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Red fox Care Sheets
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Care Sheet for Exotic Animals

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 5.00    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 11/05/2009

Main Category:

Non-Reptile/Amphibian

Sub Category:

Exotic Animals

 Care Sheet Submitted By:

HerpotologyLover

Years Experience:

Under 1 Year

Species:

Red fox

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Just covering vulpes vulpes, which includes silver foxes, cross foxes, marble foxes, cinnamon foxes... Partially applicable to the gray fox, maybe slightly to the arctic fox, but the info will vary at least slightly.

Sexing and Characteristics:

No information on how to sex them is available at this time (from here), sorry.
The differences between them though, are that the males tend to be larger than the females. They tend to be more friendly towards humans than females. Males may potentially mark more, but females still mark basically the same.

Normal characteristics:
They are fast, agile creatures, they have a sleek, often slim body. With their tails, which tend to be long and very bushy, they can reach up to four feet, but averagely are about 2 and a half feet, and stand about 1 foot tall. They range between 7 - 28 lb, and males do tend to weigh on the higher scale of that.

Red foxes have a strong musk odor, which is mainly caused by the violet gland, also know as the "musk gland", and it emits a smell that smells somewhat like a skunk, but with a mix of other non-pleasant things, but a little less poignant than the direct smell of a skunk...this gland can be removed, but it is not suggested, as it is a difficult procedure (not like de-scenting a ferret or skunk), so it could potentially kill your fox or hurt it, and even if it is successful, it still won’t rid the smell of their urine - they do have a very poignant odor to their urine...they are possible to be litter-trained though, to cause less of a problem, but they also tend to mark everything, so you’ll still get fox urine odor somewhere...

Foxes are very active animals with plenty of energy, from a few fox owners who have their fox live in their house complain about destruction to their homes- this is only because the fox is bored and has nothing to do, so it’ll probably start digging into the stuff wherever it’s at - so you just need to give your fox plenty of things to do, and/or have lots of interaction, and take it out on walks and such...they also love the outdoors.

They have very soft fur, and long, sharp claws. In the winter they grow a long, thick, beautiful coat of luscious fur, which keeps them perfectly warm when they live outside, even in the coldest of temperatures. In the spring they shed into their short summer coat for the heat of summer.

During that time, most females go into heat, which can cause stress to them, and/or aggression problems towards you.
It is possible to get them spayed to prevent this, and it usually helps in over-all behavior and other problems, and can even lower the odor of their musk and urine, so it is often suggested. (This applies to neutering as well.) This should be done around 6 months of age.

These foxes are crepuscular, which means they are mainly active during dusk - they often go to sleep while it’s still night-time, but don’t go out during the day, not until it starts to get dark.

Mostly Active During:

Night

Substrate and Water Needs:

They should be provided fresh, clean, non-chlorinated water every day.

Lighting and UVB:

N/A

Temperatures and Humidity:

The fox should be fine in whatever environment you’re in, as long as it’s not hot or cold All year round. They do fine in most seasons though, as they have a coat to stay warm in winter, and they have a short coat to stay comfortable in summer.

Humidity: N/A

Heating and Equipment:

Heating: N/A

Equipment: You’ll need (suggested) a large indoor cage if you plan to keep him inside, but only to use when you can’t watch him, as it should be able to have a full run of the house, a larger outdoor enclosure (see next section), a leash and HARNESS (not just a collar, because they can slip out of that pretty easily), many toys (you don’t want a bored fox), litter boxes, possibly odor eliminators and stain removers, a kennel/crate for traveling, beds, blankets (things to keep him comfy), possibly shelves and such in his set-up - things for him to climb on/explore, possibly grooming tools, possibly shampoo, if you wish to bathe your fox (they are, in general, clean animals, but they can get dirty. )...

Caging Provided:

It is highly recommended that there be an outdoor enclosure for your fox, because many people start out saying they want their fox strictly indoors...but then they come into lots of problems, and wish they had built an outdoor enclosure.
The enclosure at a minimum should be about 10x7x6 (which is a standard large dog run/kennel.), but an ideal cage would be if they could have about a 20x20x10, but if that’s not possible, just make it as large as you can possible.... but keep in mind that it is necessary for there to be a top and bottom to the cage so that your fox can not climb out or dig out (and trust that they are exceptional diggers).

They can also just live in your home, but be reminded that they love the outdoors, and if you’re going to keep it inside, you need to fox-proof your home...such as covering up wires/cables (for they will chew them), baby-locking cabinets, covering very scratch-able surfaces...
And be sure to have plenty of litter boxes around.
(Another reason why some people end up leaving their foxes outside (in their enclosure) is that they pee everywhere...)

Diet:

Omnivorous

Description of Diet:

In the wild, they mainly eat meat, and mainly from small critters that live in the area.
You can feed them a home-made diet that consists mainly of meat, fruits, and vegetables. (Some recipes are found on the internet.)
Their meats can consist of mice, or human-grade meat that you get from the grocery store, or maybe some large insects (crickets, grasshoppers, actually larger than that- but those are feed-able.)
When feeding fruits, AVOID GRAPES- they are poisonous to them.
Treats they enjoy are hard-boiled-eggs, salmon, dog treats, and mini-marshmallows are a love (use those definitely sparingly though.)
You can also feed them a high-quality dog food. That does Not include the commercial brands; stay away from Purina, Science Diet, Bil-Jac......
Some suggestions are Blue Buffalo, Inova Evo, Nature’s Logic...

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Possibly supplement with calcium or protein, but they’re not necessary.

Maintenance:

They are high-maintenance...but I believe I including most of the things randomly through-out the sheet.

Some Words on this Species:

They can really make wonderful pets despite the draw-backs, but they don’t make the right pets for Everyone.
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DISCLAIMER:
The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of RepticZone.com. It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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