The Best Tortoise Water Dish: Buying Guide & Reviews

by Carl Crane | Updated: February 14, 2021

One of the basic and most important needs of living things is water.

Even desert animals that have evolved to live in the absence of water can’t do so for too long and they need water every once in a while.

If you want to have a healthy tortoise, then it is not enough to provide it with lighting, heat, the best substrate, and comfortable home.

A source of water has to be provided in the terrarium and the best way to ensure that your tortoise drinks comfortably is with the use of these best tortoise water dishes we bring to you.

A popular misconception among pet owners is the thought that since tortoises are able to survive harsh conditions, the amount of water and the quality of water are not important factors to consider.

Depriving your pet of drinking water can lead to a number of health challenges like articular gout, solidified uric acid and kidney failure. These are painful conditions for your pet and can ultimately lead to death.

As serious as these conditions can be, there are easily preventable. Keeping your pet properly hydrated even when you are not looking is key.

One way to do this is to have a water bowl that can hold enough water and is easily accessible by your pet so that even in your absence your tortoise can have as much as it wants to drink.

We Recommend

After seeing numerous tortoise dishes, we have a pretty strong idea of what things make the best tortoise dish, and the E​​​​​xo Terra Water Dish it’s our top choice.

Why You Need the Best Tortoise Water Dish

The water needs of your tortoise vary with humidity. In low humidity, they need less water than when the humidity is high.

Even though they can stay for a while without having water to drink, it is bad for their health. You should have a supply of water always available for your tortoise, and the bowl should be easily reached by your pet.

A water dish is convenient for you, and comfortable for your tortoise, helping them live a healthy life and here is why.

Dehydration sets in when your pet doesn’t get the quantity of water it needs and it leads to a number of other health challenges.

Reptiles remove some of their body waste through uric acid and with an inadequate amount of water, this uric acid accumulates and solidifies.

Solidification of uric acid in the urinary system of your pet is painful and can lead to blockage in urine passage.

Besides the problem of solidification, uric acid contains wastes and it is toxic to have these wastes accumulating in the body.

Gout is another effect that could arise if there is no good provision of water for your pet. Tortoises who are dehydrated are susceptible to having gout and this is also an effect of a buildup of uric acid.

Unlike the accumulation and solidification of uric acid in the renal system, the cause of gout is a result of uric acid buildup in the membranes around the tortoise’s toes and other specific body parts. It causes much discomfort and pain to your tortoise.

In severe cases, dehydration can lead to kidney failure. If not managed on time, it could lead to the death of your tortoise. Even if it is being managed, the health quality of your pet will be reduced.

You certainly do not want this for your pet and all you have to do is provide enough water using the best tortoise water dish.

Humidity and Your Tortoise

Depending on the humidity of your tortoise’s environment, your tortoise’s water needs would vary.

As already stated, in high humidity, your pet would need more amount of water, and in low humidity, your pet can stay for a while without water. Even though this is possible, it is not advisable to subject your pet tortoise to stay without water.

Note that even if you feed your tortoise with food that is packed with water, it still needs fresh water daily.

Depending on your preference, you can give hard, soft, spring, mineral, or filtered water to your pet. As long as it isn’t dirty and the source of water doesn’t make you sick, then it should be good enough.

The Best Tortoise Water Dish

best tortoise dish

1. Exo Terra Water Dish

First on our list of best tortoise water dish is the Exo Terra Water Dish.

From the first glance at this product, you will agree that your pet is in safe hands as a lot of effort has obviously been put into making this product stand out. 

It is made using food-grade plastic so the fear of high toxicity is taken care of.

The finish is a natural rock design on the outside, and a smooth surface on the inside, to create an environment that looks very much like the natural habitat of your pet.

An added feature is the layering of an antimicrobial surface to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

To further improve on hygiene, it is made to be easily cleaned so your pet can be safe from infections due to water pollution.



2. Zoo Med Combo Reptile Rock Food and Water Dish

The Zoo Med Combo Reptile Food and Water Dish gives you more in a purchase.

Now you can conveniently serve your pet with food and water using the stackable dishes and store away conveniently. 

Made from durable materials, it can withstand abuse from those destructive tortoises and will withstand any accidents that may happen.

In order to give your pet a more natural-looking habitat that is close to what its home would be in the wild, the dish is painted to look like a rock.



3. Zoo Med Reptile Rock Corner Water Dish

Zoo Med made this dish to fit perfectly in the corner of your terrarium, taking up little space.

You can make use of it as a water dish and also a food dish as it serves both purposes perfectly. 

It is undeniably a product that takes your pocket into consideration and aims to give you the best while cutting off some expenditure from your budget.

It is made with durable materials, to ensure that you get something that can withstand any form of abuse or accidents that may occur.

Very easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It is indeed a product that is packed with value for your convenience and that of your tortoise.



4. Pranovo Leaf Reptile Food and Water Bowl

Pranovo Leaf Reptile Food and Water Bowl is a product that comes with a great design and adds beauty to the terrarium.

Reptiles of various sizes can benefit from this dish because of its shallow rim. 

Both the big and small-sized tortoises can drink from it with ease.

Apart from your tortoise, other reptiles that stand to benefit from it are lizards and other small-sized reptiles.

It has a smooth texture that prevents debris from being trapped inside and makes it easy to clean.

You may think that it is light and will easily get turned over as your tortoise attempts to get in but that is not the case.

You can secure it to the wall using tape, keeping it rigid and in place.

It is made of food-grade plastic so its toxicity level is low and harmless to your pet.



5. Wingoffly Automatic Reptile Feeders and Water Dispenser

One of the perks of having the Wingoffly Automatic Reptile Feeders and Water Dispenser is the fact that it meets up to the hydration needs of your tortoise even in your absence. 

It automatically refills water into the water dish, providing enough clean and freshwater for your pet even if you are not home.

It is made with safe materials that pose no harm to both the environment and your pet, and all these automatic processes come with great ease of operation.

You can be sure that you will have great value for your money as it is durable and firm, and not easily overturned by your tortoise.

You do not only get a water bowl but also a food bowl so that you can provide food and water for your tortoise at the same time. 

Its shallow rim allows even the small tortoises to gain access. It is easy to fill with water and easy to clean also.

The materials used are non-toxic so you have nothing to worry about.



Things to Look Out For In a Good Tortoise Water Dish

When making a purchase of a good water dish, a lot of considerations are put in place to ensure that your tortoise can comfortably get enough water. Some things to look out for in a dish before purchase are:

The Dish Material

Some materials are toxic to your pet and can be poisonous if they come in contact with it.

If you are purchasing a plastic water dish, ensure it is made of food-grade plastic.

Food grade plastics are made with human and animal health in mind and can be safely used with your pet.

If the water dish is made of nonfood grade plastic, it will be wise that you make another choice because you never can tell its level of toxicity.

Height of Water Dish

The height of the water dish depends on the age of your tortoise.

You want a height that will allow them easy access and exit without getting trapped.

If the sides are too high, it could flip over while trying to get in, land on its back and drown.

The younger the tortoise, the shallower the water dish should be.

Diameter of Base

Look for a water bowl with a wide base. The wider the base, the less the chances of the bowl toppling over.

Tortoises like to get into the bowl and bury their heads in the water as they drink.

And so the bowl you use should be stable enough to allow them to get in and out without getting overturned.

Ramp Bowls

Ramp bowls are a good choice for adult tortoises rather than baby tortoises.

This is because the chance of a baby tortoise falling in and getting drowned as it attempts to climb in is high.

So if you are considering a ramp bowl, consider the age and agility of your tortoise before making your purchase.

Reptile Waterers

Reptile waterers are a good choice of providing water for your small to medium sized tortoise.

Larger tortoises can push it over and flood their enclosure, while baby tortoises will find it hard to get in.

So this is one choice that depends entirely on the size of your pet.

An advantage of this is that your pet cannot get in and mess it up due to its narrow nature, so you can make use of this if you will be away for a while.

Water Dish for Outdoor Use

Some tortoise keepers prefer to have their pets stay outdoors rather than indoors.

A lot of attention is given to those pets that stay indoors and it may seem those who stay outdoors can take care of themselves.

Equal care should be given to all pets to ensure their health is optimum always.

You may not notice your tortoise drinking water and it becomes easy to assume they do not drink a lot of water.

Provide them with a water dish always because they may drink when you are not with them or when you are not looking.

Be careful if you have new hatchlings too so they do not drown in the bowl meant for the adults.

You can make use of both plastic and ceramic flower pot saucers as an outdoor water dish.

A layer of pebbles on the surface reduces slipperiness and allows the tortoises to walk with fewer chances of falling off.

The babies can also drink from the spaces between the pebbles.

You can make it easier for baby tortoises to get in and out if the drinking dish by digging a hole in the ground and placing the water dish in it.

Special attention should be given in hot weather as the water will need to be changed frequently if exposed to the sun.

To avoid a rapid rise in water temperature, the water dish can be placed in a shady area.

Commonly Asked Questions About Tortoise Water Dish

Q: Do Tortoises Need Water?

Yes, tortoises need water to stay hydrated especially when they are young.

Young tortoises need water so much they have to be soaked in it so as to have as much as they need to stay healthy.

Q: How Long Can Tortoises Go Without Water?

A tortoise can go without drinking fresh water for a maximum of one week if the humidity is low.

Staying for more than two days without water is already difficult for the tortoise and so you have to hydrate your pet regularly.

Q: Do Tortoises Drink Water Through Their Tail?

Although many people believe their tortoises can drink water through the vent in their tail, there is no evidence to support this. Tortoises, however, can absorb water through their skin just like humans.

Q: Why Do Tortoises Poop In Water?

Tortoises poop in water instinctively because it is triggered when cold water touches their feet. It is good in preventing constipation because cold water on the feet works better than most laxatives.


Here you have it, the best tortoise water dish available in the market. You can keep your pets properly hydrated with these products and save them from the pain and discomfort of dehydration.

If you are still having difficulty making a choice from the products listed, then we will narrow down your search to Exo Terra Water Dish. It is durable and prevents the growth of microorganisms so your tortoise can drink safely with no risk of infection. 

Another good option is Zoo Med Combo Reptile Rock Food and Water Dish. It is made to be resistant to wear and tear and be long-lasting. It has a natural finish to mimic the natural habitat of your pet and is made of non-toxic materials. 

Whatever your choice is, you will get the best because all products here are made with the comfort and health of your pet in mind.

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Carl, the reptile-obsessed creator of this website, got his first turtle years ago and he made a ton of mistakes along the way. His goal now with TheCritterCove is simple: help others to not make the same mistakes that he did!