Do Hermit Crabs Make Good Pets?

If you are looking to setup a nice terrarium in your living room but still not sure on which animal to house inside it, you are probably being in the search for various options.

Do hermit crabs make good pets to share a decent part of your life with? They sure do, but just as dogs or any other pet are not the perfect companions for universally all people, so is the case with these little creatures.

To ease your decision and help you understanding what to expect and what not to when adopting hermit crabs, we are sharing the most important factors to be aware about.

Low Maintenance

To begin, here is the probably largest advantage for those who have a busy schedule. Indeed, hermit crabs are incredibly low maintenance pets.

They do not require to be taken out for a walk, they do not need to be washed or groomed, and they certainly do not have to be trained to achieve a well-behavior. Adding to that, there is no need of regular daily tank cleaning other than scooping up visible waste or food residues.

Depending on the tank size, you will need to perform weekly or monthly deeper cleaning such as glass wiping, and more rarely a thorough cleaning process when changing their substrate. Therefore, larger tanks are recommended for those who are not big fans of cleaning maintenance.

Finally, hermit crabs do not require high maintenance costs either, after the initial tank setup is complete.

Small Tank Size

These pets make amazing space savers. What is considered to be a decently sized tank is 20 gallons, which will not occupy more than a decorative cabinet area of your home.

Smaller tanks such as 10-gallon ones can be more than enough to house smaller hermits, but keep in mind that these will require somehow more frequent cleaning.

On top of that, a nicely decorated tank with plenty of green plants inside will certainly add a great look to any home.

Not Hypoallergenic

Although many sources report hermit crabs as hypoallergenic pets, this is actually not entirely true.

Most people get allergic reactions to furry pets, as the frequent trigger is dander. Also, with another common trigger being pet saliva, this is not an issue at all with crustaceans. However, some people are allergic to shellfish, and this can surely become a problem if you are one of them.

Knowing your allergies is extremely important before bringing any pet into your home, so performing a simple allergy test at your doctor’s office is a great solution to avoid unpleasant situations afterwards.

Additionally, hermit crabs are not known to carry any diseases which can be transferred to people, which is great news. But they can sometimes transmit waste, dirty substrate or food leftovers to your hand, which can cause mild irritations to those which are more sensitive.

Washing your hands before handling your crab pet is a great way to keep its health protected, but washing hands afterwards is just as important to keep your health protected.

Do not Require Live Food

Hermit crabs do not require to be fed with live food of any kind, which is a huge advantage both in practicality but also if you are not a big fan of observing your pet hunting down insects or any other live being.

Instead, commercial pellets will make their basic diet plan and this is super-simple. You can add fresh vegetable and non-citrus fruits to their meal plan, but they are so small and you can basically simply leave whatever you are cooking that day on the side and offer it your pet.

Great time and cost saver! You can also provide them small portions of previously cooked chicken, fish, shrimp or anything which is natural and healthy. These creatures are omnivorous scavengers and will happily accept any tasty treat you decide offering them that day.

Long Lifespan

If you have looked among different sources online, you have surely stumbled upon various contradictory information about the lifespan of these pets. In fact, many sites or even pet stores are targeting hermit crabs as low-maintenance pets with a short lifespan.

And this can actually occur among many homes, as non-prepared owners report their pets dying after a year or so. However, it is important knowing that this usually happens either because they purchased a stressed or ill hermit, or even more frequently because of poor maintenance.

If you are going to properly take care of your hermit pet, you can expect it to live anywhere between 8 to 10 years, but many of them can survive even up to 20 years.

This makes them ideal pets for families with kids or for those people who plan to spend many years with the company of their crustaceans. On the other side, however, these may not be the most suitable pets for you if you are looking for a shorter commitment.

Not a Playful Pet

If you are expecting to cuddle with your hermit on the couch or play with it as you would with a dog or a cat, then this is probably not the best pet for you.

However, once you (or your kids) learn that these pets do not like to be held too much but rather enjoy the company of their own species, you will find them quite playful, but simply not in the way we are used to.

Hermits get used to their human’s voices after a while and will become less shy in their presence. Once they get comfortable around you, they will start climbing, digging or turning items around, which can be pure fun to observe.

Occasionally, you can even hold them on your hands for a bit and let them roam around the room (with constant monitoring).

Wrapping Up

Hermit crabs are amazing and funny pets, but they are not the most suitable option for everyone.

If you find yourself fitting into the above described behavior and requirements, we are sure that you will enjoy their presence in your home.

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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