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Do Tortoises Smell?

Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by Abigirl257, Aug 1, 2015.

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  1. Abigirl257

    Abigirl257 New Member

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    Hi, so I'm new to this forum and I already need a little bit of help. See, we are moving out and my mum said that I am allowed to have one more pet. Now, she is not at all afraid of tortoises and turtles, but she doesn't like the smell of their bodies (as tortoises have a very strong smell) and I was wondering what I can do to convince her. I would love to get one. And I would also like to know what type of set-up is most recommended for a smaller tortoise like a Hermans or a Redfoot. Please help. Thanks!
  2. Jodie

    Jodie Well-Known Member

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    Tortoise don't have a smell. The enclosure can smell, if not kept clean I suppose. Check out the species specific section and the care guides for each tortoise you are considering. There is a lot of information available here.
  3. leigti

    leigti Well-Known Member

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    I have not noticed a tortoise odor either.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2015
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  4. Abigirl257

    Abigirl257 New Member

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    It's just their body oder. My mother is very sensitive to smell. Thanks though! I will definitely check it out!
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  5. leigti

    leigti Well-Known Member

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    Sorry darn it I hit reply to soon. I meant to say that I have not noticed any particular tortoise odor. Are you thinking turtles? They might have an odor from the water they are in. I don't really know. Hermans and Redfoot tortoises have totally different care requirements. And read foots can get pretty large, around 12 inches.
    Where do you live? How much space are you going to be able to provide this tortoise indoors or outdoors? Almost any tortoise can be kept in any environment if you have enough space, money, and ability to provide what they need but sometimes it's easier to get a tortoise that matches your climate. And a tortoise may be small but still needs a great deal of room, like Russians for example. This is a great place to get all the information you need. Pet stores usually don't know what they're talking about and will sell you stuff you don't need or is not appropriate. And reading too many websites etc. will just cause confusion. I recommend you stay right here for the most current information available. Welcome to the forum.
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  6. Abigirl257

    Abigirl257 New Member

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    I will be able to provide half of a room, and I live in Ohio. We have enough money, and I am saving more and more as we speak. I have time, as long as it needs, and we provide fresh fruits and veggies in our kitchen almost always because of our other pets. I will have a nice space and I won't get one unless I know I have everything ready. I do have dogs and cats, but they stay out of my room at all times. I read on a pet store forum and they suggested a 20 gallon tank, which I know it wrong, so yeah lol. U must not smell it because u have gotten used to it. I did smell it at first but after I didn't at all. Thanks for the warm welcome. Everyone has been so nice :)
  7. leigti

    leigti Well-Known Member

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    It is probably more the enclosures they are kept in that you are smelling. Spot clean your enclosure every day including any feces and uneaten food. When you soak your tortoise they often eliminate then instead of in the enclosure which also helps to keep it clean. You could also use a soft toothbrush or cloth to clean off your tortoise if needed. Coconut coir is a great substrate for many types of tortoises that Does not smell bad. Do not use pine or cedar or any aromatic bedding for your tortoise, it may smell good to us but it is poisonous to them.
    Living in Ohio you will be able to have an indoor and outdoor enclosure.
  8. Careym13

    Careym13 Well-Known Member

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    The only time I notice an odor from my torts is after they've pooped. I think if you spot clean the enclosure each day and keep it free of droppings and old food the smell could be kept to a minimum. And like Leigti said, coconut coir works great and I actually think it smells pretty good :)
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  9. Abigirl257

    Abigirl257 New Member

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    Thanks for all the help. I will tell this to my mother and see what she says.
  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    You are on a tortoise forum with people who all have tortoise. Some of us have lots of them and have had them for decades. We tell you they don't smell and you have argued with everyone of us. How many tortoises have you been sniffing?

    It is not a question of sensitivity. Tortoise do not have an odor. I work with dozens of species of animals all day every day. Some have a smell and some don't. Tortoises don't.

    What are you doing?
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  11. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    I have never noticed any smell from my tortoise.

    And a very warm welcome to the forum!
  12. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Like most things, tortoises do have a very, very faint smell, in my opinion, but you basically have to ram it up your nose to be able to smell it.
    Their poop can smell, of course, but regular cleaning will neutralize that.
    Have a look at http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    first of all and then the species specific section here to see which tortoise suits you best.
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  13. sherlock15

    sherlock15 Member

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    I have noticed if you don't soak them for a few days there will be a smell on them. As long as you keep there enclosure clean and regular soaks there should be no smell.
  14. Abigirl257

    Abigirl257 New Member

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    Thanks for all the help. And I am not arguing, my mother just insists they smell horrible. But then again she has never had a tortoise, just seen them with bad breeders. I really hope I am not making u angry or sad, it's just my mothers opinion. Thanks again. And sorry for the late reply, I have been very busy.
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  15. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone's angry or sad.
    Just stating their opinions based on their own experiences.
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  16. Abigirl257

    Abigirl257 New Member

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    Tom was. I just didn't mean to offend anyone.
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  17. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    I can't speak for him, but I don't think he was mad. I have noticed he does not like people arguing information he knows from experience to be inaccurate, and he has seen quite a lot of that over his many years of tort ownership.
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  18. ILoveTorts&Gerbils

    ILoveTorts&Gerbils Active Member

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    Hi Abi (I'm guessing this is your name?)

    I'm new to this too and looking to get a Hermann's. I'd be happy to chat with you if you'd like?

    I don't think you were annoying anyone, but look at it this way: everyone here loves torts and to them it may have sounded like you were insulting their pets! I'm very protective of my pets, and I think it's fair to say I'd probably react a lot worse if someone said my pets smelled! *shouts over shoulder* My dog does NOT smell! It's... a scent. Not a smell.
    Lyn W likes this.
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