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The Basics of Keeping a Tortoise as a Pet

Proving to be a growing trend, Tortoises make lovely pets.

Although their exotic nature might make them a bit more challenging to look after.

Sweet and docile, they have no shedding fur and don’t make much noise.


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This makes them ideal pets for people that don’t want the effort of furry creatures.

Read on to learn more about keeping these cute shells with legs as a pet.

Should I keep a tortoise as a pet?

Tortoises are famous for their long lifespans and are a long-term commitment.

Compared to most other household pets, tortoises grow to be ancient and live up to a hundred years or longer. This means they may very well outlive you as well as your other pets.

There are some other factors to consider when owning a tortoise so let’s take a look.

What kind of personality does a tortoise have?

For the most part, these scaly creatures are gentle and quiet. This makes them well suited to apartment living as they don’t make the mess and noise that comes with most other pets.

Occasionally, they might become too large to handle, depending on species.


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Handling should be balanced. Unnecessary stress in their youth may lead to health problems and disease later in life.

This is important to note if they are going to be in a home with children.

Why is the tortoise’s habitat important?

Seeing as tortoises can grow quite large, it is not advised to force them to be indoor pets.

They will need a large roaming space to be comfortable, and it is recommended for them to be kept outside.

Certain conditions outside may be bad for your new tortoise, so make sure the climate is matched to the species you are getting and do enough research.

If your tortoise is not acclimated to cold weather, they might spend the night or even the whole winter inside the warm house. Make sure you can provide them with the best environment possible.

Hibernation is another technicality a few people are prepared for.

This process is initiated in the wild by special conditions, and it may negatively affect your tortoise if these conditions are not met.

What does a tortoise eat?

Tortoises need a balance of fiber, calcium, and phosphorous to maintain a balanced diet.

Specific food varies, depending on what species of tortoise you choose, so do your research!


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Aside from this, they have big appetites, so be sure to have enough food ready for them.

When considering their lifespan, you will notice that a large amount of time and effort will be spent preparing and feeding these animals.

What are the common health problems in a tortoise?

One of the most widespread problems under tortoises is respiratory infections.

These can be caused by harmful environmental factors or disease.


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Symptoms can range from lethargy to loss of appetite. This is a common affliction amongst tortoises and can be treated with antibiotics.

Another relatively common illness is MBD or Metabolic Bone Disease. This is due to a lack of calcium and often sunlight.

Tortoises need ultraviolet exposure of radiation A and B to help them metabolize calcium.


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If this is not provided, they can not reap their food’s full benefits and extract the calcium they need.

Although tortoises make for unorthodox house pets, they can make a lovely addition to your home and garden.

This article might help you make the right decisions when choosing your next companion.

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