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Tortoises are amazing pets. At first glance, they might seem mellow and boring. But just because they don’t play fetch or chase a laser, that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. Just like dogs and cats, tortoises are all about having fun. They like exploring their environment and they may even share common activities with you.
Pet tortoises can also feel bored and stressed, just like any other exotic animal taken away from its natural habitat. So, make sure your tortoise has enough space to roam freely. Also, if they don’t receive sufficient stimulation, their physical and mental wellbeing will decrease. When unhappy, pet tortoises might even become troublesome and aggressive.
Your pet needs enough attention and stimulation. Whether it’s a cat, a hamster, or a tortoise, it’s all the same. But how exactly do you stimulate a pet tortoise? It’s not like you can play frisbee with it, or teach it to jump through hoops. Well, I’m here to show you some inventive ways to keep your pet entertained.
Do Tortoises Like to Play?
Absolutely, tortoises like to play and they are indeed very playful. Nothing grinds my gears more than people saying tortoises are too dumb to play or feel boredom.
A pet tortoise might not be as expressive as other animals, but they sure love having fun. Any tortoise owner can tell you that their pet shows clear interest and excitement about new activities, foods, and environments.
They’re curious animals. When given the chance, they will venture to new, unexplored areas or interact with new objects. And while they aren’t bouncing off walls like cats, they also enjoy movement and exercise. Digging, climbing, hiding, pushing objects, and scavenging are all enjoyable activities for a pet tortoise.
These activities aren’t just entertaining, but also healthy for your tortoise. They’re having fun while getting good exercise. It’s a win-win! Make sure you equip your tortoise’s tank with all the necessary objects. You need to simulate their natural environment and provide plenty of opportunities for playing.
Tortoises need plenty of space to move around and play, so the tank should be fitting. You can add a variety of plants, rocks, and pebbles to the tank to create a more authentic experience. Plants, soil, and even sticks can act as hiding spaces for your pet. Also, make sure that the substrate is thick enough for your tortoise to have its own designated digging areas.
Rocks of different shapes and sizes, pieces of wood, and other sturdy objects are great for climbing. You can periodically change their arrangement for constant novelty. Your tortoise’s hiding areas are also good places for hiding treats. Let your pet explore and hunt for some goodies and watch it get excited!
Do Tortoises Need Toys?
Based on their need to move and play, I’d say yes, tortoises need toys. Luckily, a lot of the decorative elements you use for their tanks can also work as toys. But what else can you offer your pet tortoise, besides climbing rocks, pebbles, plants, and special hideouts?
You’d have a hard time finding interactive toys made for tortoises, trust me on that. Well, you might not need to look for special tortoise toys.
Many tortoise owners find that their reptile pet is perfectly happy playing with cat and dog toys. Think about small or medium-sized plastic balls or sturdy plastic chewing toys. Some tortoises enjoy pushing and chasing after balls.
You can even choose dog and cat toys of different colors like red, yellow, or green, to offer additional visual stimulation. Bonus points if you also give your tortoise a hollow toy you can fill with tasty treats.
Whatever toy you give your tortoise, just make sure that the material is strong enough to resist bites. You wouldn’t want your pet to start chomping on plastic! Also, watch out for cat toys with attached feathers. Your tortoise might mistake these for salad leaves and eat them. Fluffy or furry toys are also easily breakable or edible.
Tips to Keep Your Tortoise Entertained
Variety is the spice of life. This also applies to your pet, believe it or not. It’s good to change things up every once in a while. This way, your tortoise will get to try new things every day. This is crucial to avoid boredom. Changes in environment, daily activities, and even feeding can make a big difference.
Don’t stick to the same boring diet of greens all the time. It’s good to keep a nutritious diet plan, and dark leafy greens and seeds contain lots of vitamins and minerals. But your tortoise also enjoys foods like strawberries, melons, squash, sweet potato, and even edible flowers for a change. Try to provide your pet a balanced and colorful diet filled with a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Every once in a while, you should let your tortoise roam freely outside of the tank. Just make sure nobody will accidentally step on it! Keep your tortoise close to the ground level, or let it explore higher areas as long as it’s in no danger of falling and cracking its shell.
It’s even better if you have a garden! Let your tortoise explore and bask in the outside sun whenever possible. Keep in mind that any pesticides or herbicides used in the garden might endanger your tortoise’s health!
Socialization is also important. This doesn’t have to only include you, though. You’ll be surprised to learn that tortoises also enjoy interacting with other animals. If you have other pets, why not let your tortoise socialize more? You should do so with constant supervision, especially with bigger animals like cats and dogs. Let your tortoise make new friends and interact with other species!
This being said, you shouldn’t force your pet tortoise into new activities all the time. If your tortoise seems scared and hides inside its shell, that’s a sign of stress. Positive reinforcement is a great way to get your tortoise used to new environments and to ease stress. Give out treats when you want to encourage positive behaviors!Reptiles, Turtles