Great Pets for Kids – Hermit Crabs

Watching a live pet Hermit Crab play on a sandy beach all day is great fun for children wanting to learn all about exotic and different wildlife, as well as teach them about the responsibility of caring for an animal.

Pet hermit crabs are great fun to have, they have superb personalities and are playful and love to dig and explore. But hermit crabs aren’t so easy to find anymore in the pet stores. This is because hermit crabs are considered exotic pets because they aren’t native to the United States. Most pet hermit crabs sold in the United States come from the Caribbean rainforests and the ocean sands of Ecuador.

Taking care of hermit crabs takes a lot of work and you should be ready to do the work in order to keep your hermit crabs happy and healthy. If you are ready to put the work into your hermit crab care, then you will really enjoy having these wonderful little exotic pets. If you aren’t willing to work hard at caring for hermit crabs, then you should maybe think about another type of pet because hermit crabs cannot live without the proper care.  We don’t recommend hermit crabs as pets for children under 8.  Take a look at this factsheet on caring for hermit crabs.

Habitat

Hermit crab care starts with giving them the appropriate habitat. Start with a clear tank because they are the best to be able to watch your hermit crab dig and play. In order to properly take care of hermit crabs you will want to provide them with some good, clean sand or gravel in the bottom of the tank, or better yet, a substrate called forest bedding, which is made out of coconut fibers. The forest bedding stays moist longer, although you don’t want it to be too wet, and it is a better consistency for the hermit crabs to dig their tunnels into.

Water and Food

Caring for hermit crabs means that you have to provide them with the proper food and water. Food can be purchased at the local pet store. There is special hermit crab food that you can buy. Or, you can look up your species of hermit crab care and see what kinds of foods they like to eat so that you can give your hermit crabs special treats once in a while. They will also eat the forest bedding and the wood from driftwood pieces that you might put in the tank.

Water should be kept clean and free of chlorine. There are drops or tablets that you can buy at the pet store that will remove the chlorine from tap water. You don’t necessarily have to regularly bathe your hermit crabs, but you will want to provide them with a bowl of water that they can climb in and out of that is about an inch deep. Hermit crabs will bathe themselves.

Handling

Part of caring for hermit crabs is loving your hermit crabs. To show them that you love them you might want to take them out of their cages and hold them sometimes. This is fine, but remember that hermit crabs have pinchers and they might pinch you, and it can hurt. Sometimes hermit crabs pinch because they are nervous and sometimes it is because they are hungry, so if your hermit crab is pinching you should put him back in the cage and make sure it has food. If he isn’t pinching, then he probably likes it when you hold him.

Live hermit crab kits are available, complete with large habitat, 2 LIVE Crabs, colored sand, food, 2 extra shells, sponge with clamshell for water, clamshell food dish, choia wood for climbing, plastic palm tree, plastic plant, water mister, water treatment solution and care instructions.

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