What Do Toads Eat?
Toads, like frogs, are extremely interesting animals! They’re fun to watch outside, but they can also be kept as pets. They’re great for pet parents who are allergic or sensitive to other types of animals, too.
If you’re considering adopting a toad as a pet, then you’ll need to know how to take care of him! This includes information on what toads eat. To help you, we’ve put together this article with information on what toads eat and more. Let’s get started!
What is a Toad?
Toads look very similar to frogs; however, they are very different animals. While both frogs and toads are amphibians, toads look quite different from frogs. For one thing, a toad has dry skin, which appears to have “warts.” Their legs are also shorter than a frog’s.
Toads also get around by crawling and short hops, while frogs tend to have long jumps and hops. In addition, the toad has a rounded nose and head. A toad’s eyes don’t have the same dark patch behind them as a frog does. And toads lay a string of eggs (spawn) rather than in a clump like frogs.
Toads live mostly on land, which is possible to their skin. A toad’s skin is tougher and holds in moisture, unlike a frog’s skin. This means toads can be found in some amazing places! Did you know that toads are found on every continent except Antarctica? You may encounter them in the garden, in areas with dense vegetation, forests, grasslands, and more. They do need to live near a fresh water source, as well as have an area plentiful with insects.
The Toad’s Diet
Toads are known for having a varied diet and eating almost anything that can fit in their mouths! They are carnivorous animals and will eat their prey live. Here’s what many toads love to eat:
Larger toads will eat other types of food, including small rodents, birds, and more. It depends on where they live and the type of food available in their environment.
One thing to keep in mind is that toads will eat different things at different points in their life cycle. This means toad tadpoles will have a different diet than adult toads, etc.
Tadpoles eat plant material, which is usually algae. At this stage, toads (and frogs) are not carnivorous and rely solely on plant matter to live. It’s as they mature that tadpoles begin to have a taste for insects and more.
Juvenile toads (young toads—fully formed and past the tadpole stage) rely pretty much on small bugs. This is because the toads are small and are unable to eat larger prey.
As adults, toads obviously have more choices when it comes to their food! It’s at this point they’re large enough to eat anything that fits in their mouth.
In the wild, adult toads tend to ambush their prey. This means they wait for their food to appear in front of them, then quickly strike out with their tongue. Toads will find some spot that feels comfortable, where they can blend in and then wait. Their prey is caught faster than you can say the number “one.”
Did you know that a toad’s tongue can be twice the length of their body? This is the average. Some toads will have shorter tongues—it just depends on their species.
An adult toad, in the wild, can eat any of the animals and insects on this list (in addition to the previous list):
- Small fish
- Other toads and frogs (yes, toads can be cannibalistic)
Toads swallow their food whole. While some toad species do have small teeth in the lower jaw, these are only used to hold the food, not chew it.
What Do Pet Toads Eat?
The answer will depend on whether your toad was once wild or has been captive-born (born to a breeder). If your toad was wild, then it will more than likely only want living food that’s still moving.
Captive-born toads, on the other hand, may eat insects, meat (meant for humans), and more.
Whether your toad has come from the wild or been raised in captivity, the best food for your toad will come from the pet shop, a bait shop, or even the grocery store.
Pet shop toad foods include live:
- Feeder minnows and guppies
- Pinky mice (or other small rodent pinkies)
You can also find canned food for toads at the pet shop, which includes:
- Snails (without the shells)
- Black soldier fly larvae
At the bait shop, you can find live food, including:
- Red worms
- Butter worms
- Green worms
At the grocery store, you can find some food that your toad might like if he’s been raised in captivity:
- Ground beef
- Small piece of beef or pork
- Beef liver
- Beef heart
- Tilapia (or other seafood)
- Soft fruits and vegetables
Nutritional Needs for a Toad
Your toad will not be healthy unless he has a varied diet, which includes vitamins and minerals needed to stay healthy. This means you can’t just feed him crickets all the time. Your toad needs to have a balanced diet in order to stay happy and healthy!
What’s more, insects raised for consumption generally don’t have the same amount of nutrients as their wild counterparts. So, this is another reason a toad could become sick if only fed insects from the pet shop.
For this reason, it’s crucial to provide different foods for your toad. This may be a mix of insects and worms. For other toads, you may need to include some pinky rodents, etc.
In addition, it’s important to also dust all insects with a vitamin and mineral powder made for amphibians.
Feed Your Toad at the Same Time Every Day
Toads are creatures of habit and prefer to eat on a schedule. For this reason, it’s best to make every effort to feed your toad at the same time every day. Because toads are nocturnal, the best time to feed your toad is in the evening.
So, there you have it! We hope the information in this article provided the information you need about feeding your toad a healthy, varied diet. We wish you and your pet toad many years of companionship to come!