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8 Best Pet Toad Breeds That Are Easy to Look After (With Pictures)

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

Fowler's Toad in the brush

Keeping a toad as a pet can be very rewarding. Often, toads aren’t hard to take care of and don’t require nearly as much work as some other pets.

However, just because these animals are easy to care for doesn’t mean that you don’t have to put any work into them. Like any pet, you’ll need to keep your toad fed and healthy. Toads must often be fed live insects—something you’ll need to keep in mind before you adopt one.

If you set up their tank correctly, though, many of these toads can live long lives with minimal care.

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The 8 Best Pet Toad Breeds That Are Easy to Look After

1. American Toad

american toad
Image Credit: Bernell MacDonald, Pixabay

The American Toad is a very common toad found throughout North America. They’re one of the hardiest toads around, so they’re a great choice for beginners. They can grow up to 4 inches long and live for up to 10 years when properly cared for. Therefore, they’re great for those looking for a long-lived companion. They don’t require much special care, which is what makes them so good for beginners.

However, these toads aren’t as colorful as some other species. They can be attractive, but they don’t have the same “wow” factor some other species do.

American Toads need a good-sized terrarium of about 10 gallons, at least. It must have a secure lid, too, which helps prevent the toad from escaping. The tank needs a humidity between 50 to 70% humidity. A shallow dish of water should be provided, as well as several spots for the toad to hide.

You’ll need to feed these toads live insects, like crickets and mealworms.

2. California Toad

A common California Toad (Anaxyrus boreas halophilus)
Image Credit: Jason Mintzer, Shutterstock

The California Toad is native to California and a few other western states, too. They’re smaller than the American Toad at around 3 inches long, and they have a slightly shorter lifespan, too. They’re a good option for those interested in a smaller toad, and they will take up less room than many of the other toads on this list.

They’re also less toxic than many toad species out there. Therefore, they are often a much safer choice for handling. They can be a good option for kids, who will inevitably want to hold their toad (with supervision, of course).

The California Toad needs about the same size of a tank as the American toad. It’ll also need places to hide and a dish of water. The humidity is the same, too, at between 50% to 70%.

3. Fire-Bellied Toad

Oriental Fire Bellied Toad closeup on wood
Image Credit: Agus_Gatam, Shutterstock

This toad is native to Eastern Asia. It gets its name from the bright red or orange markings on its belly, which make it stand out from many of the other toads out there. It flashes this belly as a warning to predators, but they make it pretty beautiful for our homes.

Fire-bellied Toads are quite small. They only get up to 2 inches long, and they have a lifespan of about 7 years when properly cared for.

Because they are small, you can get away with a smaller terrarium. However, 10 gallons is still preferable, as it gives the toad plenty of room to move around.

4. White’s Tree Frog

White’s Tree Frog
Image Credit: Hwe Ie, Shutterstock

It’s important to understand that this frog is named after the person who discovered it. They aren’t white. Instead, they’re known for their blue-green color, which can be pale or very bright.

They grow up to 4 inches long and can live for up to 10 years. They need a larger terrarium of at least 20 gallons, as they are quite active. Otherwise, their tank setup can be similar to what we’ve mentioned thus far.

You’ll want to add lots of places for your toad to hide and water. Like most toads, they must be fed live bugs.

5. Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad

Eastern Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)
Image Credit: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock

Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toads are native to the eastern United States. They are small, growing up to 2 inches long. Eastern narrow-mouthed toads are not as colorful as some other toad species, but they are still attractive pets. Those looking for slightly smaller toads might prefer this species.

They can live for up to 8 years, though 5 is more likely. They don’t require tons of care, making them easier for beginners. They’re very docile and easier to handle than some other species.

Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toads are able to burrow underground to escape predators or to hibernate during the winter. However, in captivity, they typically won’t hibernate, though they still prefer plenty of substrate to dig in.

6. Spadefoot Toad

North American spadefoot toad
Image Credit: Viktor Loki, Shutterstock

Spadefoot Toads are native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. They’re pretty small, getting only up to 2 inches long. They’re known for being able to burrow underground during dry periods and survive extreme weather. As you might imagine, they’re pretty easy to care for.

These toads live much shorter lifespans than other toads. They can only live for around 2 to 3 years. They’re very docile, though. Therefore, they’re a better decision for those interested in a good pet toad without a decade-long commitment.

7. Spring Peeper

A closeup shot of a spring peeper on a ground
Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Spring Peepers are native to North America. They are small, growing up to 1.5 inches long. Spring Peepers are known for their loud, high-pitched calls. They are also relatively easy to care for, though they must still eat live insects like other species.

They have a moderately long lifespan of about 3–4 years. They’re docile and can be handled somewhat, as they aren’t particularly toxic. They come in brown, gray, or green. However, they aren’t the prettiest toads and tend to have subdued colorations. They’re also rarer, so finding them to be more challenging.

They require a very similar tank setup to the toads we’ve already discussed.

8. Mexican Tree Toad

Mexican Tree Toad
Image Credit: Matt Jeppson, Shutterstock

As their name suggests, Mexican Tree Toads are native to Mexico. They’re known for their ability to climb trees and bright green coloration. They’re one of the few toad species that spend a lot of time in the trees.

They are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night. Mexican Tree Toads are also good swimmers and require plenty of things to climb on.

With proper care, Mexican Tree Toads can make good pets. They are relatively docile and easy to handle. They can also be quite entertaining to watch, especially when they are climbing. They need a 10-gallon tank and pretty similar setups to other toads. They don’t have super unique care requirements, making them a good choice for beginners.

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Frequent Asked Questions

Are Toads Easy Pets?

Toads can be easy pets. However, they aren’t the best pets for everyone. There are tons of things you should consider when deciding whether or not to get a pet toad.

Toads are generally docile creatures, but some species can be more aggressive than others. It is important to do your research to find a species that is known for its gentle nature. They can range in size from a few inches to several feet long. If you are limited in space, you will want to choose a smaller species. However, smaller species may be active and require just as much room as larger species. Just because a toad is smaller doesn’t mean you can get away with less space.

Toads need a specific environment to thrive. This includes the right temperature, humidity, and substrate. You will also need to provide them with food and water on a regular basis. Setting up their terrarium properly is often one of the hardest parts of caring for them. However, if you can set up their home well, then caring for them is often pretty straightforward.

Some toads are more tolerant of handling than others. Some people are completely okay with not handling their toads at all. Others will want to handle it somewhat. Keep this in mind when you’re choosing a species.

Toads can be rewarding pets for people who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them. Just because they’re easier than most pets doesn’t mean they don’t require any care.

Endangered Species Amargosa toad
Image Credit: Olin Feuerbacher, Shutterstock

Do Toads Like Being Held?

Most toads don’t particularly like being held. They are not social animals and can be easily stressed, causing health problems. You can hold a pet toad occasionally. However, you shouldn’t make it a regular habit. Toads don’t often become “tame” like some other reptiles.

Always wash your hands before handling a toad. Toads have very porous skin, so lotion and other chemicals can irritate them (or even kill them, in some cases). Hold the toad securely with two hands. Falling can cause the toad serious injury or even death, so be extra careful. Preferably, sit while you hold your toad to make falls less troublesome.

Don’t touch the toad’s head or back. These areas are often particularly sensitive, and touching them here may stress the toad out.

No matter what, only handle your toad for a brief period. This prevents the toad from becoming stressed. If you notice your toad becoming stressed, you should stop handling him right away. Stress can cause all sorts of problems for the toad and should be taken seriously.

It is important to remember that toads are wild animals, and they should be respected as such.


Toads can make wonderful beginner pets. They’re often easier to care for than other exotic animals, as long as you set up their habitat correctly.

Some toad species are harder to care for than others, though. Above, we’ve listed eight of the easiest species, which should give you plenty to choose from.

Remember, just because a species is considered easy doesn’t mean they don’t require any time. Many of these toads need a couple of hours of care a week. You’ll also need to set up their habitat correctly before you bring them home, which can require hours.

Featured Image Credit: Krumpelman Photography, Shutterstock

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