Fennec fox as pet. Are they good pets?

Fennec fox as pet. Are they good pets?

Let’s face it: Fennec foxes are lovely.

If you’ve by no means seen a fennec fox, they appear to be a cross between a fuzzy chihuahua and an Eevee from Pokémon. Wily and energetic as a teenage ferret, fennec foxes include adorably large ears, a carefully pointed face, and a candy fox smile.

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They’re so cute that it’s extremely tempting to need one. Whether they’re an excellent pet and the suitable match for you’ll rely on you.

Fennec foxes are nice pets. However, they require numerous consideration and endurance.

Apart from their massive fluffy ears, the two distinctive factor about them is that they’re nocturnal and hyperactive. Without ample area for them to maintain up with their actions, they won’t thrive properly in any respect.

Can I Own a Fennec Fox?

First, in case you’re contemplating a fennec fox as a pet, verify rapidly to verify whether or not it’s authorized to take action in your space. Four states, together with Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, and Washington ban fennec foxes altogether, whereas Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas require a well being certificates or a allow. Otherwise, in case you’re asking, “Can I’ve a fennec fox as a pet in my house state?” the reply is usually sure.

Female with Fennec fox

Why Should You Get a Fennec Fox?

If you like intelligent pets with excessive vitality and appreciable intelligence, the fennec fox might be in your brief listing of potential pet candidates already. Weighing in at 1.5 to three kilos, the fennec fox is straightforward to accommodate within the area of a standard home. Its small measurement additionally implies that it’s comparatively straightforward to search out appropriately-sized furnishings and equipment equivalent to a kennel or day mattress. With an applicable weight loss program and thoughtful care, fennec foxes can dwell from 12-16 years. Also, one particular plus is that it’s onerous to withstand an animal so unique and lovely.

Why Shouldn’t You Get a Fennec Fox?

Fennec foxes usually are not a “get-it-and-forget-it” pet. Active and energetic, fennec foxes want numerous consideration. Essentially, you possibly can describe fennec foxes in two phrases: excessive upkeep. For instance, studying about your fennec fox’s dietary wants may be difficult for some pet homeowners.

Most pet homeowners are used to going to the shop and shopping for ready-made meals in a bag or can, however placing collectively a balanced weight loss program to your fennec fox wants extra work than a fast journey to the pet mart.

Furthermore, to maintain your fennec fox protected, you’ll need to “fox-proof” your home and yard, and your fox could not work properly with different animals or infants. Fennec foxes are happiest once they have a full room to run round in, and never each home or condominium has the out there area.

Finally, some fennec fox homeowners report that they’re typically tough to accommodate prepare.

Bottom line, the fennec fox remains to be a wild animal and desires extra specialised care than most canine or cats. In order to be a contented pet proprietor of a contented pet, it’s a smart thought to analysis what you’re moving into. Read on to find extra about fennec foxes earlier than making your choice.

Cute Fennec Fox

#1 Understanding Fennec Fox Behavior

To folks used to proudly owning cats and canine, among the behaviors of a fennec fox can appear perplexing at first. Natural burrowers who like to dig, intelligent thieves who will chew on pennies and eyeglasses, fennec foxes are extraordinarily energetic and loving once they’re not solidly asleep. When they’re awake, they’re positively awake.

It’s no understatement to say that fennec foxes are extremely reactive to all the things happening of their surroundings. They can spook simply at loud noises or disruptions and will change into nervous or anxious. More unfamiliar to most mainstream pet homeowners is that the fennec fox is most energetic at night time.

Desert Dwellers: Tough Survivors

To perceive these behaviors (and others), it’s necessary to know a bit concerning the background of the fennec fox. Native to Africa and located in locations starting from the Sahara and Arabian desert to the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere, the fennec fox shouldn’t be a particular hybrid or domesticated cross-breed between a canine and a fox. Instead, the fennec is a particular species of fox all by itself.

The fennec fox’s desert origin explains quite a bit about its habits and look. Many desert or heat-adapted animals together with the African elephant, the kangaroo rat, and the jackrabbit of the southwest U.S. have exceptionally giant ears for a similar purpose our fennec mates do: they assist maintain the animal cool.

Fennec Fox from North Africa - ExoPetGuides.com

Even the fennec’s coat and ft have advanced for all times within the sizzling North African desert. The fennec’s fluffy beige fur permits it to mix effortlessly into Sahara sand whereas its unusually furry ft maintain its delicate pads from burning.

Digging for Dinner: Clever Foragers

Understanding the fennec’s desert-adapted nature helps to know its habits. As a desert dweller residing in a harsh surroundings, fennec foxes are survivalists. They’re opportunists who will mainly eat nearly any protein supply they’ll discover within the wild. This consists of rodents, bugs, rabbits, birds (and their eggs) and anything they’ll monitor down.

That explains why fennecs are typically on the jumpy facet. To a fennec fox, sudden noise often means one in every of two issues: they’re about to be a diner, or they’re about to be a dinner. Interestingly, the fennec fox can dwell with out immediately consuming water, as a result of it might take up many of the water it wants from its meals. Being from the desert additionally explains why the fennec fox is certainly a nocturnal animal. It’s the one time that going outdoors doesn’t really feel like strolling on the floor of the solar.

As survivalists, fennec foxes know typically you need to dig to your dinner. Living in burrows and being keen on bugs, rabbits, and rodents as a significant protein supply imply that your fennec fox likes to dig — quite a bit. (In the wild, fennec foxes can dig as much as twenty ft underground in a single day.)

If you’ve a home with a yard, you’ll have to make it possible for your fence goes deeply into the bottom throughout the perimeter or fennec space. Security is essential as a result of in case your fennec fox will get out of an enclosure and runs away, it’s most unlikely that it’ll come again by itself and will discover survival tough or not possible in an surroundings that they’re not tailored for. Inside a home, fennecs could get pleasure from digging in litter packing containers, so having a lined litter field is a fairly good thought.

Fennec fox digging for bugs

Grand Larceny

Finally, the fennec’s background explains an amazing deal about its tendency towards theft. Like ferrets, fennec foxes view all unsecured gadgets as “theirs,” at the least from the fennec’s perspective. If you’re lacking your keys or another merchandise, it’s potential that you’ve got a small furry ripoff artist accountable.

As humorous (and typically exasperating) as this behavior may be, it additionally implies that fennecs want supervision and housing in a fennec-proof space. They will chew on metallic objects, together with electrical plugs or something that feels satisfying and chewy to the enamel equivalent to rubber bands, child bottle nipples, or leather-based. Eating these objects may cause intestinal obstruction and even dying.

Temperament and Behavior: How Friendly Is a Fennec Fox?

Fennec foxes, particularly in the event that they’ve been raised by hand from start and socialized extensively, may be loving, snuggly, and candy. Unlike different members of the fox household, fennecs like to hang around in teams simply as wolves and their canine descendants do. This trait makes it simpler to adapt to life with people, who typically like socialization and affection themselves.

Like most canine and cats, in reality, fennec foxes don’t typically chew besides if fearful or cornered. They’ll nibble your knuckles or fingers gently, however that is social nibbling and isn’t meant to point out aggression or trigger ache. It simply means your little fox sees you as a household.

However, it’s necessary to notice that every fennec fox is completely different. Unlike canine, cats, or ferrets, the fennec fox hasn’t had 1000’s of years of domestication and socialization, so a selected fennec may be shy and unwilling to be petted for quite a lot of seconds. Some could also be very pleasant and wish to be petted (particularly on the ears), however different fennec foxes may be much less outgoing.

Energy Level and Anxiety

Fennec fox pet care may be tough, partially as a result of they’re, to place it mildly, high-energy critters. With their cleverness and inquisitiveness, they like to discover, run round, and sure, dig into issues.

Like many clever animals (together with people!), fennec foxes will have interaction in harmful behaviors in the event that they’re confined for lengthy durations or left to do nothing with out an outlet for its vitality and curiosity. That’s while you may get a fennec fox participating in anxious behaviors equivalent to digging into flooring, couches, or cushions.

You have to take some particular warning earlier than establishing a fennec play space. Indoors might be the very best place for a fennec fox play place as a result of foxes want supervision. An outside play space requires pretty critical fox-proofing and relying on the climate, it in all probability can’t be used all year long.

An outdoors fence must go a number of ft into the bottom to forestall the fennec from burrowing underneath and escaping, and fencing additionally must be bent down in order that they’ll’t bounce over it. To take care of this situation, some fox homeowners have a particular location of their condominium or home put aside as “the fox room,” a spot you possibly can equip with kitty climbing bushes, protected play objects, a sleeping space, meals and water, and a litter field.

#2 Fennec Fox Care

Before getting a fennec fox, it’s necessary to analysis the form of care the fox will want. This consists of doing a little investigation concerning the perfect nutritious diet for a fennec fox, the quantity and frequency of their meals, the hazard meals to keep away from, and different concerns equivalent to their housing necessities, kennel wants, and litter field coaching.

What do fennec fox eat within the wild?

In its North African desert habitat, fennec foxes eat any protein supply they’ll catch, together with bugs, lizards, birds, eggs, and sometimes crops. Your fennec’s weight loss program at house must resemble his weight loss program within the wild to ensure that your fox to remain wholesome and dwell to its fullest extent.

Can I Feed My Fennec Fox Dog Food?

Even although foxes and canine are associated, it doesn’t imply your fennec fox can eat a canine’s weight loss program. Although fennec foxes are technically omnivores, they’re far nearer to the “largely carnivore” finish of the size than canine are. One necessary distinction is that canine can deal with a extra different weight loss program than fennec foxes can, and canine intestines are a lot better geared up to deal with grains and fiber.

By distinction, about 90% of the fennec fox weight loss program within the wild is made up of bugs, that are excessive in protein. A fennec fox that’s fed pet food would in the end change into unhealthy and underfed. In brief, you possibly can’t simply go to the shop and get a bag of canine kibble to your fennec fox.

What’s a Good Diet?

A nutritious diet for fennec foxes can encompass about 90% floor rabbit or hen meat and several other dozen bugs a day together with crickets, mealworms, or any sort of bug.

Five p.c of a fennec fox’s weight loss program ought to come from greens and berries or cherries, and the ultimate 5% of their weight loss program ought to be made up of eggs or an occasional fish equivalent to herring.

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How Much and How Often Should I Feed my Fennec Fox?

In basic, an grownup fennec fox will often want about 520 grams of meals (about 18-19 ounces) per day. It’s necessary to do not forget that fennecs are solely energetic throughout the night time, so maintain their organic clock in thoughts while you’re structuring a feeding.

One potential common day by day weight loss program may embrace 1.5 ounces of hen, 2 ounces of floor rabbit, and bugs, however you probably have questions, it pays to seek the advice of with a veterinarian who’s skilled in wild animal care to plan a extra particular weight loss program to your fennec fox to be sure to’re assembly your entire fox’s dietary wants. An perfect weight for many fennec foxes is round 2-3 kilos, so watch out to not overfeed them.

Foods to Avoid

In feeding fennec foxes, attempt to keep away from the identical meals you’d stay away from your canine. Some problematic meals to keep away from embrace chocolate, grapes, and raisins. In each canine and fennec foxes, the kidneys are adversely affected by raisins and grapes.

Additionally, though mice are typically advised as meals for fennec foxes, the excessive retinol content material in mouse meat could make them a problematic selection. Fennec foxes usually are not geared up to deal with grains and fiber. So keep away from pasta, most fruits, beans, and grains. Additionally, garlic, caffeine, chocolate, and avocado may be poisonous to fennec foxes.

Can I Feed My Fennec Fox a Vegan Diet?

Absolutely not. The human option to comply with a vegan weight loss program is a private and particular person choice to make for your self, however do not forget that any animal in your care has exactly zero management over what you give them. That’s why accountable homeowners attempt to feed their pets the healthiest potential weight loss program to satisfy their pet’s distinctive dietary wants.

As one instance of the actually tragic results an inappropriate weight loss program can have on an animal, vegan blogger Sonia Sae documented the consequences of a vegan weight loss program on Jumanji, her fennec fox. Readers of Sae’s weblog grew to become more and more involved as Jumanji’s well being started to visibly deteriorate within the pictures Sae posted. Jumanji grew to become partially blind, misplaced vital parts of his hair, grew to become torpid, and was startlingly underweight even for a fennec fox.

Fennec Foxes and Sleep: Snoozle Time

Owning a fennec fox means accepting and understanding one necessary function of this clever and energetic animal: They’re night time owls. As desert dwellers, nighttime is the valuable time the solar goes down and the bugs come out, each of which have been helpful to the fennec fox species.

Fennec Fox sleeping on bed - ExoPetGuides.com

Don’t count on {that a} pet fennec fox will robotically regulate to a human’s schedule. At night time, fennec foxes can get energetic (and fairly noisy). Being stored in a kennel throughout the time once they’re feeling most energetic and energetic isn’t an amazing thought. Think concerning the frustration you’re feeling in case you’re trapped at work on an ideal spring day while you’d reasonably be out enjoying. Your fox feels the identical manner in the event that they’re put in a cage at night time.

One workable answer to fennec fox nocturnal hijinks is to arrange a devoted “fox room” in your home or condominium. The fox room may be stuffed with protected climbing buildings, lined electrical retailers, a litter field, a digging space, and protected toys. Your fox can have enjoyable zipping round and enjoying with out being in peril of wounding himself (or annoying you whilst you sleep).

Are Fennec Foxes Noisy?

Bird trills, parrot noises, squawks, barks — you’ll be amazed on the number of expressive sounds fennec foxes are able to making. Sometimes, fennec foxes can sound like cooing pigeons or chattering chimpanzees. They can growl (though it feels like a low trill), or make high-pitched squealing noises that sound such as you simply squeezed a canine’s rubber toy.

Fennec foxes are very expressively vocal, so in an condominium or a home you share with roommates, the noise could also be an necessary consideration to remember.

Do Fennec Foxes Need to Be Vaccinated?

The similar illnesses that have an effect on canine and cats and different home animals can have an effect on fennec foxes too. Even although analysis on vaccinations of unique pets like fennec foxes is considerably restricted, vaccination remains to be a good suggestion.

Vaccination is particularly necessary to forestall the unfold of widespread illnesses amongst mammals, equivalent to rabies, distemper, parvovirus, canine adenovirus, and others. Naturally, it’s essential to seek the advice of with a veterinarian who has expertise in coping with unique mammals, particularly fennec foxes, with a purpose to get a way of what vaccines are most vital to your pet’s continued security and well being. Some states could have completely different vaccination necessities than others.

What Other Medical Needs Do Fennec Foxes Have?

Dietary deficiencies are one necessary space to keep watch over. Lack of taurine, an amino sulfonic acid, is typically a wrongdoer in an unbalanced or inappropriate weight loss program to your fennec fox, who is generally a carnivore and desires a weight loss program of 90% protein.

Being members of the canid household, fennec foxes are inclined to lots of the similar circumstances that have an effect on canine. Some of the most typical are kidney, liver, and coronary heart illnesses, pneumonia, intestinal parasites, pores and skin infections or mites, eye infections, histoplasmosis, tooth decay or dental illness, and others. As at all times, it is very important verify with a veterinarian with unique animal expertise to maintain your fennec fox actually bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

#3 Fennec fox housing

Should Fennec Foxes Be Kept in Cages or Kennels?

Intelligent and energetic animals like fennec foxes actually don’t thrive in the event that they’re stored in cages or kennels for lengthy durations of the time. From time to time, you may have to put your fennec fox in a kennel briefly, equivalent to while you’re transporting your fox to the vet.

Having a full room to themselves might be nice. However, in case you shouldn’t have such luxurious, utilizing a play pen is a straightforward solution to maintain your foxes inside sure areas of your room. But take it from me, they’re actually good jumpers.

In phrases of on a regular basis exercise, if your home or condominium received’t enable for a devoted fox room to play in at night time, getting a multi-tiered ferret cage with ramps and play areas may be an possibility. However, there’s little doubt {that a} full room is best to your fennec fox’s well being and happiness.

If you intend to have your foxes open air, take notice that they’re actually good at burrowing and leaping. If you’ve fences construct on prime of soil and grass, likelihood is they begin digging and will escape.

Here are a couple of play pen choices for canine which might be appropriate indoors or open air for fennec foxes:

  1. Yaheetech Heavy Duty Foldable Metal Exercise Fence – this fence are excessive sufficient for bigger canine. It may be customised to which ever measurement you need. Suitable for greater fennec foxes.
  2. AmazonFundamentals Foldable Metal Pet Playpen – This play pen is available in completely different sizes and might home canine of as much as 26 inches tall. Can be folded, dismantled or related with none instruments. Suitable for small and medium fennec foxes.
  3. Ruff ‘n Ruffus Portable Foldable Pet Playpen – This playpen has a roof cowl and is foldable. Space is sort of restricted however can be utilized for smaller child fennec foxes for fast play time open air.

Can Fennec Foxes Be Litter Trained?

An necessary a part of the query, “Can you personal a fennec fox?” is the problem of litter coaching. Clearly, it’s necessary to know in case you can efficiently prepare a fennec fox to make use of a litter field. The brief reply is, “form of.”

No one ought to ever neglect that fennec foxes are nonetheless thought of undomesticated. Bottom line, litter field coaching is difficult to foretell with particular person fennec foxes. Some foxes could adapt simply to utilizing a litter field whereas others could disregard it solely.

House coaching a fennec fox works equally to coaching a canine or cat. Take your fennec fox to the litter field steadily throughout the day and reward them with treats once they efficiently use the field.

It’s necessary to emphasize that punishing or yelling at a fennec fox for defecating or urinating outdoors of the litter field isn’t just unproductive however truly dangerous. Not solely will your fox don’t know why you’re yelling at them, however their sensitivity to loud noises may additionally make them completely frightened of you.

Instead, in case you see your fennec fox going to the lavatory the place it shouldn’t, simply transfer them to the field as quickly as potential. Pro tip: Because fennec foxes like to dig within the sand, it’s an amazing thought to get the form of litter field that comes with a canopy to forestall litter from being gleefully scattered on the ground.

Fennec Fox Using Litter Box

Another answer to the litter field situation is the “fox room.” Having a separate “fox room” permits you to basically “carpet” the ground of the room with clear building sand, a floor the Sahara-friendly foxes discover acquainted and reassuring. That manner, in case your fennec fox misses the litter field (or completely ignores its existence), you possibly can basically scoop the poop and save the flooring. Bags of fresh sand are simply out there at a ironmongery shop.

If you’re planning to get litter field to your pet fennec fox, listed here are a couple of choices which might be appropriate:

  1. Nature’s Miracle Litter Box – This litter field has excessive sides to forestall scattering of litter. They even have a non sticky floor for straightforward cleansing.
  2. Pet Mate Sifting Litter Pan – This litter field comes with a 2 layers of sifting pan for straightforward cleansing. no scooping required.

Fennec Foxes Loves Their Toys

Want to have an amazing play time with fennec foxes? Get them a toy to chew on!

Fennec foxes are underneath the organic household of Canidae. So to place it in layman phrases, they behave a bit like canine they usually love of biting down their toys to play fetch.

Some appropriate toys to play fetch along with your fennec foxes:

  • Mini Tennis Balls – These mini tennis balls are pet protected non-toxic tennis balls that is available in completely different sizes. Comes in placing orange colours too.
  • Cute & colourful squeaky mushy toys – These mushy toys is available in a pack of 14 which is worth for cash. They are non-toxic and pet protected plush toys which might be cute and colourful.
  • Pet Push Toy – This plush toy is mushy and light-weight and is defintely an amazing toy to play fetch along with your fennec fox.

#4 Fennec Fox Adoption

How Much Does a Fennec Fox Cost?

The prices of adopting a fennec fox range from place to position, however a median value is round $1500 for a wholesome grownup fox. Breeders for fennec foxes usually are not broadly distributed, so it would in all probability be essential to look into breeders nearest your space and analysis their reliability and repute.

Baby Fennec Foxes - ExoPetGuides.com

Process of Adoption

First, discover out whether or not it’s authorized in your state to personal a fennec fox. Fennec foxes bond with their homeowners and are by no means straightforward to re-home in case your state animal authorities take away them from your private home, so please do analysis fastidiously.

Secondly, if adoption is authorized in your space and in case you want a allow or different paperwork, discover a veterinarian in your space who is aware of about unique animals and is prepared to deal with your potential new member of the family. It’s necessary to line up a veterinarian even earlier than you undertake. Exotic animal vets are a lot more durable to search out than vets for canine and cats, and discovering a vet shouldn’t be one thing you wish to do on the final minute.

Next, verify along with your landlord, house owner’s affiliation or roommates to search out out, “Can you’ve a fennec fox as a pet?” Many flats have restrictions on unique animals. If all the things appears strong on that entrance, be sure to have sufficient area in your home or condominium to your fox. A devoted room is finest as a result of you can also make certain all the things in there’s protected for fox play. A secondary possibility is a multi-tiered ferret cage with loads of area, however keep in mind that you shouldn’t maintain fennec foxes caged up all day.

Since feeding your new member of the family is crucially necessary, be sure to have at the least every week’s value of meals able to go, together with water dispensers and meals bowls. Litter and a lined litter field ought to be positioned in an easy-to-find location forward of time.

Finally, you probably have already seemed into legality and permissibility to your fennec fox and have arrange your home or condominium with meals, water, feeding space, litter space, and sleeping space, do a sweep of your home to make it possible for it’s fennec-friendly. Fennec foxes are curious, intelligent, and small, so be sure that it might’t simply get outdoors. Unless they’re in a fox-safe room, fennec foxes want supervision.

Fennec Foxes and Other Family Members

Unlike different kinds of fox, fennec foxes have a tendency to love being in household teams. Fennecs are typically curious and social, in order that they’re pretty prone to be pleasant to different relations, together with canine. The drawback in mixing fennec foxes and canine may truly come from the canine and never the fox: notably in case your canine is a looking breed or has an easily-triggered prey impulse, the three-pound fennec may be in danger. Dogs bred for companionship, together with lap canine, may be much less liable to deal with your fennec as prey.

Fennec foxes and cats are inclined to get alongside moderately properly. Cats, being cats, may deal with the fennec fox with haughty disdain or probably even play with it, however cats will in all probability not deal with fennecs as in the event that they have been both potential threats or potential meals. Interactions between fennec foxes and cats can truly be pretty humorous, as on this video during which a fennec fox tries to say the cat’s mattress and claw-sharpening toy space.

If you’ve infants and babies, it’s in all probability finest to maintain them separated till the kid is a bit older. Fennec foxes are small, about 2-3 kilos, and are pretty delicate. Little children, irrespective of how well-meaning they’re, can typically current a hazard by dealing with fennec foxes too roughly.


Ultimately, fennec foxes are precocious, lovely, energetic, and distinctive. With their excessive vitality ranges and a specialised weight loss program, fennec foxes want extra work than cats or canine. However, for somebody with house area, information, and endurance, fennec foxes can become rewarding relations. In the top, it’s essential to do your homework, as a result of solely you possibly can reply, “Do you continue to assume fennec foxes are nice pets?” Fennec foxes can positively be nice pets, however they’re not an excellent pet for everybody.

If you’ve some insights, questions, or observations about fennec fox possession, you’ll want to go away your feedback under. We’d love to listen to from you.

Fennec Fox Wassup Greeting - ExoPetGuides.com jpg

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