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Can Frogs Eat Mealworms? Vet-Approved Nutrition Guidelines

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Can Frogs Eat Mealworms

Vet approved

Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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For those who are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary in a pet, or perhaps your home isn’t suited to having a cat or dog, frogs make unique and interesting additions to any household. However, they have very specific needs when it comes to creating and maintaining their habitat, and their diet is another thing that needs to be carefully considered. For example, can frogs eat mealworms? This has an easy answer, which is yes, frogs can eat mealworms. But you likely have even more questions, like how should your frog be fed such a food source? Here, we set out to explain why mealworms are safe and healthy treats for frogs and how to feed them to these amphibians.

frog divider hepper

Yes, Frogs Can Eat Mealworms

Mealworms are a good source of protein and other nutrients for frogs. In the wild, frogs would happily eat them as part of their diet, but in captivity, frogs rely on us to provide them with the foods that they love and that will meet their nutritional needs. One of the most important factors in feeding your pet frog is variety. Here are some of the reasons mealworms are a great addition to your frog’s menu:

  • They are full of protein, which all frogs require throughout their lives. Protein enables them to grow strong bodies, healthy bones, and sharp minds so they can thrive in their natural (or human made) environments.
  • They are easy to obtain, as they are readily available in pet stores. Freeze-dried is the best option, as this keeps them fresh and removes the risk of live mealworms causing your frog any harm, as not all pet frogs are accustomed to live prey.

That said, there are also a few concerns to consider when feeding mealworms to your pet frog. These include:

  • The exoskeletons of mealworms can be hard for frogs to digest. Therefore, they should never be a major part of their diet. While they do provide crucial nutrients, they also come with the possibility of side effects like gastrointestinal distress.
  • Mealworms don’t offer all the nutrients that the average frog needs for long-term health and happiness. While they can contribute to a healthy frog diet, they should not be thought of as a main meal and should instead be treated as occasional treats and/or snacks.
Photo Credit: Joshua A Houck, Shutterstock

Other Types of Food That Frogs Can Safely Eat

Frogs should eat many other insects to have a well-rounded diet that meets all their nutritional needs. Mealworms provide a nice base to start with, but a few or all the following options should be considered when creating a meal plan for your pet frog:

  • Black Soldier Flies — These critters are high in calcium and provide an array of nutrients that frogs rely on to maintain good health.
  • Waxworms — most frogs highly enjoy these, but they are high in fat and can result in obesity.
  • Crickets — These calcium bombs are easy to source from small and large pet stores in small towns and large cities. You can even breed your own to have a steady food supply at home.
  • Fruit Flies — These are especially favorable to small frogs like dart frogs, but they are suitable for any type of frog that you might be caring for.
  • Small Mice — Some large frogs, like the pacman frog, enjoy and can benefit from eating baby mice as part of their overall diet.

The idea is to offer a variety of different types of foods to your pet frog to make sure they get all the nutrients that they need, no matter what stage of life they are in.

Never feed your frog any bugs you have caught yourself – feeding the wrong type of insect could be extremely harmful to your pet. The other issue is that there is a chance that any bugs sourced from outside may have been exposed to herbicides, pesticides, or other toxins. It is always best to purchase your insects from a reputable exotic pet supplier.

How to Feed Mealworms to Frogs

The best way to feed mealworms to frogs is when they are alive, just as they would be found in nature. However, domesticated frogs don’t always know how to capture and eat live mealworms. Therefore, you may need to feed your frog frozen mealworms whole or chopped up until they become accustomed to the taste and texture.

You can then try adding live mealworms to your frog’s habitat, just one or two at a time so they can learn to eat like they would in the wild. Some frogs will never get used to eating live mealworms, though, so they will always need to be fed frozen and/or chopped-up mealworms.

lots of mealworms
Photo Credit: Pixabay

Commercial Food Is Recommended

To ensure that your pet frog gets all the nutrition that they need for a happy and healthy life, you should incorporate commercial food designed for the type of frog that you own. This commercial food should make up the majority of your pet frog’s diet so you don’t have to play any guessing games or worry about whether your pet is missing out on important nutrients that they need.

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Final Thoughts

Frogs can and should eat mealworms as part of their overall diet. However, they should not be a main staple. Instead, they should be accompanied by different types of food to ensure that your pet gets all the nutrition that they need for optimal health throughout their life.

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Authored by

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens. She is an artist at heart and loves...Read more

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