This post is sponsored by petMD Reptile Center, and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Reptile Ownership, but Our Whiskey Lullaby only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. petMD and PetSmart are not responsible for the content of this article.
Last month, I embarked on an adventure to raise a baby tortoise in our home. Now most of my readers know that I am mostly a bird and dog person, but I have always loved turtles too. But loving an animal doesn't give you the know on what they need when you're brand new to them. Before going to Petsmart, I really had no idea about everything I would need to buy to make a tortoise comfortable. So that's why I consulted the petMD® Reptile Care Center to make a list of what a tortoise would need at home.
My list included the following items - a reptile habitat tank, a UV light, a basking rock, a hiding place, food and water dishes, a thermometer, coconut bedding, decorations, food and a heater.
Once I got to the store, I told the Petsmart® associate what was on my list and he told me I had it perfectly right. He helped me gather all the items and loaded them in my cart, plus explained how to use them.
My sales associate was also so great and he helped me get a reptile kit that had the tank, the light, the heater, the thermometer and the floor all in it. Plus it was on sale that week too!
After buying everything, I took our new tortoise and his belongings home to set up his house!
When I got everything home, I had originally planned to put the tortoise in the living room area but I noticed that it was too cold for him in there. I keep the living room 69 degrees so it would have froze him out! Tortoises need to be warm in order to digest their food so I ended up moving him into Mary's room which is usually 74 degrees. Then I set up his tank with everything he needed and put him in!
Fred really is super happy to be home and he's gotten adjusted to his new life here. Fred has a lifespan of 50+ years so he'll be with us for a while. And it's been fun learning about Russian Tortoises and what things to watch out for to keep them healthy. For instance, their urine is white and when it looks like cottage cheese, that means they are well hydrated. Their stool is also very black when they are healthy too. And I am proud to say that Fred is very healthy and loving his new home.
Tortoises also need lots of exercise, especially outside their habitat. Once a day, I take Fred out and let him wander on my hardwood floors. Before I do though, I block off areas he doesn't need to go in and then he has free run of the house for about an hour. He loves that and sometimes I will sit with him and pet his head. He has also never tried to bite or even open his mouth to any of us. And he actually lets us pet his head and neck.
I would have never thought a tortoise would be so loving and now my husband even likes to play with him. I'm really glad we picked a Russian Tortoise to get and I would recommend them to anyone who is interested in a turtle.