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Re: Warning for first-time owners!

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:28 am
by foxes,eh.
Thankyou for this. This is a very informational chat, and I have learned many tips and ideas for kenneling and training. I am curious though, how bad is a foxes musk smell? Some have told me it is as bad as a skunk, others have told me it is more similar to a tom cats spraying. Is there a way to train a fox out of his/hers territorial spraying habits? I also live in Canada, and though I do not have a fox, I have researched the licenses needed and the Bylaws around the area I live, as well as the laws regarding importing exotics, and purchasing from breeders, and not farms. I do not know if I really, truly am able to properly take care of a fox, considering the climate, and biome I live in. As the only breeders in Canada are speciffically fenec fox oriented, and I live in Northern Alberta, were it is excruciatingly cold for most of the year, and so I would either have to build a heated kennel, or have the darling stay inside the house. I am also curious about how destructive a fox can get. Do they really eat through walls? Are we talking "Marley and me" habits, or more "annoyed that they are alone, so gonna push over everything breakable" kind of destruction? :) I have always wanted a fox, and knwing that the possibility of getting one excited me greatly, but I want to make sure it has a very good quality of life, and knowing that it cannot be treated like the average dog, I don't think that I can give it the right home yet. But I am still curious for possibly the future. Thankyou again. :) Also, I am curious on your thoughts about the breeds of foxes available in North America, I can only really get a Fennec where I live, but I would still love to hear feedback on the pros and cons of Red foxes, arctic foxes, and kit foxes. Thankyou again. :)

Re: Warning for first-time owners!

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:45 pm
by Lara
I don't really know much about Fennecs, but I have heard that they don't smell very much and live inside. As for reds, I think diet really affects their smell. When I got my little boy, he was fed purine dog food. They poor guy smelled terrible. Really, it made me gag. After I switched him over to a raw diet, he smelled a lot better, but when the wind blew before a cleaning day, it did smell like a skunk had sprayed. He also marked a ton, so that contributed to the smell.

In terms of destructiveness, I don't think I've ever met an animal who can do more damage in a day. Any toy, leash that was hanging too close to the enclosure, or other items that weren't made of concrete that came too close would be ripped to shreds.

On the other hand, he was the best pet I've ever had, and he walked better on a leash than the dogs I pet sit :)

Re: Warning for first-time owners!

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:54 pm
by foxes,eh.
Thankyou. wow, that sounds like a terrible amunt of damage. About the raw diet, what kind of foo did you feed him? Do you know if there is a type of fox food that can be sold?
Thankyou again. :)

Re: Warning for first-time owners!

Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:39 pm
by Lara
He was quite a handful (:

I think one of the main issues was the fact that I got him as a twelve week old, and by that time he wasn't interested in learning what he couldn't destroy. I switched around a bit on food, adding different things depending on what he liked and needed. As a base diet, I fed him cooked chicken, sweet potato, fennel, soft boiled eggs, and some other vegetables for his meals. Once a day I have him either a raw egg, chicken livers, or chicken hearts. I also bought raw bone for him to chew, which helped distract him from chewing everything else and gave him a treat that would last. For a while, I had dog food out for him all the time, but he stopped eating it and I'm not a huge fan of processed foods for pets, so I took it out.

I'm not sure about premade food, some of the other members might know, but I never really looked into it. I did find it was easiest to make food ahead and freeze it, but which is why I didn't add the chicken livers or hearts to his food.

All this is purely based on what I fed my red, Fennec diets are way different and pretty tricky from what I've heard.

Re: Warning for first-time owners!

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:18 pm
by Ash
Fennec care is very different from red and arctic fox care. You would definitely want to keep a fennec indoors since they are so fragile. Taking them outside in a secure area would be great enrichment for them. But the temperatures in your area would definitely be too cold for an outdoor enclosure year-round. TamanduaGirl is a lot more knowledgeable regarding fennecs and owns one herself as well as has been part of the community for at least a decade. So she may offer some good advice.

Reds are definitely stinky. Lots of owners put up with the smell and get used to it. It's not THEM that stinks but their waste. They do not spray, but they do mark. Marking is a natural behavior and they cannot be trained out of it. So if it lives indoors, it will make your house smell. I've met owners that do this, but I don't think the average person could let their house be made into a fox den.

As far as destructive behavior goes--a fox cannot be left unsupervised indoors. They do bite through dry wall. RonRon on youtube did this, and my foxes did this when they had their garage enclosure. They definitely will chew up everything they can get their mouth on, especially when young. They do calm down as they age, but I like to say, "A bored fox is a bad fox." Bad as in they'll get into trouble. lol.

I think it's great you're doing your research now. Even if you're not ready yet, knowledge will help save you from lots of hurdles in the future. The more you know, the better off you'll be. Definitely browse through the forum and read lots of the threads. There's lots of good info here.

Re: Warning for first-time owners!

Posted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:39 pm
by TamanduaGirl
For the heck of it I just checked records and it'd be about 17 years though I've wanted one for longer.

Sadly you can't get a fennec in Canada. Neither breeder is currently breeding from what I've heard.

I don't know if any of the fur farms up there would have grays and be willing to sell. That would be your best bet besides a fennec if you want a house fox that doesn't smell much though most still provide them with an enclosure as well but over all they seem more dog like and want to spend time with you more than other foxes, plus the not smelling like skunk makes them pretty good fit for most.