Green tree frogs, like most frogs, have some degree of ‘poison’ in their skin. However, this is highly unlikely to cause any harm to humans. In fact, the problem may be the other way around and humans could cause damage to the frog.
Introduction to Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous?
The green tree frog is found throughout North America, and there is also an Australian species. These small animals are often kept as pets and can make an interesting addition to the family. However, because of their bright color and a reputation that any brightly colored frog is poisonous, many people worry about the safety of keeping one of these animals in their home or encountering one in the wild.
According to reptile experts, all types of frogs are laced with some sort of venom but this is rarely toxic to humans. While there are more than 4700 species of frogs across the world, only around 100 of them are harmful enough to cause serious damage or death to human beings.
In this article, we will be exploring whether the green tree frog is poisonous and finding out why humans must be careful when handling these creatures. We will also take a look at how you can quickly identify a poisonous frog in the wild and ensure that you keep safe.
Is A Green Tree Frog Poisonous?
Green tree frogs are a relatively safe species for humans to interact with. Like many other Froggie species, they are able to secret a toxin from their skin but this is not potent enough to cause any harm to humans. Their poison is so mild that after touching a green tree frog, most humans would find that they do not even experience any mild irritation.
However, there have been various reports of pets falling victim to green tree frogs in the wild. In North America and Australia where these animals are commonly seen outdoors, it is not unheard of for pets to experience symptoms after interacting with one.
One vet in Australia reports how they treated a dog who had had a run-in with a green tree frog. The animal came through without any ongoing medical issues but what happened previously was unpleasant. This particular pooch had gotten too close to the frog and as a result, experienced vomiting and diarrhea. Fortunately, the toxins that are secreted by these frogs are so limited that these mild symptoms tend to pass on their own in as little as half an hour.
That being said, if you do live somewhere that green tree frogs are found, it might be worth keeping an eye on your pets to ensure that they do not encounter one.
Is It Safe To Keep Green Tree Frogs As Pets?
The good news is that it is entirely safe to keep a green tree frog as a pet. They will not cause any harm to you or your family since the level of toxins they are able to secrete are extremely mild.
The true danger that comes from keeping a pet green tree frog is that these animals, much like any frog and some reptiles may carry salmonella. This germ is common throughout the world but when humans become infected with it, it can cause some very unpleasant symptoms including vomiting. stomach cramping, diarrhea, and fever. For this reason, it is important that once you have finished touching your frog, you wash your hands and avoid touching your face until you have done so.
However, what a lot of people do not realize is that the green tree frog may come to harm if they are handled too frequently by humans. This may seem frustrating because when you own a pet, you will want to be able to interact with it and hold it.
The main reason that holding your frog too much or doing so incorrectly could cause harm is that these small animals only have a very thin, membraneous skin. The skin is designed this way to allow the frog to absorb oxygen when he is underwater. Unlike our thick human skin, that of the frog is far more easily able to absorb anything that touches it.
For example, when you clean your frog’s enclosure, even the smallest trace of cleaning products left behind could cause him irritation. For this reason, it is vital that you use a ‘frog approved’ cleaning product for their tank.
When it comes to handling your pet, unfortunately, you will need to do this as little as possible. Frogs are pets that are better suited to those who wish to observe the animal rather than physically interact with it. That being said, you can handle your frog from time to time but it is important that you do this with caution.
One of the best things to do when holding your green tree frog is to wash your hands thoroughly beforehand. This will remove any excess oils from your skin which could irritate the delicate skin of the frog. Furthermore, you should avoid handling the frog with completely dry hands. Once you have washed your hands, do not dry them completely. If you hold the frog with dry hands, this can feel akin to rubbing sandpaper across your own skin; which as anyone knows, is not a pleasant experience.
Some frog owners will wear gloves whilst holding their pets as a way of ensuring that nothing is transferred from their own skin to the frog as well as a safety precaution against salmonella. The best gloves are non-powdered latex gloves which can be picked up at a very affordable price from a variety of retailers.
You should also keep in mind that when handling your pet frog, she may become distressed. This is common in most frog species so this is even more of a reason to avoid handling them too frequently. If you must handle the frog, you should also keep in mind that as a result of feeling distressed, she mat try to jump away. If you are holding her whilst standing up, there is a good chance that she will fall and this could cause injury.
It is recommended that when holding the frog, you do so with your index finger just behind the head and the thumb supporting the animal from underneath.
How To Spot A Poisonous Frog
As we mentioned, there are more than 4700 species of frogs out there and they can be found all around the world. In fact, the only place that frogs cannot be found is on the icy continent of Antarctica since these animals require some degree of humidity and this barren continent simply isn’t conducive to that.
Before we start looking at how to spot a poisonous frog, it is important to be aware of a very interesting fact; any frog that has been bred in captivity will not be poisonous, regardless of the species. Even if its wild counterpart could take out two fully grown elephants – and there are those that can, if it was bred in captivity, it wouldn’t harm even a small bird.
This is because certain wild frogs eat a diet that can only be found in nature, this consists of a certain species of ant and it is the alkaloids found in these ants that cause the frogs to produce toxins; when bred in captivity, these ants are not on offer, therefore, the frog cannot secrete poison from its skin.
To determine whether a frog is toxic, the first thing you should look at is its coloring. For the most part, brightly colored frogs could be poisonous, although this is not always the case. There are some frogs whose colors are used as more of a warning; bright colors in nature usually means that the creature is dangerous. However, some frogs use this as a guide to ward of predators when really, they are not harmful at all.
Most of the toxic frogs can be found in parts of Africa and South America so if you are in these places and come across something stunningly bright and beautiful, it is best to steer clear.
Green tree frogs, much like any other species of frog do secrete a toxin from their skin. However, this toxin is so mild that it would rarely cause even minor irritation to humans. That being said, there have been reports of dogs and other pets developing mild symptoms after coming into contact with a green tree frog, but these will often clear up quickly.
Conversely, handling your frog could cause him problems, since his skin is so thin and absorbent than any soap, oils, or chemicals on your hands, will be absorbed. For this reason, we recommend handling the frog as little as possible.