Red foxes are sometimes kept as pets- and here is some general information about them as such. But, if you're planning on getting one, you need to do extensive research before you go out and buy one, and you'll need to know plenty more than this.
General: Red foxes come in multiple color variations from the classic red, to marble, to silver, to cinnamon, to cross, to black, and a few other rare-er mutations. All of these foxes are the same species vulpes vulpes.
Well, no red fox owner can deny that their fox smells. These foxes contain a scent/musk gland that gives off a pretty potent musky odor - some say it smells like a skunk, and even though I suppose that's similar, you really just have to smell a fox to know what it smells like. The main odor comes from their urine - so if you wanted to descent them (as you would in a skunk or ferret for example), it still wouldn't completely take away the odor. Let alone, that's a very risky procedure- as their glands are not as simple as a ferret or skunk's. They also have a couple other glands that aren't as potent. But the worst is if they get really scared- they can emit a dreadful odor that you just don't want to smell, but they usually do Not use that that often. ...So, even though their general smell is pretty bad, one can learn to get used to it - but be weary that visitors most likely will not be. (So you may want to keep it outside when company is over and light some scented candles. ;) )
Red foxes in general love the outdoors and are good in basically all weather - They do reasonably well in the heat (although they should have shelter from the sun), and they do well in the cold - if your fox is laying out in the snow when it's 15 degrees out, don't worry, they like it. =) Although, they still should have shelter from intense weather. (But they do come from very cold regions, so you shouldn't feel bad about it being outside in negative 10 degree weather.) They also shed their coat in the spring (for summer), and they grow in a very thick coat in the fall (for winter).
This also comes under the assumption that you should have an outdoor enclosure for your fox - I would probably go as far as to say it's necessary [that they have some sort of outdoor enclosure]. It's fine if they are indoors some, even most, of the time - but you probably should not trust a fox alone in a house, unless the room was perfectly secure, but they're best in an outdoor enclosure. The enclosure should be at Least 10 X 10 feet, and needs a top and bottom, as they are very good diggers, and good jumpers/ok climbers.
They can cause a bit of house damage...they do tend to destroy multiple things. They will steal your stuff, and often rip it up. I'm usually not one to say that things are 100% bound to happen with your fox, but I've never met a fox owner who hasn't had something destroyed or taken at least once...
Which brings me to...
Fox proofing your home - if you plan to have your fox indoors, it's advised that you block off/protect all cords, because they do find them and chew on them, you should block off any room you don't want anything harmed in, and you should consider baby-locking drawers and such, and maybe put baby gates in front of door you don't want destroyed (although, I realize this can be a nuisance- so you can just accept that they have a tendancy to scratch at doors.) Although, you can probably train your fox not to chew on posts and that kind of thing (maybe used sour apple stuff, or other non-toxic things that don't taste good.) Although, if you keep your fox entertained with plenty of things- it will reduce the damage caused to your things. "A bored fox is a destructive fox." I mean, if it has nothing to do- it will play with things that are yours that will break, if it's not bored, then why would it go after it?
(I'll add more to this once I actually figure out how one fox proofs a home.)
Hygiene - foxes generally stay pretty clean themselves...so, only bathe them as necessary (ex. if they get into something sticky or smelly or something.), or you can bathe them as you want- but they only "need" to be bathed then. Use something like a puppy shampoo or something that doesn't dry their skin out.
Diet - I don't know why I didn't put this first, but... A fox's diet should consist of a high-protein dog food, with some cat food. Or, if you can, feed them a mainly meat diet with some fruits and vegetables. If you can't - go for a product that the first ingredient is a meat, and there aren't any by-products or excessive grains.
Some good brands are Blue Buffalo, Innova-Evo, Nature's Logic...I'll update this when I remember the names, sorry. (More random things to avoid if you see them in a food: Beet Pulp, BHA/BHT, dehydrated food waste, Ethoxyquin, Ground Almond and peanut shells, Hydrolyzed poultry feather or hair, meat meal, poultry by-product meal, powdered cellulose, soybean meal.) (Those were in alphbetical order, not worst/best order or something else.) (I'd say the most common one in foods you see at the top that you should avoid is meat meal or something meal.)
Treats: Hard-boiled/ raw eggs, peanuts, random vegetables and fruits, marshmallows (need to be used in Moderation (very little), some like cheese, some seeds, some like some yogurt... They usually pretty much will eat anything- but I'd say their favorite are eggs, and marshmallows, but once again, marshmallows aren't good for them, but eggs are pretty good, but you don't want to feed them a lot of them.
Size - Foxes are reasonably small - about the size of a domestic cat. Red foxes weigh between 10 - 20 pounds though. (Biggest of the foxes.)
...I'm not done with this, but I have to go, so I'll finish it later, and I have many more care-sheets coming, but I hope this is slightly helpful for now.
Fennec foxes are the smallest variety of fox, and probably the most popular. It has been considered domesticated to Japan, and it's basically semi-domesticated here (US).
Species: Fennecus Zerda
General: Fennecs weight about between 2 -3 pounds. They have massive ears, probably about the size of their head each - in their natural environment they are used to disperse heat among their body (they are native to the desert), and to locate insects through hearing. They have extremely soft fur, but have a slightly bristle-ly tail. They are very agile, but also a bit fragile. They can run very fast, and are very hyper critters.
These guys are mainly indoor pets - they do not fair well in outdoor weather and are more susceptible to disease. They are able to be kept in the cage for part of the day, but it should be a very large cage (if you can't make one yourself, large ferret cages are acceptable.), but you should only use them when you're not home or sleeping or something. Other than that they should have free run of the house (or apartment - they're the only foxes suitable to live in an apartment.). They Can be potty-trained, but it's kind of a hit and miss with fennecs. Some can be easily trained, and use it 98% of the time...other times they will just Not be trained to it, and use it about 40% of the time. What usually happens is you can train them to one, and will use it 85% of them time...but then still pee and poop in random places when you're not watching it, or it may just occasionally spray because they do that. Neuter/spay will reduce that, but they still will.
These guys don't have a musk gland, so they don't smell like red foxes - but we do believe they have an anal gland, so their deposits will most likely still smell a bit.
One thing you should know about them is that they are very vocal - and their content sound can sound to some people like you're torturing some kind of animal (usually un-identifiable to most people), and you're most likely going to get some complaints. And you may like it, but you may really hate it - it can be quite worry-some to people who don't realize it's their content sound.
Diet: They can also eat a high-protein dog food. ...In the wild they mainly eat insects, small lizards, rodents, small birds, and some other things... They usually get their water from their food, but they should have access to water at all times.
I'm not done with this either, I will finish it later. Sorry.
Gray foxes is the only other fox species native to North America (along with the red fox.)... It is smaller than the red fox, ranging from 5-13 pounds.
Gray foxes do not have the same musk glands that red foxes have, and so do not smelly Nearly as bad. They have a slight smell, but not at all the same as red foxes.
Gray foxes are said to have a nicer, calmer disposition, and more friendly to people. But that statement is Not backed up by multiple sources, so you can't trust that to always be true - besides, animals always have their own personalities.
Some gray foxes are also said to only mark their territory by rubbing on things, instead of urinating to do so. But you can't trust this either, because there are Not enough sources to have this close to be "proven" true.
Gray foxes are one of the only foxes ideal for both outdoor and indoor homes - They love the outdoors and would do well outside in a large pen, but they also can fair fine inside (different than red foxes because they don't have the horrible odor, plus they may be less destructive (mostly probably because it may not pee on everything.) - so it would be happy in both environments, if enriched properly in both. (There is also the chance they can be potty-trained.)
In general they'll have the same diet as red foxes. ...along with what I stated about "hygeine".
....This whole page is still a work in progress, so, bare with me as I try to create better care-sheets.
More information will be added later, but for now, the info I'd give here is rather similar to what was stated about red foxes; so you can view there for now...and if you have any specific questions, feels free to ask in the forums section, or e-mail me if you'd like.
I don't know much about these guys yet as pets, but I'm intending to learn and try to write out a care-sheet for them. ...Right now, I guess I'm just letting you know that, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask in the forum, or e-mail me if you'd like, and I can try to find you some proper info.
But between the ones already shared, they're probably most alike to the fennec. (But there are many differences still, so don't base it just off that.)
Also, they're not "true" foxes (refer to the species name above.)
I'm developing a care-sheet for these guys eventually, but, I'm not sure how much info I'm going to find... So, I'll post a couple of random, general things (some of these things may vary; there aren't many sources.)
- They don't have musk glands, but their smell in their urine, or maybe even generally, smell like puppy urine, or like a puppy perhaps.
- They're slightly mellow, and probably more social than the red fox.
- They have a grayish brown coat in the summer, and a reddish brown short coat in the summer time.
- They're probably more indoor pets than outside pets, but I'm sure most could do well outside.
This is simply a page to help give an idea ofeach fox as a pet, not all the information is always definite, and not all of it is backed up by multiple sources - it's just conglamerative information of what I have read and heard, and how I've attemted to put it together.
If you disagree with any of my information, and have something to back it up, please inform me, and I will try to change these sheets accordingly.
Also, not all this information is accredited to me, solely - I gathered my information from other sources...and, I'd like to give them all credit, but I honestly don't know how to do that...so, if you feel I've stolen your information, please inform me to remove it, or show me how to give you credit, whichever you prefer - I honestly don't know what the law is, so if you find a problem, just let me know, I'd not like to cause any trouble.
Thank you for reading!