Fox Ownership - Up and Down
I do see lately this fact having a fox as a pet is spreading through the world and more and more people trying to get one and many times their reason is "it is just so cute and fluffy, I totally want one."
My personal experience that if somebody really wants something they will get it no matter what or how. Followed by many misinformation over the net about foxes as pets the number of these people will grow. I personally not necessary find this bad as I also have one at my household and I would never give her out of my hands - so telling people to not to is on a way generates paradox. You would ask me, then why I do have one?
I have one because I am dedicated and truly given my soul to this animal specie and I love them for what they are. I am heavily spiritual person and I do believe that foxes are my power animals and the animal chosen me not me the animal. I was a lion and rat person years ago and would do anything to cuddle a baby lion at a zoo and make interview with zoos who raising them. Then I got some strange dreams and the fox as symbolism kept appearing every now and then and followed by this I finally made possible to see them in zoos. I heard their noises much before I´ve seen one in real - living in Slovenia/Rakitna in a whole year they were my neighborhood and I found fascinating to listen at early morning their alert barks.
Then it started - I became obsessed and tried to dig everything up about them. I know from myself I did watch those sweet fluffy videos about foxes and I surely was fascinated how wonderful pets they can make and I do want to have my own. I wanted a rescue one who has no chance in the wilds anymore but not taking one for my own pleasure. I am an animal lover I always was and I respect them enough to take them as companion not “tool” who is there to serve humans.
I am sure you all have your reasons why you want a fox - wanna be fox owners. My words mostly a collection based on personal experience to help the future owners.
I personally really not suggest this pet to everyone. To be honest not because of the fox but because of the human tolerance and patience not everybody has. While they can make wonderful pets they are a huge responsibility and really can train your nerves hard and turn you out of your cool mind at case and not everyone can deal with this well. A wrongly handled fox can turn wild and aggressive and disaster can happen which is not good for the animal nor the human.
A fox first of all needs to be content and it means you must adjust certain facts and keep yourself to it.
But to cut it shorter if you plan to have a fox you must be aware the following and really reconsider this well;
- A fox lives up to 10-15 years in captivity. There were some exceptions who lived up to 17-18 years even - so it means you have to take responsibility for this animal for a quarter of life!
- A fox has smell. They themselves are super clean animals and after the kids age when they roll in their litter they clean themselves as cats and they keep their sleeping place super clean even. But they have strong nose-twisting scent which you can´t ease. The males tend to be more smelly and they have tendency to mark their territory not just with urine but their anal grand contains truly uncomfortable smell. They also release their anal grands in danger moments and it needs a day to wipe the scent out of a closed era. You will need to clean after the animal weekly and wash a lot, mop up a lot to keep it controlled.
- They are cheeky and destructive. They like to chew on things, steal things, do things they know you don´t want but that makes it even more interesting. They also love pull things off from the shelves and push just like a very wild cat would do and they are very independent creatures. They not having pack mentality so they do not need you for their life, but they can accept you as a partner. No alpha and omega - only equal partnership where both of the partners must adjust the other one. A sacrifice from both; the fox gives up its wild life and limits its moving era to your household and in return you tolerate it for being a fox.
- Digging. To me this is the most annoying thing ever and sometimes I just feel to throw some heavy thing at Eshu when she literally digs up my entire bed sheet. So yes they love digging and no carpets are safe from them nor wallpapers which they love to pull down. I know Eshu pulled and torn down ALL posters of mine I had on my walls so I not even thought about having a framed picture up. This also contains digging the food remains around to store it for later. Trust me an old rotting piece of meat in your room in the summer heat can smell really bad and if you starve the poor creature it will tear your entire house apart just to find some food. Dig hole in the wall, jump on the shelves, push things down as she tries to find eatable thing around.
- Vet and vacation. You do need a vet who actually is willing to take care of your fox without issues and ready to pay the bills after the animal. Their food also costy, just as their vet visits. About you taking vacation is also very limited as leaving a fox behind for even a week without having human contact it can be-wild fast and easy and will be difficult to re-socialize when back not to mention not easy to find someone to take care of your fur-kid.
- Moodiness is another common thing for foxes. They are acting as bipolar and they do have their days when they simply don´t want you to touch them or handle them, when they want to be alone. You must deal with this well and not force yourself on the fox to stress it and cause her stress which can turn into aggression.
- Have the right kit is impossible. You can read a lot about foxes and their behaviour, you can buy all sort of things suggested and build the largest enclosure ever but you can not prepare what fox you will get to work with. Not only they are all personalities and you won´t find one and the same fox out there but they all have their own tricks, pranks, habits, likes, fears and way of be. You may not get the kit you seen on the videos, you may not have the most thrilled and happy tail wagging one to welcome you. Once you taken one it still will be your fox kid you are responsible for and no way to “change” it with another kit. A fox kit usually open and very friendly up to 3-3,5 months old when their fear sense not developed yet (that is why you can see fuzzy fox kits around the den playing fearless) and in this time you can´t see what their behaviour pattern will be. That comes around 5 months of age when the bond already happens and trashing a bonded kit who won´t adopt other partner - just because it is not the way you wanted - is cruel.
- Foxes are hyperactive. They have incredible lots of energy to burn up and they truly full of life. Every single day. They need to get entertained daily for hours to be balanced and healthy for both of you to live together. A dog can help a lot if the fox meet with it in early age and can adopt. But not enough to keep the fox social and human friendly you do need to sacrifice from your time just to be with your fox. If you work a lot a fox really not for you - such foxes with lack of human contact can turn aggressive and wild. No matter where the fox is from as this animal is not domesticated. There is a project running in Russia but decades must pass to have real sign of true domestication with the animal. It is a nice quote for them to make some great business but not entirely true. The curled tails and floppy ears with shorter legs more sign of sublimation then domestication. Easy to confuse people with this.
I know these are really a lot of negativity about owning a fox. But these are facts you should know about before really get one for yourself. Having a decent enclosure can help a lot for sure - and would make it a lot more easier and less to tolerate for you. There are reasons why everyone says they do need enclosure and not really for indoors (talking of vulpes vulpes here). But keeping a fox brings incredible big joy and pleasure once we do handle the animal well and keep it socialized. I really want to remark this part; a well kept fox whose needs are satisfied and the animal is content.
So some words about the pleasure this all can bring!
- The bond between human and fox is truly an outstanding experience. It is different as a dog, and can´t be compared but a wonderful experience for life. Such trust and such spiritually blessed connection something I never found anywhere in my life and would not exchange with anything. Coming home after a hard day and having a whistling-screaming ritually pee you around excited fox who literally would die in happiness seeing you is experience for life.
- Therapeutic to have something like a fox around you. They do have this "cute factor" which for humans are pleasing and satisfying to see daily. You may laugh at this, but it can make miracles. Our today world is rather dark and sterile with many dramas and suffering and having something so fluffy and sweet around you can drag you out of this and make you giggle like mad and melt over the view.
- It can make you more content (after you settled down how to handle the down parts and mutually live with compromises) and by just simply watching your fox be more open to the surrounding of yourself. Our modern life filled with computers and technology and we often forget about the wonders around us - a touch of wild life in your household with its wild nature can make you realize how short your life is and to live for the moment and live it not just talk about it. You and your fox a whole different universe nothing can be like that and only you and your fox share.
- A fox is a hard teacher but a great teacher. You definitely will keep order in your house, keep cleaning weekly or even mop up daily. It surely will drag you out of computer and by it decrease your addiction to online dramas which surely will make your life happier and better. :)
I truly hope this clears up things and can give better view to people about this fact. I not saying do not get one, but saying please be very careful before you decide. Think twice and reconsider this and try to visit zoos or sanctuaries before get your kit to gather personal experiences. There are plenty of stories of a badly kept fox went rampage and had to put it down - it is terrible to see and I am not against fox ownership - I am against irresponsible pet ownership. Not just fox, but dogs, cats, fish, birds and many others - a fox is even harder as a fox biting a human out of bad training will be put to sleep and the fox used here as a tool to satisfy a human desire not taken as a companion and even accepted as a fox!
Respect lives - animals are part of our world, they are companion as pets not tools!
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