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Are Hermit Crabs Good Pets? (The Pros and Cons)

Are Hermit Crabs Good Pets? (The Pros and Cons)

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Hermit crabs are interesting pets that many people enjoy keeping in their homes. You might be wondering if they’re right for you.

It’s easy to see that hermit crabs aren’t exactly typical pets. Although some people enjoy them a lot, whether these pets will be right for you will depend on many factors.

Are hermit crabs good pets overall? Or are they pets that you should likely avoid?

Continue reading to learn about hermit crabs and what you can expect when keeping them as pets. This should make it easier to decide if they’re the right pets for you.

Hermit Crabs Have Interesting Personalities

You might gravitate toward hermit crabs due to the fact that they have interesting personalities. These hermit crabs can be very unique and playful.

Although they won’t play with you, they will do interesting things that will be fascinating to watch. Some hermit crab enthusiasts like to buy two crabs and watch them interact with each other.

These pets are very curious and like to explore the environment that they’ve been placed in. You can set things up so the crabs will have things to climb and forage through.

Sometimes you might even see the crabs collaborate with each other to do certain things. If you like passively observing interesting creatures, keeping hermit crabs in your home will be a lot of fun.

They’re Easy to Care for

Perhaps the best reason to consider hermit crabs as pets is that they’re easy to care for. These are low-maintenance pets that don’t require a lot of attention.

Many popular household pets require daily attention to be able to survive. Hermit crabs are different because they’re very hands-off pets.

You really just need to feed them every so often. Feed them from time to time and clean the habitat so it doesn’t get smelly.

They’re among the easiest pets to take care of. If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to caring for pets, buying hermit crabs as pets will be a good choice.

They Don’t Cost a Lot of Cash

Hermit crabs are very inexpensive pets that you can buy at many pet stores. Often, you’ll be able to purchase a hermit crab as a pet for less than $2.

Even if you want to keep two hermit crabs in the same tank, it’ll be easy to do so without spending more than $5 on the crabs themselves. They’re incredibly affordable options for pet owners on a budget.

Getting what you need to care for the hermit crabs won’t cost a lot of cash either. You’ll need a habitat, but you can find a small tank to keep the crabs in being sold at reasonable prices.

You’ll have to buy sand, water dishes, and other essential things. None of the things that you’ll need to buy will cost much money.

Hermit Crabs Live for a Fairly Long Time

Did you know that hermit crabs tend to live for a fairly long time in captivity? If you do a solid job of caring for a hermit crab in your home, it’ll survive for at least five years, in most cases.

The average life span of a pet hermit crab is between 5 and 15 years. You could be enjoying your hermit crab for well over a decade if things go well.

Some hermit crab owners have had their pets live for as long as 30 years. If you want a pet that has the potential to survive for a long time, buying a hermit crab makes sense.

They Don’t Require a Lot of Space

Habitats for hermit crabs won’t take up much space in your home. You just need a little habitat area that you will set up properly with sand, shells, and other necessities.

This is going to be very simple to do even if you don’t have a lot of room in your house. People who live in small houses or apartments will be able to keep hermit crabs as pets easily.

Simply find a good spot in your house where the hermit crab habitat can be placed. Look after the hermit crab and have fun observing it.

If you don’t have room for larger pets, buying a hermit crab or two will be a solid alternative. Think about it if these pets sound appealing to you so far.

Feeding Them Is Easy

Feeding hermit crabs is really easy. They don’t need to be fed that often, and you won’t have to spend much money on food.

You can buy commercial foods for hermit crabs and place them in the tank. These pets don’t need much food and they won’t die if you forget to feed them several times.

Therefore, they might be perfect pets for forgetful individuals. If you need a pet that you won’t likely kill by forgetting to feed it, hermit crabs fit the bill.

You Shouldn’t Directly Interact with Hermit Crabs

Sadly, you can’t directly interact with hermit crabs. These aren’t pets that you’re going to be able to play with.

These pets aren’t social when it comes to humans. You’ll be able to enjoy observing them a bit, but the fun ends there.

If you’re someone who wants a pet that will do things with you, hermit crabs won’t be a good fit. You’d be better off buying a hamster or a more traditional pet such as a cat.


Hermit crabs have to molt every so often. When they do this, they burrow into the sand and stay there for long periods of time.

This is totally normal, but sometimes the process takes so long that you’ll wonder if your pet has died. If you startle a hermit crab during the molting process it might actually die.

You need to ensure that the hermit crab has enough space to dig into the ground and molt. You also need to keep it safe during this time or it could die.

This means protecting it from the other crabs in the tank. It’s not that hard, but it can be a bit frustrating.

Many don’t like having to deal with this. If molting sounds annoying to you, it might not be wise to buy a pet hermit crab.

They Smell

One reason why you might not want to get a hermit crab as a pet is because it will sort of smell bad. These pets aren’t the most pleasant-smelling creatures.

You can keep the smell to a minimum by cleaning the habitat regularly. If you miss out on cleaning for a while, it’ll be very noticeable due to the stench.

Of course, the smell won’t be so bad if you’re a proactive pet owner. It just comes down to putting in the effort to take care of maintenance.

They Need Lots of Humidity

Another problem is that hermit crabs need lots of humidity. If your area is dry by nature, it might require a bit of effort to keep the hermit crab’s habitat humid enough.

Humidity is necessary to keep the hermit crab’s gills wet. This ensures that they’re able to breathe on land.

You need to monitor the humidity levels as a pet owner. It might be necessary to buy a small humidifier for your home to keep things safe.

It isn’t that big of a deal, but some might find it to be an annoyance. Just keep this in mind when choosing what you want to do.

You Have to Buy Two Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs will do a lot better if you have multiple crabs in the same habitat. These are social creatures that are used to living in groups.

Having friends in the habitat will make the hermit crabs more active and happy. Some people have kept only one crab and been fine, but it’s not recommended.

If you aren’t prepared to look after at least two hermit crabs, it’s likely not a good idea to keep a hermit crab as a pet. You should look into other pet options.

Final Thoughts

Whether a hermit crab is a good pet or not depends on your sensibilities. Some people love hermit crabs, but others will find them to be inconvenient pets.

They aren’t hard to care for, but they do smell a bit. Consider the information above and decide whether these pets sound right for you.

Overall, hermit crabs are affordable pets that will appeal to many people. You can’t play with them, but you can have a lot of fun watching them.

You need to keep at least two of them in one habitat, but they aren’t expensive at all. These are low-effort pets that you can enjoy without having to put in a lot of effort.

That being said, caring for these pets does require a bit of attention. You need to keep the humidity levels in check and you do have to feed them every so often.

If you’re prepared for the responsibility, it might be a good experience for you. If these don’t sound like fun pets to you, it’s best to buy a more traditional pet instead.

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