Have You Been Mulling Over Adopting An American Toad?

There is nothing more rewarding than adopting toads for pets. They are not just the right pet for beginners, but they suit immensely well because they are cost-effective. You will not have to break the bank to care for them. 

Another reason why we think that they make great pets here in the US is that they are not finicky about their food at all! They will gladly eat anything that you will feed them. Their wide availability is one another reason for them to be popular pets across one-half of households in America. Young children and adults will love watching their antics. 

What exactly is the American Toad?

Anaxyrus Americanus has three kinds of frogs that are generally referred to as real toads. They are:

  1. The Hudson Bay Toad
  2. The Dwarf American Toad
  3. The Eastern American Toad

The color palate of the frogs can be rich and varied. They come in a lot of colors like grey, browns, black and yellow. Some of the frogs can come in solid colors, while some others can be speckled.

We have already said that it is effortless to care for a toad. There is no real reason for you to break an arm and a leg to be able to afford to keep a pair or two. You could easily make a DIY cage for them and decorate it as per your aesthetic sense.

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american frog

Here is how to set up a comfortable peasy toad cage:

You will need:

  • A minimum of a 10-gallon aquarium. The rule of the thumb is to add extra ten-gallon capacity for every toad that you want to add. Now the toads do not need so much room, but bigger spaces are more comfortable for them. So why not?
  • A good quality non-particulate substrate. The substrate has to be a minimum of two inches deep and can go up to 4 inches because American toads love to burrow. We will explain what the best substrates are in a bit. 
  • Plants and leaves litter, which will give a lot of hiding place to the toad. It will also keep it fresh during the day.
  • A shallow, sturdy dish for water that will need to be filled with bottled water or from the conditioner. 
  • Decorations so that the toadies are well entertained and get some more hiding place
  • A screen lid is a sine quo non because you don’t want them to leap out and go missing
  • A thermometer and a hygrometer because maintaining the right temperature and humidity is part and parcel of taking good care.
  • A mist spray bottle

Which substrate should you use?

The best substrates are 

  • Coconut fiber
  • Soil that is sourced from the plantation field
  • ABG ready mix
  • Soiled mixed with peat moss
  • Coconut bark
  • Market available amphibian friendly mulch

The cage must have sufficient depth and have a substrate laid off at least 3 to 4 inches in case of adult toads. 

The cage can be decorated with leaves, cork barks, branches, and logs from trees as they could provide sufficient hiding place for the inmates.

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Water should be filled in a shallow dish and replaced with clean water every day. Toads can survive a long time without water, but make sure to give them fresh, clean bottled water so that they stay hydrated. Tap water may carry chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride, chloramine that can be harmful to their health.

If you are keeping live plants in the cage, be sufficiently warned that the root system could be damaged due to their burrowing habits. 

american frog in water

American Toad Care Guide

1. Heat and lighting:

Toads are nocturnal beings and spend their days burrowed in soil. There is no need for any UVB light source for them if they are getting sufficient natural light. If they are housed all the time indoors, and there is no source in the room for any natural lights to flicker in, then you must provide a lighting source in the cage for 12 to 15 hours to induce a cycle of night and day. 

Temperatures between 60 and 75 F are comfortable for the toads. They can survive harsh summers by burrowing and thermoregulate themselves. To maintain humidity at ideal levels, spray mist for two whole minutes on the cage one to two times in the day. A night time temperature of 60F is suitable to manage. 

2. Feeding the American Toad

In the wild, toads have access to a wide variety of invertebrates and insects. In captivity, it is a good idea to feed them what closely resembles their diet. Live crickets, waxworms, and mealworms along with super worms work great for toads. A young toad may be fed smaller crickets and fruit flies while adults will be able to munch off on live big sized crickets too. 

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Dust the live insects with Vitamins and minerals supplements two to three times a week. Every week, dust the feed with calcium supplements. In case of any doubt, do thorough research or talk to the vet. 

3. Handling the American Toad

We recommend you do not handle them often except when you want to transfer them when cleaning their cage. Touching them too often is harmful to health for both of you. Undue handling can build an unsurmountable amount of stress in them. These terrestrial pets have semi-permeable skins, and there is a high chance that chemicals on your hands leech into their skin. 

These toads are also carriers of salmonella, and therefore you as well as younger children must wash hands and sanitized if you come in contact with them or their droppings. Use antibacterial soap to clean the hands. The toads are also said to secrete bufotoxin that can be fatal at a time if ingested through nose or mouth. 

American Toad Price

You can pick up a frog for roughly about $12 to $20. You may have difficulty in finding your mate at a pet store, but if you need it, then we think to get out and about after the rains is a great place, to begin with. The native breed is readily available in the open. 

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