Fennec As A Pet with Pros & Cons 2020 Updated – Ultimate Guide
No one denies that fennec foxes are cute and adorable.
Fennec foxes look like a cross between a Pokemon’s Eevee and a chihuahua. If you are not familiar with their nature, they are very energetic and wily just like an as teenage ferret.
They come with a delicately pointed face and adorably huge ears. Anyone would tempt to want one because of their cuteness. I always wish, If I could have adopted one – they are incredibly cute and tempting. – but there is one question that everyone asks – do they make good pets?
Well, we are here to help 🙂 – I tried to answer and clear all the questions and doubt in this article. Whatever you are looking for – I am 99% sure you will get that from this article. This guide is to clear all your doubts which come in our mind, whenever we think about keeping a fennec fox as a pet.
Fennec Fox as a Pet
The fennec fox has adorably large ears and looks cute and adorable. They are tiny in size and almost weigh between 3 to 4 pounds. Many folks say that they look like pokemon Eevee. They come with a dense and golden coat that has a black tip.
Their physical characteristics help them survive in desert conditions. They almost look like snuggly and it’s hard to imagine them living in their native environment – The Sahara Desert
However, they are very high energy animals and need an outdoor enclosure for their endless energy. Also, they are the most social than any other foxes. They love digging, it’s kind of their daily thing or job and many say that they can dig up to 20 feet a night but I have seen them digging almost 30 feet a night.
Keeping fennec fox as a pet is a little bit difficult as you may need to extend the fence and outdoor pen many feet down below ground. I would recommend at least 22 feet. They can dig faster and disappear in no time into the sand.
Does Fennec Fox make Good Pets?
The most popular and interesting question many folks want to know is – Can a fennec fox as a pet be a good fox?. The answer is very simple – They are tiny in size, so Yes they can be kept as a pet. It has already been proven that fennec foxes can be kept as pets.
They are popularly described as furry, cute, and adorable. Nowadays, the hunting and capturing of this fox is increased. Sadly, many fox hunters are capturing them and selling them in pet trade all over the world.
Well, now another question that may come in your mind is – do fennec foxes are tamable? Well, in many states of the United States, the feen foxes are deemed as an exotic pet but still, it doesn’t change the fact that they are wild animals.
Keeping them as a pet is fun and can make you feel – a mix of dog and cat breed is living in your home. They make the same sound of barking like dogs and also have the same amount of energy. They can be trained to use a litter box like a cat.
Training them is tough as they require more time and hard work but it’s not impossible. They can learn to sit, come, heel and fetch just like dogs. They always prefer to dig and play all the time. You may also need to keep them on a leash just like dogs when they are outside.
If nobody is present to take care of them or they are not supervised, a dog cage or crate will do the job for you and will keep them out of trouble.
What do you feed your Fennec fox?
You can feed them normal cat food, pet dog food, vegetables, fruits, raw meat, and vitamins. They mostly prefer to eat small pets and raw meat. However they are not picky eaters, so you can feed them any food after all they are omnivores.
Do fennec foxes need a veterinarian?
Yes, they do need veterinarian care. You need to visit Vet clinics with your little fur baby for health checkups and to treat them. As a good master or owner, you must keep them away from any disease and keep them in a healthy condition.
Can I Own a Fennec Fox?
Yes, you can but it totally depends where you reside. You should check and make sure that it is legal to keep them as a pet in your area, as in many states – it’s illegal to keep a fox as a pet.
The states that ban fennec foxes are Missouri, Nevada, Washington, and Minnesota. In Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas, you may require a permit or health certificate to keep a fennec fox as a pet.
Why Should You Get a Fennec Fox as a pet?
If you have a desire or love to keep intelligent pets as well as ver active in nature, then the fennec fox as a pet is probably the best fit for your need or desire. They are considered intelligent as well as high energy animals. They can be easily accommodated in your house as they are relatively small in size than any other foxes and only weigh between 1.5 pounds to 3 pounds.
They can live up to 12 to 14 years if you keep them in proper care and appropriate diet. Plus, it’s very to resist a fennec fox that is so adorable and exotic. Due to their small size, it is very easy to find appropriately-sized accessories and furniture like day bed or kennel.
What are the Pros of keeping a fennec fox as a pet?
I have shared a few pros of keep a fennec fox as a pet:
- Fennec Foxes are adorable and exotic animals to own.
- Fennec Foxes have unique traits and behavior which will keep you captivated and interested
- Living and bonding with a fennec fox is an amazing experience
- They are extremely intelligent and high energy animals, which makes them a perfect choice for those who love to keep pets that are intelligent and active.
- With proper care and appropriate diet, they can live up to 12 to 14 years.
Why Shouldn’t You Get a Fennec Foxes a pet?
They are not the type of “get it and forget it” pet. They need a lot of attention over time due to their active and energetic nature. Fennec foxes can be described in two simple words, that is ” high maintenance “. For example – fulfilling their nutritional needs is kind of challenging for some pet owners.
It’s very common for us to visit a pet mart and purchasing ready-made and packed food for our pet but in the case of fennec fox, it needs more work to keep them in a balanced and proper diet than going to a quick trip to the pet store.
Adding more, you may need to make your house fox-proof to keep them safe as they don’t work well with the babies or other animals. Furthermore, you may also need to extend the fence and outdoor pen many feet down below ground to at least 22 feet they can dig up to 20 feet below the ground in a night.
You also need to provide them a full room or huge space to keep them happy. They are also difficult to house train. Even they are legal to keep as a pet but still, they are wild animals, so they will need more attention and specialized care than most of the cats and dogs.
Fennec foxes are not a “get-it-and-forget-it” pet. Active and energetic, fennec foxes need a lot of attention. Essentially, you can describe fennec foxes in two words: high maintenance. For example, learning about your fennec fox’s nutritional needs can be challenging for some pet owners.
I hope you got the point, Let’s take a sneak-peek on their pros & cons. What are the pros & cons of keeping a fennec fox as a pet?
What are the Cons of keeping a fennec fox as a pet?
I have shared a few cons of keeping a fennec fox as a pet:
- Fennec Foxes sometime scream very loud at night which may disturb your family members or neighbors.
- Fennec Foxes are very disobedient and difficult to house train
- You will need to provide a full room or an outdoor enclosure as they are very active and high energy animals.
- Fennec Foxes can easily frustrate you due to their high maintenance and bad manners,
- Fennec Foxes tends to get bored easily so there is a high possibility that they will start chewing your home furniture and stuff.
- Keeping Fennec Foxes are illegal to own in most of the states
- They don’t work well with the babies or other animals and can harm the small animals if you have one.
- Fennec Foxes need more attention and specialized care, so it is quite expensive to own one.
It seems like you got an idea of what are the pros and cons of keeping a fennec fox as a pet. Further, we will discuss more about them and will discover what to expect from a fennec fox as a pet?
Discover more about fennec foxes
If you want to keep your pet happy and be a good pet owner, it’s very important to do your homework and research on what you are getting into. Read this before you make any decision.
Fennec Fox Behavior
Fennec Foxe’s behavior can be seen perplexing at first if you used to own a dog or cat. They are extremely clever thieves and will not hesitate to chew eyeglasses and pennies. Plus they are very high energy animals who live to dig and can dig up to 20 feet below the ground
Fennec foxes are quiet loving when they are solidly asleep. Whatever is going on in their environment, they are very reactive to that. They are highly reactive to everything going on in their surroundings or environment.
Furthermore, they can get easily spooked by loud noises like thunderstorms or lighting sounds and may become anxious or nervous. Plus, they are most active at night, and of course, they will, because they are a fox that loves to scream and howl at night.
Fennec Foxes are Tough Survivors
It is very certain to know a little about the background of the fennec fox to understand their behavior. Fennec foxes are found in the mostly Arabian Desert and the Sahara Desert as they native to Africa.
Many peoples have a misconception that they are a domesticated crossbreed between a fox and a dog but that’s not true. They are a special hybrid, instead, they are a special species of fox.
But their desert origin, you can easily catch, why they have exceptionally huge ears. It explains a lot about their appearance and behavior. Heat adapted or desert animals like the kangaroo rat, the jackrabbit, and the African elephant also have huge ears. The reason is the same – exceptionally large ears help to keep the animal cool.
Fennec fox has very delicate pads that keep their furry feet from burning. Their fluffy furs blend effortlessly into the Sahara sand. Their coat and feet design also play a major role in keeping them adaptive to a hot desert climate.
Fennec foxes are Clever Foragers and Love to Dig for Dinner.
No doubts that fennec foxes are clever foragers and desert dwellers who ca easily survive in a harsh hot environment. They are survivalists and opportunists who basically love to eat protein-rich food they can find easily in the wild.
They prey on insects, birds, rabbits, rodents, bird’s eggs, and other small animals. They can eat anything that they can easily track down. That is why they are sometimes considered on the jumpy side.
Sudden noise usually means one of the two things to a fennec fox – either they are about to be dinner or they are about to be dinner. One of the fun facts of fennecs is that they can also live with consuming water directly because they absorb most of the water from their food source.
Being from the desert region also explains a lot of why they are also known as nocturnal animals. Sometimes, fennec foxes can dig for their dinner if they had to. They don’t hesitate to dig as they already know you have to dig for your dinner.
Fennec foxes love to live in the burrow and tend to prey on rabbits, rodents, and insects as a major protein source. that is why they love to dig a lot – they can dig up to 20 feet below the ground in a night.
Now coming to their digging habit, it is necessary to extend the fence and outdoor pen many feet down below ground for at least 22 feet if you have a house with a yard. Securing your house from any possible escape is crucial because if your fennec fox gets out from the enclosure, it is almost worthless to hope that he will come back on its own.
Furthermore, it will be impossible or difficult to survive for them in an unfamiliar environment. You can provide them a covered litter box inside your house as they may enjoy digging in litter boxes.
Fennecs are Grand Larceny – Vicious Chewers
By their background, it’s easy to understand its tendency toward theft. From the fennecs perspective, they view all the insecure items as theirs, just like ferrets. That is why you must keep them or house them in a fennec proof area.
If you are unable to locate or find your keys or other items, it’s very certain to blame your little furry friend as they are qualified ripoff artists. you must supervise and house them in a fennec and chew-proof area.
They will definitely look forward to chewing on metallic objects like electric plugs. They will chew anything that looks satisfying to them like babby bottles, leather or rubber bands. Chewing this kind of object can lead them to death or intestinal obstruction.
Fennec foxes Behavior and Temperament
Fennec foxes can be snuggle, sweet, adorable and loving especially when they have been raised by humans hand from birth and have been socialized extensively. They love to hang out in groups just like their dog descendants wolves do.
Only due to hanging out in groups trait, they can easily adapt to humans, as like affection and socialization themselves. They don’t hurt or bite humans except if they feel cornered, fearful or nervous, like most cats and dogs.
If they nibble your finger or knuckles gently, just keep in mind this is social nibbling and your furry friend is not intended to cause pain or show aggression. It’s the way they show their love and means your little furry friend sees you as a family.
However, always keep in mind that they are wild animals and each fennec fox is different. People haven’t domesticated the fennec foxes for thousands of years. So, specific fennec foxes are living in this nature who might be unwilling and shy to be petted just like cats or dogs.
They are generally less outgoing but some of them may be want to be petted and may be very friendly. But it doesn’t change the fact that they are wild animals.
Fennecs Anxiety and Energy Level.
Caring and keeping a fennec fox as a pet can be tricky as they are extremely high energy critters. They love to run around, dig and explore with their inquisitiveness and cleverness.
If you left them to do nothing or confined them without an outlet for their curiosity and energy, they will show and engage in destructive behaviors with their intelligence. As soon as they start to feel bored, they begin chewing house furniture and stuff.
That’s the time when you will find them engaged in anxious behavior like chewing the cushions or couches, digging into the floors or running around destructively.
You will need to provide them a fennec play are with some special precautions. Keeping them and providing them a play area indoor is the best option for fennec foxes as they supervision. The indoor play area is preferred for fennecs.
Keeping them outdoor or providing them as an outdoor play area requires fox proofing, depending on the weather as the same fox proofing can’t be used throughout the year. You will definitely need to extend the fence to several feet into the ground to prevent them from escaping. You will also need to bent down the fences as they jump high too.
Many fennec fox owners keep them in a special location in their house or apartment to deal with this issue. You may also need a fox room to deal with this. A fox room can be equipped with a litter box, a sleeping area, food and water, safe play objects like chewing toys and kitty climbing trees. 🙂
Fennec Fox Care
Before adopting a fennec fox, it is very essential to do your homework on what kind of care the fennec fox as a pet will need? Your homework should include doing some research about the proper healthy diet for a fennec fox and the frequency of their meals.
Furthermore, you should also do your homework on their housing requirements, foods that need to be avoided, litter box training and their kennel needs. You should go fora fox with proper research.
What’s for fennec fox dinner
In the wild of North African Desert habitat, fennec foxes prefer to eat any protein-rich source they can prey, such as lizards, insects, eggs, birds, rabbits, rodents and plants too, if they had to. Your Fennec’s diet should resemble his diet in the wild.
You will need to feed them a proper diet that reflects the diet they have in the wild to survive. A properly balanced diet will ensure our furry friend’s healthiness and will help him to live to its fullest extent.
Why Do You Need to Avoid Feeding Dog Food to Your Fennec Fox?
Many peoples assume that they can feed dog food to their fox because somehow they are related but it’s wrong. Yes, they are related but this doesn’t mean that you can feed them dog diet. Even they are Omnivores but they are far close to the mostly carnivores in the scale’s end that dogs are.
A dog can handle varied diet ore than fennec foxes as dogs intestine are perfectly equipped to handle fiber and grains.
Fennec foxes diet in the wild mainly consists of insects that are high in protein. Feeding dog diet to your fennec fox can make them underfed and unhealthy. In short, you can’t go to the pet mart and grab a bag of dog food like canine nibble for your fennec fox.
What’s a Good Fennec Fox Diet?
A healthy and appropriate diet for fennec fox should consist of about 90 percent of chicken meat, rabbit meat and a variety of insects like mealworm, bugs, or bugs. Only 5 to 10 percent of a fennec fox diet should come from eggs, fish like herring, berries, plants, and vegetables.
You can check out some reliable live cricket or mealworm seller from here.
How Often and How Much Should You Feed a Fennec Fox?
Well, in general, a young fennec fox will usually need about 240 grams of food and an adult will usually need about 520 grams of food per day… You need to keep their feeding structure around their biological clock as they are mostly active during the night.
Their average daily diet could consist of 2 ounces of ground rabbits and insects, 1.5 ounces of chicken but to ensure you are feeding them a more specific diet, you should visit the vet to consult an experienced veterinarian in wild care.
You should make sure that you are not overfeeding them, the ideal weight for most fennec foxes is within 2 to 3 pounds. Plan a specific diet that fulfills your furry friend all nutritional needs.
What Food Should I Avoid?
Keep the fennec fox diet separate from the dog diet. Avoid feeding dog food or diet to your fennecs to ensure their healthiness. Some foods to avoid includes, raisins, grapes. cashew and chocolate. Raisins and grapes can adversely affect fennec foxes’ kidney as well as Dog’s kidney
Furthermore, you should avoid feeding mice to your fennec fox, even they are suggested as fennec fox food, they can create a major problem in your furry friend health due to mice’ high retinol content. Fennecs are also not equipped to handle fibers and grains.
Avoid feeding them fruits like avocado, caffeine, garlic, chocolate, beans, grains and pasta as they can be toxic to your furry fennec.
Fennec Fox Sleep Care
Fennec Fox Snoozle Time
Before owning this creature, you must understand and accept one most important feature of this high energy and active animal – they are night owls. Time after the sunset when most of the bugs come out is the perfect and precious time for night dwellers like fennec fox species.
Usually, you will find fennec fox active mostly during the night. In the wild, they go for a hunt at night. Similarly, you will ultimately find them sleepy or lazy at the day time,
Sleeping on Bed
You can expect from your furry little fennec to get automatically adjust to a human’s schedule. As they can get noisy and active mostly at night, so keeping them in a kennel or crate at that time when they most active and energetic is unfair and is not a great idea.
Just imagine a situation where you are stuck at work or office on a perfect spring day when you had rather be out for a vacation or playing. That feeling will be awful right? just like that, the fox will feel when you will put them in a cage at night.
“Then, what’s the solution? I can’t let him run around the house at night” Hmm, well you are right, so there is one workable solution for both of you. Why don’t you set a fox room in your apartment or house with proper equipment?
You can equip the room with covered electrical outlets, digging area, safe toys, a litter box, and safe climbing structure so that your furry friend can have some fun zipping around playing without getting in trouble or danger. Plus, you will not feel annoyed while you sleep.
Should I Fennec Foxes Be Kept in Kennels or Cages?
Yes, but it’s not a great or good idea because keeping active and intelligent animals like fennec foxes in a kennel or a cage for a long period is not a good idea. They don’t usually thrive in such an environment or condition.
It will make your Fennec sick and unhealthy and from time to time, you will need to put your furry friend through vet checkup. You can keep them in a cage or kennel sometimes or in some cases like visits the vet, transporting your fox in a new environment, etc.
You should prefer providing them a full room to play and have some fun at night. A fox room will be a great idea. However, if you don’t have such luxury, you can consider using a playpen at night to keep them within the area you provide them.
In the case of everyday activity, you can provide them a ferret cage with play areas and ramps if your house won’t allow a dedicated fox room at night. However, still, a full room for fennec fox’s happiness and health is much better and recommended.
Keep in mind that fennecs are good at jumping as well as burrowing when you plan for outdoor activity with your fox. If your house fences build on top of grass and soil, then there is a high possibility that they will try to escape by digging.
The most concerning issue of keeping fennec fox as a pet is litter training. It’s very important to know whether you can successfully train a fennec fox to use a litter box or not. Well the answer is ” kind of “
Look, you should never forget that they are still considered as wild animals and training them to use a litter box is hard. You can’t predict whether your fennec will use it or not. Some of them may easily adapt to using a litter box while others may not. 🙁
Keep in mind, punishing or yelling at a fennec fox for urinating or defecating outside the litter box is harmful as well as unproductive as fennec fox have no idea why you or someone is yelling at him. Loud noises can make them permanently scared of you.
So, what is the best solution? You can train them, but it will be hard. Whenever you see your fennec going to the bathroom where it should not, just move them or drag them to the box. They will start realizing how to use a litter box.
Pro tip – we do know that they love to dig in the sand, so it will great idea to provide or get them a litter box that comes with a cover. A litter box that comes with a cover will prevent being scattered on the floor
Another solution is to have a separate fox room with a carpet covered with clean sand. If your beloved friend misses the litter box, you can still scoop the poop from the sand and save the floors. You can easily buy sand from any hardware store
If you are planning to purchase a litter box for your fennec fox or dog, You have the best options available here – Best Litter Box
What to do about their chewing habits?
Well, you can provide them a chew toy, Fennec fox loves toys like dogs. Here are a few toys that I used for my dog chewing habit that works perfectly and plus, it is ideal for a pet like fennec foxes. 🙂
No doubts, fennec foxes are unique, energetic, adorable and precocious. They need more attention, specialized diet and care than cats or dogs due to their high energy and almost carnivores nature.
However, fennec foxes can turn out to be a great pet and rewarding family members, if you have the knowledge, home space, and patience. But still, they are wild animals, and you need to do your homework before you get one for your own.
Fennec foxes as a pet can work great but not ideal for everyone. What do you think?
If you have some questions, observations or insights about the fennec fox AS A PET, you are always welcome to leave a comment. We’d love to answer and hear from your