Skip to main content

This puppy’s friendship with a tortoise is just too cute

Animal friendships come in all shapes and sizes — cats and dogs, the fox and the hound, dogs and… tortoises?

Why not? The unlikely friendship between a tortoise and a pup has charmed redditors, and we understand why; it’s just the sort of wholesome, adorable content we all need.

Every day this wiggly pup brings his bestie, the tortoise, his favorite toy of the day from Eyebleach

Watch as this excitable little puppy brings their friend, tortoise Tilly G, a new toy each and every day. While Tilly G is (understandably) not nearly as amused as their friend, the pup doesn’t seem to mind. As Redditor misabine put it, this dog is “so excited to show off his toy that his entire body is wagging.”

If that’s not enough for you, Tilly G has a lot more canine friends — all of whom are featured on the tortoise’s Instagram account.

One day these dogs are sure to find the toy that will finally spark joy in Tilly’s heart. (And until then, we get to watch cuteness overload.)

Is a tortoise right for you?

 There’s a lot for you to consider before adopting a pet tortoise.

  • Tortoises live a long time. Sulcata tortoises (like Tilly) have a life span of 70-100 years. This means you’ve likely got to think about who will take care of your pet after you’re gone.
  • Tortoises need tons of space. If they can be kept outside, that’s best, but older tortoises need a safe environment that is at least 4 ft. by. 2 ft. And Sulcata tortoises need even more space (think 20 ft. by 20 ft.).
  • Tortoises need warmth. While tortoises shouldn’t get too much direct sunlight (especially in summer), they typically need a warm spot (95 degrees) and a cool spot (75 degrees). Nighttime temperatures shouldn’t drop below 60 degrees.
  • Tortoises are mostly herbivorous. Ninety percent of Sulcata tortoises’ diets consist of grass. They can be fed other greens, fruits, and veggies, but should never be fed citrus fruits, meat, grains, or dog or cat food.

Can dogs and tortoises really be friends?

Thinking about a tortoise but unsure if they’ll get along with your other pets? The answer: It depends.

Some dogs will happily coexist with tortoises. Others will use your pet tortoise as a chew toy. As with any other new pet, it’s important to suss out your dog’s feelings about your new tortoise: Are they growling and barking at the new arrival? Are they showing other signs of anxiety and aggression?

If so, it’s important to train your pets like you would any other animal. They may not become the best of friends, but you can hopefully teach them to peacefully coexist. Puppies and younger dogs will be easier to train.

Some tips for training include:

  • Use a fake tortoise. Before introducing your pets, let your dog get used to a plastic tortoise first. Monitor their behavior and interactions with the fake.
  • Make use of command training. Reinforce the lessons your dog has learned to be sure they’ll listen to you.
  • Do what you can to keep both pets calm. Introduce them after they’ve been fed, for example, and only when they’re relaxed and happy.
  • Supervise. Even if they seem friendly, make sure you (or a trusted adult) are always around when they’re together.

Can tortoises and dogs coexist together? Absolutely — Tilly G and friends prove it. However, before introducing a tortoise to your home, be sure you’ve got everything you need for their care and that any other pets they’ll interact with are well-trained. (And if you’re still unsure and don’t want to risk it, there’s always Tilly’s Instagram.)

Editors' Recommendations

Nicole Carlino
Best reptile pets: These are the 5 most affectionate reptiles you can welcome into your home
These friendly reptiles will make great additions to your family
Basking Chinese water dragon

When you picture an adorable pet, you probably don't visualize an iguana. Reptiles aren't generally considered the cutest of animals, but that doesn't mean you can't find a cuddly one. Whether you're looking for a new buddy for yourself or for your lizard-obsessed kid, there's a reptilian beast out there that will work great in your home. With proper socialization, these guys can learn to be handled daily, some even by children. If you want a new pet that enjoys human company, consider one of these most affectionate slitherers — they're the best reptile pets for handling.
Are reptiles high maintenance?
Not necessarily. One of the things that makes reptiles tricky is how foreign some of their needs are. Parrots, dogs, and humans often have similar requirements for food, exercise, warmth, and water. Since we're all warm-blooded omnivores (for the most part), it feels natural to care for many of the animals we welcome into our homes.

Reptiles are totally different. You'll have to think carefully about heating lamps, cool spots, gut loading, moisture levels, and skin shedding. So you only want to go down this path if you feel ready. That being said, with the right mindset, many lizards, snakes, and turtles make solid beginner pets (a few species don't and we suggest holding off on those until you turn pro).

Read more
Why is my dog whining? 6 common reasons and what you can do to stop it
If you wonder 'why is my dog whining?' check out the possible causes
Dog laying head on computer keyboard

Let’s be honest: No matter how much we love our fur babies, living with a dog that's a whiner can drive you crazy.

Your dog had breakfast and a nice long walk. You’ve settled her into a soft bed with a favorite chew toy. Now, it’s time for you to get to work in your home office. But you’ve no sooner powered up the computer than the whining starts. Sound familiar?

Read more
No fuss, all love: Meet the top breeds of low-maintenance dogs that will steal your heart
Looking for a canine breed that won't overwhelm you with work? These low-maintenance dogs are best
A brown and white basset hound sleeping in a blue chair.

Owning a dog can be a fulfilling experience, but it also requires time, effort, and commitment. If you're leading a busy life, struggle with mobility issues, or prefer a more laid-back approach to being a dog parent, low-maintenance dogs can be the perfect companions.

These dogs offer all the love and affection without the fuss and extensive care requirements. Let's talk about what makes a furry friend a low-maintenance one and introduce you to the top breeds of low-maintenance pups that will steal your heart.
What are low-maintenance dogs?
When it comes to choosing a dog, different breeds have varying needs and characteristics. Some breeds demand constant attention, regular grooming, and extensive exercise, while others are more independent and require minimal care. Low-maintenance canines fall into the latter category. They're generally independent, adaptable, and easygoing, making them suitable for busy individuals, seniors, or those who prefer a more relaxed pet ownership experience.

Read more