The fennec fox is a small but beautiful animal that belongs to the vulpine family. Although they are quite exotic, fennec foxes can be domesticated and kept as pets. They are similar to dogs. Still, they can take a while to be tamed; that’s why they require careful socialization at first. And if you want to keep them as pets, you need to take extra precautions before letting them roam around your house or your back yard. Also, before you decide that you want to get a fennec fox as a pet, be sure that it is legal to keep them where you live. That’s why we are here to give you a guide about fennec foxes for you to get to know them a little better before you decide to adopt one as your pet.
Fennec Fox’s Temperament and Behavior
Fennec foxes are very sociable animals. When they are in the wild, they live in colonies of up to ten. They are considered to be the smallest wild canids, and they also purr like a cat when it’s satisfied. Just like any other small animal, the fennec fox uses its scent as their defense mechanism. They are not as stinky as a ferret or a skunk, but fennec foxes have scent glands that are located on the tips of their tails. These glands release a musky odor whenever the fennec fox is stressed or startled.
Fennec foxes are covered with a short, soft, and thick coat which typically has an off-white color on their underside. They also have black markings on their tail and back. Fennec foxes are also swift, active, and agile animals. They communicate through their high-pitched yelp, and they are nocturnal animals when they are in the wild. However, once they have been domesticated, these animals somewhat adapt to their owner’s schedule.
Just like cats, fennec foxes are clean animals that can be litter trained. However, owners have different experiences on how easily they have litter trained their fennec foxes. Some of them might be fast learners when it comes to using the litter box while some may take a while before they get used to it. We suggest that you used a covered box because they have a tendency to dig.
Fennec foxes are also quite similar to dogs because they are usually passive, and they only fight when they are feeling threatened or concerned. You can also train fennec foxes on a leash, and they come to you when you call them. Generally, these animals are not afraid of strangers, and they can be quite friendly to almost everyone. Fennec foxes might bother other animals in your household because they will want to play with them all the time.
How to House a Fennec Fox?
As we mentioned, fennec foxes are active animals; that’s why they need an outlet for all their energy. And just like cats, they can get quite curious, and they will get into everything and anything. These animals are also known for their digging skills. That’s why if you plan to house them in your backyard, you should have an outdoor enclosure that prevents them from climbing over or digging under the fence because they are capable of doing both quite readily.
We suggest that you allow a significant portion of the fence and completely cover the enclosure to prevent them from escaping. Don’t use cheap materials, too because fennec foxes can dig up to 20 feet deep, especially when they’re feeling motivated. If you keep them in your yard that is not secured, they must be leashed. This is because fennec foxes can be swift, and it can be hard to recapture. Aside from a safe and secure enclosure, you might need to turn the temperature a bit higher. Because anything below 68 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold for your fennec fox.
Some fennec fox owners teach them how to fetch like dogs, and it is one good way to release all their energy. And even if they are nocturnal creatures when they are in the wild, fennec foxes also enjoy basking in the sun every once in a while.
Fennec Fox’s Food and Water
When they are in the wild, fennec foxes are omnivores. Which means their diet includes rodents, fruits, insects, reptiles, and plants. If you’re going to have a fennec fox as a pet, you can feed them a mix of dog food, vegetables, cat food, and fruits.
What are the Common Health Problems of a Fennec Fox?
Just like dogs, fennec foxes need preventive care, and you might need to find a veterinarian to do the job. They need to be routinely vaccinated for rabies, adenovirus, canine distemper virus, and parvovirus. The veterinarian should recommend safe combinations of vaccines for standard canine diseases. An annual exam is also advised, and you need to give your fennec fox deworming, heartworm preventive, and as well as flea control.
How to Purchase a Fennec Fox?
As we mentioned earlier, before you get yourself a fennec fox as a pet, you will need to make sure that it is legal to keep them as a pet in your area. This is because some places forbid the ownership of exotic pets.
Purchasing a fennec fox can be quite a problem, and it can be costly. Always verify a breeder whether or not he’s reputable and has health records to their animals before purchasing a fennec fox from them.