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Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous? (Yes, But Not Much)

Green tree frogs are poisonous as they excrete toxins from their skin. These toxins are meant to keep their predators away. Although they are usually not harmful to humans, they can be extremely dangerous for pets.

green tree frog on leaf

However, the poison of the green tree frog is not very potent and will not cause harm to humans; it might only cause minor skin irritation and other minor issues.

The toxins of the green tree frogs excrete from their skins when they feel endangered or when they are picked up by other predators.

That’s why many pets such as dogs or cats come into contact with the poison of this frog, which might cause adverse effects. For humans, though, this toxin is not generally harmful.

Disclaimer: This is information for entertainment and educational purposes only. Do not approach a wild animal and keep your distance. Only professionals should handle wild animals. Seek professional help immediately if you have been bitten or otherwise harmedConsult your local wildlife authority for the right advice for your situation and locality.

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous?

Technically speaking, green tree frogs are poisonous, but they are not usually dangerous to humans. 

The primary role of the poison of the green tree frog is to keep its predators away. This toxin is a survival mechanism that green tree frogs have employed throughout their evolution.

It has allowed them to steer clear of predators, and it also signals the predators to stay away from them, too.

The green tree frog, once it is picked up, will start releasing a toxin from its skin called Caerulein. This type of chemical is especially notable with the Australian green tree frog, while the American green tree frog doesn’t have it.

Caerulein is a potentially harmful chemical especially for pets and other smaller animals. For domestic pets such as dogs and cats, this chemical has been known to cause serious health problems.

Luckily, this toxin is usually not dangerous to humans, although it may still cause irritation of the skin.

Read More: Are There Poisonous Frogs in Texas?

tree frog in hand
Some species of tree frog are commonly kept as pets

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous to Humans?

Green tree frogs release toxins, but these are not dangerous to humans. They might cause minor skin irritation.

This is an important topic to discuss since many people are looking to own green tree frogs as their pets. Whether they are toxic to you or not has been discussed often, and it’s an important consideration to make.

As we’ve already mentioned, green tree frogs usually release toxins from their skin. This will happen when they feel threatened or when they are picked up and they don’t like it. That’s when they will start to release the toxins that can cause irritation.

You will notice this irritation after picking up a frog in your hands. Your hands might become red and you might feel some minor irritation, but most people feel nothing more than that.

The vast majority of green tree frog species are not very toxic to humans and are unlikely to cause severe adverse reactions, however, some species are more toxic than others and picking up a frog in the wild could be extremely dangerous.

Are Green Tree Frogs Poisonous to Pets?

Green tree frogs are potentially poisonous to pets, as their toxins might cause allergic reactions like vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and other symptoms. These usually go away after about an hour.

If you own a dog or a cat and a green tree frog, then you should be cautious. These types of pets can interact with each other in unwanted ways.

For example, your cat or your dog might become curious about the frog and they start to interact with the frog, eventually picking it and putting it into its mouth.

And that can result in negative consequences for your cat or dog. The green tree frog will start to release a toxin called Caerulein, which can cause adverse effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and other similar issues.

While usually not life-threatening, these toxins can still be dangerous for you or your pets.

If you think your pet may have come into contact with a tree frog, contact your vet immediately.

tree frog on a rock
Bright colored poisonous frogs can look appealing to dogs, so it’s important to keep them away from them

Related Article: Do Frogs Sleep?

Which Type of Green Tree Frog is Poisonous?

In general, the Australian green tree frogs are more poisonous than the American green tree frogs.

In essence, we know of two major green tree frog species:

  • American Green Tree Frogs
  • Australian Green Tree Frogs

This is often the reason why American green tree frogs are the preferred type of pet for many people, but this is not a general rule. Australian green tree frogs are also fine as pets, as long as you follow the recommendations.

For humans, the Australian green tree frog will not cause any adverse reactions but might be slightly inconvenient if you have other pets like cats and dogs.

All issues can easily be avoided by keeping your pets separate and preventing access for your dog or cat to the frog and not allowing it to pick up the frog.

Conclusion

To conclude, green tree frogs do have poison, but they are not harmful to humans. They might cause some minor irritation on the skin, but this will go away after a few minutes to up to an hour.

If you have other pets like dogs and cats, then you should be cautious as to how your pets interact with the frog. Green tree frogs release toxins that can cause serious problems for dogs and cats, and you should contact your vet immediately if you have concerns.

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