how long can a tortoise go without food or water

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Tortoises can go for a surprisingly long period of time without food or water. Depending on the species, individual tortoises can last anywhere from several days to several weeks without consuming any food or water. This is due to their slow metabolism and their ability to store energy reserves in their bodies for long periods of time.A tortoise can go several months without food, depending on the species and size. Some desert tortoises can go up to a year without food, while smaller species may need to eat every few weeks. In general, tortoises are able to survive long periods of time without food due to their slow metabolism and low energy needs.

Factors Affecting How Long a Tortoise Can Survive Without Eating

The length of time a tortoise can survive without eating depends on several factors. These include the species of tortoise, their age, size, health status and the temperature they are exposed to.

Different species of tortoises have different dietary needs and therefore require different amounts of food. Some species can survive longer without eating than others, depending on their nutritional requirements. This means that a larger, more active species such as an African spurred tortoise will need more food than a smaller, less active species such as a red-footed tortoise.

Younger tortoises need to eat more often than older ones, as they are growing and developing. Older tortoises do not require as much food as younger ones and can go for longer periods of time without eating. In general, young tortoises should be fed every one to two days while older tortoises should be fed every three to four days.

Tortoises vary in size depending on the species and age. Larger tortoises require more food than smaller ones and can usually go for longer periods of time without eating. Smaller tortoises have a faster metabolism and therefore need to eat more often than larger ones.

Health Status
The health status of the tortoise also plays an important role in how long it can survive without eating. Healthy animals with no underlying medical issues are able to go for longer periods of time without eating compared to those with health problems or infections. It is important to keep your pet healthy by providing them with fresh food, clean water and proper veterinary care if necessary.

The temperature at which the animal is kept also affects how long it can survive without food. Tortoises living in warmer climates can typically go for longer periods of time without eating compared to those living in colder climates due to their body’s ability to conserve energy better in warmer temperatures. It is important to provide your pet with proper heating or cooling depending on the climate you live in order to ensure their health and longevity.

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What Type of Food Do Tortoises Eat?

Tortoises are herbivores, so they mainly eat plants and vegetables. Their diet should consist mainly of leafy greens like romaine lettuce, turnip greens, collard greens, dandelion greens, and the occasional carrot or squash. Some tortoises also enjoy other vegetables such as sweet potatoes, green beans, bell peppers, cabbage, and kale. Fruits like apples and strawberries can also be offered in small amounts for a treat every once in a while.

A variety of high-quality commercial tortoise foods are available at most pet stores or online. Many tortoise owners find it convenient to feed their pets a combination of fresh vegetables and commercial foods. If you opt to feed your tortoise commercial food, make sure it is specifically labeled for tortoises—foods made for other animals may not contain the right nutrients for your pet.

It is also important to provide your pet with access to a shallow dish of clean water at all times. This is especially important during hot weather when water evaporates more quickly from the hot ground surface. Not only will the water be necessary for drinking but also bathing—tortoises often enjoy taking “baths” in shallow dishes of water.

How Much Water Does a Tortoise Need?

Tortoises require a good amount of water to stay healthy and hydrated. The exact amount depends on the type of tortoise, its size, and the climate it lives in. In general, tortoises should have access to clean, fresh water at all times. Most tortoises need to drink from a shallow container several times a day. It is important to note that when temperatures are low, tortoises may not drink as much as they do when it is warm.

In addition to drinking water, some species of tortoises also need to soak in shallow warm water for up to an hour per day. This helps them stay hydrated and keep their skin healthy. When bathing your tortoise, make sure the water is not too hot or too cold. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water before allowing your pet into it.

It is also important to ensure that your pet’s enclosure has plenty of humidity since many species of tortoises need it for proper digestion and respiration. You can mist their enclosure with water or provide them with a shallow dish of water that they can soak in if necessary.

Overall, the exact amount of water your pet needs will depend on its species and environment but you should always make sure they have access to clean water at all times and provide them with enough humidity in their enclosure for proper health and digestion.

What Happens to a Tortoise if It Does Not Get Enough Water?

Tortoises are reptiles that require enough water in order to stay hydrated and healthy. Without adequate water, a tortoise can become dehydrated, which can cause serious health issues. Dehydration can lead to organ damage, electrolyte imbalance, organ failure, and even death.

It is important for pet tortoises to receive adequate amounts of water in order to stay hydrated and healthy. If a tortoise does not get enough water, it can experience a number of symptoms including: lethargy, lack of appetite, dehydration, weight loss, and skin discoloration. Without proper hydration, a tortoise’s shell can start to become brittle and cracked. This can be very dangerous as it can lead to infections and other diseases.

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In order to keep your pet tortoise healthy and hydrated, you should ensure they have access to clean drinking water at all times. You should also provide them with a shallow bowl or container filled with fresh water so they can soak and cool down when needed. Additionally, providing your tortoise with vegetables such as lettuce or spinach which have high-water content will help ensure they are getting enough hydration as well.

Can a Tortoise Survive Without Access to Fresh Water?

A tortoise cannot survive without access to fresh water. Tortoises need a regular supply of clean, fresh water, as it helps them stay hydrated and aids in digestion. Without a source of fresh drinking water, a tortoise can quickly become dehydrated and suffer from a variety of health problems. In some cases, dehydration can even be fatal.

In the wild, tortoises get their water from vegetation and other natural sources. But in captivity, they must rely on their human caretakers to provide them with an ample supply of clean, fresh drinking water. It is important to make sure that the tortoise has access to safe drinking water at all times.

It is also important to keep the water clean and free of debris or contaminants. Clean the bowl regularly with soap and hot water, and replace the water at least once per week or more often if necessary. Additionally, if you are using tap or bottled water for your pet tortoise, it is important to make sure that it does not contain any toxins or chemicals that may be harmful to your pet’s health.

Finally, it is important to monitor your pet’s water intake and ensure that they are getting enough hydration each day. A healthy tortoise should drink at least 10-15 ml of water per day; however this amount can vary depending on the species and size of the animal. If your pet appears to be dehydrated or lethargic, take them to the vet immediately for evaluation and treatment as dehydration can be fatal for tortoises if left untreated for too long

Signs of Dehydration in a Tortoise

Dehydration in tortoises is an all too common issue that can have serious implications if left untreated. Signs of dehydration in a tortoise include:

  • Lethargy or lack of movement
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shriveled or wrinkled skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry and/or cracked beak, claws, or scales

If you notice any of these signs in your pet tortoise, it is important to take action quickly. The first step is to carefully inspect the animal for any other signs of illness, such as parasites or fungal infections. If these are present, they should be treated as soon as possible.

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Once any underlying conditions have been treated, you can start treating the dehydration. The best way to do this is by providing your tortoise with plenty of fresh water and a balanced diet. Make sure the water dish is kept clean and filled with fresh water every day. Feeding your tortoise a variety of vegetables and fruits can also help them stay hydrated.

It is important to monitor your pet closely while recovering from dehydration. If the condition does not improve within a few days, contact your veterinarian for further advice. With proper care and treatment, most cases of dehydration in tortoises can be successfully resolved!

Rehydrating a Dehydrated Tortoise

Rehydrating a dehydrated tortoise is essential to ensure its health and wellbeing. Dehydration can lead to many health issues, including organ damage, so it’s important to act quickly when you notice your tortoise is showing signs of dehydration.

The first step in rehydrating a dehydrated tortoise is to increase the humidity in its enclosure. This can be done by misting the enclosure with warm water or using a humidifier. You should also provide your tortoise with plenty of fresh, clean water that is changed daily.

You can also help your tortoise stay hydrated by offering it moist foods like leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. These foods contain high amounts of water and will help your tortoise get the hydration it needs. Additionally, you should avoid feeding your tortoise any dried foods as these are not as nutritious and have a low water content.

If your tortoise is severely dehydrated, you may need to administer fluids subcutaneously or orally. Subcutaneous fluids are given just under the skin and are often used for sick or injured animals that cannot drink on their own. Oral fluids are given directly into the mouth and can be used for animals that are able to drink on their own but need an extra boost of hydration.

It’s important to seek veterinary advice if you think your tortoise is dehydrated or if it does not seem to be responding to other methods of rehydration. Your vet will be able to assess the animal’s condition and recommend the best course of action for rehydrating it properly and safely.


It is clear that a tortoise can survive for a long time without food or water, depending on the species. The desert tortoise, in particular, is able to live for several months without food or water. This is because of its special adaptation to survive in harsh environments. Even in captivity, if the tortoise has access to enough moisture and shade, it can go without food for several weeks without any health complications.

In conclusion, a tortoise can go without food or water for a long period of time, depending on its species and environment. But it is important to keep in mind that lack of food and water can have serious consequences on the health of the tortoise over time. Therefore, it is highly recommended not to leave them without either one of these vital sources for too long.


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