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Western Toad Care Sheet

Scientific Facts

Common NameWestern Toad
Scientific NameAnaxyrus boreas
Captive Lifespan8 to 12 Years
Size2.2 – 5.1 inches
MassUp to 80 grams
HabitatA wide range of terrestrial and wetland habitats, from the coast to mountain meadows
Country of OriginWestern North America

Physical Description

Western toads are large-bodied toads, possessing small rounded or oval, widely separated “warts,” located on the upper portions of the limbs, the sides of the body, as well as the back. The warts-like parotoid glands are most often colored in reddish-brown and are bigger in size than the upper eyelids.

Behind the eyes, large, oblong poison cheek glands are situated.

The body coloration of Western toads usually ranges from green through dusky gray to brown, displaying varying nuances from almost black or reddish-brown to vivid olive green.

Typically, a vertebral stripe colored in white or creamy milk hues can be noticed, extending all along the back.

In order to absorb moisture from the environment, Western toads are “equipped” with a grey pelvic patch located in the groin area.

Male Western toads differ from females based on several physical features, namely the reduced dorsal blotching and smoother skin. During the breeding season, the skin on the forefeet of males thickens, thus, developing easily distinguishable nuptial pads.

In juvenile Western toads of this species, the dorsal stripe is rather weak or fully absent. Large young Western toads are characterized by ventral spotting, yellow feet, as well as prominent dorsal.

Types

There are two subspecies of the Western toad, namely Anaxyrus boreas boreas and Anaxyrus boreas halophilus.

Anaxyrus boreas boreas (aka Boreal toad) is characterized by an underbelly zone spotted with a decent amount of dark blotches, while the cranial crest is absent. Boreal toads inhabit southern Alaska and western British Columbia, western Montana, Nevada, northern California, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, western Utah, and western Wyoming.

Anaxyrus boreas halophilus (aka California toad) differs from the Western toads by possessing larger eyes, a wider head, and considerably smaller feet. California toads are also known to have weaker developed dorsal stripe zone margins. Anaxyrus boreas halophilus can be found across the Central Valley of California through Coastal and Baja California, as well as in western Nevada.

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Habitat & Lifespan

Western toads are known to inhabit a fairly wide territorial range, spanning across western British Columbia, northern Baja California, southern Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Washington, central and western Wyoming, western Colorado, and the higher plateaus and mountains of Utah.

Also, Western Toads can be found in a variety of upland and aquatic habitats. Breeding occurs exclusively in wetlands, such as ponds, river backwaters, geothermal springs, river deltas, sandy, shallow lakes’ margins, streams, and river estuaries.

Following shortly after breeding, adult Western toads are known to sometimes remain in the riparian or marshy edges of the breeding sites. In some cases, after breeding, though, adults may also travel several kilometers away from the breeding sites, foraging other wetlands, such as upland sites, as well as riparian areas located along streams.

When it comes to hibernation, Western Toads can be found underground, most commonly in readily-available spaces that have been previously created or otherwise modified by various small mammals, such as squirrels.

Behavior

Being much more terrestrial than other anurans, Western toads can be found anywhere throughout high mountain meadows to coastal zones. Based on their predominantly terrestrial behavioral habits and high adaptability skills, these amazing creatures have been also observed even in desert environments.

In order to avoid desiccation, Western toads make perfect use of their hind leg tubercles to successfully burrow into the soil.

The breeding behavior of Western toads is greatly determined by the need for wetlands habitat. For the development of larvae, a semi-permanent water body is a must. Also, for the purpose of breeding successfully, Western toads are known to aggregate in the spring.

Laying their eggs at communal breeding sites, tadpoles are to further form significantly big aggregations.

The newly emerged young Western toads then form sizeable aggregations for the purpose of migrating away from ponds together as a group.

One of the most interesting facts regarding the breeding behavior of Western toads is that females may breed only once in their entire lifetime. However, this is not the case with male Western toads, as they are known to sometimes breed more than once in a year. Also, males may breed in consecutive years, as well.

Western Toads are rather vulnerable to any possible disturbance at breeding sites. Nonetheless, they are vulnerable during the en masse migrations from and to breeding sites.

Housing

1. For setting up a proper enclosure, keepers need to mind that Western toads require ample floor space rather than height. Because of this, low aquariums work best.

2. For housing, a single Western toad, or a pair of Western toads, opting for a 10-gallon aquarium is highly recommended.

3. Provided the caregiver is to utilize a 10-gallon aquarium, it is highly unlikely the Western toad or the pair of Western toads will manage to escape from an enclosure of this size. However, for improved security, keepers should better make use of a tight-fitting screen lid. A tight-fitting lid screen will make it possible to ventilate the enclosure appropriately, while preventing any unwanted intrusion from other existing pets, such as cats and dogs.

Substrate

1. For the successful maintenance of captive Western toads, keepers should make use of a substrate that will allow these extraordinary amphibians to burrow whenever desired. Organic soil that has not been treated with any toxic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides will work great.

2. In order to prevent desiccation, the substrate must be kept lightly damp.

3. Before adding the appropriate substrate in the enclosure, keepers can give the simple “clump” test a try. When the right level of moisture has been attained, the substrate should clump when squeezed in the palm of one’s hand. If the substrate is to disintegrate in one’s hand, more water should be added, while if water starts to ooze out of the clump, the substrate should be allowed to dry out a bit.

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Temperature, Lighting & Humidity

1. At times, Western toads are known to be active during the day. With this in mind, it is a smart idea to provide artificial lighting.

2. Although utilizing artificial lighting is not imperative, doing so will greatly benefit these amphibians’ health and well-being, since artificial lighting will allow the keepers to simulate a natural photoperiod, and in return, this will make up for proper metabolic activity.

3. A suitable source of artificial light for captive Western toads will not produce excessive heat, and simultaneously, it will provide a proper level of both UVB and UVA light. For instance, fluorescent lights of 2.0 strength in the natural daylight color spectrum (from 5000K to 6500K) will work perfectly fine.

4. If the enclosure is placed away from direct sunlight, yet having sufficient exposure to indirect sunlight, then keepers can go without opting for artificial lighting. However, artificial lighting remains the smartest move, since indirect sunlight will fail to provide the correct ratio of UVA to UVB light.

5. Please, mind that the Western toads’ cage must NOT be allowed to become too hot. Do never allow the temperatures to exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. When subjected to higher temperatures than need, Western toads will quickly and inevitably perish.

6. Incandescent bulbs are not an appropriate choice for Western toads-friendly artificial lighting setups. Incandescent bulbs tend to emit much more heat than fluorescent lights. Only utilize incandescent bulbs if you have to heat a considerably large enclosure.

7. Western toads, unlike tropical frog species, do not require high levels of humidity in order to thrive. Placing a large water bowl within the enclosure should be fairly substantial to ensure proper humidity levels. Occasionally mist the enclosure with de-chlorinated water.

Diet

In the wild, Western toads are known to feast on just about any type of insect they manage to catch. Their diet consists of grasshoppers, beetles, lepidopterans (moths, butterflies, and skippers), bees, arachnids, spiders, ants, sowbugs, dipterans, and crayfish.

Eating Habits

Western toads are known to wait for their prey, either in shallow burrows created by other animals or straight on the surface of the ground. Instead of actively hunting for their prey, Western toads’ are foragers.

The way prey items are ingested by Anaxyrus boreas is thanks to a quick tongue extension, known as a zot. The zot allows Western toads to snap up their prey.

With fairly unpretentious eating habits, feeding captive western toads rarely (if ever) presents any difficulties for the caregivers.

To ensure the health and proper development of your Western toad pet, it is best to opt for a staple diet consisting of crickets. To vary the diet, earthworms, mealworms, tomato hornworms, as well as wax worms can be occasionally provided.

For adult western toads, dust food items with a vitamin and mineral supplement only once every week.

For juvenile Western toads, food items should be vitamin/mineral supplements-dusted up to three times a week, as for the rapidly growing juveniles to develop well.

Western toads are known to get accustomed to their caregiver quite soon after being acquired. Once they get well-accustomed, they will gladly accept hand feeding.

Sleeping Habits

Depending on elevation and latitude, Western toads are known to be active from January throughout October.

During the coldest months of the winter season, Western toads hibernate.

Interestingly, Western toads occupying low elevations are nocturnal, as they become active at night, while Western toads occupying high elevations, as well as the toads inhabiting the northern parts of their natural range, are known to be diurnal, as they are active during the day.

The temperature of the substrate is also closely and intricately related to Western toads’ body temperature, with the primary means for increasing body temperature being conduction and basking from the substrate. For cooling their bodies, Western toads need to evaporate cooling by conducting heat to a cooler substrate medium.

Based on seasonal changes of the temperature, Western toads are known to be nocturnal during the hot summer months, and diurnal during the fall and spring season.

In order for Western toads to retreat to underground holes, the temperatures need to drop below 3 degrees Celsius. In these underground burrows, typically made by squirrels and gophers, the temperatures remain within the 5 – 7 degrees Celsius range, even when freezing temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius are to occur above the ground.

At higher elevations, Western toads have been observed to retreat to ground squirrel burrows, under and in evergreen trees’ root systems, rock-lined chambers located near creeks, as well as sometimes in beaver dams for the purpose of hibernating. Following emergence, and just prior to hibernation, Western toads are diurnal, but they swiftly switch to becoming nocturnal in June.

Whenever hotter or colder temperatures are to occur in the wild, Western toads have been reported to avoid extreme temperatures by quickly retreating to various burrows as needed.

In lower elevations, these amphibians can remain active all year-round.

The way Western toads are “directed” towards their daily emergence from subterranean retreats is believed to be thanks to using thermal clues. The optimal body temperature preferred by Western toads, based on laboratory experiments, is suggested to fall in the 26 – 27 degrees Celsius range.

Whether Western toads are to bask or seek cooler temperatures is also dependent on two other factors, namely moisture availability and food.

Water

All amphibians, including Western toads, must be provided with constant access to fresh, clean water. However, unlike most frogs, Western toads are not actually excellent swimmers. Because of this, they do not require a specifically designed water pool in order to thrive in captivity, but they simply need a shallow, appropriately-sized water bowl.

It is the caregiver’s responsibility that the water within the water bowl is to be maintained clean at all times to ensure the amphibians’ well-being.

Reproduction and Development

Western toads are known to execute breeding migrations. In the breeding season, adult toads are to emerge from their hibernation sites. Then, they are to migrate to breeding wetlands.

The exact time for breeding migrations varies depending on the natural range occupied by Western toads. For example, in the lower elevations situated west of the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington, breeding takes place from February throughout April, while in the Cascades, breeding occurs from May throughout July.

It is not uncommon for males to significantly exceed the number of females in breeding sites in a 20:1 ratio. It is during the night when males are to actively search for gravid females.

Even though male Western toads do not possess vocal sacs, they do emit a chirping sound whenever they are to be grasped by researches or by other toads. Some experts believe that male Western toads have actually lost their mating call throughout the course of evolution.

Up-to-date, there is still quite some controversy when it comes to calling in Western toads, especially since their calls are not the typical anuran advertisement-type of calls.

Back in 1972, a supposed advertisement call was recorded to have been produced by a particular individual of the Western toad’s subspecies, the California toad. The unusual call was considered atypical for Western toads in general since it was audible at fairly greater distances than the traditional release call. Also, the particular specimen was found to possess a vocal pouch.

Currently, whether Western toads’ call plays an important function in males’ breeding aggregations and the attraction of gravid females or whether the call merely serves as a release call, is a mystery that remains unresolved.

For Western toads occupying Colorado, breeding is highly dependent on snowmelt’s timing. At higher elevation, breeding in this natural range occurs from the middle of May throughout the middle of July.

Female Western toads have been discovered at impressive elevations ranging from 3462 to 3557 meters. However, there is very little evidence that breeding can successfully take place at these elevations, although back in 1997, both Western toads’ eggs, as well as tadpoles, were found at 3380 meters at a pond.

The breeding sites preferred by Western toads include barely moving or completely still water, for instance, small lakes, rain pools, ponds, streams, and nonetheless, ditches.

Eggs deposition usually occurs shortly after snowmelt, as this is the time when Western toads’ breeding ponds are refilled.

Then again, the egg deposition timing highly depends on the natural range of the Western toads’ population in the wild. For instance, in the New Mexican Montane Forests, eggs deposition takes place from mid- to late July, while in southeastern Washington, eggs are laid between the beginning of June and throughout July. In Colorado, clutches can be laid as late as in August.

Western toads lay their eggs in shallow water, typically not any deeper than 15cm.

Western toads lay up to 12 000 eggs per single clutch, in double row strings. The average number of eggs per clutch is estimated at 5 200.

Western toads’ eggs are large, typically about 1.5 – 1.75 mm in diameter.

It is suggested that Western toads’ reproductive success at higher elevations may be adversely affected due to egg masses being possibly washed ashore if big chunks of melting snow and ice are to fall down into the breeding site.

Usually, the eggs of Western toads are to hatch within 3 and up to 10 days. However, the time needed for hatching tends to vary based on differences in Western toads’ natural range, as it is known that eggs deposited at higher elevations take longer to hatch since both egg and larval development are dependent on water temperature.

Larvae feed upon detritus and filamentous algae. Tadpoles may also feed on conspecifics’ bodies, as well as on fish carcasses. Larvae are to seek out shallower, warmer parts of their habitat throughout the day. When the night falls, larvae are to seek out deeper waters.

As soon as metamorphosis is completed, juvenile Western toads move from initial wetlands to either other wetlands close by or close by terrestrial sites.

Although the preferred habitat of juveniles remains unclear up-to-date, it is assumed that they occupy the same habitats as adult Western toads do, with the exception of wetland habitat being more preferable than terrestrial, since juveniles are more susceptible to possible desiccation than adults.

Sexually mature adult male Western toads typically range from 56 to 108 mm snout-to-vent length, while sexually mature adult females range from 60 to 125 mm snout-to-vent length.

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How to Breed

Western toads are known to lay their eggs exclusively in water, even though these creatures are primarily terrestrial for the rest of the time. Also, these curious amphibians do require some form of the suitable surface cover located close by the egg-deposition site, since submerged vegetation or woody debris are used to protect the fragile egg masses in order to increase survival rates.

Ultimately, up-to-date, sufficient data regarding how to breed Western toads in captivity is still lacking.

Handling

Western toads should not be handled excessively. Handling can lead to unwanted health issues in both the toad, as well as in humans, due to the fact that Western toads’ skin is rather sensitive, as well as because of the mild toxin released by these amphibians, which is best for humans to stay away from.

However, caregivers can enjoy quality time with their Western toad pets by allowing the amphibian to hand feed.

When handled, Western toads, and especially those in the wild, will often vocalize while struggling. The sounds they make resemble a peeping chick. Even though listening to these sounds might be intriguing for the caregiver, please, mind that this is not at all pleasurable to the amphibian trying to be released.

Do never squeeze or otherwise handle your Western toad irresponsibly or frequently if you want to enjoy this extraordinary captive fellow for longer, as stress and possible health issues related to excess handling will certainly deprive the Western toads of living up to its fullest potential.

Prior to hand-feeding a Western toad or on the rare occasions of handling, make sure to wash your hands with only clean, de-chlorinated water, avoiding any oils or scents present in common soaps and creams to get in contact with the toads’ sensitive skin.

How to Treat and Prevent Possible Health Issues

Chytrid fungus

mphibian chytridiomycosis (aka chytrid fungus) is a particular disease affecting Western toads in the wild, caused by an infection related to the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus.

Chyrtrids are fungi that are ubiquitous in both water and soil in the wild. It is important to note that there are many species of chytrid fungus that are known as beneficial saprobes. However, it was in 1999 when the first member of the Chytridiomycota phylum was identified as a pathogen of various vertebrate species.

In declining populations of Western toads in Colorado, as well as in Wyoming, the chytrid fungus was identified, being further pointed out as a major contributor to the decline of amphibians in Central America, the United States, and Australia.

Upon infection, the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus is found to live inside the cells located in the superficial layer of skin in amphibians, including but not limited to Western toads.

Amphibians rely heavily on their permeable skin in order to accomplish a wide variety of functions, and when infected by the chytrid fungus, the sensitive skin thickens, leading to a condition known as hyperkeratosis of the skin. As a result, Western toads may fall victim to compromised water absorption, and/or compromised osmoregulation, since they obtain the much-needed moisture through the skin.

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection is severe enough to cause the death of Western toads, and if death is not caused by compromised osmoregulation or water absorption, it may occur due to the bacteria weakening the immune system of the amphibians, making them highly susceptible to secondary infections caused by various micro-organisms.

The only way to tell whether a Western toad has fallen victim to chytrid fungus is to have the amphibian examined by a qualified vet.

Aeromonas hydrophila (“Red Leg”)
The “red leg” syndrome, caused by Aeromonas hydrophila bacteria, is also common among Western toads and is recognized by redness on the underside of the legs and abdominal zone. It is believed that this particular syndrome may compromise the health and well-being of Western toads because of suppressing the amphibians’ immune system to such an extent as to leave them very vulnerable to Aeromonas bacteria. However, solid evidence regarding the causes of immunosuppression in Western toads in the wild is still lacking.

Parasites
Western toads have been reported to be parasitized by fly larvae, but any further specifics regarding possible parasites in Western toads remain unclear up-to-date.

Possible Dangers to Humans

Similarly to other amphibians and various reptiles alike, Western toads may carry Salmonella bacteria. There is no way to tell that a Western toad does or does not carry Salmonella bacteria by merely looking at it.

Salmonella can lead to serious health issues in humans, and it can be easily spread by both indirect or direct contact with Western toads and/or their droppings.

To avoid getting contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, caregivers must always wash their hands thoroughly after getting in touch with the amphibian. Do never touch your nostrils, eyes, or mouth before carefully washing your hands with hot, soapy water. Do not leave minors unattended with Western toads.

Western toads are also known to secrete certain compounds that are toxic to mammals and humans alike. Ingesting these secretions by either eating or even licking a Western toad can lead to severe, intense hallucinations in humans, and in some cases, it can even lead to lethal consequences. Be respectful towards these amphibians, and do not allow yourself to ingest any of the venomous secretions. Mind that these secretions are also toxic to dogs, cats, and raccoons, among others.

Availability: How to Get a Western Toad?

It is always best to opt for Western toads available to purchase from reputable retailers. Although wild-caught Western toads can make fairly affordable and easy to obtain captive fellows, it is only reputable retailers who can assure that the Western toad has been properly taken care of, and has not been field-caught senselessly, causing possible future problems to these amphibians’ currently endangered populations in the wild.

If you are to catch a Western toad from the wild, always make sure to obey the laws in your area of residence, and treat the amphibian with utmost care and respect.

Fun Facts

1. Adult Western toads are known to release a mild toxin whenever they are to feel threatened by potential predators, humans included. The toxin is secreted from the parotoid glands.

2. In 1995, a team of researchers demonstrated that physiological response to chemical stimuli (aka chemoreception) in Western toad tadpoles could bring out an alarm response, possibly contributing to the successful avoidance of predators.

3. Western toads reach sexual maturity at a different age. Males become sexually mature when they get three-four years old, while females typically become sexually mature in their fourth-sixth year of life.

4. It is known that male Western toads are more numerous in breeding sites characterized by plenty of wet areas, while females are more numerous in breeding sites characterized by dry-type habitats.

5. All Western toads’ local population breeding members are to repeatedly lay their eggs in the very same location, year after year.

6. As Western toads lay their eggs in shallow water (not less than 6 inches deep but not more than 12 inches deep), experts believe that apart from shallow water increasing development rates, when coupled with the bounty of vegetation matter, water shallowness’ greatly contributes to saving the next generation of toads from fish predators.

7. All toads, including Western toads, tend to lightly hop or simply walk, rather than jump in the same sense as frogs do. It is the slow movement that makes Western toads, among other toads, quite vulnerable to a number of predators.

8. It is thanks to the pigmented swelling (known as nuptial pads) located on the inner side of male Western toads’ hands how these amphibians manage to take a tight grip over the female during copulation. It is during the breeding season when the skin on the forefeet of males thickens, thus, developing easily distinguishable nuptial pads.

9. Although Western toads in the wild have been observed to commonly ingest Billbug weevils, researchers have found out that about 68% of the ingested weevils actually manage to survive through the amphibians’ digestive tract, thus, providing very little nutrition.

How to Take Care of a Western Toad

Western toads are fairly easy to take care of. Due to their low maintenance requirements, as well as their mild temper, they can make fantastic pets.

A Western toad caregiver enthusiast should provide a suitably-sized enclosure, simple artificial lighting (optional but strongly recommended for indoor enclosures), and suitable substrate, which is to be kept slightly moist for proper body thermoregulation. Also, the keeper must ensure that temperatures are kept within the desired rates, with no temperature gradient required.

Provide a water bowl filled with clean water at all times, avoid handling, but do not hesitate to hand feed the amphibian once it gets better used to your presence. Feed with crickets and varied treats occasionally, making sure to vitamin and mineral supplement food items accordingly.

Finally, watch your Western toad fellow thrive in its full glory and amazingness.

Important Note:

Always wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and hot water after getting in touch with a Western toad, as well as every time after cleaning the enclosure or any tools and devices within the enclosure, even if the animal was not feeling threatened and has not released any toxin from its skin in order to protect itself.

FAQ Section

Are Western Toads Poisonous to Dogs?

Western toads are not toxic enough to cause severe harm to cats and dogs, apart from an irritating bad taste in the mouth. However, in some cases, Western toads can be fatally poisonous to dogs and cats, provided a dog, or a cat is to pick up the toad and bite it or eat it. The first signs of poisoning can appear within minutes and include vomiting, foaming at the mouth, and/or the cat or dog showing signs of distress, such as pawing at the eyes and mouth area.

Are Western Toads Poisonous to Humans?

Western toads can be fatally poisonous to humans only if the humans are foolish enough to attempt to eat or lick the toad, as Western toads, similarly to other toads, are known to secrete only a mild, whitish toxin. This toxin is weak, as far as the consequences related to simply touching the toad and then touching your mouth are concerned. However, if ingested in higher amounts, this toxin can lead to intense hallucinations, and it can even lead to death.

Are Western Toads Harmful to Humans?

In general, Western toads are not harmful to humans, as these amphibians play a crucial role as an invaluable part of Planet Earth’s ecosystems. However, the toxin released by Western toads can be harmful to various mammals, including cats, dogs, and big apes like humans. Avoid handling toads as much as possible, since if you happen to accidentally touch your eyes or skin, this can lead to quite nasty irritations.

Are Western Toads Endangered?

Currently, Western toads are listed as near threatened. These creatures are threatened with extinction due to chemical contamination of the environment, as well as the impact of lethal disease occurring in recent years. If the populations of Western toads continue to decline at the same pace, they will soon be listed as Endangered, and not merely near threatened, with extinction.

How to Take Care of a Western Toad?

To take care of a Western toad, you need a suitably-sized enclosure and substrate to start with. The amphibian must be provided with a proper diet, majorly consisting of crickets. A shallow water dish filled with clean, freshwater must be present at all times, too.

How Big Does a Western Toad Get?

The average size of male adult Western toads is usually about 4 inches. Large adult female Western toads tend to get a bit bigger and can reach 5 inches in size.

Do Western Toads Enjoy being Pet?

Experts believe that it is possible for Western toads to enjoy being a pet in very small doses. Since the skin of Western toads is rather dry to the touch, as opposed to the skin of frogs, these extraordinary amphibians can be sometimes very gently and very briefly petted by the caregiver. However, this must only happen rarely, and if the male Western toad is to start making noises while being pet, this is a sure sign that the animal “asks’ to be released immediately because of feeling stressed or threatened and is definitely not singing from joy.

What Are the Differences between Frogs and Toads?

Both frogs and toads belong to the Anura order in the animal kingdom, but there are certain, easily noticeable differences between frogs and toads. Toads, including but not limited to Western toads, have thicker, rougher, drier skin, and shorter legs as compared with frogs. The skin of frogs is covered in mucus, and therefore, it is smooth and slimy, and their legs are longer than those of toads.

Do Western Toads Like Humans?

It is possible to state that Western toads may be capable of feeling quite comfortable around humans, so this may also mean that they do like humans, although not in the typical sense as dogs and cats do. Based on Western toads’ experience with humans in the wild or with their caregiver in captivity, as well as based on their natural disposition, some toads can certainly feel better around humans than others.

Do Western Toads Pee on You when Scared or Startled?

Yes, Western toads, like other toads, may pee on you when scared or startled, although this only happens as a last resort, provided these creatures are struggling to be released. If a Western toad becomes very nervous and scared, it may, indeed, suddenly pee on the intruder so that the intruder can drop the toad, and the amphibian can simply getaway.

Can Western Toads Drown in Water?

If not provided the ability to get out of the water, Western toads can drown. If one is to transport Western toads, he/she must make sure to put them in a proper enclosure/box and to never use a waterproof box filled with water all the way up.

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