What Do Toads Eat? [Feeding Guide]

Since it’s hard to differentiate between frogs and toads, people often think that these amphibians have a similar feeding pattern. You might not know that toads do not have any teeth, whereas maximum frogs have teeth in their upper jaw. So, you might wonder- what do toads eat?

In the tadpole phase, toads tend to consume plant matter. As toads grow older, they become carnivores. Toads hunt any preys that fit in their mouth. Generally, toads eat insects, worms, larvae, slugs, spiders, snails, small mammals, small grass snakes, etc.

In this article, I’ve shed light on the diet variations of toads depending on their age, feeding guide, what not to feed, etc. So, let’s go through this article to get a broader idea about the toad diet.

What Do Toads Eat In the Wild?

In the wild, toads tend to eat anything that they can catch with their tongues. These amphibians aren’t picky eaters. So, they’ll consume anything that fits in their mouth.

Depending on the age and species, the diet of toads differs from each other. As there is no guarantee of getting the next meal quickly, toads tend to devour all kinds of insects. But, a large share of their diet comes from live prey.

I’ve made a small list of foods that toads eat in the wild. These are-

  1. Crickets
  2. Bugs
  3. Ant
  4. Leaf rollers
  5. Insect larvae
  6. Flies
  7. Grasshoppers
  8. Algae
  9. Phytoplankton
  10. Locusts
  11. Grain moths
  12. Slugs
  13. Grubs
  14. Snails
  15. Aphids
  16. Fruitflies 
  17. Weevils
  18. Centipedes
  19. Small earthworms
  20. Mealworms
  21. Beetles
  22. Lizards
  23. Small mice
  24. Spider
  25. Young snake
  26. Small fish
  27. Aquatic animals

However, toads have a good sense of food. If these amphibians do not like any food, they will reject their prey.

You should keep in mind that larger toads can consume larger prey. Sometimes, the larger toads hunt small birds and other reptiles that they find. Also, some species of toads eat toads of other species.

What Do Toad Tadpoles Eat?

The toad tadpoles remain herbivores until they develop legs and lungs. When these tadpoles get hatched, they survive by consuming the yolk sacs.

In the pond, the toad tadpoles finish eating the biofilm, zooplankton, bacteria, microscopic particles, etc.

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After 1 month, these tadpoles can munch the soft, aquatic plants with tiny teeth. In the diet of toad tadpoles, there are algae, moss, duckweed, fungi, plant detritus, phytoplankton, and other soft aquatic plants.

After 6 weeks, these tadpoles can eat seeds, water fleas, reeds, fallen leaves, fish larvae, snail veligers, etc. When toad tadpoles grow older, they start preying on worms, small insects, etc.

What Do Pet Toads Eat?

If you have toads under your captivity, you should maintain a nutritious diet for your toads. It depends on the age of your toads. You can provide a plant-based diet to your tadpole toads.

When your toads develop legs, you can give them a meat-based diet. One thing to remember is that toads hunt live prey. So, you should feed moving and live prey to your toads.

I’ve made a chart of foods that you can feed your toads according to their stage.

Toad TadpolesJuvenile ToadsAdult Toads
Algae wafersCricketsSmall mammals
Boiled eggsWaxwormsLizards
Homemade fish foodMealwormsSmall snake
Fruit fliesGrain mothsSpider
Blood wormsFruit fliesSmall fish
Green vegetableAphidsCockroaches
Fish palletsLeaf rollersDragonflies
Fish flakesSnailToads of other species
Small mothsGuppies Grubs
Mosquitos MinnowsBeetles

Before feeding insects to your toads, you should gut-load the insects before 24 hrs. Also, you must buy insects or worms from reliable stores. You can place the live prey in a small dish. Your toad will gradually learn to hunt the moving prey from the dish.

Another significant thing is to provide supplementation to your toads. You should ensure that your toads do not lack vitamin D and calcium. Otherwise, they will suffer from fragile bones, metabolic bone disease, or bone deformities.

For this reason, you should dust the insects with vitamin D3 supplements before feeding them to your toads. But, you must confirm that the supplementation does not contain any phosphorus.

If you search for the best supplementations, I’ll recommend Repashy Calcium Plus, Rep-Cal Herptivite multivitamin, Repashy vitamin A plus, etc.

How Many Mealworms Should You Feed Your Toad?

Mealworms are high in protein and fats. You can not keep mealworms in the daily diet of toads. It is suitable as a weekly treat for your toads.

So, you can feed mealworms 2-3 times a week to your toads. If the worm is too large, you should cut them into pieces.

But, you must not overfeed mealworms to your toads. It may cause liver damage to your toads.

How Much Should I Feed My American Toad?

If your American toad is still a juvenile, you should feed the toad 4-5 times a week. In the case of tadpoles, you may feed them twice a day.

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But, tadpoles have a large appetite. They need regular feeding. On the other hand, you can feed your adult American toad 2-3 times a week.

Do Toads Eat Cat Food?

The answer is a big no. Although toads are omnivores, they can not eat cat food.

Cat foods will be toxic to toads. Your toads will not be able to process cat foods. In addition, the ingredients of cat foods are not included in the natural diet of toads. A single bite of cat food can be fatal to toads. It can cause choking and death to the toads.

Can Toads Eat Fish Food?

If you want to feed commercial fish food to your toads, it’ll be a bad idea. The ingredients of commercial fish foods are not included in the natural diet of the toads.

Sometimes, toads may not recognize fish flakes or pallets as their foods. However, these fish pallets or flakes are specially prepared for fish.

If you feed your toads only fish foods, your toads will lack the required nutrition. It may result in the premature death of your toads. So, you must not offer fish food to toads regularly.

Can Toads Eat Bananas?

Toads can eat bananas since they are omnivores. If the slices of the bananas fit in the mouth, frogs can consume bananas.

Although toads have special cravings for bananas, these fruits are the wrong dietary choice for the toads. Its high sugary content is harmful to the health of toads. If you want to feed bananas to your toads, you should give them as a rare treat.

Do Toads Need Water To Drink?

Like all animals, water is a must-need component to survive for toads. Unlike other animals, toads do not drink water. Instead of drinking water, toads tend to absorb water through their skin.

Although toads eat foods with their mouth, they absorb water through their skin. By the cutaneous absorption process, toads get their required water for their bodies.

So, you can keep open water sources for toads so that they can soak water regularly. Do not keep distilled water for toads. It’ll be harmful to the health of toads. In the case of tap water, you must dechlorinate the water.

How Often Do Baby Toads Eat?

The researchers suggest feeding baby toads daily. These baby toads have a large appetite. So, they require daily feeding. If your baby toads stop eating, you should bring variations in their diet.

11 Foods to Avoid feeding Toads

Being over-affectionate, the new owners might offer their food to their toads. But, some foods can be fatal to toads. Let’s check out 11 foods that you should avoid feeding your toads.

1. Processed Food

Processed food contains a higher range of sugar, fats, sodium, etc. The artificial ingredients in processed food are risky for the health of toads. Moreover, the natural diet of toads does not have these complex foods. So, you should not feed processed food to your pet toads.

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2. Wild-caught Insects

The wild-caught insects can carry parasites or bacteria of other diseases. You can not feed the wild-caught insects to your toads.

For these carnivore amphibians, you should buy insects from trusted sources. Otherwise, you may culture insects at your home.

If you wonder to keep wild frogs as pets, you should check this article.

3. Seasoned Meat

Feeding seasoned meat can cause death to your toads. Since toads are carnivores, they prefer eating the meats of live prey. These toads can not process seasoned meats with foreign substances.

4. Rice

Since rice is high in starch, toads do not have such a digestive tract to process rice. Beginners might make the mistake of providing cooked rice to toads. Swallowing cooked rice can cause discomfort to toads.

5. Bread

Like rice, bread contains high starch that is hard to digest for toads. In addition, bread does not have any nutritional value. You must avoid feeding bread to your toads.

6. Large Insects

If you feed insects that are too large, your toads may choke. The appropriate size of insects should be as large as the space between the two eyes of toads.

7. Sugar or Salt

Being affectionate, people might feed sugary or salty treats to their toads. But, these amphibians can not digest these contents.

8. Commercial Pet Foods Made For Other Animals

People might try to feed commercial pet foods made for other animals to their toads. But, it is absolutely a wrong idea. The toads can not digest any cat food, dog food, turtle food, etc. These foods can be fatal to toads.

9. Food Treated With Pesticides

Foods treated with pesticides are highly toxic to toads. It may cause the death of your toads.

10. Expired Food

Do not feed your expired foods to your toads. These will put extreme health risks to your toads.

11. Dead Preys

Toads require moving insects to eat. If you offer dead prey, your toads will not eat.

Can You Overfeed A Toad?

Due to having a voracious appetite, toads require a staple feeding routine. You should not overfeed your toads.

If your toad is an adult, you can feed only 2-3 times a week. You can provide 4-5 food items at a time. But, you should not feed multiple crickets, worms, or other insects on the same day.

However, some experts think that it’s hard to overfeed a toad. That’s because it knows its limit.

Before You Go

I hope you have got a detailed idea about the toad diet from this article. If you want to keep toads as pets, you should know about their cost breakdown beforehand. Since frogs and toads are cousins, frog cost breakdown will give you an idea about toad cost breakdown.

So, you can take a look at the following article before owning toads as pets.

Pet Frog Cost Breakdown [Full Buying Guide]

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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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