Anyone who has owned a Pacman frog or has insight into these large frog knowns what ferocious eaters they are, so it's not surprising that you are concerned that your frog isn't eating. If you have a Pacman that is refusing food, then continue reading to find out why and what you can do to encourage feeding.
How Long Can a Pacman Frog Last Without Eating?
Your Pacman frog refusing food doesn't have to mean that it is sick. Healthy Pacman frogs will also stop eating for a variety of reasons. You can tell your frog is healthy if it is still active, there is no weight loss and the feces is normal.
Healthy Pacman frogs are able to live without food for extended periods. Some can go for a week with no food, while others may last a month or more.
Common Reasons Why Your Pacman Frog is Not Eating
There are a number of reasons why your Pacman frog may not be eating. Identifying the reason can put your mind at ease and help you make necessary adjustments to encourage feeding.
Wrong Temperature and Humidity Levels
One of the most common reasons why a Pacman frog may be refusing food is that the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure may be too high or too low. It's essential to maintain optimum temperatures to keep your frog comfortable and healthy.
- Daytime Temperatures – 75ºF to 85ºF / 24ºC to 29ºC
- Nighttime Temperatures – 65ºC to 75ºC / 18ºC to 24ºC
- Humidity – 50% to 80%
It's essential to regularly monitor the temperature and humidity in your enclosure, even if your heat mat is connected to a thermostat. Don't rely on an analog thermometer and hygrometer, it is not as accurate as the digital options, such as the Exo Terra Digital Thermometer Hygrometer, which offers accurate readings, single-button operation, and a remote sensor to accurately measure temperature and humidity inside the terrarium.
Wrong Tank Size
The wrong tank size can play a role in the comfort and well-being of your frog, which can result in it refusing to eat, even though it is clearly healthy. Pacman frogs don't need a lot of space, as they are not very active and rather bury themselves in the substrate and wait for their prey to come past them. Male Pacman frogs are smaller than the females and must be housed in a minimum ten-gallon enclosure. Females should be kept in at least a twenty-gallon tank, as they do grow considerably larger.
The substrate you choose for your Pacman frog needs to tick a few boxes. It needs to:
- Be moist to boost humidity levels
- Encourage digging and burrowing
- Reduce the risk of impaction
- Reduce the risk of injury
The most common substrates used for Pacman frogs are a combination of coconut fiber and moss. After soaking the substrate in water to absorb as much of the liquid as possible, you can layer it into the enclosure. You want a deep layer of at least two to four inches / 5cm to 10cm deep. After soaking and squeezing the moss to absorb the moisture, you can layer it over the substrate to provide a comfortable and natural habitat that encourages digging with a reduced risk of impaction and no risk of sharp edges to injure your frog.
Substrate should be spot checked daily and removed and replaced once a month. If your frog isn't eating, you may want to try and clean and replace the substrate to see if that encourages feeding.
New Pet / New Home
It's not uncommon for frogs to feel stressed when they are first brought home or introduced to a new enclosure. They need some time to adjust to their new surroundings. If you have just brought your frog home or just set up a new enclosure for it, then you will want to be a little patient if it refused to eat. Remember Pacman frogs can go a long period without eating. Give your frog some time while focusing on its activity levels, ensuring it doesn't lose weight and its feces remains normal.
If your frog is shedding, then it may not be keen on eating right now. Each frog will shed differently, some tend to shed more than others. Some Pacman frogs will shed daily and others once a month. Temperature, humidity, and age all play a role. If you see your frog is shedding, providing it with a bath, regular misting, and ensuring the substrate is moist will help with the shedding process. Be patient, once shedding is completed your amphibian pet should start eating again.
You wouldn't think it, but these large and lazy frogs are fussy eaters and if you are constantly feeding food the frog isn't keen on, it will just stop eating. Variety is essential to ensure a healthy frog. These frogs eat a variety of foods, enabling you to change their feeding to keep your frog interested in feeding. The most common foods the Pacman frog enjoys include:
- Small fish
- Small mice
You Have a Sick Frog
Pacman frogs are hardy frogs, which is why they make such great amphibian pets. But even the hardiest of species can get sick from time to time, which can result in your frog refusing even their favorite foods. Parasites in the enclosure to bacterial and fungal infections and over handling are all illnesses your frog can get. Monitor your frog’s health regularly by ensuring that it is active and not losing weight. If concerned, seek professional veterinary advice.
Useful Tips to Encourage Feeding
There are times when your Pacman frog isn't eating and there is no reason behind it. Maybe you're worried and your frog hasn't eaten for a few weeks. There are a few things you can do to try and encourage feeding.
Not Used to How You Feeding It
It's not uncommon when you bring a new Pacman into the home that even after settling it may not eat. This may be due to it not being used to how you feeding it. If you are trying hand feeding, try feeding tongs. If it doesn't like the tongs, consider adding live food into the enclosure that your frog can catch on its own, such as live crickets. Some Pacman frogs prefer using their hunting instincts when it comes to feeding. Remember to remove decor and hides and remove any remaining crickets after a few hours.
Try Different Times of the Day
It's possible that you are simply trying to feed at the wrong time of the day. Remember your Pacman frog is nocturnal, which means it's more active at night. Rather than trying to feed during the day, wait until your daylight bulb turns off and then try feeding.
Add Dry Food
If your Pacman frog has been captive-bred, it may not be used to live foods or the foods you have been offering, which can result in your frog refusing to eat. Try dry food, such as the Zoo Med Pacman Frog Food, which has been specially formulated for juvenile and adult frogs offering soft food bites that are easy to use.
Feed in a Separate Container
Some frogs can be fussy eaters and don't like eating in their enclosures. You can try using a small plastic box to feed them in. Place the frog and their food into a plastic container to encourage eating, while you can do your daily clean of their enclosure, removing any feces and looking for mold.
Cover the Sides
If you have just brought your Pacman frog home, you can consider covering three sides of the glass tank and providing a hide, such as a leaf litter to help reduce stress and encourage eating.
Many owners will dust crickets and worms with a calcium supplement. While the supplement is important to reduce the risk of metabolic bone disease in your Pacman, some frogs simply don't like the taste and this can stop them from eating, even live food. The supplement you are using could reduce eating, whether you have just brought a new frog home or you have recently changed the calcium supplement you are using. Royal Pet Supplies Inc Zoo Med Reptile Calcium is a safe calcium supplement which is free from impurities, while the Rapasby Calcium Plus offers an all in one supplement with added vitamins and minerals.
Force feeding is never recommended unless nothing else is working. This should be done with great care. Push the food slowly into the frog’s mouth, encouraging them to eat it. Often, they will try and spit it out. When it comes to force feeding persistence is key.
Pacman Frog not Eating in Summary
The most common reasons your Pacman frog isn't eating is when their temperature or humidity is too low or too high, they have the wrong substrate or have recently moved to a new home and still need to get comfortable and accustomed to their surroundings. Always check the overall health of the frog to ensure that they are not losing weight and becoming less active. Once you have confirmed your Pacman is healthy and does not require veterinary care, you can try a number of ways to encourage feeding listed above.