Foxes are majestic and sly creatures from the canine family. However, when kept as pets, they do not behave as dogs or even cats.
They have numerous behaviors and vocalizations unique to their species. They are entirely different creatures and should not be expected to act as common house pets.
Domesticated foxes were the results of almost 60 years of selective breeding in Siberia which was started by geneticist Dmitri Belyaev.
He had a theory that domestication is in the genes which means that wolves essentially evolved into dogs thousands of years ago.
Types of Pet Fox
The pet fox price depends on the type as there are several as shown below:
Arctic Fox – True to its name, the Arctic fox can survive extreme Arctic temperatures. Its short ears, short muzzle, and furry soles all help in cold climate adaptation.
Arctic foxes are known for their beautiful white or blue-gray coats that serve as a winter camouflage which turn into brown or gray during the summer.
In the wild, they live in burrows and may tunnel into the snow during a blizzard to create shelter. When winter prey is scarce, Arctic foxes will follow the polar bear – the Arctic’s primary predator and eat its leftover kills.
Arctic foxes are the least common pet fox type. You can purchase young Arctic foxes online for around $575 to $675.
Fennec Fox – One of the world’s smallest fox, the Fennec fox only weighs around 2.2 to 3.3 pounds. Its large ears, however, can measure up to six inches. Fennec foxes are opportunistic eaters that eat plants, eggs, rodents, insects, and reptiles.
Fennec foxes originated from the Sahara Desert and North Africa. The searing heat of the desert environment made them nocturnal creatures.
Their disproportionally large ears help with radiating body heat to keep them cool. Their long, thick hair protects them from the sun during the day and insulates them in cold nights.
Like most desert dwellers, the Fennec foxes can survive without water for long periods of time.
Due to their popularity and availability, they are the most commonly seen pet fox type. A privately bred Fennec fox comes with quite a price tag. A baby fennec fox can cost about $3,000.
Red Fox – Known for their long, rusty red bodies, Red foxes are the second most popular pet fox type. They adapt nicely to human environments like suburban areas, farms, and even large communities. Their natural habitats include forests, mountains, grasslands, and deserts.
The Red foxes’ diet is as flexible as its home habitat. They hunt rodents, birds, rabbits, and other small game but they also eat fish, frog, fruits, vegetables, and even worms. They have been known to eat garbage and pet food when kept as a pet.
Most states consider Red foxes as non-domesticated animals, but owners swear by their cat-like sweetness. The cost of the Red fox variety is between $425 to $700, depending on color and gender.
Silver Fox – This type is the true domesticated fox from Russia which is also known as the tame Siberian fox or the domesticated fox.
This fox is a melanistic form of the Red fox and can vary in pelt colors. Due to selective breeding, Silver foxes have wide genetic differences than the Red and Arctic foxes.
Like the Red fox, they are also widely distributed in diverse habitats which is mainly due to survival from fox-hunting humans. Silver foxes are opportunistic feeders who consume any food given to them – including plants. However, they prefer meat if available.
A Las Vegas-based company called Sibfox previously distributed domesticated Siberian pet foxes in the United States. But due to an issue during shipping, the company closed in 2012.
As of today, true Silver foxes are only available directly from the Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics of Animals in Russia. Acquiring one is a bit expensive and you would have to go through a lengthy process to import them into the country.
Only a young fox can be kept indoors. Once a fox is sexually mature, it will become destructive and will mark its territory with urine and feces.
Foxes forcibly kept indoors will show territorial aggression. That is why one of the most important requirements when owning a fox is having a secure outdoor enclosure.
The enclosure should be 8″ x 8″ x 6″ or larger to give the fox space to roam around and play. Foxes are expert diggers, so be sure to line the floor with chain link as well as to fully enclose the top.
- Pawhut 87″ x 41″ Galvanized Metal Outdoor Pet Enclosure: around $120
- Festnight Kennel Cage with Roof Heavy Duty Galvanized Steel, 25′ x 13′ x 8′: around $1,
Diet and Feeding
Foxes are omnivores just like dogs. But since foxes are exotic pets, there aren’t any pet food specific to them.
As an alternative to a fresh game, they can be fed grain-free dog food and supplement with Taurine.
It is recommended to place your fox’s food and water in some type of enclosure where it can only reach its head in. This way, the food will not be cached or marked with feces or urine which is a typical fox behavior.
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Dog Food (24-lb pack): around $53
- Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Premium Dry Dog Food (30-lb pack): around $53
- Merrick Grain Free Dry Dog Food (25-lb pack): around $60
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Dog Food (24-lb pack): around $65
- Makondo Pets Multivitamin for Dogs and Cats, around $17
Just like cats and dogs, foxes also love to play and have fun. They need daily enrichment to be happy.
Do not leave them alone without physical stimulation as they will exhibit destructive behavior. Play with them and give them toys to get their attention.
l Neater Slow Feeder & Accessories – Gentle Slow Feeding Bowl: around $30
- Fuloon PVC Pet Swimming Pool: around $30
l Creative Cedar Designs Octagon Wooden Sandbox: around $72
- PetLou Durable Squeeze Me Soft Squeaker: around $12
l Nerf Dog Squeak Rubber Football Dog Toy: $10 to $13
- Yaheetech 18ft Pet Dog Agility Obedience Training Tunnel Blue: around $33
Foxes are fascinating creatures but are more difficult to acquire and high maintenance than your average household pet. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a pet with more novelty and less predictability, then a fox is definitely a great way to go.
Check your state, county, and city laws in your local Fish & Wildlife Service office prior to getting a fox as some states deem it illegal. Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, Nevada, and North Carolina are some of the states with exotic pet laws against owning a fox or certain fox types.