Rescue / shelter organization,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Brainerd, Minnesota, United States
Posted Apr 20, 2010
I grew up catching (and releasing) these frogs right in my own back yard. Keeping them as pets can cost a small fortune though. They need both land and water, and plenty of space. Don't expect to cram these guys into a 10-20 gallon tank and have them happy and healthy! For a true proper set-up you're looking at a 55-gallon set up with water (shallow part and deeper part), land (they prefer moist dirt and foliage - no floating docks please), and a good filter. You'll want a filter that doesn't produce a strong current as these guys tend to prefer calmer waters. They eat a variety of bugs, so feeding them isn't too terribly difficult. If your local pet store runs out of feeder crickets, try something new - mealworms, wax worms, earth worms, night crawlers, etc. If you catch them from outside, make sure they are pesticide-free!
These guys are lots of fun to look at, and they often sing just as much in captivity as they would in the wild. This becomes a problem if you enjoy a quiet nights sleep - they can be loud and persistent. These are not generally a hold-and-play-with type pet. The salt from your hands is not good for them, and they can carry germs and bacteria that can make you sick if you don't practice good hand-washing skills after handling them. I do not suggest this frog as a pet for small children for this very reason.
If you can afford to create a proper set up for these guys, they are incredibly easy to get. In many states they are wild and it's as easy as heading to your local lake or pond and catching one. In states they are not native to, many pet stores can special order them upon request. As with any animal, please check your local and state laws regarding owning leopard frogs. It may require a fishing or game license. Also - if you can not keep your pet, please do not release it into the wild. Frogs kept in captivity may lose their instincts to hunt, avoid predators and hibernate. Captive frogs may have germs the wild populations do not have, or vice-versa, causing illness and death. It may also be illegal to release a non-native species, depending where you live.