Bathing A Tortoise



Produced by:  Hampshire Tortoise Society

Bath your tortoise once a week for adults and twice a week for young tortoises.

Just because you do not see it drink, does not mean it is a waste of time.  Tortoises can take in water via the rear end without you even knowing!


Use a shallow tray, kitchen sink bowl or indeed the kitchen sink itself!

If the tortoise appears not to enjoy his bath it may be because he feels boxed in.

Try a shallower container.


If possible bath mid morning.  Give your tortoise time to warm up first.

Choosing mid morning allows him to dry thoroughly before bedtime.


Use tepid water.  ADD NOTHING TO IT.  Expensive products advertised to add to the water are a waste of money and can, in fact, block the pores and attract flies if left to dry on.


Use just enough to bring the water level up with the plastron (underneath part of shell), so that the water slightly laps under the chin.  Then from a separate jug of tepid water, let water trickle through your fingers to replicate rain.  Using this method make sure the shell, limbs (including the head) are wet.  Any deposits on the shell can be removed using a soft toothbrush.


Paper towel is recommended and immediately dispose of.


Use this opportunity to look around the body and make sure all is in order.

(Refer to 'How to Gauge your Tortoise's Health').

During hot weather especially, your tortoise may enjoy being sprayed with tepid water using an indoor plant mister.  Do not be tempted to use one that may have been used to spray plant food.  They are relatively cheap, so buy one especially to use for your tortoise.