Suggestions for Wannabe Tortoise Mom

Emmylou

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Joined
Mar 14, 2016
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11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
I will cast my vote for a Leopard! I love my two and wouldn't trade them for the world. They are interactive (at least mine are) and very pretty but don't get quite as humongous as the Sulcatas. I would definitely take a good read through this Leopard care sheet though before you decide on one: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.78361/
Thank you, I will read that! Did you get yours as hatchlings and do they live together or separately?
 

Careym13

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Jan 28, 2015
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Northern Virginia
Thank you, I will read that! Did you get yours as hatchlings and do they live together or separately?
I got mine as hatchlings. They started out living together but after about 6 months I separated them. I got bad advice from a friend who suggested getting two and then I failed to do enough research on my own regarding how many to get. Once I found this forum I learned the error of my ways and separated my two shortly after. I DEFINITELY would only get one. I'm in the process of building their daytime enclosures now since they are big enough to live outside during the day and instead of building one, I have to build two. Don't get me wrong, I love both my torts and would not trade them for the world...but having to duplicate everything can be challenging.
 

Careym13

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Location (City and/or State)
Northern Virginia
Also, hatchlings can be fairly fragile. Knowing what I know now, I would have tried to find a slightly older Leopard, like 6 mo to a year old or something, for my first tort, rather than starting with 3 month olds. But, as long as you prepare well and ask lots of questions ahead of time...you can certainly do well with a hatchling. And they are super cute when they are little!
 

NDevon

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Jan 22, 2016
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152
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North Devon, UK
It's great that you want a tortoise and obviously love animals, but maybe have a hink about what you want and why. A tortoise is very different to a dog, yea I know, that's obvious, but really they don't mix. Maybe you want another dog, or maybe a different pet altogether, something bigger, warm blooded and more friendly?

Tortoises need very different care, I have dogs, and so have tortoises, the only things hey have in common are the obvious like 4 legs, head, eyes, mouth, tail etc. Nothing else. I love spending time with the dogs, and I spend very different time wih the tortoises. I don't want to introduce them, there is no need for them to meet and it means nothing can go wrong. I trust my dogs, but if they wanted to kill a tortoise ey would be hard to hold back, and I only have two small dogs. I doubt any one person could restrain 6 dogs singlehanded unless they were tied up.

Why not get a tortoise and keep it in an environment to which it would feel more comfortable? In my personal opinion a tortoise shouldn't free roam a house, they could eat anything that was on the floor, and there are horror stories of tortoises being killed while wandering the house. Floors are not the right surface and not the right temperature for most tortoises too. Even if you were really careful it would be too easy to step on a tortoise, unlike dogs they can't get out of the way, they don't make noises to let you know they are there, they are slow and quiet.

There are lots of options for breeds, depending on what you wanted. I was in a similar position to yourself, my daughter wanted a tortoise, I thought I would buy one that I could put in the garden, feed it lettuce and it would grow. I thought it would come and go as it wanted and be a family pet. My research showed how wrong I was, and after considering Hermann, Leopard, Pancakes and then Redfoots we settled on some Cherryhead Redfoots. They are teeny right now, they live in a vivarium indoors, heated, lit, humid, they eat out of our hands, we soak them in their tub each day, they are interested in us and we are fascinated by them. They will grow, potentially very big though nowhere near the size of a Sulcata, and I will have to build large enclosures outside with a heated room for them for when it's colder. Some tortoises will only need a heated hide, it depends on where you live and the species.

Their care varies but is also very similar, their environment is very important, their diet is too, and it's very important you realise there is a good chance the little tortoise you bring home has a good chance of outliving you. You want to give it the best life, not one that's fun for you and potentially dangerous for the tortoise, it may seem great having a tortoise wandering round the living room but if it gets very sick at a very early age you will question if the care you provided was for the tortoises benefit or yours.

Sorry if this seems harsh, I don't mean to offend, it's just I thought the same stuff really and looking back I realise I could have got it all so very wrong. I may not be getting everything perfect but everything we do for the tortoises is for their benefit, not ours. Maybe have a look at he many other creatures that may well enjoy interacting we your family, there are a lot of animals out there, a tortoise may well enjoy being fed by hand, and it may well wander over when it sees you, but many don't, they jsut seem to get on with their own lives, and that doesn't sound like the sort of pet you want.
 

Emily Vail

New Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
24
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi, Em. All I have to say is I have a Sulcata and I have 2 toddlers. Since my Tortoise is a baby my toddlers or taught to hold and help out and wash theyre hands. Really kinda easy. As for a dog im going to invest in a French bulldog in my near future. Who knows how it will go down but im not worried i feel as long as basics of what a tortoise needs then the details will come along and things will get handled correctly. I love having him around and am glad to get him young. It hust helped with all our adjustment.
 
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