Can You Keep Wild Frogs as Pets? [Pros vs Cons]

In our regular surroundings, we find many people who love to keep different types of animals as pets, and the wild frog is one of them. Maybe for a long time, you have been wondering about keeping a wild frog as a pet but finding it difficult to make up your mind.


Keeping wild frogs as pets is not recommended. Wild frogs have specific habitat needs that are difficult to replicate in captivity. Removing them from their natural environment can be stressful and harmful to their health. Additionally, it may be illegal in some areas to capture and keep wild animals without a permit.

Is it safe to purchase a frog from a store or breeder, or feasible to pick the one you have found from a local frog population who desperately looks to need care?

But the main question is, how safe is this? To clear all your doubts about this matter, I spent some time researching to find out all the answers. After digging deep, I’m afraid I need to disappoint you. I will not suggest that you keep a wild frog as a pet

Reasons To Not Keep a Wild Frog as a Pet

If you do some deep research before making the decision, you will find many reasons that to keep a wild frog as a pet is not a wise decision.  As we know, different species need different types of food, temperature, and environment.  

If you are not an expert, it will be tougher to identify the species and provide these things.  

Some key reasons for not keeping wild frogs as pets are:

  1. The species may carry some dangerous diseases.
  2. It might be a protected species and strictly restricted because of declining populations.

There are some similarities that you can easily find between all wild species with reptiles and amphibians. When it comes to frogs, they know what they need as food and the environment, and interestingly they love to stay in their ideal surroundings.

Therefore, you shouldn’t assume that you could take better care of a wild frog in your house. Just let it be. However, if for some reason you direly need to rescue a wild frog or need to take care of one, I’ve got you covered.

Risks in keeping Wild Frogs

Before taking any decision, it is essential to know the risks of keeping these types of species as a pet. It depends on the species you want to adopt, but here are some general pointers-

  1. There are many species of frogs, and some are more poisonous than others.
  2. Harmful and disease causing pathogens such as Salmonella are often found in their bodies.
  3. Legality and local laws may prevent you from keeping such an unusual pet
  4. It will be difficult to handle them because of the change in their natural habitat, food, and atmosphere,
  5. Some species are quite challenging to keep alive outside their natural habitat. 

Beyond this, it is essential to know your country and state’s rules because of some endangered species. Are there any restrictions placed on these species?

Some species are on the verge of extinction as a result of population declines. We have to help these animals thrive without keeping them as pets.

In short, if you are interested in keeping a wild frog first, identify the species you want as a pet. In the next step, check in with your local authorities and laws. Before making up your mind, make sure you can provide the ideal temperatures, humidity, and food to keep them alive.

Tricks to Handle a Wild Frog

One of the most challenging tasks is to handle a wild frog, but there are many ways you can follow to take care of them. We know that all frogs need ponds or bodies of water to breathe, and they need to be alive. Frogs will be found near waters and damp areas. 

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That is a reason why taking them in as a pet is not only challenging but also problematic. It is difficult to change the habit. 

Frogs and toads will hibernate during winter, and their metabolisms slow down to. It helps the frogs survive the changes in weather and cope up with the scarcity of food. 

They will be relatively less active during these periods. They will not eat and can subsequently starve, and it will be easier for you to change their habit.

Do not try to move the wild frog too far from its natural habit. Otherwise, it will get stressed and become difficult to handle. 

What to Feed a Frog I Caught?

It does not matter if you caught a common frog or kept a wild one as a pet, but their diet is the first thing you need to take care of with caution. 

Out of wild frogs and common frogs, you need to be more serious when it comes to the wild one. Because first, you need to look at the food that is native to the species and found in their natural environment.

Wild frogs are, by nature, opportunistic feeders, because they eat what is available to them.

It is one of the main facts that these different wild species can subside and eat variant foods.

However, to feed a wild frog, you need to detect the species, age, and breeding status and research foods suitable for them.

As we know that all predator frogs are carnivores, and they need to feed them live prey such as fresh and live insects to keep them alive.

On the other hand, frogs eat many different types of insects. For your pet frog, you can provide them crickets, cockroaches, mealworms, mosquito larvae, earthworms, and fruit flies. If your pet size is large, then sometimes you can give them frozen and defrosted pinky mice.

african dwarf frog swims on the surface of the water in the aquarium, close-up, top view,

Can You Keep a Common Frog as a Pet?

You shouldn’t collect common frogs from the wild and keep them as pets. Wild common pets can carry various diseases which can be harmful for your health. Wild frogs are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. However, they are not suitable for being in a captive environment. That’s why I won’t recommend keeping a common frog as a pet.

I will recommend that you purchase a frog from a reputable breeder or store. It is one of the wiser decisions, because there you will find a range of different species and that is far more suitable.

These frogs are also ideal as a pet, budget-friendly. So, as a new frog owner, it will be more beneficial for you.

Below, I am mentioning some alternative frog species names. You can keep them as a pet because they are easy to handle and harmless.

  • African Dwarf Frogs- Ideal beginner pet, tiny in size, active, and need low maintenance. They can survive on an entirely aquatic diet, so you do not need to serve live food. 
  • White’s Tree Frogs Active, easy to care for, handling them is much easier than other species.  
  • Horned or Pacman Frogs- They are massive in size. It’s easy to find different color morphs, and the diet is simple.  
  • Red-Eyed Frogs– These species have green, yellow, and blue bodies, and come with striking red eyes. Large in size, but they need humidity, warmth, and UVB.
  • Green Tree Frogs- Best pet for the beginner. 
See also  19 Types Of Pet Frogs You Can Keep At Home

Try to avoid purchasing any poisonous frog species because it not only has a high risk, especially if you have elderly and babies in your house, but are very expensive and challenging to raise.

How Much Does a Pet Frog Cost?

The cost of a pet frog varies depending on several factors such as species, age, sex, availability, breeders, etc. The price of pet frogs starts from as low as $1 and can go up to $2000. However, the average price range of pet frogs is within $5-$70.

Frog SpeciesAverage Cost
African dwarf frog$1-$5
African clawed frog$20-$30
Pacman frog$15-$30
Albino Pacman frogAround $50
Poison Dart Frog$30-$70
White-lipped tree frogAround $15
Arrow dart frogAround $70
Argentine Pacman frogAbove $40
Surinam Pacman frog$65-$80
Bumble-bee dart frogUp to $75
Yellow-banded poison dart frogUp to $2000
White’s tree frog$35-$50
Green tree frog$10-$15
Red-eyed tree frogAround $50
Strawberry Poison dart frogAround $75
Black-legged poison dart frogAround $45
Tomato frog$20-$50
Amazon milk frog$45-$50
Vietnamese mossy frogAround $70
Yellow Terribilis poison dart frog$75-$85
American toad$12-$15
Fire-bellied toad$15-$25
3 dart frogs on leaves
Owner: Lisa Milisa

how to keep a wild frog as a pet?

While it’s generally not recommended to keep wild frogs as pets due to ethical, ecological, and legal reasons, if you’re set on the idea or have a special circumstance, here’s a basic guide:

Research Local Laws:

Before capturing or keeping a wild frog, check local and national regulations. Some species are protected, and it may be illegal to remove them from their natural habitat.

Choose the Right Species:

Not all frogs are suitable for captivity. Research the species you’re interested in to ensure it can thrive in a home environment.

Capture Humanely:

If it’s legal and ethical to do so, capture the frog gently using a net or your hands. Always handle frogs with wet hands to protect their sensitive skin.

Housing:

  • Terrarium: Choose a terrarium that’s appropriate for the size and type of frog. Some frogs need a lot of space to move around, while others are more sedentary.
  • Substrate: Depending on the species, you can use coconut fiber, moss, or a water-based substrate. Ensure it’s kept moist but not waterlogged.
  • Water: Frogs need clean water. Use dechlorinated water and provide a shallow dish for them to soak in. Some species will also require a larger water area to swim in.
  • Hiding Spots: Provide hiding spots like rocks, logs, or plants. This gives the frog a sense of security.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Research the specific needs of your frog species. You might need a heat lamp or under-tank heater. A hygrometer can help you monitor humidity levels.

Diet:

  • Wild frogs eat a variety of insects. Depending on the species, you can feed them crickets, mealworms, earthworms, and other insects. Ensure the insects are appropriately sized for the frog.
  • Occasionally, supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals.

Health:

  • Quarantine: If you have other amphibians, quarantine the new frog for at least 30 days to prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Veterinary Care: Find a vet who specializes in amphibians. Regular check-ups can help detect and treat potential health issues.
dart frog black orange
Owner: Jeana Kaplan Rawa

Maintenance:

  • Clean the terrarium regularly. Remove waste daily and change the substrate as needed.
  • Monitor the water quality if you have a water feature. Change the water in the soaking dish daily.

Ethical Considerations:

  • Remember that wild animals are best left in the wild. Capturing and keeping a wild frog can be stressful for the animal and may impact local populations.
  • Consider adopting a captive-bred frog instead. They are often better suited to life in captivity and don’t face the same ethical dilemmas.

Release:

If you ever decide that keeping the frog is not for you, or if it’s not thriving in captivity, consider releasing it back into the wild. Ensure you release it in the same location you found it to prevent the spread of diseases and to ensure it’s in its natural habitat.

See also  How Long Can Frogs Hold Their Breath?

Education:

Continuously educate yourself about the needs and behaviors of your frog. Join forums, read books, and connect with other frog enthusiasts.

Remember, keeping a wild frog is a significant responsibility. Ensure you’re prepared to provide the care and environment it needs to thrive.

Owner: Tracy Madden

Can you tame a wild frog? 

“Taming” is a term often used with mammals, especially those that have been domesticated over generations, like dogs or cats.

With amphibians like frogs, the concept of taming doesn’t quite apply in the same way. However, over time, a wild frog can become more accustomed to human presence and handling, but it won’t be “tame” in the traditional sense.

Here’s what you can expect and some tips if you’re trying to acclimate a wild frog to captivity:

Reduced Stress: Over time, a frog may become less stressed by human presence. This doesn’t mean it enjoys or seeks out human interaction, but it may not react as fearfully.

Handling: Frogs have delicate skin that can easily be damaged. If you must handle a frog, always ensure your hands are clean and wet to prevent harming their skin. Over time, some frogs may tolerate brief handling, but it’s essential to keep it minimal.

Feeding: In captivity, frogs can become accustomed to a feeding routine. They might even associate their keeper with food and approach when it’s feeding time. This isn’t a sign of affection but rather a learned association.

Habituation vs. Taming: A frog might become habituated to certain stimuli, meaning it doesn’t react as strongly after repeated exposure. This is different from taming, where an animal is trained to behave in specific ways.

Individual Differences: Just as with any species, individual frogs have their own personalities. Some might be more tolerant of human interaction, while others remain skittish no matter how long they’re in captivity.

Ethical Considerations: It’s essential to consider the well-being of the frog. Continual stress can be harmful to amphibians. If a frog continually shows signs of stress when interacted with, it’s best to minimize disturbances.

In summary, while you can’t truly “tame” a wild frog, you can help it become more accustomed to captivity and human presence.

Which frogs are illegal to keep in which states? comprehensive list

The legality of keeping certain frog species varies significantly across different states in the US. Here are some specifics based on the information collected from multiple sources:

African Clawed Frogs:

  • Illegal to keep in: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington​.

Pacific Tree Frogs:

  • Mentioned as potentially illegal to keep in Washington, but the context wasn’t entirely clear​.

Giant or Marine Toads, Bullfrogs, Leopard Frogs, and Clawed Frogs:

  • These species are listed under exotic animals, but the specific states where they are illegal were not found​.

Bullfrogs and Northern Leopard Frogs:

  • In some states, these frogs are required to be over 6 inches, and permits are required to keep them as pets​.

Bullfrog and Green Frog:

  • In Indiana, they are considered game species, regulated by hunting and fishing laws, and can be taken between June 15 and April 30 of the following year with daily and possession limits​.

Leopard Frogs:

  • Interested individuals in Texas should check local laws and regulations as certain restrictions on exotic pets may apply​.

Various Frog Species in Specific States:

  • In Arizona: Clawed Frogs, Giant or Marine Toads, Bullfrogs, and Leopard Frogs are illegal​.
  • In Washington: Northern Leopard Frog and Oregon Spotted Frog are state endangered species and cannot be hunted or trapped.
  • In New York: Special permits are required for certain activities with frogs​​.

General Regulations:

  • Some states have regulations on keeping native frogs and other amphibians, often requiring permits or licenses​.

Wrapping Up…

Keeping a wild frog as a pet is not a good idea and is also very challenging. Many vital factors need to be considered before taking these types of steps. If you do not want to take the risk of your and your family’s health or do not want to break the law, it will be wiser if you go for alternative options.

You can keep some wild frogs as a pet, and before that, you need to do serious research about their types, habits, setup, diet, and general care. You also need to invest a good amount of money yearly for their maintenance. Otherwise, you can talk with some reputed wild frog breeders for advice. 

Do not force them to change their habits forcefully, and always wear gloves whenever you hold them.

Safety comes first!

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. 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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