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tortoise for present.
Posted: 01/06/2009 by indiekid123

Hello, my daughter is considering a tortoise as a birthday present this year. shes decied that it'll be a tortoise , or an ipod, she has considered all of the problems, and bonuses between them, and the tortoise has come out on top, however she is still uming and arring. She knows a tortoise is a life long pet, and in the long run more responsabilty will be required of her as to , say, a puppy(not going to happen). I thought i'd put this up here so i can get you're veiws wether a tortoise is would be a suitable pet for a 14(15 in sept) year old girl.

Re: tortoise for present.
Posted: 01/06/2009 by tpgNina

Hi, and welcome to the TPG! It is really good that you and your daughter are giving serious consideration to whether a tortoise would be a good pet for your her.

A tortoise can be a good animal for a teenager to keep, but they need to be aware of the amount of care and preparation that is necessary.

For a start, why not print off the care sheets on this website and let her read them so that she is aware of what equipment is necessary, and what is involved in constructing indoor and outdoor enclosures, diet, lighting and heating, etc. Just click on The Tortoise in the left-hand column, then on Care Sheets, and you could start by reading the sheets for Hermanns, Horsfield, and Ibera, as these are the most commonly kept species. Then she could read the articles on growing your own weeds, hibernation, etc.

There is an awful lot to consider. It is good that she is aware that a tortoise is a life long pet, as if properly looked after, a tortoise could outlive you and your daughter. What will she do with the tortoise when she goes off to university, or moves to another town to start a new job? I speak from experience here, as my son got a corn snake when he was about twelve. He has long since moved on (he is 35), and of course 23 years later the corn snake is still being looked after by me!

Having said all that, if your daughter is serious about getting a tortoise, and she has your support and does her research properly, then you as a family will find that they are wonderful pets with lots of personality, and you will all soon find that you are besotted with it and will be wanting more.

If you do decide to buy a tortoise, please don't buy one from a pet shop or over the internet. Those tortoises will almost certainly have been imported from abroad -- either hatched on 'tortoise farms' in places like Slovenia, or wild caught and passed off as 'captive farmed'. They are then imported into the UK under stressful conditions and often arrive loaded with parasites, necessitating vet treatment. And the pet shop will try and sell you inappropriate equipment, like a vivarium, which is expensive and totally inappropriate for tortoises. It is far better to buy from a UK breeder, and we have a list of these on our website. Click on Buying a Tortoise in the left-hand column, and then on the recommended Breeders list. From a UK breeder you will get a healthy tortoise and lots of good after-sales advice (and tortoises from UK breeders are also usually cheaper than those you can buy in pet shops too).

I hope some of this has been useful, but do feel free to ask us lots of questions, and I hope that you can welcome a lovely little tortoise into your home.



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