You walk by a pet store with your child and they stop. You look at what has captivated their attention and you see an walking rock. You think about the potential mess on your carpet and imagine the smell. Then you child turns up to you with puppy-dog eyes and says the words you were dreading: “Can we get a tortoise?” And thus begins your family’s tortoise adventure. There are so many factors to consider when choosing a tortoise as a pet. It’s important to know exactly what you are getting into before you even begin to consider getting a tortoise as a pet.
You may be surprised to learn that tortoises are easier to care for than a dog or cat in some regards. Because they only eat every 3 or 4 days, you don’t have to feed them everyday. As long as you remove any uneaten food from their habitat after a day or so, there is very little work to do when it comes to nutrition. Also, have to gain a tortoises trust after the initial two or three weeks on them hiding out in their shell until they become comfortable is a very good way to teach young the children the value of an abstract concept like patience. The can see that if they wait a little while, their patience will pay off in the tortoise allowing you to hold it without trying to bite you. And since tortoises live as long as humans, this is a pet you can keep for a lifetime.
However, these factors don’t take into account the risks involved with having a tortoise for a pet. As stated above, tortoises can have a tendency to bite you if a baseline of trust has not been established. Also tortoises can carry certain diseases, so you need to be careful to wash your hands before and after handling a tortoise. And be ready to have your wallet take a dent, since tortoises (even ones from an everyday pet store) are not cheap at all. May sure you have enough money for both the pet and the tank/habitat your intend to keep it in.
Al things considered, owning a tortoise is a significant expense in money and time. And this is not just for a traditional pet lifespan, but for possible decades of commitment. But if you are willing to make the sacrifice and be diligent, owning a tortoise can be one of the most rewarding pet ownership experiences you’ll ever have. On the reverse end, if you are not a responsible person, not around the house a lot, go out and party at local pubs and live a wild life style etc. then you should think twice because while it’s a small responsibility… it is still a responsibility. So make sure you have room in your life for one of these little guys!