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Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous? How To Handle Them Safely

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous

Green tree frogs make excellent pets for both first-time and seasoned pet owners. These pets are easy to care for, fun to look at, and can live for over five years under your care. 

But are green tree frogs poisonous? No. Green tree frogs are not considered highly poisonous compared to other species. However, they can trigger allergic reactions in some people, and one must practice proper hygiene when interacting with them. These frogs can also irritate some pet animals if ingested or interacted with.

The article covers more about Green tree frogs and whether they are poisonous. Read on to learn how to safely handle your pet green tree frog and avoid toxins.

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous To Touch?

Green Tree frogs are medium-sized frogs under the family Hylidae. There are usually two popular types of green frogs, the American (Dryophytes cinereus) and Australian (Ranoidea caeruiea).

Both American and Australian green tree frogs are not highly poisonous compared to most other species. They have mild toxins on their skin that aren’t much enough to harm humans.

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous To Touch

However, the low amounts of toxins in their granular glands may be enough to cause some discomfort to sensitive skin parts. Therefore,  clean your hands after handling them to avoid these effects on the skin. 

Likewise, avoid touching other frog species without first studying them, as most are usually highly toxic. Usually, any brightly colored frogs, especially green ones, are poisonous and shouldn’t be touched.

Factors That Contribute To Green Tree Frog’s Low Toxins

Australian green tree frog

Green tree frogs are not poisonous because they possess low toxins. The following factors contribute to this low level of toxins. 

1. Diet

Diet is among the main contributing factors to the level of toxins on a frog’s skin. The toxins, often referred to as alkaloids, are synthesized from the animals and plants the frogs eat.

Green tree frogs eat flies, crickets, locusts, moths, wax worms, and earthworms. This diet does not include toxic prey animals that could contribute to high levels of potent toxins on their skins.

Green Tree Frogs Diet

2. Defense Strategy

Frogs with high levels of toxins on their skin use them as their main defensive strategy against predators. On the contrary, green tree frogs utilize other defensive strategies, contributing to the low levels.

Green tree frogs mostly use camouflage as their defensive mechanism, where they blend into their surroundings. They also seek cover or jump away when pursued by a potential predator.

3. Habitats

Habitats, or the environment where the Green tree frogs live, affect the amount of toxins in their skin. Those in areas with toxic plants and animals have more toxins, which they get from these habitats.

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous To Humans? (Potential Risks Of Handling Them)

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous To Humans

Green tree frogs are not poisonous to humans and are not considered dangerous species to interact with. However, handling green frogs poses various risks to you and the pet. The following list contains these potential risks.

1. Allergies

Skin irritation is one of the potential risks, especially if you have sensitive skin. The mild toxins on the green tree frog can irritate your hands and trigger allergic reactions.

If you’re one of these people, you will spot a rash or blister or feel an itching and burning sensation on your skin. These usually happen as soon as you interact with the frog, and don’t wash your hands immediately after.

2. Pathogens Transmission

There’s also a risk of pathogen transmission from the Green tree frog to you. Like other frog species, these amphibians carry bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can harm your health.

One of the most common bacteria from frogs is Salmonella, which can result in health issues. Coming into contact with these bacteria can result in Salmonella infection, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

3. Irritation To Frog’s Skin

Frog skin is sensitive skin essential for water absorption and respiration. The skin is also permeable and readily absorbs substances from the environment around them.

Therefore, touching them, especially without properly cleaning your hands, can cause irritations.

Green Tree Frogs sensitive skin

4. Stress 

Another potential risk when handling your green tree frog is stress. The pet may feel threatened by your presence, especially during the first few days, when you’re yet to bond. Besides that, the pet may attempt to escape and injure themselves.

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous To Other Pets?

Toxins in the Green tree frog’s skin are not considered highly poisonous to most other pets. However, they are still high enough to cause irritations to their sensitive parts like eyes and mouth.

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous To Other Pets

Besides, the interaction between the pet frog and other pet animals, like a cat or dog, is risky. The following are the factors to consider before allowing these pets to interact.


An interaction between green frogs and other pet animals, especially predators like cats and dogs, is fatal. The frog can trigger their hunting instinct, causing them to hunt and eat it.

Ingesting the frog can cause discomfort and vomiting to the pet since it ingests a high amount of toxins at once. If your cat or dog ingests a green tree frog, take it to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.


Like humans, some pets may be sensitive to green tree frog’s secretions and develop allergic reactions. Unlike humans, who can wash their hands after interacting with the frog, other pets will continue to play, transferring the toxins to sensitive parts.

Green Tree Frogs Sensitivity

Physical Harm and Stress

Interaction between the frog and other pets can also result in physical harm and stress. These other pets, especially the larger species, can harm the pet while playing or cause stress.

How To Safely Handle Green Tree Frogs

How To Safely Handle Green Tree Frogs

The following are the guidelines for safely handling your pet green tree frog. 

1. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is the most important step due to their sensitive skin, which will absorb substances in your hands. Thoroughly wash your hands with clean water and rinse thoroughly.

2. Consider Using Gloves

Consider using disposable latex or vinyl gloves when handling the pet. Gloves are better since they prevent the transfer of diseases from the frog. 

3. Hold Them Gently

When holding the green tree frog, hold them gently to avoid injuring them. Like most other small pets, their bones are delicate and can easily get injured if not properly held.

Green Tree Frogs Hold Them Gently

4. Avoid Contact With Sensitive Parts

Avoid touching the pet’s mouth or eyes, which are sensitive parts and can cause stress and discomfort to the pet. Also, avoid touching your eyes or mouth when interacting with the pet until you’re done and have washed your hands.

5. Hold Them Only When Necessary

Only hold your Green tree frog when necessary to avoid stressing or injuring them. Also, avoid them for a long time, and consider using boxes rather than your hands when moving them.

Green Tree Frogs Hold Them Only When Necessary


This section lists three frequently asked questions related to whether green tree frogs are poisonous. 

Q1. Are Green Tree Frogs Safe To Eat?

No. Green tree frogs are not poisonous to eat and are often hunted for food by humans. However, they are usually too small to compare to other frog species used for food. Nevertheless, people with fish allergies are more likely to get an allergic reaction after consuming a frog.

Q2. Can I Transfer Diseases To Green Tree Frog?

Though the risk is relatively low, you can transfer diseases and pathogens to your green tree frog. This is more likely if you don’t practice proper hygiene and if you’re petting other pets too. Cats and dogs also carry bacteria and parasites, which you may transfer to the frog.

Q3. Should I Keep the Green Tree Frog With Other Pets?

Even though there is no risk of the frog poisoning the other pets, avoid keeping them in the same enclosure. Some pets may hunt the frog, which can injure or trigger allergic reactions in them.


The low level of toxins in the excretes of the green tree frog contributes to them being less poisonous. This means they cannot affect you as much as some species, like the poison dart frog will. However, they can trigger allergic reactions and skin irritation if you don’t wash your hands afterward.

The biggest risk is when other pets, like cats or dogs, interact or eat the Green tree frog. They risk developing allergic reactions or various symptoms, like diarrhea and vomiting. Practice proper care when handling these frogs to avoid the issues mentioned.

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