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Choosing A Pet Frog

April 15 2024

Did you know that Save A Frog Day is coming up on April 28? It probably wouldn’t be too surprising if you hadn’t: Memorial Day and Mother’s Day are also this month, and those are of course much more well-known. Frogs may not be hopping into the spotlight, but they did manage to jump to our attention. We’re ‘hoppy’ to let our little amphibious buddies have a turn in the spotlight. Read on as a local Oshawa, ON vet discusses—you guessed it—pet frogs.

What Is Save The Frogs Day?

Save the Frogs Day is the brainchild of the aptly-named Save The Frogs organization. The holiday was created back in 2008 by amphibian biologist Dr. Kerry Kriger. The goal, as one can probably guess, is to save frogs, specifically by raising awareness about the benefits and plights of amphibians. Since its inception, Save The Frogs Day has ‘hopped’ into center stage for more than 1500 events, and has been celebrated in at least 58 countries. You can learn more about the organization and their work at their website here

What Is The Difference Between Frogs And Toads?

For many people, this is one of those things that they learn in school and soon forget. All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. Frogs live in or near water, while toads can live on land. Toads also have bumps on their skin: frogs do not.

Do Frogs Make Good Pets?

This is definitely a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. Some people are absolutely smitten with frogs. Others? Not so much. If you’re on the fence, you may just want to weigh some pros and cons.

On the plus side, frogs are pretty low-maintenance pets. You will need to set their habitat up properly. However, once you have everything set up, you won’t need to do much for your little buddy on a daily basis. 

Frogs are also interesting to watch. Well, some are. Others basically sit there doing nothing. However, their habitats can make striking visual pieces. 

They also don’t cost much. You won’t need to worry about training your pet, and they won’t chew your shoes up or leave a hairball on the rug. Another big plus? They’re quite cheap: your main expense will likely be the habitat setup. This is mostly a one-time thing, aside from the ongoing costs of power and lightbulbs.

What Are The Downsides Of Having A Frog?

The biggest concern is the fact that they can carry salmonella. This is something to be aware of if your child is asking for a frog. You’ll need to make sure your little one washes their hands thoroughly both before and after touching their pet.

Aside from that, some of the downsides may be upsides for some. It depends on your taste. Some frogs eat live bugs, which may be a dealbreaker for the squeamish. They also aren’t exactly the most personable pet you can have. Don’t expect your little buddy to hop around with excitement. (Top hats and tap dances are also out of the question.)

Longevity is also something to think over. Froggy lifespans vary quite widely: some can live up to 20 years.

Why Are Frogs Beneficial?

All living beings—even the ones we don’t care for, such as mosquitos—have a role to play in their native ecosystems. Frogs are nature’s insect fighter: they eat billions of bugs every year. They themselves also provide food for other animals. Their other unofficial role, of course, is providing background noise for rural settings.

In recent years, the frog has taken on a much more important role: serving as an indicator species for the health of their native habitats.

What Are Some Great Beginner Pet Frogs?

Before getting any pet, it’s important to do proper research. This is especially important with frogs, because so many things vary drastically from species to species.

Here are a few good beginner frogs:

Amazon Milk Frog

These cute little tree frogs are brown and white with blue feet. They release a milky substance from their backs when threatened, which is where their name comes from. These are on the larger end: they can get to be up to 5 inches. They will need a fairly sizable enclosure, which must be kept between 70 and 85F at all times. Amazon milk frogs are fairly sociable, so you’ll want to get more than one.

PacMan Frog

This guy originated in Argentina, and got his name because of his large mouth. They are colorful, rather grumpy looking, and very enthusiastic about food. They need habitats that are moist and fairly humid, and they do have some lighting requirements. They do best with live food, which is definitely something to keep in mind.

Gray Tree Frog

Small and nocturnal, the gray tree frog is an easy keeper because they don’t need any special humidity or temperature levels, though they do need UVB light. They can eat all sorts of things … as long as they are moving.

American Bullfrog

This guy has the distinct honor of being North America’s biggest frog. They can reach up to eight inches in length. They’re also powerful jumpers: one leap can take them as far as six feet! They are not the most low-maintenance froggy on our list: they require semi-aquatic habitats, which will need to be cleaned daily.

Pixie Frog

Another big guy, the Pixie frog, despite the name, is one of the biggest frogs in the world. In fact, they are second only to the Goliath frog, which can be over a foot long. The Pixie frog can get to be ten inches. As you can probably guess, they need fairly large habitats. On the plus side, they are pretty robust, and tend to be easy keepers. They can potentially live up to 20 years with proper care. Like many of our other patients, they are somewhat prone to obesity.

White’s Tree Frog

The White’s tree frog is a favorite for beginners, because they are small and easy to care for. It’s able to tolerate a range of temperatures, though its habitat really should stay between about 75 and 85. These guys are known for being quite calm and friendly. They’re also really cute!

Of course, no matter what kind of frog you’re interested in, you’ll want to do plenty of research and get some specific care tips from your Oshawa, ON veterinarian. 

How Do You Provide Enrichment For A Frog? 

You may not think boredom would be a big issue for a frog. To be fair, some frogs really don’t do much at all. However, even the laziest pet needs some form of entertainment. Providing an interesting habitat is key. Your pet may like climbing branches, hidey holes, and various plants and leaves. Ask your Oshawa, ON vet for specific advice. 

What Are Some Signs Of Sickness In Frogs?

It may not be easy for a first-timer to be able to tell if their little buddy is sick. Frogs are prone to certain illnesses, including parasites, viruses, chlamydiosis, thiamine deficiency, fungal diseases, mycobacteriosis, metabolic bone disease, and obesity. Some of these include lack of appetite, withdrawal, lethargy, prolapses, skin discoloration/lesions, and changes in droppings. However, every type of frog is a bit different, so you’ll want to do some research on this and ask your vet for more advice. 

What’s A Funny Frog Joke?

We’ll close out on a lighter note. Here are a few truly ‘ribbiting’ jokes about frogs:

What goes dot-dot-croak dash-croak-dot? Morse toad.

Why are frogs so happy?  They eat whatever bugs them!

What happens when two frogs collide? They get tongue-tied!

What happened to the frog who double parked? He got toad

Hop In To Our Oshawa, ON Animal Clinic 

Do you have questions about frog care? Contact us, your local Oshawa, ON animal clinic, anytime. We are always ‘hoppy’ to help! 

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