where to buy a tortoise

Essential Guide on Where to Buy a Tortoise

Tortoises, those fascinating shelled creatures, come in all kinds of varieties. Some, like the Hermann’s tortoise, have bulky heads and brown or grey skin. Others, like Greek tortoises, sport unique patterns that make them easy to identify. Yet regardless of their type, all tortoises have one thing in common: they need a caring and responsible owner. And that owner could very well be you, dear reader.

The world of tortoise ownership is vast, with different species suiting different homes, lifestyles, and care levels. From tortoise hatchlings through juveniles and adults, right up to species like the African spurred tortoise, there’s something for everyone in the tortoise market.

Where to Buy a Tortoise Online

So you’ve decided to become a tortoise owner. Good decision! But where does one find these wonderful creatures? We have the top five places right here.

where to buy a tortoise

1. TortoiseTown.com

If there’s a place to get your hands on a tortoise, it’s TortoiseTown.com. Not just a virtual storefront, TortoiseTown is a family-owned and operated tortoise farm dedicated to providing only healthy, captive-bred tortoises. Folks, this is not just a business; it’s a passion for those slow-moving creatures. Everything from box turtles to aquatic turtles, they’ve got it all. 

Aside from hosting a range of species, TortoiseTown’s website is pretty easy to navigate. They provide clear pictures and descriptions of their stock, which is crucial for potential buyers to make an informed decision. In all honesty, if you’re looking to buy a tortoise online, TortoiseTown is a notch above the rest.


  • Wide selection of species available.
  • All tortoises are captive-bred and healthy.
  • Family-owned and operated, with years of experience.
  • Efficient shipping methods that ensure the safety and comfort of the tortoise.


  • Prices can be slightly higher due to the extra care taken in breeding and shipping.
  • Shipping is available only within the USA.

2. Backwater Reptiles

Now, if you’re a critter lover like us, you might’ve heard about Backwater Reptiles. These folks aren’t just about cuddly puppies and cute kittens. Backwater Reptiles is a hotspot for unique pets like gargoyle geckos, tortoises, and all sorts of captivating creatures. By the way, for those looking to keep crested geckos, these guys got them, too.

And guess what? They back their offerings with a health guarantee. They provide customers with a week-long health guarantee to ensure their new reptile is fit and healthy.


  • Wide variety of reptiles, including gargoyles and crested geckos
  • Health guarantee showing the quality of their pets
  • Helpful and knowledgeable staff for smooth transaction


  • Slightly higher prices due to premium pet care
  • May not have all tortoise varieties at all times
where to buy a tortoise

3. Underground Reptiles

Next on our list of places for tortoise shopping is the Underground Reptiles. Everyone in the biz knows these guys for their incredible range of reptiles. Oh boy, their collection covers everything from crested geckos to gargoyle geckos to our little shell buddies – tortoises. Underground Reptiles ensure their lovable scaled friends are more than just items on the shelf.

Underground Reptiles, like Backwater, offer a health guarantee. So, they don’t just ship their reptiles out and wish you luck. They stay with you for a week to ensure your new companion is adjusting well.


  • Offers a wide variety of reptiles, including gargoyle and crested geckos
  • Health guarantee for every pet purchase
  • Responsive customer service team


  • The main downsides of getting your new shelled companion from Underground Reptiles include a complex return policy and difficulty in obtaining species-specific information.

4. American Reptile Distributors

American Reptile Distributors may sound like some unassuming business down the block, but they’re streets ahead when it comes to tortoise trading. With a wealth of experience in handling, raising, and caring for a variety of reptile species, they’ve established themselves as one of the go-to places for prospective tortoise owners. Much of their appeal stems from their attention to quality and health, ensuring that every tortoise sold is in the best possible condition.


  • Proven track record of high-quality, healthy reptiles
  • Extensive range of tortoise species to select from.
  • Superior customer service with helpful information on various species.


  • Higher price point compared to other distributors due to enhanced care.
  • Availability of specific species can be inconsistent.

5. XYZReptiles

XYZReptiles, that’s right, the same folks you’ve probably stumbled upon in forums or heard about through the grapevine. They’re not just another reptile store; they’re the product of over 35 years of experience combined with a genuine love for animals. That’s a lot of time well spent adding to their herpetology and marketing knowledge, which they’ve clearly put to good use. Their goal? To provide customers with a top-notch reptile buying and keeping experience.

Their dedication is seen in everything they do. From the careful selection of healthy, vibrant animals to their meticulous attention to detail in care and maintenance. And let’s not forget their commitment to ensuring a smooth and pleasant buying experience for you. When it comes to the world of reptiles, they are positively full to the brim with insight and expertise.


  • Large variety of species
  • Emphasis on ethical captive breeding
  • Safe, timely, careful shipping


  • Low stock is common for rarer species
  • Slow customer service
where to buy a tortoise

Factors to Consider When Buying a Baby Tortoise

Alright, so you’re sold on the idea of welcoming a baby tortoise into your life. Before jumping headfirst into this adventure, however, consider some pressing factors.

Dealer’s Reputation

Much like you wouldn’t buy a car from a shady dealership, the same rules apply when shopping for a baby tortoise. The dealer’s reputation is pivotal. Our hats go off to Tortoise Town for a name you can trust. They’ve got the business down to an art form with a family-run setup, and to top it all off, they have an actual biologist on staff. So you’re not just getting a pet; you’re getting expert advice with it.

Another important thing to remember is that reputations aren’t built overnight. These guys have been at it for years, hatching, growing, and shipping out tortoises nationwide throughout the year. So you can take solace knowing that a lot of people choose Tortoise Town to find their perfect pet tortoise.

Tortoise Species and Compatibility

Here’s the deal: no amount of love for your browser history will help you if you bring home a tortoise species that doesn’t match your skill level or household situation. Choosing the wrong species isn’t just inconvenient; it can also harm the tortoise. So, think hard about this one. For instance, consider the Burmese Star Tortoise or Sri Lankan Star Tortoise if you’re looking for a medium-sized tortoise. They don’t grow too big, so they’re perfect for tortoise parents who are easing their way into the game.

If you’re into colorful characters, consider South American tortoises like the Yellow Foot Tortoise or Cherry Head Tortoise. They’re vibrant, vivacious, and great conversation starters. On the other hand, if you prefer something smaller, you should turn your head towards Europe’s Testudo tortoises. These petite pals are cold-tolerant and easy to manage, the perfect beginner’s pet tortoise.

Health Concerns

The pursuit of owning a tortoise is exciting, but like any other pet, they come with certain health concerns that we should be prepared for. The little critters need access to heat bulbs and mercury vapor to help mimic their natural environment and facilitate proper digestion, growth, and overall health. Inadequate heating can lead to a host of problems, including respiratory infections, poor immune response, and slow growth.

Moreover, it’s absolutely necessary to supply them with vitamins and supplements from designated pet stores or online dealers. However, health kits for tortoises, including bowls for water and healthy food, are not one-size-fits-all. The requirements vary with the species of tortoise. 

Tortoise Size Categories: What Best Suits Your Home?

Let’s delve into the “what” of tortoises. Just like shirts come in different sizes, so do tortoises! Yep, these creatures range from being palm-sized little fellas to ones who can give a common garden gnome a run for its money. The size of the tortoise should align with the space you can provide, your lifestyle, and your care capabilities.

Small Tortoises: A Manageable Choice

Small tortoises, growing only to a max length of around 8 inches, are a manageable choice for those stepping into the amazing world of tortoise parenting. The Hermann’s tortoise family, especially including the western Hermann’s tortoise or the tiny Indian star tortoise, are great picks to start with. These cuties from the tortoise family can fit perfectly in your home without demanding tons of room.

Medium Tortoise Species: Perfect for Intermediate Owners

If you’re considering a medium-sized pal that’s neither too tiny nor too colossal, you have many options. Medium-sized tortoises average around 10 to 16 inches. Online pet stores, such as Tortoise Town, offer a variety of captive-bred beauties. You can find species like the golden Greek tortoise, the Sri Lankan star tortoise, and the yellow foot tortoise native to South America. Or, if you prefer something a bit more exotic, the cherry head tortoise and Burmese star tortoise are just the ticket!

Large Tortoise: A Big Responsibility

Large tortoises may be the right choice for those who are up for a bigger challenge. The “big boys” can reach a staggering 18 inches when fully mature. From African Sulcatas to Burmese brown mountain tortoises, your options are as vast as their sizes! But do remember, owning one of these giant tortoises is like adopting a shelled dinosaur. Tortoise Town offers other giant tortoise options like the Aldabra tortoise and the Pardalis Babcocki, part of the leopard tortoise family. If you have the space, time, and dedication, these big buddies make incredible pets!

How to Find a Reliable Tortoise Breeder

We must start by saying that finding a good tortoise breeder is no walk in the park. First off, you’re looking for captive-bred baby tortoises, no ifs or buts about it. These fellas have a better chance of thriving in their new home. Keep an eye out for breeders with a solid reputation, a history of raising healthy tortoises, and who aren’t just out to make a quick buck. Remember, don’t make any hasty decisions. Take your time and shop around like a true connoisseur.

Safety Tips for Buying Tortoise Online

There are plenty of reputable tortoise breeders online, too. Websites like Tortoise Town are a tortoise lover’s dream. They offer a variety of tortoises, small and big, in all colors and sizes. But remember, safety first – always ensure you’re dealing with a credible seller. Look for their reputation, reviews, and, most importantly, their return policy. Check out their customer service, too. If they’re top-notch, they should be able to answer all your questions and support you throughout the buying process.

where to buy a tortoise

Understanding Tortoise Care After Purchase

Once you’ve got your new friend, that’s where the real work starts. Tortoise ownership isn’t just a hobby; it’s a commitment. You have to understand what you’re getting into. Whether you’ve got a tiny tortoise that fits in the palm of your hand or a giant fella who needs his own room, they all need careful care and attention.

Professional Care vs Home Care for Your Tortoise

How are you going to take care of your new shelled companion? You can either let the professionals take a crack at it, or you can roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Both have their pros and cons. 

On one hand, professionals know their stuff – they’ve made it their life’s work. But home care is a hands-on approach that you can’t get from anyone else. Either route you take, resources like Tortoise Town can provide you with all the do’s and don’ts of pet tortoise care. Just remember, whichever path you choose, your tortoise isn’t just a pet; it’s a part of your family.

Wrapping Up

Alright, so we’ve navigated the terrain of tortoise buying, and you’re probably feeling like a reptile expert by now. Whether it’s the distinguished Hermann’s tortoise with its bulky head and dark, tan, brown, or grey skin or the African Fat Tail with its unique plastron markings, we’ve discussed a variety of species to suit every preference and lifestyle.

They say buying a tortoise is not a mere transaction but a long-term commitment. With the right information, you’ll be poised to make the best choices for your future shelled friend. You’ve got this!

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