Read our top advice on tortoise hibernation

September 7, 2023

Preparing your pet tortoise properly ahead of hibernation is crucial in ensuring their health and wellbeing.

To check your tortoise has no underlying health conditions ahead of hibernation, book an appointment with our team of experienced tortoise vets.

Book a check-up ahead of hibernation

1. Gradually decrease your tortoise’s food intake

We advise that in the weeks leading up to hibernation, it is important that owners start to reduce their tortoise’s food intake. This will help to ensure their digestive tract is empty and will reduce the risk of gastrointestinal blockages during hibernation.

2. Provide a safe space

Ahead of hibernation, make sure you have prepared your tortoise’s space. They need an insulated and ventilated container that is lined with hay/straw. It needs to be big enough to allow your tortoise to move around comfortably and the temperature inside the box must be constantly kept between 4-10°C. Your tortoise’s hibernation space needs to be in a quiet part of the house without through-flow traffic and away from other household pets.

3. Monitoring your tortoise

During hibernation, it is important you check on your tortoise (without waking them) regularly to ensure they are safe and healthy. Make it a weekly task to check your tortoise for signs of abnormal breathing or rapid weight loss. If you are concerned about your tortoise whilst they are hibernating, contact our team.

4. After hibernation has finished

Following their period of hibernation, it is important to wake your tortoise up gradually for their wellbeing. You need to increase the temperature inside the hibernation area slowly over several days so your tortoise’s body can slowly adjust to the change.

Once your tortoise is fully awake, resume feeding them their normal diet in a warm and comfortable environment. They need to be monitored closely following hibernation and if they don’t seem quite themselves, contact us.

So, there you have it; if you follow the above steps and advice, you can greatly help your tortoise have a happy and safe hibernation. Contact us today to book a pre-hibernation health check for your pet.

Book a check-up ahead of hibernation