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Summer Heatwave

By: Natalie Times Read: 591
Summer Heatwave


You may have seen the forecast this week. Up here in the North East we are expected highs of 32 degrees celcius in the coming days. Those down south will get it hotter.

What does this have to do with my tortoise?

Regardless of your tortoise's age and accommodation, it is important to remember that ALL animals need water, not just mammals. Like any animal, tortoises can suffer from dehydration. As you know, as it's the same with people, dehydration can easily be prevented by drinking water. Your tortoise has the same instincts. They will seek out water as and when they need it. That being said, they can also be stubborn like us and a little to lazy to seek it out. This is why in extreme weather conditions, we always recommend that you give your tortoise a shallow bath each day.

Indoor, outdoor, keep your tortoise hydrated.

Now that we've got hydration covered, let's talk about basking lamps. This information applies to any lamp that provides heat to your tortoise, and all types of indoor housing.

Look at the photos attached to this blog, we've got the outdoor temperature on the weather app, the room temperature (IN) and the probe temperature (OUT). The probe is resting atop the bedding directly under the lamp. This is why a lot of your tortoises are sleeping all day and why you should always have an IN/OUT thermometer. Regardless of where your tortoise lives, it needs access to a cool spot (approx 22-25 degrees) and a hot spot, no more than 35 degrees.

What can I do to cool my tortoise down?

Any of these things can help to cool your tortoise and/or your enclosure down

  • Switch the lamp off when it starts to climb above 35 degrees
  • Take your tortoise outside for the rest of the day, or for an hour if you do not have a secure run
  • Situate a fan in the room. Not to blow on the enclosure, but to bring the room temperature down
  • For vivariums, remove the glass, place a wooden slat in the opening if your tortoise is large enough to climb out. It only needs to be as high as your tortoise's length to keep him in. The rest of the front should be open for maximum airflow.