Small Crabs as Pets: A Guide to Care and Enjoyment



While dogs and cats are common household pets, small crabs offer a unique and fascinating alternative for enthusiasts seeking unconventional companions. These crustaceans, with their intricate behaviors and charming appearances, have gained popularity in the pet trade. This article serves as a comprehensive guide to caring for small crabs as pets, covering essential aspects such as habitat setup, diet, handling, and health considerations.

Choosing the Right Crab Species:

Several species of small crabs as pets are suitable for keeping as pets, each with its own unique characteristics and care requirements. Popular choices include hermit crabs, fiddler crabs, and Thai micro crabs. Before acquiring a crab, it’s essential to research the specific needs and behaviors of the species to ensure you can provide appropriate care.

Habitat Setup:

Creating a suitable habitat is crucial for the health and well-being of pet crabs. A glass or acrylic aquarium with a secure lid is recommended to prevent escape. Substrate options such as sand, coconut fiber, or a mixture of both provide a comfortable substrate for digging and burrowing. Incorporating hiding spots, such as caves or driftwood, and providing climbing structures, like rocks or branches, allows crabs to exhibit natural behaviors and feel secure in their environment.

Temperature and Humidity:

Maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels is essential for the health of small crabs. Most species require temperatures ranging from 75°F to 85°F and humidity levels between 70% to 80%. Utilizing a heat source, such as an under-tank heater or heat lamp, helps maintain appropriate temperatures, while regular misting or the use of a humidifier ensures adequate humidity levels within the enclosure.

Diet and Nutrition:

Feeding pet crabs a varied and balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Small crabs are omnivorous scavengers, feeding on a combination of plant matter, meat, and decaying organic material in their natural habitat. Commercial crab foods, supplemented with fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein sources such as fish flakes or shrimp pellets, provide essential nutrients for small crabs. It’s important to remove uneaten food promptly to prevent spoilage and maintain water quality.

Handling and Interaction:

While small crabs may not crave human interaction like dogs or cats, they can still be fascinating pets to observe and interact with. Handling small crabs should be done gently and infrequently to avoid causing stress or injury. Instead, providing environmental enrichment, such as hiding spots, climbing structures, and interactive toys, allows crabs to exhibit natural behaviors and provides mental stimulation.

Health Considerations:

Regular health monitoring is essential for detecting signs of illness or injury in pet crabs. Observing their activity levels, appetite, shell condition, and overall appearance can provide valuable insights into their health status. Additionally, maintaining clean water and a hygienic habitat helps prevent bacterial or fungal infections. If you notice any abnormalities or signs of illness, consulting a veterinarian experienced in exotic pets is recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Small crabs make fascinating and low-maintenance pets, offering enthusiasts a unique opportunity to observe the behaviors of these fascinating crustaceans up close. By providing a suitable habitat, maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels, offering a varied diet, and monitoring their health regularly, pet owners can ensure the well-being and enjoyment of their small crab companions for years to come. With proper care and attention, small crabs can thrive in captivity, bringing a touch of the ocean into the homes of their human caregivers.