Why Is My Pacman Frog Breathing Heavy? | Everything You Need to Know

Pacman frogs are a beginner’s choice for an amphibian pet. Since you’re here, it means you already own one. You might be wondering why is my Pacman frog breathing heavy and how can I know if my frog is healthy or not? Don't worry, I've got you covered!

A nervous reaction among pacman frogs is common when you try to approach them. Touching them and their terrarium will make them feel anxious for the first few days which is completely normal. Give it time and space for the frog to adapt to the environment.

That sounds about right, isn’t it? Well, it is that simple. If you are a pet person, then you have to make sure that no matter what the breed is, you need to do proper research on handling them. So, I’ll be talking about the reasons behind your problems and how to solve them in thorough detail. 

What to Do If a Pacman Frog Is Breathing Fast?

There are some steps you should take to keep your Pacman frog healthy and sound. Be cautious while handling them, as it might be harmful to both you and your frog. Captive frogs can be harmful to their health at times because they are not used to the new environment and feel anxious due to that. 

  • Pacman frogs become stressed, held or touched. Unless it’s an emergency, I don’t recommend you handle your frog.
  • If you don’t wash your hands properly before handling your frog, then it will absorb all the chemicals and toxins through its sensitive skin. However, don’t wash your hands with soap and immediately pick them because they will absorb the residue.
  • Follow the proper diet menu mentioned above by looking at your frog’s body and observe their eating habits to see any changes. Obesity can cause heavy breathing.
  • They might suffocate if you hold them too tightly as they have a very delicate body. Try not to cuddle or squeeze your frog.

Handling Your Pacman Frog Properly

The proper manual guide to handling your Pacman frog will be thoroughly discussed below. Try to follow these simple rules which might take time at first but give it a go. 

Handling By Hand

  • If you are comfortable handling them by hand then this will be your perfect guide. It is possible to do it with your hands when you run out of gloves.
  • Wash your hands by removing any residue of soap or body lotion.
  • Do not touch anything before you touch your frog.
  • Hold your frog very gently with little to no force.
  • I recommend you keep your hands wet while handling.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly again when you put your frog back in his place.

Handling By Gloves

Always try to use powder-free latex gloves when handling your Pacman frog. This is the proper way to handle them without using your bare hands.

  • Wash your hands properly so that they don’t stay slippery or oily.
  • Wear your powder-free latex gloves gently so that they don’t tear.
  • Hold your frog gently without squeezing it.
  • Put them back in their terrarium after you have cleaned it.
  • Remove your gloves and dispose of them immediately to prevent any harm.
  • Then wash your hands thoroughly. 

Proper Diet For Your Pacman Frog

Your Pacman frog will end up eating any animal it can see close by which fits in its mouth. First, observe your frog’s body size and condition. If it is on the verge of obesity, cut its diet to low-fat food. 

  • Feed them every 2-3 days at night.
  • Since they are insectivorous species, try a diet plan that has silkworms, mealworms, and crickets.
  • Observe that they eat their insects overnight. If you see leftover insects, then it is high time you lessen the food content and adjust.
  • They require nutrients like vitamin D and calcium. Try to spray supplementary calcium on the insects that you’re using to feed your frog. 

Proper Housing Your Pacman Frog

These frogs are not that demanding when it comes to choosing their tank. For them, it’s better to buy a 20-gallon tank. They prefer to be alone as they eat anything nearby.

If your enclosure lacks proper humidity and temperature adjustments, it will harm your frog pretty badly. It will lead to issues such as respiratory infections which you’ll observe the heavy breathing. They will also become lethargic. 

Try to observe if there is any sort of ammonia poisoning that is taking place. These issues involving temperature and gas exchange should be monitored regularly to ensure no fatal casualties. 

  • Try to create an ambiance that mimics nature to make your frog feel homely and not anxious.
  • Since they do not move actively like any other frogs, they prefer staying in the water dish. Try to keep it leveled so that they do not drown in it.
  • Clean the water dish often and keep it in the warmer part of your enclosure.
  • Try to adjust your tank’s humidity level from 50% to 80%.
  • Never keep the temperature cold and observe it regularly. Keep it around 82F during the day and 78F at night.
  • Use an under-tank heater instead of bulbs to keep them warm.

These will ensure a proper and healthy environment for your frog, which will keep him calm and stable. Thus, it will lead to preventing his respiratory issues.

Other Common Issues You’ll Face With Pacman Frogs

Most of the time, this colorful and adorable frog appears to be healthy. However, just like any other species, they can also end up facing issues regarding their physical health and mental health. Try to be cautious while you handle your frog, feed it properly, and let it be in its own space. This will help in keeping them healthy in the long run. 

The issues that arise with your frog’s health are usually due to improper handling and lack of a proper food diet. Also, for improper terrarium setup. Keep your enclosure in a safe place and make observations like checking the temperature and humidity. 

These issues aren’t limited to your pacman frog only, but almost all kinds of amphibians will suffer from these diseases and anxiety. Any other kind can suffer the same if you surf the internet and read articles on other frogs. 


This can take place if your frog’s diet is not properly fitting. If your frog's food is heavy in fat, try switching to a low-fat diet to avoid cataracts.
It can also be caused due to lower humidity or an unhygienic terrarium. The tank’s hygiene and temperature are to be monitored.


Your frog may end up becoming obese due to an improper diet and high-fat content. Due to obesity, they will have a bloated abdomen.

An obese frog will surely face breathing issues and you will notice its struggle. As they are captivated in a terrarium, this makes the frog have smaller space to roam around at night. Even though they are not that active, they move at night, so a proper diet is recommended. 


So whenever you feel like your frog is not acting normally, try not to panic and look for articles first, then visit a vet. Now that you’ve made it to the end of the article. I hope you got the answer to the question, why is my Pacman frog breathing heavy?
Keep in mind to be cautious while dealing with your pet Pacman frog. Do not give them stress while handling them. Stay clean when coming in contact with them and handle them gently with care. If you follow these, your Pacman frog will be just okay.

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