All You Need to Know about Keeping a Tortoise

‍Keeping a tortoise as a pet can be an amazing experience, but it isn’t the right choice for everyone. These reptiles are very specific in their needs and aren’t likely to adapt to new conditions easily. If you’re willing to make the commitment, however, they can also make wonderful companions. Here is everything you need to know about caring for a tortoise as a pet.

Things to Know About Keeping Tortoises

- Tortoises are extremely sensitive to their environment. They might not seem like it, but they are very high-maintenance animals. You’ll need to stay on top of their care every day.

- Tortoises need a very specific diet, so you may need to get your turtle used to eating commercial food. You can slowly wean them off lettuce and other greens to get them used to a proper diet.

- Tortoises need an enclosure that stays warm year-round. In many areas, this means keeping a tortoise indoors during the winter.

- Tortoises are excellent climbers, so you’ll need to make sure their enclosure is properly secured and can’t be scaled. You may also need to make adjustments to your home to keep your tortoise safe.

Tips for Finding the Right Tortoise

Finding the right tortoise is just as important as keeping them in the right conditions. Unfortunately, many people choose a tortoise that isn’t ideal for their climate or living situation. If you live in an area with warm winters and you want to keep a desert tortoise, you’ll likely be disappointed. Desert tortoises are native to Southern California, Arizona, and parts of Mexico, but they don’t do well outside of that area. Similarly, if you want a savannah tortoise but live in an area that never snows, your tortoise won’t ever be able to dig the burrows it needs. Savannah tortoises are native to Florida and the southern tip of Georgia and prefer cooler climates. If you want to keep a tortoise but aren’t sure which species you should choose, check out our guide to common tortoise species to see if they’re a good fit for you.

Tips for Housing Your Tortoise

Tortoises are very slow-moving creatures, so they don’t need a huge enclosure. They’re actually prone to becoming overweight if they have too large a space to roam around in. Tortoises prefer to be kept in sandy soil, so you’ll need to add a layer of sand to the bottom of their enclosure. You’ll also want to provide a small water dish, as tortoises prefer to drink from water that’s near the ground. You should also provide your tortoise with UVB-producing lighting, as they’re reptiles and need UV light to get the right amount of vitamin D. You’ll need to research which lights are best for your specific tortoise.

A Guide to Common Health Problems in Tortoises

If you’re keeping a tortoise, you may notice a few common health problems. These can usually be resolved if you catch them early.

- Obesity: Tortoises are shy eaters and are prone to obesity. You can avoid this by feeding them the right amount of food and not overfeeding them.

- Respiratory infections: Respiratory infections are most common in indoor tortoises. This can be avoided by providing adequate ventilation and keeping your tortoise’s living area clean.

- Metabolic bone disease: This is a disorder that occurs when a tortoise doesn’t get enough sunlight to produce the right amount of vitamin D. You can avoid this by letting your tortoise spend time outside when there’s ample daylight.

More Interesting Facts

There are many interesting facts about tortoises. These are some of them:

-Tortoises are reptiles. Maybe this isn’t that interesting, but it’s important to know. Reptiles are cold-blooded. This means that they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature.

-Tortoises are able to go for long periods without eating. They can survive for a long time without food. They eat mostly plants and some flowers. Tortoises are very slow. They are very careful and cautious. They move slowly because they don’t want to fall and get hurt.

-Tortoises are very careful parents. They make a special, safe place for their eggs. They keep the eggs warm with their bodies and the sand around them. These are amazing creatures that deserve a place in our hearts and home.


Keeping a tortoise as a pet is a rewarding experience, but it isn’t for everyone. These reptiles have very specific needs that must be met in order for them to thrive. If you’re willing to put in the effort, however, they can be amazing animals to care for. With the right information, you can find the right tortoise and keep it happy and healthy.