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Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Hedgehogs, Rabbits, Skunks, Squirrels, Bats, genets, civets etc.

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River
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Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby River » Wed May 16, 2012 8:00 pm

Hi, I've been researching adding a fox to our family for a couple years, and have the opportunity to bring home a baby, but I want to make sure he/she will be happy.

Points I think are in our favor:

1. We own our own house.

2. We have a fully fenced in backyard with 75% in a 6 foot privacy fence. The rest is chain link that we've been thinking about replacing.

3. We do have a wire fence panel dog pen that's fairly large, but it's not set up at this point in time- we had to have it to get a permit to keep a skunk if we decide to get one.

4. We do have experience with a variety of exotics, such as skunks, sugar gliders, and coatimundi (one of my favorite all time species).

5. I have experience making my own food for my pets, and if I were to bring home another pet, he/she would get food designed for his/her species.

6. I babysat my friend's skunks a couple times and loved them.

7. Our house is already critter proofed and there are no exposed wires/areas for the baby to get into trouble in.

8. I already have a small pen to use to litter train the baby while he/she is young.




Points maybe not in our favor:

1. We have small dogs who are used to exotics, but still, I don't want them eaten, lol.

2. We have a nasty neighbor across the street. When we first moved in four years ago, he threatened us with animal control, but has left us alone (knock on wood) for the last two years. If he did call animal control, I would move before rehoming anyone, that's a fact.

3. I do have a captive wildlife permit, though if I get a fox, based on my research, I don't need one unless its a red fox.

4. Even if we did set the pen up outside, I would prefer not to leave the fox/skunk in it while we're not home. We live in the city and I'm always afraid something could happen and it could get out.

5. There is a small chance we might be moving in a couple years, depending on how my husband's job turns out and the states we are considering both allow foxes, but only one allows skunks. That being said, if we did decide on a baby skunk, we wouldn't move to a state where they weren't allowed, so I guess this point doesn't really matter.


Questions if anyone would be so kind as give me advice:

1. Do you think our home would be suitable for either foxes or skunks?

2. If so, which one?

3. I'd love a fox, but I'd want to keep him/her indoors the majority of the time, and want to make sure people have been able to do that, successfully. I'm willing to make a large pen in our basement if necessary. Okay, remodel a room in the basement, if anyone thinks that would work, or even make like half the basement (it's about 1200 square feet) into a fox room. Would that work? When I had the skunks, they had free room and used the litter box really well and I loved that they were free ranging for the most part.

4. I guess, honestly, I'm leaning towards a fox, because although I love the skunks, they seem not to be that personable, rather like a ferret. It's like you can interact with them, but not really bond with them, if that makes sense. Maybe it was just the two I babysat?

Please help, if you don't mind. I really appreciate anyone's advice!
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed May 16, 2012 8:14 pm

Skunks would fit your situation better, aside from the moving to no-skunk areas.

Foxes NEED a large outside enclosure. You can't just take them out to run in the yard like a dog. You don't want them locked inside while you are gone or sleeping you and they would much prefer they be outside. They can be very destructive, chew holes in furniture, tear up dry wall and floors, etc. Plus they will make your house stink.

Tamandua are similar, smell wise(and they have torn up the dry wall). Pua peed in her crate going to the vet and got asked if someone got sprayed by a skunk, lol. Even if you clean a lot that smell will hang around. We're cool with it but most people wont be.

PS I moved it even though it involves foxes as you might get some suggestions on other medium sized exotics that might fit well. Skunks really are one of the best indoor exotic pets but true most aren't the most affectionate. Having your own will make a difference though. They are not going to act the same for new people as their owners. Best to have just one so it bonds to you rather than each other.
River
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby River » Wed May 16, 2012 9:39 pm

Thanks for moving the thread and your replies! I did really enjoy taking care of the skunks, making their own food, and didn't even mind cleaning their litter box. Don't get me wrong the two I took care of were great. The female was affectionate, the male (who was neutered when he was about six months old she told me) was more standoffish, but still not aggressive towards me or my dogs. But I was hoping for a deeper bond.

No matter what I got, I'd definitely only get one. I don't think I'm ready for two, lol!
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed May 16, 2012 10:54 pm

Hmm well what are you looking for in your bond? The definition there can be varied sometimes. Will snuggle with you when you want? Or okay if snuggles with you when it wants? Will play with you? Or are you talking about from your side, will you feel bonded to an animal of that species? Anything you raise your self will be more bonded to you than one you just babysit but there is going to be a difference to how much and how much they show it, and how they show it by species. A fennec fox doesn't show much affection while a gray fox will show more.

It does seem to be that female skunks tend to be friendlier, often the opposite in many species.
River
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby River » Wed May 16, 2012 11:08 pm

I'm looking for a pet who will snuggle with me on it's own terms, but is more affectionate than standoffish. An animal who will interact and play with me, and one that I feel connected to. I recognize that as wild animals, I won't have the same type of bond as I do with, say, my dogs, but I'd like more of a bond that I would have with, for example, a ferret or a hamster. Does that make sense?
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu May 17, 2012 12:25 am

I think skunks actually bond fairly well but if you don't feel that connected to them that's okay.

The half the basement would be a fairly good enclosure for the fox but it can get smelly. They pee smells strong like an intact wild skunk not like a pet descented skunk ;-) You might need to do something special for the walls if it chews the drywall.
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blacksagephoenix
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Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby blacksagephoenix » Thu May 17, 2012 8:16 am

Sounds like a skunk would be good for you, but also look into raccoons or opossums. They have similar personalities and care. I rescued an adult skunk male intact and he was straight up aggressive. He would go out of his way to bite my feet. Same with the adult female raccoon I rescued. But again, they were both adults when they came to me and had horrible lives before me as well, so I don't blame them. But the adult possum I have is as sweet as can be. The down side with opossums is that they only live a few years.
*~*~*~*~* Chell *~*~*~*~*

Mother of one daughter, one dog, two cats, one fennec fox, three hedgehogs, two short tailed opossums, three sugar gliders, three velveteen rabbits, one bearded dragon, one tortoise, twelve ball pythons, and several rats.
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haira32
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby haira32 » Thu May 17, 2012 11:14 am

You could look into grey or swift foxes which are smaller than reds and have been kept inside successfully due to less smell.
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby Lasergrl » Thu May 17, 2012 11:30 am

Yeah a raccoon sounds more what you are looking for. Maybe a fennec or swift fox but not a red type fox. You will not be happy with your fox in that situation.
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the_unstable
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby the_unstable » Thu May 17, 2012 12:34 pm

Agreeing with Lasergrl. A raccoon could work for you. They can live inside full time. Their waste does not smell any more than a dog's and their bodies smell less than a dog's would. They are relatively quiet animals, much more than a dog or fox. They are less "wild" than foxes and are more affectionate. They will get into a lot more than a skunk would, though. Skunks will open cabinets at their level but they can't climb onto counters like a raccoon can and absolutely will.

You'll need to seriously raccoon proof your house with everything locked away in cabinets or similar things with child-proof locks or locks requiring keys. They are very intelligent; they can figure out complex latches and open doors.
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby River » Thu May 17, 2012 12:49 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice! I love the raccoon idea, but in Michigan, we have to find an instate breeder and I haven't been able to locate one :( I also looked into gray foxes, but there don't seem to be many available within driving distance from where I live.
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the_unstable
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby the_unstable » Thu May 17, 2012 1:05 pm

Hmm someone else recently had a problem with that but I don't think they ever posted about finding a breeder in state or not. I am guessing not. Maybe if you end up moving to a state that would allow it in one way or another, you could get one then.

Gray foxes are supposed to be pretty great. I would love to have one myself. You might be able to find a breeder willing to ship. Tiny Tracks (Indiana) breeds them but I don't think they ship. There is also Hillview Exotics and Lost River Game Farm I believe. Not sure if either of them ship either. If you are ready this year, you might be able to get one soon, though many might be full on deposits.
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu May 17, 2012 2:02 pm

Too bad about the raccoon.

Do you have any other pets. Red fox sometimes kill cats even when raised with them. Just something to keep in mind if you have other pets.

Grays are said to be more affectionate than reds and a lot less smelly. The girls just rub their girly bits on things to mark them instead of pee and the pee isn't skunky anyway. Though one member did have to rehome his due to biting issues another(who rarely posts) hasn't had that problem.

Out on a limb a bit but what about a Mara? You need to be sure the breeder pulls them soon as they are born as the imprinting window is really short but raised right most are really friendly. The one at the pet store I visited came right up begging for pets. Some turn out shier but most make good pets. It would be happy with a yard to run in long as it's secure(they can dig and jump pretty high, and of course chew wood). A lot of people keep them as house pets.

Maras can be litter box trained
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azjo5uXnccY

Will snuggle with you on the couch etc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6lJE61Jqfc she said she jumps up on her own
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpFn1lIpamY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lICgWWIwD0
River
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Re: Will my situation be good for a fox or a skunk?

Postby River » Fri May 18, 2012 9:36 pm

Thanks again for the input! Boy, those Maras are cute :) but I don't think they're the right pet for us. We do have small dogs, they weigh about 10 lbs. and are used to other animals, so I don't think they'd hurt a skunk or fox. Either way though, they'd be separated when we can't directly supervise them. We have the mother lode of gating systems set up, lol, from when we used to foster dogs for a rescue group. As it is now, we're leaning towards a skunk (though part also still leans towards a fox... someday...), but want to do our research, first, to make sure we can provide a great home for whichever pet we get.

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