Why Did My Frog Die? [16 Probable Reasons]

It must be heartbreaking to lose your long accompanied pet frog all of a sudden. The frog owners often wonder where they went wrong in taking care of their pet frog. In search of probable reasons, you might also be questioning yourself- why did my frog die?

A lot of factors may work behind the death of your pet frog.

The stress caused by rough shipment to incoordination in environmental parameters may cause the sudden death of your frog. Besides, your pet frog may die due to poor acclimation, improper feeding and supplement quantity, wrong diet, diseases, old age, or other reasons in captivity.

In this article, I’ve gathered 16 probable reasons why your frog died in captivity. If you’re worried thinking about the causes of your frog’s death, you should go through this article. So, let’s continue reading this article without any further ado.

How Long Do Frogs Live In Captivity?

If you wonder about the lifespan of frogs in captivity, it’ll depend upon various factors. The average lifespan of frogs varies according to the species. Moreover, the care level in captivity affects highly of pet frog’s lifespan.

The average lifespan of pet frogs is around 4-10 years. But, frogs can survive more than 20 years in captivity. However, the condition of a long lifespan is to ensure proper habitation with required environmental comforts and other conveniences.

If you search for suitable species of frogs, you can take a look at this article: 19 types of pet frogs you can keep at home.

What Are Signs Of A Frog Dying?

You can realize that your frog is dying by noticing the external symptoms. Before dying, your dying frog may stop eating. It’ll show lethargy, disorientation, pale skin, and other signs. You can also look for open wounds, cuts, etc.

If your frog is dead, it’ll stop breathing. After a while, the belly of your dead frog will be swollen up.

You can go through this article to know probable reasons why your Pacman frog died.

16 Reasons: What Causes Pet Frogs To Die?

There can be a lot of reasons behind the tragic incident of your frog’s death. Let’s find out the probable reason among these 16 reasons on the list.

1. Sick Before Buying

You might know that there are various options to buy a pet frog. Such as online stores, local pet shops, dealers, etc.

In several cases, people have experienced that the sellers or dealers do not treat these frogs well. The captived frogs do not get a sound environment at all-time. So, there remains a big risk of having sick frogs from the sellers or dealers.

If your newly bought frog is sick beforehand, it’ll be not your fault for the death of your frog. Hence, the experts suggest checking out the signs of illness or diseases before buying a frog.

See also  What Does Frog Poop Look Like? [Common Questions Answered]

2. Rough Journey Of Shipment

When you order frogs online, they must be coming through a long journey of shipment. Sometimes, the shipment process might get rough. As a result, it’ll make your newly bought frogs stressed. It’ll lead them to death after the arrival of your frogs.

3. Poor Acclimation

In the case of aquatic frogs, proper acclimation is a must to do work. Otherwise, leaving your aquatic frogs in the water of new parameters may make your frog stressed. Hence, poor acclimation may lead to the death in case of African dwarf frogs, African clawed frogs, and so on.

However, your newly bought frogs require some time to get adapted to the new environment. If anything leads your frogs to stress, it’ll cause severe effects on their health.

4. Incoordination Of Temperature

You might know that there’s a specific parameter for the temperature to keep each species of frog in captivity. It depends on the natural habitation of the frog.

If your pet frog species tend to live in a hot area, you will need to keep the frog tank warm. On contrary, you may keep the frog tank cold if your frog lives in a moist area in the wild.

For example- red-eyed tree frogs love to thrive in cooler temperatures like 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the case of dart frogs, they thrive best in moderate temperatures like 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, you should keep the tank temperature within 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit if you keep amazon milk frogs as pets.

So, incoordination of temperature may hamper the natural functions of the organs of your frog’s body. The frogs become dehydrated when the temperature gets too high.

In the same way, the metabolism rate of frogs gets lower in a cooler temperature than the ideal temperature. Thus, the inappropriate temperature of the tank might be the reason why your frog died.

5. Incoordination of Humidity

When you keep frogs in captivity, you must ensure that similar environmental factors as their wild habitats. Since frogs are ectothermic, the moisture level affects directly their bodies.

Generally, frogs are found in tropical climates. So, these amphibians require optimum humidity to survive even in captivity.

For example- the humidity level should be within 70%-100% when you keep dart frogs as pets. On the other hand, a 50%-80% humidity level would be suitable for Pacman frogs.

When the humidity level becomes too low or high, your frog may get sick. Low humidity makes frogs dehydrated, which prefers a high moisture level. So, the incoordination of humidity level can be a big reason behind the death of your frog.

6. Improper Handling

Improper handling is one of the biggest reasons for frog death in captivity. You might be aware of the fact that frogs have highly permeable skin. So, there remain risks of absorbing oil, salt, bacteria, harmful chemicals, and other toxic elements through handling.

For example- green tree frogs and dart frogs do not like handling at all. If you handle your frogs without taking proper precautions, the frog skin may absorb harmful elements. As a result, your frog may die.

See also  How To Tell The Gender Of A Frog? [10 Ways]

If you want the best pet frogs for handling, you can go through this article to know more about such 12 amazing frogs.

7. Poor Water Quality

If your aquatic frogs have already died, the probable reason may be poor water quality. This reason is greatly applied to aquatic frogs like African dwarf frogs, Surinam toads, African clawed frogs, Western clawed frogs, etc.

Since these frogs are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite, you should keep the water filtered. Besides, the presence of heavy metals in the water is harmful to aquatic frogs.  Due to poor water quality, your aquatic frogs may die.

In addition, you must be keeping a small water dish filled with clean water in the frog tank. Although frogs do not drink water, these amphibians tend to absorb water through their skin. So, your frog will be sick when the water doesn’t remain safe. In the worse case, your frog will die.

8. Wrong Substrate

If your frog died due to accidental ingestion, the reason behind the death of your frog would be selecting the wrong substrate.

Suppose, you’ve provided gravel as the substrate in your frog tank. When you leave any live prey over the substrate, your frog may accidentally swallow small pieces of rocks with the insect.

Since frogs can’t swallow rocks, it’ll lead them to death. Moreover, the abrasive particles of the wrong substrate may hurt the skin of your frogs.

9. Improper Diet

Before keeping a frog as a pet, you should know the diet of that species of frog. Moreover, the diet of your frog depends on its age too. Also, you should provide staple foods and occasional foods in proper portions.

If you fail to provide nutritious foods in proper quantity, your frog will lack the nutrition and vitamins. It’ll cause health complexities in your frog that may lead to death. Moreover, a juvenile frog can’t survive more than 3 days without food. 

Overfeeding is also a big risk to the health complexities of frogs. All you need to ensure is feeding diverse nutritious foods to your frog in the right amount.

Besides, some foods are forbidden to feed to your frogs. Such as wild-caught insects, human table scraps, commercial foods made for other animals, etc. So, feeding these forbidden foods can also cause the death of your frogs.

Check this article to know about the tree frog diet for beginners.

10. Improper Vitamin Supplement

Since there is a huge difference in the environment of wildlife and captivity, your frog may not get all nutrition from the diet. So, you need to provide supplementations that fulfill the needs of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D3, and so on.

Due to lacking this nutrition, your frog may suffer from various diseases. Such as droopy lower jaws, metabolic bone disease, muscle twitching, etc. When these diseases become worse, your frog will die.

11. Poor Ventilation

To promote good aeration, you should ensure proper ventilation in your frog tank. Besides, your frogs might get sick when there’s no proper ventilation in hot weather.

Also, the air in the tank gets stagnant because of the lacking of proper ventilation. As a result, your pet frog may get stressed. So, you can check out whether the ventilation system was sound or not. This might be the reason why your frog died.

See also  Why Do Frogs Bite Each Other? [10 Reasons]

12. Lack Of Lighting

Since frogs are nocturnal and live in the jungle canopy, you might question their lighting needs. These amphibians require proper lighting to mimic their day and night cycle in captivity. In the wild, these amphibians get their required vitamin D3 from the UVB rays of the sun.

Hence, the experts suggest keeping proper lighting in the tank of your pet frog. It’ll fulfill the needs of vitamin D3 and calcium of your frogs.

If you fail to ensure proper lighting, your pet frog may suffer from metabolic bone disease. This calcium deficiency will lead to poor health and ultimately the death of your frogs.

13. Poor Husbandry

To keep your frogs healthy, you should maintain proper and regular cleanliness. Poor husbandry causes the outbreak of bacteria, germs, etc.

Thus, your frogs may fall sick due to poor husbandry. Such an illness is the red-leg syndrome of frogs. When the health condition gets worse, your frogs may die.

14. Keeping Incompatible Species Together

When you keep any small species of frog with a large and aggressive species, you might find the smaller species dead one day. Keeping incompatible species of frogs provokes fighting and competition among them.

As a result, the larger species of frog may show aggression toward the smaller species. For example, you can’t keep small green tree frogs with 8-inched bulky horned frogs. The average size of a green tree frog is around 1.4-2.5 inches.

When you keep these two incompatible frogs together, this aggressive horned frog may gobble up these tiny tree frogs with their large mouth. So, you should consider the size and temperament of frog species before keeping them together.

If your tree frog has died, you can click this article to know about 13 probable reasons.

15. Diseases

If your frogs have died recently, you can check out the signs of diseases in your pet frogs. Several diseases are fatal for frogs. Sometimes, frogs do not get recovery from sickness.

Such as salmonella, Ranavirus, frog chytrid fungus, red-leg disease, and so on. You can check out the signs of bloating, sore wounds, loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, etc.

16. Old Age

You can’t hold your frogs for a lifetime. After a certain period, your pet frogs will be dead like all mortal living. When your frogs pass a long period of 5-10 years,

What To Do With A Dead Pet Frog?

Though you might have grief due to losing your pet frog, you should take proper action about its funeral. You can bury your dead frog.

Otherwise, you can incinerate the dead frog. However, you should not handle the body of your dead frog with bare hands.

Final Words

I hope this article helped you understand what might be the actual reasons behind the death of your frog. If you want to keep another pet frog, you should not repeat the same mistakes. Also, this article may help you become aware of the probable reasons for death if you are a frog owner or want to keep frogs as pets.

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.


This site is owned and operated by Muntaseer Rahman. AcuarioPets.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.