Have you ever seen a fox up close and considered taking one home as a new pet? While these beautiful creatures may seem like the perfect addition to your household, the question remains whether foxes make good pets or not. Despite their cute appearance and playful behavior, foxes are primarily wild animals and require special care and attention.
Here, look at the pros and cons of keeping a fox as a pet, and it will help you decide whether or not these furry friends are right for you.
Foxes are adorable creatures that have been introduced into the exotic pet trade. They are members of the canine family and are clever pets, but owning a pet fox comes with specific needs, and it is essential that you research and consider the requirements beforehand. Foxes are not closely related to domestic dogs and are considered “tame” rather than domesticated.
Foxes have distinct physiological differences that vary with age, sex, and geographic location. In the wild, the average lifespan of a fox is around 2 to 5 years, while in captivity, they can live up to 10-15 years.
They are high-energy animals that require plenty of space to play, run, and forage, and urine is smelly and difficult to remove. Additionally, foxes have dietary needs requiring fresh meat and taurine that a typical diet may not provide. It is crucial to stimulate them during feeding as they have an innate need to search for their food. Foxes can be spayed and neutered, but they can be euthanized in case of a bite.
The foxes are different types of domesticated foxes, but not all species can be kept as pets. Fennec foxes, although delicate, make good pets because of their small size and sweet nature. They generally own a fox as a pet requires a committed and knowledgeable owner with specific care requirements.
Foxes are high-energy animals.
Some types of foxes can be kept as pets, but these animals have high energy levels and need lots of space to run, play, dig, and forage. It will be good to have several acres of land; also, enclosures are essential as foxes can be destructive and territorial. The enclosure should be secure and protected from predators.
Foxes require plenty of exercise and enrichment to stay mentally and physically healthy. Adequate space and equipment like tunnels, toys, and hiding places should be provided for them to engage in natural behaviors. Foxes require plenty of mental stimulation to prevent boredom and behavioral problems. Activities like scent games and treat puzzles can help to keep them mentally stimulated. Indoor playtime and supervised outdoor playtime can also provide additional exercise and entertainment for pet foxes.
Foxes mark their territory with urine and feces.
Foxes have an innate desire to mark their territory, which means they may tear things up in their quest to find the perfect spot to mark with their urine and feces. While some fox owners have successfully trained their pets to use indoor litter boxes, this may only sometimes be possible. Additionally, fox urine is incredibly smelly and hard to wash out.
Foxes need an outdoor enclosure.
Foxes are energetic animals that require plenty of exercise and stimulation to remain happy and healthy. For this reason, they need their own designated space when they are left alone. An ideal enclosure for a fox should be no smaller than 60 sq. ft. and a minimum of 6 feet high and should come equipped with a sleeping area or hide box, toys, food and water, and a litter box if you want to train your fox to use one.
If you are keeping your fox outside, you need to ensure that it stays within its designated area. Ideally, the cage’s flooring should be wire or concrete, or the side fencing should be at least 3 feet under so that your fox can’t dig out. Foxes are also known to climb, so a secure top is necessary.
Foxes require a specialized diet.
Foxes are classified as omnivores, and a balanced diet should include vitamins, minerals, vegetables, and other foods.
Foxes require a specialized diet different from what dogs and cats eat. Feeding them a balanced diet that meets their unique nutritional needs is important. Pet foxes should be fed high-quality food that is appropriate for their species and age.
Foxes require a high-protein diet, so it is important to feed them enough meat to meet their dietary needs. Some owners offer raw meat, but it is essential to provide the whole prey item, including organs and skin, not just muscles. Their diet includes a lot of fresh meat, such as rabbits and mice, and they must receive enough taurine to avoid potential health issues, typically found in formulated fox diets or grain-free dog foods.
Insects comprise a significant portion of a fox’s diet, including grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, silkworms, beetles, and mealworms.
Vegetables and fruits should be provided as vitamins, minerals, and fiber sources. Vegetables should be offered daily, and the amount should be restricted to avoid indigestion. Fruits can also be given as treats, but it is crucial to avoid grapes and raisins as they can cause kidney damage.
It is best to consult with a veterinarian with experience with foxes to ensure their dietary requirements are met. Feeding a fox a diet that is not suitable for them can cause health problems, so it is essential to provide them with a well-balanced diet.
Foxes need to forage for their food.
Foxes are known for their high-energy nature and require ample space for running, playing, foraging, and digging. Foxes are crepuscular animals, which means they are most active during the evening and night. Foxes require stimulation through their feeding process, which can be achieved by hiding their food or presenting it so they can rip it apart.
Foxes require specialized veterinary care.
Foxes require specialized veterinary care because they are wild animals with specific needs, and regular veterinarians may not know how to treat them. Finding a veterinarian specializing in exotic pets with experience working with foxes is important.
They should receive yearly check-ups and vaccinations as recommended by the veterinarian. Some foxes require specific medical treatments depending on their age and health status. Proper veterinary care is essential to maintain the pet fox’s health and detect and treat any health problems that may arise.
Foxes can be spayed and neutered.
Foxes can be spayed and neutered, just like dogs and cats. It is recommended to have them fixed at approximately six months or before puberty at nine months to a year. If a fox is accused of biting someone, it may have to be quarantined and possibly euthanized, even if it has had the shots. Spaying and neutering also help prevent unwanted litters in the case of those who have male and female foxes.
It is extremely important not to bring pet foxes out into public to prevent any biting incidents, which can be fatal to both the fox and the person bitten.
Legal limitations apply to owning foxes as pets.
Foxes are often admired for their beauty, energy, and playfulness, which has led some people to consider owning them as pets. However, depending on the country or location, legal limitations apply to owning foxes as pets.
In the United States, laws vary by state, where some states allow unrestricted ownership of foxes, while others ban all species of foxes as pets or certain fox species. Even in locations where a state or country allows pet foxes, there may be places where it is restricted or banned. It is essential to check the exact laws in your location before attempting to own a pet fox.
In some countries, owning a pet fox is completely banned, and it is considered a criminal offense. Some countries and locations restrict ownership of foxes to particular species or ban them in some areas of the country. Any fox species that become endangered or threatened are illegal to own. Additionally, owning foxes as pets may also have legal limitations. States or countries that allow ownership of pet foxes have restrictions in terms of the kind of fox or how many you can own. You may also have special requirements to have a pet fox.
Before deciding to bring a fox into your home as a pet, it is essential to make sure that the laws in your area align with your plans. Doing the research beforehand can help you avoid any potential legal issues.
Pet foxes can be excellent pets for those willing to provide them with specialized care and attention. However, they are not the best fit for average pet owners due to their specific needs and natural behaviors. Owning a pet fox requires an extremely dedicated owner who can meet its specialized needs and tolerate its natural behaviors.
Researching and learning about their unique requirements is essential before adopting one. Pet foxes can live happy and healthy lives as companions by providing them with a specialized diet, plenty of exercise and enrichment, and regular veterinary care.