Many people have this obsession with owning exotic, unique, and outlandish pets. If you browse the internet regularly, you may have seen videos of people playing with tigers, bears, and other animals that you won’t find in any shelter or pet store. But animals like tigers and bears are dangerous if not properly taken care of, so it would be best to own something manageable like a fox. Small and cute, foxes are perfect for those who want a unique pet that will not make them their next meal. But exotic pets are not permitted everywhere. So, where can you own a fox?
Is It Legal To Own A Fox?
In America, some states will allow keeping a fox as a pet. But it’s not like dogs and cats. And rules can vary from state to state.
There are even specific laws for specific species of foxes. For example, keeping a Red fox is permitted in 14 states. On the other, Fennec foxes are only legal in 13 states for private possession.
If you live in England or Wales, you’ll not encounter restrictions on keeping foxes as pets. But since foxes are different from domesticated animals, their needs will also be different. The same is true for Japan, especially since foxes are part of their culture.
But if you live in Canada or Australia, keeping foxes as pets is illegal. So it would be best to look for another exotic pet if you live in those places.
Purchasing A Pet Fox Or Catching One?
Places that allow you to own a fox will most likely have breeders that will sell them. But what if you catch one on your own? Wouldn’t that be cheaper? Can you catch a fox and make it your pet? Well, that depends on the law of the place you are residing.
For example, in Arkansas, USA, you can go out and catch a fox to domesticate it. But it doesn’t mean that any other place where you can own a fox will allow you.
Typically, most places will only allow you to own a fox if you buy it from a professional breeder. It’s also a much safer option since wild foxes may carry parasites and dangerous diseases like rabies.
How To Take Care Of Your Pet Fox?
Many believe that foxes are cat-dogs. But if you want something that acts like a cat, just get a cat. It’s illogical to expect the same behavior of a domesticated animal as that of a wild one. And doing so may lead to problems in the future.
If you want a pet fox, following the tips below should help.
A proper and secure enclosure is a must if you want to have a pet fox. You may not have any trouble keeping fox kits indoors. But once they become sexually mature, they’ll start marking their territory with feces and urine. They might also show territorial aggression and become more aggressive.
A proper enclosure should have the following features:
- 8’L x 8’W x 6’T minimum
- Dig proof walls or floors
- A completely enclosed top
- If you are using a chain link, ensure that it’s 14 gauge to prevent them from chewing through
- Nesting box or a dog house
- Food and water dishes
Diet and Feeding
Like cats and dogs, foxes are also carnivorous, meaning feeding them with a meat-based diet would be the best option. But, grain-free kibble mixed with raw meat like chicken liver is okay. Taurine is essential for foxes. So supplementing their diet with it is a must, unless you are raw feeding.
Foxes like to cache their food and will mark it with feces and urine. If this is a problem, you can put their food bowls in an enclosure and only allow their head to enter.
If your fox gets bored, it becomes unhappy. And unhappy foxes are destructive. So, daily enrichment is a must if you want a happy fox. You can give this in the form of toys or play.
Here are some examples of enrichment ideas:
- Hanging Toys
- Tunnel Tubes
- Puzzle Feeders
- Kiddie pools
- Going on walks. (If you harness trained your fox.)
The only limit is your imagination.
Behavior and Vocalizations
Like other canines, foxes also have a variety of vocalizations and behaviors you can interpret. Here are some of them:
- Gekkering – When foxes emit a high-pitch “gek-gek-gek” sound, they are angry.
- Alarm bark – A shot “arf” followed by an intense stare means there is something of concern, followed by associated behavior of fear.
- Happy squealing – A high-pitched “eeee” means your fox is happy and excited.
- Whiskers – Your fox is interested in something if its whiskers perk forward. Or fear or anger if bristled. A calm fox will have calm whiskers.
- Scent – Foxes will rarely emit foul-smelling odor. And will only do so when they feel extreme fear or pain, like when you accidentally step on their tail.
- Resource guarding – Foxes like to guard high-value items like their favorite toys or food. So don’t just walk and take something from them. Try trading another high-value item to prevent them from getting upset.
- Territory markings – Foxes are territorial and will mark their spaces with urine and feces.
- October crazies – This is a term coined by fox owners. It means the first autumn of a wild foxes life where parents chase them away so they can be independent. During this time, your fox will experience extreme behavior, becoming more aggressive and vocal. Luckily, these changes are temporary. So, if you are a first-time fox owner, don’t worry. It’s normal behavior.
- Body Language – Foxes will exhibit the same behavior as other canines, except snarl. For example, they’ll pin a high-value item underneath them if threatened. Or perform body slams when on the defensive.
At the end of the day, foxes are wild animals, meaning owning them will not be easy. That is why some places won’t allow people to make them as pets. But if you can own a fox, it would be best to follow the tips above and do further research. The last thing you want is to injure yourself or your loveable pet.
About The Author: Michael is an aspiring lawyer who likes to spend his free time researching different topics of law, especially about what is legal and what is not. He enjoys reading articles, watching documentaries, and attending lectures to become more informed about the law. He hopes that one day he will be able to use this knowledge to help people in need. Michael also has a passion for writing which led him to pursue journalism as his minor in college.
Through his studies, he has learned how to write professionally with clarity and precision. He is currently writing a novel about the life of a young lawyer who fights for justice in a world that is filled with corruption. Michael hopes to use his skills in writing and researching to pursue a career as an attorney one day. In addition, he also volunteers at legal aid clinics to gain more experience. From this volunteering experience, he has been able to help people better understand their rights and the legal system.
Michael is a dedicated individual with a passion for law and writing, and these qualities make him an excellent candidate for any legal field. He is eager to use his skillset to prove himself as a lawyer in order to contribute in making the world a better place.