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What Do Pet Frogs Eat? Vet Reviewed Diet Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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Frogs can make excellent pets and are even considered good first-time pets for those who have never owned any animals. They are small, don’t need walking, and don’t take up too much room. And, because they aren’t all that keen on being handled and petted, they don’t require a lot of ongoing attention. However, any potential owner needs to meet the health and care requirements of their frog to ensure that it is healthy and safe. One such requirement is food.

In the wild, frogs have adapted to eat a wide variety of different foods and food sources. This can be difficult to replicate when keeping frogs as pets and there aren’t any commercial frog food pellets available. Although it will depend on the species and other factors, most pet frogs eat a combination of crickets, mealworms, locusts, caterpillars, and even some mice.

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What Do Frogs Eat?

pacman frog resting
Image Credit: Patchara T, Shutterstock

In the wild, adult frogs are carnivores. Most species eat primarily insects but will also eat small vertebrates. As tadpoles, though, they do not need any insects and are herbivores that live on algae and other plants and decaying matter on the water. When kept as pets, frogs need to be given as similar a diet as possible to the one they would have in the wild, but this can be very challenging because of the wide variety of different meals that a wild frog would consume and their availability to frog owners.

The types of food that you give your frog will depend on the type of frog:

  • Crickets will form the main bulk of a pet frog’s diet. They are easy to get hold of from most pet stores and they can be gut-loaded before feeding. Gut-loading insects means feeding them nutrients that your frog will consume when eating the insect. It is a good way of getting additional vitamins and minerals into your frog without having to try and feed them a supplement powder or vitamin tablets.
  • Mealworms or waxworms are another readily available option, although they can’t be gut-loaded in the same way as crickets. If you can’t find a regular supply of crickets in a pet store near you, try a bait store for live mealworms instead.
  • Some pet stores will have locusts and grasshoppers. These are a good addition to your frog’s diet and can be fed along with crickets. A frog benefits from being given a varied diet because it would enjoy this variety in the wild.
  • Aquatic worms like bloodworms are essential for aquatic frogs. These can be bought from some pet stores, aquariums, or online and delivered to your address.
  • Some large frog species will eat small mice. The Pacman Frog is a popular pet frog that will enjoy the occasional mouse. Mice can be bought from pinkie (baby) to adult size, depending on the size of your frog, and they can be bought frozen as well as live. Frozen mice will need to be thawed and warmed to make them appealing to your frog and most will prefer live food.

How Much Should Frogs Eat?

Lively frogs need to eat once or twice a day, while medium frogs need to eat every day or two. Large frogs should only be fed mice roughly once a week. For small and medium frogs, let them eat as much as they can consume within 15 minutes. Remove any insects that are left over.

When choosing insects, some come in a range of sizes. The insect should not be any longer than the distance between your frog’s eyes or it may choke.

Bull frog eating another frog
Image Credit: Abigail Barhorst, Shutterstock

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Frogs can make great beginner pets. They are relatively easy to care for, although owners do need to meet their habitat, health, and dietary requirements. In the wild, frogs eat a wide variety of foods including different insects and even some small animals. A pet frog might need to eat mealworms and crickets, while some species need to be fed pinkies, or baby mice.

Only feed as much as your frog can eat in 15 minutes, ensure that no piece of prey is longer than the distance between your frog’s eyes, and try to provide a decent variety of different foods to keep things interesting.

Featured Image Credit: saguari, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is a lover of animals of all sizes but is especially fascinated with the feline variety. She’s the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese, and works every day so he can relax in the sunshine or by the fire. She’s always had a cat in her home and has spent countless days with others, observing behaviors and softening up even the grouchiest of the lot. Nicole wants to share her kitty expertise with you so you and your cat ...Read more

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