Hermit Crabs Are Not Good Pets [Opinion]


Credit to Michaela Manfull

Michaela Manfull’s pet hermit crabs named Sunshine and Dwebble.

Taking a vacation to the beach when I was a kid was the best thing ever — all the shells to collect, sand to hide in the suitcases, and souvenir stuffed animals to buy from a tourist shop.

 One year in a store, something new caught my eye. It wasn’t some lame stuffed animal that I would forget about in a few months. It was something so much better.

It was small.

It didn’t need much care.

It was a little slice of the beach to bring home.

My younger brother and I begged, but mom and dad agreed we could not get hermit crabs. According to them, there was no way the crabs would survive back to Missouri. 

It took the rest of the trip, a plane ride home and a PowerPoint to convince them otherwise. Victorious, we visited PetCo to survey our options. There was a big debate, but we finally decided on one that had a purple shell we named Dwebble, and a green-shelled one we dubbed Sunshine. At home, my brother and I built castles out of LEGOs because we were so excited to finally have pets and we couldn’t wait to play with them. 

It took two minutes of the crabs sitting still in their castle for us to start moving them around, offering them treats, telling them what to do and trying to pull them out of their shells. After months of trying, they didn’t live up to the hype. Dwebble would only come out at night and we wouldn’t be surprised if Sunshine was actually dead the entire time we had it. Needless to say, the crabs moved onto another house, and we moved onto another PowerPoint. This one was more thought out and resulted in a cat, Captain Dewey, but he’s a different story…