White’s Tree Frogs are one of the most popular pet frogs to keep. Here are 10 things you should know before getting some.
They have other names
White’s Tree Frog got their name from John White, who first discovered these adorable little beauties in 1790. White’s Tree Frogs also go by the names Dumpy Frogs and Smiling Frogs – it’s easy to tell why! Look at this chubby little smiley froggie!
Whites Tree Frogs only need a small amount of water in their cage
When you think of frogs, most people imagine a setup, a bit like a fish tank with lots of water and then a bit of land for the frogs to rest on. White’s Tree Frogs only need a dish of water, big enough for them the sit in and soak up to their heads. I have three frogs and have two water dishes like this in their tank. They actually aren’t good swimmers, and not only will they sit in the water (and poop), but it also helps to raise the humidity within the tank.
Tap water can hurt them
White’s Tree Frogs need their tank sprayed with water twice a day, however, water straight from the tap can hurt them due to the chlorine. To make tap water safe for them, fill up a spray bottle (you can use a standard spray bottle, but I use this as I have several tanks to mist) and let it stand for 24 hours, which allows the chlorine to evaporate. The water you use for their water dish must also be dechlorinated.
Top tip! Get two bottles so you always have a full one, ready to go.
They need a heat source
These frogs originate from Australia, New Guinea and Indonesia meaning they need a heat source within their tank. A heat lamp will not only dry out their tank, but it will also dry out your froggie, so are best avoided.
A heat mat is a much better option. Just stick it to the outside of one side of the vivarium and attach it to a mat stat to control the temperature. This will give a heat gradient in their cage, meaning they can stick to the mat and warm up, or move to the other end of their cage and cool down. It’s always a good idea to have a thermometer in the hot and cool end (digital ones are easier to read than the dials) or use a temperature gun to keep an eye on the values. They need their hot spot to be between 25-30 degrees.
They love to climb
White’s Tree Frogs are arboreal which means they need to climb. With this in mind, they need a tank that is taller than it is wide to allow them to express this behaviour. I like to use Exo Terra’s because they are watertight, have front opening doors, a top opening and lots of ventilation.
Although they can stick to the glass and jump, they will still need lots of different things to climb on like branches, cork and reptile vines. Make sure anything you give them is smooth as rough edges can hurt their skin.
They are nocturnal
These frogs like to come out when it’s dark, so you need to give them places to hide in the day to allow them to sleep. You can use plants or cork to make a shelter and don’t position their tank in direct sunlight.
White’s Tree Frogs have a deep croak that almost sounds like a dog barking. They generally only make noise at night due to them being nocturnal, however, some will make noise if they hear the vacuum cleaner, hairdryer or the TV for example. Because of this, it’s better not to keep them in your bedroom as they could keep you awake at night.
Both the males and female croak, however, the males will bark around 10+ times in a row and are much noisier than females who will only bark once or twice.
They need a specialist vet
Any pet can become unwell, so you should always have a plan of where to go should this happen. Most ‘normal’ dog and cat vets won’t see amphibians and you will need to find an exotic vet who treats frogs. Exotic vets tend to be more expensive than day to day vets because both the Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses have undergone specialist training to care for exotic animals. The practice will also have different equipment to other vets, which can be costly.
Always find a vet before getting your frogs and register your pet with them as soon as you can. Should you need to take them to the vets, get a small plastic carrier and put dampened kitchen towel at the bottom (I would advise getting a carrier when you buy your frogs – you don’t want to be panicking about sourcing a carrier when you have a sick frog!). You could then cover it over with a towel to make it nice and dark for them. Hopefully, you will never need to take them to the vet, but at least you will know where to go should you need them.
They eat live food
There’s no getting around it – if you want to keep White’s tree frogs, you need to feed them live food – there is no pellet food or dry food for them. Keeping your live food well will ensure they pass on the best nutrition to your frogs. Good food choices are locust, earthworms and crickets. They can also have waxworms as a treat, but not too many as they are fatty!
Lots of White’s Tree Frogs are overweight in captivity and too much of a good thing isn’t good for anyone! Lots of people overfeed their frogs because they think they look cuter if they are chubby, but this isn’t good for your frog. Like any animal, obesity will shorten their lifespan. Don’t overfeed them, don’t give them too much fatty food and encourage them to hunt their live food in their cage (just be sure to remove any uneaten food).
They live a long time
White’s Tree Frogs can live up to 20 years, however, a more common age i n captivity is 7-10 years old. That being said, they are a big commitment so make sure you can stick by your frogs their whole life (excuse the pun!).
If you are thinking of going to University, travelling or unsure if a new flat or home will allow pets, it’s better to wait for a more stable time in your life before committing to these guys. There will always be froggies out there for you when you are ready! Don’t rush!
White’s tree frogs make great pets, but make sure you do your research first so you can give your froggies the best home possible. Already got a frog? I would love to hear about them in the comments section below!