Thursday, February 02, 2006

Choosing a Frog as a Pet

By Christina VanGinkel

If you, or your child, are interested in owning a pet, but your house is not set up in a way that could accommodate much beyond, say a fish tank, but fish are not what you or they had in mind, then consider getting a frog!

Frogs can make very interesting pets, some types are active, curious little creatures, others can be quite sedentary, but most will live their life quite cozily tucked into a tank that has been set up to meet their needs. They can fit in even the smallest houses, where having a pet might be a problem, or, as a starter pet for a child that you are not quite sure is ready for the responsibility of an animal such as a cat or dog. Not that they do not take work and need care, as they do, but the amount of care is less than say walking a dog several times a day and grooming it, along with vet visits, and daily feeding and watering. A frog, if housed correctly, can have a very long life though, so be prepared to have them for a long time, or to take over their care if your child fails at the task. Keep in mind too, that they could potentially have the frog so long, that when they grow up and go off to college, you would then become the main caregiver. As small a chance as that might be, if you just cannot see yourself caring for a frog, this should be discussed, especially if college is just a few years away.

How long can a frog live you might ask? Well, depending on the type of frog and the quality of the care they receive, they can easily live longer than a decade, maybe twelve to fifteen years, even longer. With this in mind, they are not a pet to get if you are thinking of a short-lived pet, such as a fish from the five and dime. If you do decide that a frog is right for you, or for your child, then before picking out a tank and accessories, first decide on the type of frog you plan to welcome into your home, as this will then determine every other purchase you will need to make.

Some frogs will need a water-filled or aquatic tank, while others will need mostly land, others will need a combination of the two, with dry space and room to swim, and some frogs will require an arboreal tank, which is commonly high in height, and has branches, or small tree like plants for the frogs to climb. Also, consider the size of the species you are considering when fully grown. Some frogs will stay about the size they are when sold, while others may grow quite large. Food normally is not thought of when purchasing a pet, but if what they need to eat might make you squeamish, then it needs to be addressed before your final purchases. Most eat some type of insect, but there are other foods, so check this out. Once all of these considerations have been taken into account, choose the type of frog, but do not bring him home just yet. Learn, as much about his natural habitat as you can, taking this knowledge and turning it into information as to how to set up properly the space he will live for what will potentially be a long period.

Once all of this information has been gathered and decided upon, then set up a tank, and any other accessories such as heat lamps that you will need. Put as much consideration into the placement of the tank as you did every other detail. Once you are ready, it will then be time to head to the pet store to bring home your new pet, or be it pets, as some frogs are social and will do better if living with at least one other of their species. Frogs are not for everyone, but if you make the decision to make one a part of your household, choose a name to honor your new friend with, as he will most likely be a part of your home for many years to come.

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