One of the most popular up and coming exotic pets these days is the fennec fox. It isn't hard to tell what it is about these little guys that has everyone so worked up. New commercial fennec breeders are springing up left and right to meet the new public demand for these foxes. Still, with all the commotion, their high cost along with certain state regulations have prevented them from becoming the next house pet. Although the Fennec fox has been largely domesticated in the US, they still are considered wild animals. This means they require a great deal of additional care as opposed to your standard pet. But, if you are willing to put in the extra work you'll end up with the best pet on the block.
The Fennec Fox (Vupes zerda) is native to the Sahara of North Africa. The fennec fox is smallest species of canid in the world and is generally remembered for its "bat-like" ears which it uses to dissipate heat. It is nocturnal in nature and enjoy a omnivouris diet generally consisting of rodents, bird, insects, and plant matter. It's ears also function as a radar to find nearby prey. This is done by tipping and turning it's head until it detects food. Once it finds it's target it puts to use it's quick agility and excellent digging skills easily catching nearby prey. Foxes are social creatures and tend to dwell in underground dens.
Lifespan: 12 Years (captivity)
- Weight: 1.5-4 lbs
- Height: 8 in
- Length: 9-16 in
- Mate: Jan-Feb
- Born: Mar-Apr
- Litter:1-4 kits
Diet: omnivorous blend
- Insects: mealworms, crickets, silkworms, or any other insects you can find/buy locally
- Meat: raw chicken, raw ham, raw turkey, eggs, mice, or meaty cat and dog foo
In what states is it legal to own a fox?
Green = Legal Red = Illegal Yellow= legal with permit Blend = Different Within the State
|New Hampshire||New Jersey||New Mexico||New York||North Carolina||North Dakota||Ohio|
|Oklahoma||Oregon||Pennsylvania||Rhode Island||South Carolina||South Dakota||
Note: even if you're not one of the lucky states their are various legal loopholes that can be found to obtain practically any animal
Do they make good pets?
This is the question any good potential owner must ask him/herself before considering a new pet. The answer is generally yes, depending on what you're looking for in a pet. Fennecs tend to behave similar to both cats and dogs as far as attitude. They are independent, cleaver, and resourceful much like a cat. But, they are also very energetic, playful, and attentive like a dog. This in some ways can paint the picture for the perfect pet. The only downside is that they require more care than a cat or dog, although; they can be litter trained (most breeders will pre train the fox kits before they sell them.)
So, another important question you have to ask yourself before you consider an animal (especially any exotic) is "can I take care of it?" If you have a demanding job or family life then you need to deeply consider all the facts before purchasing a fennec fox. Some questions you might wanna ask yourself are:
- How often are you home? (fennec foxes need to be in a cage when left unattended because their curious nature will cause them to tear through your house)
- Can I afford the time and money to feed it? (they need a specialized diet)
- Do I have the time to play with it (fennecs require a lot more attention than other pets because they can easily get depressed)
- Will it play well with my other pets? (fennecs get along with most pets due to their playful nature)
Where to buy: a directory of breeders can be
found here. Baby fennec fox kits usually avalible early spring,
otherwise check your local listings for fox breeders.