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Tortoises as Pets

Tortoises as pets are excellent for people who want low maintenance pets and who have a smaller moving space. This article talks about the various breeds of tortoises which can be taken as pets.
Almost all of us love having pets at our house. They are great to care of and require less space to live. However, many people are scared of dogs and cats but no one is scared of tortoises. So it's a great pet for adults and kids. The only challenge that you face when you take tortoises as pets are their dietary habits. These diets depend on which type of tortoises you have taken as pets. Various species of tortoises have various dietary needs, many of them have large appetites and need a decent amount of food daily. It's also necessary that they are kept in their preferred climate, so that they grow and mature well.

Tortoises for children are a great option because tortoises live for a very long time if proper care and nutrition is given to them. So it's very necessary to make sure that their small needs are fulfilled. Remember with proper care and diet, these amazing reptiles can outlive you and your children. They make wonderful companions for kids and before picking up one of them, it's recommended that you have a correct knowledge about their behavior and different breeds.

Types of Pet Tortoises

Now that you've decided that you want a tortoise as a pet, it's time you know the most popular breeds of tortoises which are being kept as pets.

Box Tortoise
They are one of the most loved species of tortoises but they have very specific needs which need to be taken care off before purchasing them. They are basically from North America and Mexico and are mainly found in thick forests and deserts. Although they are not good swimmers, they will never be far from water and they require it especially in hot seasons for cooling. They eat meat but in their later years they prefer eating fruits and vegetables. As pets, they require a very large space to move. If you're giving it a turtle pen make sure there are some plants in it. Including some large rocks is also a good option as they like their hiding space.

Red Eared Slider
Red eared slider is a favorite among kids and has been popular since many decades. They are from Alabama, western Texas and New Mexico. They are herbivores and like feeding on various kinds of plants. A basic glass aquarium is the best for red eared slider. They are fairly easy to keep and do well in ample room. If you are keeping them in a water tank it's advised that the size is at least 25 gallons. Cover the tank with a top, just in case. These tortoises should be kept warm at all times and should be given ample early morning sunlight to survive.

Desert Tortoises
They'll live long for 50 or 60 years. For housing they need a large aquarium and make sure the floor is filled paper towels or garden dirt. They can be given both vegetables and meat but make sure you five small pieces of meat and bones for them to nibble. Outdoor housing is preferred than indoor captivity. Outside keepers like to put their desert tortoises in burrows so that their natural environment can be imitated.

Russian Tortoises
The Russian tortoise is an active breed and is a favorite among kids. If they are cared well enough, they will probably live for more than 50 years. Russian tortoises prefer a diet which is rich in calcium, their favorite are strawberries, spinach lettuce and kale. You can also include different types of berries and vegetables in their daily diet. They need a large tank and make sure it has large walls and deep digging space. Also keep a hiding space for your tortoise to hide.

Tortoises as Pets: UK

The British have been keeping tortoises as pets for many years now. They are one of the most common pets in the common British household. Now due to many wildlife preservation acts, there's a ban on having tortoises in households. However, there are few pets which still can be taken as pets, they are
  • Greek or Spur-Thighed Tortoise
  • Hermann's Tortoise
  • Marginated Tortoise
  • Horsfield's Tortoise
  • Bell's Hinge-Back Tortoise
Before selecting on any one of the breeds, it's important that you take note of the animal laws in your state and then proceed with acquiring them.
By Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi
Published: 12/31/2010
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