Meet Jaden and Koopa.
What do you think it means to be a pet owner?
Being a pet owner means being responsible for a small life who is completely dependent on you. It really is like having a child – you have to feed them, teach them things, and clean up their poo!
Even when you really don’t want to.
But it’s also about that amazing bond between human and animal and unconditional (well, maybe slightly conditional when food is involved) love.
What is involved in caring for tortoises?
Lots of people choose tortoises thinking that they are easy pets to care for because they are stereotypically slow, and sleep a lot… right? Wrong!
Tortoises need a lot of attention and care, especially when they are young. For a healthy shell they require a heat lamp and UV basking daily, and they also need regular bathing to stay hydrated!
Not all tortoises enjoy being bathed, so you have to persevere!
Food wise, they eat fresh weeds, flowers and vegetables. My torts especially love eating broccoli, and my Instagram is full of photos of them covered in the stuff!
Dedicated tort owners grow their weeds in-house, but unfortunately I am not so skilled in that department – so the organic section in the supermarket does just fine!
Ideally you also need to have a garden of some sort, although I do have some tortoise friends who just take their torts to the local park.
Hermann breeds especially love being outdoors in the warmer months, which is a bit tricky in the UK. So having an outside area for them to run around in is also good.
Sometimes I even catch Jaden and Koopa staring longingly outside the window at the grass!
If you could ask Jaden and Koopa one question, what would it be and why?
I would ask them why they fight so often?
“Boys will be boys” they say, but sometimes I wish they were better friends! Jaden is a little bit smaller than Koopa and so he is usually the victim.
But occasionally I do catch him trying to bite Koopa’s bottom in a stealth attack. It’s actually quite cute.
Why did you start a social media account for them?
I started a social media account for the boys because I was always taking hundreds of photos of them and didn’t want to spam my personal Instagram account with them anymore.
It’s nice to be able to document their growth and daily antics all in one place, and I enjoy scrolling through the photos and reminiscing.
Having a tortoise Instagram account has brought me into a network of some really amazing and fun people who are also tortoise parents.
It has given me happiness and satisfaction that I never expected!
Being part of a community of people who are having similar experiences to you is really useful and everyone is so helpful, especially when I have a question or need support.
What do Jaden and Koopa mean to you?
Jaden and Koopa mean the world to me. I’m sure every pet owner will have the same response!
They’ve been in my life since I was 11-years-old, and the fact that they will probably be with me for the rest of my life is amazing!
It was my twin brother who originally wanted a pet tortoise, and when my parents first brought them home, I had no idea what I was supposed to do with them. I could never imagine what great companions they would soon become.
They have such different personalities which really shine through, and, contrary to popular opinion, I genuinely believe they do show me lots of love and affection.
What is your favourite feature on Petbar?
The Petbar app is really cool, and I have really enjoyed using it so far!
A lot of it is similar to Instagram in which you can build a network of pets and communicate with other pets and their owners.
But what I love about Petbar is that it combines the social side of being a pet owner with the responsibility side!
The Calendar and reminders feature is super useful as I can store details of vet trips, or remind myself when to give the torts a bath, or when to buy more food!