Darren Partridge shares what tortoises like to do for summer fun

May 7, 2024

We want your tortoise to have as much fun as possible this summer. In this article, vet and reptile enthusiast Darren Partridge at Molesey Vets has shortlisted some enrichment ideas for tortoises and their favourite summer past-times below.

Before your tortoise sets out on their summer escapades, Darren suggests sprucing up their living quarters so they have the perfect retreat to return to. Give their enclosure a thorough clean, refresh their bedding, and add some edible plants and flowers to create a homely feel.

By the way, we’ve had more than one tortoise wander off course and end up at our East Molesey vet practice over the years, so we do recommend microchipping your tortoise too!

Contact us for tortoise microchipping & advice

7 summer enrichment ideas for your tortoise

In the summer, tortoises enjoy a variety of activities that take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days. Darren shares 7 things your tortoise will love to do this summer:

  1. Sunbathing: Did you know that tortoises are like sun-loving superheroes? They’re ectothermic, which means they’re like little solar panels, soaking up the sunshine to keep themselves warm and toasty. In the summertime, Darren says you’ll often find them basking in the sunlight, just like you might catch a sunbather on a beach. It’s their secret to staying energised and ready for action!
  2. Exploring: With the sunshine beckoning, our shelled pals are itching to explore their outdoor playgrounds. From sniffing out new nooks to munching on tasty greens, Darren says they’ll be on a mission to uncover all the wonders of their environment. So, grab your sun hat and join them for a wander through their leafy paradise!
  3. Foraging: Summer brings an abundance of vegetation – think lush grasses, wild weeds, edible flowers and leafy green treasures. For our shell-dwelling friends, it’s a gourmet paradise! Tortoises delight in the art of foraging, grazing on a smorgasbord of fresh delights to fuel their hungry tummies and keep them in tip-top shape. Ask Darren about tortoise-friendly edibles in your garden – get in touch.
  4. Cooling Off: When the heat is on, tortoises know just how to chill. On scorching summer days, they’ll scout out shady spots or even dip into shallow water sources to stay cool and hydrated. By offering a shallow dish of water in their habitat, you’re giving them the ultimate oasis to splash, sip, and beat the heat.
  5. Digging & Burrowing: Summertime means it’s time to dig in! Darren shares that some tortoise species, such as the Russian tortoise, are like little architects, crafting cozy hideouts in the substrate. Whether it’s beating the heat or finding the perfect nesting spot, these diggers are all about creating cool retreats.
  6. Hanging Out with Pals: Who said tortoises can’t have a social life? When kept in pairs or groups, tortoises love to hang out together! You’ll catch them basking side by side, exploring their turf in tandem, and even sharing some friendly banter with their buddies. It’s like a tortoise party, complete with shell-to-shell chats and cosy sunbathing sessions. Your tortoise may love to hang out with a pet of a different species entirely – do share your photos on our Facebook page!
  7. Relaxing: Even tortoises need a little R&R! Despite their adventurous spirits, these fascinating reptiles know the importance of downtime. When the summer sun is blazing, you’ll often find them seeking out a shady spot for some well-deserved relaxation. It’s their way of conserving energy and staying cool during the hottest hours of the day. After all, a siesta never hurt anyone!

So, that’s how you can make the summer of 2024 a delightful season for your reptilian friend!

If you have any questions about these enrichment ideas for tortoises, or want to book a tortoise microchip appointment, get in touch with Darren and our tortoise-loving team.

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