7 BEST Small Frogs As Pets: Easy Frog Breeds For Beginners

Small frogs can make delightful pets for those who appreciate observing their unique behaviors and life cycles. They’re often captivating, with their diverse colors, patterns, and habits.

Many species are quite small, which means they don’t need as much space as larger pets, making them suitable for people who might not have a lot of room to spare. Furthermore, with many species being relatively low-maintenance, they can be good pets for those who are dedicated to providing the appropriate care but might not have the time required for more demanding animals.

Best Small Frog Breeds As Pets

small frog terrarium
Small pet frogs generally don’t require as big a terrarium

It’s crucial to remember that frogs have specific needs that differ considerably from traditional pets like cats and dogs. They require a carefully maintained environment, with appropriate heat, humidity, lighting, and cleanliness. Their diet is typically live insects, which means you’ll need to be comfortable handling bugs.

Frogs are also not typically pets that you can handle often, as their skin is delicate and can easily absorb harmful substances or bacteria from human hands. Therefore, they’re not the best choice if you’re looking for a pet to cuddle or interact with physically. Nonetheless, for those fascinated by these small creatures and willing to provide the right care, frogs can make rewarding pets.

These are 7 of the best small frog breeds that can be kept as pets.

1. American Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)

The American Green Tree Frog is known for its vibrant green color and relaxed nature. These small frogs, which usually grow to about 2 inches in length, are often found in the trees and bushes of the southeastern United States. They’re nocturnal, meaning most of their activity takes place at night. In captivity, they can live up to 5 years with proper care. As pets, they make great ‘look but don’t touch’ animals and are fascinating to observe, especially when they’re hunting their meals or exploring their habitat at night.

Why they’re good for pets: American Green Tree Frogs are relatively easy to care for, requiring a terrarium with appropriate humidity and temperature controls. They are usually hardy and tolerate handling better than some other frog species, although frequent handling is still not recommended. They feed primarily on small insects, such as crickets and moths, and their diet is easy to manage. Their stunning color and interesting behaviors can make them a joy to watch.

2. Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor)

The Gray Tree Frog is native to much of the United States and parts of Canada. They have the fascinating ability to change their color to blend into their surroundings, ranging from light gray to dark gray or even green. Usually reaching lengths of 1.5 to 2 inches, they are arboreal and prefer habitats with plenty of foliage.

Why they’re good for pets: Gray Tree Frogs are generally quiet and unassuming, which can make them an appealing pet for someone looking for a low-key companion. They are also hardy and adaptable to a variety of living conditions, which can make them easier to care for than some other species. Their color-changing ability adds an element of intrigue and can provide a talking point for visitors.

3. Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

Spring Peepers are tiny, often measuring just an inch in length. They’re famous for their loud, peeping call, a harbinger of spring in many parts of North America. They’re typically brown or tan with a dark cross on their back.

Why they’re good for pets: Spring Peepers are relatively easy to keep, requiring a semi-aquatic setup that provides areas for both swimming and basking. Their small size means they don’t need a large habitat, making them suitable for those with limited space. Moreover, the chorus of their calls can be an interesting (though possibly noisy) addition to the home.

4. Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla)

Native to the western coast of the United States, Pacific Tree Frogs are small, usually around 2 inches long, and come in a variety of colors. They’re agile climbers and prefer habitats with plenty of vegetation.

Why they’re good for pets: They are known for their hardiness and adaptability, which makes them relatively easy to care for in captivity. They also have a distinctive, melodic call that many people find pleasant. As they’re active both day and night, they provide plenty of opportunities for observation.

5. Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

These small, hardy frogs are found throughout the central United States and parts of Canada. They’re typically around an inch long, with a pattern of three dark stripes or a series of spots down their backs.

Why they’re good for pets: Boreal Chorus Frogs are known for their adaptability and resilience, which can make them a good choice for first-time frog owners. They have a unique, distinctive call that can be an interesting addition to the home. They’re also prolific climbers, which can make them entertaining to watch.

6. Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)

Leopard Frogs are native to many parts of the United States and Canada. They’re larger than the other frogs on this list, typically growing to between 2 and 4 inches in length. They’re known for their attractive patterning, which often includes dark spots on a green or brown background.

Why they’re good for pets: Leopard Frogs are generally hardy and adaptable, with a diet that includes a wider range of food than many other frogs. They require a habitat with both land and water areas, which can be interesting to set up and maintain. As they are more active than some other frog species, they can provide plenty of interest for their owners.

7. Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita)

Southern Chorus Frogs are small, typically around 1 inch in length, and are native to the southeastern United States. They’re usually brown or gray with distinctive dark markings.

Why they’re good for pets: Southern Chorus Frogs are hardy and adaptable, making them a good choice for beginners. They’re known for their distinctive call, which can add a unique element to your pet-owning experience. Plus, their small size makes them suitable for those with limited space.

Small Pet Frogs Vs Large

There are several benefits to owning small frog breeds compared to larger ones:

  1. Space: Small frogs require less space than larger breeds. A smaller terrarium or tank can comfortably house them, making them a better choice for pet owners living in apartments or homes with limited space.
  2. Diet: The feeding requirements for smaller frogs are often less than that of larger breeds, both in quantity and size of prey. This means less cost over time, as well as easier maintenance.
  3. Handling: While handling any frog should be minimized to prevent harm to their sensitive skin, smaller frogs are generally easier to manage when necessary.
  4. Life span: Many small frog species have shorter lifespans compared to larger species, which might be more suitable for some pet owners who can’t commit to a pet for many years.
  5. Cost: Smaller species are often less expensive to buy and care for than larger species. This includes the cost of their habitat, diet, and any necessary accessories or equipment.
  6. Visibility: Smaller frogs often live in groups, which makes them more visible in their enclosure. Larger frog species are often solitary and may hide during the day, making them less visible.

Remember, the most important factor in choosing a frog—or any pet, for that matter—is your ability and willingness to meet its specific care needs. All frog species, regardless of size, require careful attention to their diet, habitat, and overall health.

Small Frogs

Selecting a small frog breed as a pet, like the Pacific Tree Frog or the Boreal Chorus Frog, can offer an appealing blend of unique characteristics and manageable care needs. Their small sizes mean they require less space, making them an ideal choice for individuals living in smaller dwellings.

Their fascinating behaviors provide an educational and entertaining experience for their owners. However, keeping frogs as pets comes with specific responsibilities. They need a carefully controlled environment, a diet primarily consisting of live insects, and minimal handling due to their sensitive skin. They might not be the best choice for those seeking a pet for physical interaction, but for those interested in observing fascinating behaviors and willing to provide the right care, small frogs offer a unique pet-keeping experience.

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