Frogs can make great pets for all ages of pet lovers. They tend to live five to 20 years and are relatively easy to take care of. There is some controversy about having a pet frog though as some say it is cruel and should not be done. Remember, it is important to choose the proper type of frog for a pet as some are poisonous.
Are you looking for a frog for your next pet? We will discuss everything you need to know before getting a pet frog and how to choose the best pet frogs.
Keep reading for a complete guide on caring for a pet frog and everything else you need to know.
What is A Frog?
A “Frog” is actually defined as “any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura (ανοὐρά, literally without tail in Ancient Greek).
The oldest fossil “proto-frog” Triadobatrachus is known from the Early Triassic of Madagascar.
Frogs are widely distributed, ranging from the tropics to subarctic regions, but the greatest concentration of species diversity is in tropical rainforests.
Frogs are “amphibians.” This means that they are cold-blooded vertebrates with no scaled. Amphibians live in both water and on land.
Frogs account for around 88% of extant amphibian species. They are also one of the five most diverse vertebrate orders.
What is a Toad?
There is a saying amongst frog lovers that all toads are frogs but not all frogs are toads! Having said that, a toad and a frog are very similar but there are some differences.
Differences Between Frogs and Toads
While there are differences between a frog and a toad in their bodies, some say they are technically classified as the same thing.
First, both are amphibians. Second, a frog will tend to have longer legs so they can probably jump further. Third, frogs tend to have smoother skin compared to bumpier skin on a toad.
In addition, toads are generally much larger than frogs and create deeper sounds, along with preferring to walk around versus hopping.
Where Do Frogs Originate From?
These small animals are found in just about every habitat you can imagine except for Antarctica.
To this day, there have been over 5,000 species of wild frogs identified. Scientists are continuously making new discoveries about frog species.
Life Cycle of a Frog
A frog has three stages in its life cycle. These are:
- Larva/ Tadpole
The process of the frog growing from egg to tadpole to adulthood is called metamorphosis. There are two primary hormones that control the process. They are prolactin and thyroxine.
Frogs are generally full-grown by the time they reach 12 weeks old.
How Long Do Frogs Live?
Most frog species can have a lifespan anywhere from two years all the way up to thirty years!
Interesting Facts About Frogs
Size and Weight:
The different species of frogs vary in weight. Some frogs can weigh up to seven or more pounds, while some only weigh around two ounces.
While most frogs and toads have no visible necks, you can see their eyes from a mile away! This is one of their signature appearance traits.
Frogs can see almost 360 degrees around their body and don’t need to turn their heads. Frogs have powerful hind legs that allow them to jump with speed and distance.
Frogs come in about every color imaginable, but they generally have two primary colorations. These colorations are used to aid in survival.
They help the frog blend into its surroundings or warn other animals that they are poisonous. Did you know? Frogs and toads are able to breathe through their skin!
Do Frogs Make Good Pets?
Frogs are an excellent choice for all levels of animal caretakers. They are the perfect aquatic critter to have. They are beautiful, low-maintenance, and live long lives.
What You Need to Know Before Getting a Pet Frog
Make sure you research the type of frog you get before you purchase it so that you know its needs and preferences.
Best Frogs For Beginners
The next thing we are going to discuss is the top-rated beginner-friendly frogs you can choose from to help you decide what frog is best suited for you.
Here is a list of 17 of the best types of frogs for beginners.
White-lipped Tree Frog
These green frogs are named because of the white strip that runs down their whole body. They originated in Australia and New Guinea.
They are a larger species measuring 4.5-5.5 inches long. To this day, they are the most giant tree frogs on the planet!
The White Lipped Tree Frog will need a reasonably sizeable natural habitat, and they are not as hardy as other frogs, although they are loved by all due to their exotic species.
White’s Tree Frog
The White’s tree frog is related to the White Lipped Tree Frog, but they are smaller and more intelligent. They range from silver to green in coloration and are only 3 or 4 inches long.
They are an excellent choice for beginners. They have no special requirements and can be handled with care.
Waxy Monkey Frog
The Waxy Monkey Frog is found in South America. They are also called “leaf frogs” because they are bright green, waxy coloration.
They have some unique needs because they are from the Amazon Rainforest and require a humid environment. They also do best in a 20-gallon tank.
This frog does not like to be handled, so it should only be watched from afar.
The beautiful, bright red Tomato Frog is native to northern Madagascar. An interesting fact about the Tomato frog is that they come from all sorts of environments.
They enjoy wooded habitats and rainforests alive. They are incredibly hardy little frogs who make excellent pets.
They are one of the smaller frogs you can keep as pets. They also like to burrow in their aquariums.
Red Eyed Tree Frog
There are two different species of the Red Eyes Tree Frog. One variation lives in the rainforests of Central America, and the other species are found in Australian rainforests.
They are named Red Eye due to their gigantic red eyes. Both species can be kept together in one tank and require little upkeep.
Amazon Milk Frog
The Amazon Milk Frog has only recently been discovered. They are known for their exciting and beautiful coloration and patterns.
They have brown bands around their bodies, and their base color is almost a light-mint green color that can appear white at times.
They are named after secretions they produce upon becoming frightened. They can live together well, but like many other frogs, they have sensitive skin that should not be touched.
The Pacman Frog is a funny frog that has a large mouth that takes up nearly half its head. They are found in South America.
They come in a variety of colors. Pacman Frogs can be very feisty and have sharp teeth. Make sure to wear protective gloves if you attempt to handle this specific frog species.
Pacman’s do well in captivity with the proper care.
They are also large-sized frogs who will need large aquariums; your typical 10-gallon aquarium will not be big enough for this behemoth.
Oriental Fire Bellied Toad
This is a bright and colorful, docile frog. They specifically eat live insects such as flightless fruit flies. Their name comes from their bright red bellies.
Their base color is solid green with black spots, so they are an attractive choice for an ornamental pet.
They are mainly found in Eastern Asia and are considered a toad rather than a frog.
If you have any doubts about your abilities to properly handle this toad it would be a good idea not to get one as a pet. Contact a veterinarian and ask for guidance before bringing one home!
American Green Tree Frog
The lively frogs are native to the United States, mainly in the southeastern portion.
They are easy frogs to care for and only need a 10-gallon aquarium with fresh water and can even be kept at room temperature.
Gray Tree Frog
This is another North American species found all over the United States. This frog’s habitat needs are similar to the American Green Tree frog.
They also make suitable pets for beginners and may even be found at your local park!
Bumble Bee Walking Toad
The Bumble Bee Walking Toad is very similar to the Oriental Fire Bellied Toad, but it has no green coloration.
They are found in Argentina and Paraguay. They exhibit black and yellow rear legs like a bumble bee. Due to their tiny size, they can be well suited to even a 5-gallon tank.
The American Toad can be found all over North America. They are hardy and easily kept toad.
They prefer an aquarium that is similar to their natural habitat. Include sphagnum moss, tap water, and live food in their tanks.
Handling this toad can actually expose you to bufotoxin, which may irritate your eyes. The oils found naturally in your skin also cause damage to their skin.
These toads also require a 10+ gallon tank and a relatively high level of humidity. (Aim for 50%)
Green and Black Dart Frog
The Green and Black Darts are parts of the Poison Dart family. They are located in central or south America and enjoy being on the forest floor.
They make great pets but should not be handled due to their poisonous skin glands. The best option for food for the Dart are ants and other small insects.
African Dwarf Frog
Native to Southern African grassland ponds, the African Dwarf is an entirely aquatic frog. They are ideal for someone who wants to keep both frogs and fish.
They are extremely low maintenance and cheap. They do, however, require clean water and only need a small space. They may enjoy water features or artificial plants.
Bumblebee Dart Frog
Found all throughout South America, these frogs are a part of the Poison Dart family. They prefer to munch on fruit flies and crickets.
They are black and yellow and highly decorated. This is another species of frog that should never be handled, but they have similar care requirements making them easy for beginners.
They require a 10-gallon tank and at least 90% humidity. A heating pad is a great choice to place in the tank for this frog.
Burmese Chubby Frog
These frogs are known for being adorable and highly loved for their fat bodies. They are straightforward to care for. They can also live a long time, surpassing 10 years.
This frog will spend most of the year buried underground. They are occasionally known as pixie frogs, but the name is deceptive. They are pretty large frogs!
They require a 10-20 gallon tank due to their size and even tolerate being handled occasionally. They can have very long lifespans of 30-35 years.
Are Some Frogs And Toads Poisonous?
Yes, there are many frogs and toads that are poisonous, but not all affect humans or affect us immediately.
Handling poisonous creatures needs to be done mindfully, carefully, and with the right equipment.
You need to make sure you know what kind of frog or toad you have and learn as much as you can about the frog in order to protect yourself, your family, and even the frog itself.
Where Can I Get a Pet Frog?
Many people get their frogs from a pet store or somewhere along the pet trade, but the best route to go to ensure the well-being of the frogs or toads is to work with a reputable breeder.
A breeder works hard to make sure the animals are happy and healthy.
Best Frog Names
Since you are thinking about having a pet frog don’t forget to think about having a great name for your pet frog!
Here is a short list of popular pet frog names (some for toads too).
- Mr. Toad
- Princess Tiana
Related Pet Frog Questions
Many new pet frog owners start to wonder how they can interact more with their pets than just sitting there watching them.
Well, frogs really don’t enjoy being held so keep that in mind. If you want a pet to do things with maybe a dog is a better choice.
It is essential to know that when you handle your frog, you should always be wearing gloves.
Many frogs and toads have skin toxins as well as the oils from your hands can be dangerous to them as well.
Can Children Play With a Pet Frog?
This is not a good idea. They could very well hurt the frog. If children are handling these animals, ENSURE they wear gloves and wash their hands thoroughly.
When is a Frog Most Active?
Most frogs and toads are night pets and prefer moving around in the dark.
Why is Having a Pet Frog Not a Good Idea?
Some people feel it is cruel to the frog to keep them as a pet. Since these are wild animals and really don’t like being controlled or touched by humans.
While it is not hard to keep a frog as a pet they do require a certain type of care and many people don’t provide it properly.
Many people get a pet frog because they have children and think they will like it. Keep in mind, that it is very easy for a child to accidentally injure a small frog.
Frogs are fabulous, fun, family-friendly pets for children of mostly all ages. I hope that this guide has been practical and helpful in your decision of whether a frog suits your life or not.
There are so many exciting frogs to choose from for a pet. The options are really endless!
Learn more about reptiles at the Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians.