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

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
Sad dog resting his head near a shoe

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. Whining can be irritating, heartbreaking, and even anxiety-inducing for owners. Whether it's distracting you from work, making you sad to leave the house, or making you worry that something is wrong with your dog, figuring out why your dog is whining and what you can do about it is important.

No matter how disruptive it is, always remember that whining is a form of communication for our dogs, say training experts at the ASPCA. The key is to properly interpret the noise and figure out how to work with her on it; to try to answer the question, "Why is my dog whining?"

Read more
Is your puppy breathing fast while sleeping? Here’s when you should worry and how to help your dog
When to call a vet because your pup is breathing fast while sleeping
A Jack Russell terrier lies in bed between the feet of his owner

It’s hard not to love watching your puppy sleep. In fact, they might somehow manage to get cuter as they snooze. They look so content and peaceful, especially if they're snuggled up to you. Though experts frequently recommend giving your pet their own sleep space, like a crate, it’s ultimately up to you. Regardless of where and when your puppy is sleeping, you want them to be comfortable and safe. If you notice your puppy breathing fast while sleeping, you may get worried. Should you be? It depends.
Here’s what experts want you to know about labored breathing during sleep and when to call a vet.

Different puppy sleeping patterns
Before we get into breathing patterns, it could help to have some knowledge of puppy sleeping patterns. They're similar to ours, though puppies cycle through them more quickly than humans. A puppy may experience 20 sleep cycles nightly. Humans typically go through about four or five cycles. These are the phases.

Read more
How much should newborn puppies eat? Follow this feeding chart
Here's what you need to know about feeding newborn puppies
Bottle feeding a newborn puppy

Having newborn puppies around can be such a gift, but there's also a lot of work involved. You need to keep their enclosure clean, make sure they're fed, and stay on top of their health in a multitude of ways. Luckily, we're here to help you navigate your newborn puppies' feeding routine.

Whenever possible, newborn puppies should consume their mother's nutrient-rich milk, which helps protect them from illness while their immune systems develop. It's the perfect food for them! However, it's not always possible for a mama dog to feed her litter all by herself.

Read more