Interested In Tortoises?


1. Is a turtle, tortoise, or box turtle best for you?
  • Turtle – primarily water-dwelling: learn more here.
  • Tortoise – primarily land-dwelling
  • Box turtle – comfortable on both land and water, needs both: learn more here.
2. What’s the best species of tortoise for your lifestyle?
  • Consider size
    • Tortoises can be as small as 1 pound and weight up to 500 pounds
  • Do you want a basking or non-basking tortoise: learn more here?
    • Basking tortoises need direct sunlight
    • Non-basking tortoises do not
  • Do you live in an area with a climate that resembles the climate of origin for your tortoise of choice? Learn more here.
    • If not, are you willing to create artificial climates for the tortoise?
  • Are you willing to feed vegetarian food/animal protein and/or live food?
3. Do you have enough space both indoors and outdoors?
  • Tortoises require indoor and outdoor space: Learn more here.
  • Indoor tortoise tables/enclosures must be located away from drafts, off the floor, and in a well lit/air circulated area. Garages are NOT an accepted area.
  • Outdoor space MUST be predator-proof, escape (dig/climb) proof, free of hazardous materials, and/or poisonous plants
    • Standard fenced yards are NOT an acceptable area
    • Any type of wire fencing is NOT acceptable
4. Do you have the time to invest in a pet that has a long lifespan?
  • Will you commit to caring for the tortoise for life?
  • Will you give the tortoise daily attention, activity, and enrich his/her life?
  • Are you willing to continue learning about the species of tortoise you chose?
  • Are you willing to feed a fresh, varied diet?
  • Will you have an exit plan in case circumstances require giving up the tortoise?
    • Will you give instructions regarding who will take the tortoise upon death?
    • Will you provide financially for the tortoise?
5. Can you create a budget for an exotic pet?
  • Do you have the budget to create both indoor and outdoor enclosures?
  • Do you have the budget to upgrade/change/enhance the enclosures periodically?
  • Do you have the budget to pay for unexpected vet visits and examinations?
  • Do you have the budget to purchase equipment and supplies as needed?
  • Do you have the budget to purchase food when fresh is not available?