Some people think of frogs as just slimy creatures that live in ponds and lakes. However, many others think of frogs as fun animals that would make great pets! Frogs do not cost as much as dogs or cats to keep as pets, but they are not free either, even if you try to bring one home from the pond. There are many things to consider when determining the cost of owning a pet frog. We have broken it all down for you here.
Bringing Home a New Pet Frog: One-Time Costs
There are one-time and recurring costs to consider when deciding whether to own a pet frog. Let’s go over the one-time costs and break down what each option might mean for you.
It is possible to get a pet frog for free, although there are serious concerns about doing so. Removing a frog from its natural habitat and taking it home as a pet can be a real shock for the animal, which can result in health problems and possibly even death. Getting a frog from a friend or someone else for free could mean getting a frog that is already ill. It is tough to determine the health and care needs of a frog from the wild or from a background that you know nothing about.
Sometimes, people must give up their beloved pet frogs. They could end up handing their frogs over to the humane society or an equivalent organization, or they could place advertisements in the paper and online to find someone willing to take over ownership and care.
It is important to meet with the person giving their frog away to find out things like where the frog originally came from, how long the owner has been taking care of the frog, and how healthy the frog is overall. This will help ensure that you choose a frog that still has a long and healthy life to enjoy once it comes home with you.
There are many frog breeders out there who sell their animals as pets, but these pets are likely to be more expensive than some other options. Breeders tend to sell their frogs for anywhere from $10 to $50 (sometimes even more!) because they do all the work of actually producing and caring for the frogs until they are ready to go to new homes.
Initial Setup and Supplies
Every frog needs a safe and comfortable habitat to spend its time in. Pet shops sell habitat kits that come with all the basics necessary to start a pet frog off on good footing. These kits sell for anywhere from $25 to more than $100, depending on their quality and what is included.
Parts and accessories can be purchased separately to create a custom habitat. The total cost of a custom habitat can range significantly, depending on how basic or elaborate it will be. Here is a breakdown of supply costs:
List of Frog Care Supplies and Costs
|Terrarium Habitat:||$15 – $250|
|Terrarium wood:||$10 – $50|
|Substrate:||$5 – $25|
|Climbing Accessories:||$10 – $50|
|Faux Plants and Foliage:||$10 – $50|
|Water Dish:||$2 – $5|
|LED Lighting:||$20 – $50|
|Mister:||$2 (spray bottle) to $150 (Misting system)|
How Much Does a Pet Frog Cost Per Month?
Frogs do not require a large monthly financial commitment to keep them happy and healthyf as time goes on. However, there are a few things that owners should expect to purchase each month for nutritional and health purposes. A pet frog with a fully stocked habitat can cost less than $10 a month to maintain. On the other hand, a frog with health problems may be drastically more expensive due to veterinarian visits and treatments.
Frogs eat crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and even small mice in the wild. Luckily, owners do not have to hunt down any food for their pet frogs. There are several different kinds of commercial frog food products on the market to choose from that include the bugs, insects, and other foods that frogs enjoy and require for good health.
These commercial food products are affordable too, with some costing less than $5 per container. However, it is best to go for quality over cost. The least expensive options on the market may not contain the same quality ingredients as foods that cost more.
- Related Read: What Do Frogs Eat in the Wild and as Pets?
Medications and Vet Visits
Pet frogs do not require regular veterinarian checkups as pet cats and dogs do. They generally stay healthy throughout their lives if their habitats are taken care of and they are fed and water properly. If a pet frog does get sick and the help of a vet becomes necessary, the cost for such help can be as high as $500 or more. It is always a good idea to maintain an emergency savings account even for pet frogs, in case unforeseen expenses pop up.
The only thing that owners should have to purchase every month to maintain a pet frog’s environment is a substrate. Occasionally, a tree branch or plant becomes damaged and must be replaced, but this situation should only occur two or three times a year. Therefore, environmental maintenance costs are minimal and should not require any special budgeting.
The substrate typically costs no more than $15 for a container or bag that should last an entire month, if not a little longer. Replacement foliage and terrarium wood can run between $5 and $25, depending on the specific piece and where it is sourced from.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Pet Frog
All in all, the total monthly cost of owning a pet frog is about $25 a month. If veterinarian services are required or terrarium repairs or replacements become necessary for some reason, the cost can increase accordingly. So, expect affordable maintenance but be prepared for unexpected expenses.
Additional Costs to Factor In
The only additional cost to consider when deciding whether to buy a pet frog is caretaking when you will not be there to do the job yourself. Whether you are going on vacation or spending a weekend on projects that will keep you from your pet, you may need to find a sitter for the animal. Hopefully, someone who is willing to do the job for free can be found. Otherwise, a sitter could cost at least $10 an hour.
Owning a Pet Frog on a Budget
Pet frog ownership is already so budget-friendly that it would be tough to get maintenance costs even lower, but the prospect is not impossible. Owners can cut corners occasionally when funds are tight. For example, shredded newspapers can temporarily be used in place of a substrate until new substrate can be purchased. Also, old tree branches and stumps from the yard can be introduced to a pet frog’s habitat in place of purchased faux items.
Saving Money on Pet Frog Care
The best way to save money on pet frog care is to pay attention to the usage instructions on any item or accessory that is purchased for the pet. Pay close attention to the care and maintenance instructions for any lighting and misting system that is installed on the frog’s habitat, and follow those instructions carefully.
Store commercial food in the freezer to ensure that none goes to waste. Regularly inspect the frog for illness or injury so problems can be addressed before they become too costly. Regularly cleaning the terrarium’s exterior and keeping it protected from damage will minimize the risk of having to spend money on a replacement habitat at any time throughout the frog’s life.
Frogs are inexpensive, fun animals to take care of. They are hands-off, which makes them perfect first pets for children. With proper care, owners can avoid the high costs of veterinarian services and equipment replacements. All frogs are unique, so exact care and maintenance costs will vary. However, this guide should give you a solid foundation to work from when budgeting for a new pet frog.
Featured Image Credit: Patrick K. Campbell, Shutterstock