Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

Been asked by a few people about the proper way to bathe a tortoise. The important thing to remember is that what we call a tortoise bath, isn’t really about cleaning at all. A bath, aka a soak, is actually how our tortoises get hydrated. NO SOAP INVOLVED! Your torts are absorbing water through their bums and their scales. Clean water is vital.

  • Step 1: Get a container, not too big and not to small. Its best that the container be opaque. If they can see through it they’ll get stressed out and the escape attempts will be more likely. They’ll probably still try, but its less stressful this way. Some humans like to use the sink or the bathtub, thats just fine as long as its clean and no chemicals are in there. You can figure out what works best for your shell baby after and go from there
  • Step 2: Fill with enough water to reach the start of the carapace (top shell). You want to cover the leggies and tortie butt but not more than that. Your shell baby should be able to stretch out in the water while still keeping its head above water. For Zoya this is about an inch or so deep or where just above the indentation in the container.
  • Step 3: The temperature of the water should be “ baby bath warm”. You aren’t trying to boil your tortie! It should be hot but not uncomfortable to touch. Your shell will be in the bath for a while so you want it to stay warm.
  • Step 4: Tortie time! Get your unsuspecting shell baby and place him or her in the bath. After a while, they just might find they like it.. at first at least. Set a timer (or just keep track) for 15-20 minutes.
  • Step 5: Keep track of your shell to make sure the water stays warm. Sometimes you’ll need to add some hot water to keep temps up. Expect that you’ll see some pee or poo in there. The warm water stimulates their bums and Poo happens! This is normal and a good thing.
  • Step 6: When time is up, take your tortie out of the water. Congratulate them on making a good poopie or peepee, if they’ve made any, or just congratulate them on a bath well done. They like the accolades. I like to wrap Zoya in a towel and give her a little head rub (she likes this and will stick out her neck for it… Some don’t… so you should go with what they like). Then put him or her back under their basking lamp to keep warm.
    •  Note: Its important to put them back in a warm spot so that they keep their temperature up and don’t catch cold. 🙂

Thats it! Not that complicated. You should soak your tort 2x a week at least, more if they’re dehydrated. As long as you’re getting them hydrated, do what works best for you and your shell. The more time you spend with them the more you’ll learn what works for both of you.

risky-spinach:

My tortoises poop has been not as solid lately, runny, I think it may be from the calcium I started putting on his food. Is that normal/okay? What else could this be?

Hello! 

Well, loose/runny poo can be caused by a few things. I’m not sure what type of calcium you’re giving but make sure not to give too much, and that you have the right temps, a good amount of UVB, and a varied diet. That’s number one. 

Have you changed your torties diet at all? One thing that can cause runny/loose poo is not getting enough roughage. That may sound weird since they’re only eating greens but its not! Its important to provide fiber in their diet. Things like cut up hay, sprouts (chia is good) are fiber full and keep the stool solid. It is good for their tummies in general. One thing I’ve done is grinding up timothy hay in a coffee grinder (not one with coffee in it obviously) and sprinkled it on top of the greens I give Zoya. This way, since she’s a picky princess, she gets the fiber while eating her favorite foods (like radicchio ) 

Another reason for runny poo is wormy parasites. This is especially common in tortoises that you get at pet stores like petco/smart. All too often these little ones are actually wild caught and come with a world of parasites living in them that, if not treated it can lead to very bad things, even death. 🙁 While its more common in tortoises from these places its limited so its always good to get checked out. Doing this requires lab testing of your torties poo. I always bring a fresh poo with me when I take zoya for her yearly check up. They’ll take the sample, send it to the lab, and you’ll know in a day or two if its worms. Its treatable if caught in time so its always best to be safe. Has your tortie been tested before? 

So those are my main thoughts. Definitely keep an eye on behavior changes, appetite, things like that. I’m not a vet and I don’t know your tortie like you do so I can’t give you any definitive directions here. I’ll say what I always say, better safe than sorry but don’t freak out 🙂

semi-related, Something you might want to consider is using TNT. Its an all natural supplement of dried weeds and plants that has all the needed nutrients for tortoises (was designed for Russian tortoises originally). Using that and a cutle bone you shouldn’t need to use a calcium supplement on their food at all. Check it out here: http://www.carolinapetsupply.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=58&zenid=466f689591c3324e7121ed83be66f088 Throw in some hay (I think you can even get chopped up hay for torties) and you’ve got a nice supplement that covers all the good stuff including calcium 🙂 Its worked really well for Z so far, especially helpful when its winter and carried greens are harder to come by. Just my 2cents!

I hope this helps! Keep us updated on the poo status! We at Tort-time are not afraid to talk about tortie poo consistency 😀 

Oh and send us pics of you shell baby! 

<3 Tort-time

This video shows us what happens when turtles and tortoises have improper care. 

It was created by a turt/tort mailing list member a while back. Its difficult to watch but makes an incredibly important point about caring for our shelled friends. Its vital to do as much research as possible on our little ones and the proper care for their particular breeds. Its also important to spread as much knowledge as possible about the appropriate care to others. There is a ton of miss information out there (especially at pet stores.. but thats a rant for a different day) so it doesn’t hurt to pass along the info we owners have. This video is a sad reminder of what happens far too often when people don’t realize what they are getting into/what is required to care for our turtle and tortoise friends. 

On a personal Note: 

When Zoya first came into my life, I had no idea how to care for a tortoise. I had a small tank, some pamphlets I found at the pet store and some rabbit pellets for substrate. Also had a small UVB lamp and a small basking lamp. I set it up and hoped I was giving her the best housing possible. Well, after falling instantly in love with her, and being a researcher at the time, I wanted to know everything there was to know about tortoises. I read a million websites with lots of conflicting information, joined some message boards specific to Russian tortoises and turtles and torts in general, and two fantastic Yahoo mailing lists (that I recommend to everyone caring for a tortoises or turtle). 

It quickly became clear that I was doing it ALL WRONG. A glass tank isn’t the best for Russian tortoises (and most tortoises really) as they don’t get enough air flow and its hard to keep the proper temperature and humidity gradients. Torties are incredibly smart but they still can’t comprehend the idea of glass and will ram into the sides trying to get out not understanding why the air is hard. Lots of UVB is vital to their growth and metabolizing of calcium. They won’t develop properly without it. A UVB/Heat combo light is 1000 times better than a little UVB lamp and basking light (though this depends on your set up in some ways) having a ton more UVB and making it easier to keep a good gradient of 95 degrees at basking spot and 75 degrees in cool areas.. Pellets aren’t a good substrate since they’ll eat them and it leads to bowel issues and grows mold. Coconut Coir (comes in bricks or bags) is the best substrate and its cheaper and easier to keep moist, mixed with some play sand its perfect. 

There is a lot more where this came from. The “Tort Tools” link on the Tort-time site (or click here!) has a list of resources I found invaluable to making sure Zoya has the best care possible. Check them out!