Give your tortoise the best lifestyle in the Garden

Tortoises make exotic and interesting pets. They have very long life spans and have been known to celebrate their 100th birthday, which is worth bearing in mind when choosing your pet.

Give your tortoise the best lifestyle in the Garden

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You will need to think about the breed you want if you haven’t owned a tortoise before, as some are more difficult to keep than others. Mediterranean species such as the Turkish spur-thighed, Russian and Hermann’s tortoises are easily cared for if you follow a few simple guidelines:

– Do find a suitable spot in your garden for an enclosure for your tortoise. It will need somewhere to shelter when the weather is bad, a shady spot for hot weather, and a place to sunbathe. The enclosure needs to be in a well-drained spot and safe from predators such as rats or foxes.  Keep the grass down to enable an easy to get about sense of feeling for your pet.  Try using hand propelled petrol lawn mowers by to make a simple job of it and allow yourself time for other more pressing matters.

– Do make sure there is grass and vegetation for your pet to nibble. This can include dandelions, chicory, clover, and various shrubs, leaves and flowers.

– Don’t feed tortoises foods high in sugar, such as ripe fruit or cabbage. Other foods, such as cat or dog food and peas or beans, can be harmful.

– Do make sure your tortoise has easy access to water.

– If it is going to be an indoor tortoise, buy a tortoise table or vivarium. It is best if a tortoise gets some fresh air outdoors as often as possible.

– Do not let your tortoise wander around the house, which can be draughty at floor level. It may also eat something harmful or be accidentally trodden on.

– Do make sure your tortoise is regularly wormed, which your vet can advise you on.

– When it is time for hibernation, make sure you have somewhere safe for your tortoise and seek advice from a vet or other expert if this is your first time, as it needs to be done with care.

– Do not feed your tortoise for two weeks before hibernation, as its stomach needs to be empty.

– Do not let your tortoise mix or breed with other species, as they each have their own special diet and this may also spread disease.

– Do not let dogs near your tortoise, as they may think it is a toy or attack it.

– Do not let your tortoise near a pond or pool, as they cannot swim or float.

By caring for your tortoise correctly and seeking expert advice, you should get many years of pleasure from your pet.

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