Thinking of getting yourself a pet different from your regular furry friends such as dogs, cats, rabbits. Then a Pacman frog might be just what you need, especially if you love amphibians. Indigenous to South America, Pacman frogs enjoy spending time in a humid environment.
Pacman makes excellent pets because they are not hard to care for and are low-maintenance. It is also recommended not to handle them with bare hands as an owner because they bite. Thus if you want an interactive pet, this might not be the best option for you.
These frogs are named Pacman because they look like the arcade character Pacman in the 1980s with a round body, similar large mouth behavior, and a head shape that looks like a triangle. They also eat a lot like the characters of this arcade game. Still, they are more observable than interactive pets, so you should handle them with care at all times.
What Is A Pacman Frog?
Pacman frog also referred to as ornate horned frogs, is indigenous to South America. They are usually kept as pets due to their unique appearance. These frogs adapt pretty well to the enclosure and eat nearly everything, so it should not be so hard to take good care of them.
Although there are eight different breeds of Pacman frogs, they have a similar physical structure such as round body shape, giant mouths, a blotchy pattern on their backs, and come in various colors.
These pets can grow to about four inches to seven inches as an adult, depending on their species, gender, and how well they eat. Pacman frogs pretty much live a long life as they have been known to live for averagely more than a decade as a pet.
Pacman Frog Care
If you are the new owner of a Pacman frog, welcome to the family, but you must learn the proper care for your amphibian pet. Three critical factors affect your pet drastically (negatively or positively). Let’s take a look at them.
Pacman frogs are simple eaters; they can eat anything, which significantly makes them easy to care for. Generally, they are insectivores like several other amphibians, but they can also be carnivores. They need vitamin D and calcium, which they can get mainly from gutted crickets.
Water is also essential in their diet. Amphibian pets can suffer from dehydration if they do not get enough water. Although Pacman frogs do not drink water, they absorb it through their skin. Hence, it is essential to keep their environment humid.
You can also place a bowl of chlorine-free water in their cage, but it should be shallow enough for your amphibian pet to soak in without drowning because they cannot swim.
Regardless, it is important to note that when feeding them, you should do so with tongs because not only can they bite you, you can also cause them harm. Their skins are sensitive and can develop bacterial infections on the skin if you touch them with your hands.
The natural habitat of a Pacman frog is in humid environments with many damp litters or leaves that they can hide under in the forest. Thus, it is essential to consider this when getting them a new home.
They are great adaptors and could quickly adapt into a new home within a few days if you give them enough space. Yet, getting them a home similar to their natural habitat will encourage them to get comfortable in the environment.
Pacman frogs are generally inactive; they are not interactive animals, so they do not need much space. Therefore, if you purchased a baby Pacman frog, they can be housed in a small reptile plastic and moved to a 20-gallon tank recommended for adult frogs as they grow.
Also, damp substrates are essential in these amphibian pet habitats because they like to burrow, so ensure that you replace the substrate as frequently whenever it is not as moist as it should be.
You can also add leaf litter and plants to give their new habitat a natural look and so that they can hide underneath the plants. In addition, Pacman frogs are very aggressive and should not be housed with other frogs because they can eat anything, including other frogs of similar species. Hence, they should be housed alone.
In addition, when it comes to the habitat of these pets, the temperature is an essential factor to consider because Pacman frogs are cold-blooded animals. They cannot control their body temperature by themselves, so it is your duty as a pet owner to help them manage their habitat’s temperature.
A temperature of about 82°F is recommended during the day and 78°F at night. It is also advisable to provide them with 12 hours of light and darkness every day.
It would be a little difficult to care for a Pacman frog without understanding them, their behaviour and how to keep them healthy and safe. Touching a Pacman frog with bare hands are detrimental to your pet’s health. Their skin is sensitive, and they could get skin infections due to sweat or residue on the palm.
Hence it is advised to wear a glove on the rare occasion when you handle them; otherwise, use a net to scoop them up when you want to clean their habitat.
Pacman frogs shed their skin either because they are growing or due to improper moisture in their environment. Thus, a regular behavioral pattern of amphibian pets is eating their shredded skin when they shed.
When there isn’t enough moisture in the substrate, your amphibian pet will protect itself from drying out and cover itself with a thicker outer skin. Once its environment is conducive again, your pet would break out of its thick skin and eat it.
Depending on how healthy your frog pet is, their shedding might not be as regular, but even the most healthy one sheds occasionally, and they eat it. Pacman frogs can also suffer from several infections.
Some of the red flags you should look out for are lack of appetite, cloudy eyes, weight loss, etc. If you notice any of these, you should immediately contact the veterinarian.
Further reading: Talking Birds: Facts To Know
How Often To Feed Pacman Frog
When it comes to diet, do you wonder what you should feed this amphibian pet and how often you should feed them? Let’s take a look.
As stated above, they are simple eaters, and gutted cricket is a good source of their nutrients. But, it is recommended not to feed gutted crickets to your frog every day.
These amphibian pets do not only enjoy gutted crickets; they can also be fed earthworms, frozen mice, or rodents for adult Pacman and mealworms as treats once in a while because of their high-fat content.
They can also be easily overfed because they eat a lot and generally eat whenever they get the chance to. For adults, it is recommended to feed them once every two to three days, while you should feed smaller Pacman frogs every day.
However, if you notice your pet adding more weight than average, you can cut down on their food.
These colorful amphibians are excellent pets because they do not require much attention as our regular furry friends and are easy to care for. However, always consider that these colorful amphibians absorb water from their environment. Hence, they can suffer dehydration if there isn’t enough water in their habitat.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.