Silver Foxes as Pets: Guidelines and General Tips
In the wild, a silver fox is a red fox with melanism. However, when we talk about the silver fox as a pet, we are actually talking about a variation of the Russian domesticated fox. These foxes are bred and raised in specialized centers with the aim to produce tamer foxes while maintaining the melanistic gene through selective breeding.
Obviously, these "domesticated" foxes cannot be released into the wild because they have never dealt to hunt, hide and live freely. Similarly, an adult wild fox never can never get used to captivity and would be deeply unhappy if captured to be kept as a pet.
Today at AnimalWised we will point out the main traits and requirements of silver foxes as pets with the help of some guidelines and general tips. However, before we begin, we must clarify that we believe silver foxes shouldn't be pets. If you read on, you will understand why.
Can silver foxes be pets?
When we say that we do not believe that silver foxes can be pets, we mean that they have been domesticated for too few generations and they still have an unfriendly and elusive character.
The centers that breed and raise these animals have tried to soften and tame the red fox by crossing specimens chosen for their temperament. Surely someday they will achieve their goal, but as of today they have not fully done it yet. For this reason, adopting a silver fox as a pet is a lottery. Your fox may be affectionate and stay with you willingly, but it may not - and adopting them costs a fortune.
Foxes are outdoors animals
If you adopt a silver fox as a pet, it is imperative that they live outside. A fox will need a cubicle or something similar to a dog house. They should never be housed inside an apartment or house, unless you want it to be torn down in no time at all.
Above all, foxes will never adapt to living confined in a cage. If you want a silver fox as a pet and you have considered the possibility of having them locked up, if only for a few hours a day, ask yourself this question: Would you cage a dog?
Foxes are smelly
As we said in our article about foxes as pets, these animals emit a pungent odor. They have a gland in their tail that secretes civet musk - a very smelly animal secretion.
This, together with the stench of urine and feces, is one of the reasons why the silver fox have not been considered as pets by humans during the course of history. Why do you think they have not been domesticated like dogs, cats or horses? It's not that they can't be trained, in theory - the problem with foxes is that, beautiful and intelligent as they are, their smell is just too bad to take.
Foxes cannot cohabit with other pets
Although you may find an exception if you adopt a silver fox as a pet at an extremely young age, foxes are incompatible with other pets. They are predatory carnivores, and their hunting instinct is very strong. We all have heard tales of foxes going into chicken coops, killing all the birds and eating only one. Your small dogs, cats, birds and fish will definitely not be safe if you have a silver fox in the premises!
With very large dogs, the dog may be the one to kill the fox, since their smell provokes an aggressive reaction in the dog against the stench of an atavistic enemy.
Foxes are master escapists
Obviously, the garden where the silver fox lives should be properly fenced. However, this will not guarantee that your fox won't try to escape. Foxes are expert engineers and great jumpers. If they cannot escape by digging or jumping, they swill study and learn your movements to take advantage of your carelessness.
For example, taking out the trash, leaving the gate open, or taking the car out of the garage are all favorable moments for a fleeing silver fox. They will most likely not return, either because of an accident or because they will follow the scent of another wild fox. After all, foxes live very close to human settlements - although we hardly see them.
When adopting a wild animal, such as the silver fox or the fennec fox, in order to offer them your home, care and affection, you must ask yourself whether this adoption is intended to make the animal happy or just yourself.
We hope we have answered any questions about why it is not advisable to have silver foxes as pets and raised a little more awareness of the importance of preserving nature and wildlife.
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