keep a toad

How to keep a toad as a pet

Toads are wonderful creatures and a pleasure to keep in terrariums at home. When you return home to these small, warty creatures, their charming faces will offer you a pleasant welcome. Caring for toads is not particularly time-consuming, but it is very fulfilling.

Prepare a home for your toad

Get an appropriately sized glass container.

A 35L terrarium works well for one or two toads. In general, you shouldn’t keep more than three toads together in one tank, as too many toads in a confined space will become aggressive. Also, don’t keep different toad species together.

Purchase a soil substrate that is good for your toad.

Soil substrates are ground covers that are specially made for terrariums. Cover the bottom with at least an 8 cm layer of the substrate so your toad can burrow whenever it wants to hide. The soil substrate you should choose depends on the species of your toad. In general, frog moss, which you can buy in pet shops, and also additive-free potting soil or topsoil, such as those available in nurseries, are good substrates. Powdered coconut fiber would also be an excellent choice. If you’re not sure what soil substrate to use, check with an amphibian expert at a reptile or pet store. Do not use artificial grass or gravel. They are too rough for delicate toad skin to be used as a floor covering.

Provide places for your toad to hide.

It is up to you what these hiding places should look like. You could put a rock, tree bark, or piece of slate inside for your toad to hide under. Some toad owners prefer to buy ready-made hides or give their toad an empty coconut shell to climb into.

Give your toad a swimming pool.

The pool should be about half the depth of your toad’s height and four times her length. It’s very important that the water you put in is chlorine-free – toads can die from chlorinated water. Also, provide some sort of ramp for her to use when she’s splashed enough – toads aren’t great swimmers. You can easily make a paddling pool for your toad out of a shallow plastic bowl or dish. To do this, make a hollow in the substrate, in which you then place the plastic bowl. Make sure the rim of the plastic tray is level with the substrate. Place a piece of wood or something similar in the bowl as a ramp that your toad can easily use to get in and out of the water.

Keep your toad’s home at the right temperature.

The ideal terrarium temperature once again depends on the species of your toad. Ideal room temperatures for toads can range from 18°C ​​to 27°C. It would be wise to place a reptile heating pad in a corner of the terrarium if your toad is a species that needs heat. This way, your toad can decide for itself whether it wants to stay on the heated side or on the cooler, unheated side. Ask your local reptile or pet store about your toad’s special needs.

Use the right light to keep your toad healthy and happy.

Toads should have about twelve hours of sunlight daily. You can use a daylight lamp or a low-power UV lamp as a substitute for sunlight, but only if your toad has adequate places to hide under when the light becomes too much. If you want to see your toad at night, you can install a red light to illuminate its home at night. Toads are most active at night. Since toads can’t see red light, she’ll think it’s dark, and you’ll still be able to see her.

Make sure the terrarium is always moist enough.

Although toads don’t love water quite as much as frogs, they still need a relatively humid habitat. Wet the side of the terrarium where the pool is located with water every day using a spray bottle. This way, your toad can decide whether to stay in the wet or dry area. But only use water that you are absolutely sure is chlorine-free!

Taking care of your toad

Don’t take a toad from the wild.

You shouldn’t uproot wild animals from their natural habitat, no matter how cute you find them with their whimsical toad faces. Because the sad fact is that many toad species are threatened with extinction because we have destroyed their habitats in order to expand our habitats. Therefore, wild toads should really be allowed to live in peace in their natural habitat.

Feed your toad things it likes.

The usual toad diet includes well-fed crickets, waxworms, and mealworms. The age of your toad will determine how often you should feed it. If you have a young toad, then you should feed it every day. With an adult toad, however, you should make a feeding schedule, as they only need food two to three times a week. You should give her four to six servings (one serving is about the size of a cricket) per feeding. Toads quickly adapt to a feeding routine. So always try to feed your toad at the same time of day, whether it’s daily or every two days. Only feed your toad store-bought crickets. Wild crickets can be infested with parasites that can make your toad sick.

Give your toad vitamin supplements.

To ensure your toad is getting all the nutrients it needs, you should consider sprinkling its food with a multivitamin or calcium powder. In general, it’s good to always sprinkle your toad’s food with calcium and a powdered multivitamin once a week.

Make sure your toad always has water available.

As previously mentioned, it is extremely important that you only give your toad chlorine-free water. Toads are very sensitive to chemicals like chlorine, and giving your toad chlorinated water can seriously harm it.

Remove uneaten food every day.

It is common for toads to eat offered food within 15 minutes. Therefore, wait 15 minutes and then remove any leftover food. You should also refresh the water every day.

Don’t touch your toad too often.

Toads don’t really like being touched or picked up and are easily frightened. These creatures don’t belong in the stuffed pet category, but rather should be treated as a ‘display item’ – nice to look at but prefer not to touch. However, if you need to touch and pick up your toad, for example to clean its home, then handle it very gently. Toads are delicate creatures despite their warty, rugged appearance. Never throw or drop your toad.

Take precautions if you must handle your toad.

You should always wear gloves when handling your toad. Toad skin is mildly toxic and irritates some people’s skin. Also, the fats on our skin can be harmful to toads. Always wash your hands after handling your toad. Toads can transmit diseases such as salmonella. That’s why you should always wash your hands after touching your toad, especially if you weren’t wearing gloves. Use warm water and soap.

Clean your toad’s home often.

You should thoroughly clean your toad’s home once a week. To do this, you must place your toad in a container that it cannot hop out of. Remove all old soil substrate from the terrarium, clean the terrarium and everything inside (hiding places, etc.), line it with fresh soil substrate, and put everything back in its place (your toad included).

You should know what species of toad your toad belongs to.

This article covers basic toad care and housing, but some toad species are fussier than others. You should therefore find out more about your specific toad species and their needs on other websites or in books. If in doubt, it is best to consult an amphibian expert at a reptile or pet store.


Do not take toads from nature. If you have questions about the care and special needs of your toad, always seek advice from an amphibian expert.


Frogs and toads can carry harmful pathogens on their skin, so wear gloves when handling them and wash your hands before and after. Don’t touch your toad too often – toads don’t like it and the human fats on our skin attack toad skin.

About the Author

Josh Morgan

Josh Morgan is CouponAnnie's Contributing Writer. He lives life on the cheap, but that doesn't mean a boring existence. Josh loves helping people focus on frugality without giving up the things they enjoy. When he's not getting deals, he's probably drawing or writing something amazing.