Have you ever considered keeping a pet frog? You should! Frogs make great pets, as long as some things are kept in mind. Frogs are relatively easy and inexpensive to keep, can be long lived, make great display animals, provide many educational opportunities for children, low maintenance, and definitely have that cool/exotic factor going for them!
Compared to many other pets, such as dogs, cats, and the like, frogs are relatively inexpensive to keep as pets. While initial startup costs, such as the enclosure and husbandry supplies, may run in the $100-$300 range, basic maintenance costs are very low compared to many other pets. Frogs tend to eat much less than other animals, and that food tends to be cheap! There are ways of keeping startup costs down, such as purchasing a Complete Care Kit.
Something that may surprise most of you is how long a pet frog can live if properly cared for. Some species can easily surpass 15-25 years in age! While a frog living that long is a fair mix of luck and excellent husbandry practices, lifespans of 5-10 years with most commonly available frog species is certainly attainable. Many species of dart frogs can easily live over 20 years in captivity when given proper care – a friend of mine has Dendrobates auratus ‘Nicaraguan Green and Black’ adults that are over 30! Keep in mind the potential longevity of a pet frog before making a purchase – will you be willing and able to properly care for your froggy friend for years to come?
Many species of frogs make fantastic display animals. Poison dart frogs in particular are very brightly colored, active during the day, are fairly bold and will be out and about for all to see, and are generally kept in naturalistic vivaria. Imagine a slice of the jungle in your living room! Live exotic plants, a water feature, and colorful, active frogs will attract attention and make a great focal point in any living space. While most frogs will not tolerate regular handling, there is still plenty of opportunities to enjoy your pet frogs!
Pet animals in general, especially pet frogs, provide excellent educational opportunities. Frogs are fairly common classroom pets for just this reason – my girlfriend has a small vivarium with a trio of Dendrobates tinctorious ‘Azureus’ dart frogs in it, and she uses them to convey ideas and concepts to her biology classes almost daily. Frogs are considered an indicator species – when something is going wrong in the environment, they are some of the first animals to suffer. Pet frogs are great way to introduce the necessity of a clean environment and man’s impact on the planet. Many species of frogs will also readily breed in captivity, providing a great lead-in to a conversation on the birds and the bees, as well as the life cycle of an amphibian and the concept of metamorphosis.
Best of all, pet frogs are generally low maintenance and easy to care for. Unlike dogs, cats, birds, fish, or small mammals, most pet frogs are fine with being fed 3-4 times a week. Frogs don’t produce much waste, and can generally go several weeks between thorough cleanings. A properly set up naturalistic vivarium can go years between substrate changes. Misting can easily be automated, to make care even easier! Frogs will generally be fine if you miss a feeding – no need to find a babysitter for your pet frogs when you go out of town for a few days!
Frogs are considered exotic pets for a good reason! Nothing is much more exotic than a brightly colored frog hopping around in a replica rainforest in your living room! Pet frogs are different, and really are much more enjoyable than many of the typical pets people keep, in my opinion.
Still considering keeping a pet frog? Good for you! Keep doing research – the Josh’s Frogs How-To Guides and Knowledge Base are great places to start. Pet frogs are meant to be enjoyed – make sure all of the frog’s need have been met before you bring it home, and your pet frog will be that much more enjoyable. Once you are ready to make a purchase, consider the wide variety of healthy, captive bred pet frogs offered by Josh’s Frogs. Our animals are bred here, by trained zoologists, so you know you’re getting the best possible quality animal and future companion pet!