Owning a frog can be an enriching experience for any type of owner, as you have many species with distinct characteristics and fun colors.
Even better, they can be easy to take care of if you get some of the essentials right.
However, some species, as lovely or tame as they look, can be challenging to care for, as many require specific conditions and care that can be expensive and difficult to maintain.
That is why we have prepared this guide for all beginners out there, so you can find some fun frogs that can be low maintenance and be forgiving if you happen to mess up somewhere.
The 5 Best Frogs For Any Beginner
First off, it’s a good idea to show some of the frogs that are, for the most part, easy to take care of but be mindful that with any frog, you are committing, and this is a commitment that can span years as some frog species can live 8-15 years.
With this said, caring for a frog doesn’t have to be difficult, and with the right amount of research and advice from other frog owners, you can be prepared and have fun with your new pet.
1. Pac-Man Frog
These interesting species are defined by their colors and their bulging eyes, which can give them an air of curiosity as you watch them.
As these become more popular, they are more readily available in online or physical pet stores.
For these frogs, their caging does not have to be spacious, as an enclosure of around 10-20 gallons should be enough for this frog as they mainly stay burrowed in the substrate, and you can use a water bowl, or you can keep the ground moist, which is its primary purpose.
Pac-man frogs also like to hide a lot, so be sure to include some live plants like pothos and be sure only to have one per tank and keep the temperature around 75-85ºF, so be sure only to handle them when necessary as their skin is very sensitive.
2. Tomato Frog
These frogs can be just as colorful as Pac-man types, as they have yellow and red-orange type colors and can have black spots on their back, and like many frogs, they like to hide under mud and leaves, just as they would in their natural habitat.
For this frog, you’ll want an enclosure that is at least 10 gallons and includes a shallow water dish, so they also like humid conditions, and it would be better if you have a vertical enclosure as they don’t do a lot of climbing and spend a lot of their time burrowed.
Temperature is important here, as the optimal amount is between 65-85ºF, as anything too high or too low can harm and even cause death to your frog, so a small heating pad and lamp should be used.
3. White Tree Frog
This frog is more tolerant in drier conditions than other frogs on this list, and you can get youngsters that are less than 2 inches long, and they can grow up to 5 inches, so you have a pretty manageable frog as, over time, they can become tame.
The enclosure for these frogs is optimal when there are climbing features like logs and branches, so a tall 15-20 gallon enclosure is perfect, but make sure you have a tightly fitted lid, as these frogs have to suction footpads so they can scale the walls of the enclosure.
If you’re planning on adding more of these frogs to the habitat, make sure they are all of a similar size, otherwise, the larger ones may try to eat the smaller ones, but in general, they are quite passive to other inhabitants.
4. American Toad
Interestingly, these toads are quite plump-looking, as they can change color depending on humidity, habitat colors, temperature, and stress, so you’ll have some good signs if your toad isn’t happy in its enclosure, which can be helpful for beginners.
As a rule, 10 gallons should be enough to house one toad, so to add more, you can use that metric, and these kinds are relatively social and don’t mind cohabitating with others of the same type, and even large land snails, salamanders, and anoles.
Half-cut logs and tunnels are good features you can add to the enclosure but are aware that for plants used here, these toads can uproot them, which can be frustrating, but as long as you keep the plants in a pot and bury this, you can avoid this from happening.
5. Bumblebee Toad
The Bumblebee toad is quite easy to care for as they start off small and don’t get too big to handle, as at most they reach sizes of around 1.5-2 inches long, and don’t require a lot of space as you may find after owning these that they don’t really utilize the space around them much.
For example, with a 10-gallon enclosure, you could easily house 4-6 bumblebee toads and work well in groups.
Still, you should be sure to have the proper ventilation as these toads won’t tolerate any high humidity for very long, so you’ll need to use a screen top.
You can add some patches of leaves or pieces of wood for the frog to hide under, as they’re not known to have much climbing ability, but we’re sure that your toad would appreciate some pieces of bark or branches to stretch their legs on.
Frogs You Should Avoid
As you can see, frogs can be reasonably simple to take care of as long as you provide a suitable habitat that matches their needs and is at the right humidity and temperature level, which you should be able to manage without much difficulty.
However, you might be drawn to some species that can require more care and attention than others that could leave you with a negative experience, so to avoid this, below are some species that beginners should look to avoid.
Red-Eyed Tree Frogs
These bright and colorful frogs have distinct and big red eyes, making them popular.
Still, even though they aren’t extremely hard to care for, they’re generally not recommended for beginners as they can be a bit fussier than other frog species.
For one, they need a constant day and night cycle, so depending on the day, you need to adjust the lighting, temperature, and humidity, and that’s not including the water quality and are known for being picky eaters. Still, these are all required if you want the frog to thrive.
African Bull Frog
The reason we don’t recommend these frogs is that they can have tempered behaviors that can make them difficult to care for and aren’t really sociable frogs, and males can’t be housed together, so you have this as well as the need to feed them every other day.
Like the red-eye tree frogs, they require a cycle of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness and need to be kept out of direct sunlight, and not just this, but you need plenty of water in your enclosure for them to swim in, so there are more low-maintenance frogs out there.
Frogs Or Toads Found In The Wild
While it might sound like a cheaper and easier way to go outside and catch a frog or toad as a pet, this could be detrimental to it as common frogs are not a suitable species for captivity as they are nervous in nature and don’t realize that glass is a barrier, which could cause injury.
It’s also essential as wild frogs are more likely to have harmful bacteria or parasites on them, which can be harmful to you, so if you spot one, you should leave it be and get a frog from a reputable seller, which is safer for both the frog and you.
Caring For Your Frog: The Essentials
If you have a frog picked out and think you’re ready to get it home and settled, having the basics covered first will massively help you to ensure that the frog is made more comfortable and can thrive in its new enclosure.
Here is where some beginners can make mistakes, and for some species, it can be fine as they can be tolerant to a degree, but for others, a mistake can cause harm to them, so taking the time to get things right can save you from dealing with other issues down the line.
It’s best to go to a local pet store when looking for a suitable container, as the staff there can point you in the right direction, as you can find half-and-half tanks, terrestrial tanks, aquatic tanks, and arboreal tanks.
To decide which is the right one for you, have a look at the requirements of your frog and look for things like whether they like climbing, swimming, or just prefer to stay hidden under the terrain, so you know how high and wide the tank needs to be.
For beginners, though, any enclosure between 10-20 gallons should be enough, but be prepared to upsize to meet the demands of your frog if it outgrows its environment, as many frogs like the option to move and burrow in many spaces.
Most frogs will eat worms, crickets, caterpillars, and many other insects that should be fed to them live.
Frogs will only eat prey that is moving, so if you don’t like insects, this might be a problem.
Sometimes, as your frog gets bigger, it will be able to eat larger animals like newborn mice and, in some cases, adult mice, so most frogs don’t like the frozen kind, but for these larger kinds, you only have to feed them once per week or every other week.
If you stick to smaller frogs, you can avoid using mice, and you can feed them gut-loaded insects, which are far more nutritious for them, and you want to avoid feeding them fruit, vegetables, and wild-caught insects as these could pose a threat to them.
Light And Temperature Requirements
This can vary from frog to frog, but in general, the easiest frogs to own are quite easy to keep in terms of light as many frogs get their vitamin D through their food, but with temperature, keeping it in the 65-100ºF mark is an optimal range, but you should check first.
You can buy heating pads and lamps, but if you want a more effective way to maintain the temperature by changing it in the whole room where the enclosure is located, be sure to run any heaters a few days before introducing your frog to the enclosure.
With some frogs, they are able to tell you if the temperature isn’t quite right for them, so look out for signs like the changing of color, eating less frequently, or showing signs of stress, which is a sure way of telling you that you need to make adjustments.
The Health Of Your Frog
Now you have the frog all set up in its new enclosure, you want it to be healthy and thrive, so if your frog gets sick, it can be difficult to tell until it’s too late, so preventing it from getting this way is the best way to avoid any confusion or stress.
One sign your frog may be ill is if it looks malnourished or skinnier than when you bought it, and even though you feed it insects, this could mean you need to add some variety to its diet, so one thing you could do is add some powdered calcium to its food.
There are also signs you can look for as you study your frog, and one of these is red leg, which can be a reddening of the underside of your frog, which a parasite can cause, so you’ll want to clean out the tank thoroughly and give your frog baths over a two week period.
Care When Handling Frogs
Even though frogs can be a family-friendly pet, they are best observed rather than handled as they can find this action stressful, especially if they’re taken out of their enclosure too quickly, and you should wash your hands before and after you handle it.
If you’re looking for a more hands-on pet that is tolerable to being held, a frog might not be the right pet for you, and you should consider something like a lizard or gecko, which can be quite playful and comfortable being held.
As a frog’s skin can be quite delicate, they absorb more through it, which includes the oils and bacteria on your hands, which can be very deadly to the frog, so a lot of care should be taken if you need to move the frog when cleaning the tank, for example.
Going To A Physical Store Is Best
It’s tempting to buy your new frog online, but if you want more hands-on advice, you can find staff in pet stores whose daily task is to maintain several reptile species, especially frogs, so if you need relevant advice when getting your first frog, here is the place you can get it.
You can also see the frogs in their optimal enclosures, so if you’re unsure what you need your setup to look like, you could replicate what you see in the store, but be aware that some of these are set up to house a group of frogs so that you can scale it down a bit.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is It Cruel To Keep A Frog As A Pet?
You could consider frogs to be exotic pets. Still, as long as you replicate their enclosures as best you can to their natural habitat, your frog can have a happy and healthy life as they can have a similar life expectancy in these conditions, and for some, it can be even longer.
As captive and bred frogs have never been outside, you could say that they aren’t used to these types of habitats, and in some cases, releasing them can do more harm to a frog and the ecosystem around them, so you could say owning one is ethical to a degree.
Can Pet Frogs Be Poisonous?
It’s a good chance that the frog you have isn’t poisonous, and even if it is, the worst that could occur is that it can be irritable to the skin or it could give you some discomfort.
Still, the main issue with frogs is the potential to carry salmonella that is transferable.
If you have other pets like cats and dogs, you may want to keep them separate from the frog as even though a frog can’t cause these pets to die, it can poison them, which may lead to diarrhea or vomiting.
If you’re sold on keeping a frog or toad (Also check out Most Weird Frogs And Toads) as a pet, you can get a lot of enjoyment from owning one of these as they can be fun to watch, and if treated well, they can eventually warm up to you and enjoy being around you, as long as you are patient and gentle.
It gives the whole family an insight into these fascinating creatures and gives them experience if ever they want to move onto something like a reptile, which you may find it more easier to take care of as you expand your pet-keeping horizons.