Although frogs and toads can make fascinating pets, most species are not very active and can become boring for children or owners hoping for an interactive companion. Most pet species will live from 5-15 years in captivity (large toads may live even longer), so buyers should be aware that they are making a long-term commitment. Many species are sold as small juveniles at pet stores, and some will grow quite a bit larger as they age. In addition, individual species may have quirks such as hibernation, special food requirements, or night-time vocalization that owners may want to research ahead of time.
Pet frogs and toads are carnivorous: they eat insects, worms, and smaller animals. Crickets are cheap and easy to buy at pet supply stores, but since they are not nutritionally complete, they need to be dusted or gut-loaded (fed ahead of time) with nutritional supplements. Mealworms, silk worms, red worms, or other larvae are also commonly used. Some species will eat flies or moths. Large toads may even eat mice (usually purchased frozen from a pet store). Aquatic and semi-aquatic species might eat small fish, if they are available.
Amphibians, like reptiles, are ectothermic (cold blooded): their body temperature depends on the temperature of the environment. All species have a preferred optimal temperature range (POT) within which they will be healthiest and most active. Many pet species will do well at room temperature, but some may require a heater or lamp. Heated habitats should always contain a cool or shady area.
With the exception of desert species, most frogs and toads require a relatively humid environment. This is usually achieved by spritzing or misting the habitat regularly (daily or several times a week) and keeping the tank covered. Even if there is plenty of water available to submerge in, frogs may become too dry if the air in their tank is not humid enough.