Keeping Tortoises As Pets
Tortoises make fascinating pets, but do you know enough about them to look after them successfully? Lee Overton, one of our guest authors, explains the different aspects of tortoise care to you so you’ll know more about keeping tortoises as pets.
Tips to Buy a Tortoise and Keeping Tortoise Pets
By Lee Overton
So you have decided on a baby tortoise as a pet. Well, just like every other pet there are some things you should know before getting your new tortoise. The tortoise is a turtle, which resides on land and belongs to the reptile family. They also have shells like sea turtles. They have both an exoskeleton and an endoskeleton. The top of the shell is called the carapace and the bottom side is known as plastron. They are active during the day and are very shy animals.
They are very captivating creatures, but their dietary needs are unlike others and different species have different diets. Tortoise pets eat large amounts of food and you should pay close attention to the calcium and phosphorous balance in their diets. The tortoise is also sensitive to temperature change. It is usually a good idea to bring the tortoise indoors at night. When the weather is cold, your tortoise should be kept inside entirely. This could be a problem if the tortoise is big. Some species hibernate during winter and this can be stressful for the animal as well as the owners.
As for tortoise housing, a pen can be constructed in the yard for the animal. The pen should be strong and the fences should be buried deep, as some of the tortoises have an attraction to digging. They are also very strong reptiles. They can easily break weaker fences. Some tortoises are good climbers, so the pen should also be made with a roof. This also protects them from other dangers such as a dog bite, bird attack, etc. Also check for possible threats to the pet within the pen itself. Some plants are harmful if the tortoise eats them, so only plants that are edible should be planted or kept in the den.
You will also need to provide water, but the water should be shallow, so that the tortoise won’t drown in it. Unlike turtles, the tortoise is not a swimmer. Steps should also be avoided within the pen, because while they are climbing they can trip and fall over their back, which can be deadly for them.
Some species grow really big, so this factor should also be considered while building the pen. In fact, this aspect should be considered before buying a turtle tortoise. Different species grow to different sizes; have different eating habits, living conditions and temperature adaptableness. You should consider a captive bred, as they are less difficult than the ones from the wild which can fall ill or even die because of high levels of stress. It is also good to remember that certain types of animals carry a wide range of parasites, which could be harmful to the owner as well. When you think of buying a tortoise, make sure to get it thoroughly examined by a vet.
Tortoises like to stay alone. They shouldn’t be mixed with other pets and no two male tortoises should be kept together as they can fight and injure each other very badly. Tortoises have a very long lifespan; they can live up to hundred years. There is the possibility of the pet outliving the owner, so when you buy a tortoise plan to make a lifetime commitment to the beautiful animal.
You’d be surprised at all the things you can learn about the turtle tortoise. To learn much more head over to the Tortoise Site today!
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