Toads are common frog subspecies with dry skins and short legs. Some common toad species include Cane, Fowler’s, and the American and the Giant African toads. Toads are prevalent on every continent, apart from the Antarctic. They inhabit moist and open habitats such as grasslands and fields.
Most amphibian lovers have tossed around the idea of keeping a toad pet at some point. After all, toads make wonderful amphibian pets because of their docile nature and their low-maintenance needs.
Like other pets, toads need to consume the correct type of foods to thrive skillfully, regardless of whether they are in captivity or the wild. Hence, it helps to know what foods are appropriate for toads. Therefore, we shall look at what toads eat in this guide to help you understand the proper diet for your toad pet.
What do Toads Eat in the Wild?
Like other wild amphibians, wild toads are strictly carnivorous. These amphibians consume a wide variety of foods while in the wild. Some of their favorite food choices include rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Toads are fond of live prey. They prey on a variety of insects, including crickets, flies, spiders, and locusts.
Giant toads also prey on bigger prey such as rodents, including mice and rats. Toads can also prey on other smaller toads and frogs.
Pet Toad Food & Diet
Like any person who wants to keep pet toads, you might want to know the best food and diet choices for pet toads. Unlike wild toads with a wide array of foods at their disposal, pet toads have limited food choices since they live in captivity, where their favorite foods are scarce.
Most people who keep pet toads feed their pets with crickets or worms, including super worms or mealworms from pet stores. These foods are readily available for pet toad owners.
Some people also catch wild prey for their toads, which include insects or mice. However, live prey isn’t suitable for pet toads since such prey can infect your toad with diseases from sick prey.
If you have a pet toad or consider keeping one, research the specific foods to feed your toad. Pet toads have different dietary needs depending on their species. However, pet toads still need to feed on various prey they hunt while in the wild.
If your pet toad is large enough to feed on larger prey, you can purchase thawed mice from the pet store. Nevertheless, most toad species detest thawed mice since it isn’t a live prey.
Vitamins and Supplements
Most pet toad owners purchase toad food from pet stores. However, pet store food lacks many essential nutrients that pet toads need to stay healthy. Hence, supplementation is vital to providing your pet with a complete diet. Vitamin and supplements will further enrich your pet’s captive diet, making it almost nutritious as the diet that toads have while in the wild.
Several vitamins and nutrients are available for pet toads. You can sprinkle a calcium supplement on your toad’s food. Calcium will provide your toad with enough calcium to support average bone growth. Calcium is also essential for proper egg development among toads and other amphibians.
Vitamin D supplements are also essential for captive toads. These supplements can address skin coloration problems in pet toads, which is a common condition in captive toads. Pet toads don’t have sufficient sunlight, unlike wild toads, mainly if their pet parents keep their pets indoors.
Hence, pet toads may not get adequate vitamin D from the sun, and therefore a vitamin D supplement is ideal for addressing vitamin D deficiency in captive toads.
Do Toads Need Water?
Although toads don’t live in water like frogs, they are also amphibians. Toads need enough moisture to keep their skin hydrated. While your toad doesn’t necessarily need water to survive, it, however, needs water to regulate its temperature.
Ensure there is a small water dish or pond that remains filled with water all the time. Toads also like regulating their temperature by soaking in the water. The water in the pond or water dish can help provide sufficient humidity levels to keep your toad pet hydrated throughout.
You can also mist water in the toad’s enclosure to ensure the enclosure remains moist throughout.
How to Feed Your Pet Toad?
Knowing how to feed your pet toad is vital as learning the best food and diet choices for your pet. Feeding your pet in the right way will help your pet remain healthy and happy. Proper feeding also makes mealtimes more manageable and safer for your pet toad. Below is a guide on how to feed your toad.
How Much and How Often Do Toads Eat?
Captive toads don’t eat a lot compared to wild toads. It is, however, prudent to ensure your pet toad consumes the right amount of food. The amount of food that a toad consumes depends on several factors. These factors include the size of the toad and the type of food item. Ideally, toads need to eat at least twice or thrice a week.
Adult toads should eat at least six crickets a week and per every feeding session. Juveniles should consume a maximum of three crickets a week. Adults can also survive on six super worms weekly, while juveniles can do well with four ants or fruit flies a week.
Remove food items from the feeding container if the cricket doesn’t consume them in 15 minutes. It is essential to get rid of leftover food items to prevent them from rotting. If you are feeding your pet toad with insects from a pet store, ensure you gut load the insects first.
Gut loading entails feeding insects, worms, or crickets with vegetables and fruits to improve the quality of nutrients your toad pet gets after eating the crickets or insects.
- Decide on the food items you want to feed your toad
- Decide on the right amount of food to feed your toad, depending on its species and size
- Get a feeding container
- Place the food on the container and then put the container in the toad’s enclosure. The feeding container should be in a place where the toad can access the container.
- Wait for the toad to start eating. Toads don’t eat hurriedly but in a pretty fascinating way. Your toady will stick out its long tongue and then grab the food item with its tongue and eventually chew and swallow the food.
Feeding mistakes to avoid while feeding your toad
Most novice toad owners make some feeding mistakes that can potentially harm their pets. Below are some feeding mistakes to avoid while feeding your toad pet
- Providing your toad with food items that too large for the prey
- Feeding your toad with wild-caught insects
- Providing the toad with the wrong food items
- Feeding your pet with an inappropriate amount of food
- Not adhering to a consistent feeding schedule
Can Pet Toad Eat Insects from the Garden?
Some pet owners contemplate feeding their pet toads with live insects from their garden. After all, even wild toads consume plenty of insects out there. Nonetheless, it isn’t always a good idea to feed your pet with insects from your garden; even it is fond of insects.
You could, at times, be risking your pet toad’s life by providing it with garden insects. Garden insects consume plants that are contaminated with pesticides. Such pesticides can cause illnesses, infections, and even death of your toad.
Some garden insects could lead to severe parasitic infections. To be on the safer side, consider feeding your pet toad with insects from pet stores. Insects from pet stores are safe, and therefore they can’t bring infectious illnesses to your pet.
What do Baby Toads (Tadpoles) Eat?
Baby toads or simply tadpoles have a different diet from adult toads. Baby toads can’t chew and digest vast chunks of food items like adult toads. After hatching, baby toads strictly feed on vegetation, including half- rotten plants present in their ponds.
Baby toads switch to complex plants when they grow bigger and older. Consider providing your captive baby toads with lettuce leaves. However, soak the lettuce leaves in water at least a few minutes before feeding your baby toads. Soaking will make the lettuce leaves soft enough for the baby toads to eat and digest quickly.
Start giving the tadpoles harder vegetables such as peas in the coming days. Nonetheless, cut the vegetables into smaller bits that the baby toads can chew comfortably. Other vegetable food items that are suitable for captive baby toads include carrots, leeks, and celery.
Finally, introduce an insect-based diet to the tadpoles after they are past the tadpole stage. Some suitable insects to introduce to full-grown baby toads include mealworms, pinhead crickets, and grubs.
Such insects are easy and small enough for your babies to eat and digest properly. Your baby toads will be full-time carnivores for their entire lifetime once they become fully grown toads.
Toads may seem like scary amphibians to many people, especially the larger toad species. Nevertheless, toads can be great amphibian pets. These amphibians don’t need plenty of care like other amphibian pets, such as frogs. Hopefully, this guide has given you insights into toads and how to care for your toad pet.