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Are Frogs Poisonous To Dogs?

July 20, 2021

Are frogs poisonous to dogs? There are two frogs that are poisonous to dogs, and depending on which area you live in, you might have more than one variety that is toxic to your pet.

As pet parents, we like to think that our backyard is a safe place for our dog to roam. So letting them into the yard for a bathroom break shouldn’t be dangerous, right? 

However, poisonous frogs and toxic toads can complicate a simple run in the yard, and if your dog licks or eats one, they may become poisoned.

Unfortunately, the reality is that certain parts of the country are home to poisonous frogs, and during the summer months, when spawning season peaks, or after a spring rain our backyards can become a place where an accidental poisoning can happen.

There are two types of frogs that are most commonly spotted in North America that are toxic to your furry friend.

Frogs That Are Poisonous to Dogs

North America is home to two primary types of poisonous frogs: the Cane Toad and the Colorado River Toad. 

The Cane Toad, also known as the giant or Bufo toad, is typically found in Florida, Texas, and Hawaii. They have prominent triangular glands located behind their eyes and do not have ridges on the top of their heads. (1)

The Colorado River Toad, also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad, is usually found in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and New Mexico. They have noticeable glands on their hind legs and oval-shaped glands behind their eyes. (1)

The good news is that if you live in other parts of the nation, your dog is unlikely to run across a toad that would cause anything more than minor symptoms

What Happens If My Dog Has Contact with a Poisonous Frog?

Both of these toads secrete poisonous substances when they feel threatened. So, if your dog has ambushed one of these toads in your backyard, the toad will likely secrete these toxins, which may lead to your dog consuming the toxin. 

If your pup comes into contact with these toxins, they will quickly absorb them into their bloodstream, where the toxin targets the nervous system, heart, and blood vessels primarily. (2)

If you do live in an area with these poisonous frogs, it’s crucial that you rush your dog to the vet should they come into contact with one of these frogs.

  • Increased salivation

  • Vocalizing

  • Foaming at the mouth

  • Pawing at their mouth

  • Disorientation, falling or circling

  • Seizures

Without treatment, a dog can collapse, have severe seizures, and eventually die from the toxin. 

Are tree frogs poisonous to dogs?

Tree frogs release a film-like substance over their body that can cause a strong reaction in a dog who has come into contact with it, including depression. According to the Florida University Wildlife Extension, “No native frogs/toads of Florida are deathly poisonous to humans or dogs. 

However, all frogs/toads have skin secretions/mild toxins that taste nasty and may make an animal salivate excessively after biting or licking the frog/toad.” (3) 

If you believe your dog has licked a toad, immediately rinse out their mouth and contact your veterinarian. (4)

Pet insurance can help to cover the cost of veterinary care for emergencies and illnesses. When you insure your vet bills can be one less thing to worry about– especially if your dog puts something in their mouth that they shouldn’t.

Sources: 

  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

  • Veterinary Centers of America

  • UF, Florida Wildlife Frequently Asked Questions about Frogs and Toads

  • Pet Poison Helpline

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