What Can I Do If I Am Struggling to Look After My Tortoise?


If you’re struggling to look after your tortoise, you can try asking an expert or someone who has experience with tortoises for some advice. If this doesn’t work for you, you can also try re-homing or selling your tortoise to make sure it goes to a loving home.

To the uninitiated, the idea of having a tortoise might sound very exciting. It’s an interesting and unusual pet, and what’s particularly great is that they have long lives – so, they can be a companion for many, many years.

While looking after tortoises is not complicated, there are some things and routines that might prove challenging in the long run. 

Keeping your tortoise happy and healthy is crucial, and you must learn the right steps to achieve this goal. Still, if this process seems too difficult for you, whether from the outset or at some point further down the line, fear not because there are solutions. Let’s see what you can do if you’re struggling to look after your tortoise. 

How to Get Help for a Specific Problem with Your Tortoise

Access to information is easy nowadays, there are plenty of places where you can find solutions to your problems, and few excuses for not trying to find them.

Again, caring for a tortoise is not that difficult, as long as you know what and when to feed your tortoise, how to keep it healthy, and how to create the perfect environment for it, there shouldn’t be any issues. 

Still, if this is your first time owning a tortoise and you run into a specific problem, you should know where to get help. Just bear in mind that if the problem is medical in nature, nothing should replace visit to the vet. 

  • Books

In many ways you can’t beat good old fashioned books, and there are many of them written about tortoises and how to take care of them. Better still, there are books on particular breeds of tortoise, which means that you can find even more specific solutions to suit your pet.

Books are great because they are usually very thorough and well researched (unlike a lot of online sources) so if you have a specific problem with your pet, you can often find a book on the subject.

  • Websites

With a quick Google search, you can find many informative websites focusing on tortoises. They offer details about tortoise care and tortoise problems, as well as some tips and solutions to make sure you have a safe and healthy pet.

Usually, these sites were created by people who know enough about tortoises to be able to give advice, and they’re a great resource. If you ever run into any specific problem, a simple online search will definitely take you to one of these amazing sites. 

Top pick (besides this site!): Tortoise Trust

  • Facebook Groups

Social media is more than a place where people share their vacation pictures. It’s a place where people with similar interests can form communities and help each other when the need arises.

That’s why you can go to specialized Facebook groups if you encounter any problems with your pet tortoise. There are groups where many members have a lot of experience with tortoise ownership, and who are always happy to help anyone with questions.

Top Pick: The Friendly Turtle & Tortoise Owners Group

  • Forums

Similar to Facebook groups, there are several well established forums where tortoise owners help each other with care tips and with different problems. You can always become a member and either search through the vast back catalog of threads on various topics others have had issue with, or ask for tips for your own specific issue. 

Top Pick: Tortoise Forum

How Can Tortoises Get Rehomed?

If you cannot take care of your tortoise or you feel like the challenges are too much to handle, you can try to rehome them, hopefully with a view to finding someone who truly wants a pet tortoise.

It’s usually best to start by asking someone you know if they would like to have a tortoise. Make sure to ask all your family members, friends, and even neighbors. You never know when someone might be looking for a more unusual pet, and you’ll have the benefit of giving the pet to someone you know and trust. 

If you don’t manage to find anyone you know who wants a tortoise, you can search on a re-home forum so you can post photos and details of your pet. This will allow you to have the information posted online, so people who are interested can contact you directly. 

It’s also possible to contact a reptile adoption center and put your tortoise up for adoption. These centers will also help find a new home for your pet, and may be able to care for them in the meantime. Anyone interested in adopting it will be able to do so through the center.  

What Are the Things You Cannot Do When Struggling to Look After Your Tortoise?

Don’t rely on being able to give your tortoise to a zoo. Usually, zoos are not able to take them on. Not to mention that it’s difficult to know how well the tortoise will be taken care of.

Very few zoos specialize in reptiles and aren’t necessarily suited to the job.

What Are Some Possible Channels for Selling Tortoises?

Selling your tortoise is also possible if you use the right channels. However be prepared for it to be a more difficult process than simply giving your tortoise away to be rehomed.

The Tortoise Forum is once again a great place to start, as there are special sections where people can post their offers and pictures of their pets. 

Advertising on Facebook is also possible if you are part of adoption groups. You just need to make sure you offer as many details as possible to tempt possible customers. You must also ensure the safe transport of the pet or, if at all possible, the better course of action would be to meet with the potential buyer.

Final Thoughts

If you struggle to take care of your tortoise, you can always ask people on forums, Facebook group, and by looking through the wealth of other resources available for help with your specific problem.

With every other avenue exhausted, you can also re-home your tortoise or even sell it. Whatever your decision, make sure to try the methods listed and give your tortoise the loving owner it deserves, whether that turns out to be you, or someone else.

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