So, you decided to get a pet frog or pet frogs…
Good for you! Welcome to the world of herpetoculture. Frogs make fantastic pets like lizards, provided that you need to keep few things in mind while petting them.
Frogs are el cheapo and relatively easy to keep, as well as excellent display animals, can be long-lived, present many learning opportunities for kids and undeniably have that exotic/cool factor going for them!
Best of all, pet frogs are, in general, great for anyone who takes a more laissez-faire attitude toward their pets.
Why Frog Pets?
Frogs will not hug your knees or curl up on your lap after a long day but these croaky little creatures have their own cool features — they are natural insect repellents and, if you are a blowfly, an encounter could be fatal.
They also typically need less space and their demeanor is often tractable and docile. They can compose ‘calls’ that are sure to entertain you.
That’s not to say that all frog species are easy to care for, some do need more upkeep than others. First timers can find a frog type that is cool and requires minimal work with a little research and forethought.
Frogs can usually go quite a few weeks between comprehensive cleanings as they don’t produce much waste. An appropriately maintained utilitarian vivarium can function well for years between substrate changes.
To make things even easier, Misting can easily be automated. There is no need to find a babysitter for your pet frogs when you’re out of town for a week, and so forth- Frogs will be usually fine even if you miss a feeding.
What Kind Of Frog Should I Buy?
Dart frogs may be visually attracting as they’re brightly colored and, but they are one of the tougher species to keep and are quite flimsy.
Any poisonous tree frogs should be purged out from the list of potential candidates right away.
Other rarer or wild species makes them less stable and hardy so first times have to avoid those species.
Consider your lifestyle and also your ‘ick’ factor. You have to handle insects to feed a pet frog. Some bigger breeds also eat small mice. Really high “ick” or “eek” factors here, so think this through.
It’s best to choose a captive bred species as a beginner frog species that are known for their robustness and good health.
There are many frood frog species available for the newcomers to the reptile and amphibian hobbyist world to choose from, and they can be just as pretty and exciting as some of the more rare species.
Getting a frog shouldn’t be considered all that different from getting a cat or dog or fish. But, frogs aren’t like goldfish in that they can live for a very, very long time!
They live generally between 5 and 15 years although some frogs live longer.
Believe it or not! Giant African bullfrogs may live 40+ years.
Good Frog Species For New Herpers
As with any other kind of pet, the best way to make sure you and your frog will be happy is doing lots of research prior to deciding on the type of frog that best suits your needs is.
To make things easier for you, below are some of the best pet frogs for first-time herpes.
1. Fire-Bellied Toad
|Names||Bombina orientalis (scientific name), Oriental fire-bellied toads, Tuti toads|
|Lifespan||They should live for 10 years or more with good husbandry|
|Handling||They need to be handled when necessary|
|Diet||Insectivore. Small roaches, crickets, earth worms, meal worms, silk worms etc.,|
|Lifestyle||Active diurnal (active during the day)|
|Community||It is recommended to house many fire-bellied toads together|
The fire-bellied toad is a great beginner frog and an excellent choice for anyone looking into getting a pet frog.
Regardless of its common name, this amphibian is technically a frog, not a toad which is why they are on our list. They are dagger-cheap and are pretty hardy as well.
These semi-aquatic amphibians do better in communities, so it is recommended to get a few of them. Care and maintenance are quite easy.
In North America, African dwarf aquatic frogs (Hymenochirus curtipes) are the profoundly traded pet amphibians and the second is the fire-bellied toads such as Bombina orientalis.
2. Whites Tree Frog
|Names||Litoria caerulea, White’s tree frog, dumpy tree frog|
|Lifespan||Typically between 7-15 years, although 20 years has been reported|
|Handling||They are quite docile and can tolerate handling.|
|Size||Approximately 4 – 5 inches|
|Diet||Insectivore. A diet of primarily crickets can be fed. Other items can include beetles, moths, cockroaches, earthworms and grasshoppers.|
|Community||You may house same sized white’s tree frogs together. Avoid keeping very small frogs with grown-up individuals–they know a little about cannibalism.|
|Lifestyle||Nocturnal (active at night)|
The white’s tree frog is the best type of frog to get if you are looking into getting a tree frog.
The White’s tree frog is a green or blue-green frog native to Indonesia, northern Australia and New Guinea.
They are by far the most popular tree frog out there due to its petite size and its facial “expression,” which includes pudgy, wrinkled, and sleepy-appearance.
A bright-eyed, actively eating, the plump youngster is a healthy choice for first-time frog pet owners. White’s tree frogs are gregarious and may also tolerate handling a little bit more than other species.
3. Pacman Frog
|Names||Ceratophrys ornate, Pacman frog, Ornate horned frog, South American horned frog, Ornate pacman frog, Argentine wide-mouthed frog and Argentine horned frog.|
|Lifespan||Approximately 7 – 10 years|
|Handling||Hardiest species and easiest to care for; they may bite when handled.|
|Size||Approximately 4 – 7 inches|
|Diet||Carnivorous. sit-and-wait predators. A staple of crickets and roaches is best, but they can also eat fish, earthworms, silkworms and occasional mealworms or waxworms and even small mice.|
|Community||It is not recommended to house pacman frogs together.|
|Lifestyle||Nocturnal, terrestrial and relatively inactive except when eating.|
Pac-Man frogs make great pets and they are probably the most bought ‘big frog’.
Just like the animated character in the popular 80’s PacMan arcade game; these frogs have a rounded appearance and huge mouths.
People who like their pets to be active or interactive may get bushed of caring for a Pacman frog as they are very boring frogs that like to stay burrowed all day.
The only time they will come out is to eat or soak in a water bowl. The reason why most people buy them is that they are very easy to care for and they get pretty big.
There are quite a few different “morphs” of Pacman frogs, such as the green, strawberry, albino, and brown variant of the Pacman.
4. Tomato Frog
|Names||Dyscophus antongilii, Dyscophus guineti and Dyscophus insularis (the last two are legal to own in the United States. But, Dyscophus antongilii is an endangered species in Madagascar)|
|Lifespan||Approximately 6 – 10 years|
|Handling||They are docile, secretive but friendly and handle when necessary.|
|Size||Approximately 4 – 5 inches|
|Diet||Carnivore, they will only consume live food, small and easy-to-digest insects and worms.|
|Community||Same sized tomato frogs should be housed together.|
|Lifestyle||Nocturnal and terrestrial|
The tomato frog is a great choice for beginners and it’s blatantly obvious how it got its name (color of its skin is bright tomato red).
This species is good for people who want a fine, big, beautiful red frog. They are the prevalent member of the Microhylidae family.
Tomato frogs are generally available during early summer and late spring in the U.S.
The wild-caught and captive-bred tomato frogs turn up in the pet trade.
Beginners can start with little captive-bred tomato frog because these frogs are most likely to be without parasites and disease.
These corpulent frogs are secretive creatures. Adult tomato frogs are outwardly intriguing; at best they will only tolerate handling.
Avoid handling them unless it is required, for instance, when you need to remove them in order to clean their terrarium.
They are quite easy to take care of and are probably the most active of all the ‘big frogs’. If color and size are what you searching for, then the tomato frog is the right pick for you.
5. African Bullfrog
|Names||Pyxicephalus adspersus, African bullfrog, pixie frog.|
|Lifespan||Approximately 30 – 40 years|
|Handling||They aren’t really much for handling due to their sensitive skin and might try to bite.|
|Size||Approximately 5 – 10 inches|
|Diet||Carnivores. They will eat whatever is available to them, but you should provide a healthy diet.|
|Community||It is not recommended to house African bullfrogs together. Juveniles have ravenous appetites and regularly try to swallow same-sized tank-mates.|
The African Bullfrog is certainly a hefty beast frog in the “Best frogs for first-time frog pet owners’ list.
These large, classic-looking frogs are actually becoming more popular in the ‘pet trade’ nowadays due to their size and longevity.
Care is also quite easy. Pixies have a hard-earned reputation for being peevish. If left unbothered, they’ll be all right, but if you want a pet you can handle and play with.
We’re afraid this is not the right option for you.
These beastie creatures with their jaw studs defend their tadpoles from lions.
These piggy little frogs make fine pets as long as the holder knows the parameters. Don’t provoke or mess with them.
The tradeoff is, you’ll have an attractive, no-need-to-worry-for amphibian with a fairly long lifespan. Optimistically.
Though, you and your pixie will make the most of your time together, and create fond memories.