10 Amphibians That Make Good Pets

Amphibians, such as frogs and salamanders, can be low-maintenance pets that are fun to observe.

May 12, 2024By Molly Weinfurter
amphibians that make good pets

Even though amphibians are slimy, sensitive creatures, many of them can make great pets. As long as you’re okay with admiring your pet instead of holding them, an amphibian, such as a frog or salamander, could be an ideal companion. Keep reading to find out which amphibian species would be a good pet for your lifestyle.

1. Poison Dart Frog

blue poison dart frog on tree
Image credit: Unsplash

Poison dart frogs are some of the most colorful frogs in the world, which is why many people are drawn to them. They’re good pets because they don’t require much attention, and they don’t take up much space. However, poison dart frogs are dangerous, so they shouldn’t be handled, even as pets. Their toxins are only deadly to humans if ingested, but humans could experience some swelling or nausea if they touch these amphibians. Thus, they’re the kind of pets you can admire but never hold with your bare hands.

2. Fire Salamander

fire salamander leaf litter
Image credit: Pexels

Fire salamanders get their name because they were once believed to live in fire. This assumption began because the salamanders would often hide in logs and then crawl out when people threw the logs on the fire. They’re easy to care for but shouldn’t be handled because they can release a secretion that can irritate human skin. However, the substance luckily does minimal damage to humans and is designed to harm predators if ingested. Their bright yellow splotches warn animals to avoid them in the wild.

3. Fire Belly Newt

fire belly newt in aquarium
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Fire belly newts are popular because of their beautiful coloring. Their bodies are black everywhere except for a red-orange pattern on their bellies. They spend most of their time swimming, but they still need access to land in their enclosure. They’re tiny amphibians, only growing two to four inches long. However, they typically live in small groups, so you should keep more than one together.

4. Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad

fire bellied toad on leaf
Image credit: Pixabay

Like fire belly newts, oriental fire-bellied toads are semi-aquatic pets known for the red-orange patterns on their bellies. They spend most of their time in the water, but they need some land in their enclosure too. Their skin can secrete a milky substance if they feel threatened, which can irritate the eyes and mouths of their predators. These toads typically live in small groups of about four individuals.

5. Axolotl

wild type axolotl
Image credit: Pexels

Axolotls are popular aquatic salamanders. Most salamanders have an aquatic stage as juveniles, but they eventually lose their gills and move onto land. Axolotls stay in their larval stage their whole lives, and many people are drawn to their unique behavior and frilly gills. In general, axolotls are easy to care for as long as you properly set up and cycle the tank before bringing an axolotl home. Also, if you plan to keep an axolotl, make sure your country or state allows them. Axolotls are endangered and prohibited in some areas.

6. Tiger Salamander

pet tiger salamander
Image credit: Unsplash

Tiger salamanders are one of the most popular pet salamanders, but some types of tiger salamanders are endangered. Thus, you should always get ones that were bred in captivity rather than take them out of the wild (although that’s true for all pets). Tiger salamanders are low maintenance, but they also love to burrow. So, it’s common for them to hide in their enclosure and not be visible during the day.

7. Australian Green Tree Frog

australian green tree frog in leaf
Image credit: Pexels

Australian green tree frogs, also known as White’s tree frogs, love to climb, so they benefit from a vertical enclosure. However, they’re also fairly lazy, sitting in the same spot for most of the day. Many people adore these frogs because they’re not the brightest. They may bite the air a few times before they successfully catch the bug in front of them. They can live with others of the same species, but they may try to steal each other’s food.

8. Amazon Milk Frog

bright blue amazon milk frog
Image credit: Pixabay

Amazon milk frogs are named after the unusual milky substance they sometimes secrete when threatened. The substance is dangerous for predators but doesn’t pose a threat to humans. These frogs can live in large groups of about eight individuals, so they’re great for pet owners who want to care for more than one frog. Amazon milk frogs love to climb, so they need a vertical enclosure instead of a horizontal one.

9. Pacman Frog

pacman frog on leaf
Image credit: Pexels

Pacman frogs, also known as South American horned frogs, are round amphibians with large mouths, resembling the shape of the Pacman character. Their diet consists of crickets, worms, fish, and mice, so anyone who owns them can’t be squeamish.

They’re frogs instead of toads, despite having bumpy skin like a toad would. They don’t swim, but their environment should be moist with 50% to 80% humidity to keep them in the best shape possible. You can keep your Pacman frog in optimal condition by regularly cleaning their tank.

10. African Dwarf Frog

african dwarf frog upside down
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

African dwarf frogs are tiny and easy to care for, making them a great amphibian for new pet owners. They only grow up to 2.5 inches long and they can comfortably live with another African dwarf frog. Since these frogs are so tiny, they’re less than an inch long as tadpoles. These frogs are fully aquatic and only need about 5 gallons of aquarium space per frog.

There are thousands of amphibians in the world, many of which have unique adaptations. Only some of those amphibians can be kept as pets, but the ones that can are fascinating to admire and observe. If you’re interested in keeping an amphibian as a pet, research the species and gather all the necessary supplies before setting up their tank.

Molly Weinfurter
By Molly Weinfurter

Molly has over 5 years of experience writing about animals for various websites. She has two pets of her own: a small dog (Mabel) and an axolotl (Wooper). She’s extremely passionate about helping animals in need, so she regularly volunteers with animal organizations by fostering pets, helping at adoption events, and educating about puppy mills.