In order for your tortoise to remain healthy good nutrition is paramount. This will ensure it has a strong immune system and will have normal growth, plus their shell will not grow to be deformed. There are a number of factors to consider that will contribute to your pet’s nutritional needs.
Most are herbivores and will require a variety of vegetables and soft fruits plus minerals and vitamins. In order to provide the optimum nutritional value for your particular species of tortoise you should do some research into the natural habitat in which it would live in the wild. This will give you an idea of the type and variety of foods you should provide. For example, a small Pancake tortoise is from East Africa and would naturally eat grasses and dark green vegetables plus some fruits too. Whereas a Red Foot is from Southwest America and would naturally eat fruits such as mangoes, melons, grapes and other sweet fruits. It will also eat flowers such as rose blossoms, hibiscus and nasturtiums.
When you are researching what tortoises eat you also have to take into account the age of your pet. Nutritional needs vary with age and the rapidly growing hatchlings will need more food or higher protein rich foodstuffs, whereas the older specimens would not need such high protein levels.
The overall physical health of your pet will also determine what it will eat. If your pet is ill or injured it will require a different type of food. Sometimes an iceberg lettuce will help to provide a sick tortoise with extra hydration as it does not actually have much nutritional value in and of itself but it is useful when caring for a sick chelonian.
If you are wondering what do tortoises eat, you just need to think natural foodstuffs, fresh water and added vitamins and minerals (in safe and measured quantities). If you also provide a healthy enclosure for your pet you will ensure you are providing the best care for your pet tortoise.
Ellie Bear is a tortoise enthusiast and she owns and maintains http://www.tortoisetips.com where you can learn more about what tortoises eat?