Can I paint a Patriots logo on my hermit crab’s shell?

Steve Dale is the host of the nationally syndicated radio shows
Steve Dale’s Pet World and The Pet Minute with Steve Dale. His column,
My Pet World (in which this post was originally published), is carried
in more than 100 newspapers nationwide. He also serves on the board of directors for the
American Humane Association.

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Q: My son has three pet hermit crabs. We have a problem. My son is a New England Patriots fan — don’t ask me why. Of course, we are fans of our local team. Will the crabs get along with one another if they are wearing different team logos painted on their shells?
– D. H., Denver, CO

A: I may not be paid as much as Tom Brady, but I might love my job more because of questions like yours.

Crab shells painted with sports-team logos are a craze, but it’s not a healthy one. “Crab shells need to breathe, and the paint interferes,” says Carol Frischmann, author of the book Animal Planet: Hermit Crabs.


She explains, “Crabs seem to require the natural characteristics of a
shell, and painting it makes a difference which may be harmful to the
crab inside.”

Instead of painting your crabs’ shells, divide the aquarium into
two sides — one for your son’s team and one for yours. Maybe
you can even put up mini-goalposts (use chopsticks) and see who scores
the most crab touchdowns.

©Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services

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