What do toads eat and what do you not want to feed them

If you ask most people the question ‘what do toads eat?’, the most common answer would probably be crickets. And it’s true – toads do eat crickets – but they eat lots of other things too.

So, what do toads eat?

What a toad eats depends on the species. Generally speaking, toads eat crickets, mealworms, wax worms, and super worms. This is a basic diet that will do for most toads, regardless of their species.

However, that’s not to say that toads only eat these things. Or that they shouldn’t eat a variety of foods. Like humans, toads need a balanced diet.

toads eating insect
A toad(bufu bufo) is about to catch and eat an insect.

What do toads eat? 12 foods that toads love…

Toads are very closely related to frogs and this is not only shown in how they look, but also in their dietary needs.

Toads are carnivores, so they enjoy eating live prey. But what kind of prey? Here are 12 creatures that toads love to eat…

  • Crickets
  • Flies
  • Mealworms
  • Spiders
  • Grubs
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Mice
  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Small Fish
  • Other toads and frogs!

The last one may be a bit shocking… but it’s true. Toads do sometimes eat other toads!

What do wild toads eat?

Wild toads live all over the world and there are lots of different species.

Since they have such different habitats, the diets of different toads differ from one another.

Most commonly, toads will eat larger insects and larvae as an adult. When they are young they try to feed themselves on flies and ants.

Fun fact: When a toad is really large, it can even eat small mice and lizards. All of the things he eats are swallowed whole.

This is due to the fact that a toad doesn’t have any teeth in its lower jaws and cannot chew.

green tree frog trying to eat cricket
Red-eye frog hunting the cricket

What do toads eat in captivity?

In captivity, toads should eat the same kind of food as they would in the wild.

If you give a pet toad something from the list above, they will eat it.

However, when toads are kept as pets, the most common choice of food is crickets or mealworms.

This is not because it is best for the toad, but generally because they are the foods that are most readily available.

You can, however, buy some baby mice, or catch some insects yourself to feed your toad. This will give your toad some variety in their diet.

You should also:

  1. Give your toad food that is the appropriate size. The right size is about the size of a cricket.
  2. Try to give 4 to 6 items of food in your toad’s diet.
  3. Your toad will start to learn when you feed it, so try to be as consistent as possible. This means that you should aim to feed your toad at the same time every day.

What is the best thing to give to your toad in captivity?

We recommend feeding crickets to your toad. Live crickets are readily available and low in cost. Besides that, they are very healthy for your toad.

We would, however, suggest dusting the crickets with calcium and vitamins supplements. This is due to the fact that toads do not get as much UVB from the sun as they would get in the wild.

UVB plays a very important role in how they metabolize vitamins and calcium and therefore you need to help your pet frog a little.

Do this and your pet toad will be very happy and healthy!

Frog trying to catch a milk beetle

How often should you feed a toad?

How often you feed your toad depends on your toad’s age.

When you have a juvenile toad, you should feed him every day.

If you have an adult toad you should try to feed him about three times a week.

What human food do toads eat?

Some people will say that toads can eat human food like vegetables and fruits, but they are wrong!

You should not feed your pet toad vegetables and fruits. Both frogs and toads do not eat plant matter. They don’t have the right digestive system to be able to digest these kinds of foods.

You should also avoid giving them processed meat for the same reason.

If you want to give your toad more nutrients, and you’re raising your own crickets, try to feed your crickets some fruit so they would absorb the nutrients. You can also try supplements like this.

How do toads eat?

The way that toads eat is really quite interesting!

When they see their prey, a toad will normally patiently wait for it to move before eating it. While they wait, they carefully examine the prey, waiting for the perfect moment to catch it.

When the toad sees the right moment, he flicks out his long sticky tongue and sticks it to the prey.

The toad’s tongue then retracts back, as quickly as it popped out, and the food goes down in one gulp.

The prey he just ate is still very much alive and is slowly processed by the toad’s digestive system.

If you want to see a great video of how a toad eats, take a look at the video below.

How long can toads go without eating?

How long a toad can go without eating depends on the weight of the toad and its age (juveniles need food available to them at all times), as well as the type of toad.

Personally, I have never left my toad without food for more than three days. If I’m away longer I make sure someone is going to feed it.

That said, toads can go up to two weeks without eating.

How much a toad eats will also be influenced by whether they are preparing to hibernate.

What do baby toads eat?

Toad tadpoles eat a bit differently from adults.

Earlier, we said that toads don’t eat vegetables and fruits. This is true for adult toads, but it isn’t true for tadpoles. Toad tadpoles eat vegetation, such as half-rotten plants that they find in their pond.

When toad tadpoles get a bit older they start to eat plants that were too hard to eat when they were younger.

So, when you have toad tadpoles in captivity, you have to begin by feeding them lettuce leaves.

But before you do, make sure that you dip the lettuce in boiling water for 2 seconds so that it is soft enough to eat.

In the following days, you can start giving it some harder vegetables like peas (although you should cut them in half and remove the shells).

Also consider giving your tadpoles leeks, celery, carrots. Just make sure that these foods are cooked. This way it is easy for the toad tadpoles to eat it.

Toads that are no longer tadpoles, but not yet fully grown, will eat pinhead crickets, mealworms, wax worms, and grubs.

All of these are small and easy-to-eat enough for a baby toad to swallow and digest properly.

Once toads become fully grown adults, they will be carnivores for the rest of their lives.

What do toads eat in the garden?

By now, you’ve probably gathered that toads aren’t very strict about what they eat.

They eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths!

On top of the list we gave earlier, they also eat flies, slugs, snails, spiders, and even more!

It’s a great reason why you should invite a toad into your garden: they can help manage pests and keep your plants alive and thriving!

Some Recommeded food for Toads

  • Zoo Med Aquatic Frog & Tadpole Food
Zoo Med Aquatic Frog and Tadpole Food, 12 Ounces, Made in The USA, Black (26043)
  • High protein diet for pet frogs
  • Sinking micro pellets are easy for frogs and tadpoles to eat
  • Specially formulated food for all types of aquatic frogs and tadpoles
  • Made with real fish as the first ingredient to simulate your pet's natural diet
  • Made in the USA

  • Fluker’s Freeze Dried Treats
Fluker's Freeze Dried Reptile Treats
  • All Natural Nutrition
  • These products are great sources of vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients for your pet, but best of all, they're mess free
  • Great for reptiles, frogs, birds, tropical fish, sugar gliders and hedgehogs

  • Jurrasipet Newt & Frog, All-Natural Food
JurassiDiet - Newt & Frog, 60 g / 2.1 oz.
  • PREMIUM: JurassiDiet is the premium food for live newts and aquatic frogs. It contains the highest quality ingredients without low nutritional value fillers like soy or cornmeal, which can impair calcium absorption.
  • AQUATIC DIET: Supplies a broad spectrum of all the important components needed in a newt and aquatic frog diet: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. It does not contain corn or soy.
  • PROBIOTICS: JurassiDiet contains probiotics, which reduce waste, benefit nutrient uptake and the immune system.
  • UNIQUE: JurassiDiet distinguishes itself fro the competitors by employing a calcium-rich base, alfalfa. Alfalfa has Ca : P ratio of 6 : 1.
  • DIRECTIONS: Feed daily as much food as the animal will consume in one feeding (1 hour). If extra food remains, then feed less. If all the food is consumed, increase the amount daily until extra food remains.

  • Josh’s Frogs Aquatic Frog Food
Josh's Frogs Aquatic African Dwarf Frog Food Pellets (1.85 oz)
  • SUPPLEMENTAL DIET for aquatic frogs, newts, and salamanders along with live or frozen foods
  • PROTEIN PACKED with animal proteins since aquatic frogs, newts, and salamanders are carnivores
  • SINKING PELLET form so that aquatic pets can easily eat them
  • WON’T CLOUD WATER when used according to directions which keeps your water clean!
  • MORE DRY FOOD from Josh’s Frogs. We also offer Aquatic Turtle Food, Aquatic Frog Food, Tadpole Foods, Axolotl Bites, and supplements!
  • Tetra ReptoMin Floating Food Sticks for Frogs
Tetra ReptoMin Floating Food Sticks 10.59 Ounces, For Aquatic Turtles, Newts And Frogs
  • FOR AQUATIC TURTLES, NEWTS AND FROGS: Scientifically formulated food for small exotic pets.
  • DAILY DIET: Precise amounts of nutrients, calcium and Vitamin C to support vitality and good health.
  • PROMOTES GROWTH: Contains high-quality proteins and essential amino acids to promote healthy growth.
  • EASY TO DIGEST: Scientifically formulated; proven to be readily accepted by dozens of species.
  • USAGE: Feed 1 to 2 times per day, only as much as your pet can consume within several minutes.

Why do toads eat other toads and frogs?

Not every toad eats other toads and frogs. But there are some species – the Cane toad and American toad for example – that are cannibalistic.

If one of these toads is hungry then it won’t be at all picky about what it eats. If it is a smaller toad or frog and it fits in their mouth, they will eat it!

So, be sure to never put Cane toads and American toads in a terrarium with smaller frogs or toads. The little ones will probably get eaten!

What do toads eat and what do you not want to feed them

Do toads eat berries?

It’s important to remember that not all toads will happily eat fruits and veggies. They prefer live insects over anything else.

Perhaps the best thing you can feed your captive toad is live crickets. Most pet stores raise crickets for the purpose of feeding reptiles and amphibians.

Do toads eat fruit?

Yes, if the fruit piece can fit inside their mouth, toads with definitely eat them. Toads also feed on prey that lives over fruits and vegetables.

Do toads eat bread?

Yes, toads can and will eat bread, but it isn’t an excellent option to feed them. Bread contains a refined floor and several other preservatives that are not nice for toads’ digestive system.

Do toads eat dog food?

No, toads do not eat dog food and thus must not be fed on the same.

Do toads eat fruits and vegetables?

Yes, toads eat both fruits and vegetables. Tods who live in the wild are highly dependent upon algae, moss, and live prey.

However, the pet tods can be fed with lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, banana, apples, etc.

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