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Thread: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

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    Moderator LilyPad's Avatar
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    Default If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    A lot of people will buy a frog from petco / petsmart etc. because the price is good. Keep in mind how much you're going to have to spend beyond the cost of the frog. Buying the frog from a reputable breeder and paying shipping could actually SAVE you money in the long run.

    Most of these potentially wild-caught frogs are not in the best health, you're going to have to spend money to get them there. A lot of times this includes fecal testing and medication and sometimes a vet visit. Once in a while, the frog will not make it no matter what you do.

    I've seen them at petco and petsmart, I go there often, packed in a tiny tank (5-10 for maybe 5 gallons of space) with loads of mealworms and moss (sometimes mealworms in moss) at improper temps and humidity, occasionally wood chip substrate or dirty unchanged coco fiber substrate. If one comes in and is sick and dies in the tank, they do not rip apart the entire tank and disinfect it or treat the others that shared a tank, they just remove the dead one. So all the frogs in the tank end up exposed to those pathogens.

    Yes, some stores have better conditions than others, but overall, they are not healthy.

    If you take the advice of the store associates and set up a tank accordingly, you will be re-buying pretty much everything. I've never seen one of them there give proper advice. I, myself, fell for the advice of Petsmart when my first frog was given to me as a surprise. I put a grey tree frog in a 10 gallon tank with loads of moss and no branches. I ended up re-buying everything.

    I spent more on that first FREE frog than I did on any frog I got after that.

    Also, so many feel that they are rescuing these frogs. You are rescuing a frog but giving the stores a profit to go buy and sell more of these frogs. If no one buys these sickly, poorly cared for frogs, they'll either take better care of them, or stop bringing them in because they do not sell.

    So before you impulse buy, before you think you might be saving money, stop and think about what it's really going to cost you.

    For the record, I'm not criticizing the people who have bought them there, especially those who have spent and spent to get those frogs healthy again. I just hope more people will stop and think in the future if they read this.
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
    0.0.1 Anaxyrus fowleri "Fowler's Toad"



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    Default If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    I agree with you completely. Unfortunately, there is few frog breeders in Alberta Canada if any. Sometimes my only choice is pet stores like petland, petsmart etc. I always try to give advice to the staff and when buying frogs, pick the healthiest, most active one.


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    100+ Post Member SwimminSteve's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    I wholeheartedly agree. Petsmart/Petco really aren't an ideal place to purchase any live pet (unless you are adopting through their rescue-run adoption centers).

    I bought pets from Petsmart as a kid and thankfully smartened up to adopt whenever possible. Of course adopting unwanted frogs isn't very common. Fortunately I don't come across many people getting rid of frogs, but it does happen. I regularly check craigslist to see if anyone is trying to get rid of something, though most people are trying to sell herps these days.

    I did have a moment of weakness a few months ago and purchased a baby pacman from Petsmart. It "seemed" healthy, but then had a really hard time eating when I got it home. After a few weeks of failed feedings and some research I determined that it had a vitamin A deficiency. He recovered nicely after correct supplementation. But the whole thing really reaffirmed my feelings about Petsmart animals. And like you said NEVER listen to the employees advice. Always do your own research. They are teenagers with no real education/experience on the animals. Big corporations have no business selling live animals...

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    Moderator deranged chipmunk's Avatar
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    Default If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    Well said amy!! I thought so much of this post, Made it a sticky

    I just hope we can keep this thread as informative, and not make it an unadulterated bashing of chain pet stores. We have enough of those threads already


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    Moderator deranged chipmunk's Avatar
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    Default If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    I also want to add to what Amy wrote as far as adding ANY pet store. The mom and pop stores may do a bit better job at caring for the animals, but they are still a high probability of being wild caught animals as well. So any frog that is purchased from a pet store should be suspect, tested and properly quarantined. I even quarantine frogs from breeders. It's just a good practice.


    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    Thanks, Bill. I did get my last cat through Petco's rescue program and I do hold a lot of their products in high regard. They are not bad in every way. I also agree with you on the mom and pop stores, going through any store that's not a direct breeder or even craigslist, can bring about a wild caught frog with some issues that are going to take $$ to fix.
    2.0.3 Hyla versicolor "Eastern Gray Tree Frogs"
    2.2.0 Agalychnis callidryas "Red Eyed Tree Frogs"

    0.0.3 Dendrobates auratus "Turquoise and Bronze"
    0.0.1 Anaxyrus fowleri "Fowler's Toad"



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    100+ Post Member Lady's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    The pet store I have dealt with on frogs has a no wild caught animals rule. They deal only in animals from reputable breeders but even they don't know everything about supplements and care. I have already decided to order my next frogs from Josh's Frogs for the sake of reputation and their breeding practices. I do agree that Petsmart and Petco do not properly care for their frogs and I have never been impressed with the specimines they have. I will continue to seek out more reputable sources for captive bread animals.

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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    Wow! I did miss this thread. Well done Amy! Very well done! And very true.

    thank you Bill for finding it and making it sticky!
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  11. #9
    100+ Post Member Strider18's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    Very informative post for new herpers alike. Well written and thought out Amy!

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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    Quote Originally Posted by LilyPad View Post
    A lot of people will buy a frog from petco / petsmart etc. because the price is good. Keep in mind how much you're going to have to spend beyond the cost of the frog. Buying the frog from a reputable breeder and paying shipping could actually SAVE you money in the long run.

    Most of these potentially wild-caught frogs are not in the best health, you're going to have to spend money to get them there. A lot of times this includes fecal testing and medication and sometimes a vet visit. Once in a while, the frog will not make it no matter what you do.

    I've seen them at petco and petsmart, I go there often, packed in a tiny tank (5-10 for maybe 5 gallons of space) with loads of mealworms and moss (sometimes mealworms in moss) at improper temps and humidity, occasionally wood chip substrate or dirty unchanged coco fiber substrate. If one comes in and is sick and dies in the tank, they do not rip apart the entire tank and disinfect it or treat the others that shared a tank, they just remove the dead one. So all the frogs in the tank end up exposed to those pathogens.

    Yes, some stores have better conditions than others, but overall, they are not healthy.

    If you take the advice of the store associates and set up a tank accordingly, you will be re-buying pretty much everything. I've never seen one of them there give proper advice. I, myself, fell for the advice of Petsmart when my first frog was given to me as a surprise. I put a grey tree frog in a 10 gallon tank with loads of moss and no branches. I ended up re-buying everything.

    I spent more on that first FREE frog than I did on any frog I got after that.

    Also, so many feel that they are rescuing these frogs. You are rescuing a frog but giving the stores a profit to go buy and sell more of these frogs. If no one buys these sickly, poorly cared for frogs, they'll either take better care of them, or stop bringing them in because they do not sell.

    So before you impulse buy, before you think you might be saving money, stop and think about what it's really going to cost you.

    For the record, I'm not criticizing the people who have bought them there, especially those who have spent and spent to get those frogs healthy again. I just hope more people will stop and think in the future if they read this.
    Amen! The really sad thing is my frogs from Petco were CB from a known reliable breeder/supplier. The people at Petco know NOTHING and it's management & corporate's fault... At least the last time I went into our Petco, after complaining to yet another "manager type" there, I saw that the WTF tank was finally empty! They had it set up to look "pretty", with reptile carpet, fake plants and a dish (empty), no sign for WTFs, no sign saying "New companions coming soon"... I hope they never put more frogs in there and they don't sell these guys again.
    Mom to these fine frogs!
    4.4.0 White's tree frogs (Litoria caerulea): Sir Honey Lime, Bok & Choi, Martha, Shirley, Leapin' Loo and Ping & Pong; 0.2.1 Amazon Milk Frogs (Trachycephalus resinifictrix): Otto & Echo and Pip-Squeak aka Tiny
    2.0.0 South American Bird Poo Frogs (Hyla marmorata): Ribbit & Rupert


  13. #11
    whittyfrog42
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    For the most part I agree whole heartedly about big name pet stores but our local pet co has made great strides resently. My girlfriend started makinging a huge fuss when she started working there and has the entire staff reading this and other sites like it. We peronaly have 10 rescue frogs from pet co that people have brought in that they found they couldn't care for. But sense she started educating the staff even corpret has started letting her and the rest of the now caring staff set up the enclosures as they should be some times going comleatly against what corporate says it should be. They won't even let people buy a new reptile or amphibian without showing them to this or like sites so they know they will be taken care of. I can't vouch for where they get their stock but I'm rather proud of what we've done to our local pet co

  14. #12
    Frogger00
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    Default If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    Lucky me I have a few different specialty reptile stores around me.


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  15. #13
    KAWiggy
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    I agree with whittyfrog42. I have a good friend who works for one of these large chains. She is very well informed and absorbs every bit of information about all of the pets they sell at her store. 99% of the times the associates and management are not to blame for their misinformation. They are improperly trained from the very beginning. My friends has done extensive research outside of her work environment. She reads anything and everything on the keeping of these animals. I understand that not all associates who work at these stores have the same willingness to work, learn, or research but it is important not to assume that all associates and big pet stores are incompetent. In my opinion it is the responsibility of the pet owner or future pet owner to do the proper research before they buy.

  16. #14
    Moderator deranged chipmunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    we're starting to veer off topic here folks. the point amy was trying to make is that you are better off getting live stock from reputable breeders to ensure their health. and that starting with healthy animals, while a bit more expensive at first, saves money in the long run.

    please keep it on topic
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
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    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
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    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
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  17. #15
    KAWiggy
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    I understand and agree completely. However, I feel as if the same argument could have been expressed without targeting particular stores like Petsmart and Petco. This thread will definitely be helpful for those looking to purchase new frogs and give them the vital information they need to determine whether a frog appears to be in good health and perhaps we could suggest some reputable breeders as well.

  18. #16
    whittyfrog42
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    I personaly havent bought from Petco I just go in to make sure they are taking good care of the pets there are 15 plus of us that come in once a week or more to make sure they have everything in check. All of mine are rescues that have Ben brought in and the adoption fee is for rescue shelters

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    Moderator deranged chipmunk's Avatar
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    Default If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    Quote Originally Posted by KAWiggy View Post
    I understand and agree completely. However, I feel as if the same argument could have been expressed without targeting particular stores like Petsmart and Petco. This thread will definitely be helpful for those looking to purchase new frogs and give them the vital information they need to determine whether a frog appears to be in good health and perhaps we could suggest some reputable breeders as well.
    Well, that is why I posted about including mom and pop stores as well. It's not just chain stores that sell unhealthy animals.

    I like the idea of adding breeders to the thread. If anyone wants to add breeders to the thread, please do so. Also, please state what kind of frogs they breed. If we put a large enough list together, I will put them into a separate thread.




    Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela
    1.0.0 Oophaga Pumilio 'Black Jeans'
    0.0.10 Phyllobates Vittatus
    0.0.3 Phyllobates Terribilis 'Mint'
    0.0.3 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Patricia'
    0.0.5 Dendrobates Leucomelas
    0.0.2 Dendrobates Tinctorius 'Powder Blue'
    0.0.2 Ranitomeya Variabilis 'southern'
    0.0.3 Epipedobates Anthonyi 'zarayunga'
    1.2.0 Phyllobates bicolor
    0.0.3 Dendrobates tinctorius 'azureus'
    0.0.1 Avicularia Avicularia
    0.0.1 Gramastola porteri
    0.2.0 Canines
    1.0.0 Tabby/Maine Coon Mix
    2.1.0 Genetics Experiments
    0.1.0 Bed Bully

  20. #18
    Member gut's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you buy a frog from a large pet store

    As someone who works in a pet chain store I agree with what was said above, while some pet care workers do care for the pets a great deal of them just see it as another job and don't bother to do any research other than the limited information management provides. If you're interested in a critter being sold in any petstore I think its a good idea to throw lowball questions at the employees, basic stuff that anyone should know, and see how they respond.

    But even if you get an employee who is really invested in their animal's husbandry [like me!!] a lot of times the animals are unwell from the start, because the mass breeders tend to cut a lot of corners and send us unhealthy animals frequently. Its an extremely frustrating uphill battle.

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