Hermit Crabs as Pets

While most people don’t want a cranky pet, what about a crabby one? To be precise, how about a pet hermit crab?

For those who live in a small place or just need a low maintenance pet, the hermit crab may be the way to go. Most people know little about these animals, except for what Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid tells us. While they may seem like unexciting creatures, they can be very active and loving pets. If properly cared for, they can also live for up to 10 or more years!

What’s involved in caring for these creatures, you might ask. Well, they’re actually pretty easy!

  • Let’s begin with the crab’s shell. That’s their “house”—or maybe you’d call it their clothes–and they don’t make it themselves. Your best bet for your pet’s shell is to find one at your local pet store. For those who live close to the beach, you may be able to find the perfect seashell on the shore!
  • As far as the habitat goes, fish tanks or reptile aquariums work nicely for these animals. A hermit crab lives best in a 10 to 20 gallon tank. In addition to shells being a home for your pet, you can also use them as decorations in its habitat. Note, however, that painted shells can be harmful to hermit crabs.
  • One of the most important aspects of caring for these types of crabs is to monitor the humidity of their living space. Experts recommend that owners buy a hygrometer, or humidity gauge, to make sure the humidity stays at least 70 percent. Humidity lower than 70% will cause suffocation in the animal. If you are worried about lower humidity, there is an under-tank heater designed for hermit crabs that can help keep the tank humid and warm enough. You can find these heaters at your local pet store.
  • For food, these animals will eat almost anything. However, they love fresh shrimp and freeze-dried krill. For those on a budget, crabs even love fresh fruit such as pineapple, apple, grapes, mango, and about any other fruit you can think of! For other ideas, consult your veterinarian and incorporate a little variety into your new pet’s diet.

Do you have a pet crab? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

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