What to Know Before Buying a Pet Tortoise?

What to Know Before Buying a Pet Tortoise?

…By Khurram Alley for TDPel Media. Imagine walking through a reptile show, and your eyes catch a glimpse of those adorable, itty-bitty tortoises displayed in every other booth. They’re just so cute and irresistible that you can’t help but decide to bring one home. Excitement fills the air as you carefully follow the instructions given by the sales person. But here’s the thing!


Do you have any idea about the type of tortoise you have adopted? Will it remain its petite size forever, or is there a chance it could transform into a majestic creature like the sulcata tortoise for sale? And let’s not forget the essential part: how on earth do you properly care for your new shelled companion? It’s time to uncover the mysteries and ensure your pet tortoise receives the love and attention it deserves. Let’s get started!

5 Essentials to Consider Before Owning a Pet Tortoise

Housing and space requirements

Possible health problems


Required Diet

Which one to buy

Tortoises are docile creatures with longevity

Now let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of these points and discover all the details.

1. Housing and Space Requirements

Tortoises reach their full size in a span of 6  to 10 years, with an average of 8 years. Typically, juvenile tortoises measure around 2-3 inches in length, while adult specimens can reach sizes of 12-15 inches or even greater. So even if you start with a small tortoise, be prepared for its eventual growth. 


While having tortoises as outdoor pets is widely regarded as the optimal approach, alternative indoor options are available. One common indoor solution is providing a wooden tortoise table measuring 30 inches by 18 inches by 6 inches for pet tortoises under the age of five. 

For older tortoises, a space that is 6 feet by 4 feet by 18 inches is recommended. These dimensions ensure ample space for your new pet to move about comfortably, alleviating any concerns about habitat size and reducing potential stress. 

2. Possible Health Issues

Tortoises can be hardy pets, but improper housing, diet, and living conditions can lead to illness. Temperature and humidity levels must be maintained, and regular cleaning is essential for most species.

Your pet’s health depends on providing suitable housing and meeting their specific lighting requirements. Neglecting these needs can result in common health issues such as shell rot, fungus, metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, and ear abscesses.

3. Required Diet

Depending on the species, tortoise diets can range from simple greens to a specific and varied diet. It is true that quatic turtles can be fed pellets, fish, earthworms, dehydrated dog or cat food, and plant material. Tortoises, however, require a wide range of leafy greens, vegetables, plants, weeds, grasses, and sometimes fruits and protein sources.


If you cannot provide the necessary diet for your pet, it’s advisable to consider a different pet. Without a suitable diet, the animal’s health can deteriorate. 

4. Tortoises are Docile Creatures with Longevity

Tortoises are docile and non-aggressive pets known for their longevity. The actual lifespan of a tortoise depends on various factors including breed, habitat, diet, and care. However, according to scientific studies, the typical lifespan of a pet tortoise is between 40 to 80 years. 

While they are generally shy, they can become more social with a companion. It’s important to note that pairing two males together may lead to competition and potential harm. So it’s best to consider housing two females together or a male and female in the same space when keeping multiple tortoises. 

5. Which One to Buy?

Before considering adopting a tortoise as a pet, it’s essential to research the specific breed you have in mind thoroughly. Take the time to investigate their dietary restrictions, optimal temperature requirements, hibernation patterns, and eventual adult size. By conducting a comprehensive study, you can ensure that your future tortoise companion will thrive in their new home.

Final Thoughts

  • These tiny shells of happiness will add tremendously to your home and peace of mind. They are the perfect low-maintenance pet with an ever expanding set of interactions. Spend time researching the little friend you want, get familiar with their needs, wants, and diet, and choose the one that perfectly balances your lifestyle. Whether it’s the leopard-tortoise, red-footed tortoise, or the sulcata tortoise for sale, you will not regret your decision. 

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