For people and animals alike, regular digestion is an essential component of holistic health. Toads need to eat, digest, and expel food, like insects, to obtain the energy that they need to survive.
The speed of digestion varies based on the age and species of toad, but for an average adult toad, it is normal for them to poop about once every week or two. The frequency at which they poop will also depend on their feeding schedule. If your toad is getting more food than it needs, it may be pooping more regularly.
If you think your toad may be pooping too much or not enough, you are right to be concerned. Learning more about your toad’s digestive processes can help you determine if there is a problem and how best to deal with it if there is.
Younger toads will digest food more quickly. They are growing and need more sustenance to sustain their growth, and they may digest food as quickly as within a day or two.
Adult toads that are fully mature will digest food more slowly and need to be fed less often. Toads have no teeth and cannot chew their food, so they swallow their meals whole and rely on the acids in their stomachs to break down the food.
If the meal is particularly large, it will take longer to digest. Digestion for adult toads can take up to a few days.
Double-check that you are providing your toad with food options that are appropriately sized. If you are feeding your toad foods that are too big, it will be more difficult to digest and will take longer to work through your toad’s system.
The length of time that a toad can go without pooping will depend on a few things. The age of the toad is important.\
Young toads will go more often because they need to feed more often. Young toads need to be fed daily, or every other day, so they may be pooping everyday or every other day. Comparatively, adult toads need to eat less often, and they will poop less often as a result.
Certain species of toads require different feeding schedules. Again, the more often they eat, the more often they will have to poop. If you have a bigger toad species, you may find that they are hungrier and poop more often than smaller ones.
If you have a younger toad and it has been more than two days since they last defecated, you may want to examine your toad for signs of illness or distress. If you have an adult toad and it has been more than two weeks since they last defecated, you have grounds to be concerned. Examine your toad for signs of illness or distress.
While you may be tempted to continue to feed your toad, you may want to give your toad a break from food for a few days. This is because you don’t want to worsen any digestive blockages that may be going on.
There are a few reasons why your toad may not be pooping. First, your toad may just not need to go quite yet.
Think of the last few times your toad ate and determine if it may just be that they need a little more time to digest what they’ve eaten. Sometimes, a toad can experience mild constipation that doesn’t lead to further issues. In these cases, they just need a little extra time to work it out.
Second, your toad might have pooped already without your knowledge. Depending on the setup of your terrarium, it may be easy or difficult for you to know if your toad has definitely pooped or not. If you are getting concerned about their digestive regularity, check the terrarium to ensure that your toad hasn’t gone recently.
Third, your toad could be ill or impacted. Certain illnesses will decrease your toad’s appetite, which will result in less frequent poops. Impaction occurs when a toad has swallowed a meal that is too big for it or when a toad has swallowed a foreign object that it cannot digest, such as a piece of gravel.
If your toad is impacted, there are a few things you can do to help your little buddy out.
Impaction is an intestinal obstruction, and a warm water soak can help to loosen up their bowels. Use lukewarm, filtered water in a shallow dish.
You will want to make sure the water does not go above your toad’s chin so that it does not drown. If your toad relaxes into it, leave it there for the next 15 minutes or so.
If your toad is clearly stressed and trying to get out, remove him from the water bath. You can try again in a few hours or the next day and see if your toad reacts more favorably then.
Another option is to give your toad a gentle belly rub. You may be able to see the actual impaction, a protruding lump around your toad’s underside.
If you use your index finger and thumb, you can lightly massage the impaction area to move the blockage along. Be careful to be gentle, and always wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling a toad.
Avoid excess feeding. You may think that more food will help to push a blockage through, but it will actually likely just exacerbate the blockage.
Try letting your toad fast for a few days before feeding them again. If your toad is young, keep the fast relatively short. Once the fast is over, take note of how your toad reacts to food. If it is showing a normal appetite, that is a good sign.
You may also want to contact a veterinarian who treats toads, especially if your toad is clearly distressed or in pain. You don’t want your toad suffering, and a veterinarian will be able to give your toad the best care.
Toads need fresh water to absorb through their skin to survive. If you notice your toad attempting to poop in its water, it may be because the toad is trying to pass a difficult bowel movement. Typically, your toad should not be going out of its way to poop in its water. If it is doing so, it could be a sign that your toad is experiencing some constipation.
Make sure to regularly provide clean water for your toad, whether it is pooping in it or not. A dirty water dish can lead to other health problems, like an infection. If your toad is already having a hard time with digestion, a new infection on top of that could be especially dangerous.
It is best practice to provide your toad with fresh water every day to keep it healthy. Make sure the water is filtered to remove chlorine and other additives. That way, the water will be safe for your toad to use, whether it is absorbing water or using it to alleviate some constipation.
On average, you should be completely changing the substrate every other week. There is some flexibility in this, depending on how regularly you spot clean the terrarium. If you are spot cleaning consistently, you will be able to completely change out the substrate every 3-4 weeks instead of every two weeks.
The terrarium will get dirty pretty quickly without regular spot cleaning, especially if you keep more than one animal in there. In general, your toad needs a clean environment to be healthy and happy. Decide if you’d rather do more frequent spot cleanings and less whole substrate changes or if you’d rather do less day-to-day maintenance (spot cleanings) and more frequent whole substrate changes.
Another thing to check is the type of substrate you are using and how compatible it is with your toad species. Some substrates are more likely to lead to issues like constipation and impaction in toads and are better off avoided altogether.
Coconut husk fiber is an excellent substrate to use for toads. Toads love to burrow, and this substrate is ideal for burrowing.
Additionally, in the case that your toad unintentionally swallows the substrate, coconut fiber is a much safer option than many other kinds of substrate. The coconut fiber will be less likely to cause intestinal blockages.
A substrate that has larger, harder pieces in it is typically not suitable for a toad. This kind of substrate increases the risk of impaction.
Toads don’t intentionally swallow substrate, but it can happen because of the way they use their tongues to snatch up their prey. A piece of substrate can easily get caught too and taken along for the ride.