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What do Frogs Eat? Best Food & Diet for Pet Frog

Frogs are undoubtedly the most popular choice of pets among amphibian pet lovers. These aquatic creatures can make beautiful pets for any household.  Frogs are smooth and easy to handle, unlike toads.

The sight of these lovely amphibians in your home can be thrilling. Probably, you are considering bringing a pet frog home, especially if you love amphibian pets.

Before you bring a new pet home, it’s imperative to know what your new pet eats.  Frogs are no exception. It helps to have an understanding of what frogs eat. So let’s see more about the diet of this amphibian in this guide.

What do Frogs Eat In The Wild?

Frogs are carnivorous creatures. Since these amphibians remain in the water most of the time, they can feed on various water insects.  Some of the aquatic insects that wild frogs feed on include dragonflies, stoneflies, water striders, and water bugs.

While on land, wild frogs can also hunt for insects such as spiders, crickets, butterflies, and grasshoppers. Frogs can feed on nearly every insect that crosses their path.  Notwithstanding the type of frog species, every species’ diet comprises aquatic and terrestrial insects.

Pet Frog Food & Diet

Wild frogs can hunt on variety of aquatic and onshore insects. Frogs can explore many places in search of insects while in the wild. However, captive frogs will only depend on what they get from their owners. Your pet frog’s diet should comprise of the insects below.

  • Crickets – crickets should form the most significant chunk of your pet’s diet. Not because crickets are the healthiest insects for frogs, but because they are readily available in pet stores compared to other insects.
  • Mealworms – Mealworms make a delicious treat for pet frogs. Like crickets, they are also easy to get. Some fishing stores also sell mealworms.
  • Grasshoppers and locusts – These two insects are favorite food choices for most pet frog species.  However, it is pretty hard to find them in pet stores. Grasshoppers and worms can add plenty of nutrients to your pet frog’s diet.
  • Worms and caterpillars – These two are suitable food choices for pet frog owners who can’t find grasshoppers and locusts in pet stores. Nonetheless, choose the right option of worms or caterpillars for your pet, depending on the size of your pet.  These two arthropods can be pretty large.
  • Black worms, brine shrimp, and bloodworms – These small worms make a great diet choice for smaller aquatic frogs.
  • Mice – Giant frogs such as the African bullfrogs and Pacman frogs need larger prey such as mice. Such large frog species can’t meet their dietary needs from eating smaller prey such as insects. It is also hard to get live mice for your pet frog. You can nonetheless buy frozen mice for your pet.

– Supplements & Vitamins

Frogs consume a wild array of insects, rodents, and worms while in nature. Wild frogs have an enormous dietary diversity.  In captivity, however, it is impossible to provide your pet frog with such rich nutritional variety.

Pet frogs can only rely on a captive diet. That’s why supplements and vitamins are crucial for pet frogs. Supplements and vitamins help provide a solid diet for your pet frog. Furthermore, they provide vital nutrients that they lack in captivity.

Vitamin A supplements, for instance, help provide your pet with beta-carotene. Beta-carotene helps support your pet’s cell growth and further keeps its organs healthy. This essential compound is prevalent in plants.

Since frogs don’t eat plants, it is hard for them to get an adequate amount of beta-carotene. Therefore, vitamin A supplements will help add this vital compound to your pet’s diet. Vitamin D supplements are essential for countering coloration, which is common in captive reptiles and amphibians.

Calcium supplements will provide your pet frog with adequate amounts of calcium. Frogs, like other amphibians, need calcium to support their bone growth. Phosphorus supplements can help keep your frog’s nervous system functioning correctly.

Phosphorus is also healthy for proper bone growth. However, balance your pet’s phosphorus to calcium ratio. Excess phosphorus can suppress your pet’s calcium uptake.

If the pet frog has high phosphorus levels in its body, the calcium levels will automatically drop. The correct way to introduce supplements and vitamins to your pet frog is by sprinkling them on the pet’s food. A few pinches of vitamins and supplements will be sufficient to support its dietary and nutritional needs.

Do Frogs Need Water?

The survival of a frog entirely depends on the availability of water. Frogs aren’t like toads that don’t rely on water for their ultimate survival. Frogs may live on land partially.

For frogs, the importance of water doesn’t end once these amphibians are on the ground. Their skin needs to be moist throughout to get enough oxygen and release carbon dioxide from their lungs.

Most importantly, frogs don’t lay their eggs on land like reptiles.  Frogs need water to reproduce effectively. Water is, therefore, a mandatory requirement for anyone seeking to keep a pet frog. Dig a small pond where your pet will be living. You can also keep your frog in a freshwater aquarium.

 How to Feed Your Pet Frog?

How you feed your pet frog can ruin or make its health. A massive chunk of your frog depends on how you feed your pet. Not just the food you provide to your pet frog.  Here is an outline of how to feed your pet.

How Much and How Often Should I Feed My Pet Frog?

The feeding schedule and feeding amount for your pet frog depend on the pet’s age, activity level, and species. Like humans, frogs can develop obesity if overfed. It is crucial to feed your pet the correct amount of food to keep it fit and healthy.

Young frogs (below 16 weeks old) and high-energy frogs need a consistent supply of food.  If you have a young frog or a high-energy frog pet like a dwarf frog, ensure you provide it with high-energy foods twice each day. Thus, you need to put more insects in the water for your frog to eat whenever it gets hungry.

Medium-energy frogs need to eat at least once or thrice a day.  If you have a medium-energy pet frog, provide it with at least five insects per meal.  Make sure to provide your frog with enough energy-rich foods per every feeding session.

Nonetheless, don’t feed your frog with too many insects to the point that you will notice some insects in the water the following day.

Large frogs such as giant bullfrogs need to eat less often. Frog species that prey on rodents and other large prey need to eat at least once weekly.

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet Frog

Not every food item is suitable for your pet frog.  Fruits or vegetables, for instance,  aren’t good food options for both captive and wild frogs. Frogs can’t digest veggies and fruits. Therefore, these two food items will end up hurting your pet’s digestive system, placing the pet at risk of death.

You should also avoid feeding your human table scalps. The additives and spices in human food can also ruin your pet’s health. Lastly, avoid introducing wild-caught insects to your pet. Such insects can expose your pet to dangerous pesticides that can claim the life of your pet frog.

 What do Baby Frogs (Tadpoles) Eat?

Tadpoles or baby frogs are herbivorous once they hatch. At the time of hatching, baby tadpoles feed on the remaining yolk of their eggs. The yolk is rich in nutrients, but it can’t sustain the tadpoles weeks after hatching.

These tiny creatures can only feed on soft plant matter such as moss, algae, and duckweed.  The diet of baby tadpoles can vary from one frog species to the other.

Wild tadpoles’ primary diet comprises algae and a wide variety of plant matter. Captive baby frogs have no such a wide diversity of plant matter to eat. They hence depend on the plant matter they get from humans. Some best food choices for pet baby frogs include vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage.

Such vegetables are rich in protein and calcium.  Tadpoles need these two nutrients to develop legs. Nonetheless, raw vegetables can be hard on your baby frogs since tadpoles lack an adequately developed digestive system.

Before providing vegetables to your pet tadpoles, chop them finely and then boil the vegetables to make them softer for baby frogs to eat.

Below are some great food choices for baby frogs

  • Algae wafers
  • Baby spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini and green peas

Leafy greens containing high levels of protein and calcium are suitable for tadpoles. Apart from these foods, you can purchase tadpole food at pet stores. However, be sure to pick the correct tadpole food.

The food should have a label showing that it is suitable for baby frogs of a particular age. For instance, the food should be labeled as “good for 6 + weeks”.

You can then introduce a carnivorous diet to the tadpoles once they are big enough to consume insects. Start with smaller insects and then shift to medium-sized insects as the babies grow older.

Wrap up

Frogs are lovely and cute amphibian pets. Frogs can live for several years and give birth to multiple generations of frog pets. Keeping a frog pet is also pretty easy. You only need clean water and proper food for your pet.  Hence, a pet frog should be your first choice of pet if you love amphibian pets.

Frogs - Updated: July 12, 2021
avatar I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets.

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