How To Pet Tree Frogs Safely? [The Foolproof Guide]

How To Pet Tree Frogs Safely

The little body of tree frogs with colorful stripes, big eyes, and claw-shaped toes easily attract people to keep them as pets. Being a low-maintenance frog is another reason for the favoritism of people for tree frogs over other frogs. Hence, if you have already decided to keep a tree frog, you will need to know how to pet tree frogs safely.

Keeping a pet tree frog safely means meeting all requirements of a perfect enclosure, maintenance, nutrition, etc. Besides, you need to know about proper handling, secured furnishings, safe foods, and other necessary things to pet tree frogs safely.

In this article, I’ve summed up basic guidelines for you that will help you keep your tree frog happy and sound. So, let’s go through the article to know how to pet our adorable tree frogs safely.

Can Tree Frogs Be Pet?

As a beginner, you might be confused about keeping a tree frog as a pet. Some frog-lovers wonder whether tree frogs can be pets or not.

Tree frogs can be excellent pets for both experts and beginners. As tree frogs are diurnal, you can enjoy their activity in the daytime. Also, these frogs can adjust well at room temperature. Besides, tree frogs are very low-maintenance frogs.

If you think about all benefits of keeping tree frogs, certainly these frogs can be good pets.

How Do You Keep A Tree Frog As A Pet?

The very first thing for keeping a tree frog is to ensure a perfect enclosure. So, this includes adding all required pieces of stuff and keeping the environmental conditions suitable for your pet tree frog.

Shopping List Of Required Supplies

There is no doubt that you need to expend several supplies to pet your tree frogs safely. That’s why I’ve made a shopping list of all the required components.

Check out the following shopping list so as not to miss any necessary things.

  • Enclosure of perfect size (The size of enclosure depends on the number, age, and sex of the tree frogs)
  • Substrate
  • Climbing décor
  • UVB light
  • Humidifier
  • Thermometer
  • Thermostat
  • Water sprayer
  • Artificial plants
  • Feeding tongs
  • Feeding tub
  • Gloves
  • Under tank heater
  • Vitamin supplement
  • Calcium supplement
  • Water dishes
  • Filter (optional)

Choosing An Appropriate Enclosure For Tree Frogs

As your pet tree frog will spend the entire time in the terrarium, you need to set up the housing properly to ensure their safety. Moreover, you must be aware that the tree frogs hail from warmer countries of the world. So, you should mimic the housing of tree frogs in captivity like their natural habitats.

Firstly, you need to remember that tree frogs can grow up to 3-7 inches. So, before choosing a vivarium, you should be concerned about its size.

The researchers and experts have given opinions to keep at least 4 gallons of tank space for each tree frog.

As tree frogs tend to climb up the wall, it will be safe to choose such a tank of relatively taller than horizontal space.

Number of Tree FrogsSize of Terrarium
1-2 adult tree frogs12”x12”x18”
3-4 adult tree frogs18”x18”x24”

If you want to add multiple adult tree frogs together, a tank of 30 gallons will be perfect for them.

What Type Of Enclosure Is Best For Tree Frogs?

Frog keepers usually choose plastic or glass enclosure for their pet frogs. But, people often wonder which one will be safe for tree frogs.

Glass tanks are relatively compatible and safe for tree frogs than plastic enclosures.

Such is because walls of glass tanks do not get scratched often as tree frogs are climbers. Also, you can fit a heater, lightings, etc easily in a glass tank which is pretty hard in a plastic tank.

Comparing all conveniences, a glass tank or enclosure is safe for your pet tree frogs.

If you are just starting out, I’ll highly recommend going for a starter kit like Zilla Vertical Starter Kit. With this starter kit, you’ll get almost everything you’ll need for setting up the tree frog habitat.

It comes with Hinged screen top, locking latch, locking pin, textured background, halogen dome, 25W mini halogen bulb, feeding dish, humidity & temperature gauge, coconut husk bedding, & complete setup guide.

Safe Substrate For Pet Tree Frogs

The substrate is one of the most significant components of a tree frog enclosure. There are lots of substrate options for your tree frogs. Any mulch-type substrate can be used such as Zoo Med Eco Earth Coconut Fiber, bark bedding or Zilla Moss Bedding.

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To pet your tree frogs safely, you need to keep a few things in mind before buying a substrate. Also, you should apply these same things while maintaining the substrate.

These are:

  • You should avoid artificial turf and gravel for your frogs’ safety. These are too harsh for the frog skin.
  • Choose such a substrate that will absorb the highest amount of moisture. To pet your tree frog safely, the substrate must be moist to promote humidity.
  • But, you must ensure that the substrate doesn’t set in water. The dripping wet, soggy substrate can lead to bacterial infection to your pet tree frog.
  • To avoid such inconvenience, you can keep water drainage to pet your tree frog safely. It will remove the excess water.
  • You have to ensure that there isn’t any sharp object in the substrate that may be unsafe for your pet tree frogs.
  • Lastly, it is safe to make the substrate at least 2-3 inches deep.

Best Temperature Range: Which Temperature Will Be Safe For Tree Frogs?

Generally, tree frogs can do pretty well at room temperature. But, it depends whether you live in a warm country or a cold country.

To pet your tree frogs safely, you should keep the tank temperature between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

But, more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit will be unsafe for the health of your tree frogs. On the other hand, tree frogs can withstand night temperatures as low as 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Also, you should check the temperature with a reptile thermostat and thermometer regularly to ensure your tree frogs’ safety.

Ideal Humidity Range: Do Tree Frogs Need Humidity?

Keeping the humidity right is a significant task to pet your tree frogs safely.

The ideal humidity range for tree frogs is between 50%-80%. Besides, you must keep the humidity up to 50% during the summer season. On the other hand, you can keep the humidity level down to 30% in winter.

If the humidity doesn’t remain in the ideal range for too long, this will cause negative health effects on your pet tree frogs. So, you should not forget to keep a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level of the tree frog tank.

What Should Be Ideal Humidity For White Tree Frogs?

Although tree frogs can adjust well in the humidity range of 50%-80%, white tree frogs need high humidity.

White tree frogs require 60%-90% humidity in captivity.

Regarding your white tree frog’s safety, you can mist the enclosure once a day to keep the ideal humidity.

Heat: Do Tree Frogs Need A Heat Mat?

One of the most significant rules to pet your tree frogs safely is providing sufficient heat in the enclosure.

During the daytime, the terrarium of tree frogs has to be 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit warmer. On the other hand, it has to be 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit warm at night. If the room temperature does not help keep the enclosure within the ideal heat range, your pet tree frogs may need any heating system.

So, you can keep under tank heater, heat emitter, heat lamp, heat mat, etc. An important thing to remember is to keep all heat elements on one side of the enclosure.

This system will give your tree frogs both hot and cool corners. So, the frogs can shift to the safe corner of different temperatures what they need.

But, you need to be careful about some matters for the safety of your tree frogs. Such as-

  • Follow the manufacturing instructions strictly. Otherwise, there are chances of catching fire from hot heat mat kept wrongly on paper, wood, etc.
  • Do not make such a mistake of keeping a heat lamp on the screen lid of the tree frog enclosure.
  • As tree frogs are arboreal, they may jump on the top and touch the heat lamp. It will be unsafe for your tree frogs because it will cause harm to your frogs certainly.
  • Hence, adding a heat lamp with a clamp and arm is the safest option for pet tree frogs. All you need is to adjust the distance between the heat lamp and enclosure.
  • Again, if you buy a heat mat, you should make sure of its accurate size according to the enclosure. Otherwise, your tree frog will not get enough heat.
  • In the case of under tank heater, you can buy a thermostat-controlled heater. The thermostat will turn off the heater if there are any malfunctions. Thus, your tree frogs will remain safe.

Hygrometers and thermometers are cheap in comparison but they will provide you with huge facilities by letting you know the humidity and temperature level of the tank. If you want to measure both humidity and temperature in one device, get Exo Terra Combometer.

Safe Lightings For Tree Frogs: How Many Watts Do Tree Frogs Need?

You might have already known that tree frogs are diurnal. Hence, they don’t need any extra source of lighting usually.

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In case the tree frogs are in a dim room, you can add lights. Also, UVB lightings help tree frogs absorb vitamin D and fulfill calcium requirements. Otherwise, you can add a fluorescent bulb. So, you can adjust a 5-15 watt UVB light on the top of the screen of the tank.

In this way, your pet tree frogs will remain safe. Keep the light on for 12 hours every day only.

In addition, you can also adjust the night-specific bulb for the night if you want to see your frog activity at night. It will help you know whether your pet frogs are safe or not. But, it is not much required. After all, the tree frogs are not nocturnal.

Which Live Plants Are Safe For Tree Frogs

Decor: What Should I Keep In My Tree Frog Tank?

To mimic the natural habitat in the enclosure, you need to add some safe decors and plants. Besides, décors help tree frogs improve their activities naturally.

You can add driftwoods, perches, branches, non-edible artificial or live plants, hideouts, etc. As tree frogs tend to climb often, you should put climbing opportunities (such as logs, branches, sticks, etc.) for them.

But, you’ve to choose decors wisely. You should avoid buying such unsafe decor by which your tree frogs can get hurt.

Further, add a shallow water dish to the enclosure. In case of this, you need to ensure providing safe water for your tree frogs.

Here’s some of my recommendations:

Providing Safe Water For Tree Frogs

Providing clean, toxin-free water is an inevitable condition of petting tree frogs safely. Firstly, you should know what kind of water will be safe for your tree frogs.

You need to provide clean, dechlorinated, pure water. So, you can use bottled or filtered water. The reason behind this is that the tree frogs absorb oxygen from the water through their skin. Also, the pH of the water has to be neutral.

The experts suggest not to provide distilled water in the water dish of tree frogs. That is because distilled water lacks the required minerals. However, you can use distilled water for misting the tree frog enclosure.

Do not add tap water to the water dish. It is because tap water is unsafe due to containing various harmful chemicals, like chlorine, ammonia, heavy metals, etc. Thus, tap water is unhealthy and fatal for tree frogs.

Which Live Plants Are Safe For Tree Frogs?

For keeping the enclosure a replicated jungle environment, there is no other choice without live plants. So, you need to know which live plants are safe to pet your tree frogs safely.

In the list of safe plants for tree frogs, there are bromeliads, philodendrons, neoregelia joe, pilea, peperomia, vines, orchids, ferns, spike moss, wandering jew, etc.

These plants will be safe for your tree frogs. In addition, these plants will aid creating a bioactive enclosure for your pets.

Also, tree frogs tend to drink water droplets left on the leaves of the plants more than the water dish. However, adding plants will give your pet frogs an extra opportunity to climb up often.

Safe Feeding Diet For Tree Frogs

You might have well-known that tree frogs are insectivorous. But, you can not feed any types of insects to your tree frogs. Among varieties of insects, you should know which size and type of insects are safe for your pet frogs.

Moreover, you should not give every type of insect to your pet frogs daily. So, you need to know a safe and complete feeding guide to pet your tree frogs safely.

Tree frogs under nine weeks can eat vegetation, algae, plants, etc. Otherwise, baby tree frogs and adult tree frogs can eat several insects, like- crickets, beetles, fruit flies, red worms, mealworms, mosquitoes, wingless, etc.

So, you can consider these foods safe for your pet tree frogs according to their age. Also, you should gut-load these insects for a minimum of 24-48 hours before feeding your frogs.

Now, let’s take a look at the following foods which are unsafe for tree frogs.

  • Wild-caught insects
  • Processed foods
  • Human foods
  • Petfoods of other animals
  • Fruits or vegetables (only tadpoles of tree frogs can consume)
  • Human table scraps
  • Larger live preys or foods than the tree frogs
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Besides, you should know how often you can feed your tree frogs to pet them safely. So, the feeding schedule depends mainly on the age of the tree frogs.

For example- feeding once a day is a healthy way to pet a baby tree frog. Besides, juvenile tree frogs have a high rate of metabolism. Hence, you can feed them multiple times a day.

On the other hand, adult tree frogs do not require many feeding sessions. So, feeding only 3-4 times a week will be safe for the adult tree frogs.

Habitat Maintenance And Grooming Hygiene

You can not neglect the significance of habitat maintenance to pet your tree frogs safely. In the same way, grooming hygiene of tree frogs is equally necessary as well as habitat maintenance.

Let’s check out some basic guidelines of habitat maintenance and grooming hygiene. Such as-

  1. Firstly, you have to clean the enclosure regularly once a week.
  2. While cleaning the tank, you should scrub the entire tank and all furnishings thoroughly.
  3. The water used for cleaning does not need to be dechlorinated water.
  4. While cleaning all components of the enclosure, you must not mix vinegar and bleach. This mixture will get turned into a toxic solution which is pretty unsafe for your frogs.
  5. To make sure your tree frogs not getting dry out, you should mist the enclosure at least once a day.
  6. A crucial matter to pet tree frogs safely is to change the substrate regularly. Otherwise, it can lead to bacterial infection in your tree frogs.
  7. In addition to drinking water, the tree frogs use the water dish as their place of excretions. So, you need to clean and disinfect the water dish daily.
  8. It will be safe for tree frogs if you do not add gravel or any edible décor in the tank. Otherwise, your pet frogs might end up swallowing such things and get impacted.
  9. The room where you keep the frog tank should not have pollutants like smoke, aerosols, perfumes, etc.
  10. Also, you must make sure that the tree frog enclosure is escape-proof.
  11. Do not ever touch your tree frogs without washing your hands properly. It will be safer if you wear gloves before touching your frogs.

Small Pet Frogs That Stay Small: Infographic

Want to get a printable version of this infographic? Click here! [If you want to use this infographic on your website, please link back to this post as the source!]

Handling Tree Frogs: Do Tree Frogs Like To Be Held?

A common instinct of pet lovers is to cuddle or touch their pets frequently. But, you need to know whether the handling of tree frogs is safe for the frogs or not.

Tree frogs are docile pets, and so these frogs do not like to be held. Besides, handling or touching them is unsafe for the health of tree frogs. Such is because the skin of tree frogs might absorb the oil, soap, harmful chemicals from your hands.

Not to mention, this absorption can cause fatal to your tree frogs. But, I am not discouraging you from not holding your frogs, in case it is necessary. So, there are also some safety rules.

Firstly, you need to wash your hands thoroughly and rinse several times. After that, you must make sure that your hands are wet before touching your pet tree frogs.

However, do not forget to wash your hands after touching the frogs. This cleaning process will be safe and hygienic for both you and the pet frogs.

Moreover, it will be safe to keep your hands close to the floor while holding your pet frogs. After all, tree frogs tend to jump often.

Signs Of A Healthy Tree Frogs

If you want to make sure that your pet tree frogs are healthy, you should recognize the signs. When you know the signs of a healthy tree frog, you can smoothly determine the common health problems.

The signs of a healthy tree frog are-

  • Smooth and even skin
  • Clear, bright eyes
  • Strong, even, and smooth jawline
  • No unusual spots on the skin
  • No clear marks of wounds or patches

Signs Of Common Health Problems

To pet your tree frogs safely, you should know the signs of common health problems beforehand. This will help you know when your tree frogs are sick.

Hence, let’s take a quick look at the common health problem signs.

Signs Disease  
Bloated body, pale skin, loss of appetite, etc.Bacterial diseases
Deformed jawline, bone fracture, etc.Metabolic Bone Disorder
Discolored skin, sloughing outside layer of skin, lethargy, cloudy eyes, etc.Fungal diseases
Reddish or brown spots all over the body, especially around eyes, etc.Parasite caused diseases
Dizziness, irregular heart rhythm, abnormal breathing, etc.Chemical toxicity

If you notice such unusual symptoms, you should take suggestions from a vet as early as possible. There is no substitute for identifying the health problems to pet your tree frogs safely with the best care.

Final Words

It is not an easy task to pet tree frogs safely. But, if you keep in mind all of these guidelines and basic rules of maintenance, your tree frogs will remain happy and healthy.

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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