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Tree Frogs

Caring for Pet Tree Frogs

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Tree Frogs
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There are a variety of tree frogs that are kept as pets but the White's tree frog and the American green tree frog are the most popular kinds of tree frogs. They have similar care requirements and make great alternative pets to fish or reptiles.

Tree Frog Housing

One of the reasons why people like pet tree frogs is that they don't take up too much space. You don't need a 100 gallon aquarium like you do for aquatic turtles or a 55 gallon tank that a bearded dragon would require. Usually all you need is a quaint 20-30 gallon tank and a very secure lid. This sized tank doesn't take up too much space, isn't very costly, and still provides ample room for your tree frog.

Natural substrates like bark, soil, gravel, and moss are used for bedding in the tank for your tree frog and also help to hold in moisture. Frogs are amphibians and need to maintain their slime coatings. If they like in too arid of an environment they will not do well. Moss and soil along with regular mistings (with dechlorinated water) or an in-tank fogger or humidifier will help create the humid environment tree frogs need. A bowl of water (also dechlorinated) that they can get into is also necessary.

There are a variety of options for branches and foliage in pet stores that can be used for your pet tree frog. Fish tank, reptile, and even bird or small mammal accessories are often put in frog enclosures to provide places to hide, climb on, and to just add aesthetic appeal. You can use real plants but make sure they are safe for your specific kind of tree frog before planting them in the enclosure. Some can be toxic to frogs, even if they are from the safe area in the world that your frog is native to.

Tree Frog Food

Tree frogs eat insects. Gut loaded crickets and worms are the most popular items fed to pet tree frogs because almost every pet store sells them. Large tree frogs may even eat pinky mice but usually the insects will suffice. Cockroaches, grasshoppers, moths, beetles, and earthworms can also be offered if you are sure they have not been exposed to pesticides or other chemicals. I advise purchasing these harder to find foods from reputable online dealers, rather than trying to catch them in your suburban back yard.

Tree Frog Lighting

Pet tree frogs need to stay warm. Heat lights kept outside of the cage (so your frog doesn't try to stick to it and burn himself) should help keep the tank in the 80's during the day and prevent it from dropping below the 70's at night. UVB lighting is not typically necessary but it also won't hurt your frog if you prefer to provide a light on a 12 hour cycle. If you need to provide heat during the night because the ambient temperature drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure you use a ceramic heat emitter or another type of heat bulb that does not give off white light.

Handling Tree Frogs

As I mentioned before, frogs have a protective slime coat on their skin and are very sensitive. Make sure you wash your hands to get rid of any potential chemicals or lotion residues that are left on your skin before handling your tree frog. Some tree frogs, like White's tree frog, are very docile and do just fine being handled.

Tree Frog Health

Diseases that affect tree frogs include intestinal parasites, prolapses, skin issues, impactions, and more. Find an experienced exotics vet to examine your pet tree frog yearly and check a fecal sample for parasites to maintain optimal health for your amphibian.

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