Do Tortoises Need Water

Since tortoises live on land, you might be wondering if they still need water. This article will answer whether or not tortoises need water to drink, as well as water to bathe in.

Do tortoises need water?

Yes, tortoises need water. Tortoises also need water to bathe in. If they don’t get enough water, it could lead to constipation or other health complications.

Let’s start with water for drinking.

How much water do tortoises need?

Tortoises need access to a fresh bowl of water at all times. This will allow them to drink water whenever they want to.

how much water do tortoises need

The water can be room temperature, and as long as your water isn’t very contaminated you can give your tortoise tap water.

Most of the time, you will only need to replace your tortoise’s water bowl once a day. However, if your tortoise lives in a muddy environment and the water gets dirty frequently, you may need to replace the water twice a day.

How long can a tortoise go without water?

A tortoise can usually go at least a week without water before they might start experiencing health side effects. However, in order to keep your tortoise healthy, you should make sure they don’t go without water for more than two days.

Sometimes, if your tortoise hasn’t had water in a couple days, they might try to escape to find some. If this happens, you should read my guide on how to find a lost tortoise.

What happens if your tortoise doesn’t get enough water?

Water is essential for a healthy tortoise, and there are many health complications that can be caused if your tortoise doesn’t get enough water.

As you would expect, a tortoise without enough water will begin to experience dehydration. There are many signs that a tortoise is dehydrated, including dry feces, dry skin, lack of movement, and not eating.

A tortoise that doesn’t get enough water might also experience constipation. This can cause a lot of pain and stress for your tortoise, which can lead to other health complication such as prolapse in tortoises.

What to do if your tortoise isn’t drinking enough water?

If your tortoise isn’t drinking water, you should move the water bowl or get a new one, feed them food with high water content, or take them to a vet.

Moving water bowl

The first thing you should do is move the location of your tortoise’s water bowl. Tortoises can be pretty particular, so maybe you only need to put the bowl in a new location where they feel more comfortable.

If that doesn’t work, you should try buying a new water bowl.

Feed food with high water content

vegetables with high water content

While it’s important that your turtle drinks from a water bowl, you can help supplement their hydration by feeding them food that is high in water content.

Some good food options for tortoises that contain a lot of water include tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers.

Take your tortoise to the vet

Unfortunately, your tortoise may not be drinking water because of some other underlying medical condition. Therefore, it may be best to take your tortoise to the vet to see if they are healthy.

Soaking a tortoise

Most species of tortoise will also need to soak in water. Luckily, they can do this in the same bowl that you use for them to drink. The key is to get a water bowl that is easy for your tortoise to get in and out of. You can check out some good options in my guide on the best tortoise water bowls.

Soaking a tortoise is important for many reasons. For one, they are able to absorb water through their skin and cloaca, which helps them stay hydrated.

Soaking a tortoise also helps them stay clean. Soaking in water can help remove harmful bacteria that may be stuck to their skin or shell. It can also help prevent tortoise shell pyramiding.

tortoise soaking in water bowl

Also, depending on your tortoise’s habitat, your tortoises might also need to soak in water in order to cool down and reduce their body temperature.

Related article: Does a red-eared slider need to be in water?

How often do you need to soak a tortoise?

It is recommended that your tortoise soaks around two times per week. Many tortoises may soak on their own, so it doesn’t require additional work from you.

However, some tortoises might be reluctant to soak on their own. If that is the case, you might need to soak them yourselves. It’s important that their water bowl is shallow enough so that they can easily keep their head out of the water when they are standing up. You should also make sure they have access to easily exit the water bowl.

How long can tortoises go without soaking?

Tortoises can actually go a long time without soaking. While it’s recommended that they soak at least 1-2 a week, they can go multiple weeks or even months without soaking, especially if they live in a humid environment.

However, requirements can vary greatly by species, so it’s important to research the requirements for your specific species.

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