Beginners Guide to Keeping Tree Frogs as Pets

tree frog

In this Beginners Guide to Keeping Tree Frogs as Pets, you will learn all about tree frogs and the best species of tree frog to keep as pet.

Tree frogs can be interesting and entertaining pets, but it is critical to be knowledgeable and prepared before taking one home.

These little amphibians require special care, requiring a large enclosure, a diet of live insects, and a warm, humid atmosphere. Proper handling is also necessary to preventing disease transmission, and it is critical to find a veterinarian that has experience treating reptiles and amphibians.

A tree frog can be a gratifying and amusing pet for many years if properly set up and cared for.

Tree frogs are intriguing species that may be found all over the world. They are available in a range of colors and sizes.

You can also see 10 Different Types of Poison Dart Frogs You Should Keep as Pet

As a newbie, I will dig a bit deeper into keeping tree frogs as pets in this Beginners Guide to Keeping Tree Frogs as Pets, so please stay with me.

Choosing the right species of tree frog

When choosing a tree frog species to keep as a pet, examine the species’ care requirements and if you can meet those demands.

Tree frogs come in a wide range of varieties and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Here are some examples of common tree frog species you can keep pets:

1.   Red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas):

Red-eyed tree frog

A large terrarium is required for this lovely frog with red eyes and yellow-blue flanks. Because red eyed tree frogs are nocturnal, they spend the majority of the day hidden away immobile, yet at night they may be quite active.

Males grow to be 5.5 cm long, while females grow to be up to 7 cm long. The red-eyed tree frog eats largely insects that fit in its mouth. Meadow, plankton, wax moths, crickets, locusts, curly flies.

The red-eyed tree frog prefers to dwell in a terrarium with a variety of plants, particularly those with bigger leaves.

During the day, these red-eyed creatures normally slumber under the foliage or on a terrarium pane. It requires a slightly larger terrarium due to its territorial and reproductive nature.

2.   Green tree frog

Green tree frog

photo by shutterstock

This medium-sized tree frog is found in the southeastern United States.

This tree frog has a greenish color body with a white, yellow, or sometimes iridescent stripe down either side. Males are generally smaller than females.

This tree frog are a worldwide species that is abundant, especially during the breeding season when males concentrate in swamps, weedy ponds, and lake margins.

Green Tree frogs are arboreal and spend the most of their life in trees.

They are nocturnal animals, with males calling from plants near water or from floating vegetation. The calling season is usually from March to October.

The Green Tree frog’s cry is a loud “reeenk reeenk reeenk.”

They are simple to keep for and make excellent companions for first frog owners. They require an insect feed as well as a reasonable humidity level.

Because of their enormous densities and seemingly steady populations, they are classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

3.   White’s tree frog (Litoria caerulea):

White's tree frog (Litoria caerulea)

photo by shutterstock

White’s tree frog is a huge and robust tree frog native to Australia and New Guinea. They are simple to keep for and make excellent companions for first frog owners. They require an insect feed as well as a reasonable humidity level.

Breeding occurs throughout the summer wet season. It frequently occurs in extremely wet environments such as drainage pipes, water tanks, or water system with grass.

These frogs are highly friendly and show minimal fear of humans. They might be active at any time of day or night.

The male Litoria caerulea calls from high in the trees all year, but at night he comes down to call from slightly raised larger rocks.

During the dry season, they burrow and surround themselves in a cocoon of sloughed epidermis and mucus to stay moist.

During the summer rainy season, they feast for a few days before beginning to breed. When they are endangered, they make an ear-piercing distress call.

Scientists have discovered that the skin secretions of this animal can eliminate the staph bacterium that causes cold sores in Herpes Simplex infections.

4.   Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla)

Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla)

photo by shutterstock

This is a tiny tree frog found in western North America. They are simple to keep for and make excellent companions for first frog owners. They require an insect feed as well as a reasonable humidity level.

Adult Pacific tree frogs are around two inches long and can range in color from bronze brown to light lime green. Adult Pacific tree frogs are around two inches long and can range in color from bronze brown to light lime green. This frog stays moist always because glands in its skin secrete a waxy coating.

The male tree frog’s call is very loud, and it is often repeated multiple times in an attempt to attract females for breeding.  This calling encourages other males to join in, and large groups of these frogs can be heard from a long distance away.

5.   Oriental fire-bellied toad

Oriental fire-bellied toad

photo by shutterstock

This is a little, brightly colored tree frog from eastern Asia. They are popular pets because of their remarkable look and ease of care. They require an insect feed as well as a reasonable humidity level.

The toads will spend a lot of time floating on the water’s surface. They eat a lot of aquatic insects in the wild. In captivity, however, they will consume any commercial live food.

I would not recommend buying this toad if you are concerned about feeding it live insects. Keep in mind that the live food will need to be cared for in order to stay alive and nutritionally viable.

Setting Up Habitant for Tree Frog

It is important to offer a sufficient enclosure, substrate, and furnishings when creating a habitat for a tree frog in order to establish a healthy and pleasant environment for your pet. I will be giving some general guidelines for creating a tree frog habitat:

  • Enclosure:Green tree frogs can be comfortably housed in an indoor tank. Because of their amphibious nature, they require high-quality water to maintain healthy skin, which is essential for fluid balance and gas exchange.   

Three to four adult frogs can be comfortably housed in a regular 90cm tank enclosure.

Check that the tank is not leaking. Green tree frogs are often found in the bushes around a still water source in nature. Larger species may require a larger enclosure.

Make sure your frog has lots of branches, leaves, and other climbing surfaces to use. Artificial plants with broad leaves should be utilized to occupy some of the enclosure’s open space.

These provide shade and resting areas, as well as filtering overhead lights to provide the more muted lighting at ground level preferred by green tree frogs.

frog in indoor tank
  • Substrate: Coconut coir, cypress mulch, or peat moss are ideal substrates for tree frogs. Avoid using wood chips or other substrates that the frog can consume because they can cause stomach difficulties.
  • Furnishings: In addition to climbing surfaces, incorporate some hiding spots in your frog’s enclosure. A small cave, a plastic container with a hole cut in the side, or a piece of bark can all be used.
  • Tree frogs require UVB illumination to help them metabolize calcium and maintain strong bones. To provide the appropriate lighting, use a UVB bulb or a combination of a UVB bulb and a basking light.
  • Heating: Tree frogs require a heat source to keep their enclosure at the right temperature. To provide heat, a basking lamp or ceramic heater can be used, but make sure to use a thermostat to control the temperature and keep the enclosure from becoming too hot.
  • Water: Make sure your tree frog has access to a water source. It’s best to use a shallow dish or a tiny, shallow water basin. To prevent bacteria buildup, replace the water every day and clean the bowl on a regular basis.

5 tips for keeping your tree frog healthy and happy:

  1. Keep the enclosure clean: It is critical to keep the enclosure clean in order to prevent the growth of hazardous microorganisms. Clean the enclosure on a daily basis and thoroughly once a week.
  2. Maintain the right humidity level: Tree frogs require a humid environment, so spritz the cage with water regularly and utilize a moisture-retaining substrate. A humidifier can also aid in the maintenance of correct humidity levels.
  3. Tree frogs can be fed a variety of insects, including crickets, worms, and other small invertebrates. Before giving the insects to your frog, make sure to gut-load them with a nutritious meal. Provide a variety of insects to ensure that your frog’s diet is well-rounded.
  4. Monitor the temperature: Make sure the temperature in the enclosure is within the right range for your tree frog species. Keep track of the temperature with a thermometer and make adjustments as appropriate.
  5. Keep track of your frog’s health: Keep an eye out for signs of illness, such as weight loss, lethargy, or appetite changes. If you detect any changes in the health of your frog, consult a veterinarian who has experience treating reptiles and amphibians.

Feeding Tree Frogs

Tree frogs are almost entirely insectivorous in the wild. Tree frogs can be fed insects such as crickets, roaches, ants, Bees, flies and moths.

Insects should be gut-loaded (fed) and dusted with calcium/multivitamin powder soon before feeding to the frog.

They can also be fed Spiders and beetles.

Adults should be fed 10 – 20% of their body weight every week, spaced out across 2 – 3 feeding. Juveniles should be fed two to three times per day.

Any food that has not been consumed within 10 – 20 minutes should be removed from the tank.

Can I feed plants to my Tree frogs?

Tree frogs are carnivorous, which means they do not eat plants as their primary source of nutrition. Tree frogs, on the other hand, Tree frogs may occasionally consume little portions of fruit or vegetables as a treat. It is critical to exercise caution when providing these meals, as they should not constitute a large portion of the frog’s diet. Too much fruit or vegetables can cause digestive troubles and may not give the frog with the essential nutrients.

Tree Frog Health

Obesity is the most serious health issue that green tree frogs face, and they are prone to it if we overfeed them. Furthermore, not exercising to hunt for prey is another element that contributes to obesity.

If we do not know how to appropriately modify their habitat, it is conceivable that they will interpret captivity too negatively and exhibit symptoms such as lack of intake, lack of hydration, apathy, and even depression.

If we notice this type of behavior, we should take the animal as soon as possible to a veterinarian who is knowledgeable with exotic animals.

Cleaning the terrarium will protect the frog from infections caused by germs or viruses.

Do tree frogs have predators?

Tree frogs are prey animals with a plethora of natural predators in the wild. Snakes, birds of prey, and larger mammals such as raccoons and opossums are common predators of tree frogs.

Tree frogs have a number of adaptations that assist them avoid predators in their native habitat.

Camouflage coloring, the capacity to jump vast distances, and the ability to vocalize loudly to scare predators are examples of these.

If you keep tree frogs as pets, make sure their enclosure is secure and escape-proof to keep them safe from any predators.

It’s also a good idea to keep them away from pets like cats and dogs, as they can be harmful.

Is it possible for Tree Frogs to Bite?

You may be wondering if it is possible for tree frogs to bite. Yes, Tree frogs can bite; however, it is uncommon for them to do so. Tree frogs are generally peaceful and have never been known to attack people.

A tree frog may bite in a few conditions, such as when it feels threatened or is mistreated.

To avoid bites, it is critical to handle tree frogs delicately and to wash your hands before and after handling them.

If you are bitten by a tree frog, the bite is usually not significant and will not cause long-term harm. However, to help avoid infection, carefully cleanse the bite wound with soap and water.

Veterinary and Health Advice

  • A reptile and amphibian vet should inspect any new frog. If considered essential, parasite examinations and general blood screenings can be performed.
  • It is critical that any freshly obtained frog be quarantined. Don’t expose yourself to sickness or parasites. For more information on sound quarantine methods, consult your reptile and amphibian veterinarian.
  • It is suggested that you have your frogs examined by a veterinarian once a year.
  • When handling amphibians, always use lightly wetted gloves. Always wash your hands after handling amphibians and in between.
  • It is a good idea to weigh and record the body weight of your frogs on a regular basis, as weight loss is frequently the first indicator of sickness.
  • Individually transported frogs can be transported in small plastic containers (with air holes) with a moistened substrate such as a wet, unbleached paper towel.

Tree Frog Reproduction

Reproduction varies with species, and many Tree Frogs do not reproduce in captivity. Sexual maturity is normally reached around 18 months, and they lay their eggs between the leaves of plants near water, frequently in vegetation that arises from the water itself.

Depending on the species, the incubation period can last a week or longer; once the eggs hatch, the tadpoles will live in the water until they complete their metamorphosis.

How to know female or male tree frogs?

  • The skin of male frogs is sometimes tougher than that of female frogs, like in the newly found Thorny Tree Frog (Gracixalus lumarius) from Vietnam. Males have conical spikes running down their backs, whereas females are smooth.
  • If you closely examined the objectives of male frogs, you would see that they have bigger, more heavily muscled arms, giving them the appearance of having worked out.
  • The simplest way to tell if a frog is male or female is to remember that male frogs croak by inflating their throat pouch.

To attract female frogs, male frogs call from potential breeding places. When male frogs call, their throat swells as their vocal sac filled with air, intensifying their voice.

frog vocal sac
  • Female frogs are often larger than male frogs. We’ll assume it’s because females are in charge of carrying the eggs. This is to allow for the amphibian mating process known as amplexus.

The male climbs on top of the female, and she bears his weight as she releases eggs and he spreads sperm on top of them. Because he is smaller, his weight does not crush her.

amphibian mating


Now that you have learnt the Beginners Guide to Keeping Tree Frogs as Pets, it should be mentioned that if we wish to keep a tree frog as a pet, we should not expect it to behave like other domestic animals like dogs and cats.

Frogs are extremely wild animals, and distinguishing evidence of affection is nearly difficult. When they are not among other members of their kind, they are quiet, silent, and solitary creatures.

As previously stated, these pets are normally quiet, but we must know how to treat them because if they feel threatened, they will not hesitate to protect themselves.

We must avoid upsetting them and removing them from their natural habitat because they become anxious.

They are pets in the same way that fish are, in that you can enjoy observing them without constantly controlling them.

If we decide to adopt one of these beautiful pets, we must educate ourselves on the customs of the species that we wish to acquire; this is necessary in order to reproduce a habitat that is as similar to its natural environment as possible.

Those bred in captivity are the most likely to survive in the household environment. It is critical not to overcrowd the terrarium and to keep specimens of the same species together.