What Does It Mean When A Frog Pees On You? [Myths vs Facts]

While getting flattered by the beauty of a wild frog, I tried to hold the frog within my grasp and had a foul experience of getting peed on the frog. So, I got a little bit curious to know what it means when a frog pees on you. That’s why I’ve researched for a while to find out when a frog pees on a human, the psychology behind such an act, and its effects.

It’s a common defense mechanism for frogs to ward off their predators by urinating or defecating. If a frog pees on you, it must be afraid and stressed. Peeing on you means the frog wants you to drop and leave peacefully.

In this article, I’ve jotted down 4 reasons why a frog pees on you, the possible danger of frog pee, what to do when a frog pees on you, and other information. So, let’s take a quick shot at this article to learn details about such an awkward situation.

Key Takeaways

  • Frogs tend to urinate on their predators as a method of their self-defense.
  • The frog pee isn’t dangerous to human health unless it goes into the bloodstream.
  • If the frog pee enters the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, or open wounds, there will be redness, skin irritation, temporary blindness, etc.
  • Frog pee doesn’t cause warts, rabies, or herpes.
  • You must get medical help if you monitor health issues due to contact with frog pee.

Can Frogs Urinate?

You might wonder whether frogs can urinate like human beings. To your surprise, frogs can also urinate like other smart amphibians. In both sexes of frogs, there are urinary bladders present ventral to the rectum.

The main function of the urinary bladder is to store urine.

Like human beings, amphibians also have two kidneys through which the urinary ducts come along connecting to the bladders. The kidneys of frogs filter out the wastes from blood. Further, the wastes get mixed with water that turns into urine.

The bladder of frogs can hold the urine until excretion. To balance the ability to store water, the frogs urinate to discharge the waste materials from the body.

Frog pee is not poisonous to humans, but it may contain harmful bacteria that can cause skin irritation or infections if it enters the mouth, eyes, nose, or open wounds. 

Why Do Frogs Urinate On You?

Have you also experienced such an awful incident where a frog urinated on you? You might be just a little bit curious to examine the frog. Now, if you’re in the middle of confusion thinking about the reasons, you should take a look at the following probable reasons.

1. Self Defence

You might be familiar with this common defense mechanism present in a variety of categories of creatures. In the world of diverse animals, several creatures are used to urinate or defecate to startle their predators. It’s a tricky way to slip off the predators.

Since the frog’s urine smells and tastes bad, the predators tend to leave the frog. Frogs tend to use this tactic to save them from being eaten by their predators.

When you hold a frog in your grip, and it pees on you, the frog may assume you are its predator. To save a life, the frog may choose its defense mechanism. In consequence, the frog may pee on you to escape your grasp.

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2. Stress

It’s pretty common to notice instinctual and physical responses of animals to submissive urination under stress. When a frog feels the unwanted presence of its predators within its territory or rough handling, the frog may feel stressed. In response to the stress, frogs may contract their bladder causing urination.

3. Feeling Threatened

When amphibians become anxious or feel threatened, their fear response comes out as releasing some hormones. These stress hormones do not keep the bladder relaxed. So, the bladders tend to become compressed in such a triggering period of fear or nervousness. It results in submissive or unwanted urination of your frogs.

Frogs are not good options to be held or cuddled like other pets. If you do not hold a frog gently, it may feel threatened. In consequence, a frog might pee on you as a response to its fear.

4. Scaring Its Predators

Generally, frogs tend to urinate or defecate to slip away from their predators. By urinating on the predators, the frogs can escape from the grips of their predators. Also, sudden urination can startle the predators, which allows the frogs to run away. If frogs consider you their predators, they may pee to scare you.

Why Do Frogs Pee When You Touch Them?

When frogs perceive a threat, they show some instinctual behaviors to save themselves. Among these behaviors, sudden urinating on potential predators works as their defense mechanism. It makes the predator startle and leave the frogs instantly.

You might know that almost all species of frogs have a skittish nature. Since frogs are not much fan of handling, these creatures may consider you as their predators. So, frogs may pee as a reflexive behavior of self-defense when you touch them. 

If any frog pees on you under your grip, the frog may feel discomfort and anxiety. The frightened frog wants you to leave the frog free.

Frogs may also carry salmonella and viral diseases on their skin, so it is important to wash the area of contact with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after contact.

Do Frogs Pee Through Their Skin?

Since frogs can absorb water through the skin, you may wonder whether these creatures pee through their skin. But, this is a myth about frogs, whereas the frog body has a systematic function to discharge urine into the environment.

The kidneys work as a natural filtration system that filters out nitrogenous wastes from the blood. Further, the wastes turn into urea that gets mixed with the water to form urine. There are uterus which connects between kidney and the bladder for easy transportation of urine. 

Also, there’s a special structure in the body of frogs named cocoa which lets urine, feces eggs, and sperm discharge out of the body. When the bladders of frogs get filled and cramped, frogs discharge urine from their urinary bladder through the cloaca. There’s no way where frogs can pee through their skin.

Is Frog Pee Poisonous?

The frog pee isn’t poisonous until the pee enters your bloodstream.

It contains harmful bacteria that cause itchiness, rash, redness, and skin irritation. If a frog pees on you, there will not be any risk of getting poisoned.

But, it’ll be a matter of health risk when the pee enters your eyes, nose, or mouth. If a frog pees on your open wounds through cuts or scraps, it may enter your bloodstream. In consequence, it’ll cause infection and serious health issues.

Can Frog Pee Cause Warts?

Due to the bumpy appearance of frogs and toads, there has been a myth for a long time that frog pee can give you warts. But, this is a big no. If a frog pees on you, you should not worry about having warts.

Warts can be caused by only human papillomavirus (HPV) which creates rough bumps on the body.

Although warts are contagious, no warts can be developed in the human body due to animals.

After all, the infection of warts is caused because of species-specific viruses. So, frog pee can not cause warts in humans.

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If you want to know details about this, you should go through this writeup: Does Frog Pee Cause Warts?

Can Frog Pee Blind You?

Another popular myth about frog pee is that it can blind the handlers due to entering into the eyes. But, there’s no toxin in the urine that may blind you. Because of contains bacteria, the frog pee may irritate your eyes.

In cases of some frog species, these frogs are so poisonous that their pee can cause temporary blindness. You might face short-time blurriness to see and eye pain after recovery. But, it’ll not cause permanent blindness to humans.

The purpose of such a self-defensive act is to escape from the predators while causing temporary vision loss. If a frog pees on your eyes, you should remain calm down. Instead of recklessly rubbing your eyes, you should get professional help after washing your eyes thoroughly with safe water.

Does Frog Pee Give You Herpes?

Like the myth of warts, people tend to believe that frog pee can give people herpes. However, no research has shown any study where frog pee can give human herpes. However, a recent review has found that the pee of a tumor-bearing frog can cause herpes. It is also known as herpesvirus or frog virus-4.

Is Frog Pee Dangerous To Humans?

Frogs maintain several defensive methods to save their lives from predators. It includes secreting toxins, urinating, screaming, playing dead, etc. There are several popular myths regarding frog pee. For example, frog pee can kill a human being, give warts, cause blindness, etc.

But, you need nothing to worry about, in case you have come in contact with frog pee. Frog pee isn’t dangerous to human beings since frog viruses can’t do any harm to humans. If the frog pee doesn’t enter into your sinuses or open wounds, it won’t be harmful to your health.

Instead of pee, the toxins secreted from the skin of poisonous frogs should be the concern of risk. If the toxin comes in contact with human beings along with the frog pee, it can cause severe health complexities.

I’ve made a small chart below mentioning the risks associated with frog pee. Let’s take a look at the potential harm caused by frog pee.

Possible Health RisksDetails
Epidermal Skin Irritation  Since frog pee contains harmful bacteria, the contact of pee on the skin can cause irritation. But, it’s not pretty common. In most cases, the frog pee doesn’t cause any epidermal skin irritation without entering into the mouth, nose, or open wounds.
Temporary Vision Loss  Although frog pee doesn’t cause permanent blindness, it can temporarily lose your eye vision. Sometimes, you may feel itchiness, irritation, or eye pain if the frog pee enters your eyes.
Worsened Wounds  Your health will be at risk when the frog pee enters your open wounds, any cuts, or sinuses. If there’s already any infection, it’ll get worse due to the bacteria in frog urine.

Frogs pee more often than they poop, even if they are not held or disturbed by predators.

Frog Pee Myth vs Reality: Infographic

frog pee infographic

Want a printable version of this infographic? Click here!

What To Do If A Frog Pees On You?

After hearing all the myths about frog pee, people often become afraid and get panicked.

The first thing that you should know is that frog pee isn’t dangerous to humans unless it enters your body. So, let’s calm down and do the following instructions.

1. Put Down The Frog

If a frog pees on you after holding it, you should realize its discomfort. The frog doesn’t want you to hold it anymore. So, you should put it down and leave the frog gently at first.

2. Do Not Touch Other Body Parts

Make sure that the frog urine doesn’t enter into your open wounds, cut area, or sinuses. If a frog pees on you, you must not touch your eyes, nose, mouth, or any open area of your body. It can pass any unwanted bacteria into your bloodstream that can put your health at risk.

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3. Wash The Contacted Area

Then, you should remain relaxed and identify the areas of the exposure of the frog pee. Afterward, you should wash the contact area with soap for at least 20 minutes. Frogs can carry salmonella and other harmful bacteria.

For this reason, you need to wash the body parts that come in contact with the frog’s urine. If you do not have any water and soap, you should use hand sanitizer.

4. Monitor Your Health

If the frog pee doesn’t enter into your open wounds, mouth, or nose, it shouldn’t be a problem. But, some people are prone to allergic reactions or other health complexities. That’s why you need to monitor your health over the next few days. If you notice any unwanted symptoms, you must seek professional help.

How To Avoid The Risk Of Frog Pee?

Frog enthusiasts must remain curious all the time to take a close look at frogs by handling them. To avoid the risks of frog pee, you should stop picking up frogs at your hands. You must keep the frog close to the ground, in case you are required to catch frog.

If you need to hold a frog, you must wear hand gloves. Since frogs discharge urination as a response to stress and fear, you should not make them feel uncomfortable by holding them tightly. Maintain the manner and etiquette of handling a frog safely to avoid the risk of frog pee.

Scientists have studied frog urine to understand more about human kidney diseases. Since frogs and humans both produce urea, understanding how frogs process and excrete waste can offer insights into human health.

Why do frogs hold their pee?

Frogs have a unique ability to store urine in their bladders for extended periods, and there are a few reasons for this behavior:

  1. Water Conservation: Frogs are ectothermic animals, meaning they rely on external sources to regulate their body temperature. Many frog species live in environments where water can be scarce or where they might be exposed to dry conditions for extended periods. By retaining urine, they can conserve water and maintain their body’s hydration levels.
  2. Osmoregulation: The urine in frogs is stored in the bladder, where it can be reabsorbed if necessary. This helps in osmoregulation, which is the process of maintaining the proper balance of salts and water in the body. By reabsorbing water from the urine, frogs can adjust the concentration of salts in their body fluids.
  3. Predator Avoidance: Releasing urine can make a frog more noticeable to predators. By holding in their urine, frogs can remain more inconspicuous and avoid drawing attention to themselves.
  4. Hibernate and Estivate: Some frog species hibernate during cold months or estivate during dry periods. During these times, their metabolic processes slow down, and they might not eat or excrete waste for extended periods. Holding onto their urine can be beneficial during these dormant states.
  5. Protection: Some studies suggest that the urine of certain frog species might contain toxins or chemicals that deter predators. By retaining urine, these frogs might be able to release it as a defensive mechanism when threatened.

It’s worth noting that while frogs can hold their urine for extended periods, they don’t always do so. The decision to release or retain urine is influenced by various environmental and physiological factors.

In 2013, a frog was accidentally launched into the air by a NASA rocket.

Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)

What frog can hold its pee?

While there isn’t a comprehensive list of all frog species that can hold their urine for extended periods, here are some frogs that have adaptations related to water conservation or osmoregulation:

  1. Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica): can hold its urine for extended periods, especially in the context of its unique freeze tolerance.
  2. Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea): Known to reabsorb water from the bladder to prevent dehydration.
  3. Couch’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii): Lives in desert environments and can burrow underground to estivate during dry periods, conserving water.
  4. African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis): Has adaptations to survive in temporary pools, which can dry up.
  5. Water-holding Frog (Litoria platycephala): Found in Australia, this frog can burrow and encase itself in a cocoon made of shed skin to prevent water loss during dry periods.

Many frogs in arid or seasonally dry environments have developed strategies to conserve water, which might include holding onto their urine.

Before You Go…

I hope you got a detailed idea about why a frog pees on you from this article. If you have a pet tree frog, you may face this same incident too. In case you’re wondering the reason, you can check out the following article.

Why My Tree Frog Peed On Me?

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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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