Have you ever thought of getting a pet frog? Surely, it is a rather unique pet to keep, but it may be an appealing thought for individuals who are alluded to by their exotic looks or may be intrigued by these unconventional pets. The idea of keeping amphibians has been a debatable topic, due to specific concerns about their welfare, ecological sustainability, ensuring proper care and habitat and human health.
Another important factor to consider is that frogs are not the type of pets that can be cuddled or touched. Frogs are sensitive creatures that need care when handled or petted for their safety as well as humans. That is why, keeping frogs as pets needs to be a well-informed and well thought out decision by an individual with a full understanding of what they are getting into.
So, is it bad to pet frogs? Let’s find out.
Is It Cruel To Keep Frogs As Pets?
Keeping frogs as pets has also been a hot topic of debate due to its effects on different species, animal diversity, and conversations regarding animal cruelty. A lot of times, wild frogs are captured and sold rather than rescuing or breeding them in captivity. This poses significant health risks and environmental risks for both frogs and humans.
Frogs are sensitive creatures that are vulnerable to slight changes in their habitat, such as temperature, humidity, and pH of water. Climate change has already had a negative impact on species populations due to altered environmental factors, and removing wild frogs from their natural ecosystems is endangering their health and population growth. Several species of frogs are facing drastic decreases in populations and even face extinction threats.
Frogs are important for maintaining animal diversity, research and nature conservation. As a result, researchers discovered in 2014 that 80% of supplying reptiles and amphibians were ill, harmed, or died as a result of poor hygiene and nutrition, travel stress, or overcrowded containers.
These are cruel conditions to be imposed on a living creature.
Things To Know Before You Start Keeping Frogs
As unique as the idea of keeping frogs as pets is, it needs to be kept in mind that it also has unique standards of maintenance. To keep your pet frog healthy and safe, one must follow high standards in nutrition, habitat building, hygiene, and health maintenance, know proper techniques of handling, and take steps to prevent diseases in both the frog and humans.
Pet frogs are more to be observed from a distance than tried and petted or handled too often. If you’re looking to get a young child a pet frog, a pet that is more to be looked at than to touch may not be very convincing. Which is why frogs are not much of a family or child-friendly pet.
Frogs have very specific habitat, temperature, humidity, lighting and enclosure requirements that may vary among species such as aquatic or terrestrial frogs. But speaking in general terms, there are certain things that should be maintained.
A frog enclosure, such as a terrarium or aquarium, needs to be crucially maintained. Glass aquariums are considered the best for easier cleaning, better viewing, and long-term guarantee. Plastic containers are cheaper but can corrode over time.
One needs to make sure that a frog’s natural habitat includes live plants, appropriate humidity and proper heat levels. The water should be cleaned often and the tank needs to be checked for fungal or bacterial growth regularly. The temperature should be warm and moist and is specific to each species.
Frogs’ dietary requirements differ among species, but in general, frogs tend to eat live prey such as insects, flies, and worms. Dead insects should be removed from tanks if they haven’t been eaten so they don’t rot and attract germs and build colonies. The water that is available to the frog needs to be as clean and fresh.
Frogs can develop diseases that may come from improper tank hygiene, lack of clean and fresh water, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies and fungal infections. Some of these diseases may be contracted to humans if they’re petted or held without proper sanitary techniques.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Handling Frogs
Frogs are not the kinds of pets that are touched or petted often. Frog skins are semi-permeable and membranous where there are a number of important blood vessels. A lot of frogs use their skin for gaseous exchange, sometimes even collecting nutrients!
This is why frog skin is extremely delicate to chemicals such as soap and oil. They can easily take up chemical residues from our hands when we touch or pick them up. Which is why holding frogs with improperly washed hands can affect them severely.
Handling frogs requires care and proper technique so as to not hurt the frog or oneself. One must wash their hands thoroughly, removing any kind of soap or solution, and preferably keep their hands wet when holding the frog. Otherwise, it is always better to use non-powdered vinyl gloves to protect themselves and the frog from being exposed to foreign toxins from each other’s skins.
Frogs should be held by keeping one’s thumb on its back right under its head and scooping it up with fingers around its chest. It should be resting on your fingers and your thumb will keep it in place. But remember to not hold it too hard.
Frogs can carry several toxins, diseases and viruses such as herpesvirus, iridovirus and salmonella. Among them, many of them can be contracted to human beings. Diseases such as salmonella can be contracted through contact with a frog. That is why a frog needs to be thoroughly screened, taken to check up regularly, and always handled with care and hygienic steps to halt the contraction of diseases.
This is why, once you’re done holding or petting your frog, you must wash your hands with anti-bacterial or anti-fungal soap. Do not touch your face or eyes or mouth before washing your hands. If you have kept the frog on any surface, clean it with disinfectant properly so there’s no residue.
Being dropped from their hands or improper handling can also harm them. Squeezing them or dropping them may cause severe damage to them as their bodies are very fragile and delicate. Research has shown that frogs also get stressed while being held, so it is a good idea not to hold them for long.
Keeping frogs outside their enclosures for a long period of time to hold them or pet them is also not a good idea as they are sensitive to temperature and humidity and it may also cause malnourishment and dehydration.
Whether or not one should get frogs as pets is a debatable topic. But it is clear that, as they are not conventional pets, they come with specific challenges and dangers.
One must properly know what they’re getting into when getting a pet frog properly. Along with knowing what kinds of frogs to get and how to house them, one must know that frogs are a rather sedentary pet.
They like to be left alone and observed. So, is it bad to pet frogs?
Maybe not totally, but it does come with a lot of conditions. So they must be kept thoroughly in mind before getting a frog and petting them.