Can Frogs Drown In Water Or Pond? (Causes of Frog Drowning)

Common water frog in pond

In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of discussions and queries regarding whether frogs can drown in Water Or Pond? The straight-to-the-point answer is YES, frogs can drown in water or pond. 

Frogs have lungs, despite being able to breathe through their skin while in water bodies, so when their lung is filled with water they can drown, this could be as a result of contaminated water, low oxygen in the water, being sick, among other factors.

The widespread notion that frogs are natural-born swimmers and cannot possibly drown is, unfortunately, not entirely accurate. The reality is more complex.

In this in-depth piece, we will be investigating the aquatic capabilities of frogs and dispelling the myths around the possibility that they could drown.

You may also look at Can Frogs Breathe Underwater?

Now let’s get straight to it!

Can Frogs Drown In Water Or Pond?

Let’s take a look at the possibility of a frog drowning in water or a pond. The straightforward response is yes, frogs can drown in water or a pond, but there is a little bit more complexity to frog drowning.

Frogs are susceptible to drowning if they are deprived of oxygen for an extended amount of time.

Even though they are well-equipped for life in the water, they nevertheless run the risk of suffocating and dying if they become trapped underwater or if they are in an environment with low oxygen levels. Because of this, they have a propensity to remain close to the water’s surface, particularly when they are actively moving about.

In spite of the fact that frogs are known for their swimming prowess, they are not immune to the dangers that lurk in aquatic surroundings.

It is possible for frogs to drown if they are submerged underwater for an extended period of time.

When there is not enough oxygen or when they become caught in a scenario where they cannot access the surface, the risk of them drowning significantly increases.

How Can Frogs Drown?

There are several ways for a frog to drown:

If They Can’t Get To The Surface Of Water To Get Air.

Frogs breathe through their skin and mouths, so if they are in water for too long, they will drown.

This can happen if they are stuck in a small body of water, like a puddle, or if they are caught in a current and can’t swim to shore, or they are trapped in a container of water with low oxygen level.

If They Are Exposed To Cold Water, Frogs May Drown.  

Frogs are cold-blooded, which means that when they are in cold water, their metabolism slows down. This can make it hard for them to breathe, which could cause them to drown.

If Chemicals In The Water Make Them Sick, Frogs Will Drown.

Pesticides and fertilizers can be harmful to frogs if they end up in the water. They can get sick and drown if they eat these poisons.

If Frogs Are Injured They Risk Drowning .  

If a frog gets injured, it might not be able to swim or breathe well, which can cause it to drown.

If The Oxygen In The Water Is Too Low

Most aquatic frogs need oxygen-rich freshwater to breathe and stay hydrated, else they will drown.

Low oxygen levels caused by pollution, brackishness, and high salinity are fatal to frogs.

Some frogs, like the African clawed frog, can hold their breath for a long time and can live in water that is very cold. However, most frogs can drown if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

How Long Can A Frog Hold Its Breath Under Water Before Drowning?

The typical frog’s ability to hold its breath under water ranges from 4 to 7 hours. However, there are certain kinds of frogs that are capable of holding their breath for even longer periods of time.

For instance, the African clawed frog has the ability to hold its breath for up to 26 hours, while the wood frog has the ability to hold its breath for up to 8 months while it is hibernating.

The Siberian Wood Frog has the ability to avoid drowning for up to 97 days even while submerged in water with low oxygen levels.

The amount of time that a frog is able to go without breathing is determined by a number of specific situations, such as the species of frog, the temperature of the water, and the amount of activity that the frog is engaging in. A frog that is swimming will need to breathe more frequently than a frog that is sitting still since they are expending more energy.

Where Do Frogs Usually Drown?

Even though frogs can drown anywhere, it is harder for them to do so in their natural environment.

They drown when it is hard for them to get oxygen or get out of the water.

Most of the time, you will find drown frogs in:

Small bodies of water: Puddles, buckets, and birdbaths are all examples of small bodies of water where frogs can easily drown. Because they could get stuck and not be able to get to the surface to breathe.

Storm drains: Frogs can also get hurt by storm drains. When it rains, water can fill up storm drains and trap frogs inside. If the frog can’t figure out how to get out, it will drown.

Pools and ponds: Frogs can also drown in pools and ponds, especially if they can’t swim well.

A frog that gets caught in a current can be carried away and drown.

Chemicals in ponds: Frogs can also drown if they are in ponds with chemicals. Pesticides and fertilizers can hurt a frog’s respiratory system and make it hard for it to breathe.

Irrigation ditches: Frogs can also get hurt in irrigation ditches. Many of these ditches are deep and move quickly, making it hard for frogs to get out.

If a frog falls into a ditch used for watering crops, it can quickly drown.

Can Frogs Drown During Mating?

It is possible for frogs to drown while they are mating. This is due to the fact that they run the risk of getting stuck underwater or being unable to reach the surface in order to breathe.

It is most common in puddles, buckets, and birdbaths, which are all examples of very small bodies of water.

Frogs can become tremendously excited during the mating process, to the point where they lose awareness of their surroundings.

Frogs might also become tangled up with one another or with the surrounding vegetation, which would make it impossible for them to get away.

If a frog stays submerged for an excessive amount of time, it will eventually drown.

Why Frogs Drown During Mating Season?

During the mating season, there are several reasons that can cause frogs to drown:

Risk of becoming trapped in the water:  It is possible for frogs to become tangled up in one other or in the surrounding vegetation when they are mating, which makes it harder for them to ascend to the water’s surface to breathe.

Exhausted:  Frogs put in a lot of effort throughout the mating process, and if they are too tired, they won’t be able to make it to the surface of the water.

They may be exposed to cold water:  As cold-blooded animals, frogs are susceptible to hypothermia if they are placed in water that is too cold for them to survive. Because of this, it may become difficult for them to breathe, which may ultimately lead to drowning.

They may be poisoned by chemicals in the water: Toxins in the water, such as pesticides and fertilizers, can have a negative impact on frogs’ health.

Frogs run the risk of becoming ill and drowning if they consume these poisons.

A dead American Toad underwater during the breeding season
A dead American Toad underwater during the breeding season

It is essential to keep in mind that the mating season does not cause all frogs to perish by drowning. However, this is a risk concern that should be taken into consideration, particularly if your backyard has even just a few pools of water.

Frogs That Live In Water

Aquatic frogs, sometimes known as water frogs, are frogs that spend most of their time submerged in water.

These toads have evolved certain adaptations that allow them to live and thrive in or near water.

Frog SpecieDescriptionCan live in water?
African Clawed FrogAfrican Clawed Frog are from Africa. They live in water and are often kept as pets. They have flat bodies and fully webbed feet, which makes them great swimmers.Yes
BullfrogIt is common in ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams in North America. They have strong legs that help them swim and jump.Yes
Green FrogGreen frogs are are semi-aquatic and are mostly found in wetland areas, marshes, and near the edges of ponds and lakes. They have bright green skin, and their calls are easy to remember.Yes
Water-Holding FrogWater-Holding Frog come from Australia and are used to living in dry areas. They dig holes in the ground and wait for it to rain hard so their holes can fill with water. They live there until the water runs out.Partially  
European Common FrogEuropean Common Frog live in Europe and are often found in ponds, ditches, and other freshwater places. They are known for having spots on their skin, and they spend time both in and out of the water.Yes

Adaptation Of Frogs To Living In Water

To survive in wet surroundings, frogs have developed a wide variety of extraordinary adaptations. Because they spend so much time in or near water, these frog’s water adaptations are vital to their survival and often help in prevent frogs from drowning in water or ponds.

The following are some of the most important adaptations that allow frogs to thrive in aquatic habitats

Webbed Feet: Webbed feet are a common adaptation for aquatic frogs.
The webbing in between their toes functions like flippers, helping them swim quickly and efficiently.

Webbed Feet of frof

This adaptation improves their swimming skills, allowing them to be swift predators and evaders.

Buoyant Bodies: Aquatic frogs may have air sacs and/or have lightweight bones. These modifications grant them buoyancy, allowing them to float effortlessly in the water.

This buoyancy helps swimmers save energy, which is a huge plus to frog’s breathing.

Skin Respiration: Frogs are well-known for their skin respiration abilities. This adaptation is particularly helpful in aquatic habitats.

Frogs can stay underwater for long periods of time because their skin is porous enough to draw oxygen from the water.

Vocal Sac for Buoyancy: Male frogs use their vocal sacs for buoyancy when calling to potential mates during mating season. They use their vocal sacs as floatation devices to keep near the water’s surface when mating calls.

Frog in pond displaying its vocal sac
Frog in pond displaying its vocal sac

Long Legs:  many aquatic frogs have unusually lengthy hind legs. They can leap into the water with ease and swim for long distances because of the strength of their limbs. They’re also crucial for pounce attacks.

Large Eyes and Nostrils: The eyes and nostrils of aquatic frogs tend to be large and situated high on the animal’s head.

Frogs can see and breathe normally while being mostly submerged because to this arrangement.

Glandular Skin: The skin of aquatic frogs has glands, which help them breathe and control the amount of water in their bodies (maintaining the balance of water and electrolytes in their bodies).

These glands make mucus, which can trap water and keep the skin from drying out which will aid frog skin respiration.


From the in-depth analysis about whether or not frogs can drown in water or pond, we have seen that there is a risk of drowning for frogs if they are in water or a pond. Frogs take in oxygen through both their lungs and their skin; hence, if they are unable to come to the surface for air, they will eventually suffocate.

It is possible for frogs to die from drowning if they become engulfed in water that is too deep for them to escape, or if they are unable to locate an exit from a pond or any body of water.

You might want to consider putting a frog ladder or ramp in your pond if you are concerned about the possibility of frogs sinking to their deaths in the water there.

Frogs are essential members of the environment, and it is incumbent upon all of us to do all we can in Preventing Frog Drowning.

We can assist to protect frogs from drowning and ensure that they will continue to thrive in our environment if we take a few basic frog’s pond safety measures.

See also: 10 weird facts about frogs you need to know.

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