Why Does My Tortoise Keep Going In His Water?

Tortoises are a type of turtle that can be found in all sorts of habitats, usually living in pairs or as solitary creatures. They get their name from the protective shell on their back, which is what distinguishes them from other turtles.

While tortoises make great pets, they do require a lot of care and attention. One important question that new tortoise owners often ask is why their tortoise keeps going in his water dish.

There are a few reasons why your tortoise might be going into his water dish:

1. To cool off

Your tortoise might be going into his water dish because he is trying to cool off. Tortoises are ectothermic, which means that they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. If your tortoise is in a warm environment, he may go into his water dish to cool down.

2. To drink water

Another reason why your tortoise might be going into his water dish is to drink water. Tortoises need to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, and their water dish is an easy way for them to get the water they need.

3. To soak

Tortoises also like to soak in their water dish, and this is perfectly normal behavior. Soaking helps tortoises stay hydrated and also helps them shed their skin. If your tortoise is soaking in his water dish, there is no need to worry.

4. To escape

Sometimes, tortoises will go into their water dish to try to escape. If your tortoise feels like he is in danger or is not comfortable in his environment, he may go into his water dish as a way to hide.

5. To lay eggs

If your tortoise is a female, she may go into her water dish to lay her eggs. Tortoises will usually lay their eggs in a soft, sandy area, but if they can’t find a suitable spot, they will lay them in their water dish.

If your tortoise keeps going in his water dish and you’re not sure why it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or reptile specialist to get to the bottom of the issue.

Do tortoises like sitting underwater?

Yes, some species of tortoises (such as the African spurred tortoise) actually enjoy sitting in water that is shallow enough for them to keep their heads above the surface. This helps them to stay cool and avoid overheating. Tortoises will often soak in water for hours at a time.

However, most tortoises don’t like sitting in water for long periods of time. There are a few reasons why tortoises generally prefer to avoid water.

  • Water can be a habitat for predators like fish and turtles.
  • It can be a source of infection and illness for tortoises.
  • Water can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can transmit diseases to tortoises.

Despite these drawbacks, some tortoises do enjoy sitting in water from time to time, and it can be an excellent way to help them stay cool during hot weather.

How can you tell if a tortoise is dehydrated?

There are many signs that tell if your tortoise is dehydrated:

1. Dry & Loose Skin

If a tortoise’s skin starts to look dry, then this is a sign that it is dehydrated. This can happen when the tortoise isn’t drinking enough water or if it’s been in the sun for too long. The best way to treat this is to give the tortoise a bath.


2. Sunken Eyes

When a tortoise’s eyes start to look sunken, it is a sign that it is dehydrated. This can happen if the tortoise hasn’t been drinking enough fluids or if it has been sick. If you think your tortoise is dehydrated, you should take it to a veterinarian.

3. Lethargic Behavior

If your tortoise starts to act lethargic and isn’t as active as usual, it might be dehydrated. This means that the tortoise isn’t moving around as much as it usually does. To treat lethargy, you’ll need to give the tortoise a bath and make sure it is drinking enough water.

4. Dry feces

Dry feces is another sign that the tortoise is not getting enough water. When a tortoise doesn’t have enough water, it will have trouble passing stool. This means that the stool will be dry and hard.

5. Loss of Appetite

If your tortoise loses its appetite, it might be a sign of dehydration. This means that the tortoise doesn’t eat as much as its routine diet. One way to try and get the tortoise to eat is to offer it a variety of food options. This will help the tortoise find something that it is interested in eating.

6. Panting

Panting is a sign that the tortoise is not getting enough water. When tortoises pant, they open their mouths wide and stick out their tongues. This is a way to lower their body temperature.

7. Weight Loss

Weight loss is another sign that the tortoise is not getting enough water. When a tortoise loses weight, it means that its body is not getting the nutrition that it needs.

If you think your tortoise might be dehydrated, the best thing to do is to take it to a vet. The vet will give the tortoise an IV, and it will start to feel better quickly.

How long should I let my tortoise soak in water?

Tortoises should be soaked in water for at least 15 minutes a day to ensure they are getting enough moisture. However, if your tortoise is having trouble shedding its skin, you may need to increase the soaking time to 30 minutes or more. Soaking times can also be increased during hot weather to help keep your tortoise cool. Make sure to always provide fresh water to your tortoise after it has been soaked. This will ensure that it stays hydrated.

Staying in water for too long can lead to your tortoise becoming waterlogged and can even be fatal. It is crucial to monitor your tortoise during soakings and make sure that it is not in the water for too long. Ask a veterinarian if you are unsure about how long your tortoise should soak. They will be able to help ensure that your tortoise is getting the care it needs.

Can a Tortoise Drown in a Water Bowl?

Can a tortoise drown in a water bowl?

It is possible for a tortoise to drown in a water bowl. If the bowl is too deep or the tortoise falls into the water and is unable to get out, it can easily drown. It is important to make sure that your tortoise’s water bowl is not too deep and that there are no objects in the water that could trap the tortoise underneath. Another way to help prevent your tortoise from drowning is to make sure that there is always a ramp or ledge in the water bowl so it can easily get out if it falls in.

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Keeping an eye on your tortoise while it is in its water bowl is always a good idea, just in case something happens. If you see that your tortoise is having trouble getting out of the water or is struggling to breathe, get it out of the water right away and contact a veterinarian. Drowning can be a severe problem for tortoises, so it is important to take all necessary precautions to prevent it from happening.


Water is essential for tortoises to stay hydrated and healthy. Not providing enough water can lead to a variety of health problems, including dehydration, weight loss, and difficulty passing stool. It is essential to provide your tortoise with fresh water every day and monitor it while it is in its water bowl to ensure that it does not drown.



What should I do if my tortoise isn’t eating?

If your tortoise isn’t eating, it is important to take it to a vet. The vet will be able to help determine the cause of the problem and provide the necessary treatment.

Why won’t my tortoise drink from its water bowl?

There could be a number of reasons why your tortoise isn’t drinking from its water bowl. One possibility is that the water is dirty and needs to be cleaned. Another possibility is that the water bowl is the wrong size or shape for your tortoise. If your tortoise is a baby, it may not be able to reach the water or drink from the surface. If your tortoise is an adult, it may be able to reach the water but not be able to get its head inside the bowl.

One way to encourage your tortoise to drink is to offer it a variety of foods that are high in water content. These include fruits and vegetables such as watermelons, cucumbers, and lettuce. You can also place a small dish of water next to your tortoise’s food dish.

What kind of water should I give my tortoise to drink?

It is best to give your tortoise filtered or distilled water to drink. This will help to ensure that the water is free of impurities and chemicals that could be harmful to your tortoise.

What is the average lifespan of a tortoise?

The average lifespan of a tortoise is between 50 and 150 years. However, there are some tortoises that have been known to live for over 200 years.

What do tortoises eat?

Tortoises are herbivores, and their diet consists mostly of plants. They will often eat grass, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Some tortoises also eat bugs and small invertebrates.

What is the difference between a tortoise and a turtle?

The main difference between tortoises and turtles is that tortoises are land animals and turtles are water animals. Tortoises also have a higher shell than turtles, and their shells are not as flexible.

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