Soon after their birth, hermit crabs migrate to the beach, where they spend much of their adult life. Although adults can’t survive long submerged in water, they do need a bath. Many pet owners overlook this step, since it does sound a little funny to think that your pet crab would need a wash.
Yes, They Need A Bath
They can be bathed almost any time, although you should not give them a bath if they are molting or preparing to molt. Common reasons to bathe include the presence of mites or a dirty shell, often due to eating messy foods.
Get Chlorine Remover
Your little guy should be bathed in a small bowl or mug with straight sides. You’ll need a chlorine remover, to add to the water. Tap water is chlorinated, which can harm your pet’s health, even causing skin blisters. Dechlorinator drops can be found at the pet store.
If at all possible, use purified water rather than regular tap water; tap water can contain other minerals that may be harmful. Fill the container about halfway with water before adding the appropriate amount of chlorine remover.
The water does not need to be hot; most crabs prefer their water to be about 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or lukewarm. Allow the water to sit for a few minutes to ensure that it’s safe for your crab.
Once the water is ready, take your crab out of his cage, and gently lower him into the water to clean the underside of the shell. Do not drop your crab into the water or leave him there for too long; crabs can’t breathe underwater for long periods of time, even though they do have gills.
Don’t Force Him Out
During the bathing process, it is not important to get your crab to come out of his shell. In fact, trying to force him out can hurt him. Many people bathe their crabs at night, when they are more active and therefore more likely to come out of their shell, although this is not necessary.
The water can still get into the shell to clean it while your crab is inside. If your crab does come out of his shell, rinse the inside of the shell to wash out any food debris or sand.
Don’t Force Him In
When you’re done, tilt the shell to allow all of the water to run out. Don’t try to force your crab to go back into his shell when it’s not completely dry. Instead, let your crab and his shell air dry before going back in the cage.
Taking the time to give your crab a proper bath should not be overlooked. Doing so can prevent skin irritations and issues with mites, keeping your crabs happy and healthy. It doesn’t take very long to do, but it is crucial to your hermit crab’s well being.