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Grey Fox (:

For species less common than reds and arctics.

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redvelvet1
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Grey Fox (:

Postby redvelvet1 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:24 am

Hi! I'm Liz, and am new here (although I have religiously spent hours upon hours scouring through this message board), and have finally joined after I decided after that I am set on finally taking on the challenge of a grey fox. I have 2 beagles (Ben, 9yrs and Toby, 3yrs) that are just the sweetest guys ever and a cat that loves nothing more than cuddles. I live in Michigan, where I would need a permit and an outdoor enclosure of 8x6x6 (although I am planning on at least 10x15x8) with a top and a bottom to prevent the fox digging or climbing out. I've been looking into different vets that would treat a pet fox and I am lucky enough to have a few to pick from close by. I'm highly considering Tiny Tracks Exotics as my breeder, so if you've had any experience with them, I would love to hear about them a bit more. I'd prefer to have a male, but I haven't made a final decision on that just yet. I just have a few questions on greys:

1) Would it be reasonable to have the fox indoors during the night? During the day I would let him come and go as he pleases.

2) Based on any experience, in what way would a grey be destructive? I have laminate wood floors and my furniture is fairly easy to clean. What are some ways I could fox-proof my house?

3) Any tips on introducing a new fox kit to cats/dogs?

4) How would I go about litter-training him? I have heard mixed things about this: that greys use a box when they're a kit, then begin to mess where they please as they grow older and mature or that they instinctively use a box through to adulthood.

5) I understand that every fox is different, but in any experience, do greys seem to be fairly sociable with family/friends that come to visit? I have family and friends over often so he or she would have grown up with it.

Thanks in advance! Any advice is much appreciated. I am very excited and want nothing more than to give a fox a happy home and accommodate to their needs to give them a comfortable life. icon-smile
redvelvet1
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby redvelvet1 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:56 am

And I've looked through the message board for information regarding a balanced diet for a grey and haven't had much luck. I could get help from my breeder, but if anyone wouldn't mind sharing some ideas, that'd be great and very much appreciated, thanks!
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Ash
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby Ash » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:05 pm

Hello, and welcome. :) We're happy to have a new member interested in grays. We don't have as much info on them as we do reds and arctics.

Well, I wrote you a novel:

I bought my first fox from Tiny Tracks almost 5 years ago (he'll be 5 in April). I have nothing but positive things to say about Dave and Tammy, and they are always willing to help answer questions later. They are an older couple, and sometimes people are offended by how blunt they can be, but that's just how they are. You have to be blunt when it comes to selling something as big a commitment as a fox. So don't be turned off by people who say that "they're rude." Generally, that's just them being blunt and straightforward, no sugar-coating.

I was happy enough with Dave, that I even traveled from Utah to Indiana to pick up my second fox. That is how happy I have been with them. And I fully intend to go through them again for my next fox purchases.

Foxes are very active during the crepuscular hours, and at night is when they spend a lot of their time awake. Mine both like to sleep during the day, and so are more sociable in the evenings and at night. So I believe it is important to give a fox its own space during the nighttime. Otherwise, it will scratch incessantly at its crate and you won't get an ounce of sleep, lol. Some people have been lucky enough to have foxes that are well crate-trained, but those are a rarity. And most just do not do well cooped up at night.

Linoleum floors are durable, but you want to be careful with your doors and furniture. They will dig and make holes in your furniture when you're not looking. And their incessant scratching at doors will ruin the door. If you have carpet anywhere, don't let the fox onto the carpeted areas. The urine smell is almost impossible to remove (we had to tear up our carpet and then shave the wood down a ways to finally get rid of the stench--and it's still there if you know what to smell for). Since grays are natural climbers, keep in mind that they may try to climb up things. I have not heard too many "horror" stories about indoor grays, but owners of them are more scarce. In short, just always supervise your fox when it is indoors, and let it have its own space and stuff to destroy when it's outside is the the best, general rule.

There have been several people who have successfully kept grays indoors. But I would still always suggest having an outdoor enclosure for whenever you're gone and can't supervise them directly. Foxes are mischievous, and there have been very sad circumstances of foxes eating things they should not when their owner was not around that died as a result. So be sure to modify and "fox-proof" your home. Anything breakable, hide, lol.

Greys are small, so introducing them to cats early would probably make them okay with them. Mine are reds, and I have no doubt in my mind that Fable (the male) would kill a cat on sight (he wasn't raised with them though). Many people have had years of success with their foxes living with cats. But every once in a while, things do go wrong. So be sure to be there for all interactions between the differing species.

A fox is no threat to a dog (unless it's like a teacup dog). You should be more concerned with how your dogs may react to the fox--will they see it as a friend or foe? Will they like it? If yours are naturally sweet and prone to be happy when new animals are introduced, chances are, you will be just fine. Foxes love to play with dogs too--usually to the point that the dog needs a break.

Reds seem to be great with the litterbox. And a lot of people have had success with their grays. However, keep in mind that foxes mark. This is different than just not using the litterbox. You may have a fox trained 100% to the box, but it will still mark to claim things as its own, when it smells the presence of another animal, when they are being submissive-happy, and sometimes, just because they do. It's not possible to train a fox to mark only in its litterbox because marking is a natural behavior--you can't train it out of them. That being said, there have been gray owners who have experienced marking, and others who have not had to deal with it at all. So it very well could just depend on the individual fox.

I would not label any species of fox as more "sociable." They tend to be aloof animals that get happy to see their owners and enjoy being petty and doted on. That being said, while it does depend on the individual fox, I have heard that in general grays are more sociable. Obviously you would want to socialize them with other people when they are young though too to ensure that they are used to a large variety of people. Mandy (fox breeder) says grays are her favorite since they do seem more sociable. And an older member who doesn't post anymore kept her grays indoors as well as outdoors. But it is definitely best if the grow up with seeing lots of new faces all the time.

Both of my reds LOVE humans. Fable will go over to anybody for pets, while Ifrit (even though she's squeaking and tail-wagging and urinating will excitement) sometimes does not even let people pet her. Fable did have more socialization with lots of people, and Ifrit didn't get as much (though she did get quite a bit of time with strangers). But this could all be personality-based too. Fable is a very calm, lazy fox that just wants to be petted for hours and hours on end (unusual), while Ifrit is just a ball of crazy (more usual, but maybe not to this extent--she is crazier than the five other foxes I have worked around).

As far as diet goes, most people feed their grays what they would feed a red fox. There is not much difference in what they eat in the wild--rodents, birds, rabbits, veggies, etc. So in general I would say their diet is pretty much the same. Not to say there aren't differences, of course, I'm sure there are, but grays thrive on the same diet that reds do.

One more thing as far as grays go--do not get them vaccinated against distemper. It is unfortunately "common" for grays to contract distemper afterwards, and it sadly even happened to a member here. Apparently among the veterinarian world (well, the experienced veterinarian world) they advise against vaccinating grays against distemper due to the possibility and likelihood of them contracting it.

If you have anymore questions, feel more than welcome to ask. :) Asking questions is always the best place to begin, and it's great that you're doing your research well ahead of time. And again, welcome to the forum.
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redvelvet1
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby redvelvet1 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:12 pm

Thanks so much! That all was very helpful. (:
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby Ash » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:13 pm

No problem. :icon-wink: Hopefully others will chime in as well.
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby ralph » Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:32 am

my wife and I have two grey foxes and have and most of what we learned was from talking wtih pat and the rest the hard way.what I will say is if you put the time in and mean lots of it and have enough pacience grey foxes are the most loving gentle playful creatures. our vet has fixed both the male and female given shots for distemper pervo and rabies with no ill affects .he did a lot of research on his own before we were convinced it would be in there best interest .it took over a year before the older fox taz was totally housebroken but the use of a doggie door and an outside area in a large pen where he established as his own seemed to do the trick.other than that he roams the house at will ,sleeps in bed at night on his own pillow and although he seems to whimper a lot as he settles in is not the playful menace he was when younger.you still cant leave any leather products around as my wifes shoes and my belts have taken a beating.the younger female tildy is still a menace to the house and although she hes improved greatly is still not totally housebroken.her disposition however is fantastic as she craves being held and is a licker not a nipper.when the grandkids come over its hard to tell who gets more excited as they all seem to bounce off the walls.its a blast watching them steal all the kids toys and drag them out into the pen. i hope you can find a way to get a grey fox as your pet and dont think you will ever be dissapointed but i also hope you dont underestimate the time required to raise a phisicaly and emotienally healthy fox.wish i knew how to send some pics of them to get an idea of the enviornment they exist in here
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby Ash » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:49 pm

ralph wrote:my wife and I have two grey foxes and have and most of what we learned was from talking wtih pat and the rest the hard way.what I will say is if you put the time in and mean lots of it and have enough pacience grey foxes are the most loving gentle playful creatures. our vet has fixed both the male and female given shots for distemper pervo and rabies with no ill affects .he did a lot of research on his own before we were convinced it would be in there best interest .it took over a year before the older fox taz was totally housebroken but the use of a doggie door and an outside area in a large pen where he established as his own seemed to do the trick.other than that he roams the house at will ,sleeps in bed at night on his own pillow and although he seems to whimper a lot as he settles in is not the playful menace he was when younger.you still cant leave any leather products around as my wifes shoes and my belts have taken a beating.the younger female tildy is still a menace to the house and although she hes improved greatly is still not totally housebroken.her disposition however is fantastic as she craves being held and is a licker not a nipper.when the grandkids come over its hard to tell who gets more excited as they all seem to bounce off the walls.its a blast watching them steal all the kids toys and drag them out into the pen. i hope you can find a way to get a grey fox as your pet and dont think you will ever be dissapointed but i also hope you dont underestimate the time required to raise a phisicaly and emotienally healthy fox.wish i knew how to send some pics of them to get an idea of the enviornment they exist in here


Ralph, thank-you so much for your post. We do not get as much info on grays, so this information is invaluable. :) It really makes me want one now!
3 red fox, 4 iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, 2 salamanders, tarantula
redvelvet1
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby redvelvet1 » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:52 pm

Thanks for all the great information guys (: It has been very helpful. I'm putting down my deposit at Tiny Tracks. I'm so unbelievably excited.
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby Ash » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:53 pm

redvelvet1 wrote:Thanks for all the great information guys (: It has been very helpful. I'm putting down my deposit at Tiny Tracks. I'm so unbelievably excited.


Congrats! I can't wait for you to get your baby. :)
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:24 pm

Yes thanks for sharing especially that they had no ill effects from the vaccines. Do you know exactly what type and brand given? A lot of people are scared to give distemper but since they are so prone to get it a vaccine is a good idea. A recombinant should not be able to give them Distemper since it's only bits of DNA. But all vaccines stress the immune system so they need to not be exposed to anything till they fully take effect. If exposed before the vaccine or before all are done and it fully takes effect it could seem like the vaccine caused it due to timing.
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby ralph » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:28 pm

I wish I could give you all the technical data the vet conveyed to me.He delayed the series of shots until he did some rather extensive research which considering what little use it will be to him in the future I was very appreciative of.I think it presented a chance to learn something new and a challenge.the shots our foxes received were new based on research done on an island just off the California coast that had been going on for some time with foxes but the vaccine is relatively new. If you would like I will request the information from the vet and pass it along.I will also add that both taz and tidy both had mild reactions the next day with frequent urination and slight lethargy.The next day it was gone. As for diet both get raw eggs chicken cranberries nuts and four live mice a week for Maureen.we hope that's enough
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby Ash » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:55 am

ralph wrote:I wish I could give you all the technical data the vet conveyed to me.He delayed the series of shots until he did some rather extensive research which considering what little use it will be to him in the future I was very appreciative of.I think it presented a chance to learn something new and a challenge.the shots our foxes received were new based on research done on an island just off the California coast that had been going on for some time with foxes but the vaccine is relatively new. If you would like I will request the information from the vet and pass it along.I will also add that both taz and tidy both had mild reactions the next day with frequent urination and slight lethargy.The next day it was gone. As for diet both get raw eggs chicken cranberries nuts and four live mice a week for Maureen.we hope that's enough


If you could get the info from your vet, I would love to hear it and look at the studies they checked out. Especially if it's a recent study. It's been very standard for years that grays are not vaccinated for distemper, so if that has changed and there is a safe vaccine, I'd love to know--for whenever/if ever I get grays, and also to pass along to other people. It would just be good info to have.

Not that I'm doubting, lol, I just like seeing the info so I can see for myself. Though I think you have an awesome vet.
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby ralph » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:58 am

Ok what I will do is request all the information our vet located in Milford pa has accessed through his his research.I will attach his name and contact info if he is amenable to that and hope you may find it of some value.I,'ll try to post any relevant info and would add that both my wife and I were more than just a little concerned after what we had been told about the dangers involved with vaccines.He was very reassuring and certain of a positive outcome.It was a great relief as we love both our foxes as I'm sure can relate.As soon as we get info we will post.R P
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby Ash » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:48 pm

Thank-you, I appreciate that a lot. The more info we get on foxes, the better off our fur critters will be. Thanks again.
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Re: Grey Fox (:

Postby lexi_magdalene » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:13 pm

Hi, fox friends! This will be my very first post here. I also have a gray fox! He'll be 1 year old on May 1st and he's from Lost River Game Farm. He received a rabies shot, but no distemper. He's also neutered. He currently weighs in at 8lbs. He's 100% indoors, and doesn't mind a bit. He actually seems to dislike being outside, because the sound of leaves crunching scares the bejesus out of him! He's a lap fox for sure! He's a fan of Blue Buffalo Wilderness rabbit/chicken/duck, and he also gets lamb lung and chicken livers. His favorite fruits are cherries, apples, and melon. He really doesn't like his veggies, so we give him Gerber baby food to supplement and trick him into eating his vegetables! We taught him from an early age all people had marshmallows in their pockets ;) so he's actually quite fond of strangers, and even great with kids! He's also amazing with our cat. They play together every day, and respect each other's space. I leave them out together even when I have a long shift at work, and they rarely get into any trouble. (usually they only get into trouble if I accidentally left something where it shouldn't be. My shoes/laces, for example xP) He's very good at going #2 in his litter box. However, he has yet to give up his marking habits. I bought a male wrap from PetSmart and he wears it around the house so that he can't mark on his food or toys. I highly recommend gray foxes as pets, as they seem to be the most chill, friendly foxes overall, and easy to work with for the first time fox owner. Just make sure you install lots of shelving, so that anything you hold dear you can keep high above and far away from their destructive little teeth! :twisted: lol

ps - Hi, ralph!

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