In this section, you will find the three sections below. These are general questions we get asked often. You will find questions about what to do if it doesn’t work out, questions about them as pets, etc.
1. What If Something Goes Wrong?
Hopefully you made the right decisions and did all your research, but sometimes life does happen. The best bet if you have to rehome your fox is first contacting the breeder you got them from, then contacting an exotic animal sanctuary. Here are some choices:
Sydney Fox Rescue. (NSW, Australia)
Faithful Foxes. (Florida, USA)
Fox Moon Farms (Indiana, USA)
Critter Camp. (Illinois, USA)
Fox Wood (New York, USA)
Fox Hollow Sanctuary (Ohio, USA)
Mystic Gardens Fox Rescue. (Ohio, USA)
The Fox Project. (United Kingdom)
2. Is That A Fox?? Are They Legal?
I know I get asked this all the time. "Is it legal to have that animal?" or "Is that even legal?" Make sure a fox is legal in your state or country before you go looking to adopt one, since only certain areas have approved them as pets. And even if a fox is legal in your state, they might be illegal in your county, so check local laws as well. For fox legal states, refer to my Fox Legality tab for more information.
3. Where Can I Get One?!
This is the most common question. However, I am constantly having to remove breeders from the site to people retiring and there not being a high enough supply for the demand. Hence, the pricing of Fennecs especially keeps going higher due to high demand and low supply.
Check out the breeders page, there are few breeders left, and some are more reputable than others. If you have any questions once you have done your research, email me.
And make sure your state allows them. Check the legality tabs.
1. What Type of Vaccines Should They Get?
Vaccine Info: At this time there is no approved vaccines for a fox. Some states also state it is illegal to give a rabies shot to a fox (such as Florida). Use a killed or modified live virus vaccines only.
Distemper. Do not give live virus vaccines. Galaxy D (modified live virus). PureVax Ferret, is for ferrets but is chick cell (canary pox) oriented and is not a modified live. It is manufactured by Merial. A fully killed vaccine is more effective.
Parvocine. Galaxy Pv, (modified live virus). Or any killed vaccine.
Rabies. Imrab 3, killed virus. However, in some states it is illegal to give a fox a rabies shot.
Heartworm. Heartguard or liquid ivomec is suitable for the Fennec. (Be sure it is not the kind for cattle with the extra medication for liver flukes)
Tape worms. Panacure and Droncit are approved for Fennecs.
Shampoo and flea products. Be sure it is safe for a cat or kitten. Check the age and weight on the product as compared to your animal. Their systems are more delicate like a cat because of their size even though they are in the canine family. The fennec fox is in the 'dog' family and therefore are susceptible to all dog diseases. They can also harbor the same internal and external parasites as domestic dogs including worms and fleas. You should regularly check fecal samples for worm eggs and keep their area flea free.
Your best bet is to consult an experienced exotic animal veterinarian.
1. What Should I Feed Them?
Each fox species varies slightly, as some foxes are more omnivorous than others. Do your research on which type of fox you are getting regarding their wild diets and try to closely match it. A high quality dog food kibble, such as Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, or something high quality with small kibbles (and has meat as the first ingredient) will work. The general consensus for Fennecs is they can use a mixture of dog and cat kibble, as they need extra Taurine supplements, which is usually found in raw meat. Fennecs are know to usually pass away from liver problems, which could be a possible diet issue. Some owners prefer canine kibble with high protein and feed separate Taurine supplements or raw food Taurine-rich.
AVOID the following foods: Grapes, Raisins, any pits (avaocado, peach etc.), seeds from apples, cherries, any type of nuts, peanuts, macadamia, walnut, almond, peanuts, onions, garlic, chocolate, caffeine, sugar treats, most pork, meat by-products.
2. Do They Smell?
Fennecs, Swifts, Kits, Corsacs and Gray foxes usually give no offensive body odor unless scared, in which case they can give off a smell like a skunk. However, Reds and Arctics give a musky, sweaty smell, and their urine smells like skunk. Neutering or spaying helps this a little but not too much. Fennec Fox's urine tends to smell worse than some of the other smaller species.
3. Are Males or Females Better?
This depends on your personal preference more than fact. With Fennecs, females have been said to be feisty chatty and less cuddly than neutered males, but there is not enough evidence to support that. Each fox has an individual personality. And during the gestation period females are even more friendly. If you neuter a male before he reaches sexual maturity, it is suggested he will not spray as is what happens with other canines.
It has also been my personal experience if you have a male fox they will take to you slightly easier if you are female, and vice versa. With all other foxes, however, it is more based on personality and socialization.
4. Do They Get Along With Other Pets?
Almost any animal that is bigger they will enjoy, but you have to make sure that none of their natural prey species come in close contact to them in the home (hamsters frogs, gerbils, any rodents or amphibians smaller than them) and they should be fine. The other animal will most likely tire long before the fox. With enormous amounts of energy, foxes can wear the family pets out and then some!
No matter what species of fox, it is never a good idea to leave them unsupervised with any pets. There have been tragic cases of even a small Fennec killing a cat twice his size.
5. Do They Need To Be Groomed?
Foxes usually clean themselves, much like a cat. Red and Arctic foxes smell the worst though (if not bathed) so I would recommend a weekly bath if you are attempting to keep them outside. Usually you do not need to clean Fennecs, unless they get into a mess. Any type of running water sometimes scares them, but they can be trained to get used to a bath in the sink, tub, or shower. Kitten or cat shampoo is the best, as their skin is extra sensitive. Kitten shampoo makes their hair extra soft, as does the brand of pet food.
6. Do They Shed?
Most Fennec foxes never shed, but some go through a brief period of minimal shedding if the climate changes drastically. Halfway through the summer is the only time of year this will happen, and usually does not affect indoor Fennecs. This is to shed their winter coat, and usually happens if Fennecs are kept in outdoor pens. The Arctic fox is the one fox that changes it's coat twice a year. Most other foxes do not shed too badly, but they do produce dander and normal amounts of shedding occur. It is nowhere near a Siberian Husky for example who blows their entire coat twice a year.
7. Do They Need An Enclosure?
Fennecs, Kits, Swifts, Corsacs, and Grays can be kept inside, however, it should be noted they need to spend time around the house when you are home to supervise. A large ferret cage or even larger dog kennel would be necessary for when you are not home so they do not get into something that can hurt them. However, any fox should not be left in the cage, as this will cause self-destructive behaviors, especially when they are the only fox. I even knew someone who did not socialize her Fennec enough and he chewed all the hair out of his tail.
Reds and Arctics most definitely need a cage, and I would almost say a Gray Fox needs one too, because of the size and energy level. It also stimulates their senses and helps keep them occupied.