I want a Fox!
I get asked this question so much I don't even answer anymore sometimes. People ask me how to get a pet fox, where can they get a pet fox without doing any research about them. Rescues and rehomes, while honorable, are rare. Most likely if you have done your research and found a Vet willing to treat one, you will have to go through a breeder. Below are some steps on how to get ready for a fox if you are determined to get one. I would recommend a dog first, but as long as you are prepared for this animal whose life will now depend on you solely for up to 18 years, then proceed.
Preparing & Pricing For Your Fox
- Step 1: Prepare the foxes home.
Depending what type of fox you decided on, you may need to build an outdoor enclosure for your fox. I would recommend an outdoor enclosure for all species except Swifts, Kits, Corsacs, and Fennecs. Never leave your fox unattended outside unless in their secure enclosure. I would recommend the enclosure either have concrete on the bottom, or at least fence dug into the ground 2-3 feet underneath to prevent the fox from digging and escaping. Never leave the fox tied to a chain like you even shouldn't do for a dog. Not only is it cruel, but they will most likely escape since they are smarter than dogs.
- Step 2: Preparing your home.
You will want to make sure to fox-proof your house, much like you would to child-proof it. Hide all exposed cords, as some like to chew, and cover all outlets with plastic covers. I would recommend anything you don't want stolen or taken to be placed out of reach and above the ground. To a fox, out of sight, out of mind (unless they know it's there). I would suggest keeping windows closed too because a fox is smart enough to escape even through a screen. Cats can escape through a screen, so foxes can as well. Foxes are smarter than cats and more mischievous. If your fox is to go in a litter box, find a corner of the house for it, as well as one in their enclosure or cage, so it encourages the, to use it. I would suggest placing their waste in the box if they have an accident, and usually the smarter foxes catch on. Some foxes will refuse to be potty trained - keep that in mind.
- Step 3: Supplies.
This is perhaps the most expensive thing about owning a fox, if not for the actual fox. The basic things you will need for a fox are;
- Cage or Enclosure - can cost anywhere from $150 - $2,000 depending on the size of your fox and type of cage/enclosure.
- Food - will probably be about $40 - $50 per month
- Toys, Beds, Blankets, etc. - will probably be around $30 - $100
- Vet Bills - foxes need the same shots as small dogs, so that can run anywhere from $200 - $500
- The Actual Fox (Estimates):
Red Foxes - $350 - $800
Gray Foxes - $350 - $800
Arctic Foxes - $400 - $800
Kit Foxes - $1000 - $2000
Swift Foxes - $1000 - $2500
Pale Foxes - $1000 - $4000
Fennec Foxes - $1500 - $4000
Corsac Foxes - $2000 - $4500
- Step 4: Selecting a food that fits.
- Step 5: When your fox arrives.
- Step 6: Foxy maintenance.
- Step 6: Training.
Here are some tips for introducing foxes to other household pets. While every animal has their own personality, more often than not they will get along if introduced properly.
- Scent, scent, scent! Much like you are supposed to take your own article of clothing and place it in your fox's cage to bond, you can take a blanket, or shirt, or other material your other pet sleeps on or uses for the fox, or vice versa, for them to get used to. The scent will help them prepare for meeting the new fox.
- Always introduce them in a spot that is neutral. Never introduce the two pets in an area the fox thinks is his, or an area say the cat thinks belongs to him, such as near a cat tree. If one animal thinks he owns the area, things are likely to get heated, as they will protect their area.
- Always reinforce positive behaviors with treats. Rewards for good behavior will show them the new animal is fun and exciting.
- Make sure the biggest animal is adopted first, if possible. Even though you should always supervise foxes with other pets, make sure that if it is possible the animal you get first is bigger than the fox. It will help the bonding process. For example, if you have a 20 pound cat, then get a 10 pound fox, it should be fine.
- Never let either animal feel threatened. If they want to run away, let them. Don't make them feel backed up in a corner - figuratively or otherwise - or they will attack.
- No small pets. Never, ever let your hamster or gerbil, or any other type of rodent/bunny/marsupial interact with your fox. This is not a good idea, as they could be best friends and one day the fox might get a wave of wild instinct and snap.
- The changes. The old pet will have to get used to either not being the only child, or having it's favorite toys moved, etc., so I would recommend trying to have play-dates with other animals to see how it does on a sort of "test run."
- ALWAYS keep it fun. Positive, fun reinforcement will make the older animal look forward to play sessions with the new animal!
- As with any training, never yell, just correct them. They will fear training and interactions with the new arrival if you yell, or spank them. Try changing your tone so they know you are unhappy with them.
- Always end with a treat or good memory, so they see it as having fun.