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For the Love of Animals

Tortoise as a Pet: Care and guide

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Ever wondered what it’s like to have tortoise as a pet? Well, not many people know about a tortoise that’s because you don’t see a tortoise in every household. Tortoises are easy to care for, long-lived, quiet and cute animals. They prefer to stay outdoors where there is ample sunlight. Looking at a tortoise at a zoo and keeping a tortoise at home are two different aspects. Be sure to acquaint yourself with the best care guide and information about tortoise before bringing home one.

Some interesting facts about tortoise:

  1. Turtles have a lifespan of 50-100 years. Sulcata tortoise lives for more than 70 years.
  2. Turtles lay 30-30 eggs depending on the breed. The incubation time is around 90-150 days.
  3. The male and female tortoise can be differentiated by physical features. Males tortoise have a concavity on the lower shell, itโ€™s tail is longer than the femaleโ€™s and its vent is located down the tip of the tail.
  4. Male tortoise is docile and shy, but keeping 2 males together can create a dispute which can result in fatal injuries.
  5. There are many breeds of tortoise but the easiest to keep and breed are:
  •  Sulcata tortoise
  • Leopard Tortoise
  • Greek Tortoise
  • Russian Tortoise
  • Yellow-footed Tortoise
  • Red-footed Tortoise

Care and Guide:

Choosing a Tortoise as a pet:

Make sure to research the breed you want to go for. Research on the breed thoroughly to get a good understanding. Tortoise as a pet can be pretty easy to keep if you know everything about them. Any tortoise that is new to your house should be checked for parasites and should be ensured that it is healthy or not. Make sure not to keep 2 male tortoises together. It’s always the best idea to adopt rather than buy one.

Feeding:

Tortoise like a plant-based diet.

Vegetables: It has been advised that 80% of your tortoise diet should consist of vegetables such as collard greens, dandelion, and kale. For a more exciting meal mix cauliflower, bell pepper, and sweet potatoes together. No animal protein should be provided.

Fruits: Grapes, melons, and apple should not make up more than 20% od the diet. Fruits should not be given more than once a meal, a day.

Vitamins and Supplements: Its good to mix vitamin D3, multivitamins and calcium with salad and provide it three times a week for good nourishment of your pet tortoise.

Water: Availability of fresh water should be there 24/7.

The housing of a Pet Tortoise:

  1. The enclosure should mimic the natural habitat of the tortoise. Depending on the specific ideal conditions should be provided.
  2. Provide a dry place for the tortoise as the damp environment will promote fungal growth.
  3. Access to shallow water should always be there because tortoise likes to soak water.
  4. The temperature range of the enclosure is 21-32 celsius.
  5. Provide a box or a shelter for the tortoise to rest in.
  6. If you plan on keeping a tortoise indoor then provide with 5% UVA lighting. Make sure to change the bulb every 6-9 months.
  7. Tortoise loves a sand bath, make sure the enclosure has sand in it.
  8. Every breed has its specific characteristic, make sure to study your tortoise breed and prepare yourself for the hibernation season.

Common Health Problems:

Respiratory infections due to unsanitary conditions are very common in tortoise kept as a pet. The solution to this antibiotic, you should consult a vet before undergoing any treatment. A diseased tortoise will appear sluggish, lose weight and show accessive mucous around its mouth and nasal passage.

Tortoises are susceptible to metabolic bone diseases due to calcium deficiency in the diet. Another reason may be due to the deficiency of sunlight in the enclosure. In the wild tortoise takes sunbath frequently. The solution to this is to provide powdered calcium in the diet and install UVA 5% bulb.

The first signs of calcium deficiency in young tortoise can be seen in their shell. The shell will grow slowly. The older tortoise may develop weak bones in legs or even bone fractures.

To get more exciting information about other animals, check out the blog site.

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