Yes, both Christians and Muslims can keep a tortoise as a pet and there is nothing wrong about having them at home. In fact, this article will explain how to take care of a pet tortoise.
However, there are some people who keep tortoise because they believe it is a sign of good luck and they look at them as some sort of a small god.
This is the reason why some Muslims think that it is haram to keep any tortoise as a pet. Having a tortoise as a pet in Islam is halal unless you want to keep it for some other weird reasons.
Both Christians and Muslims are commanded to take care of nature because God brought us here on earth to protect his creation.
It is also not a sin to have a pet tortoise in Christianity because Christians are supposed to take care of animals and nature in general.
Myths About Keeping Tortoise as a pet
There are myths about tortoise all around the world. Different cultures have different perceptions about this unique creature. Some are good some are bad.
Indians associate tortoise or turtles with the spirit of the dead. They believe that the dead reincarnate into tortoise.
While In Vietnam a tortoise is associated with derailment. However, in china and Parts of southern Africa, tortoise is perceived as a symbol of good luck.
They are used as protection against enemies. They believe that the shell covers you (hypothetically speaking) as it covers the tortoise.
Some communities also believe that having a tortoise as pet will increase the life span of your family and their generations.
Tortoise live for many years hence the hypothesis that if you do a great job in tortoise pet care then your family will live longer like them.
This is the main reason why some people get a tortoise as a pet and pass them on to their children and grandchildren
People think that a tortoise as a pet is an easier option. This is wrong because tortoise pet care can be very costly and time consuming.
A tortoise is a delicate animal that requires a lot of patience and care.
They only feed from fresh food and can get sick just like any other pet. They even get ear infection.
We have discussed in detail on this article details of effective tortoise pet care and when to see a vet in case of illness.
Your pet may die if you do not commit yourself to maximum care for it. Since turtles thrive in aquatic environment, they can easily transmit the salmonella bacteria.
You should wash your hands with an antibacterial soap or sterilize them after handling your pet.
Once again I repeat that your tortoise pet needs veterinary care equally like any other pet you may have.
There are professionals vets who specialise in tortoise care and are very knowledgeable about them.
It is advisable to buy your tortoise form a reputable reptile breeder who will be able to teach you more on how to take care of the pet. They are likely to give you referrals to the best vets in town.
A tortoise does not hiss like snakes. The hissing sound they produce when getting into the shell is the sound of air being expelled out of the shell as it is being replaced by its limbs and head.
Can We Keep Tortoise at Home?
Yes! You can keep a pet as a tortoise just like you can keep cats or dogs but you have to fully commit to taking good care of them.
They live for a long time hence if you do a good job you will have your pet for a lifetime.
You must ensure that you rear your pet in an environment that matches its natural habitat.
You will need to build a special facility for the accommodation of the tortoise. It may be very tricky to raise a wild tortoise. It is advisable to buy a bred tortoise for a pet.
A tortoise can be termed as an expensive pet but if you can handle all that you will be a happy pet owner.
A tortoise for a pet sounds more exciting right? Not so many people have a pet tortoise yet they do actually make very peaceful and manageable pets.
Let’s discuss key questions like what do they eat, types of tortoise pets and how to keep and care for them.
They tend to need a great deal of attention and care as compared to other pets.
If you are a patient animal lover, then you will do great with a tortoise as a pet.
The tortoise has a very long life span and you may even outlive them and give them as an inheritance to your grandkids.
This is one reason why Hindus, Christians, and Muslims keep tortoises as pets.
Tortoise pet care is also high maintenance because it will need to feed on fresh fruits.
Tortoise or Turtle Pet Facts
Having tortoise/turtle a pet is all fun and games until you realise you are doing it wrong and your pet dies.
It is important to have facts about this reptile at your fingertips. These acts will help you be a better pet owner and influence your decision in keeping more of them in the future.
Tortoise can be very cute when young but this should not be your only reason when going for one.
You should be able to have a great passion and compassion towards this animal for a successful parenting /petting.
Below are insights on the most crucial things you need to know about tortoise or turtles.
- A baby tortoise is about two inches long but they can grow up to 10 inches long in adulthood
- Tortoise is a reptile hence its body temperature will vary with the environment (cold blooded).It will thrive in warm humid climate as compared to very cold climates.
- They are vegetarians hence need to be feed on fresh fruits and vegetables
- The female tortoise lays eggs as a mode of reproduction. Their new-borns are able to feed on solid food as early as 3 days old.
- A tortoise is a turtle but turtles are not tortoises. Tortoises lives on land while turtles live in water even though they come from the same family in the animal kingdom. Tortoise has a thicker shell as compared to turtles.
- They enjoy light rays hence are more active during the day as compared to night. You can light up their habitat in the dark
- They can grow to a maximum height of 2 meters
- A male tortoise has a longer protruding neck as compared to a female tortoise.
- They live for a long time over 150 years
- They are delicate hence they need great tortoise pet care and full time commitment into keeping one. You should have a permanent habitat for tortoise where they are comfortable.
- A tortoise will relate better with another tortoise of the same gender. A male tortoise will coexist better with another male tortoise as compared to a female tortoise and the reverse is also true.
- They neither have ears or teeth. They have a beak and holes for sound transmission.
Types and Species of Tortoise Pets
There is a wide variety of tortoise to choose from. Tortoises have been existing for ages. The most common tortoise pet includes;
- The Leopard
- Red foot
- Yellow foot
- Sulcata /African Spurred tortoise
- Indian Star
If you have time on your hands you may do a wide research by reading about each of these tortoise species.
However, a professional tortoise pet vendor will be able to explain to you in detail the pros and cons of each of these tortoises hence aid you toward making the best choice.
Which is the Best Tortoise to Have as A Pet?
Since there are so many types of tortoise we cannot generalise on which is the best as pet and which is not.
When it comes to the selection of a tortoise pet I will say “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.
It is important to carefully select the best tortoise to have as a pet by analysing some important factors.
A reputable pet seller will be able to advise you on the best type of tortoise to pick after evaluation of the following factors;
1. Environment or Climate
There are tortoises that thrive better in warm environments as compared to cold environments.
You need to make that your number one priority while selecting suitable tortoise specie as a pet.
If you live in a cold climate and pick a tropical tortoise, then you have to ensure its habitat has got artificial regulated temperatures that match those of its ideal natural environment.
You should be able to maintain this environment for a long period of time. It is advisable to keep a tortoise in your permanent home.
This is because if you were to move out, the new environment may not be suitable for your pet tortoise
It might take a long time for it to adjust to the new environmental changes. This will have a negative impact on your pet.
2. Physical Features
Some pet tortoise tend to grow longer than others. You have to put into consideration the amount of space you are willing to provide as a habitat to your pet.
Some are prettier than other so if you go for looks then you have to adhere to other pros and cons that come with the tortoise
The prices of tortoise vary. Some tortoises are more expensive as compare to others.
I would advise you to visit various pet stores or museums in order to window shop first and then settle on a price range that you can afford.
Remember building a tortoise habitat as well as general tortoise pet care is also going to cost you.
Note that the best place to buy a tortoise is from a reptile breeder rather than a pet store.
Breeders are more passionate about the tortoise and will give you what is worth your money.
After the analysis of the above, the general conclusion from previous experience is that the best tortoise to keep as a pet is the sulcata tortoise.
It is also known as the African spurred tortoise. This specie of tortoise is capable of adjusting to different climates and is not very high maintenance as compared to others.
It is also pocket friendly and pretty. They grow fast within the first 10 year then their growth rate reduce safety the 10th birthday.
The best environment to keep this tortoise is outdoor environment. If you have a permanent home with a yard then you can comfortably keep a tortoise pet.
Can Tortoise Feel When You Pet Their Shells?
Yes! Tortoise can feel when you pet their shells and they love the feelings.
The shell has nerve endings on them hence the pulses will be transmitted to the body. You can rub the shell of your tortoise in order to calm it down and make it feel loved.
In door tortoise are feed off bowls and plates. Their food should never be served off the floor because they will end up eating foreign particles.
Sulcatas can serve as both indoors and an outdoor tortoise because they easily adjust to the environment.
It is important to expose indoor tortoise to the sun so that they develop healthy bones.
Tortoises that don’t get exposed to the sun develop weak bones. They need vitamin D from the sun just like humans.
Outdoor tortoise will live in your garden or a special habitat made for them.
This habitat should be kept humid in order for the tortoise to keep hydrated and have a smooth healthy shell.
Outdoor tortoise may drink form puddles of rain water and eat fresh leafy plants and flowers in their habitat. They are easier to maintain as compared to indoor tortoise.
Pet Tortoise Food
Tortoises are herbivores or vegetarians. They feed on plant products only. These include;
- Fresh grass
- Fresh fruits like apples
- Fresh hibiscus flowers and leaves
- Fresh leaves like clover n
- Mulberry leaves
- Kales and collards
- Cactus pad with the thorns removed
Pet Tortoise Drink
Tortoise need to be hydrated. They enjoy drinking fresh water as compared to salty water.
A well hydrated tortoise will have a smooth shell and look more beautiful.
Since tortoise flush out water as soon as they drink it, you should deep their entire body in water as they drink it so that they stay hydrated both inside and outside.
This process should take at least 30 minutes once or twice a week. Their habitat should also be humid in order to keep them hydrated and healthy.
They can be done by spreading a damp mulch of grass on the floor of their habitat.
How to Care For a Baby Tortoise
A baby tortoise needs much more care as compared to an adult tortoise.You need to provide a good humid habitat for the tortoise.
You can mix soil with water and grass and lay it out a as foundation in an open plastic container where you keep the tortoise.
Baby tortoise is able to feed on solid food as early as 3 days old. Ensure that you provide it with fresh vegetables and fruits like apples.
Hydration is very key. Soak the tortoise in water once a week for proper hydration.
Ensure that you expose the tortoise out in the sun so that it gets sufficient vitamin D. They need Vitamin D to grow healthy bones and strong limbs.
Great affection towards the baby tortoise is required for general tortoise pet care.
My Pet Tortoise is Not Eating What Can I Do?
When your pet is not eating then you need to get it checked by a vet. It maybe ill.
The tortoise may also refuse to eat when they are sad and don’t like the environment they are in. You can improve the condition of their habitat.
Take them out to the sun more often and pet their shells to make them feel love.
When winter is approaching you relay need to ensure that the tortoise is feeding so that when it hibernates it will have enough to feed on.
What Is The Life Span of a Tortoise? How Long Can They Live
Tortoise is among the oldest creatures on earth. They are believed to have been in existence since the era of dinosaurs.
They can live as long as 150 or 200 years. There is a misconception that tortoise lives for only 10 years.
This is not true .If you are practise good tortoise pet care then you will have your pet as long as you live and even pass it down to generations to come.
Facts About A Pet Tortoise
- They are among g the oldest creatures on earth .They came into existence over 200 million years ago.
- The shell of a tortoise is made of keratin
- The number of concentric rings on the shell determine the age of the tortoise
- They can live longer than 150 years
- They can completely cover their head and limbs into the shell when they sense danger. This is their defence mechanism.
- They are very docile and shy creatures
- They are more active during the day as compared to nightlife
- The female tortoise will dig a hole and lay a bunch of eggs in it. These eggs will hatch after a maximum of 17 weeks.
- Tortoise lives on land while their cousins the turtles live in water.
- They can hear low sounds better than high sounds. Turtles have a better hearing ability as compared to tortoise.
Tortoise Pet Care at Home
The best way to take care of your tortoise at home is to first get the environment right.
Once you provide the best environment habitat for the tortoise, there are routines that you need to observe in order to successfully breed a healthy tortoise.
Below are guidelines to great tortoise pet care at home;
- Feed it regularly with fresh food and vegetables.
- Ensure that it gets hydrated at least once a week
- Expose the tortoise to the sun for healthy bones
- Keep the environment humid enough. Although desert tortoise prefers a dry habitat
- Rub its shell once in a while talking to it in order to make it feel at home.
- Take it for health check-up whenever you notice any symptoms of sickness as discussed below.
- Provide proper lighting for indoor tortoise pets. They prefer light to the darkness
- Dig holes for the tortoise to hide in once in a while
- Feed them properly so that they have enough food to keep them going during hibernation.
Can Tortoise Hear When I Talk?
Yes, it can. Your pet’s ears are not designed like yours. The ear of a tortoise is a hole on the side of the head that looks like a black spot.
Tortoise perceives low volumes of sound better than high volume.
So if you want to communicate to your pet then you need to really lower your voice and be very soft-spoken while at it.
Vibrations access the ears of the tortoise via the body. They are picked from the ground, into the body, and then travel through the shell into the eardrums.
How Do I know My Pet Tortoise is Sick?
Yes! Like any other pet, tortoise may also fall ill. A good habit for tortoise pet care is to observe their behaviour in order to notice any changes.
When your tortoise gets sick, you need to book an appointment with a professional vet and get it examined.
If you are familiar with the normal activities and behaviour of your tortoise, then the following changes are a cause for alarm.
They will guide you in foretelling that your tortoise is not healthy.
- The pet does not finish its usual food portion
- Loss of weight
- The joints of limbs look swollen
- Abnormal discharge from the eye, mouth or nose
- Minimal movement
- The tortoise stays in the shell more often for a long period of time
- Loose stool
- Discoloration of both the skin and the shell
The vet will be able to diagnose and treat the disease that is ailing your beloved pet.
Do not ignore any of the above-mentioned signs and symptoms. These animals are created to live for long but poor tortoise care may lead to the early death of your pet. Better safe than sorry.
Benefits of Having Tortoise as A Pet
There is a wide range of pets to choose from. But why would you settle for a tortoise?
- Unlike dogs, you don’t have to take a tortoise out for a walk every evening
- They are comparatively a cheaper option for a pet
- They are unique creatures that are fascinating to look at
- They do not require a partner hence can exist happily alone
- You do not have to organize for playdates
- They are harmless
- They are friendly to human beings
- They are good listeners. You can talk to you about your turtle when you feel stress out and don’t want to share it with other people. Talking is considered good therapy. Clear your head by talking to your turtle, they won’t judge you and your secrets are safe with them.
- They make you a responsible and caring person. Since they need a lot of care, the more you practice tortoise pet care the more they mold your personality.
Keeping a tortoise pet is fun and the main challenge that some people may have is how to feed them.
Their diet can be confusing because they have different species and you really have to understand them well.
You also have to note that each species of tortoise will require different types of habitation.
This will also determine how long they will live. You can also learn how to pray for pets when they are sick.