Everything You Need to Know Before Getting a Tortoise as a Pet


So you’ve decided you want a tortoise as a pet. That’s great! Tortoises can make wonderful, low-maintenance companions. But before you run out and buy one, there are a few things you need to know.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know before getting a tortoise as a pet. This includes information on their care and diet, as well as what to do if your tortoise becomes sick or injured. We’ll also cover the different types of tortoises available and the cost of keeping one.

By the end of this article, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether a tortoise is the right pet for you.

What Are Tortoises?

Tortoises are a land-dwelling reptile that is closely related to turtles. They have a hard shell that protects them from predators and the elements. Tortoises are found in warm climates all over the world, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Most tortoises are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. This is important to know because it will affect what you feed your tortoise if you decide to get one as a pet. Tortoises can live for a long time, with some species living over 100 years!

Tortoises are generally low-maintenance pets, but they do require some specific care. For example, they need access to UVB light, which helps them process calcium and prevents metabolic bone disease. They also need a diet that is high in fiber and low in protein.

What Do Tortoises Need?

Tortoises are homebodies, so they need a spacious enclosure in which to roam—and by spacious, we mean at least 10 square feet per tortoise. The enclosure should also have:

– A hiding spot: Tortoises like to have a place to retreat when they want some peace and quiet. This can be something as simple as an upturned cardboard box or a log.

– A basking spot: Tortoises need a warm, dry place to bask in the sun (or under a heat lamp if you live in a climate that doesn’t get much sun).

– A water bowl: Tortoises need to drink and soak regularly, so their enclosure should have a bowl big enough for them to soak their entire bodies in. You’ll also want to mist their enclosure every day to help them stay hydrated.

How Long Do Tortoises Live?

Before you get a tortoise as a pet, you need to think about how long they live. Tortoises can live for a very long time—up to 100 years! That means if you get a tortoise as a pet, you’re making a commitment for the next century.

Are you prepared to take care of a tortoise for that long? If not, you might want to reconsider getting one as a pet. But if you are prepared to take on the responsibility, then congrats—you’re on your way to becoming a tortoise parent!

Are Tortoises the Right Pet for Me?

Before you bring home a tortoise, there are a few things you need to ask yourself. Are you prepared to provide your tortoise with the proper care and housing it needs? Tortoises can live for decades, so this is a long-term commitment.

Tortoises are also slow animals and not very cuddly, so if you’re looking for a pet you can snuggle with, a tortoise is probably not the right choice. But if you’re okay with that and you’re prepared to provide your tortoise with a good home, then congratulations—you might just have found your new best friend!

How to Care for a Tortoise

A pet tortoise can live for a long time—up to 80 years—so you need to be prepared for the commitment. Here are a few things you should know about caring for a tortoise:

– Housing: Tortoises need a spacious enclosure that’s at least twice as long as the tortoise is long, and at least as wide. The enclosure should have plenty of hiding spots and places to bask in the sun. If you live in a warm climate, your tortoise can live outdoors year-round. If you live in a colder climate, your tortoise will need to spend the winter indoors.

– Diet: Tortoises are herbivores and their diet should consist mostly of leafy greens and vegetables. You can purchase commercial tortoise food, but it’s best to supplement with fresh foods.

– Water: Tortoises drink very little water and get most of the moisture they need from the food they eat. However, they still need access to clean water for drinking and bathing.

Tortoise Breeds

There are a lot of different tortoise breeds out there, and it’s important to do your research before you get one as a pet. Some of the most popular tortoise breeds include the sulcata tortoise, the red-footed tortoise, and the leopard tortoise.

The sulcata tortoise is native to Africa and can grow to be up to 3 feet long. They’re one of the most popular tortoise breeds because they’re very friendly and make great pets.

The red-footed tortoise is native to South America and can grow to be up to 2 feet long. They’re a popular choice because they’re very active and have beautiful shells.

The leopard tortoise is native to Africa and can grow to be up to 2 feet long. They’re a popular choice because they’re very gentle and have stunning patterns on their shells.


Tortoises can make great pets, but there’s a lot you need to know before you bring one home. They require a special diet and enclosure, and they can live for a very long time – up to 100 years in some cases!

Do your research before you commit to a tortoise, and make sure you’re prepared to provide the care they need for their entire lifetime. With the right care, they can make wonderful, low-maintenance pets.