How much does a pet tortoise cost

How much does a pet tortoise cost


If you’re considering getting a pet tortoise, one of your first questions is probably: how much does a pet tortoise cost? The answer is: it depends. There are a number of factors that determine the cost of owning a pet tortoise, and we’ll discuss each in this article. Some are fixed, some are not, and you should consider them all before deciding whether to get one. But in general, most people spend between $200–$800 per year on their tortoises—making them significantly more affordable than cats or dogs. We’ll break down each aspect of what goes into the annual cost of owning your new best friend so that you can make an informed decision about whether they fit into your budget (and so you can save up if they do).

Cost of the tortoise itself

The cost of a tortoise depends on the type of tortoise you want to purchase, where you live and the price of that particular animal in your area. For example, if you are looking for an African spurred tortoise and live in New York City, it might cost $200-$300 USD. But if you live somewhere else like Kansas City or Los Angeles, this same animal could cost $500-$700 USD.

Tortoises come from different continents around the world including Africa, South America and Asia so depending on where they were born they may be more expensive than others because they are considered rarer species within their category (which means there aren’t many). Usually when people talk about how much does a pet tortoise cost? We mean what is the average amount paid when buying one from either a breeder or pet store?

Habitat setup

Once you’ve decided to adopt a tortoise, it’s important to set up the proper habitat for them. Their home should be large enough for them to move around in and have adequate space for their food and water dishes. The enclosure should also be heated and lit, as well as humidified. In addition, the substrate should be easy to clean so that any waste from your pet can be removed easily.

Food and treats

In addition to their housing and cage cost, you will also have to factor in food costs. Tortoises can be fed with dried food pellets and fresh vegetables, fruit, grasses and weeds. The amount of food you will need to purchase depends on the type of tortoise that you get as well as its size. A small female red-footed tortoise (Geochelone carbonaria) would need about three pounds of food per month while a larger male South American red-footed tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) would require around seven pounds per month.

Health care

A visit to the vet is in order if your tortoise is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Weight loss, or a lack of appetite.
  • Excessive salivation, which can indicate an infection.
  • Lack of energy and interest in movement or socialization with other tortoises.

If your tortoise does get sick once, it’s important to take him or her back to the vet as soon as possible in order to make sure that they are given proper treatment so that they don’t become ill again in future. If this happens, you will want to discuss what happened and how you can prevent similar problems from occurring again in future visits with your veterinarian.

Accessories and toys

You will need to provide your tortoise with a suitable environment. It is important that you provide plenty of shelter, places to climb, graze and dig. They also need access to water and the opportunity for swimming – for example, in a shallow tray of pool-like depth or in a bath or sink filled with water. Tortoises can be kept indoors or outdoors, however as they are cold-blooded reptiles they require heat throughout the year so you may wish to consider buying a special heating lamp if you plan on keeping your tortoise indoors during the winter months.

If planning on keeping your new pet indoors then it will benefit from having its own enclosure which should provide them with ample room for movement and stimulation; this should ideally be at least 3ft by 2ft by 2ft high (90cm x 60cm x 60cm).

The cost of a pet tortoise varies depending on what species you get, your setup and some factors that vary from tortoise to tortoise.

The cost of a pet tortoise varies depending on what species you get, your setup and some factors that vary from tortoise to tortoise.

The first thing to consider is the actual cost of the tortoise itself. Some species are more expensive than others, with their price varying according to size, coloration and age. To give you an idea: A young Horsfield’s tortoise (one of the most common breeds) usually costs $600-$800; an adult Greek spur-thighed tortoise can cost up to $1,000; and an adult redfoot can go for anywhere between $5-$10k (yes!).

Once you have your pet home with you and in its habitat, there are other costs that come into play as well. In addition to food and shelter – which are necessary for all animals – it’s important for owners of pet reptiles such as turtles or lizards who live outdoors in warm climates where they’re kept outdoors year-round should also provide them with heat lamps throughout winter months so they don’t freeze over night). This can cost around $20-$30 per month depending on how many lamps needed; heating pads under shelters help keep them warm during cold spells too without burning down house like heat lamps would do if left unattended too long). You may also want to invest in UVB lights since some reptiles require them (although many don’t need exposure


Even with all the costs you will end up spending, I believe that owning a tortoise is worth every penny. When you are choosing between a pet tortoise and some other type of animal for your kids, remember two things: first, that the initial price may be high but after one or two years of paying vet bills and food, it becomes cheaper; second, children can learn responsibility by taking care of their pets. Caring for a tortoise teaches children to care about others and gives them an opportunity to learn more about animals with similar interests in mind.

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