Are Gray Tree Frogs Poisonous? [Cautionary Tips]

The rough and warty skin of Gray tree frogs might make people wonder about their toxicity. Compared with poison dart frogs, frog lovers might question the possible threat from gray tree frogs before handling them. So, people often ask around the frog forums- are Gray tree frogs poisonous?

According to experts, Gray tree frogs are mildly poisonous. When these frogs feel threatened, they secrete a mildly toxic secretion from their skin. These skin secretions will make them taste foul to their would-be predators. Moreover, getting in contact with Gray tree frogs might make humans and other small animals sick.

In this article, I’ve shed light on the toxicity level of Gray tree frogs, their toxicity effects on several animals, safety precautions about handling these frogs, and other additional information.

So, you must go through this article if you own a Gray tree frog.

Are Gray Tree Frogs Venomous?

You might be confused between poisonous and venomous like many people. But, these two terms are different.

If any animal passes toxins or venoms through their stings or barbs, it’ll be called venomous. On the contrary, poisonous animals pass their toxins passively. When anybody comes in contact with a poisonous animal, the person may absorb the poison through their skin, open cuts, the mucus lining of their body, etc.

You can notice that gray tree frogs deliver toxins from the poisonous glands underneath their skins. By definition, gray tree frogs are included in the list of poisonous animals. So, these gray tree frogs are not venomous.

Toxicity Level of Gray Tree Frogs

Naturally, all frogs contain special skin glands. These glands have steroidal alkaloids which work in defense against predators. But, the toxin secretions of these specialized skin glands aren’t too strong in most cases.

For example- poison dart frogs secrete a strong poison that can kill 10 people at once. But, the toxins of Gray tree frogs might cause only discomfort to humans. You can visit this article to know a detailed comparison between dart frogs and Gray tree frogs.

These Gray tree frogs are mildly toxic. So, you will not need to seek medical help if you touch any Gray tree frog. After all, the toxicity of Gray tree frogs is not lethal. 

In addition, not all species of Gray tree frogs secrete poisons. Among two species of Gray tree frogs, Cope’s Gray tree frogs are mildly poisonous. These tree frogs are found mainly in North America.

See also  Tree Frog vs Dart Frog: A Detailed Comparison

The Eastern Gray tree frogs do not cause much threat to the living. Since both species are identical, you should remain aware of both species. Click here to know about 10 popular tree frog identification with pictures.

Are Gray Tree Frogs Dangerous To Humans?

Gray Tree Frogs can cause danger to humans due to their toxin secretions. Since the toxicity level is mild, these frogs do not cause severe danger.

When humans touch Gray tree frogs, these frogs may secrete toxins from their specialized skin glands. If you touch your eyes with your hands after handling Gray tree frogs, you may suffer from inflammation in the mucous membrane of the eyes.

Touching Gray tree frogs with bare hands may irritate the lips, the mucous lining of the nose, open cuts, etc. You’ll feel a burning sensation on your open sores when you touch the sores after handling Gray tree frogs with bare hands. There might be a feeling of numbness on the skin due to the toxin secretion.

Simply handling doesn’t cause any discomfort to humans. If the toxins are ingested through the mucous lining of our bodies, eyes, or open sores, it’ll cause irritation or a burning sensation. But, it’ll not be lethal since the toxin isn’t potent enough to take the lives of human beings.

Gray Tree Frog

Are Gray Tree Frogs Poisonous To Dogs?

The answer is no. Like the effects on humans, Gray tree frogs do not cause deadly effects on dogs.

If any dog licks a Gray tree frog, it may ingest the poisonous secretions of these frogs. Although the potency of the Gray tree frog toxin is not deadly, this toxin will create discomfort for dogs.

If your dog encounters a Gray tree frog, the body of the dog will show a natural reaction to the ingested toxins. Your dog will start foaming in the mouth due to irritation to the gums.

The dog may drool since the toxin results in excess salivation. But, there will not happen any long-lasting internal damage to your dog.

In addition, your dog may vomit for around 30-60 minutes. It may suffer from diarrhea too. If these symptoms do not resolve within two days, you must take professional help from a vet.

Are Gray Tree Frogs Poisonous To Cats?

Gray tree frogs are poisonous to cats. But, the potency of the toxin of Gray tree frogs is not lethal for cats. If cats encounter Gray tree frogs, these frogs may secrete toxins by feeling threatened.

Touching or pawing Gray tree frogs will not cause the death of cats. If cats ingest or absorb the poisonous secretions, it may cause discomfort to them.

Your cat may vomit after ingesting the toxins. But, your cat will be entirely safe after a few days. You need not worry about rushing to a vet when your cat encounters a Gray tree frog.

What To Do If Your Dog Or Cat Gets In Contact With Gray Tree Frogs?

If you notice your cat or dog drooling or having foam in their mouth, your pet may have an encounter with Gray tree frogs. In such a case, you must not panic. To help your pet, you can follow the following methods. Let’s take a look at these suggestions.

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1. Wash Out Your Pet’s Mouth

The first thing to do is wash out the mouths of your pets. You must rinse your pet’s mouth well.

For this, you need to hold your cats or dogs and get a strong grip on their jaw strongly. Flush their mouth with plenty of running water for around 5-10 minutes. You can use a sprayer or a garden hose.

Besides, you must remember to spray water from one side. The purpose of rinsing the mouth is to decrease the toxins absorbed or ingested.

You should not let your cat or dog swallow the water. Otherwise, you may increase the risk by letting the potential poison down your pet’s throat.

For this, you should point the nozzles of the sprayer or hose from the back of your cat or dog’s mouth. It will help the water run out through the front of their mouth.

2. Wipe The Gums With A Wet Towel

After rinsing their mouth with fresh water, you should wipe the inside of your pet’s mouth. It is to ensure to clean the poisons from their mouth completely.

For this, you will need a damp cloth and an old rag or towel. You should wipe the teeth, tongue, gums, and roof of their mouth with a damp towel. Meanwhile, you must wash the towel between wipes to clean out the soaked poisons.

Continue this process for at least 10 minutes to remove the toxin of Gray tree frogs from their gums, tongue, and roof of the mouth.

3. Clean Their Paws

There are chances that your pet cat or dog touches the toxin secretions of Gray tree frogs. If your pet licks its paws afterward, it’ll ingest the toxin.

Hence, you must wash and clean the entire body of your pet that has come in contact with Gray tree frogs. It ensures no harm to your pets since you clean all traces of toxins from their body.

4. Give Your Pets Plenty Of Water

Due to the toxin reaction, your pet may vomit a few times. Also, your pet may suffer from diarrhea. It will cause dehydration in the body of your cat or dog that gets encountered Gray tree frogs.

So, you should give your pets plenty of water to rehydrate them. Your victim pets may not want to eat anything for a few days. But, drinking lots of water will help your pets flush out the poison from their internal systems.

5. Comfort Your Pets Encountered With Gray Tree Frogs

If your dog or cat has contact with Gray tree frogs, it’ll show several symptoms. Your pet will feel nauseous and stop eating for a few days. You might see your pet victim vomiting several times.

But, these symptoms will be over after a few days. In the meantime, you should comfort your victim pet. Sometimes, the pet may go into shock. In such cases, you should help your pet breathe by easing their postures.

6. Take Professional Help In Emergency

If your pets do not recover within 2-4 days, you should take the matter seriously. Before the situation worse, you can take professional help from a vet. The vet will help the cat or dog by flushing out the poison from their stomachs through gastric lavage.

See also  How To Treat A Sick Tree Frog? [Symptoms, Prevention, Tips]

7. Safety Precautions Before Handling A Gray Tree Frog

You might know that amphibians have absorbent skin. Since their skins are porous, handling these frogs can endanger their lives. For this reason, the experts suggest avoiding handling all types of frogs.

In the case of poisonous frogs like Gray tree frogs, you should take some safety precautions before handling a Gray tree frog. Otherwise, you’ll face irritation and discomfort due to having contact with their poisonous secretions.

If you plan to hold Gray tree frogs with bare hands, you should make your hands extremely clean. Make sure that there aren’t any traces of lotions, oil, salt, or dirt. In addition, you should not leave any soap residues on your hands.

Otherwise, you can wear gloves on your hands before handling Gray tree frogs. It’ll save you from getting in touch with the poisonous secretions. Make sure that the gloves are powder-free vinyl gloves or nitrile gloves.

You must wash the gloves with dechlorinated water first. Keep the gloves moistened with fresh water to prevent your Gray tree frogs from drying out.

Frog Bite & What To Do: Infographic

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How To Handle A Gray Tree Frog?

There are some etiquettes to handle a Gray tree frog. Following these rules will keep you and your frog safe. Let’s check these out.

  1. You should hold your Gray tree frog gently. Make a firm but loose grip to hold the frog. These tree frogs secrete toxins when they feel threatened. So, you should make your frog feel safe.

If your tree frog is sick, you can take a look at this write-up: How to treat a sick tree frog?

  • Do not hold your Gray tree frog for a long time. It’ll make your frog feel distressed. As a result, the Gray tree frog may secrete toxins.
  • You should not bring your tree frog near your mouth, eyes, or nose.

What To Do After Handling A Gray Tree Frog

After handling a gray tree frog, you must wash your hands thoroughly. You should not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands.

If you touch your Gray tree frogs with bare hands, you should wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water. In the case of gloves, you must dispose of them in the proper place.

Do not get panicked in case your frog pees on you. Proper cleaning of your hands will alleviate the risks of toxins, parasites, or bacteria.

You can check this article if you want to pet tree frogs safely.  

Before You Go

I hope you got a clear idea about the potency of the toxin of Gray tree frogs. Their toxicity status may leave you to wonder about the cannibalistic trait of tree frogs. If you want to know about this interesting fact, you must check out the following article.

Can Tree Frogs Eat Each Other?

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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