Can Hermit Crabs Eat Cheese

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Cheese?

Hermit crabs have always astonished crab enthusiasts with their taste preferences. These unique crustaceans are always curious about new flavors. They love to indulge in flavorful delights and treats. Owners of hermit crabs frequently wonder if hermit crabs can eat cheese because they always want to give their little shelled friends the best.

Yes, hermit crabs can eat cheese, but it is not recommended to offer it to them often. Everything in the diet of hermit crabs should be balanced. Cheese is a dairy product, which means it is not suitable food for hermit crabs. However, you can definitely treat your crabby companion to cheese occasionally. 

Hermit crabs are unique and hassle-free pets. They will keep exploring their surroundings and tanks without disturbing you for the entire day. This is the beauty of these tiny explorers. The only thing they require from you is a diet with nutritional benefits. In this article, we will discover if hermit crabs are allowed to enjoy the delights of cheese and the nutritional benefits of cheese.   

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Cheese?

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Cheese

Hermit crabs possess exploratory taste buds because they are wild scavengers. In wild habitats, they would search for food and eat anything they found. This is the reason they indulge in everything given to them as pets. However, it is safe for hermit crabs to eat cheese. Contrary to popular belief, cheese is not poisonous to hermit crabs.

Crab owners take pleasure in sharing the food they eat themselves with their tiny companions. As much as we love the delights of cheese, we should understand that the nutritional needs of hermit crabs are entirely different. Cheese contains high-fat content. Thus, it should be given to them only once in a while. 

It is essential to understand that hermit crabs are wild animals. Therefore, their diet in captivity should highly mimic their natural diet: mostly fruits and vegetables. A balanced diet will ensure the well-being and longevity of your crabby pet.

Nutritional Composition and Benefits of Cheese

Everyone loves eating cheese; it is a beloved dairy product. Cheese is the pride of various fast food items and adds excellence to their flavors. It is a nutrient-dense dairy product, but its consumption should still be moderate.

Nutritional Composition:

Cheese is a good source of various macro and micronutrients that are essential for the normal functioning of the body. The quantities of nutrients vary with the type and amount of cheese being taken. 

One ounce (28g) of hard cheese comprises:

  • Calories: 120
  • Proteins: 8 Grams
  • Fat (saturated): 6 Grams
  • Calcium: 180 Milligrams
  • Sodium: 350 Milligrams
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B12


  • Cheese is a good source of calcium. Calcium is essential for proper development of bones and teeth. Calcium is also necessary for the normal functioning of vitamin D and parathyroid hormone in the body.
  • Other than keeping the bones healthy, calcium helps with blood clotting.
  • This key mineral also maintains a normal level of blood pressure if taken in moderate amounts.
  • Proteins are present in all parts of the body. They play key roles as enzymes, antibodies, antigens, hormones, connective tissues, and much more. Cheese also provides a good amount of protein. 
  • Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy vision. Vitamin A also forms a protein called rhodopsin that helps with night vision. 

Additionally, cheese contains a lot of saturated fats, which are bad for the body if consumed in excess. Thus, it is essential to strike a balance in cheese intake to ensure its nutritional benefits are maximum because excess of anything is harmful.

Cheese taken in moderation can have various benefits for humans. Cheese shouldn’t, however, be a consistent part of the diet of hermit crabs. It is because cheese’s high-fat content can cause crabs’ digestive systems to become upset. You can let them enjoy the creamy delights of cheese, but only in minute quantities. 

Related article: Can Hermit Crabs Eat Peanut Butter? Sticky Treat or Forbidden Snack?

Hermit Crab Diet Essentials

Hermit crabs are omnivorous crustaceans. In their wild habitats, they sustain themselves on whatever they find in nature. This suggests that wild hermit crabs might not be getting all of the required nutrients. 

In captive habitats, owners are responsible for the diet and well-being of hermit crabs. Thus, they can craft a well-balanced diet for their shell-wearing friends. 

A balanced diet is supposed to provide all of the nutrients required for normal growth and functioning. Offer your crabs a variety of foods from the meal plan you have formulated for them.

Following are the essentials of a hermit crab’s diet:

  1. Vegetables:

Fresh vegetables are a must-add to their diet. Vegetables will provide them with minerals and vitamins. 

Recommendations: Carrots, Spinach, Broccoli, Cucumbers, and leafy green vegetables. 

  1. Fruits:

Fruits are also an essential part of a balanced diet. They can provide natural sugars, vitamins, and other nutritious compounds. 

Recommendations: Bananas, mangoes, apples, berries, grapes, and watermelon.

  1. Marine Food:

Being a wild animal that lives near the shore, marine-specific food is another must. This will also mimic their natural diet. 

Recommendations: Algae and seaweed.

  1. Calcium-rich Food: 

They must include foods with high calcium content in some of their diets. This will promote the development of a healthy and strong exoskeleton in hermit crabs.

Recommendations: Cuttlebones and eggshells.

  1. Protein-rich Food: 

Hermit crabs also require proteins in their diet. They are omnivorous and thus, can enjoy meat. 

Recommendations: Cooked and unseasoned lean meat, shrimp, and worms 

  1. Treats: 

The tiny adventurers also deserve the yummy treats. You can hand-feed them the treats to develop a bond with them.

Recommendations: Peanut butter, almond butter, and oatmeal. 

Can Hermit Crabs Eat Cottage Cheese?

Hermit crabs can eat cottage cheese. It is necessary to make sure that the cottage cheese you are feeding to your beloved crab is low-fat. Hermit crabs can enjoy low-fat cottage cheese, as it will not cause problems for them. 

Everyone loves the delights and flavors of cheese. But that does not mean it is necessarily suitable for your pet. Even though hermit crabs are not allergic to cheese, it should be given in controlled quantities.

Factors to Consider Before Offering Cheese to Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs are crustaceans. They have a different biological and digestive system than mammals. Foods that suit mammals might not have a good place in the diet of hermit crabs. Therefore, owners should carefully assess the foods before giving them to their crabs. 

The following are the factors to consider before serving cheese to hermit crabs:

  • Type of Cheese: Different types of cheese have different levels of nutrients in them. Only give them cheese that has a low-fat content. Also, choose cheese that has no additives.
  • Amount of Cheese: Although cheese contains nutrients, it should only be offered in minute quantities to the hermit crabs. It is because cheese is not part of their natural diet. 
  • Salt Content: Make sure that cheese has little to no added salt in it. Cheese contains natural minerals. Therefore, salted cheese should not be preferred.
  • Lactose Sensitivity: Every crab is different and has a unique digestive system. Your crab can be lactose intolerant. Therefore, first, carry out a trial feeding of the cheese.

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

Alternative Treats for Hermit Crabs

Hermit crabs love to get yummy treats. After all, who would not appreciate a change of taste from everyday fruits and vegetables? They love to explore new flavors, so occasionally giving them treats will make them happy and stimulate their minds. It is important to keep in mind that these treats should not be given every day in large amounts.

  1. Peanut Butter:

Hermit crabs love peanut butter. They love its texture, aroma, and flavor. Organic peanut butter is not as harmful as excessive cheese is. 


Spread The Love’s Organic Peanut Butter

There are no additional sweeteners or salts in this organic peanut butter. It contains all of the natural and healthy ingredients. 

  1. Scrambled Eggs:

It is another favorite treat of hermit crabs. They love to devour freshly scrambled eggs. Only make sure that you add no seasoning while preparing it.

  1. Jam:

Just like peanut butter, jam is another hit among the hermit crabs. You can treat your crab with homemade jams as well to avoid additives. 


365 Whole Food Market’s Organic Strawberry Jam

This organic jam has organic strawberries and natural sugars. Therefore, it is safe for your hermit crabs. 

  1. Live-Culture Organic Yogurt:

Hermit crabs can eat organic yogurt that has a live culture. The culture’s bacteria aid in the stomach’s digestion of the yogurt. These bacteria synthesize lactase for the digestion of lactose.


What Kind of Cheese Can Be Consumed By Hermit Crabs With No Harm?  

Hermit crabs can consume low-fat cottage cheese without any risks. It has a low-fat content. You can also consider other kinds that have low-fat content and no added preservatives.

What Are the Risks of Excessive Intake of Cheese by Hermit Crabs?

Excessive cheese can affect the digestion of hermit crabs. They can get obese due to the high-fat content of the cheese. It can cause them to show unusual movements and symptoms.

How Often Should I Give Cheese to My Hermit Crabs?

This cheesy feast should not hold a permanent place on the menu of hermit crabs. You should only offer cheese to your hermit crabs after a gap of two days or once a week. You can alternate the treat with other options that we have given in our article.

How Much Cheese Should Be Given to Hermit Crabs?

Cheese should be offered only as a treat to the hermit crabs. Therefore, only offer a small quantity of cheese to your crabby companion to ensure their well-being. 

What Benefits Can Cheese Provide to Hermit Crabs?

Cheese is a good source of calcium. Hermit crabs require calcium to make a healthy exoskeleton. Cheese can serve as a source of calcium for crabs. However, it should not be considered the only source of calcium for hermit crabs. 


Every organism has different nutritional requirements. These needs have to be fulfilled to maintain the well-being of that organism. The same goes for hermit crabs. They are wild animals, and their diet in captivity should be similar to their natural diet. 

Hermit crabs can eat cheese, but it comes with various considerations. Cheese is not part of their natural diet. It is safe for hermit crabs only in small amounts. Therefore, cheese should be served to them rarely.