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Preventing Dehydration in African Spur Thighed Tortoises: Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Pet

Are you wondering to know about dehydration in african spur thighed tortoises? You have come to the right place.

Dehydration is a common issue that African Spur Thighed Tortoise (AST) owners face. It’s important to keep your tortoise hydrated to ensure a healthy pet. In this article, we will discuss tips and tricks to prevent dehydration in ASTs.

Understanding the African Spur Thighed Tortoise

Before diving into the tips and tricks, it’s important to understand the African Spur Thighed Tortoise. ASTs are large tortoises that originate from Africa. They are known for their large size, strong and sturdy legs, and spiky shells. They can grow up to 30 inches long and weigh up to 200 pounds. ASTs are herbivores and feed on a variety of plants, including grasses and weeds.

Signs of Dehydration in ASTs

It’s important to be aware of the signs of dehydration in ASTs. Some of the common signs include:

  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry skin and shell
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Constipation

Tips and Tricks to Prevent Dehydration in ASTs

Now that you know the signs of dehydration, it’s time to learn some tips and tricks to prevent it.

1. Provide Fresh Water

The first and most important tip is to provide your AST with fresh water at all times. They need access to clean and fresh water to stay hydrated. It’s recommended to change the water daily to keep it fresh.

2. Soak Your Tortoise

Soaking your tortoise in warm water is another way to keep them hydrated. It’s recommended to soak your AST for 20-30 minutes every few days. This will not only keep them hydrated but also help with shedding and constipation.

3. Provide Moist Foods

ASTs prefer moist foods and they are a great way to keep them hydrated. Some of the moist foods you can offer include:

  • Leafy greens (e.g. kale, collard greens, mustard greens)
  • Fruits (e.g. watermelon, strawberries)
  • Vegetables (e.g. cucumber, zucchini)

4. Offer a Humid Environment

ASTs prefer a humid environment, and it’s important to keep their enclosure humid. You can achieve this by:

  • Adding a humidifier to the room
  • Providing a shallow water dish
  • Adding a moist substrate to the enclosure

5. Avoid Overfeeding

Overfeeding your AST can lead to dehydration. It’s important to provide them with the right amount of food based on their size and age. Overfeeding can also lead to other health issues such as obesity and shell deformities.

6. Monitor the Temperature

ASTs prefer warm temperatures, and it’s important to monitor the temperature of their enclosure. They need a basking spot with a temperature of around 90-100°F, and the rest of the enclosure should be around 75-85°F. A temperature that is too low can lead to dehydration.

7. Provide Shade

ASTs need access to shade to prevent dehydration. They can get dehydrated quickly if they are exposed to direct sunlight for too long. It’s important to provide them with shade in their enclosure.

8. Consult a Veterinarian

If you notice any signs of dehydration or other health issues in your AST, it’s important to consult a veterinarian. A veterinarian can provide you with the right diagnosis and treatment for your pet.


Dehydration is a common issue that AST owners face, but it can be prevented with the right care and attention. Providing fresh water and moist foods, soaking your tortoise, providing a humid environment, avoiding overfeeding, monitoring the temperature, providing shade, and consulting a veterinarian are all important steps in preventing dehydration in your AST.

By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your African Spur Thighed Tortoise remains healthy and hydrated. Remember to always monitor your pet’s behavior and appearance, and take action immediately if you notice any signs of dehydration or other health issues.


  1. How often should I change the water in my tortoise’s dish? It’s recommended to change the water daily to keep it fresh and clean.
  2. Can I use tap water to fill my tortoise’s dish? It’s recommended to use filtered or distilled water to fill your tortoise’s dish, as tap water can contain harmful chemicals and minerals.
  3. Can I use a spray bottle to mist my tortoise’s enclosure? While misting your tortoise’s enclosure can help increase humidity, it’s not recommended as it can cause respiratory issues. Instead, you can provide a shallow water dish or add a moist substrate to the enclosure.
  4. Can I use a heat lamp to warm up my tortoise’s enclosure? Yes, a heat lamp can be used to warm up your tortoise’s enclosure. However, it’s important to monitor the temperature to ensure it doesn’t get too hot.
  5. What should I do if I suspect my tortoise is dehydrated? If you suspect your tortoise is dehydrated, you should take action immediately. Soak your tortoise in warm water, offer moist foods, and consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.