What do Hermit Crabs Eat? Dietary Requirements

As a hermit crab owner, I know how important it is to give our pets the best possible care. Feeding them with the right food is crucial to their health and well-being. In this article, I will provide you with a list of foods that pet hermit crabs can eat.

Hermit Crab Food & Diet

Hermit crabs are omnivorous creatures, meaning they eat both plant and animal-based foods. They have a diverse diet in the wild, and as pets, we should aim to replicate their natural diet as closely as possible.

Vegetables and Fruits

Hermit crabs love fresh vegetables and fruits. Here are some of the best options for them:

  • Dark, leafy greens: spinach, kale, and collard greens are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.
  • Carrots: high in Vitamin A and a good source of fiber.
  • Peas: high in protein and a good source of Vitamin K.
  • Apples: a good source of fiber and Vitamin C.
  • Bananas: high in potassium and a good source of fiber.


Protein is an essential part of a hermit crab’s diet. Here are some of the best protein sources for them:

  • Fish: cooked or canned fish, such as tuna or salmon, is an excellent source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Eggs: boiled or scrambled eggs are a good source of protein.
  • Mealworms: these are a great source of protein and can be found at most pet stores.
  • Shrimp: cooked or frozen shrimp is a good source of protein and calcium.

Other Foods

Hermit crabs also enjoy other types of food, such as:

  • Seaweed: dried seaweed is a good source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Coconut: fresh or dried coconut can provide essential fats and fiber.
  • Nuts: unsalted nuts such as almonds or pecans can be given in small amounts.

Commercial Food

So, for commercial food, it is crucially important to select those of the highest quality, as these will make their basic and daily-present meals.

To ease the selection, we have done the job and found the best three. These are all great as they can be ordered online, so they are easy to get nonetheless of where you live and what your local pet stores offer.

  1. Jurassidiet Hermit Crab Formula
  2. Fluker’s Buffet Blend Diet
  3. Zoo Med Hermit Crab Food

Foods to Avoid

As with any pet, there are certain foods that hermit crabs should avoid. Here are some foods that can be harmful to them:

  • Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, and limes can be too acidic for hermit crabs.
  • Processed foods: hermit crabs should avoid foods that are high in salt, sugar, and preservatives.
  • Chocolate: This contains theobromine, which is toxic to hermit crabs.

Do Hermit Crabs Need Calcium?

Hermit crabs need calcium enrichment as this is vitally important for the proper and healthy growth of their exoskeletons. There are various ways how to ensure your pets are getting enough of their needed doses.

There are commercial calcium vitamin supplements available online and in most pet stores that can simply be added to their meals. However, there are also natural yet effective ways of providing healthy calcium doses to your hermit pets.

These include cuttlebone (either in one piece or shredded), crushed oyster shell, and even crushed eggshell (previously boiled and dried).

How Often to Feed Hermit Crab?

These odd pets are really small, so they do not require large amounts of food or frequent feeding plans. A general rule which seems to be vastly suitable is feeding your hermit crabs once per day.

Also, since they are mostly nocturnal animals and prefer feeding while you are sleeping, it is best to offer them food during the evening times. And it is highly suggestable to remove all food leftovers from their enclosures in the morning.

Food leftovers can bring to various complications if left uneaten for a while. Indeed, if they find themselves in the substrate, such leftovers will mold and eventually allow bacteria to grow.

Additionally, uneaten food can attract fruit flies to the enclosure. The less time- and effort-taking way of cleaning food residues is by simply scooping them out daily, the same as you should be doing for hermit’s waste.

How Long Can Hermit Crabs go Without Food?

Unfortunately, this is a fact that still needs to be completely researched and proven. A general rule for these beings is they do not eat while molting, so they can go without food as long as their current molting process is in phase.

Wild hermit crabs are known to survive up to 30 years or more, so it is really difficult to investigate how long their molting phases last when being that big. However, when they are being active, they should not be left without food for more than a week.

Wrapping Up

Hermit crabs are surely one of the favorite scavenger pets these days. They do not require a lot of space or exhaustible efforts from their owners, but they are so fun to observe and we simply love having them around our homes.

And when it comes to feeding, they will be pleased with basically anything we offer them. What a dream pet, right?

Keep your hermit pets healthy by offering them high-quality commercial pellets each day, as this is the best and safest way to provide them with all the nutritive values they deserve.

But feel free to play around with all other fresh meals you will be including in their diet. These omnivores can eat almost anything as long as it is not refined or spiced.

avatar Noah
I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets. read more...

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