Can Tortoises Be Left Out in the Rain?

A tortoise can be left out in the rain, but only if the temperature doesn’t suddenly drop and the rain isn’t heavy and prolonged enough to flood their enclosure. If the rain is a warm, the tortoise will enjoy it, but low ambient temperatures during and after the rain can be harmful.

People have different opinions about rain. Some find it relaxing and refreshing, while others hate it and only enjoy sunnier days. But regardless of what your opinion is, if you have a tortoise, you may be wondering whether a little bit of rain is harmful to it or not.

When you keep your tortoise outdoors for much of the year, you might be the type of person who instantly rushes to bring the them inside when it starts pouring. Is it really dangerous, though? Can tortoises be left out in the rain or not? Let’s find out!

Can You Leave Tortoises in the Rain?

You may be used to soaking your tortoise occasionally, or even quite regularly if your tortoise is young, but when it comes to rain, you may well be less certain of whether it’s good for your pet. It’s very likely that you keep your tortoise outdoors when the weather is nice, but then you see some dark clouds approaching and you start wondering whether the impending rain is a danger to be avoided.

Well, tortoises do in fact like rain. In the wild tortoises are regularly exposed to rain unless they happen to be hiding somewhere when the heavens open. So, being exposed to rain will actually allow the tortoise to feel the same way as it would in the wild. Natural surroundings and experiences actually reduce the amount of stress a tortoise feels, thereby promoting better health.

Even though tortoises are land based turtles that don’t live in water like aquatic turtles, there isn’t anything dangerous about a tortoise getting wet. That’s one reason why they don’t hate tha rain. There are however some tortoise breeds that like the rain more than others.

However, regardless of breed there are some precautions to be aware of as well. Although tortoises enjoy being sprinkled by the rain, things are not that great when the temperature drops. If you leave your little reptile outside to enjoy the rain, you must make sure the rainwater is warm and that temperatures don’t drop. Typically warmer rainfall coincides with warmer weather in later spring on into summer.

A sudden drop in temperatures can harm a tortoise, which is why it’s best to bring them inside when the weather gets chillier, whether it is rainy or not. The tortoise’s body temperature will drop as well, and the lack of sun means its body temperature cannot rise on its own. As a result, your pet will be at greater risk of illness.

Not to mention that heavy or prolonged rains also increase the risk of flooding in the tortoise’s enclosure, in which case you should not let them out in the rain. All tortoise owners should keep an eye on the weather forecast and get all the details so they can ensure their pets only stay outside in the rain when it’s safe to do so.

A little rain is one thing, a fully flooded enclosure is another matter entirely!

How Do Different Tortoise Species Feel About Rain?

Considering different tortoise species come from various areas and climates, they all deal with rain in their own way. As such, some of them will love rain more compared to others, particularly if they prefer humid climates.

For example, leopard, red-foot, star, and Sulcata tortoises like warm and humid climates. Meanwhile, a Hermann’s or Russian tortoise can adapt to both cold and warm climates. This is ideal when it comes to adapting the reptile to different parts of the planet. Some of them actually come from areas where the climate is more humid and has more rain, meaning they are used to this type of weather.

As for other species, they mostly live in desert climates. That doesn’t mean that they will hate the rain. They find it comfortable and relaxing. At the same time, the personality of the tortoise will come into play as well, because just like humans, each tortoise likes and dislikes certain things.

How Can You Prevent Flooding in the Tortoise’s Enclosure?

Tortoises are not swimmers in general, so being exposed to flooding can be dangerous to them. When the water level gets too high, the reptile may actually drown. Considering they are land animals, you need to make sure that you prevent flooding in the tortoise’s enclosure as much as possible. This is especially important if you have little hatchlings or just small tortoises in general, as they are more at risk of drowning compared to a large tortoise.

If you are more worried about floods rather than the tortoise getting wet from the rain, you need to make sure you prevent this scenario. Luckily, there are some ways to make sure your little reptile will not be affected by a flood.

Planting a rain garden, adding grass in the enclosure, or creating some higher elevated parts of the enclosure can help prevent flooding. The extra plants can either redirect the water or absorb it. For example, grass will absorb water much easier. At the same time, rain gardens include different plants that are deep-rooted and can actually absorb a lot of water, preventing floods. Just bear in mind that the tortoise may get hungry as well, so the plants you add there should be edible too.

If you haven’t done any of these so far and you notice that a flood is about to occur, the best thing to do is bring your tortoise indoors until there is no risk of flooding. After it stops and things are safe once again, you can return the pet to the enclosure and take some preventive measures for the next time it happens.

Final Thoughts

Tortoises can be left out in the rain as long as the rain doesn’t bring a sudden drop in temperature and if there is no flooding risk. If there is, you need to make sure that you either bring the tortoise indoors until the rain stops or you implement some measures that prevent flooding in the enclosure. Also, if the rain brings cold weather with it, you should not leave the reptile outside, or you’d put it at risk of illness.

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