Acquired: Pet store
Posted Nov 10, 2014
Frogs make interesting pets; they come in a variety of sizes and colours, live in very different habitats and have many different adaptations that make them quite interesting to watch. They can be quite hardy, but depending on the species they can be quite fragile too. If you have young children I suggest getting a frog they cannot handle much simply because frogs are born leapers, they can be delicate creatures, and as amphibians some may carry bacteria that can cause salmonella if you don’t wash your hands after handling them. Older kids would probably enjoy a hardy species of frog, one they can handle a little more and play with if they’re gentle.
There was a fad many years ago, maybe you’ve seen it. They had these little plastic-like aquariums in different shapes, containing different pets like fighting fish, other fish or frogs. These little containers weren’t just sold in pet shops but other stores as well, I saw mine at The Bay shopping center in West Edmonton Mall. It was one of the last few there, I like watching fish so I thought I’d go see them while my parents were looking at something else. The one I saw had a little frog about the size of a pencil eraser. He was the only frog there, the rest were fish and I was convinced he must be lonely and needed a home.
He was a cute little frog, not the kind you can really handle but still neat to watch – except no one had really bothered to tell me what to feed it. After some research I realized he was an African Dwarf or Pygmy frog and that he wouldn’t grow much bigger, that we didn’t need to put him in a bigger aquarium and that he ate turtle food pellets. I’m not sure if they co-exist with fish, or certain kinds of fish as we never took him out of his little aquarium. I’m not really sure if they can co-exist with other amphibians either, they can be pretty small so I’d be worried he’d become breakfast for something else. I would think they’d do fine sharing a tank with another dwarf frog or more, they don’t seem to be aggressive or have harmful tools like teeth and claws to hurt one another with.
At first he was so small we had to split one or two pellets in two or three pieces before he could eat it. Like many animals, he grew quite quickly though he eventually stopped when he was about the size of a white eraser and eating four or five pellets whole. He had an obsession with splaying out completely, arms and legs sticking out and his little webbed feet and hands open as much as possible before he sort of fidgeted up to catch the floating food. He also became quite finicky about how he ate, if the food sank too far he wouldn’t catch it, but if floated for too long he’d ignore it. I always smile thinking something so small can still be a character. It got to the point where mom would have to count to six seconds and then sink the food by using a toothpick – I think he just got lazy and didn’t feel like swimming to the top all the time.
I think the African Dwarf frog is a unique pet if you want something a little different than fish, and are much cooler than sea monkeys. They aren’t really too hard to care for, they prefer sun light but not direct sunlight and we bought maybe one bottle of turtle food a year so they’re pretty inexpensive as far as requirements go. They do shed their skin sometimes and that can cause a scummy film on the surface of the water so you’ll have to scoop that out of the aquarium.
If you want something you can hold I’d suggest going with a different kind of amphibian, but if you’re looking for something different, easy to care for, and quiet company then check them out. That little frog lived about eight years!