What You Should Know About Feeding Your Frog

Frogs are absolutely fascinating creatures. They're one of those wonderfully weird but oddly captivating parts of nature that are so awesome just because they are so different. Now maybe you're looking into owning a frog as a pet, or perhaps you're looking for some ways to broaden the diet of your little amphibious friend to include a bit more variety and nutrition. If that's the case then you've come to just the right place. 

Before we start, and just because again – they're cool – how about a couple of interesting facts about frogs? 

Here's the first. The frog's moneymaker (its tongue) is actually attached to the front of its mouth rather than at the back like in the majority of other creatures in the animal kingdom. This allows the frog to basically fling its tongue at insects and then pull it back to ram the food down its throat. 

The second is that frogs shed their skin incredibly often (some as often as once a week) in order to help avoid fungal infections and other skin-related diseases.

Onto the food!

What Should I Feed My Pet Frog?

The first thing to know about frogs is that although they look small and cute these lovely creatures are mostly straight-up carnivores. The features that make them kooky and interesting are also the same features that make them very efficient predators in their respective food webs.

As a result, frogs feed mainly on live insects and all the various creepy-crawlies they can get their tongues on. Grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms, and earthworms are all popular choices and should make up the bulk of your frog's diet.
Some larger frogs such as bullfrogs and sizeable tree frogs are also known to eat small mice and rats. They must be small though as frogs mainly substitute chewing for swallowing their food whole and digesting it in their stomach. While a fair few frog species do actually have teeth on the top of their mouth, these are only for holding small prey in place for some light chewing action. So if you're frog does fancy mice or rats, they'll need to be frozen first.

A Note on Live Food

The main reason live food is so important for frogs is that it contains a whole lot of moisture. This is essential for amphibians since they're always at risk of dehydration given that they spend a portion of their lives out of water. Frogs absorb water through their skin and through their food, so don't skip on the live options!

How Much Do Frogs Eat?

Frogs, especially when they're young, will eat pretty much anything that moves. 

A good rule of thumb is to feed your frog 3-5 prey items per feeding and to do this every other day or so. This should ensure that your frog is getting enough food without risking overfeeding.

If you're wanting a more hands-off approach though, adding in some insects at night and letting your frog go for it is a great way to keep it happy and well-fed.

What About Vegetables?

Some people like to supplement their frog's diet with the odd bit of chopped-up vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, or celery. While there's nothing wrong with this per se, it's worth noting that frogs don't really digest vegetables all that well. They mainly eat them for the water content and so it's best not to make veggies more than 10% of their diet.

How Much Does Frog Food Cost?

While frogs are definitely fairly hungry pets, the food they eat is quite cheap and also easy to come by. Given that most of the insects and other foods that frogs tend to munch on can be bought in bulk, the cost of feeding your frog will average out to be a lot less than feeding larger mammal pets like cats and dogs. At an estimate, we'd put it at around $10-15 AUD per week. But if you do have a fairly large frog as a pet and want to feed it mice or rats, these are still not a budget buster but definitely more expensive compared to the solely insect-based diet of smaller frogs.

How Often Should I Feed My Pet Frog?

The regularity of feeding time for frogs is mostly dependent on the age of your frog. Young frogs are very hungry beings (a bit like your average teenager) and are able to be fed on a pretty much daily basis. As they get older though, you can start to space out their feedings a bit more. For example, an adult frog might only need feeding every few days or even once a week.

When it comes to actually giving your frog its food, the best time to do this is at night since this is when most frogs are most active. 

We hope that this information helps with caring for your hopping little friend. Get in touch with our friendly team at Petwave for more questions or information about feeding your pets!

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