Are you thinking of buying a tortoise to keep? If so there are some important things to consider. Tortoise pet care takes some planning if you want to be successful as they may appear at first to be an easy pet to care for.
A fresh, clean supply of water must always be available and the best time to feed your tortoise is at the hottest time of the day. They are a Mediterranean species that thrive in hot conditions so always bear this in mind. An assorted offering of wild flowers is perfect for the tortoise such as dandelion, white clover, chicory, heartsease and sow thistle will be appreciated. You can buy wild flower seed mixtures to grow in your garden so that you have the homegrown feed for your tortoise when it matures. You have to care for your tortoise to ensure that no poisonous species are in your tortoise’s enclosure and remove anything you are not positive about. They are browsing animals, and this is the most natural way to feed them although they will like a bit of salad food as a treat. All food must be very fresh and anything not eaten should be removed before it can become sour.
Decide whether it is right pet
Firstly, you will need to decide if a tortoise the right pet for you to get. If you have researched your pet of choice deeply enough, you will find that even though tortoises do appear to be quiet and requiring little attention, they do in fact require a considerable amount of care. Tortoises also need a lot of space to be healthy.
The size of an enclosure
The size of the pet enclosure depends on the size the tortoise will grow to once it is fully grown. As a general rule, the enclosure should be at least 3 square yards for each 12-inch tortoise. This means you will require a 9 feet x 9 feet pet enclosure if it is 12 inches long! This is the size of a small room, and you will need to think carefully about how you can accommodate this size in your family home.
Tortoise pet care requires an understanding of how they like to live. They do not like to be on show all the time, so you will have to make enough hiding places in their home for them to hide away!. If you decide you want to build a glass tortoise vivarium to care for it, you may want to consider covering three sides of the tank to allow it to hide. You will also want to give enough material in the pet enclosure for burrowing. A wooden box tortoise enclosure will need to be strong enough to contain your pet as it will be able to climb over or bite its way through a small and flimsy structure. It is advisable not to build internal features close to the perimeter of the enclosure as your pet will climb over and on top of this to escape. This may be more of a problem when your pet is trying to find a mate!
How many animals to care
You will also have to consider how many animals you want to care for. Caring for tortoises when there is only one to care for is obviously easier than deciding to care for many different ones. Some species do not live happily together and will fight each other. You have to understand the individual characteristics of different species to mix and match.
The health of your tortoise
There is also the health of your tortoise to consider. If you have a traditional house with one healthy pet, you may want to introduce another one. Firstly you will need to establish the new pet is healthy before you put it into the tortoise enclosure. If you introduce an unhealthy tortoise, you may infect your other one. This means you will have to quarantine your new pet for some weeks before you put it with your established one. Of course, this will require you providing a suitable enclosure for this tortoise too!
Caring for a tortoise is perhaps more involved than at first seems apparent. However, if I have not dissuaded you so far tortoise make excellent pets and caring for a one can give you hours of satisfaction as they are fascinating creatures!