Frogs are one of those pets that we all want at some point during our childhood. They are cool, colorful, and just fun to have around. But, once you get a pet frog but the reality sets in. These amphibians can be long-lived and difficult to care for. It can also be hard to feel a bond with a pet frog. It might seem impossible to create a good relationship between you.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to bond with your frog.
It’s actually possible to form a bond with your pet frog. Taking good care of your pet, giving them space, and spending time with them will help to form an attachment. Establishing a daily routine, hand feeding, and strict handling will also help your frog bond with you.
Even though it might seem a little far-fetched you can create a safe space where your frog can bond with you.
What Is The Human Animal-Bond?
The human-animal bond is defined by the American Veterinary Medical Association as benefit official relationship between humans and animals. This relationship is influenced by the behaviors of both the human and the animal and is essential to the well-being of both sides. Obviously, the bond between a human and their pet can be very serious.
The human-animal bond is important in veterinary medicine because it protects both the human and the animal in the owner-and-pet relationship.
Can You Bond With A Frog?
Since a bond is simply an attachment that forms between two people or two animals, by definition it’s possible to bond with an amphibian. Bonds are usually formed over time with repetitive positive behaviors. Bonds require both sides of the relationship to trust each other.
When you’re bonding with a pet, you’re basically showing them that they can trust you to deliver in the same way every day. You’re letting them know that there’s no reason for them to fear you and that you bring positive things into their lives.
Frogs are smart animals and can pick up on routines and signals. With just a little bit of strategy and planning you should be able to bond with your pet frog.
Can A Pet Frog Love You?
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like frogs have the capacity to love. It’s not because they don’t want to. Their lack of love has more to do with their brains.
In humans, most of the activity surrounding love happens in the hypothalamus. This area is often called the love center and stores information and responses surrounding long-term positive relationships. Amphibians actually have a brain that is often referred to as the “reptilian brain“. Among other differences, the reptilian brain light lacks a hypothalamus.
For this reason alone it’s believed that reptiles and amphibians aren’t able to feel love in the same way that we do. That being said, recent studies have found that “amphibians are considered capable of a range of feelings and states.” These feelings can be negative like stress, pain, distress, suffering, fear, and anxiety, but also positive like excitement, altruism, and arousal.
So, while your frog might not be able to feel love the way we feel it and understand it they can feel excited around you.
How To Make Your Frog Like You
Even though your frog won’t be madly in love with you, you can definitely make them like you. Your frog can bond with you, want to spend time with you, and feel comfortable and safe around you.
One of the biggest ways you’ll know that your frog is bonded with you is that they’re comfortable around you and don’t react defensively towards you.
We’ll talk more later about how to tell if your frog likes you, but first, let’s talk about some of the ways to create a bond between you and your amphibian friend.
1. Take Care Of Husbandry First
If your frog’s basic survival needs aren’t taken care of, it’s not likely that they’ll bond with you. Good husbandry is the basis of building a strong relationship with your pet.
Think about it, when you’re warm, fed, and happy, you’re way more likely to be nice to the people around you. This is true for your pet frog too. Different species of frogs have very different husbandry requirements. Before you bring home a pet frog it’s important to do your research. Some frogs need hot and humid environments with heat lamps, while others will spend their entire lives in water.
Make sure you have your frog’s humidity, temperature, enclosure, and sleeping schedule figured out before trying to build a bond.
2. Watch And Observe Your Frog
When you first get your pet frog home it might be tempting to start interacting with them right away.
Unfortunately, the first few days or weeks in a new environment can be very overwhelming for a new pet. You should spend a good amount of time simply observing your frog. Trying to figure out what their favorite food is and where their favorite spot to hang out is. These little observations will give you hints about what you can use in the future to bond with them.
It’s also a good idea to observe them so you can get a clue about what their sleeping schedule is. Most frogs are nocturnal and have excellent night vision so don’t be surprised if your fog is pretty relaxed during the daytime.
3. Create A Special Sound
Now that you’ve got husbandry and observations taken care of, you can really start to build a bond with your frog.
One of the best ways to start establishing a relationship with an animal is to create a special sound. This sound is so important in creating a bond because it’s a basic form of communication between you and your pet frog.
The sound can be a simple snap, a click of the tongue, or you can even use a click trainer. Eventually, you’ll start to use this sound and associate it with positive events. This is the basic idea behind positive reinforcement.
Every year animal hears the sound they can expect something that they like. For a frog that will probably be something along the lines of food or a treat. This sort of positive reinforcement training works for building bonds with all different kinds of animals like dogs, leopard geckos, and bearded dragons.
4. Try Hand Feeding
There is no better way to build a bond with an amphibian than to connect yourself with their food. Hand feeding is a great way to teach your pet that you are the one who provides their food. For reasons we’ll talk about below, you should always wear gloves when hand-feeding your pet frog.
You can put their favorite food onto your hand and place your hand into their enclosure. If they’ll approach your hand to get their food. If so that means that they already trust you and are starting to bond with you. If not you can try just dropping the fruit it’s under them and keeping your hand close by.
The only downside to hand feeding is that your frog might mistake your fingers for food. Different species of frogs have different diets and some of their food items can look like your hand. Even though it doesn’t really hurt frogs do bite. So, if you have a species of frog that is prone to biting you may need to keep your hand a little bit further away during meal times.
5. Respect Your Frog’s Space
This might go without saying but one of the fastest ways to bond with an animal is to give them space.
While building a relationship with your frog you’ll have to remember to give them some time off. Time alone will allow them to rest, regenerate, and appreciate the time they’ve spent with you.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and we can only hope that that’s true with our pets as well. Giving me your animal space to relax is so important in creating a healthy and trusting relationship.
Part of respecting your frog’s space is knowing when to handle them and when to leave them alone. We’ll talk about how to build a positive bond with handling now.
6. Handle With Care
When you’re handling any amphibians or reptiles you should always proceed with care.
Frogs especially are tough to handle. Because they’re amphibians they have extremely porous skin. In the wild, this skin is a benefit to them as it helps them take in oxygen and water. The downside of their poor skin is that they can also take in toxins and chemicals more easily than other animals. This means that whenever you handle your frog year you should be wearing gloves. Soap, lotions, and other chemicals on our skin might be harmful to our pet frogs.
If used correctly, handling can be an incredible bonding experience between you and your pet frog. But this all depends on the species of your pet and their individual temperament. These four species of frogs are handleable but for the most part, frogs can be difficult to handle.
Do Frogs Like Being Handled?
Many frogs don’t like being petted or handled. Small frogs, ambush species, and dart frogs aren’t keen on handling, so holding these amphibians won’t strengthen your bond. But, some larger and more relaxed species of frogs and toads will tolerate handling and may even grow to like the experience.
7. Stick To A Routine
Routines are always important and establishing a bond with a pet.
Life is unpredictable when you’re a pet. Our pets don’t have much control over how the day goes. Having a clear routine can help reduce anxiety and help your pets to relax. Routines can help them sleep better and improve their overall health.
Sticking to routine means turning your frog’s lights on and off at the same time every day. This also means that feeding usually happens around the same time in the same way every day.
Ideally, if you are handling your frog you’ll do this around the same time every day as well. This increases the trust in your relationship with your pet because they can expect what’s coming and prepare for it.
8. Offer Enrichment
Lastly, enrichment never hurts a relationship with a pet.
Enrichment is activities that increase animals’ physical and mental behaviors in captivity. Enrichment gives an animal the choice of what to do and how to spend their time and can give them the satisfaction of solving a puzzle.
For frogs, enrichment may look like putting their food in a new exciting dish or adding a new plant for them to climb on into their enclosure. Some frogs love live food like guppies, and these can be used to stimulate and enrich your pet’s life, thus allowing them to feel more content and bond with you.
If you’re running low on ideas for enrichment check out the video below to see how creative these zookeepers got with their frog enrichment.
How Can You Tell If Your Frog Likes You?
Now that we’ve told you how to bond with your frog, how do you know if it’s working? How can you tell if your frog even likes you?
Well, it can be difficult to tell when a reptile or an amphibian likes you. One of the best ways that you’ll know that your pet frogs like to see you is that they stay relaxed in your presence. This means that they don’t exhibit any defensive behaviors like jumping, running away, or biting. A happy frog will usually just sit in place contentedly and may even move toward you if they really like you.
If you’re using the right tools and strategies it’s definitely possible to bond with your frog. Initially, you’ll have to give your fog time and space to settle in. You can use special sounds, food, and enrichment to start building a relationship with your pet after that.
Though it may take some time it’s definitely worth the effort in making your frog feel comfortable with you. Eventually, you’ll have a solid bond that will last for the rest of your pet’s life.