Are Tree Frogs Poisonous to Dogs? And What Other Dangers Lurk in Your Yard?

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Are Tree Frogs Poisonous to Dogs?

It may not happen very often, but your dog could come in contact with a frog or a toad. The croaking jumper will probably entice your dog to chase and even nibble at it.

So, how dangerous would it be if your dog actually ate the thing? Are tree frogs poisonous to dogs?

Green Tree Frogs have a nasty defense mechanism. And, yes, they are toxic to your dog.


Why are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous?


As mentioned, a green tree frog will do its best to defend itself. When being attacked it will secrete a substance that contains a toxin caerulein that is known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even depression in dogs.

Even though this sounds horrific, it is not a cause for alarm. Your dog will fight through this and after 30-60 minutes, the symptoms should pass.

If it persists, however, that is the time to go to a vet for the actual treatment.

As spring comes by, and especially during humid summers, you may expect a surge in green tree frogs, so be on the lookout for your dog and what it might put in its mouth.


What about other frogs and toads?


In the United States, there are certain common species that your dog might come across: marine toad and Colorado River toad. These are usually found in Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, and Florida.

Cane toads are also present in Australia, especially in New South Wales.

Cane toads, or bufo toads as they are also known, are extremely toxic. They cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, shaking, arrhythmia. It is crucial to immediately take your dog to a vet for treatment but be aware that your dog might still lose its life.

Quite similar to the cane toad when it comes to symptoms is the Colorado River toad or the giant toad.

To be safe, knowing what a cane toad looks like and keeping an eye on your dog in areas known to have these frogs is the best way to save your pup.

When it comes to Europe, natterjack toads are most common and they are toxic, though not as quite dangerous as cane and giant toads are.

It is good to do your own research depending on where you live so you can learn which frogs and toads are present in your area and you can be on the lookout when walking your dog.


How to know if your dog has been in contact with a frog?


If you have a garden, you are bound to have some toads frolicking about. Naturally, your dog will be out there as well, playing.

And, it might want to play with a frog or a toad it sees jumping around. Your dog might even lick the croaking thing, or eat it.

In many cases, this is not dangerous at all. But as stated, there are some frogs and toads that are toxic.

But, if you’re inside your home, you may have no idea that this is happening.

So, how do you know if your dog has been in contact with one?


Here are some signs that your pup has been licking a frog or a toad:

  1. licking or otherwise touching their mouth, lips, or tongue
  2. profusely drooling
  3. foaming at the mouth
  4. vomiting and diarrhea
  5. experiencing a seizure or head shakes


What to do if this happens?


Wash your dog’s mouth with water for about 10 minutes. If the symptoms are not worsening and your dog hasn’t experienced seizures or a high fever, which also might happen, then all you have to do is wait it out. Your dog will be fine.

But if the signs persist and your dog is still salivating or develops a fever, immediately take it to your vet for further treatment.




There is a way to stop this from happening. Training your dog to avoid frogs and toads.

The best way to do this would be to not let your dog outside after sunset, as most frogs are night critters.

And, if you do, watch out for your dog and what it’s doing.

Teach your pup to listen when told “No”. So, if your dog runs at a frog you can yell after it and know that it will listen.


What is the difference between a frog and a toad?


Even though frogs and toads are amphibians, there are differences among them.

Frogs are actually the overall name for the species, and toads fall into this category.

But there is a reason for the distinction in names, as frogs and toads do have different preferences.

Frogs love humid environments and they are likely to be around wet areas. Often, frogs will have slimy skin. Frogs also have a leaner and longer body than toads so they are nimble and can jump further distances.

Toads on the other hand prefer dry spots and have dry skin with bumps. And, toads are known to be poisonous more than frogs. On top of that, it is more likely your dog will come in contact with a toad as they often roam gardens and yards.


What other dangers lurk in your garden?


You might not have any frogs or toads roaming your garden, but what about plants and other toxic substances?

First of all, if you do have a garden, you may place rat or snail and slug poison to fend off these pests. In that case, be very careful when you let your dog outside.

Rodent-killing baits are extremely dangerous and will most likely kill your pet as well, so do consider other more humane methods of getting rid of rodents.

Snail or slug baits are dangerous as well, especially so since they look like dog pellets. Be wary of your dog if you use these types of lures.

Apart from the poisons you introduce to your garden, there are certain plants that are dangerous to your pet if consumed.

Most toxic are Castor Bean or Castor Oil plant and Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow, that is highly toxic, especially its berries which cause vomiting, fever and even seizures. And if you want to know more about which plants are toxic to your dog, then visit RSPCA’s website for more information. 

Many fertilizers contain dangerous substances, such as potassium. They usually cause intestinal irritation, but the symptoms may pass on their own. Even so, it is important to ensure your dog has no contact with fertilizer.

Garden mulch or cocoa mulch is sometimes used in gardens. This substance is dangerous because it contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs. Because all parts of cocoa contain theobromine, it is the main substance that causes chocolate poisoning in your dog.

Keeping cocoa mulch away from your dog is, for this reason, crucial. The best way to ensure this is not to use cocoa mulch at all but find alternatives that are not poisonous to your pet.


Knowing is life-saving


Now that you know the difference between frogs and toads, which ones are toxic and likely to cause your dog harm, as well as what other substances you may have in your garden that can poison your pup, you are prepared to deal with them and ensure your dog’s safety.

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