Acquired: Pet store
Posted Feb 12, 2015
+ Beautiful to look at; bright vibrant colors
+ Unique pet, conversation piece with friends & family
+ Easy partial dry/wet aquarium setup
+ Minimal daily maintenance
+ Minimal attention required
+ No walking, grooming or yard cleanup requirements
+ Location of reptiles generally stays the same, no wondering if they've "run off."
- Aquarium setup must be solid and intact - these critters jump! They can displace the lid and escape if your top is not held in place or heavy enough.
- Be mindful of those bright, beautiful colors; the toad's skin contains toxins. Touching toad skin and your eyes could result in blindness. ALWAYS wash your hands with soap thoroughly immediately after handling your fire-bellied toad. Adults: Supervise children at all times.
- Toady food = crickets. Some people are fine buying their toads crickets in a jar, but that's not what they prefer. During our toad road experience, we spent tons of time just preparing the food to feed the toads. Food of choice is live crickets. But wait - The live crickets must be dusted in calcium dust THEN dropped carefully (no escaping toads please) into the aquarium (not the water feature) in a way that they will look enticing to the toads. With three small children looking on during this exhausting venture for two years, I'm sure they learned SOMETHING.
- Croaking. I don't mean dying here. Once we had one toad for some time, my kids were convinced he was lonely (thanks Disney!). So, we got a female fire-belly. One night around 2:00am, I awoke to what sounded like the zombie apocalypse. I followed the sound to its source - the croaking/moaning/barking of these two fat little toads. Boy, they were LOUD! I'm not sure if toads do this independently or not.
OVERALL | My recommendation would be to steer away from fire-belly toads as a pet for small children, definitely those not old enough to understand to wash their hands immediately after touching the toad. Option: Don't touch the toad at all. You may want to explore the options of food sources other than live crickets; new items are being introduced to the marketplace every day. Last, make sure when you set up your aquarium, the toad(s) have access to both dry land and water. They need this habitat.