These canines are considered of least concern on the world conservation status chart, however some areas have CITES laws, or area laws, that restrict them from being kept as pets without special permits. As such anyone interested in acquiring a Fennec Fox as a pet should first research the laws in their area.
The lifespan of the Fennec Fox is roughly 12-16 years in captivity so anyone interested in getting one needs to consider their ability to provide a lifetime commitment to such a pet.
They are fairly small, standing only 8 inches (20 cm) tall, and weighing less than a small cat.
Unlike most dogs, Fennec Foxes are nocturnal. This is probably a point of concern for some owners, as these dogs are awake and active at night.
Their large ears are a desert adaptation, helping them to stay cool in the heat, they can tolerate some cold but if in climates where the temperature regularly drops below freezing they require extra protection when outside, and should not be left out for long. Careful attention should prevent them from getting frost bite on their ears.
Fennec Foxes are Omnivores, in the wild they will eat what they catch, bugs, mice, even eggs. As house pets they should be fed a top quality dog food. Top quality dog foods are not sold in grocery stores. This food may be supplemented with fruit, cooked vegetables, eggs, mealworms, and even canned dog, or cat, food.
Fennec Foxes can be litter trained if introduced at an early age. As they enjoy digging, much like a cat, their litter box should be covered. Similarly they can be house trained to go outside, where they will enjoy having a place to dig for their bathroom purposes. As with house training other dogs, rewarding for correct behavior works a lot better than punishing them for the wrong behavior.
They will need regular vaccinations which should be discussed with their breeder and your veterinarian according to your areas risk factors. They will also need to be dewormed (including for heartworm). Be sure your vet is familiar with providing care for these animals, and that the check to ensure any vaccine provided is safe for Fennec Foxes.
They are social animals who thrive on attention. For them to be successfully kept as pets it is important that they are socialized to humans at an early stage. Their wild and curious nature can lead them into trouble (they will escape from most yards) so must be watched carefully. They are good climbers and diggers. It is important that they be walked on a snug collar, or harness, when startled they tend to bolt and can slip out of a loose collar with ease and will run.
As mischievous, and smart, animals, it is important they are kept in a kennel when they cannot be watched or may become destructive. Providing ample toys is important.
When happy Fennec Foxes tend to purr like cats. In fact many people consider them to be a dog with a cat-like personality.
If you are considering getting a Fennec Fox as a pet, do more research and speak to people who own them. Never purchase a Fennec Fox through a pet store or similar “supplier”, always deal directly with the breeder.
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