Routines are key to health

A happy tortoise is a tortoise with a routine.  Tortoises like to predict their next move.  They like to wake up around the same time, eat the same time, walk their walk, and sleep.  In the wild they do this.  In captivity, its the owners responsibility to create a routine. Have your lights on a timer, so they turn on and off at the same time daily.  Soak them around the same time.  If you soak in the morning, which I suggest, soak about 30 mins after their lights go on.  This gives them time to slowly warm up, wake up, and then they get their soak.  Offer them food after their soak.  Try not to rearrange their enclosure too much.  Always feed in the same spot and always have water access in the same spot.  If you upgrade their enclosure, try to mimic the same spots for food and water.  This way they can continue their routine.  Some species are little hardier than others.  For example, Russians and Hermann’s can handle change a little better than some other species.  They also acclimate much quicker.  On the other hand, Egyptian tortoises don’t like change.  Change stresses them out.  So when Egyptian tortoises head to their new homes, we always make sure the enclosure is set up the same exact way.  Same substrate, same water and food placement, and same light placement.  Create a routine, and don’t change it up once they are established.  This will yield a very healthy tortoise.

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