do raccoons eat frogs

Do Raccoons Eat Frogs?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton
Last updated on:

Raccoons have a meat and plant diet but their feed is predominantly meat. They derive nutritional benefits from raw and dead. So while raccoons have rodents, birds, and other critters on their feeding menu, do raccoons also eat frogs?

In this article, we will look at whether or not frogs are part of a raccoon’s diet, how they feast on this prey and the possible health implications.

Do Raccoons Eat Frogs?

Yes, raccoons love frogs. They enjoy amphibians the same way they eat other creatures like reptiles and birds. This is why they move to water bodies to hunt for food. At riverbanks, they catch and feast on small prey like crayfish, muskrats, and snails. But if they are eager for larger prey, they will hunt and eat animals like ducks, fish, mussels, and frogs.

Next to coyotes, opossums, otters, and foxes, raccoons are big frog predators. Frogs are part of a raccoon’s diet. Even as these opportunistic animals hunt and eat for sport, they still derive many nutritional benefits from their fleshy food choices. 

In this case, frogs supply raccoons with a lot of protein, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, and other essential nutrients like vitamins, especially Vitamin B and minerals. They are also rich in folic acid which aids DNA synthesis and the production of red blood cells in mammals, and thiamin, which breaks carbohydrates into energy.

Given the importance of these nutrients in a raccoon’s development, there is no contesting the fact that frogs are good for balancing a raccoon’s diverse feeding diet.

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Do Raccoons Catch Frogs?

Raccoons may be lazy foragers but they become active predators whenever they spot weak competition or prey. In essence, they are opportunistic predators. Whenever they spot an opening, they take a chance and go for it. Raccoons can catch smaller frogs, toads, and tadpoles, especially when these amphibians take a much slower time to jump and evade capture. Raccoons have five-digit claws that give them the affinity to untie knots and open closed lids. So, they can catch prey easily. 

Plus, they can get active in the water. Unlike most animals, raccoons don’t mind getting their fur wet to catch frogs and other aquatic creatures. 

Do Raccoons Eat Tree Frogs?

If there is an opportunity to catch one, raccoons will definitely do that and eat these frogs. Tree frogs are not poisonous to humans, but they are relatively harmful to pets and other wild animals. The good thing, though, is that raccoons possess such a strong stomach acid that can break harmful substances in foods. 

This acid, as well as their long intestinal tract, allows food to go through rigorous digestive processes to eliminate relatively harmful toxins. It is for this reason that raccoons do not get sick after eating waste from garbage cans, dead animals that are ridden with harmful bacteria, and animals that have slightly poisonous properties like tree frogs.

Despite the potential risks associated with tree frogs, raccoons can still eat them. So, don’t be surprised if you see a raccoon up in a tree somewhere near your house. It is probably eating critters, plants, or tree frogs.

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Can Raccoons Eat Poisonous Frogs?

Even though they are not picky eaters, raccoons are attentive to the type of frogs they eat. Animal experts at Wildlife Start explain that most raccoons can tell between edible and poisonous frogs. The colorful patterns on the body of such frogs are enough indications for raccoons to stay away. 

As for baby raccoons, their mothers keep them from hunting poisonous frogs at a tender age. Then they eventually grow with that habit.

Can Raccoons Eat Cooked Frogs?

Any food item, whether plant or animal, is appreciated by raccoons. Therefore, it is not unbecoming of them to eat cooked meat. But their basic diet requires them to ingest meat in its raw form. 

Urban raccoons will be open to eating cooked frogs. They might have probably eaten some leftovers in the trash, so they can adapt. On the other hand, wild raccoons will always settle for meat in their raw form and this will include frogs.

Conclusion

Frogs are a part of every raccoon’s feeding menu. Since raccoons are omnivores, their balanced diet is complete with plants and animals. But raccoons are meat eaters for the most part and frogs are not exempted from their list of favorites. Frogs are rich in all the essential nutrients required by raccoons, and raccoons hunt them when given the chance.

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