can hermit crabs have pineapple?

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Pineapple?

Fruits are a natural part of a hermit crab’s diet, even in the wild. Even though hermit crabs don’t encounter pineapples in their natural habitats, they can benefit from the antioxidants and nutrients the fruit provides in captivity.

Hermit crabs can eat pineapple. Pineapples are a rich source of vitamin C, calcium, phenolics, flavonoids, and bromelain. This fruit contains no toxic or harmful compounds that could harm hermies, but you should only feed your hermit crabs this fruit once a week.

However, pineapple’s highly acidic, which can irritate your hermit crab’s mouth. It also has high sugar levels, potentially causing your hermie to reject less sugary foods. Pineapple doesn’t have all the nutrients your hermit crabs need, so you must only feed it in moderation.

Can Hermit Crabs Have Pineapple?

Hermit crabs thrive on a varied diet containing a balanced mix of fruits and vegetables. That’s why pineapples are a healthy addition to your hermie’s diet. They’re not toxic or poisonous to your pet in any way. However, they’re very much a treat food that you should only offer in moderation.

That being said, the fruit contains several nutrients that are beneficial for a hermit crab’s:

Pineapple also contains plenty of water, which will keep your hermie hydrated. Even though Proceedings of the Royal Society explains how wild hermit crabs hydrate themselves with seawater, captive hermies gravitate towards fresh water.

One of the best things about pineapple is you can leave it in the enclosure past its sell-by date and your hermit crab will consume it over time. However, be sure to remove it if it becomes rotten, as it’ll attract bugs and bacteria.

If you want ideas on preparing pineapple, keep it simple by removing the tough outer layer and cutting it into bitesize pieces for your hermit crab to munch on. Alternatively, you can feed pineapple to your hermit crab:

  • Fresh
  • Frozen
  • Dried

Make sure that if you choose dried pineapple, it doesn’t contain preservatives or added sugar. According to the Journal of Chemical Ecology, sugar garners an immediate reaction from hermit crabs, causing them to reject healthier options.

Do Hermit Crabs Like Pineapple?

Pineapple won’t appeal to all hermit crabs, but the sweet taste and strong smell are enough to tempt most. Every hermit crab has its personal taste preference, but the rest will follow when they see one feasting on a piece of pineapple because they’re herd animals. There’s no harm in letting your hermit crab try a small piece of pineapple to see what it thinks before adding the fruit into its diet.

do hermit crabs like pineapple?

How Often Can Hermit Crabs Have Pineapple?

Animal Behavior explains how hermit crabs prefer the odors of foods they haven’t recently eaten and avoid foods associated with recent consumption. This is due to their scavenging instincts. That’s why you should only feed pineapple to your hermie every now and then, rotating them with other fruits. 

Offering the occasional pineapple mimics your hermit crab’s wild lifestyle more closely, helping it settle into captive life. Aim to feed your hermie pineapple no more than once a week.

Pineapple Nutritional Information

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, one chunk of pineapple (15 g) contains the following nutrients:

NutrientAmount Per Serving
Energy7.5 kcal
Water12.9 g
Protein0.081 g
Fat0.018 g
Carbohydrate1.97 g
Fiber0.21 g
Sugars1.48 g
Calcium1.95 g
Iron0.043 g
Magnesium1.8 g
Phosphorus1.2 mg
Potassium16.4 g
Sodium0.15 mg
Zinc0.018 mg
Copper0.017 mg
Selenium0.015 µg
Vitamin C7.17 mg
Thiamin0.012 mg
Riboflavin0.005mg
Niacin0.075 mg
Vitamin B-60.017 mg
Folate2.7 µg
Choline0.825 mg
Vitamin A0.45 µg
Carotene5.25 µg
Vitamin E0.003 mg
Vitamin K0.105 µg

Is Pineapple Good For Hermit Crabs?

You’ll be pleased to know that pineapple is good for hermit crabs and is packed with many essential nutrients that keep them healthy, including:

Calcium

Pineapple contains trace amounts of calcium, which is one of the most important minerals within a hermit crab’s diet. Hermit crabs don’t have bones, so they rely on their exoskeletons to:

  • Protect them
  • Contain their muscles and organs
  • Function properly

Even though pineapple doesn’t contain as much calcium as some other fruits, it can improve the strength and durability of your pet’s exoskeleton. It also helps them shed their old skins and create new ones.

Vitamin C

Pineapples are high in vitamin C, which keeps the immune system strong and healthy. Most hermit crabs are caught from the wild, so pineapples help them resist:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungus

This helps hermit crabs recover from various health ailments, enabling them to fight off illnesses and diseases.

Vitamin C also helps hermit crabs absorb iron and other nutrients more effectively. Another benefit is that it helps keep exoskeletons healthy by creating collagen, which is directly linked to dense bones and, in your hermit crab’s case, strong exoskeletons.

Antioxidants

Pineapples are a good source of antioxidants, specifically phenolics and flavonoids, containing more than many other fruits. These antioxidants protect against inflammation within the body and help prevent free radical damage linked to:

  • Aging
  • Vision loss
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer

Free radicals are reactive molecules containing oxygen. They’re highly reactive, causing large-scale chain reactions within the body’s chemical balance. This process is known as oxidation. Antioxidants keep the oxidation process under control, but if your hermit crab doesn’t have enough of them, it’s more likely to develop health conditions.

Therefore, adding the occasional pineapple into your hermit crab’s diet ensures it lives a long and healthy lifestyle.  

Bromelain

Bromelain is an enzyme that comes from pineapple stems and juice. It’s sometimes used in medicine and is thought to help the body fight pain and inflammation, although more studies are needed to know for sure. It also helps break down protein and aids with digestion. Because bromelain’s only found in pineapple, the fruit keeps your hermit crab healthy.

Is Pineapple Bad For Hermit Crabs?

Pineapple is neither toxic nor poisonous. Most fruits suffer from pesticide contamination, but the thick, inedible skin protects the fruit from harsh chemicals. In fact, 90% of pineapple fruits tested had no detectable pesticide residues, making them safe to eat. That being said, pineapple isn’t healthy in high quantities. These are the reasons why:

Acid Content

Pineapple’s acidic, which can cause digestive problems and mouth pain over prolonged periods of time. A small amount of pineapple’s unlikely to cause your hermit crab harm, but too much may encourage sensitivities to develop.

Sugars

Even though the sugars found in pineapples are naturally occurring, they can still cause bad eating behaviors. That’s because hermit crabs are drawn to delicious, sweet foods and reject their healthy everyday food in favor of something tastier.

While fruits such as pineapples are fine in moderation, you should provide them as part of a balanced diet alongside foods containing less sugar. Vegetables fit the bill, as does:

  • Meat and seafood
  • Commercial hermit crab food
  • Non-coated nuts
  • Seaweed
  • Fish flakes

Your hermit crab’s sure to love pineapple, so add it into your pet’s diet as a healthy, nutritious treat. Too much of anything isn’t healthy, so rotate it with other fruits and vegetables your hermie loves.