs. Hands should be washed after handling especially if there are other tortoises present as they can spread faecal deposits onto each other. They also carry parasites such as worms and flagellates. Ideally they should be wormed by the vet every other year at least. Never use the same utensils, plates, knives etc for their food and its preparation as you use for the family.Children must never, however tempting, pick up and eat the food left out for the tortoise. Do you have a vet who knows and understands the problems of reptiles and tortoises in particular? Not all vets have the specialist knowledge and successful treatment can be lengthy and therefore costly – especially when X-rays and laboratory samples are needed. Never take chances with a tortoise’s health, always seek veterinary advice if you suspect sickness in a tortoise. Would you recognise the signs of a sick tortoise? They take a long time to die and it is often too late before the signs are seen. Avoid any tortoise with breathing problems and nasal discharges.In these cases even the best reptile vets will acknowledge that the prognosis is bad. Note the faeces, they should ideally be dark and firm, any sign of runniness or undigested food is a bad sign – probably a severe case of worm infestation.A healthy animal is bright, walks sturdily on the tips of its legs, has clear eyes, no discharges, no flaking of the shell, and above all – has a pink mouth and tongue.A pale mouth indicates anaemia, a yellow build-up on the tongue could be ‘mouth rot’.It can prevent the animal feeding, is contagious and is difficult to treat.Some older animals need hand feeding a couple of times a day. This may be due to blindness, either through the natural ageing process or because it has had its eyes frosted during hibernation. Do you have the time, skill, and above all, patience? What would you do at holiday time? Do you know anyone who has a suitable garden to look after your pet? Once again, do they use chemicals or slug pellets? Can they house your tortoise away from their own animals to ensure there is no cross infection? Don’t be tempted to purchase a hatchling or an exotic species. Pet shops are all too keen to sell you one of these but young tortoises and certain exotic species such as Leopard, Hingeback and Horsfield’s Tortoises need specialist care. The dealer will tell you they are “captive bred”; so they may be! but where? – and how did they find their way into the UK? Leopards in particular, are subject to worm ingestion. Despite what the salesman tells you, hatchlings are not easy to look after and care for without a lot of knowledge and can die without warning during at least the first four years. There seems to be a popular myth that a captive bred tortoise needs no licence. Walk away if in any doubt, ! Whereas most elderly tortoises taken from the wild and brought into the UK before the importation ban seem to be solitary creatures, captive bred hatchlings benefit from the company of others. If you are considering buying a hatchling, can you consider buying two – to avoid the new pet pining for companionship and leading to stress and possible death? Have you a garden pond?If you are considering a tortoise, then fill it in or raise the sides by at least 300mm with an overhanging coping-stone to prevent the tortoise climbing in. If it falls in, it will almost certainly drown. Do you have other pets.Some dogs are simply not comparable with a tortoise; they may pick it up and bite it causing shell damage, loss of limbs, severe trauma and even death. Goose droppings are fatal to tortoises. Tortoises do not survive on supermarket foods alone. Lettuce and tomato are all very well but these foods do not provide the many necessary nutrients to keep a tortoise healthy. Do you have time to collect wild growing food, dandelions etc for your tortoise, especially during the months when these plants are scarce? Are you sure it is from an area where no pesticides or weedkillers have been used?Taken from grass verges, the plants will possibly be contaminated by vehicle exhaust deposits. All food should be thoroughly washed before use. Do you have space in your garden to allow wild food to grow?
Finally, tortoises have been on this planet for hundreds of millions of years. They can live longer than us with suitable care and attention, sometimes for over a hundred years – can YOU give such a creature total commitment. : So you (or your child) wants. A tortoise!. Do you realise the pitfalls?
Do tortoises get attached to their owners?
If you’re considering buying a tortoise as a pet or if you’ve just got a tortoise then you might be wondering how close a relationship you can form with him or her. Many tortoise owners really want to know if their tortoise is capable of giving them love.
So, let’s find out. Can a tortoise feel love? Since tortoises are reptiles, they are not capable of feeling “love” as we humans understand it. However, tortoises do show signs of affection and appreciation for their owners. They follow their pet parents around, tolerate handling, eat directly from human hands, and come to us when they see us.
What we can say for certain is that tortoises can show affection (and, in fact, we can prove that – thanks to a world class tortoise expert’s input) and that keeping tortoises is an emotionally rewarding experience. Related article: Do pet turtles and tortoises show affection? So, let’s look at tortoises how they view the world, how they love being touched, the recognition of tortoises for people and whether they can form a bond with us. Can tortoises feel love? TortoiseOwner.com
How often should I put my tortoise in water?
How Often Should A Tortoise Be Soaked? – The number of soaks a tortoise needs can vary depending on the species of tortoise, the age of your tortoise, the weather, whether your tortoise lives in your home or outside, etc. If the tortoise lives in your house, they will need at least one bath a week.
How often should you hold your tortoise?
Handling – Tortoises do not generally enjoy being handled. Care should be taken to avoid dropping your tortoise whilst handling. They have very strong legs, so support your tortoise firmly at all times whilst handling. Approximately 10-15 minutes 3-4 times a week is a suitable amount of time for handling, but this may vary depending on the particular tortoise.
How often should I let my tortoise out?
How Much Exercise a Pet Tortoise Needs – There truly is no exact amount of exercise that is needed for your pet tortoise! But it is key to note that they do need regular exercise. What does this mean? If you can find the time to let your tortoise exercise for an hour a day, then that is ideal! If this is not possible, try to get in an hour every other day.
Decreased chance of respiratory problemsBone developmentA better appetite
Given these benefits, adequate exercise will ensure that the tortoise will maintain and grow in strength throughout its life. Sedentary tortoises have a greater risk of developing health problems. Any exercise is better than none, if you find that your tortoise has not been given adequate space or time to exercise, make a conscious effort to make up for the time. Tortoises really enjoy to roam and if they are not, it may suggest other health issues are present.
Why tortoise is not kept in home?
According to Vastu, since living tortoises emit bad vibrations, negative energy would then circulate within the home. So, he told me that if I want to keep a tortoise, then according to the rules of Vastu, I can keep any metal, crystal, or wooden turtle in my house.
How can I tell if my tortoise is happy?
Excitement – An excited tortoise will willingly move toward whatever has her attention. They often run, or move as fast as they can. You can tell they are excited by the speed and surety of their movements. Nothing can distract and excited, determined tortoise. Test this out by offering your tortoise a favorite treat. We bet they’ll come running!
Is it OK to kiss a tortoise?
If you have a pet turtle, take steps to keep you and your family healthy. – Always wash your hands right after touching, feeding, or caring for your turtle and after cleaning its supplies. Clean your turtle tank and supplies while you are outside the house, if possible. If you clean indoors, use a laundry sink or a tub that is only used for your turtle. Don’t clean supplies in the kitchen or other areas where you eat or prepare food. Don’t kiss or snuggle your turtle. This can spread germs to your mouth and make you sick. If you want to rehome your turtle, don’t toss it or release it into the wild ! Call your local pet store or reptile rescue. Do not buy small turtles with shells less than 4 inches long. A federal law bans the sale of these turtles as pets. However, they are sometimes sold illegally at stores, flea markets, gift shops, and roadside stands Get your pet turtle from a reputable pet store or pet rescue. Reputable stores do not sell small turtles with shells less than 4 inches long. Turtles can be great pets, but they aren’t right for every family. Consider picking a different pet if there is someone in your household who is at higher risk of getting severely sick from germs like Salmonella,
Kids under 5 years old Adults 65 and older People with weakened immune systems: Tiny Turtles and Salmonella
Can I keep a tortoise in my room?
Should my tortoise enclosure be indoor or outdoor? – Help Guides They say that a house doesn’t become a home until it is filled with pets, so what better pet to do that than one that will be with you for life. From to Herman’s tortoises, tortoises are as gentle as they are fascinating, which makes them brilliant reptiles for a family.
But there is nothing more mind-boggling than knowing they will be with you for life and possibly beyond, providing you give them the care they need. Tortoises need a lot of room to roam, this means that more often than not there is simply not enough space for them to live in your standard indoor enclosure.
As a baby, the tortoise may take up very little space but as it grows you’ll soon realise how much freedom it needs. This amount of freedom can be difficult to achieve in an indoor enclosure. Many dedicated tortoise owners find the best way to ensure that their tort is happy, is to provide them with both an indoor and outdoor home.
- In this post we look at the pros and cons of both indoor and outdoor enclosures, with the help of a few of our customers.
- Outdoor Outdoor pens allow your tortoise plenty of space to do their thing.
- They’re also a great option if you want to offer your pet plenty of natural UV and sunlight.
- Make sure they have their own shady spot to escape from the light if they fancy a bit of darkness too.
Make the enclosure as big as you can. You’ll probably find it taking over your garden, but this doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Plenty of tortoise owners incorporate the enclosure into the garden to make it the main feature and focal point. Include lots of plants but bear in mind that since your tortoise is likely to nibble them, it’s important to make sure that they aren’t harmful or poisonous.
Never treat any plants inside the tortoise pen with fertilisers or pesticides. During winter months, an outdoor enclosure might not be ideal as temperatures begin to plummet. Many tortoise owners opt for an insulated shed for the reptile to seek warmth, but during very low temperatures, you might find that you need to bring your tortoise into the house to prevent it from getting too cold.
It’s certainly not unusual for tortoises to hibernate in the winter, so plenty of comfy and cosy resting places are needed. When deciding what sort of outdoor enclosure to opt for, make sure that you take into account foxes and mice. You certainly don’t want them making their way into your tortoise’s home.
Also, thieves are an unfortunate reality that you’ll want to take into account. Tortoises are valuable and as with any other pet, particularly ones you keep in the garden, they are at a risk of being stolen. To minimise the chance of this happening, look into locks and secured sheds. Of course the risk is always there, but it’s best to take precautions.
As spring is approaching, it is the perfect time to improve your tortoise enclosure and make a few adjustments to ensure it is the best environment for your reptile. Don’t underestimate the digging capabilities of tortoises. They love to dig away in the soil and bury themselves in the mud.
- Great tortoise escapes aren’t completely unheard of and so it can help to include some mesh or wire a few inches below the soil to prevent them from crawling underneath the walls of the enclosure.
- It can also help to sink the walls a few inches into the soil to act as an underground barrier.
- Indoor Indoor tortoise enclosures can be great if you want to keep your tort warm and don’t want to risk them getting stolen or ambushed by other animals.
Unless you have an entire room that you can dedicate to your tortoise, space can be an issue though, particularly if your pet is quite old and large. Don’t rule out an indoor enclosure though, as during the winter months they are a worthwhile thing to have as long as you can get a decent sized table.
You might think that an indoor enclosure would be extremely limited, but it can be relatively easy to recreate a natural environment. We’d recommend using a good quality tortoise table, so that your pet has some added shelter when it wants to hide away. Even in an indoor environment, you’ll need a heat lamp and UVB to keep the reptile warm enough and to give it appropriate UV.
As a substrate, we recommend using sterilised top soil to make the environment as natural as possible. It’s okay to keep more than one tortoise in the same enclosure providing there is plenty of room for the two of them and they’re the same species. We asked our friends on Facebook to tell us about their tortoise enclosures.
Can I cuddle with my tortoise?
How Do Tortoises and Turtles Show Affection? – A tortoise or turtle won’t go running up to you and beg for pets or to cuddle. Instead, they will likely just sit in one place and be content with your presence. Turtles tend to do the same thing. Turtles and tortoises like to watch their humans when they’re feeling affectionate.
They may seem particularly interested in something you’re doing nearby. A long, stretched out neck in your presence sometimes indicates a desire to be scratched or rubbed. This is a sure sign of affection when he leans into your touch and closes his eyes. While they don’t jump up and down, tortoises and turtles do both get a little excited when you first enter the room, hoping you have some tasty treats.
They may walk toward you or pace the enclosure to get your attention. Tortoises may touch their nose to your hand or arm to show affection. This is a common behavior in the wild and is a social behavior. A tortoise or turtle roaming the house or garden may show affection by following you around.
Where should I put my pet tortoise?
How to Care for Your Pet Tortoise – The first step after acquiring your tortoise is to take him or her to a veterinarian who specializes in exotics and has experience with tortoises. The vet will perform a general check-up and usually recommend a fecal exam and blood work.
Legs should be strong and muscular. The tortoise must be able to lift itself from the ground. Their vent, skin, scales, and beak should be clean. Shells should be smooth and firm. Look for injuries, damage, or pyramiding of scutes. Eyes should be clear, bright, and free from discharge. The nose should also be free of discharge or foreign objects. They should not be breathing with an open mouth. A healthy tortoise is alert and responsive.
Your Tortoise Enclosure The ideal enclosure for your pet depends on the type of tortoise you have. Adult Sulcata tortoises need much larger enclosures, with a minimum recommended size of 5×5 feet or larger depending on the size of your tortoise. For other tortoises, you can follow the rule of three times the length of your pet tortoise’s shell, by four times the width.
- Make sure there is a wading dish and basking area within the enclosure.
- Placing rough-sided paver stones and flat rocks near feeding and basking areas of the enclosure encourages natural wear down of nails and beaks.
- Enclosures can be placed either inside or outside, which is dependent on certain humidity and temperatures in the area and should be discussed with your exotics vet.
NOTE: Aquarium tanks are not recommended for tortoises. They tend to be too tall and suffocate the airflow. Proper ventilation is extremely important for your tortoise’s enclosure. Indoor Housing Tortoises love the sun and need at least 10-12 hours a day of exposure to sunlight, or artificial UVB light, as well as a basking spot.
Unsupervised roaming outside of the enclosure. Direct contact with heating sources. Keep them away from cat and dog food, as well as insects, or toxic sprays.
Outdoor Housing Housing your tortoise outdoors can work if you are able to provide the right climate. The enclosure must be fully prepared beforehand. If there is extreme weather where you live, prepare an indoor area where you can put your tortoise when needed.
Outdoor enclosures must protect the tortoise from predators (cats, dogs, foxes, etc), and keep them from escaping. Keep in mind that tortoises can both climb and dig. The substrate (bedding, ground) cannot stay damp and must be protected from flooding. Any plants in or near the enclosure must be safe for your tortoise to eat.
The area should be warm, dry, have exposure to natural sunlight, and a sheltered area where they can hide from the elements. Substrate The bottom of the enclosure should be covered with tortoise substrate. The substrate must help maintain a balance of wet/humidity and dryness.
A substrate that is constantly damp can cause mold or bacteria growth, which is likely to cause illness and infection. You can purchase tortoise substrate at the pet shop, but there are other options that should be discussed with your exotics vet. Important: If you choose to keep your tortoise on grass, make sure that it is pesticide-free.
Why Your Tortoise Needs a Hide Box Tortoises need a closed box within their enclosure that they can easily enter. Tortoises use these boxes as a shelter to hide in, especially at night. This gives them a feeling of safety and decreases stress. Providing the Right Climate for Your Tortoise Temperature and Humidity All tortoises need a temperature gradient within their enclosures as well as a spot for basking, and either UVB exposure or, ideally, exposure to direct sunlight.
- You will need to monitor the temperature to make sure your tortoise won’t overheat.
- It’s important to install at least two thermometers within the enclosure, one measuring the warm, sunny area of the enclosure and the second measuring the cooler part.
- They should be placed at the height of the tortoise, and not above or in close proximity to the heat source.
Lighting All tortoises need either direct sunlight or UVB radiation, both for basking and to help them absorb calcium from their diet. If your tortoise is kept outdoors, they should have a space where they can receive direct sunlight and a space where they can seek shelter from the sun.
Are tortoises good pets for beginners?
Greek Tortoise – Small, even-tempered, and tolerant of many living arrangements, the Greek tortoise makes an excellent pet. For new tortoise-owners and experienced caretakers alike, the Greek tortoise is relatively easy to care for (which makes them great for beginners). This, no doubt, contributes to its popularity in the reptile trade. This species features a tall and steeply curved carapace. The shell features scutes of rich tan and dark black. The arrangement of the scutes mimics the look of Greek mosaics, which is how these tortoises get their common name. Reaching only five to eight inches as an adult, these pet tortoises don’t need a massive enclosure to stay happy.
Furthermore, they are not picky when it comes to decor. In the wild, these tortoises are quite widespread and don’t stick to a specific type of environment. As a result, they do just fine in any well-decorated habitat. As long as you have a natural-looking setup with edible plants, a tortoise-safe substrate, and some hide boxes, they can thrive in captivity.
In terms of temperament, the Greek tortoise is pretty mellow. They are peaceful creatures that don’t cause much trouble. The only exception is when they are living in cramped enclosures. These reptiles aren’t very keen on handling, either!
What is the easiest tortoise to maintain?
1. The Russian Tortoise – This is a popular choice for new tortoise owners and people who have kept lots of other tortoises. They are fairly inexpensive, small, and beautiful to look at. Easy to care for and quick to bond, these are a great choice. Sadly, most Russian tortoises are wild-caught, meaning they were taken from their original habitat.
- You risk getting a sickly or stressed tortoise by going for wild-caught individuals.
- However, you may be able to find some local breeders of the Russian tortoise.
- These tortoises can live for over forty years, so be sure you’re ready for a lifelong commitment! Trust us though, they are totally worth it.
The Russian tortoise male can reach roughly five to six inches in length with the females getting to be six to nine inches, so these are tiny friends. The husbandry of a Russian tortoise is quite simple due to their small size. A solid bin to keep it housed at full size comfortably, proper foods, and a UVB light with a basking spot are all it really needs.
- While tortoises do not swim, be sure to provide a shallow water dish.
- They do still need to drink and many enjoy a little soak now and again.
- The heating for the Russian tortoise is straight forward.
- A basking spot of around 95 degrees Fahrenheit is suitable, and the temperature should never go below 75.
You should avoid excessive humidity or moisture as well. If you watch your tortoise carefully, and the weather is nice, then you can bring your pet Russian tortoise outside for some fresh air and natural UVB from the sun. A Russian tortoise can stand a cooler temperature for a short amount of time but do try to keep the temperatures around recommended levels.
The size of enclosure for an adult Russian tortoise should be About 2X3 feet. Larger is always better for the tortoise however. Anything smaller and they will become stressed and try to escape. Use concrete mixing tubs, which can be found in most hardware stores, or any long and opaque bin. The walls do not need to be very tall for these tiny torts.
Roughly eight to ten inches is fine. If building an outdoor enclosure, be sure to have it secured with a top over the area. Small tortoises make great snacks for predators! We could talk about these little sweeties all day long if you let us, but we have lots more torts to cover.
Is tortoise good or bad in house?
Keeping a live tortoise at home is highly auspicious and recommended by Vastu Shastra. They symbolize abundance and bring wealth and prosperity. As per Hindu mythology, tortoises are known to be the avatar of lord Vishnu. Several temples also have tortoises or symbols related to them drawn on the walls.