Perhaps you are looking for a pet as a companion, but you have never had one before. Maybe you are seeking the perfect pet to teach your young children some responsibility. Instead of starting with a large creature that requires a lot of maintenance, such as a cat or dog, consider bringing an amphibian into your home. While most people do not immediately think of amphibians when searching for their starter pet, they should. Many amphibians are easy to take care of, and their unique looks fascinate children. Keep reading to learn what the easiest amphibians to care for are.
The Best Amphibians for New Owners
There are many options for new owners seeking an amphibian that is easy to care for. However, be wary of misinformation about these fascinating creatures. Here are the best broad categories of amphibian pets for new owners, as well as some specific species that may be ideal for you.
Generally, salamanders tend to avoid health problems, and they will not suffer if it takes you a few tries to set up their tank. Most of their care entails cleaning their tanks and feeding them. They tend to eat insects, which you or your child can simply drop into their tank. Salamanders need water to keep their skin moist, and they love to swim. The easiest way to maintain a salamander tank is to add a filter for the water, though it will still need to be cleaned and replaced about once a week.
Axolotls are a water-specific species of salamander that look fascinating with their fanning gills, and their tanks can have a bare bottom. These salamanders need live food like guppies or krill, but these should still simply be dropped in. Also, while Axolotls are easy to care for, and children typically think they look cool, these salamanders cannot be held.
While toads mostly just need to be fed two or three times a day and to have their cages cleaned weekly, they thrive on routine and will wait for you to feed them if you stick to a regular feeding schedule. They eat insects like crickets.
Toads can be picked up, but be sure to wear gloves, as the chemicals in your skin can harm them, and the toxins toads secrete can hurt you. They also do not like to be held very much. As with salamanders, toads need constantly clean water. Like the Axolotl, so long as you or your children are content to mostly observe toads, they can make for great pets.
Once again, like Axolotls, Fire-Bellied Toads are an excellent pet for people that want a pet that is primarily aquatic and vastly more interesting to watch than most fish. These toads have a striking appearance, with vibrant red or yellow and black stomachs or back patterns. They do not need much heat or specific lighting. Fire-Bellied Toads can also briefly be held with gloves, unlike the Axolotl.
As with salamanders and toads, clean water is the main responsibility for caring for a frog. Frogs are more likely to become ill than salamanders or toads, but they also usually have a simpler diet. Most frogs eat insects like earthworms or crickets, but this varies by species. Many types of frogs like to climb and these frogs should have enclosures that allow for it. Also, some frogs should not be held without gloves due to toxins, as with toads. However, many types of frogs can be held.
If you are seeking an amphibian that can be held and is not primarily water-bound, the White Tree Frog is a great choice. These lovely frogs are generally white and light green or blue. They may grow up to five inches long, and although they can climb, they tend to be lazy. However, they do need large enclosures for these reasons.
If you or your children want a pet that is easy to care for, look into acquiring a salamander, toad, or frog. Children can help with feeding aquatic amphibians, as their food typically only needs to be dropped into their cage. The same applies to most salamanders.
Some salamanders and frogs, as well as all toads, should not be held at all or only sparingly and with gloves. They all need clean water to submerge themselves in, which is typically the largest part of caring for them. Axolotls and Fire-Bellied Toads are excellent amphibians if you want a water-bound pet that is cool to observe. White Tree Frogs can be held and are not confined to water.