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Also known as the Bufo alvarius
Also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad

Where are Toads found?

Toads are found in Arizona, Colorado and North Mexico.

Are they “Toads” or “Frogs”?

They are actually FROGS, even though they are called "toads". They are from the Bufo Alvarius family.
How poisonous is the venom?
The venom is EXTREMELY poisonous to animals, specifically dogs.
When licked or ingested results can be fatal.
They are not poisonous to the touch with humans, although there are reports of toads causing sickness to those that lick them. (Go figure!)

What are the symptoms?

  • Vomiting
  • Salivating
  • Foaming
  • Retching
  • Convulsions
  • Paralysis
  • Cyanosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Unconsciousness
  • Dogs sometimes appear unstable or shaky.
  • Toad toxins cause a wild heart rate and high temperatures.
  • Dogs will sometimes have a wide-eyed look

Are they poisonous to humans?

Toads are not poisonous as such to humans. However, you should wash your hands well if you have touched a toad, as the venom the secrete can be hazardous if ingested.

Are Toads protected?
Toads are protected in certain states, such as California and New Mexico.

They are not considered protected in Arizona although there are restrictions on the number of toads that can be captured from the wild.

Can I keep a “pet” toad?

Yes you can (in Arizona)

Is their venom psychoactive?

Toad venom is known to possess certain psychoactive characteristics.


The skin and venom of Bufo alvarius contain 5-MeO-DMT and Bufotenine which have psychedelic effects when milked, smoked or ingested.

As best I know there is no current U.S. federal or state legislation which prohibits the selling or distribution of Bufo alvarius (the Toad).

However, the venom may NOT be harvested legally, as it is considered a Schedule I drug.

There are numerous stories surrounding the illegal use of the DMT, most of which appear to be false.

Our interest is in the use of the River Toad for the purposes of avoidance training our pets, and any other use thereof is at your own risk.

(Personal note from Leighton: If you think licking a poisonous toad will make your life better, I suggest you take another look at yourself. Either way, let me know what you felt.)


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