What do toads need to survive article

What Do Toads Need To Survive (And How Do They Do It)?

As the winter is slowly approaching (at time of writing) I couldn’t help but wonder about all these toads and what they need to survive. I first thought that they wouldn’t need a whole lot, but when I went deeper into the matter, I found out that they need some very important things! Toads need food, water, shelter and more to survive not only the winter but to just survive in general. 

So, what do toads need to survive? Toads need a couple of things to survive. They need plenty of water and food. As you can imagine, just like us humans, we need sources to get energy from so that we can keep on living. Toads need shelter. They do not only need shelter to hide from predators, but they also need places to hide when the winter is approaching. Do survive the winter, they use something called hibernation and you can find more information about that in this article.

(or in this specific article about toads and hibernation). 

Want to know more about what toads need to survive, and do you want to know more details? Keep reading!

Survival For Toads – What Do They Need?

Toads are amphibians that live on land, although they live on land, they need moisture and water to soak in and provide a good habitat for mating. In the wild, toads will eat whatever food they can find in their habitats such as worms, spiders, grubs, snails, slugs, insects, and other invertebrates. Young toads will typically eat flies and ants. They will start eating larger insects when they mature. Amphibians constantly need access to freshwater.

Although toads do not drink water, they will absorb the water through their skin. As they constantly need to have water to be absorbed into their skin. toads need to live in a habitat that has enough moisture and plenty of open space such as grasslands, gardens, and fields. Toads generally also like dark places that allow for them to hide. During mating season, which is spring and summer, they will move to wetter habitats near streams and ponds, which they will mate and lay their eggs. 

Where Do Toads Typically Find Shelter?

As toads have many predators such as snakes, hawks, herons, and raccoons, toads need to live in a protective habitat that will protect them from these dangers. Toads will be typically found in bushes such as berry patches. These bushes will provide enough protection from preying predators and it will also provide a dark and cool habitat to prevent them from overheating. During the toad’s breeding season, the female toads will lay eggs in shallow and dark waters to prevent predators from preying on the eggs. 

Where Do Toads Go In The Winter To Survive?

During the winter, toads will need to use a lot of energy to keep moving and find food, so instead, they will save up their energy by hibernating. Some toads will be quietly be hibernating in mud that is at the bottom of the lakes. The toads will carefully cover themselves under piles of leaves or be hidden away in hollowed logs. Some toads are unique and will even bury themselves during the hibernation period. While some toads will choose to save their energy and hibernate during the winter season, several species of toads are hatched during the summer seasons. These toads that are hatched in the summer will spend the entire winter swimming and living in the freezing water. 

How do they take care of the survival of the species?

To protect their eggs from getting preyed upon, the toads will lay their eggs in waters that are low in fish and other predators that may prey upon their eggs. Toad typically has a brief breeding period mostly during the spring seasons. Toad breeding can be taken in many places including, ponds, lakes, streams, and marshes. Flooded areas such as meadows, ditches, and puddles are also pretty common places for breeding grounds. Male toads will sit half-submerged in the water during both daytime and nighttime, and making the mating calls to attract females. When the male toad finds a female mate, they will attach themselves onto the back of the female toad.

The size of the male toad is important as it determines whether or not they be able to successfully fertilize the female’s eggs, yet at the same time not leave too much space that other male toads will compete with each other. The toad’s eggs are laid in strings that are interwoven along the surface and vegetation of the breeding ground. Fertilized eggs will grow and develop depending on the water’s temperature. The fertilized eggs will hatch within 3 to 12 days. The new tadpoles will feed on algae and decomposed matter, the tadpoles will grow quickly and turn into small toads within 35 to 70 days. The wide range between the days of them turning toads prevent the toads from competing. with one another. This gives the species an advantage and provides evolutionary benefits. 

What do toads need for survival in captivity?

The best time to look for toads to keep them in captivity is after heavy rainfall during the spring season. Toads are insectivores and they will also eat any invertebrates that can fit in their mouths. Adult toads should be fed three to six times per day. The majority of a toad’s diet include crickets, worms, and other insects. The crickets should be dusted with calcium and other vitamins, such as vitamin D, to make sure the toad is healthy and all nutritional requirements are met. Although toads will get all their required nutrients and vitamin D, they could also be provided with a light that has UVB output.

A shallow dish should be provided for toads, as a deep dish could drown the toads, given they are not avid swimmers. Toads do not move around too much, so they don’t need a large space, having a tank 2 ft x 1 ft x 1 ft should be enough for one or two toads. To make sure toads won’t be able to escape, a fitted lid on the tank would keep them in.

Toads have sensitive and absorbent skin so it’s not wise to provide them water that has heavy metals and chlorine in them. Distilled water would not work either as it has no minerals or salts required. Acceptable water that would work would be bottle spring water, filtered water, or de-ionized water that has minerals in them. Toads generally like to bury themselves under soil and litter, which helps keep them cool. The best substrates to use with the toads will be special substrates for amphibians such as coconut husks.

It’s also a good idea to add bark, rock, and branches to their habitat, this gives them a place to hide and make them feel better. Most toads typically like cooler places, so a temperate between 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees Fahrenheit would work best for them. As they stay buried under the substrate to keep cool, it is okay for the temperatures to be a few degrees lower during night time, where they will get out of the burrows as it is cooler. Because of their skin, toads can live comfortably in low humidity areas, as they get all of the moisture from soaking in the water.

If the humidity is particularly low, toads can be sprayed a few times a week with water that has no chlorine. As toads like cooler temperatures, heating, and lighting equipment would not be required. 


I hope you have learned that toads are very complex animals who need a lot of things to survive not only in the wild but also in captivity. I hope you have learned that toads need a proper diet and some water so that they can keep themselves alive. That they need shelter not only to hide from predators but it is also important when toads go into hibernation mode. A good shelter provides them with the “ease of mind” so to speak, to sleep for a couple of months.

Besides that, I hope you have learned what you need to do if you have toads as pets yourself. That you have learned how to properly take care of them and what they need. I need to say that what to effectively need is always dependent on the species… So do your research before you do or give anything to your toad.

Thanks for reading! If you found this article interesting to read, I have written some more articles that you might find enjoyable to read.

For further reading

An article about how long toads live
Do toads hibernate?
Here’s an interesting article about the diet and eating habits of toads