Read Tortoise_Tropical.pdf text version

shopping list for needed supplies

appropriately sized habitat book about tropical tortoises commercial tropical tortoise food treats substrate moss food and water dishes hideaway place climbing decor plants heat light heat fixture under tank heater UVB lighting vitamin supplement calcium supplement

tropical tortoise

includes cherry-head re-foot and Bell's hinge tortoises


speak to an associate about the PETCO library of books on tropical tortoises. speak to a PETCO associate about our many private brand items available for the care and happiness of your pet. Because all tortoises are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Salmonella, always wash your hands before and after handling your tortoise and/or habitat contents to help prevent the potential spread of diseases. Pregnant women, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems should contact their physician before purchasing and/or caring for a tortoise and should consider not having a tortoise as a pet. For more information regarding tortoises and disease, contact the Center for Disease Control at and animal_care_sheets. This care sheet can cover the care needs of other species, see for more information.

care sheet

these terrestrial tortoises do best in a humid, tropical climate.

tropical tortoise facts:

Average adult size: 9 to 12 inches long, depending on species Average life span: Up to 50+ years with proper care, depending on species omnivore


will reach adult size in 3-4 years, depending on species and under ideal conditions; upgrade habitat size as your tortoise grows.

Note: The information on this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. If you need additional information, please refer to the sources below or contact your veterinarian as appropriate. Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.

SKU 1414089 © 2011, PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc. All rights reserved. (03/2011)

care sheet


a well-balanced tropical tortoise diet consists of: · high fiber and calcium, low in protein and fat is needed to ensure good digestive tract function. · 20% earthworms, waxworms and mealworms. 80% plant matter, including dark leafy vegetables, grasses, timothy hay, squash, carrots, etc. fruit should be given sparingly. · also benefit from a tropical tortoise commercial diet, but should be no more than 25% of the diet.

tropical tortoise

includes cherry-head re-foot and Bell's hinge tortoises daily and a multivitamin supplement once or twice a week. · discard vegetables and fruits not eaten within 24 hours. · lighting - providing UVB lighting for 12-14 hours a day is required. · water - provide constant access to a shallow container large enough for the tortoise to soak in and drink from; the tortoise should be able to easily enter and exit the water bowl.

Developed with and approved by a qualified veterinarian.

habitat maintenance

thoroughly clean the habitat at least once a week: place tortoise in a secure habitat; scrub the tank and furnishings with a 3% bleach solution; rinse thoroughly with water, removing all traces of bleach smell; dry the tank and furnishings completely and add clean substrate.


· size - appropriate size indoor enclosure of at least 24"x36" to accommodate normal behavior and exercise. · habitat - provide a shaded hiding area. maintain less than 70-900% humidity by misting daily as needed. · substrate - use pelleted, mulch, or moss-type; tortoises may eat their substrate; if they do, switch to something they can't eat, like repti-carpet. · temperature - daytime of 82-88°F, basking up to 95°F, and nighttime of above 60°F; recommend using an incandescent light or ceramic heater as primary heat source.

· same species tortoises can be kept together but do not house different tortoise species together.

grooming & hygiene

weekly water soaks with water level no deeper than the mid-point between the bottom of the tortoise's shell and its top.

normal behavior

active, friendly and outgoing will become tame with gentle handling and time; move slowly around tortoises to avoid startling them. adept at digging to escape; hide in objects and burrow into substrate.


things to remember when feeding your tropical tortoise: · fresh, clean, chlorinefree water should be available at all times. · feed tortoises daily; chop vegetables. · sprinkle food with calcium supplement

signs of a healthy animal

· active and alert · eats regularly · healthy shell · clear, bright eyes · healthy skin · clear nose and vent

common health issues

Health Issue Symptoms or Causes

inability to absorb calcium due to insufficient UVB light. if untreated, can lead to a disorder characterized by deformities, softened bones, swollen limbs and lethargy. labored breathing or runny nose. can be caused by cold, damp habitat, or infectious disease.

Suggested Action

consult your exotic animal veterinarian and provide ample UVB lighting.

red flags

· eye, nose or mouth discharge · soft, discolored or rough spots on shell · lethargic · bumps or spots on skin · abnormal feces · sneezing, mouth breathing, runny nose

metabolic bone/vitamin deficiency

respiratory disease

ticks and mites gastrointestinal disease

If you notice any of these signs, please contact your exotic animal veterinarian.

consult with your exotic animal veterinarian and ensure appropriate heat levels. parasites on the skin; can consult your exotic transmit disease. animal veterinarian. runny stools, caked or consult with your smeared stool around the exotic animal vent area, and loss of appetite veterinarian. cause by bacterial or parasitic infection.


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