You may mistake Fennec foxes for chihuahuas because of their small stature and fuzzy huge ears, but these exotic pets are very much different from dogs!
Originated in the sandy Sahara and North Africa, Fennecs, also known as desert foxes, are tiny wild animals that may be so adorable; tempting you to bring them home.
However, these pet trade favorites might not be easy to handle, unless you’re down for some crazy, energetic, and messy adventure in the house!
Getting a Fennec fox takes a lot of cash and patience, especially now that the waiting list is long!
To get a grasp, continue reading this article that discusses the costs to consider when getting a Fennec fox.
Fennec Fox Price
Before you consider adding a Fennec fox to the family, check on the legal issues concerning the exotic pet in your area. As of 2014, the states that ban the possession of Fennec foxes are Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, and Washington.
Meanwhile, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas require permits and certificates for owning one, and New Yorkers are free to own Fennec foxes as companions.
You can find various Fennec fox breeders online. Some have their own site, while some are listed in an online directory. These adorable kits usually cost around $1,400 to $3,000.
Underground Reptiles in Florida offers Fennecs ranging from $1,800 to $2,500.
Adult Fennec foxes for sale are very rare since these baby foxes easily get attached to their first owners. Moreover, you can inquire in zoos about where you can get these awesome vulpines!
One Time Fennec Fox Expenses
Foxes do have a scent and it can be worse than the ferret musk’s. This scent gland is found on the tip of their tail and they release the odor whenever they feel startled.
Getting them spayed or neutered is essential at their 6th month. This costs around $100 to $500.
If you’re not around even just for a minute, your Fennec fox can quickly destroy your possessions and furniture. It is important for your pet to be placed in a crate most of the time and it has to be as large as possible despite its small size or it might die.
A 54.75”L x 36.8”W x 45.5”H double-doored crate costs around $115.
- Leash and Collar
Though more challenging, these foxes can be trained on a leash and it is important to do so especially when they’re outdoors. You can also teach them to come when called.
A 5-foot soft lead that slips on and off easily may cost less than $20.
Recurring Fennec Fox Expenses
These vulpine omnivores are used to eating insects, rodents, plants, fruits, and reptiles. But as pets, commercial wild canid diet like those that zoos provide for animals is suggested. Some owners mix dog foods, cat foods, and vegetables for efficiency.
The most ideal brand that experts suggest is the Prairie by Nature’s Variety which consists of chicken, grains, vegetables, and fruits for balanced nutrition. A 27-lb. bag of the product costs around $50.
Meanwhile, some give them raw meat and worms. If you do this, make sure not to cook the food as this destroys a lot of taurine which are necessary nutrients for the Fennecs.
You can also give them Taurine supplements like Vionate a few times a week. This vitamin powder costs around $24 per 2-lb. jar.
Fennec foxes are used to the high temperature of the deserts so they don’t really have to be bathed or they might freeze. Also, it takes them a long time to dry and that can lead to skin fungus.
Spraying them with a mild anti-itch and detangling cleaner which is priced at around $7 for a 300ml pack and wiping off the liquid is enough once in a while.
Fennec foxes should be up-to-date in their vaccines against rabies, canine distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus. These shots usually cost around $25 to $40 each while packages may also be offered at $70 to $90.
Some standard canine drugs like Imrab can be used for them, while the typical MLV vaccine for distemper might not be recommended. Make sure to ask the vet about this.
Deworming, tick & flea control, and other preventatives are also advised for your little foxy. These will cost you approximately $50 a year.
Furthermore, not all veterinary centers can cater to the needs of exotic animals like the Fennec fox so make sure to know an available vet near you in case an injury or an ailment exists. Usually, consultation costs around $30 to $75.
Consequently, diagnostic tests may be recommended and will require you to be charged more.
- Blankets and Toys
As highly active animals, Fennec foxes need an outlet for their energy. They will enjoy rope toys, balls, and plush ones which typically cost around $1 to $30.
Moreover, blankets are necessary to keep them warm on days that they may be too cold for them. These cost about $6 to $10.
Fennec Fox Fun Facts
- According to National Geographic, their bat-like ears which can grow up to half the size of their body help them stay cool by emitting the heat off the body. They also have long and thick hair around the body, even under the feet, that aid in protecting against hotness.
- Fennec foxes, like canines, like to mark their territory with their urine. They are so territorial and protective that they may get aggressive during mating season in the desert.
- They really do behave like dogs except for their extra agility and the way they purr like cats, but since they are not domesticated, they require thorough socialization. The smallest of the wild canids are used to living as a group in the wild so you need to be patient in training.
- Fennecs also enjoy digging out the earth for habitat and protection. Their holes can be as large as 1,290 square feet so make sure you provide enclosures in your garden which are high enough for them not to jump to the soil.
- They can survive with very little or without water and their main source of it is their food. This is due to their kidneys which are adapted to restricted water consumption in deserts. However, this does not mean that they don’t need to drink water.