Smart Tips: How To Take Care of Tortoise At Home

Having a pet tortoise at home can be a rewarding experience, as they can provide companionship and entertainment. However, it is essential to properly care for your tortoise at home to ensure its health and well-being. In fact, taking care of a pet tortoise requires dedication and regular maintenance. Therefore, with the proper knowledge and supplies, you can ensure your tortoise is living in a safe and comfortable environment.

how to take care of tortoise at home
Take Care Tortoise At Home

Before adopting your first pet tortoise, let’s look at our smart tips on how to take care of a tortoise at home. In this article, we will cover the basics of how to take care of a tortoise at home, from habitat requirements to diet, health, and safety. We will also provide tips for long-term care and ensuring your tortoise remains healthy and happy for many years.

Tortoise Habitat Requirements

Creating a suitable habitat for your tortoise can give them a safe and comfortable home while also providing you with the satisfaction of providing a happy, healthy pet. We recommend that a tortoise’s habitat mimic its natural environment as much as possible. In the following paragraphs, let us explain the best tortoise habitat requirements.

how to take care of tortoise at home
Tortoise Habitat Requirements


A terrarium is an ideal place for your tortoise pet. An enclosure with a volume of at least 50 gallons will be suitable for a fully grown adult tortoise, as they need room to roam. After all, a terrarium provides your tortoise a safe and secure environment. 

Moreover, the terrarium also helps to create a comfortable temperature and humidity level for the tortoise and provides a space to contain substrate and decorations like plants, rocks, and logs. It also helps to keep out drafts and other environmental hazards that can harm your pet. Finally, it serves as a visual cue that the tortoise is in its own particular space, which can help to reduce stress.


Tortoises are most active throughout the day because they enjoy soaking up the sun. Therefore, you should provide proper lighting at home. If your pet’s enclosure doesn’t receive a lot of natural sunlight, you should illuminate it with a specially-made bulb that mimics the sun’s ultraviolet rays for around 12 hours each day.

Tortoises need lighting for their health, as some species require specific levels of ultraviolet light for proper growth, health, and activity. UVA and UVB lighting helps provide a natural day/night cycle and adequate calcium absorption and encourages natural behaviors. Additionally, a basking light will provide warmth and help regulate their body temperature.

Climate and Temperature

As in the warm nations, these pets are native to keep the habitat for your tortoise warm and humid. An ideal climate and temperature for a tortoise pet at home should be between 65-85 °F (18-30 °C) during the day. Meanwhile, it should be between 55-75 °F (13-24 °C) at night. Humidity levels should also be kept between 50-80%.

how to take care of tortoise at home
Climate And Temperature

Depending on their breed, the habitat’s level of heat and humidity will vary. For instance, Greek tortoises prefer slightly more relaxed and wetter climates with up to 80% humidity, while Russian tortoises prefer warmer, drier conditions with about 50% humidity. Tortoise pets need a suitable climate and temperature because it affects their metabolism and growth rate. Besides, it can also affect their appetite and activity levels. 

Tortoise Tank Decor

Tortoise tank decor is essential for a pet tortoise’s health and well-being. Tanks need to be decorated with enrichment items, places to hide, and climbing features. Ideal items for a tortoise tank include rocks, logs, hide boxes and branches for climbing. Greek tortoises prefer a little bit of dryness underfoot. They will feel quite at home in a mixture of 2 or 3 inches of calcium sand mixed with some soil or bark. A 2- to a 3-inch covering of coconut fiber or bark bedding will aid in retaining humidity for Russian tortoises.

You can add soil, plants, and grass for a more natural look. It’s essential to make sure all items are safe for the tortoise and to avoid items with sharp edges. Additionally, the tank should be cleaned and sanitized regularly.

Healthy Diet for Tortoise at Home

To keep your tortoise healthy, you must ensure they get a proper, balanced diet. Feeding your tortoise a healthy diet at home is not difficult, but it is crucial to ensure you provide them with all the nutrients they need. In fact, it’s all about combining natural food from their habitats, regular water supplies, and additional supplements.

Healthy Diet for Tortoise at Home
Healthy Diet for Tortoise at Home

Natural Greens

A good diet for tortoises is based primarily on natural plant material supplemented with small amounts of animal proteins. The mainstay of a tortoise’s diet should be fresh, dark green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, and turnip greens, as well as other vegetables like squash and bell peppers. These vegetables should be chopped into small pieces and offered to your tortoise in a shallow dish. Fruits, such as berries, apples, and melons, can also be offered occasionally as treats.

Commercial Supplements

In addition to fresh vegetables and fruits, you can also offer your tortoise commercial tortoise feed. These are available in pellets, flakes, and other forms and are formulated to provide all the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your tortoise needs. Be sure to read the label to ensure you are providing your tortoise with the right balance of nutrition. 


Tortoises need water to stay hydrated and healthy. They need water for drinking, soaking, and swimming. Water helps to keep their skin and shell hydrated and in good condition, and it also helps them to regulate their body temperature. Remember to provide your tortoise enough water to soak in. The water is shallow enough to quickly depart the pool and deep enough for them to sit within with their legs tucked up to their nostrils.

Long Term Care

As part of their long-term care, pet tortoises should also receive regular veterinary check-ups to ensure they stay healthy. Your pet tortoise may need medical care for a variety of reasons. These can include injuries, infections, parasites, nutritional deficiencies, and other health concerns. If you notice any changes in your tortoise’s behavior, appetite, or physical condition, you should take it to a veterinarian for an examination and possible treatment.

Long Term Care
Long Term Care

As a pet owner, you should be familiar with the most common diseases in tortoises are respiratory infections, skin infections, and shell rot. These diseases are most common because tortoises are cold-blooded animals and cannot regulate their body temperature. This makes them more susceptible to infection, as they are less able to fight off bacteria and viruses. Additionally, improper housing and nutrition can cause health issues in tortoises, such as metabolic bone disease, which can also be a common problem.

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Tips To Take Care of Tortoise At Home

Tortoises are long-lived creatures that can grow to be a part of your family for many years. However, caring for a tortoise requires patience, dedication, and knowledge. To prevent your beloved pet from undesirable diseases and conditions, we will help you with smart and practical tips to take care of tortoise at home.

Provide Them a Large and Secure Space

Provide your tortoise with a large, secure enclosure with plenty of space to roam and explore. Make sure the compartment is escape-proof, as tortoises can climb and dig. In addition, ensure the room has plenty of hiding places and areas of shade.

Please be careful not to leave sharp edges in your tortoise’s enclosure. For instance, avoid cedar chips, walnut shells, and gravel because they can all be eaten and harm the internal organs.

Protect Them From Predators

Tortoises are slow-moving creatures and cannot easily escape predators. They also have soft shells that many predators can easily penetrate. Therefore, it is essential to protect tortoises from predators to ensure their safety and well-being.

Moreover, we don’t recommend you expose your tortoise pet to your cats or dogs, as they can be predators at home. Even humans can be your pet’s predators. So, don’t let small children or inexperienced people handle your pet tortoise.

Monitor Their Food Intake

Tortoise pet food intake needs to be monitored because it is essential for their health and well-being. They need to be fed the proper foods in the right amounts and at the right times to stay healthy and grow. Feeding them too much or too little can lead to health issues. If their diet is not balanced and properly monitored, they can suffer from malnutrition, obesity, and other health problems.

Monitor Their Food Intake
Monitor Their Food IntakeMonitor Their Food Intake

We recommend you provide a variety of nutritious foods, such as dark leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. Remember to provide a shallow dish for your tortoise to drink and bathe in. Finally, take your tortoise to the vet for regular check-ups and health assessments.

Provide Natural Sunlight When Possible

As your tortoise pet spends most of its time at home, it may lack natural sunlight exposure. Tortoises need natural sunlight as it helps them to produce Vitamin D3, which is essential for their overall health and development. Sunlight helps them to absorb calcium and other minerals, which aid in the development of their shell and bones.

Without adequate sunlight, a tortoise can suffer from poor growth, metabolic bone disease, and even death. Therefore, we recommend you place your tortoise pet outdoors to absorb natural sunlight. The best time for a tortoise pet to get natural sunlight is between 10 AM and 4 PM. This is when the sun is strongest and will benefit your pet the most.

Show Your Love and Care

Tortoises are social animals and will benefit from interaction with their owners. Showing love and care to your tortoise pet is important for its health and well-being. Moreover, you will also form a strong bond with your pet, creating a lifetime of memories.

Providing your tortoise pet with the right environment, nutrition, and care will help them stay healthy, happy, and active. So, spending time with them and providing them with plenty of enrichment activities is important. Start by taking your tortoise outside for supervised walks in a safe, enclosed area. Then you can also gently handle your tortoise, talk to it, and provide it with toys and other stimuli for enrichment.

Show Your Love and Care
Show Your Love and Care


The most important thing to remember when taking care of a tortoise at home is that you must keep it as close to its natural environment as possible. Taking the time to research and provide the right environment, diet, and care can make all the difference in the health and well-being of your tortoise. With the proper care, your tortoise can live a long and happy life in your home. We hope you can provide the best care for your new tortoise pet by reading this article.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How do you take care of a tortoise for beginners?

First, provide a secure, warm enclosure. A tortoise enclosure should include a place for your pet to hide, a place to climb, and a warm area for basking. Then, provide the appropriate diet. A tortoise diet should include a variety of vegetables and occasionally some fruit. Moreover, you should keep the enclosure clean. Change out the substrate in the compartment at least once a month. Clean out any feces and uneaten food daily.

In addition, remember to provide UVB lighting. UVB lighting is essential for a healthy tortoise. Finally, constantly monitor your pet’s health. If you suspect your tortoise is not feeling well, take it to a veterinarian for a check-up.

Is it easy to take care of a tortoise?

Yes. Taking care of a tortoise is easy, as it is a very low-maintenance animal that requires only basic care. A tortoise needs a warm, dry environment, a varied diet of leafy greens, and occasional vitamins and supplements. It should also be provided with a large, shallow dish of water for soaking and drinking. With the proper care and attention, a tortoise can live for many years.

What can I feed my tortoise at home?

You can feed your tortoise a variety of vegetables, including dark leafy greens such as kale and collard greens, as well as carrots, squash, and bell peppers. Fruits such as strawberries and melon can also be offered in small amounts. Additionally, you can provide your tortoise with store-bought commercial tortoise foods.

Does a tortoise need sunlight?

Yes, a tortoise does need sunlight. All tortoises require UVB or direct sunshine for basking and to aid in the absorption of calcium from their food. Additionally, some species of tortoises require heat from the sun to regulate their body temperature.

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