We’ve all heard the phrase “as mad as a March hare” and if you’ve ever owned a hermit crab then you may well have witnessed some pretty strange behavior. Many people’s first encounter with a hermit crab is usually while watching their pet crab eat and it’s not uncommon for this to lead to the following question.
Can hermit crabs eat bananas? Bananas are a healthy addition to hermit crabs’ diet in moderation. However, banana peels should be avoided as they can cause digestive issues and obstruction of their intestines. Furthermore, you should avoid feeding them dried bananas, banana chips, and banana bread.
Hermit crabs can eat bananas safely in moderation, just like many other fruits. Bananas are nutritious and have soft flesh that is easy for the hermit crabs to bite into. However, feeding banana peels to them is not a good idea. It can lead to both digestive issues and can also act as a choking threat to them.
A lot of hermit crab owners are a little confused about whether or not they can feed bananas to their hermit crabs. This guide will break down what nutritional benefits bananas have for your hermit crabs, but also discuss the dangers of giving them bananas (and why you should avoid it). If you’re thinking about feeding your hermit crabs bananas, make sure to read this guide first!
Can bananas be healthy for hermit crabs?
Did you know that eating bananas can actually make people both happy and healthy? These fruits contain an amino acid called tryptophan which, when ingested, converts into serotonin. And serotonin is a hormone that makes us feel light and relaxed, uplifting our mood and spirits.
But do bananas have the same kind of healthy effect on your pet’s health? Before we find that out, let’s take a quick look at the nutritional value of these fruits in the table given below:
|Vitamin A||64 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.031 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.073 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.665 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.334 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.367 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||20 mcg|
|Vitamin C||8.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.10 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.5 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||5 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.26 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||27 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.078 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.27 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||22 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Potassium, K||358 mg|
|Selenium, Se||1 mcg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.15 mg|
|Dietary fibers||2.60 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Following are some of the health benefits that your pets can gain from eating bananas:
- Bananas are rich in several antioxidants like dopamine, catechin, beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, etc. All these antioxidants can strengthen your pet’s immune health and help them fight against infections, which is often the reason for their death in captivity. In addition to antioxidants, vitamin C is also present in bananas.
- Beta-carotene, an antioxidant present in bananas, is also responsible for the bright coloration of their shell. The lack of this antioxidant in their diet can make their shell appear much duller.
- These fruits are also rich in protein and calcium, both responsible for the development and maintenance of their soft tissues and exoskeleton.
- Carbohydrates, which are the primary source of energy for the hermit crabs, can be found in these fruits in abundance.
- The fat content of bananas is perfect for fulfilling your pet’s dietary needs.
Risks involved with overeating bananas
For all the benefits that bananas have to offer to your little pets, there is only one drawback to eating them, and that, too, when fed in excess. It is their sugar content.
Although the sugar in bananas is lesser than the other fruits, it is still a fruit. If your hermit crabs are eating too many bananas or too often, their health could degrade severely.
Therefore, we recommend you to feed them bananas, as well as other fruits, in strict moderation.
Are the banana peels safe for hermit crabs to eat?
Just because we throw away the banana peels while eating their inner flesh, most people tend to believe that they have no nutritional value and are useless. But the mere fact that humans cannot consume banana peels doesn’t make it worthless.
Have you ever seen a monkey or a cow eating a banana? They do not seem to mind the peel at all and have no trouble eating the fruit unpeeled. So, is it bad for their health?
No. On the contrary, banana peels are rich in fibers, but they also contain plenty of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Pyridoxine, Cobalamin, Potassium, and Magnesium.
But if banana peels are so nutritious, how come we always end up removing them while eating bananas? Because of the presence of cellulose in these peels (a compound present in their rigid cell walls), they cannot be broken down and digested by us.
And what about hermit crabs? Can they eat these peels? Unfortunately, not. In fact, these little guys can have much more difficulty trying to chew, swallow, and digest the peels than we do. Even if they do end up eating them, it will only result in digestive issues and pose a choking threat.
If you’re a well-wisher of your pet crabs, you would never offer them banana peels.
Can hermit crabs also eat dried bananas?
Although bananas can be found all year round and don’t need to be stored for later use, there’s a unique flavor to dried bananas that make us crave them.
But what about hermit crabs? Do they like dried bananas as much as we do?
Because dried bananas have a higher sugar content than fresh ones, your crabs will most likely love them. But it is precisely due to this that you should not be feeding dried bananas; too much sugar can be highly detrimental to their health.
Are banana chips okay for hermit crabs to eat?
Banana chips are crispy delights that none of us, including your pet crabs, can say no to.
But if you are wondering if the hermit crabs should be eating them, the answer is no they shouldn’t. These chips are processed foods, and as a rule of thumb, you should never feed your pets processed foods of any kind.
Since they’re manufactured solely for human consumption, there’s no saying what impact they could have on your pets. Therefore, it is better not to feed these to them.
What about banana bread?
We understand how crab owners can assume they can feed their pets anything, but as a concerned pet parent, you really shouldn’t be doing that.
Bread is just one of the things that should be off-limit for the hermit crabs. It has a negligible nutritional value, cannot be digested easily, and is also known to expand their stomach when inside.
Would you want to feed something like that to your precious pets? We thought as much.
Banana bread is also bread at the end of the day. While the fruit might add a little to the nutritional value, your crabs will still suffer when they eat it. In other words, the answer to your question is a huge no.
Feeding bananas to hermit crabs: things to keep in mind
Are you ready to introduce bananas to your pet’s diet now? Here are a few pointers that might help you in the process:
- Always try to purchase organic bananas for your pets instead of commercially grown ones. This should also be followed in the case of other fruits and vegetables.
- Always feed them freshly-bought bananas and not the ones that are 1-2 days old because these fruits can go bad relatively quickly.
- The best way of feeding bananas to hermit crabs is to mash them and place them in their dish.
- If you’re serving them frozen bananas, take these out from the refrigerator at least 3 hours prior, giving them enough time to thaw. Frozen bananas are much harder in texture and could pose a choking threat to your pets.
Conclusion: Can Hermit Crabs Eat Bananas?
Bananas are a nutritious treat for your hermit crab. Hermit crabs enjoy not just the taste but also the scent of banana, and it provides your crab with a sweet and healthy snack.
Hermit crabs have a sweet tooth that is easily satisfied by feeding them mashed bananas. In addition to being tasty, bananas are packed with energy and nutrients.
Well there you have it — you can teach an old hermit new tricks. Hopefully, you’ve gained something from reading this guide. If you did, please help spread the love and share this post!
Thanks for reading!
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