Can Hermit Crabs Eat Bread

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Bread?

We all know that hermit crabs eat a variety of foods. Similarly, different hermit crabs prefer different types of food items. But nobody talks about whether hermit crabs eat grains. These crabs love to eat various grains like popcorn (popped), oatmeal, cooked pasta (etc), crackers, and non-sugar cereals. Hermit crab owners often wonder, can hermit crabs eat bread?

Hermit crabs can eat bread. Although bread is solely human food, these tiny creatures can easily consume it. However, bread is less nutritious than other foods like fruits and vegetables. Remember to check the ingredients used in the bread before feeding them. There could be various unsafe items in some bread, especially unhealthy preservatives.

Have you ever seen a dying hermit crab due to eating bread? What type of bread is OK for hermies? Thus, a lot of questions pop up in our minds whenever we eat bread, and we wonder, What if hermit crabs eat bread? Let’s clear up some untold facts about hermit crabs’ care and diet. Just follow the footprints of this article to get insights!

Can hermit crabs eat bread?

Yes, hermit crabs can eat bread, but in a small quantity as an occasional treat. Remember, it is not a regular part of their diet. Moreover, bread could be more nutritious for hermit crabs. So, if it is given in moderation, then it is one of the healthy treats for hermit crabs.

The primary diet of hermit crabs is not bread. It includes:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Hermit crab pellets
  • Calcium-rich sources (crushed eggshells or cuttlebones)

These types of diets ensure their health and nutritional needs. Here, I didn’t mean that bread is unhealthy for hermit crabs. I want to convey the fact that it is not their primary diet.

Important Note:

Try to avoid offering fresh food items to hermies. These crabs prefer to eat stale or crusty bread. According to various reviews, bread is a good food as it has a lower quantity of salt. Also, bread has a high moisture content, which is good for the health of the hermit crabs.

Related article: Can Hermit Crabs Eat Tomatoes?

Can hermit crabs eat white bread?

Hermit crabs can eat white bread. However, white bread lacks the essential nutrients and fiber that hermit crabs need for their health. Feeding white bread once in a while is OK for hermit crabs. So, white bread must be given sparingly and in small quantities. Furthermore, white bread contains various ingredients that are unsafe for hermit crabs.

For example, try to avoid white bread that contains preservatives, starch, sugar, and corn syrup. These ingredients can upset their stomachs. Always check the labels of the particular brand given on the packs. These labels give the exact ingredients of the white bread.

Potential Benefits and Risks Associated with Bread for Hermit Crabs


A hermit crab diet with bread has the following potential benefits:

  • Bread is a common food available in all areas of the world. When other food items like shellfish are not available, bread is a good substitute for hermit crabs’ care and diet. It’s one of the best backup food sources. It’s easy to store.
  • Many times, bread is a good idea for hermit crabs to take shelter from various predators. They hide beneath the bread.
  • It is super easy to prepare bread out of dough at home. Pet owners can also buy prepared bread from any local baking store.
  • The bread is soft. So, hermit crabs easily consume it. Also, hermit crab digestion of bread is fine.


Bread as food for hermit crabs has some disadvantages. Let’s see what the risks associated with bread as a diet for hermit crabs are:

  • Bread lacks essential nutrients like calcium and protein. These nutrients are essential for the nutritional needs of hermit crabs. These deficiencies lead to health issues for crabs.
  • Commercial bread often contains high levels of salt. So, bread is harmful for hermit crabs if consumed excessively.
  • Overfeeding bread causes bloating in hermit crabs. Their digestive systems can get disturbed.
  • Stale or moist bread can develop mold. That’s why infected or mold bread is toxic for hermit crabs.
  • Bread is one of the high carbohydrate foods. That’s why it is always recommended to limit the use of pasta, cereals, and juice.

Nutritional Value of Bread for Hermit Crabs

According to the study by the Arew organization, bread can cause health issues in hermit crabs, like constipation and bloating. Over time, bread can result in malnutrition in hermit crabs’ bodies. It has a lot of carbohydrates that can cause health issues for hermies. This shows the hermit crab’s nutritional needs are not fulfilled with bread alone.

Here is a quick review table about the nutrients in one slice of white bread vs. one slice of brown bread:

NutritionWhite BreadWheat Bread 
Fats1 gram1 gram
Carbs15 grams14 gram
Fiber 0 gram 2 gram
Sugar3 grams 2 gram 
Protein2 grams3 gram

The above-mentioned table shows, 100 percent wheat bread is more nutritionally rich than pure white bread.

Preparing Bread for Hermit Crabs

Place the bread into their water-filled container if you want to offer bread to hermit crabs. If the crab is hungry, he will quickly grab it from the water. However, do not try to feed them regularly; they’ll get sick otherwise!

The Arew organization states that multigrain bread or whole wheat bread for the hermit crabs is preferred to feed these pets. Avoid offering bread that has nuts and seeds in it. Here comes another query in my mind: how often should I give hermit crabs bread? Once or twice in a week or two!

Lastly, offer one breadcrumb or 2/3rd of the bread slice. Do not offer them more bread than this quantity. If you want to offer a complete slide of bread, cut or tear the bread into small pieces. You can also moisten the bread but don’t make it too soggy.

Related article: Can Hermit Crabs Eat Celery? A Crunchy Delight or No-Go?

Alternatives to Bread in Hermit Crabs Diet:

Here are a few bread alternatives for crabs that will make a good meal for them:

  • Commercial Diet: One of the specifically tailored diets includes a commercial diet. Their consistent nutritional needs are ideally met here. 
  • Treats and Fresh Foods: Occasional treats and fresh food items are good ideas to meet the hunger needs of hermit crabs. Anything edible makes up a good treat for hermies.
  • Protein and Meat: Hermit crabs love to eat protein and meat. However, all meats are not safe for hermit crabs. You need to be picky. Cooked meat is better to offer them. You can also feed them eggs and marine plants.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Also, hermit crabs eat many fruits and vegetables. But only fresh fruits and vegetables are good for them. However, keep these crawlers manageable with a lot of fruits and vegetables.
  • Grass, Leaves, and Flowers: These food items are the best substitute for hermit crabs in place of bread. Offer them different grasses, leaves, and flowers and see if they like it or not.


1. Can I give my crab bread that is expired?

No! It is not recommended to feed expired bread to hermit crabs. Just like with any pet, it is essential to provide fresh and safe food to ensure the health of your hermit crab. Expired bread contains mold or other contaminants that are harmful to your pet.

2.Can hermit crabs eat chips made out of bread?

Yes, hermit crabs can eat chips. However, the chips must be made up of organic food.

3.Can hermit crabs eat cheeseburgers?

Yes! Hermit crabs can eat cheeseburgers. However, keep in mind that burgers are unnatural foods that may not be appealing to hermit crabs.

4.Will bread help hermit crabs gain weight?

Absolutely yes! Bread will help hermit crabs gain weight. As bread is a calorie-dense food, especially carbohydrates, it can cause weight gain problems in crabs.

5.Can bread replace other hermit crab foods?

No! Bread cannot replace other hermit crab foods. As we know, hermit crabs are omnivores and scavengers; they rely on feeding on various types of foods. Only a balanced diet plan can meet their nutritional deficiencies.

Wrapping – Up!

So, is bread safe for hermit crabs? Although unnecessary feeding of anything is not safe, it is extremely safe. Refrain from trying to overindulge in bread. Instead, try to offer more calcium for their optimum health. Bread needs more water. You need to offer them more and more fresh water. Their tank must contain at least 1 liter of fresh water. Otherwise, they could become obese and unhealthy. Offering breadcrumbs to hermit crabs is good to go!

If you have any questions, you can ask me. I would be happy to answer your queries. Additionally, comment on how your hermit crab reacted when it tried bread for the first time.