It’s not hard to see why some people prefer frogs to any other type of pet. There are a lot of positives about having a pet frog. There’s a huge variety of frog species to choose from, each with its unique, colorful, and intricate patterns.
Besides their striking and beautiful look, frogs are also small and quiet pets. They don’t shed everywhere, they’re not likely to break your things, and you don’t have to walk them outside.
They don’t need constant attention and interaction either. All these are huge benefits for people looking for a low-maintenance, no-stress pet. Or maybe you just like amphibians and think they’re cute.
There’s no wrong reason for adopting a pet frog. If you’re contemplating the idea of adopting one, you might also be wondering about its lifespan. If that’s the case, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know. We’re going to talk about how long frogs live, and what you need to do to keep them healthy.
How Long Do Frogs Live?
Let’s start with the lifespan. This is a deciding factor for many potential pet owners. When it comes to frogs, there’s no universal answer. Different frog species have different life expectancies. While some frog species live for just 3 years, others can live up to 20 years or more. Generally, captive pet frogs have longer, healthier lives than frogs in the wild.
You can choose from a wide range of frog species, depending on your own needs and expectations. You might not be sure a pet frog is the right choice for you, but you still want to give it a shot. In that case, you can first adopt a shorter-lived frog to test the waters.
Here’s a list of pet frogs and life expectancy figures, in case you’re interested and looking for more details.
|African Bullfrog||20–30 years|
|African Dwarf||20 years|
|Amazon Milk||5–10 years|
|American Green Tree||2–6 years|
|American Toad||15–20 years|
|Bumble Bee||10 years|
|Bumblebee Dart||10 years|
|Burmese Chubby||10 years|
|Gray Tree||7–9 years|
|Green and Black Dart||10 years|
|Oriental Fire Bellied||30 years|
|Pacman Frog||10–12 years|
|Red-Eyed Tree||4 years|
|Tomato Frog||10 years|
|Waxy Monkey||6–8 years|
|White Lipped||10–15 years|
|White’s Tree||12–16 years|
These are just estimates. Remember that any pet’s life expectancy will also depend on a variety of factors other than species or breed. If you don’t provide your pet the appropriate living conditions and diet, their health might deteriorate.
This can negatively impact their lifespan. Different species of animals also have different health problems they’re predisposed to. It’s not easy to predict how long your pet will live just based on average numbers.
Frog Care and Housing
Recreating the perfect habitat for your pet frog is the first step in ensuring it lives a long, healthy life. You need to be extra careful that the frog’s tank meets certain water, moisture, and heat requirements.
Depending on your frog species, you might need to set up your tank differently. Some frogs are fully aquatic, others are semi-aquatic, and some are terrestrial. The most common tank set-up is half aquatic, half terrestrial.
Your tank size and capacity might also depend on your frog species. Certain species grow larger than others, and they need more space for their daily activities. The frog’s species also influences the humidity and temperature levels, although only slightly. Research is key in determining the appropriate environment and setup for a pet frog.
Some things apply to all frog species. You need to keep the water and the tank clean. Frogs have thin, permeable skin and are susceptible to infections. Their skin is also sensitive, which means that handling them can pose a danger to their health. Be very careful of how often you handle them, and never apply pressure on their skin!
Feed Your Frog Proper Diet
Your frog’s dietary needs will depend on their species, but most frogs are pure carnivores. This means that most frogs need a constant supply of high-quality animal protein and fatty acids. All frogs consume a variety of insects such as flies, moths, crickets, locusts, roaches, as well as various types of worms and caterpillars. Depending on its size and species, a frog might even eat small rodents such as pinky mice.
Smaller insects such as crickets and flies shouldn’t make up a staple of your frog’s diet because of their low nutritional value. However, you can also include these foods a few times a week, and supplement them with vitamin and mineral powder specially formulated for frogs. Besides a carnivorous, high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, frogs also need a constant supply of clean, fresh water.
One last note on diet: Do not make mealworms a staple in your frog’s nutritional plan! Yes, mealworms are edible and your frog might enjoy them, but they’re dangerous when your frog eats them too often. Mealworms are high in chitin, a polysaccharide and derivative of glucose. A high intake of chitin can harm your frog’s liver in the long run.
Common Pet Frog Health Issues
Frogs and other types of amphibians can often spread zoonotic diseases to humans. We aren’t talking about viruses here, but rather about bacterial infections that can also affect humans. Frogs living in unsanitary environments often carry bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, or Escherichia coli.
You should find a vet who specializes in reptiles and amphibians. Take your frog for regular checks to make sure everything’s alright. You can also take some extra safety precautions at home. Always wash your hands before and after touching the frog’s food, tank, or the frog itself.
When it comes to your frog’s health, there are two main factors to look out for. First, there are nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin A. Feeding your frog a monotonous diet of just 2-3 protein sources is a sure way to induce health-threatening vitamin deficiencies.
Most common in pet frogs, hypovitaminosis A, causes weight loss, fluid build-up in the eyes and abdomen, and increased susceptibility to infection.
Speaking of infections, this is the second factor that can undermine your frog’s health. Frogs usually develop infections when exposed to contaminated water. You should replace the water and clean your frog’s tank as often as possible to reduce the spread of harmful bacteria.
Frogs will pee and poop everywhere and whenever they feel like it, so the water can get dirty pretty quick. Not only will the smell become unpleasant, but your tank will look like a mess, and you surely wouldn’t want your frog to get sick.