Amphibians that are kept as pets are usually small like frogs and salamanders but they come with a big commitment. They require different care than other household pets and require constant attention but if you are up to the challenge they can be rewarding and offer hours of entertainment and knowledge.
Amphibians are all around us, especially in rural areas. They can be caught easily and therefore can be inexpensive pets to get but not all amphibians are the same. Many species of frog are poisonous and therefore will not make good pets. They also require specific diets and needs so knowing which species that you have is imperative to their health and well being. It would be a good idea to do your own research before getting an amphibian to determine if having one is right for you.
There are numerous species of frogs, toads and salamanders that can become a pet and some species of salamanders can live up to 25 years. Most salamanders are between 6 to 8 inches long and the largest is the tiger salamander which can grow to a foot in length. The lifespan of a frog varies, from around 5 years all the way up to 24 years. Very little is actually know about the lifespan of frogs surprisingly since they are hard to track in the wild.
Early on when a frog or a toad is a tadpole they are very easy to care for. All they need is an aquarium with plants and a water filter and they can be fed pellet food for bottom feeding tropical fish. Once they grow out of the tadpole stage things can get complicated.
For housing a vivarium or aquarium works well, and any pet supply store like Just For Pets will have them in stock. It’s size and how it is laid out will depend on the species. Each species of frog or toad likes a different amount of water and a different amount of foliage. Some like to be able to swim and some just want a small amount of water as they are land frogs. The water also may need to be dechlorinated as many species of reptiles are sensitive to chemicals commonly found in tap water.
For tropical amphibians the vivarium will need to be heated with a heat pump and will need to be closely monitored. Since each species’ requirements can vary it is a good idea to do your research beforehand or consult one of our knowledgeable experts at Just For Pets before moving forward. Their vivarium will also require constant cleaning and should remain sealed but well ventilated so that the frog cannot escape. Keep it away from direct sunlight and from areas with extreme temperature changes.
Like their housing requirements, your amphibians diet will also vary from species to species. The stereotypical cartoon frog catches flies so as far as their diet is concerned there should be no surprise that most like insects like cockroaches, crickets, locusts and mealworms. Specialized food is available as well and is in stock at Just For Pets. Some larger amphibians can also eat other animals like mice or goldfish and in general amphibians like food that moves so only live animals will do! Amphibians require constant attention so regular feeding is essential but do not overfeed.
There are some common amphibian diseases so it is imperative to monitor your pet to make sure that everything is OK. There are veterinarians that specialize in amphibians so it would be a good idea to find one before you get one as a pet. It is also important to learn your pet’s behavior as some amphibian behaviors could easily be mistaken for illness, like when molting occurs or if it goes into a hibernation state. Knowing this can save you a lot of stress and a trip to the vet. It is important to know that many illnesses can be eliminated by just maintaining a clean living environment.
It may also be a good idea to keep amphibians separate from each other. Some frogs can and will eat other frogs, even their own siblings in some cases. For the most part though the same species can usually live together but frogs of different species should not be placed in the same enclosure.
Since amphibians require so much attention they do not make for good starter pets but are more suitable for adults or older children. It is a good idea to purchase one from a pet store since their exact species will be known which will remove much of the guesswork that would come with an amphibian caught in the wild. Properly caring for one can also be difficult so consult with someone knowledgeable to get the right equipment and products so that your pet can lead a happy and healthy life.
Frog lifespan http://allaboutfrogs.org/weird/general/longevity.html
Tiger salamander https://www.warnernaturecenter.org/animals/salamander