Pet Tortoises – Top Five Things You Must Know

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Although these little creatures can be small enough to fit in your hand, their specific needs can be quite complex, time consuming and expensive! Pet tortoises can range in price from $50-$500 or more but this is just the start.

So what should you consider before embarking on buying one?

1. What type should you get? Is it from a reputable dealer/breeder? Is it a species you can relatively easily care for at home? Do your homework on the different species and their natural habitat in the wild. This will help you to decide on the best option for your particular needs.

2. When you have done your homework on the type you want to get, what sort of home will it require? Large or small? Indoor or outdoor? Keeping pet tortoises is not like having a rabbit or hamster. You will have to heat and light it correctly to ensure your new pet remains healthy and happy.

3. What food will it need? There are many misconceptions about what and how much a tortoises will eat. A chelonian requires a mainly herbivorous diet but this does not mean feeding it just lettuce! If you do he will become unwell very quickly as there is very little nutritional value in lettuce. (Although it can be useful if you have to nurse a sick tortoise at some time). So again you will need to do some research as to the natural diet your species will need. This will depend on its size and where in the world it originates. Either arid desert or lush tropical forests?

4. When you have bought him how should you care for him? What sort of environment should you provide? Pet tortoises will need to have both a heat and light source. They are ectothermic (cold blooded) and will have to rely on an external heat source in order to warm up and move around, eat and stay healthy. They will also need an artificial light as they are affected by the amount of light they are exposed to. Too little and they may become depressed and may even try to hibernate. If too much light their natural rhythms can be upset leading to them sleeping constantly or not at all and this stress over a long period can cause death in extreme circumstances.

5. Learning what your pet should be like when he is well will help you to recognize when he may become ill. Learn to recognize the symptoms of stress and infection. There are many diseases that can affect your pet. Make sure if you are ever in doubt you can afford to visit your vet for advice. This is not a cheap option but it may become necessary.

If you are still interested in caring for pet tortoises you should think carefully if you can provide a safe and healthy environment for it. Having the correct enclosure, with the correct light and heat source plus the right type of food will all contribute to helping your pet to remain happy healthy for many years.

When you choose to buy a chelonian for your family pet there are a number of important things to consider. At first glance, keeping and caring for pet tortoises may appear to be relatively easy! No walking twice or more times a day, no training, they eat just a little.. don’t they?

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Source by Ellie Bear

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