Friday, October 10, 2008

Look at this Land Tortoise

This African Spurred Tortoise can grow to almost 3 feet in length and will live a very long lifespan of 50 to over 100 years.  The thought of a pet that may outlive you, can be quite a responsibility for any owner.  The term "lifelong friend" seems to be appropriate for this wonderful land-dwelling reptile.

Tortoises require some specific care. They can be a challenge depending upon their size, species, and the variety of foods they eat.  Cat or dog foods are too high in protein and should be avoided.

All reptiles require a proper balance of nutrients not found in such foods. Different tortoise species vary greatly in their individual nutritional requirements. It is a common misconception that all captive tortoises can be fed the same diet as dogs and cats. 

Even commercial food pellets should be offered only to the reptile breed species specifically listed on the packaging label. 

The African Spurred Tortoises' Diet consists of the following specifics:
  • Orchard grass or hay
  • Timothy or Bermuda grass or hay
  • Leafy greens  (dandelions, clover, endive, grape leaves, mulberry leaves, weeds etc.) 
  • Cactus pads!

The best approach to determining your pet tortoises' diet is during an appointment with Kihei Veterinary Clinic and Dr. Kehler; especially If you are unsure of his or her specific breed. 
Schedule an appointment at Kihei Veterinary Clinic when your reptile pets good health is in question or when you have any diet concerns. Always provide your land Tortoise with plenty of fresh water to keep them well hydrated. This holds especially true at lower elevations with hotter climates, like here in Kihei.