How to Take Care of Toads!

Why choose wikiHow?
When you see the green expert checkmark on a wikiHow article, you know that the article has received careful review by a qualified expert. If you are on a medical article, that means that an actual doctor, nurse or other medical professional from our medical review board reviewed and approved it. Similarly, veterinarians review our pet articles, lawyers review our legal articles, and other experts review articles based on their specific areas of expertise.

How to Care for an American Toad

Three Parts:

American toads are not typical pets, but they can be kept that way if you know how to care for them. Set up an aquarium for it with materials that mimic nature so that your toad will be comfortable in your home. You can show love for your toad by maintaining its habitat, feeding it live insects, and looking out for its health.


Housing an American Toad

  1. Buy a 15 gallon (56.8 L) aquarium for your toad or a plastic storage bin.House your American toad in an aquarium or plastic bin that is at least 24 inches (61 cm) long, 12 inches (30 cm) tall, and 12 inches (30 cm) wide. These are the measurements for most standard 15 gallon (56.8 L) aquariums. Purchase an aquarium at a pet store or online.
    • Be sure to buy an aquarium with a lid that closes securely.
    • Never place the tank in direct sunlight because it will overheat the toad.
  2. Line the tank with 3–4 inches (7.6–10.2 cm) of substrate material.A substrate is a material placed at the bottom of a cage or tank that that absorbs your pet's waste and allows it to burrow. Fill the bottom of the aquarium with an organic material such as potting soil, moss, or shredded leaves. You can also purchase special substrates such as ground coconut fiber or forest bark bedding at pet stores..
    • Avoid using gravel or sand as a substrate as they can be harmful if swallowed by your toad.
  3. Add hiding spots to the aquarium.Toads like having places to hide in their habitat. Find or purchase items that will mimic nature, such as pieces of driftwood, large dried leaves, or pieces of tree bark. You can also add items like flower pots for large, sturdy hiding spots.
  4. Add a large water dish that is no deeper than the height of the toad.Most toads will soak in an available water source at night, including their water dish. Choose a water dish that is wide enough to accommodate your toad, but not taller than it. This water should be changed each morning, or whenever it looks cloudy.
    • Amphibians are sensitive to chlorine so avoid using chlorinated municipal tap water.
    • Use bottled water or filtered water.

Feeding the Toad

  1. Feed your toad live insects that can fit into its mouth.American toads are carnivorous and eat insects as their sole source of nourishment. They prefer them live and might not consume them if they are not moving. As a general rule, you can feed your toad any live insect that is small enough to fit into its mouth.
    • Worms and crickets, which can be purchased from pet stores, should form the bulk of your toad's diet.
    • Avoid feeding your toad flying insects, which it may not be adept enough to catch.
    • You can feed your toad insects that you find in nature, such as spiders or ants.
  2. Feed your toad 3-6 insects every 2-3 days.Be sure to give your toad at least 3-6 live insects a day to eat to maintain its weight. If the insects are particularly small, such as ants, feed your toad twice as many for the same results. Space out feedings to keep your toad satisfied.
  3. Add a calcium supplement powder to the bugs every 4th feeding.Your toad's nutrition should be enhanced with help from a calcium supplement. Simply sprinkle a bit of the powder over the insects you are feeding your toad before putting them in the aquarium. Do this once every 4 times you feed it, which is enough to boost your toad's diet.
    • Purchase calcium supplement powder from pet stores or online.

Maintaining Hygiene and Health

  1. Replace the substrate every 2 months, or as soon as needed.As a general rule, the substrate material should be removed and replaced every 2 months. If you see that the substrate is visibly soiled before that point, replace it early. While the aquarium is empty, clean it with a 5% bleach solution and rinse it thoroughly.
    • Buy a small plastic tank from a pet store to hold your toad while you clean its aquarium.
  2. Find a vet who treats "exotic pets" for your toad.Many veterinarians will not treat toads as they do not have enough experience with their physiology and illnesses. If you suspect that your toad is sick, look for "exotic pet" veterinarians and inquire about their experience with amphibians. An inexperienced vet may inadvertently do harm to your toad while trying to treat it.
  3. Handle your toad as little as possible.Limit touching your toad to when you need to move it and avoid picking it up for fun. Toads prefer not to be handled and get frightened easily by human contact. Their skin may also cause irritation to human skin after prolonged contact, so keep this kind of touching brief.
    • Always wash your hands immediately before and after handling your toad. Any lotions, perfumes, or other substances on your hands may irritate your toad.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    What should I feed a young toad?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Any small insects you find outside in its natural habitat or at your local pet shop. Toads tend not to eat dead bugs, as this can cause infection/sickness, as bugs decompose quickly and harbor bacteria that may hurt your toad. Aphids, wood bugs, and small crickets work best.
  • Question
    How do I know if it's a girl or boy?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If the toad vibrates when you pick it up, or if it chirps, then it's a male. Females don't vibrate or chirp.
  • Question
    How do toads drink water?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    They may drink it with their mouths, but generally they absorb water through their skin.
  • Question
    Can a toad live through an illness?
    Top Answerer
    Yes, depending on the illness and whether they receive the proper treatment.
  • Question
    How can oils in my skin harm a toad?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The oils can stick to their skin and make it difficult for them to absorb water, which they need to survive.
  • Question
    Can toads bond with their owner?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Maybe, it's unclear what they think, but they will eventually get used to you.
  • Question
    Does my toad need to hibernate?
    Community Answer
    It's better for all reptiles and amphibians to hibernate. They will do it naturally, starting at the beginning of winter and stop at the beginning of spring.
  • Question
    Can frogs die from contact with chlorine pool water?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. It will cause them to become sick and eventually die, as chlorine is toxic and they absorb liquid through their skin.
  • Question
    What should I do if the bugs start crawling out of my toad's tank?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Take them outside because if they aren't outside, they could breed in your room and then there could be a problem, a pest infestation.
  • Question
    How long does it take for a toad's leg to heal if broken?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This depends on if your toad moves around a lot or is staying still. Try to hand feed it instead of letting it hunt -- make sure it doesn't have to go very far for water or food. If the toad seems to be in pain, go to a local vet.
Unanswered Questions
  • I moved a chest in my garage and there was a toad under or near it.unfortunately his back skin was ripped off and it is bleeding! I don't know what to do. Will it live if I put it out in the grass?
  • My toad will not eat the slug I gave him?
  • How long does a frog live?
  • How do toads respond to noise?
  • Are toads clever or dumb?
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Quick Summary

To care for your American toad, feed it 3-6 live insects every 2-3 days. You can find spiders or ants outside or buy worms or crickets from a pet store. Additionally, give your toad a calcium supplement powder with the insects every 4th feeding to keep your toad healthy. You should also provide your toad with a water dish that’s at least as wide as your toad is without being taller than it is, since these toads like to soak in water at night. Additionally, be sure to keep your toad in an aquarium that holds at least 15 gallons, and put 3-4 inches of substrate at the bottom to absorb your toad’s waste.

Did this summary help you?
  • Toads can thrive in room temperature. If they get overheated, they will simply burrow into the substrate.
  • Toads may urinate or defecate when they are frightened. This is normal and not a cause for concern.
  • Keep pets and small children away from your toad.
  • Always keep your toad's cage moist.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

Made Recently

Add a photo
Upload error
Awesome picture! Tell us more about it?

Article Info

Featured Article

Categories: |

In other languages:

Español: , Italiano: , Русский: , Français: , Deutsch: , Português: , Bahasa Indonesia: , Nederlands: 

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 553,275 times.
Did this article help you?
Expert Review By:
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

of How to Care for an American Toad was reviewed by on March 16, 2019.

Views: 553,275
of readers found this articlehelpful.
3 votes - 100%
Click a star to add your vote
100% of people told us that this article helped them.

Ricardo A. Barrera Jr.

May 29, 2019

"This toad, 'Sherman', has been living in our basement window for about 7 years! He's gone all winter hibernatingsomewhere, and comes back mid-spring. We don't feed or touch him, just talk to him every year he comes back. We look forward to seeing them every year. Apparently it's a great habitat for him in the window. Plenty of sun and weeds that grow in rocks, and plenty of mosquitoes and insects for him to pick and choose from. He's a cute little bugger and we enjoy having him!"

Susan Jones-Amici

Sep 22

"Thanks for the info on care of the American toad. We decided to turn him loose so we can have more outside on ourproperty. They are such interesting animals."


Apr 6

"I now have two pet toads, named Topaz and Copper. I also had one named Rocky, but he escaped a few months ago.Both toads are males, and they get along nicely. I once put my toads in my old dollhouse and put them in the chairs, that was hilarious. Toads are awesome pets. You can tell their gender by gently putting your finger on their back. The males will croak, unless they are too young. Your toad's container does not need to be glass. "

Avery Williams

Jul 8, 2019

"This article really helped me care for our family's new rescue toad. My dad found Kermit cornered by a feral catoutside our home. He brought him inside, and my mom set up his habitat just like the one shown in your article. It's been about a month and he has gotten bigger thanks to your helpful outline. We are still learning about him and improving his habitat. "

Hannah Lund

Jul 20, 2019

"I caught a baby toad at my house and took it in because I thought maybe he can't protect himself from predators. Inamed him Shadeow. A mixture between Shadow and Shade. I didn't know how to take care of him, so I looked up "How to take care of a toad". This article popped up. I read it and it has really helped me take care of Shadeow."

Joyce Sohonage

Jun 26, 2019

"Thank you for this article. It was very helpful. We love toads and found a small toad outside that my grandchildrenwanted to keep. I read your article and I had an old fish tank in my basement which, thanks to you, is now a really nice habitat for our new little friend. "

Lisa Helms

Aug 28, 2019

"Thank you for all the information on keeping a toad, as my grandson is in love with his tiny toad. We had no ideahow to maintain the setting for its living, what to feed it, or even how to water it safely. Your insight was very helpful in every aspect."

Wani Brown

Jul 19, 2019

"My six-year-old daughter recently caught two American toads and wanted to keep them. I was unsure of how to dothat, but thanks to this article,I know what to do for her. The things we do for those little smiles."

Lexi Langmeier

Jul 30, 2019

"I was at a dog park and saw my dog chasing something. I looked and there was the toad. I brought him home away frommy dog where my dog can't see him. Because of this article, I know how to treat him."
Rated this article:

Gian Sacco

Oct 14, 2019

"I don't really know that much about toads and I wanted to have one, so I searched "toads pet" and thiswebsite came up. It was amazing, I got all my needed information and now Brownie is super happy! "
Rated this article:

Dorothy Marsh

Jul 29, 2019

"We have a lovely lady toad whose name is Mildred. We are so grateful to know what she eats and how to better carefor her. She lives beside our patio and seems very happy. Thank you very much."

Shelby Card

Aug 10, 2019

"I have been looking forward to owning an American toad. Many of my friends own them, and I decided that I wouldfinally find one. This article has helped me know how to care for the toad."
Rated this article:

Juliana Collins

Jul 3, 2019

"It helped a lot, because I didn't know that holding them too much could hurt them, and because it has reallydetailed and easy to follow steps with good illustrated examples. Thank you!"

Leah B.

Aug 13, 2019

"I just caught a small toad and I didn't know how to care for it. This website showed me everything a toad needs, aswell as cool tricks and tips. I definitely recommend this website!"
Rated this article:

Shirley Froxell

Sep 13, 2019

"My Tippie toad has a boundless appetite. So far today, he has had three medium slugs, a small earthworm and theepill bugs! I was glad to learn he can't be over-fed."

Ann Giannetti

May 27, 2019

"I have a toad and love it. Wanted to make sure to get the best soil for its home. You gave me a quick answer anddetailed step by step instructions. Thank you."

Theodore Pollock

Apr 18, 2019

"It helped me because I am no stranger to frogs and snakes (3 breeding frogs, 1 snake) but my friend has toads andthey are a lot different than my frogs."

Kat V.

Jul 15, 2019

"I recently got an American toad. This was definitely helpful, because there isn't much information on toads, so mytoad will be living for a while!"
Rated this article:

Tessa Sluyter

May 9, 2019

"I really appreciate all the great steps but the one that helped me the most was the step where it told me what tofeed toads!"

K. M.

Jul 28, 2019

"It was very easy for my young children to understand, and taught them all they need to know about our newest familymember."
Rated this article:


Jul 14, 2019

"I have two amazing toads now, their names are Rocky and Topaz. I feed them every three or so days and they bothlove food. "

Lisa Schultz

Aug 9, 2019

"It helped because I didn't know how to hold my toad or know how to keep store bought crickets alive. "
Rated this article:

Alex Pifer

Aug 19, 2019

"The habitat, food they eat and how to handle will help me make sure my backyard toad stays well."


May 22, 2019

"It really helped me! I think this is great. My toad is awesome and this helps even more!"
Rated this article:

Casandra Nelsten

May 20, 2019

"It was great, now I can take care of the toad that keeps taking naps in my window. "
Rated this article:

Angela Jones

Sep 17, 2019

"All the info was very helpful, for I did not know anything about keeping a frog."

Anaka Blackwood

Sep 12, 2019

"I'm keeping two toads as a class pet.

Video: American Toads: A Very Underappreciated Animal

How to Care for an American Toad
How to Care for an American Toad images

2019 year
2019 year - How to Care for an American Toad pictures

How to Care for an American Toad recommend
How to Care for an American Toad forecast photo

How to Care for an American Toad photo
How to Care for an American Toad pictures

How to Care for an American Toad How to Care for an American Toad new images
How to Care for an American Toad new photo

photo How to Care for an American Toad
pics How to Care for an American Toad

Watch How to Care for an American Toad video
Watch How to Care for an American Toad video

Forum on this topic: How to Care for an American Toad, how-to-care-for-an-american-toad/
Communication on this topic: How to Care for an American Toad, how-to-care-for-an-american-toad/ , how-to-care-for-an-american-toad/

Related News

How to Feel Less Hungry
35 Cool Nail Designs to Try This Fall
High-Protein and Low-Carb Vegetarian Foods
Richard Branson Catches Staff Sleeping On The Job
How to Fight Burnout at Work
It’s Time to Confront Your Debt Here’s How to Start
This Is Who Craig Revel-Horwood Thinks Will Win This Year’s Strictly
How to Make a Pretty Christmas Village Using Dollar Store Items
How to Finish Quilt Binding
Liver Risk Found with Arthritis Supplement
50 Benefits of Olive Oil
Shannen Dohertys 90210 Co-Stars Honored Her In the Sweetest Way At the Shows Reunion
MORE: The Best New Condoms for Your Pleasure
Massimo Dutti NYC 5th Avenue SpringSummer 2015 Advertising Campaign

Date: 06.12.2018, 19:38 / Views: 62271