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Frog Urine: Everything There is to Know

I can tell you I was very surprised as a kid when I first picked up a toad and my hands suddenly got very wet.

I was not sure what happened at first, but then my older cousin ran by laughing at me saying the frog had just peed on my hand.

This instinctive frog reaction is surprisingly very common.

You may be wondering why the frog urinated on you and if it is dangerous for your health.

Generally, frogs urinate when they are stressed, afraid, or want to fend off a predator. You should take this as a sign that the frog is uncomfortable. Carefully put down the frog and wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.

In this article, we will have a look at what to do when a frog pees on you, why a frog might pee on you, and best practices you can carry out while handling frogs to avoid it peeing on you, and to protect your health and the frog’s health.

Why a Frog Peed on You

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What Happens When a Frog Pees on You?

When a frog pees on you, your hands may have previously been dry while holding the frog, but suddenly became wet although no water was present. You may realized that the frog urinated and have the instinct to put it down, do so carefully. Wash your hands immediately afterwards.

It’s fairly easy to know when a toad peed on you because they are dry, terrestrial frogs.

Since their skin is dry, it’s easy to know they peed on your hand if your hands become wet although no water is present.

If you are holding an aquatic frog, it may be a bit more difficult to know if it peed on you since these frogs tend to always be moist or wet.

If you are holding the frog and suddenly your hands are more wet than they were, there are chances the frog urinated on you.

Let’s further discuss what to do and if frog pee is dangerous.

What to do When a Frog Pees on You

As a general rule, if a frog or toad urinates on you, you should carefully put the frog down, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, ensure the frog is not a poisonous species, and monitor your health over the next few days.

Here is what to do if a frog pees on you:

  1. Carefully put down the frog
  2. Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 sec
  3. Ensure the frog is not a poisonous species
  4. Monitor your health over the next few days

Let’s unfold each of these steps in more detail.

1. Carefully Put Down the Frog

If a frog pees or urinates while you are holding it, that means that the frog is scared.

Even if you mean them no harm, the frog will likely see you as nothing more than a large animal capable of hurting it.

This can startle the frog and cause them to become fearful and urinate to defend itself.

The kindest action you can take at this stage is to put the frog down and leave it alone.

2. Wash Your Hands With Soap

After giving the frog some space, you should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Be sure to throughly wash your hands and any other body part that may have come into contact with the frog’s urine.

Do not touch your sinuses including your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Avoid getting the urine into any open wounds since this could send unwanted bacteria directly into your bloodstream.

Despite what many people believe, urine is not sterile. Instead, pee can contain many forms of bacteria.

Although frogs cannot have rabies, they can carry salmonella on their skin.

It is in your best interest to wash any potentially harmful bacteria off your hands to protect your health. 

3. Ensure The Frog is Not Poisonous

Also take action to ensure the frog you touched was not poisonous. If the frog was poisonous you may have a bigger problem on your hands than just urine.

Not all frogs are poisonous or toxic to humans. However, all frogs potentially carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases contagious to humans like salmonella. Frog urine can carry bacteria that can cause sicknesses.

A Highly Toxic Golden Poison Dart Frog

Frog pee is not poisonous. However, some frog species can secrete toxins from their skin, and ingesting frog toxins from poisonous species can lead to paralysis, severe pain, hallucinations, and sometimes death in humans.

Poisonous frogs generally carry Batrachotoxin that can affect the victim’s neurological, musculoskeletal, respiratory, or gastrointestinal systems. 

Keep in mind that all toads can secrete poisons from their skin and are dangerous to pets.

Make sure the frog you interacted with was not poisonous by checking this poisonous frog list on our site.

If it was a poisonous frog, consult a qualified medical professional immediately.

4. Monitor Your Health

Frogs can carry a variety of viral diseases but, as a general rule, if you did not let the urine get into your bloodstream or sinuses, if you thoroughly washed your hands and did not interact with a poisonous frog, you should be fine and the frog pee should not be a problem.

However, monitor your health over the next few days and be sure to consult a medical professional if you develop a fever or any other symptoms.

The Frog Peed on You as a Self-Defence Mechanism

Generally, frogs pee on humans because they are afraid, stressed or scared for their life. Frogs pee on predators as a self-defence mechanism to fend off animals that they think may eat them.

Ways Frogs Defend Themselves Against 100s of Predators [Frog Survival]

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A frog or a toad peeing on you is a natural response to a perceived threat and is one of several natural defense mechanisms a frog could use.

Urinating is one way that frogs attempt to mask their scent or make themselves unappealing to any animal that intends to eat them.

Imagine you are a big hungry alligator. You spot a frog for lunch and catch it in your mouth.

You start to walk away, the frog still in your mouth, and then suddenly it pees!

Nobody wants frog pee in their mouth, not even alligators!

Your first reaction would probably be to spit it out. Thats exactly what the frog wants, to be spit out so it can save itself and hop away.

But peeing is not the only way that a frog could react if they sense danger. A few common frog defence mechanisms include screaming, playing dead, biting or secreting poison.

Poorly Handling Frogs Can Be Harmful to Frogs

Unfortunately, human contact can be very harmful to frogs since their skin is semi-permeable, and holding it can transfer oils and dirt that can block its main way to drink and breathe. Holding a frog can also be stressful for the animal.

Frog skin is a semi-permeable. Frog skin is capable of allowing liquids and gasses to pass through it. 

There is a functional reason behind this permeability since it allows frogs to absorb oxygen into their bodies from the air and water through their skin.

Permeability also helps the frog regulate fluids, balance acidity levels, and maintain homeostasis.  

The same permeability that permits frogs to carry out those vital processes also acts as a point of vulnerability.

Since frog skin is so highly permeable, it can allow harmful substances to enter the frog’s body.

This is especially common when a person attempts to handle a frog. 

The oils, debris, lotions, and bacteria that occur naturally on human skin can pass through frog skin and be detrimental to the frog’s health.

Likewise, soap residue can have a similar effect.

That means that even after washing your hands, there is still some danger in handling frogs. But don’t think that handling frogs is a purely physical problem.

As the next section will show, handling can have a poor outcome for the frog’s psyche (CTNF).

Handling Frogs Can Cause Them Stress

If the last section did not convince you that handling frogs is not good for them, perhaps this will.

Handling can cause intense stress for frog and they are not built to withstand heavy impacts.

Those two facts can lead to some unpleasant outcomes for the frog you are holding.

When the frog becomes stressed, it will often experience a strong fight-or-flight response leading to stress and urination.

The frog will then probably try to jump out of your hands. After jumping from your hands, the frogs will probably fall a few feet and land on the floor.

This is where some significant damage can occur.

While frogs can jump well, their anatomy does not permit them to absorb heavy impacts.

That means that handling a frog can lead to some serious injuries for the frog if they become startled enough to jump from your hands. 

Poorly Handling a Frog Can Be Bad for Humans

Handling a frog is not just unhealthy for the frog. It can also be harmful to you. As we mentioned earlier, peeing is a common frog defence mechanism.

Both a frog’s skin and their urine can impart high levels of bacteria onto your skin.

When unchecked, that bacteria has the potential to make you sick, especially if they get into an open wound, your mouth, or your bloodstream.

How to Catch Any Frog by Hand 🐸

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In more extreme cases, you might encounter a frog that can secrete poison from its skin.

This poison can be extremely dangerous and deadly in some cases.

For instance, some frogs contain enough poison to kill multiple adults. For that reason, and the ones we mentioned earlier, the safest approach to handling frogs is to avoid doing it entirely. 

How to Avoid a Frog Peeing on You

As a quick tip, the best way to prepare for handling a frog is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Then dry your hands with care to remove any remaining soap.

Washing your hands will remove the oils and other substances that could hurt the frog. You can also wear gloves for extra protection (learn which kinds of gloves are ok here).

Also be sure to handle the frog correctly by holding it under the arms and cupping a hand over it if it’s a small frog, or by also holding it by the legs if it is a large frog.

Holding it too tight around the belly can hurt its internal organs.

The guides above cover other important tips like wetting your hands to help protect the frog before picking it up and phone numbers to call to make sure you can legally relocate the frog if necessary.

Handling frogs seems like a fun way to engage with these interesting creatures.

However, holding a frog can lead to several undesirable outcomes.

A frog may pee or urinate to show you that they are scared. When that happens, you should let them go and wash your hands.

Beyond that, your best approach is to use the information in this article to deal with frogs with the utmost safety. 

We have multiple guides on how to protect yourself and the frog in a number of cases, definitely check them out to learn more:

Common Questions Related to Frog Pee

Is Frog Pee Dangerous to Humans? A frog peeing on you is generally not dangerous unless the urine enters your bloodstream or sinuses. If a frog urinated into an open wound on your body like an open cut or if you touched your mouth, eyes or nose with frog pee, immediately wash up and seek medical attention if needed.

Can Frog Urine Cause Warts? Frog urine is not the cause of warts on human hands. You cannot get warts from frog urine because frogs do not carry the virus that causes warts in humans. However, frogs carry a wide variety of other parasites that could enter the human bloodstream and cause other sicknesses.

What to Do If a Frog Pees on You? If a frog pees on you, immediately and carefully put it down, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, ensure the frog is not a poisonous species and monitor your health over the next few days.

What Does it Mean if a Frog Pees on You? If a frog pees on you it means it was stressed out or afraid and would like to be put down and left alone. Frogs pee as a self-defence mechanism to fend off predators with the foul feeling, taste or smell of their urine.

Is it Bad If a Frog Pees on You? A frog peeing on you can be bad if the urine enters your bloodstream or sinuses. If a frog urinated into an open wound on your body like an open cut or if you touched your mouth, eyes or nose with frog pee, immediately wash up and seek medical attention if needed.

Can Frog Pee Hurt You? Frog pee can hurt you if the urine enters your bloodstream or sinuses. If a frog urinated into an open wound, or you touched your mouth, eyes or nose with frog pee, immediately wash up and seek medical attention if needed. Frogs can carry viral diseases such as salmonella.

Is Frog Pee Poisonous? Frog pee is not poisonous however it may contain bacteria that can cause infections if it is ingested in the sinuses (mouth, nose, eyes) or an open wound (cuts or scrapes). Therefore, it is very important to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap after touching frog pee.

Daniella Master Herpetologist

Daniella is a Master Herpetologist and the founder of toadsnfrogs.com, a website dedicated to educating the general population on frogs by meeting them where they are in their online Google Search. Daniella is passionate about frogs and put her digital marketing skills and teaching experience to good use by creating these helpful resources to encourage better education, understanding, and care for frogs.