How to Take Care of Your Hermit Crab


Have you ever seen a Hermit Crab?
They’re those little snail things in the shell, right? Wrong.
Hermit crabs are little crustaceans that live in deserted sea snail shells on the coast.
Boring, right? Wrong again.
They are really, I mean REALLYb fun to play with and easy to take care of. I am going to teach you how to keep a happy, healthy, Hermit Crab.

First you need to buy supplies. You’ll need a cage, rocks or sand to go at the bottom, special Hermit Crab Food, a dish to put the food in (Snapple bottle caps do fine), extra shells for when they get too
big for their current one, and (IMPORTANT!) DISTILLED WATER. This is important because they can’t have tap water. You also need a sea shell (or something!) to put the water in. And you can make it easier for them to drink by putting a sea sponge in their water.

Then you need to set up their home. Pour the rocks or sand into the cage. Then arrange the water, food, and shells. Hermit crabs also like lots of stuff to play on, like large rocks and big sticks. I keep the food out the cage, too. It’s just easier to access.

Now that you’re prepared, I’m going to teach you how to take care of your Hermit Crab on a daily basis. About every other day, you need to give your Hermit Crab food and water. To give them food, put one or two “pellets” in the food dish. All though, it’s a REALLY good idea to check the instructions first, because some kinds of Hermit Crab food are different than others, and you wouldn’t want to overfeed or underfeed your Hermit Crab. They also need water. All you need to do is pour a little distilled water into the water dish or shell. You should check to see if it has enough water.

Once a month, you should give your Hermit Crab a bath. Put a tiny little tiny bit of warm, not hot, water-tap is all right-into a bowl. Make sure you don’t put in too much, or your Hermit Crab might
drown! The water level shouldn’t be above the tip of their shell. Then put the Hermit Crab in the water and take them out again. They should be squeaky clean!

Have you noticed that I’ve been saying “them” instead of “it”? That’s because Hermit Crabs, in the wild, travel in groups of several thousand. So it’s always a good idea to have more than one, so they don’t get lonely.

You now Know how to take care of a Hermit Crab! Congrats! You can probably find them and their supplies at your local pet store.

Kelsey VanDyke is a Hermit Crab Expert. Visit her blog at


About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi worked in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions. Retired, she currently lives with her spoiled dog and four chickens (who are, interestingly enough, also spoiled).

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