Updated: 5 days ago
If you are here, then you are considering a Fennec Fox as a pet and you are in the right place to learn vital information to make the right decision. Fennec Fox are high energy, and very fun but still have many considerations. This was written from the perspective of a professional fennec fox caretaker and actual experience, be careful of pet articles written by professional writers who only compile information from the web and may have an agenda or bias underlying the article.
As a fennec fox caretaker since 1997 I have personally cared for hundreds of different fennec foxes as well as breeding and selling them since 2008. My name is Ashley Duncan I am the owner and founder of JEAR and fennec fox have been a big part of my life since I was a teenager. I thoroughly enjoy sharing them with people because of their fun and spunky nature.
Owning a pet fennec fox Care guide
What it's like living with a pet fennec fox
The care of pet fennec fox is moderate and mainly involves feeding and watering each day, changing the bedding frequently, and interacting outside of the enclosure daily or every other day. Considerations for temperature and proper food are important. Fennec fox are high energy and do not like to sit still.
How long do Fennec Fox live
Pet Fennec Fox Lifespan Fennec Fox live up to 12 years
How big are Fennec Fox?
Pet Adult Fennec Fox Size 9-16 inches long and about 3 pounds.
What do Fennec Fox eat?
Pet Fennec Fox Diet- A Fennec Fox natural diet consists of small rodents, insects, birds, eggs, and rabbits. A captive diet consists of half a cup of Blue Buffalo cat food kibble, chicks, raw or boiled eggs, fruits such as apples and bananas, crickets, mice, and raw meat.
Fennec Foxes can’t have chocolate, fruit cores, artificial sweeteners, or grapes. You should feed your Fennec Fox twice a day, as overfeeding can lead to serious health issues. Do not free-feed your juvenile fennec fox. You should be feeding portioned sizes.
Cage Requirements for pet fennec fox
Before bringing your Fennec Fox home, you should have its habitat ready if possible. The bigger the cage the better and outside is best. However, fennecs are desert animals and as such need to be kept warm. They should only be kept outdoors in areas that do not go below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. They need enough space for jumping, running, and enrichment to keep them entertained. Also, provide them with lots of cage accessories and toys. When building an outdoor enclosure, you’ll want to create a space that won’t allow them to either dig under the cage. This means the enclosure should have a “floor” of some kind. Fennec foxes especially enjoy large tree limbs or wooden platforms to climb, and soft sand or dirt to dig in. They can be litter trained, so you may also want to get a small litter box.
Out of cage playtime for fennec foxes
Be careful of anything they can squeeze under or behind
Be sure anything in your fennecs reach is safe and non-toxic
Be aware of household hazards
Keep an eye on them!
Fennec Fox Household hazards
Air freshener, candles, cleaning chemicals, and sprays
Make sure to clean up any dead bugs around the house that might have been killed by pesticides.
Any space your fennec can squeeze into may create a potential issue or hazard.
Open windows and doors
Holes in cabinets, holes in walls, or holes near plumbing fixtures.
Fennec Fox Handling
These tiny babies are very quick and extremely energetic. While they can be playful, they do not generally enjoy being held or stroked and prefer not to cuddle.
Most fennecs allow their owners to pick them up, but they also don't seem to enjoy it that much. If you are looking for a little cuddle bug to lay in your lap and watch TV with you, a fennec is probably not the right animal for you. They would rather have you watch them play.
Fennec Fox Personality
They enjoy ripping things apart, so your home will need to be baby-proofed. They are extremely high-energy, nocturnal, animals. They are the most social of all foxes and need an outlet for that endless energy. They are alert and very aware of their surroundings, ready to react to anything.
Exercise for fennec fox
In warmer climates, a large outdoor enclosure can be an ideal way to both house your fennec and provide room for exercise. Exercise is essential for these energetic animals. Indoor play can be high-spirited and can result in broken items. When planning for indoor fennec activity it's important to note that unneutered males will spray urine to mark their territory. If outdoor walks are more suited to your lifestyle, with some time and lots of patience fennecs can be trained to walk outdoors on a leash.
Fennecs also need other activities and enrichment:
Interactive toys and cage accessories
Playing soft music for them
Providing dig boxes is a good idea, as it simulates natural burrowing behavior.
Including multiple textures and materials in their cage
Allowing your fennec to forage for their treats and burrow
Social interaction with you or another animal
You can find a million unique toys all over the web, Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, etc. You can even get creative and make your own!
Fennec Fox Bath Time
Fennec foxes shed, and therefore need to be brushed regularly. However, they are excellent groomers and generally keep themselves clean, only needing a bath when necessary. Baby wipes can be used as a quick way to get any dirty bits off without having to do a full bath.
When using shampoo or flea products be sure it is safe for a cat or kitten. Check the age and weight on the product and compare to your fennec. Their systems are more delicate like a cat because of their size even though they are in the canine family.
Living with a Fennec Fox as a pet
These foxes communicate using many different vocalizations, including whimpers, barks, shrieks, squeaks, growls, howls, and chatters. Fennecs are very vocal animals even when they are content. They are also very social and live in groups in the wild.
They are known for marking their territory with urine. Fennec foxes are intelligent and don't take to most commands. You won't be teaching yours to sit, stay, or not jump on your furniture. Because they are naturally perpetually alert and attentive, they are easily distressed by loud noises and unexpected events.
Remember to locate a vet experienced with exotics that is willing to see your baby before you get your baby. Before the big day, schedule an appointment for your baby to be seen within 72 hours for our health warranty to be effective. Have your vet give a general examination and let them get familiar with you and your baby in case of an emergency or routine visits in the future. You should take your baby in yearly for annual checkups.
Fennec Fox Health
Like dogs, fennecs will need routine examinations and vaccinations to stay healthy. Fennecs can carry rabies, and you will need to have yearly exams as well as heartworm and flea prevention.
Fennec Foxes are prone to many of the diseases we see in dogs.
Their bones are extremely fragile, and extreme precautions should be taken to protect them from sprains, breaks, and other injuries.
There may be times when your fennec has a minor injury or the power goes out. Having a small emergency kit with some helpful items can make all the difference.
Fennec Fox care guide
pet Fennec Fox FAQ's
Can I legally own a fennec fox?
Before deciding to purchase a fennec, research whether they are legal to own as pets in your state, city, and county. If you are traveling with your baby out of state, know the legal status of fennecs in all areas you will be traveling.
Should I get my fennec fox neutered/spayed?
Yes, all Fennecs should be spayed or neutered at around 6 months of age.
Can I let my fennec fox in the backyard?
As well as being amazing diggers, fennecs are also agile climbers. Fennec foxes are capable of quickly escaping over the top of most fences. Keeping your fennec on a harness or inside a safe enclosure when outdoors may be the best way to prevent escape.
Do I take my fennec fox on a walk?
Although they may get familiar with wearing a harness in a familiar area like your house or backyard, they will not be okay on a leash or harness in a public or unfamiliar area. They can spook easily in this type of environment and can get wrapped up in the harness quickly. This will cause unneeded stress. They do not need walks to get their energy out.
Are fennec fox good pets for children?
Because they are so hyper and nippy they are not suitable for young children.
Are fennec fox good with other pets?
Fennecs tend to do well with other animals larger or the same size as them.
Do fennec fox need vaccines?
Ask your vet about vaccinating against distemper, parvovirus, and rabies.
Do fennec fox smell?
Fennecs are very clean and I find they have no offensive body odor.
Can fennec fox be litter trained?
Some may take quite well to using a litter box, although a covered box works best due to their tendency to dig.
Do fennec fox bite?
Fennecs can, and will, bite—any animal with teeth can. The bites are not severe and rarely require medical attention, but they can hurt pretty badly.
Can I take my fennec fox on walks?
Yes! With some time and patience, your fennec fox can be harness trained and taken for walks. Make sure not to use a regular dog collar as fennecs are extremely agile and can easily wiggle free.
Fennec Fox Fun Facts
They are the smallest fox species
They can run up to 20 miles an hour
They can jump up to 2-3 feet and leap a distance of 4 feet
Fennec foxes are monogamous and mate for life