Can you have a pet fox?

Can you have a pet fox?can you have a pet fox

Yes, you certainly can! In fact this website is dedicated to helping owners of pet fennec foxes. Although the fennec fox lives in Northern Africa they are exported as pets around the world. Before buying a fennec fox however, it is important to understand your states laws. For a guide to the laws in your state regarding foxes please read our page dedicated to state legalities here.

Can you have other breeds of pet fox?

Again, yes you can, we will have a look at a few in this article, but first it is important to differentiate between domesticated and non-domesticated animals.

So what is the difference? 

Domestication has been defined as “a sustained multi-generational, mutualistic relationship in which one organism assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another organism in order to secure a more predictable supply of a resource of interest, and through which the partner organism gains advantage over individuals that remain outside this relationship, thereby benefiting and often increasing the fitness of both the domesticator and the target domesticate.” [1]

So to paraphrase that for you in plain English, foxes don’t often hang-out with humans so they are not used to interacting with humans and conforming to their expectations as a domesticated animal. However some breeds are more “tame” than others.

So what type of foxes can I own?

Fennec fox- Perhaps the most common type of fox to be kept as a pet is the fennec fox. they are small, cute and easier to look after due to their size, this makes them the perfect “entry level” fox species. They have a sweet personality, love human-interaction and get on well with other pets. They can have temperamental personalities and like with all foxes, it’s important to bond with them when they are young. The fennec fox is considered an “exotic pet” or “non-domesticated species” under many US state laws. For a complete guide to taking care of fennec foxes, feel free to browse this site.

can you have a pet fox Red fox- Not as popular or common as the fennec fox, but there are a few red fox owners out there. These types of foxes tend to be fairly laid-back and many owners swear that they are sweet animals and bond well over time.This type of fox is the biggest though reaching up to 25Ib. They also tend to have a stronger smell. The red fox falls under the “native species” category in many states.

Swift fox- These foxes are about the same size as a domestic cat and also make great pets. They are small, manageable, smell less than other breeds and shed lightly. If they get scared or angry though they can let out a musk which smells pretty bad. Like with other foxes you need to have plenty of time to take care of them as they have a lot of energy to expel and need lots of stimuli like toys and attention.

can you have a pet fox

Arctic fox, just chillin. haha

Arctic fox- It is also possible to own an arctic fox. This fox is probably the least common breed to be owned as a pet. they can be found in the arctic tundra regions of Europe, Asia and North America, they are obviously better suited to colder climates so it is important to have somewhere cool for them in summer. Their life expectancy is only 4-6 years so it is important to bond with an arctic fox while it is still young. The kits tend to be a bit more temperamental than other species and many owners complain about biting when they are young.

Siberian fox- Supposedly the only truly domesticated fox. They are the result of an experiment 50 years ago that researched the breeding and domestication of foxes. By breeding the tamest foxes together over several generations, the foxes appearance and demeanor began to change and become more like that of a domestic dog. There are very few breeders out there that deal with Siberian foxes. There are also a lot of scams so be careful. The cost for one of these foxes is also a lot higher at about $8000. If it is any cheaper be very skeptical.

Which fox makes the best pet?

So now you know the answer to “can you have a pet fox?” Which type of fox is the best? As with other animals, there is no “best” breed. Each type of fox has different traits and needs. The most important thing when buying a new fox is to make sure you get a bottle-raised kit. You should also take them from their mother before they are 3 weeks old and bottle feed them yourself to make sure they are imprinted on humans. Obviously, whenever buying an animal make sure you buy from a reputable, ethical breeder.

[1] Zeder MA (2015). “Core questions in domestication Research”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112 (11): 3191–8. doi:10.1073/pnas.1501711112. PMC 4371924. PMID 25713127.

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