A tortoise is for life and most certainly not just for Christmas

The tortoise has been a popular pet in Britain for over 100 years, but you might have noticed that they are less common today than they were 20 years ago. This is due to an EU-wide initiative to protect their numbers in the wild. It is still legal to purchase a tortoise provided the dealer is fully licensed and the tortoise is fully documented; however, this reduction in tortoise numbers in homes and schools means that would-be owners are less likely to know what type of care a tortoise might need. For this reason we have put together a list of essential dos and don’ts to give you a general idea.

A tortoise is for life and most certainly not just for Christmas

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– Feed your tortoise a diet rich in weeds and flowers and remember to wash these ingredients as you would your own salad.
– Supplement your tortoise’s diet with calcium carbonate and Nutrobal vitamins, which are available from your local supplier.
– Make sure your tortoise has regular access to the great outdoors, keep the grass low, this helps with the tortoise’s journey, and ensure shelter is available against the cold and rain if leaving them unattended.  Why not use hand propelled petrol lawn mowers to help maintain a level of consistency by http://www.chiffchaffoutdoor.com/tiger-tm4016hp-40cm-16-hand-propelled-petrol-lawn-mower.html
– Offer an interesting environment with lots of space for exercise and things to explore.
– Bathe your tortoise regularly.
– Make sure your tortoise can submerge their head in their water when drinking.
– Take your tortoise to the vet once a year for a health check-up.
– Weigh your tortoise once a month and keep a record.
– If your tortoise is healthy, hibernate them over the winter and check the temperature regularly.

But remember…

– Don’t hibernate sick or underweight tortoises; instead, ask your vet for advice.
– Don’t overfeed your tortoise. One meal a day, plus grazing, is sufficient.
– Never give your tortoise dog or cat food. The protein can kill be lethal to a tortoise.
– Don’t feed them too much salad either! A diet of mainly lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers is too sugary for tortoises.
– Don’t leave them anywhere cold or damp. Tortoises are Mediterranean.
– Don’t let other pets play with the tortoise unattended.
– Keep your tortoise away from deep water, ponds and water features.
– Don’t use hay and straw for bedding, as it might contain parasites.
– Never paint or polish your tortoise’s shell.

As with any pet, it is important to be aware of what level of care is needed before you bring your new friend home. Tortoises can be easy to care for; however, their care is daily and continuous.