Tortoises have been on the planet for over 200 million years, which means that these exciting creatures walked the earth at the same time as dinosaurs.[1] They make enchanting pets and are fun to watch and to care for. Find a seller who prides himself in customer service, whether you are going to a pet store or finding your creature online. There are some legal restrictions on keeping or breeding some tortoises, especially Mediterranean breeds. You don't need to be settled in one place for 50 years, but you should be prepared for many years of care for the new addition to your home. Your tortoise will also need a supplement to make sure that he or she grows healthy and strong.
If there are small children around, explain to them that it would be better if they loved and cared for the tortoise from a distance. You can also mix and match, keeping your tortoise indoors for the colder months and letting it roam outdoors during the warmer months.
See the sections below for learning the proper care for your tortoise, whether it is an outdoor or an indoor creature. You can use glass, but tortoises get frustrated because they try to walk through the glass. You should either use a desk lamp, which should have at least 100W of power for heating, and another UV light for your tortoise to bask in, or even a single mercury-vapor lamp to provide your critter with both heat and light. Make sure you position the lamp correctly so your tortoise is able to soak up the heat while also taking some breaks. Not only is providing your tortoise with heat and light essential to his or her health, but it's also helpful for your creature's happiness. If your creature needs mid to high humidity, then your substrate needs to be able to hold moisture well.
If your creature needs a more dry climate, then the substrate should include dry coconut coir, grass clippings, or shredded paper. Avoid using sand in the substrate, because tortoises may eat it and cause great harm to themselves. When your tortoise is outdoors, the substrate doesn't matter as much, as the natural environment should be suitable.
Your tortoise will try to burrow under or dig in to the corners of their enclosure, so it should be nice and secure. Some people recommend that you line a juvenile tortoise's home with wire mesh to protect it from pesky creatures. However, since they've been around a long time, they've had plenty of time to pick up a few preferences and to develop a thorough list of personal care needs. Tortoises come in many varieties and there are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing one, from the way you want your tortoise to look, the environment your tortoise prefers, and how much money you want to "shell out" on this shelled creature. Though the tortoise you bring home may be small and cute initially, tortoises can grow over two feet large after 5-10 years of care. Tortoises generally don't do well in the cold, so if you live in a colder climate, you have to prepare to put your tortoise indoors for a part of the year (unless you keep it indoors the whole time). It's important to purchase your tortoise from a seller that you respect, who has a history of making a successful sale and who can promise that you have been given the tortoise under healthy conditions. If your seller says that he or she will be easy to contact after the sale is made, then it's more likely that you are making a solid transaction. If you're only around to take care of your tortoise for a year or two before you want to jump ship, then it may not be the ideal pet for you.

The type of food your tortoise eats will largely depend on the species of tortoise you've chosen. If you want to house your tortoise indoors, then you have to think about what kind of an enclosure you want, whether it's a glass aquarium or a terrarium. If your tortoise is outdoors, then you don't need to worry about him or her having enough light. The substrate will cover the floor of your tortoise's environment and will need to have proper composition to ensure the health and safety of your tortoise.
If your tortoise burrows, you can add a wire mesh below the surface of the barrier to keep him safe.
You'll need some kind of shelter for your tortoise to make it feel safe, and to provide some shelter from the heat, the rain, or other elements that may be in the way.
You should keep an adequate amount of plants around for your outdoor tortoise so that he or she can eat and feel secure throughout the day. If you're taking care of your tortoise outdoors, then you will have to take precautions to make sure it is safe from other predators, such as cats. Many people think that something is wrong with a tortoise's eyes if he starts keeping them shut. Though it's normal for baby tortoises to sleep for most of the day, if your critter is just completely inactive, then you have to start troubleshooting to locate the source of the problem.
Though you may want to hold your tortoise and to let your ten best friends hold him, too, this might actually be scaring your favorite creature. Check to see that your mix of greens, veggies, and supplements is giving your pet everything he or she needs. This means that caring for a tortoise is a bigger commitment than you may think and that it takes time and dedication to make sure that your tortoise stays healthy and strong.
Any type of tortoise you choose will make a wonderful pet for your family, once you commit to caring for this particular breed. If you're really committed to having one for a long time, then you have to consider if you can care for a tortoise of a large size. If this is the case, you should pick a tortoise that can do well indoors for at least part of the year. When it comes to choosing your tortoise, you should consider how much money you want to spend.
Avoid getting your creature at a reptile show, because this may make it likely that you'll buy him and won't be able to get in touch with the seller again. Tortoises can live between 50 and 100 years, which means that your lovely pet may live longer than you. It's important to ask the source where you got the tortoise what you should make a part of its staple diet.
You can just pour some water in a shallow tray or saucer and sink it into the floor of the enclosure so that your tortoise can't flip it over. When you first bring home your tortoise, you should soak it in water a few times a week, so it feels fully hydrated, making sure to keep its head above water.
Just keep in mind that you should have at least 3 square feet available for a baby tortoise. But if your favorite creature is indoors, then you'll need to make sure he gets enough light, and therefore Vitamin D, to be healthy.
The most important thing, whether your tortoise is outdoors or indoors, is to make sure that it is not overly moist, or your tortoise will be prone to infection.

However, you can't just place your tortoise out in the yard and let him or her do whatever he or she wants.
You can add some clump grasses to help your tortoise burrow, as well as to allow for some shade. If you have a dog, never allow it to be near the tortoise; even the gentlest dogs have been shown to attack tortoises without warning.
Try to minimize the handling, especially in the beginning, so that your tortoise can feel comfortable — no pun intended — inside his own shell. This is a rare condition for outdoor tortoises, but it can happen to indoor tortoises because it can be harder for them to have access to a steady light source. If you want to learn how to start caring for this incredible creature, see Step 1 to get started.
Some of the more common breeds of tortoises include the Sulcata, Leopard, Redfoot, Yellowfoot, Greek, Russian, Hermanns, and Indian Star. If you live in a very hot climate and want to keep the tortoise outside, this will be easier, but you may have to shade certain types of tortoises. Ideally, your seller should guarantee that your tortoise should live for at least a few days, though it can be hard to go beyond that because there's no way he or she can check up on how you're taking care of him. In general, though, most tortoises eat mixed leafy greens, such as a typical "spring mix" you can find at any grocery store. The shell is attached very closely to the tortoise's spine with only a minimal amount of tissue between bone and shell.
If you're really committed to having one, you should be prepared to have some outdoor shelter for it, unless it's a smaller tortoise or a variety that is really able to just stay indoors. Ideally, you should make a hide box for your creature, which will be where he sleeps and weathers the climates.
In general, many tortoises will eat broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, any grasses, or clover. You can add a few boulders to give your creature some privacy, as long as they aren't too steep.
If a tortoise keeps his eyes shut, it usually just means that something isn't right with him, and most of the time, that just means he is not as hydrated as he needs to be. If your indoor tortoise has a soft shell, make sure that he or she is at least 8-10" from the UV light source, and that the bulb is changed after at least 9 to 12 months to remain fresh and active.
When tortoises are babies, they need to eat softer foods, because their tiny jaws will find it hard to tear apart harder foods. You can make it out of wood and cover it with a few inches of sand, as well as a heating element for the cold weather, if needed. You can also add some small trees for shade and shelter and just for the environment to look nice. Tortoises can eat most vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, or kale, especially if you mix them in with the mixed greens, but it's important to know what your type of tortoise needs. Though you may be dying to hold your pet tortoise, you should try to take it easy on holding it, or letting others hold it, too much.
If this is a chronic problem, you can consider making your substrate more moist, or seeing a veterinarian if there is something indeed wrong with your favorite pet's eyes.

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