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Tortoise Hibernation

Are you worried or stressed about having to deal with hibernating your tortoise during the winter months? Or maybe you don't have the facilities or space to do it yourself.  Fear not, for we have a solution. We offer a hibernation service for tortoises using the safe fridge method.


Hibernating your tortoise during the colder months is essential to ensure their health and well-being. The fridge method is a safe and effective way to keep your tortoise in a state of hibernation while reducing the risk of any potential health complications.


We can carefully guide you through the entire process using our video and email tutorials or we can prepare and do the hibernation for your tortoise and ensure that they are comfortable throughout the entire period. You can then rest easy knowing that your tortoise is in the best hands possible.


Don't let the winter months stress you out any longer. Book our tortoise hibernation service today. Give your tortoise the rest they deserve and enjoy a worry-free winter season.

Tortoise hibernation
Tortoise hibernation

2023 - 2024 Hibernation  


8-week hibernation is £185 each additional week is £15

Contact Debbie on 07782 345 935


To ensure that everything goes smoothly, we kindly request you take a few moments to fill out a questionnaire. This will help us tailor a suitable hibernation timeline that perfectly matches your tortoise's needs.


Rest assured, your tortoise's safety is our top priority, which is why we only accept tortoises at Tortoise Hotel once they reach the optimal age of 3 years.

Have you ever considered if your pet is fit to hibernate?

It may come as a surprise, but mid-August is the ideal time to start assessing your tortoise's readiness for hibernation. As the temperatures begin to cool, tortoises start to prepare themselves for the long winter sleep.


By mid-August, tortoises should have accumulated sufficient body fat to provide them with enough energy and nutrition throughout hibernation. This body fat is essential as it stores vitamins and water, both of which are crucial to keeping tortoises hydrated and nourished during their winter sleep.


Leaving the decision on hibernation until later in the year, such as September or October, is too late. By this point, tortoises will not have enough time to accumulate sufficient body fat, and this could put them at risk of starvation or dehydration during hibernation.


It's important to ensure that your tortoise has adequate reserves of body fat, as these will be the primary source of nutrition during hibernation. If the reserves run out too soon, then the animal's body will start using the fat contained within the muscles and internal organs, leading to exhaustion and eventual death.


So, if you're a tortoise owner, make sure you start assessing your pet's readiness for hibernation in mid-August. Ensure they have accumulated enough body fat to keep them healthy and nourished throughout their winter sleep. This simple step could help keep your pet happy and healthy throughout the cold winter months.

Essential Tortoise Check 

As a responsible reptile owner, it is important to regularly check your pet's health to ensure they are free from any ailments or diseases. When examining your tortoise, make sure to check both eyes for signs of swelling, inflammation, or discharge. If you notice any issues, seek the advice of a veterinarian with experience treating reptile patients.


Also, pay close attention to your tortoise's nose for any signs of discharge. A persistent runny nose should be investigated urgently, and if your pet has Runny Nose Syndrome, it should be isolated to prevent the spreading of the highly infectious disease. Additionally, excess mucus can encourage bacterial growth and put your tortoise at risk of necrotic stomatitis, a dangerous disease.


Check your tortoise's tail for any signs of inflammation or internal infection. Cloacitis is a condition that can cause leakage from the tail and a strong smell. Any abnormalities should be examined by a veterinary surgeon, and it is helpful to bring a fresh sample of cloacal excretion for examination under a microscope.


Look at your tortoise's legs for any unusual lumps or swellings. Abscesses are common in reptiles, and if left untreated, they can lead to limb loss or death. Report any unusual findings to a competent veterinary surgeon, who may want to X-ray the affected area.


Examine your tortoise's ears for any signs of ear abscesses, which can be fatal if not treated promptly. The membranes covering the inner ear should be flat or slightly concave, and the two large scales just behind the jawbone are the tympanic membranes.


Finally, check inside your tortoise's mouth for any signs of necrotic stomatitis or mouth rot, a highly contagious disease. Look for a yellow, cheesy substance, a deep red-purple tinge, or small blood spots. Seek expert veterinary treatment immediately if you observe any of these symptoms to save your pet's life.

Preparing A Tortoise For Hibernation

Preparing a tortoise for hibernation is not something that should be taken lightly. Owners must ensure that their pet is up to weight and free from any abnormalities before proceeding. It is always better to seek expert advice if there is any doubt. Neglecting potential problems can often lead to a dead tortoise.


It is essential to remember that tortoises must not be hibernated if they still contain undigested food matter in their digestive system. As the animal's biological processes slow down, it is natural for them to gradually reduce their food intake. Therefore, tortoises must not be hibernated if they have eaten within the last month to six weeks. Delaying hibernation until all food has passed through their gastrointestinal tract is far preferable to risking their health.


Hibernating a tortoise with food remaining inside can be fatal. As the food decays, large amounts of gas are produced, causing tympanic colic which can lead to asphyxiation due to pressure on the lungs. Furthermore, this mistake can result in serious bacterial infections inside the tortoise which can often prove fatal. So it is imperative that owners pay close attention to their tortoise's diet and hibernation preparation to ensure their continued health and well-being.

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