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StarTortoises.net

Soaking Tortoises

Baths for baby stars

Even though Burmese star tortoises are native to dry areas, they need to be kept well hydrated. One important way to give hydration a boost is to soak (give a bath) tortoises regularly. These frequent baths give tortoises many opportunities to drink. Soaking also helps keep the indoor enclosures cleaner because tortoises tend to poop while soaking in warm water.

Baby tortoises can be soaked daily in warm water for 20-60 minutes, and then less frequently as they grow older. Keep the water level below the tortoise's mouth and nose because babies sometimes fall asleep while soaking. Change the water as needed to keep it warm.

Some tortoises can find soaking stressful, but my star tortoises seem to enjoy their warm baths. It has become a familiar routine for them. During the coldest winter months, when my stars live indoors, I usually soak them in the morning before feeding. During the warm months, I bathe my tortoises, for cleanup and hydration, when they come back indoors in the evening.

Separate soaking tubs

All my tortoise groups have their own soaking pans to avoid potential parasite and pathogen transfer between groups and species. In fact, I often give my star tortoises individual soaking dishes, labeled with their names, so that I can see who poops and pees. This allows me to keep taps on the quality of their poop as well. Is the poop solid, loose, dark, light, or bloody? Does it have visible worms? And so on.

Burmese star tortoise  soaking

Burmese star tortoise enjoying a fake rain while soaking in warm water.

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