Frogs as Pets
Article by Tonia Jordan
Frogs can make excellent pets, especially for beginners. One thing to be certain of: Be sure you’re buying frogs bred in captivity. Many species of frogs are endangered due, in part, to human activity such as capture for pets.
A few things to consider before purchasing a frog:
The average life span of a frog can be up to fifteen years, so it’s a long-term commitment to care for a frog. Also, some frogs grow to be quite large, and it can be difficult to tell which ones will grow larger and which won’t. Some research before you buy is a good idea.
Frog habitats can be tricky. Some frogs require an aquatic tank (filled with water), some a terrestrial (no water) and some require both types of habitat. Be sure which your frog needs or it will suffer unneeded stress, disease and possibly death. In addition to the type, the habitat will need to be cleaned often. Frogs are susceptible to disease and contaminants within their living quarters. Frequent cleaning is a vital part of caring for a frog.
While frogs may be good for beginning pet-owners, they’re might not be the best pet for kids as they’re typically not very active. While some smaller species can move around quite a bit, some larger ones barely move at all. They’re not typically a thrilling pet to watch.
Frogs also require live food, mostly insects like crickets. (Some larger frogs will also eat pinky mice!) Be sure you’re able to find live insects locally and that you don’t have difficulty feeding this type of food to your pet.
So if all of the above doesn’t scare you away from being a frog owner, you may want to know what types of frogs are good for beginners. Those would be:
Dwarf Frogs – These remain small (about 1 inch long)and are fairly active. They require a completely aquatic tank and have a lifespan of about 5 years. One frog requires a one gallon tank with the top of the tank available so it can breathe easily. They can be kept with tropical fish which are about the same size as the frog.
White’s Tree Frogs – A terrestrial frog that can live up to 15 years and grows up to 5 inches in length. They are mostly nocturnal and require a diet of live insects like crickets, moths and beetles. They are quite tame and can be handled carefully (making sure you wash and rinse your hands thoroughly first). It is recommended to use at least a 25 gallon tank to house this type of frog, and have a lot of climbing room with foliage and branches, too. Taller tanks work well with this type of frog and be sure to have a secure lid as these climbers may find their way out of their habitat easily.
Oriental Fire-Bellied Toads – A brightly-colored, hardy semi-aquatic frog that can grow up to five inches and live up to 15 years. Bright colors in the wild generally mean the animal can be toxic to predators and this frog is no exception. Handling this species should be avoided if possible; if not possible, make sure there aren’t any cuts on your hands and wash your hands well after handling. At least a 10 gallon tank is adequate for this type of frog, with both terrestrial and aquatic types of habitat available. They only need to be fed 2 to 3 times per week and require a diet of live insects, like crickets, and earthworms.
Even low maintenance pets require care, and frogs are no exception. With frogs, cleaning and maintaining their habitat is the most important part of their care. They can be peaceful and fun pets, but probably not the most exciting if you’re seeking a very active and entertaining pet.