Last Updated on February 23, 2023 by Joanne Harper
Peanut butter is a favorite snack of many hermit crabs, but it’s not always the healthiest of foods. However, hermit crabs will grow hungry and excited once they smell peanut butter.
While peanuts are high in protein, which is essential for a strong and sturdy exoskeleton, most brands of peanut butter contain hydrogenated vegetable oil, sugar, salt, colorings, flavorings, and preservatives.
So, making peanut butter for hermit crabs in a blender is recommended. Alternatively, buy organic peanut butter because it’s rich in unsaturated fats, plant-based protein, and soluble and insoluble fiber.
Try hand-feeding peanut butter to hermit crabs on your finger. This will encourage a hermit crab to accept handling, making it much easier to move them to an isolation tank when deep cleaning.
Peanut butter can also be smeared on nutritious foods, like fruits and vegetables, to make them more appealing to hermit crabs. Keep the servings small, as peanut butter shouldn’t be a dietary staple.
Can You Feed Hermit Crabs Peanut Butter?
Many hermit crabs like eating peanut butter, but it’s not always good for them. It’s unhealthy if you offer them the cheaper supermarket brands, but some varieties are more nutritious and wholesome.
The issue with many brands of peanut butter is the salt content, as they’re intended for the human palate, not nutrition. Hermit crab bodies can’t cope with excess salt (sodium chloride).
Another issue with feeding peanut butter is the mess because they’ll likely smear the food all over themselves. If the peanut butter clogs the gills, it could inhibit their ability to breathe.
Is Peanut Butter Good for Hermit Crabs?
Peanut butter is a treat for hermit crabs, not a road to health and vitality. It shouldn’t be the cornerstone of their diet, but it can offer some benefits if served in moderation.
The appealing taste is the main draw of feeding peanut butter to hermit crabs.
They’ll be excited at the prospect of eating peanut butter, making it an appealing reward when providing training or trying to get them to move to a different place during tank cleaning.
Peanut butter is a good source of vitamins B3 (niacin) and E, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative stress.
Peanuts are high in protein, which is essential for molting, as it’s an essential component of chitin, which makes up the exoskeletons of arthropods like hermit crabs. Without enough dietary protein, hermit crabs will struggle to grow and maintain their exoskeletons.
It also contains soluble and insoluble fiber, promoting healthy digestion and bowel movements.
Some organic brands of peanut butter may contain added calcium, which is vital for hermit crabs. However, better ways exist to provide this essential mineral, such as cuttlebones.
Feed peanut butter to hermit crabs because you love your pets, not to improve their health.
Be mindful of the sugar content of many store-bought peanut butter brands.
While sugar and carbohydrates initially provide hermit crabs with energy, the Proceedings of th Royal Society link high glucose levels with increased aggression and hostility.
It’s not always clear what’s in store-bought peanut butter, so check the ingredients list carefully and take the time to look up anything unclear. If you don’t recognize the additives, it’s best left on the shelf.
Pick up a sugar-free and salt-free organic brand if you buy store-bought peanut butter. This may not appeal as much to the human palate, but hermit crabs will enjoy eating it.
What Kind of Peanut Butter Can Hermit Crabs Eat?
Shop for peanut butter from specialist health food stores, which will stock organic brands that are considerably safer and healthier animals.
Alternatively, you can make peanut butter at home by following these simple steps:
- Bake 14oz (400g) of dry, unsalted peanuts in the oven at 390 OF, stirring occasionally.
- Blend the peanuts for 5 minutes until they form a smooth, buttery texture.
- Add 2 teaspoons of peanut oil (olive oil will suffice) and blend again.
If you have the time and inclination to make peanut butter, this approach will always be preferable. You’ll understand what it contains and can tailor the taste sensation.
How To Offer Peanut Butter To Hermit Crabs
Don’t just leave a jar of peanut butter in a hermit crab enclosure and allow them to gorge themselves.
You could place some peanut butter on a teaspoon and hold this over the tank. If you’re near a saline water source, peanut butter’s scent will attract hermit crabs’ attention.
The best way to feed peanut butter to hermit crabs is by hand, which can help them accept handling. You could also spread peanut butter on another, healthier food source, like a piece of celery.
Hand-feeding peanut butter is the best way to utilize this food. Smear some on the tip of your finger and place your hand in the enclosure. One, or more likely several, hermit crabs will likely approach.
As hermit crabs dislike handling, peanut butter can make this activity more appealing. When picking up a hermit crab, apply peanut butter to your hand as a distraction.
Spread Over Fruit and Vegetables
Despite being scavengers in the wild, sometimes peanut butter can convince them to eat. Don’t coat another food in peanut butter because a little goes a long way.
This approach can be effective when offering hermit crabs food that has little scent, like cucumber or cuttlebone, that would otherwise hold limited appeal.
How Often Should Hermit Crabs Eat Peanut Butter?
Regardless of how much hermit crabs enjoy the taste of peanut butter, they shouldn’t be given it every day. Peanut butter makes a nice snack, but the novelty wears off if you provide it too often.
Hermit crabs prefer dietary diversity. As per Animal Behavior, hermit crabs rarely eat the same food twice in 24 hours. You must feed pet hermit crabs a variety of nutritious foods.
Hermit crabs are omnivores (eat plant and animal matter) and require a varied diet. Feed peanut butter to hermit crabs no more than once or twice a week as an occasional treat.