A Guide for New Tortoise Parents

If you’ve fallen in love with the idea of having a shelled companion as your beloved pet, then this guide is here to make your dream come true. As pet parents, we all want the best for our wise and gentle companions. 

While tortoises for sale have variable care instructions, the overall care guide is the same for all species. We’re here to help you look after your shelled companion by discussing the ins and outs of becoming a caring tortoise parent. 

Factors To Consider While Setting Up A Tortoise Habitat

Creating a suitable living space is relatively simple. Careful consideration of your tortoise’s species-specific needs is your only requirement. It will help you make the perfect habitat for a tortoise in no time. Here are some essential factors to keep in mind:

1. Enclosure Size: Always select an appropriate size based on your tortoise’s age and activity level. You can also decide the area based on your pet’s size. The enclosure must be 10x the size of a tortoise – meaning if the tortoise is 1 inch, the enclosure area must be 10 inches x 10 inches.

2. Safety and Security: You should use sturdy materials and check for gaps or weaknesses in the setup to enhance security. You can also clean the enclosure regularly, which ensures your tortoise doesn’t swallow something toxic.  

3. Substrate Selection: The substrate provides a comfortable and natural surface for your tortoise to walk on and burrow in. Therefore, you should choose the right substrate for the enclosure floor. The most suitable options include coconut bedding, cypress mulch, or a mix of organic materials.

4. Temperature Gradient: Tortoises need to regulate their body temperature effectively. Therefore they need supplementary heating all day long. A temperature gradient/regulator is the best way to control heat. While using the equipment, you should set the temperature around 75°F to 85°F.

Nurturing And Feeding Guidelines For Tortoise

Proper nurturing and feeding are vital aspects of caring for your tortoise. These help you promote its overall well-being. Here are some essential guidelines to ensure your shelled friend receives the best care possible:

1. Balanced Diet: Try to offer a varied and balanced diet. The ideal diet primarily has fresh, leafy greens and vegetables and minimum high-sugar treats. Some suitable options include: 

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Squash

2. Calcium Supplementation: Your tortoise needs calcium to maintain a healthy shell and prevent deficiencies. Dusting the food with a reptile-specific calcium powder will help meet your tortoise’s calcium needs.

3. Avoid Toxic Foods: Steer clear of feeding your tortoise toxic or harmful foods like dairy products, onions, garlic, and rhubarb. These items can lead to serious health issues and should be strictly avoided.

4. Fresh Water: Ensure a clean and shallow water dish is always available. Apart from drinking, tortoises often use water to soak and maintain proper hydration.

Everything About Your Tortoise’s Health

Taking care of your tortoise’s health ensures its longevity and happiness. Understanding common health issues and their symptoms can help you detect problems early and seek appropriate care. Here’s a comprehensive guide to your tortoise’s health:

Common Tortoise Problems

  • Pyramiding: Raised and pyramid-like growth on the shell, often caused by improper diet or environmental conditions.
  • Shell Rot: Fungal or bacterial infection leading to softening or discoloration of the shell.
  • Fractures: Cracks or breaks in the shell due to injuries or accidents.

Symptoms of Different Diseases

Regular check-ups are essential to monitor your tortoise’s overall health and address any potential issues early on. If you observe any of these symptoms or notice any other unusual behaviors in your tortoise, seek advice from a reptile-savvy veterinarian promptly. 

Respiratory Infections:

  • Wheezing or labored breathing.
  • Nasal discharge
  • Lethargy and loss of appetite.


  • Weight loss and decreased appetite.
  • Diarrhea or abnormal stool.
  • Lethargy and weakness.

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD):

  •  Softening or deformities in the shell.
  •  Difficulty walking or limb weakness.
  •  Reluctance to move or bask.

Eye Problems:

  • Swollen or cloudy eyes.
  • Excessive tearing or discharge.
  • Rubbing or scratching of the eyes.


By exploring the essential aspects of tortoise care, you can provide the best care for your shelled companion. Remember to be patient and observant, as all tortoises for sale have their unique personality and requirements. This guide will help you tackle your pet’s every need and provide ideal care.