How often should I bathe a Tortoise who hates baths?

Rocky219

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I know how often to bathe a Tortoise and I bathe mine quite often about 3 times a week. I feel really bad though because he hates baths. He is a 3-4 year old Hermann Tortoise. I am pretty sure that I have the temperature right. It is pretty warm but not hot. I also replace the water every 7 minutes (Due to feces, urine, temperature). I give him usually a 25 minute bath. I also spray his greens. I use reptisafe in his water bowl and when I bathe him. It is never above his head. It is deep enough that he can dip his head under if he wants too though. I can tell he hates it because he always tries to climb out. Any responses are much appreciated.
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings. Sometimes you as the keeper just have to do the right thing for your pet. Maybe your water is a bit too warm or a bit too cold. Try taking the temperature to see exactly what you have. Maybe use a much larger container, or make the water deeper, or shallower. Experiment a bit and try to find the sweet spot.

Good luck....
 

Rocky219

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Greetings. Sometimes you as the keeper just have to do the right thing for your pet. Maybe your water is a bit too warm or a bit too cold. Try taking the temperature to see exactly what you have. Maybe use a much larger container, or make the water deeper, or shallower. Experiment a bit and try to find the sweet spot.

Good luck....
Ok thank you
 

Yvonne G

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I know how often to bathe a Tortoise and I bathe mine quite often about 3 times a week. I feel really bad though because he hates baths. He is a 3-4 year old Hermann Tortoise. I am pretty sure that I have the temperature right. It is pretty warm but not hot. I also replace the water every 7 minutes (Due to feces, urine, temperature). I give him usually a 25 minute bath. I also spray his greens. I use reptisafe in his water bowl and when I bathe him. It is never above his head. It is deep enough that he can dip his head under if he wants too though. I can tell he hates it because he always tries to climb out. Any responses are much appreciated.
Well, first of all unless they're very dirty with poop all over them, tortoises don't need BATHS. So to answer your question, probably never. But for hydration purposes, from hatch to a year, you SOAK them daily. After a year it depends upon the species, but you may be able to go to three times a week.
 

Rocky219

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Well, first of all unless they're very dirty with poop all over them, tortoises don't need BATHS. So to answer your question, probably never. But for hydration purposes, from hatch to a year, you SOAK them daily. After a year it depends upon the species, but you may be able to go to three times a week.
Ok thank you
 

KarenSoCal

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I can tell he hates it because he always tries to climb out.

Look at it this way...tortoises really don't get much exercise in their indoor enclosures. Mine comes out and walks a foot, and lays down and looks around for 10 minutes. Then he stands and drags himself another foot and looks around, and so on. He goes for a stroll with lots of breaks.

So they get tired of being in the water and try to get out, sometimes rather vigorously. It's good for them! Gets the legs and cardio going! And you are his rescuer! Might even get you a few points in the quest for his affection!
 

Tom

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I know how often to bathe a Tortoise and I bathe mine quite often about 3 times a week. I feel really bad though because he hates baths. He is a 3-4 year old Hermann Tortoise. I am pretty sure that I have the temperature right. It is pretty warm but not hot. I also replace the water every 7 minutes (Due to feces, urine, temperature). I give him usually a 25 minute bath. I also spray his greens. I use reptisafe in his water bowl and when I bathe him. It is never above his head. It is deep enough that he can dip his head under if he wants too though. I can tell he hates it because he always tries to climb out. Any responses are much appreciated.
The tortoise treadmill. Its not a bad thing.

Also try different times of day. Some of them really like a warm soak early in the morning after a cool night. Some prefer their hydration after a long day of being out in the sun.
 

Rocky219

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The tortoise treadmill. Its not a bad thing.

Also try different times of day. Some of them really like a warm soak early in the morning after a cool night. Some prefer their hydration after a long day of being out in the sun.
Okay thank you I will
 

Rocky219

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Look at it this way...tortoises really don't get much exercise in their indoor enclosures. Mine comes out and walks a foot, and lays down and looks around for 10 minutes. Then he stands and drags himself another foot and looks around, and so on. He goes for a stroll with lots of breaks.

So they get tired of being in the water and try to get out, sometimes rather vigorously. It's good for them! Gets the legs and cardio going! And you are his rescuer! Might even get you a few points in the quest for his affection!
Okay thank you
 

GSM

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I know how often to bathe a Tortoise and I bathe mine quite often about 3 times a week. I feel really bad though because he hates baths. He is a 3-4 year old Hermann Tortoise. I am pretty sure that I have the temperature right. It is pretty warm but not hot. I also replace the water every 7 minutes (Due to feces, urine, temperature). I give him usually a 25 minute bath. I also spray his greens. I use reptisafe in his water bowl and when I bathe him. It is never above his head. It is deep enough that he can dip his head under if he wants too though. I can tell he hates it because he always tries to climb out. Any responses are much appreciated.

I may as well have written this. Exact same with a 2-year-old Herms. And the way they push their head out whilst looking at you, as if to plead for you to lift them out of the water. I use my bathtub, which is useful for creating a very humid room.
 

Taylorlynn48

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Look at it this way...tortoises really don't get much exercise in their indoor enclosures. Mine comes out and walks a foot, and lays down and looks around for 10 minutes. Then he stands and drags himself another foot and looks around, and so on. He goes for a stroll with lots of breaks.

So they get tired of being in the water and try to get out, sometimes rather vigorously. It's good for them! Gets the legs and cardio going! And you are his rescuer! Might even get you a few points in the quest for his affection!
Does it cause any stress for the tortoise when they are trying to escape their baths?
 

KarenSoCal

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Does it cause any stress for the tortoise when they are trying to escape their baths?

I suppose so...they want out and can't get out. But I don't think they're afraid if they're used to it. I think most torts learn to at least tolerate a soak, even if they don't like it.

I actually think it's being in a bin that bothers them. I don't think the water has much to do with it.

Of course, knowing the mind of a tortoise is the ultimate 'doomed to fail' venture.
 

mike t

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I was in the same position as you a couple months ago. My tortoise used to HATE soaks. He'd be stressed out, scratching at the walls the entire time. Then I experimented with a few factors:
  • Time Of Day: If he's active before you soak, chances are he won't be relaxed when he's in a water tub. I started soaking mine as soon as he woke up, and that made a major improvement.
  • Temperature: Our hands measure relative temperature, not absolute temperature, so get a digital meat thermometer. I use this one and haven't had any issues. I've discovered that 95-100 degrees (35-38 C) is perfect for my tortoise - anything lower than 90 and he tries to scramble out. Other tortoises like it cooler, so experiment a little with what yours likes (I believe 90 F (32 C) is typical).
    • Also, if the water temperature drops during the soak, I'd recommend putting a heat pad under the soak bucket. This one was a gamechanger for me, and allowed him to soak for longer.
  • Depth: The water might be too deep or shallow. I used to have it too shallow. Mine likes the water just touching his chin.
  • Frequency and routine: Try to establish a routine. I started soaking mine every other day just as he woke up. Now, he basks for a couple hours while I'm in online lecture, then he soaks, and then he eats. It doesn't really matter what the routine is, but consistency seems to make things much easier.
I'm sort of repeating what others have said, but this is my experience, and I hope it can help!
 

Jonbosley

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Texas
I know how often to bathe a Tortoise and I bathe mine quite often about 3 times a week. I feel really bad though because he hates baths. He is a 3-4 year old Hermann Tortoise. I am pretty sure that I have the temperature right. It is pretty warm but not hot. I also replace the water every 7 minutes (Due to feces, urine, temperature). I give him usually a 25 minute bath. I also spray his greens. I use reptisafe in his water bowl and when I bathe him. It is never above his head. It is deep enough that he can dip his head under if he wants too though. I can tell he hates it because he always tries to climb out. Any responses are much appreciated.
25 mins is a little long, I usually keep it to to 10-12mins. My Adults about twice a week, my little ones 6-10months every other day. Water is available for all, large enough containers that they can get their bodies fully in if they wish. My 5 year old sulcata loves water the most and gets in his 24” sunken bowl multiple times a day. My adult yellowfoots oddly seem to dislike it and I have to put them in. I also keep a spay bottle and spray them all most days. They all seem to like that.
 

Rocky219

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I was in the same position as you a couple months ago. My tortoise used to HATE soaks. He'd be stressed out, scratching at the walls the entire time. Then I experimented with a few factors:
  • Time Of Day: If he's active before you soak, chances are he won't be relaxed when he's in a water tub. I started soaking mine as soon as he woke up, and that made a major improvement.
  • Temperature: Our hands measure relative temperature, not absolute temperature, so get a digital meat thermometer. I use this oneand haven't had any issues. I've discovered that 95-100 degrees (35-38 C) is perfect for my tortoise - anything lower than 90 and he tries to scramble out. Other tortoises like it cooler, so experiment a little with what yours likes (I believe 90 F (32 C) is typical).
    • Also, if the water temperature drops during the soak, I'd recommend putting a heat pad under the soak bucket. This one was a gamechanger for me, and allowed him to soak for longer.
  • Depth: The water might be too deep or shallow. I used to have it too shallow. Mine likes the water just touching his chin.
  • Frequency and routine: Try to establish a routine. I started soaking mine every other day just as he woke up. Now, he basks for a couple hours while I'm in online lecture, then he soaks, and then he eats. It doesn't really matter what the routine is, but consistency seems to make things much easier.
I'm sort of repeating what others have said, but this is my experience, and I hope it can help!
Thank you
 
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