Are you thinking of owning a pet frog? And yes, you can. A frog can make a wonderful little pet in your life. However, if you want to keep your hoppity little friend healthy and content, it will need the right diet and living environment. For the record, Frogs are popular pets, with their endearing qualities, silly smiles, and big eyes letting them wriggle their way into your heart.
They’ve come a long way from fairy-tale stories of warty bullfrog races and being the practical joke of choice for schoolchildren in the 19th century. In this day and age, we can quite easily create a very comfortable and homey habitat in our own homes for a frog, in a terrarium.
While keeping a terrarium clean and feeding your frog isn’t so easy, if you choose carefully your pet frog can happily live with you for over 25 years.
Essential Equipment for Your Pet Frog Habitat
It’s a lot easier nowadays to set up a great frog habitat with pet supply companies having everything you will need.
- Glass Terrarium – The terrarium must have a cover (canopy) and a light to start. For most types of frogs, you will want one that opens up in the front and has a secure latch on it. Or, for other frog types, a 2-section tank that opens on the top is the best option. For these, one section is for water and one for dry land. You can use a standard aquarium and create the sections easily by fitting a divider made from a piece of glass. Secure the glass divider with some clear aquarium caulking. You’ll also want to sand the very top of the divider to make sure there are no sharp edges that can harm your pet. Some pet frogs live entirely in the water, so a large tank will work just fine for them.
- Artificial Lighting – Many types of frog need both regular and UVB (ultraviolet-B) light to thrive. Your lighting should fit in the canopy of the terrarium.
- Surface (Substrate) Materials – For the land section of your terrarium, you should use aquarium gravel or sand, pebbles, mulch-like materials, or peat moss. The right type of substrate material needed will depend on the type of frog you have. For example, a tree frog will require mulch and sand.
- Water Dish – If your frog is not purely aquatic, it will need some source of water.
- Climbing and Sheltering – Your frog needs places to hide and play. Add both real and fake rocks, plants, and branches to the terrarium.
- Water Filter – Only if you are using more than your dish of water.
- Thermometer/Hygrometer – It’s important to regulate the temperature and, for frogs that are not solely aquatic, humidity.
- Aquarium Heater – This should be a submersible heater or an under the tank heating pad. This isn’t necessary for all frog types though.
- Water Pump/Features – This is vital for some frog species and optional for others, but a good water pump, waterfall, or mist maker will keep your frog well hydrated.
- Food Storage – Housing for keeping the frog’s live food in.
- Huts – For hiding in.
- Carrying Case – Something to safely carry your frog in for making those trips to the vet, to quarantine them, or for placing your frog when you are cleaning the main tank.
Room for Exercise
Frogs love to jump and climb, so you need to make sure there is plenty of room in your terrarium to allow for this, along with plenty of items for them to keep themselves busy. You may notice that, between feedings, some frogs will just sit there and do nothing, which is fairly normal for some types. This is why it’s important that your terrarium is set up properly for the species of frog you have, as well as the number of frogs.
Feeding Time: What do Pet Frogs Eat?
If you’re curious what to feed a pet frog (got a baby frog and want to know what do baby frogs eat?), don’t stress as they just need to have clean fresh water at all times. You will be able to find the perfect water dishes and wading pools at places that sell terrariums. Make sure you have at least two so one can be in the terrarium while the other is being cleaned. Also, it can be useful to have a water conditioner to help neutralize some of the common chemicals that can be found in tap water.
Food-wise, frogs tend to be carnivorous (meat-eating) and like to munch their food while it’s still alive. Standard food includes various types of worms, crickets, fly larvae, moths, and caterpillars. Some of the larger species of frogs will eat fish, mice, and other frogs. A basic rule for some frog species is if its moving and can fit in its mouth, its dinner. You can find crickets, worms, and such at many pet stores.
It’s vital that cleanliness is practiced when dealing with frogs. Their skin can absorb substances, so if you have something like lotion on your hands when handling your frog, it could poison them or make them ill. So, it’s extremely important to wash your hands before you handle your frog. A rule of thumb, after you feel the soap is gone, give your hands an extra rinse.
Also, for your own well-being, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling your frog and after you have cleaned the terrarium.
Frogs will shed/slough their skin now and again, which is fine. However, if your frog seems to be having a hard time, or is taking longer than normal to shed, contact your vet.
Home Sweet Home
Frogs will spend the majority of their time in their terrarium, so it needs to be kept out of direct sunlight. Also, some cooking fumes can hurt your frog, so you’ll also want to keep it away from the kitchen. Aerosol products are another hazard, so keep these away from the terrarium.
Frogs have delicate skin and bodies, so handling them a lot isn’t really a good idea because it can be hard on them. Frogs aren’t the type of pet you play with, they are the kind you observe. So, you won’t need to train them or teach them to roll over.
Licensing and Regulation
In some places, you will need a license to keep a pet frog, such as in Australia. It’s important to check your area to make sure you are following any necessary regulations regarding keeping amphibians. If you are moving, especially to another country, make sure you check on any license restrictions and rules.
So, you’ve decided you want to have a frog as a family pet, what do you do next? First, find out if there are any restrictions or licenses needed for specific frog species where you reside. Then have a look at the different types of frogs you can have as a pet. This will determine what setup you need for them for housing and food.
Before looking for pet frogs for sale, you’ll want to check around for veterinarians who treat frogs, and shops that sell the appropriate equipment. You can start building your enclosure and frog home so it’s all ready to go for your pet’s moving-in day. This will ensure your frog has a happy and healthy life.