Should You Keep Fennec Fox (Desert Fox) As a Pet?

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Written By Esrat Jahan

Esrat is a well-regarded animal rescue expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience in animal advocacy. Esrat is the former editor of Tails Pet Magazine and volunteers in animal rescue, including Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society and Starfish Animal Rescue.

Keeping a Fennec Fox (Desert Fox) as a pet is not recommended due to their territorial nature, difficulty in house training, destructiveness, and specialized care needs for a high quality of life. If you give a Fennec everything it needs to keep itself busy and ensure secure fences and enclosures, it may be possible to own one.

However, they require large amounts of exercise and should not be confined indoors all day. Fennecs are social animals that thrive in the company of other Fennec Foxes and need a specialized diet, regular vet care, and careful socialization. Therefore, it is important to consider these factors before deciding to keep a Fennec Fox as a pet.

Should You Keep Fennec Fox (Desert Fox) As a Pet?


Pros And Cons Of Keeping A Fennec Fox As A Pet

When it comes to choosing a unique and exotic pet, the Fennec Fox, also known as the Desert Fox, often catches the attention of prospective pet owners. With their adorable appearance and playful nature, Fennec Foxes may seem like the perfect companion. However, before considering bringing one into your home, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of owning a Fennec Fox as a pet.

Characteristics Of A Fennec Fox

Fennec Foxes possess distinct characteristics that make them unique and fascinating creatures. Here are some key traits of the Fennec Fox:

  • Fennecs typically do not enjoy being cuddled or handled by their owners.
  • They are cautious animals by nature and prefer to run from an enemy rather than fight.
  • Fennec Foxes are known to bite when scared or nervous.

These characteristics can make it challenging to form a close bond with a Fennec Fox and may not suit everyone’s expectations of a pet.

The Challenges Of Owning A Fennec Fox

While there are some positives to owning a Fennec Fox as a pet, it’s important to consider the challenges that come along with it. Here are some potential difficulties:

  • Fennec Foxes are not domesticated, which means they have wild instincts that can be challenging to manage in a home environment.
  • They are highly energetic animals that require plenty of space to exercise and explore.
  • Their diet consists mainly of insects and rodents, which may be challenging to provide in a domestic setting.
  • Fennec Foxes have specific temperature and habitat requirements, making it necessary to create a suitable living environment.

These challenges can be time-consuming, expensive, and require a deep understanding of the Fennec Fox’s natural behaviors and needs. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and consider these factors before deciding if a Fennec Fox is the right pet for you.

Should You Keep Fennec Fox (Desert Fox) As a Pet?


Requirements For Keeping A Fennec Fox As A Pet

Before deciding to keep a fennec fox as a pet, it is important to understand their specific requirements. These unique creatures have specific needs when it comes to their housing, exercise, diet, and veterinary care.

Housing And Exercise

Providing adequate housing for a fennec fox is crucial to their well-being. These foxes are naturally active and require a spacious enclosure to allow for exercise and exploration. A minimum enclosure size for one fennec fox is 6 feet by 6 feet, with a height of at least 6 feet to accommodate their exceptional jumping abilities.

Fennec foxes are diggers, so it is important to ensure that the enclosure has a secure bottom to prevent any escape attempts. Additionally, the enclosure should be furnished with hiding spots, climbing structures, and toys to keep them mentally stimulated.

Proper Diet

A fennec fox’s diet should consist mainly of a balanced commercial diet specifically formulated for exotic carnivores. This diet should be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as occasional treats such as insects.

It is important to avoid feeding them foods that are toxic to their system, such as chocolate, onions, and grapes. Additionally, their water source should be clean and readily available.

Vet Care

Regular veterinary care is essential to ensure the health and well-being of a pet fennec fox. They require vaccinations, regular check-ups, and preventive treatments for parasites.

Being desert animals, fennec foxes are prone to certain health issues, including dental problems, ear infections, and obesity. It is crucial to find a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about exotic animals and fennec foxes in particular.

Furthermore, it is important to provide mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and behavioral issues. Regular playtime and interaction with their owner are necessary for their overall well-being.

Should You Keep Fennec Fox (Desert Fox) As a Pet?


Frequently Asked Questions For Should You Keep Fennec Fox (desert Fox) As A Pet?

Do Fennec Foxes Like Being Held?

Fennec foxes do not enjoy being held or handled by their owners. They are cautious animals and tend to run away from enemies. They may bite if scared or nervous. Keep in mind that fennec foxes require a lot of care and attention to stay healthy and happy.

Do Fennec Foxes Need A Lot Of Attention?

Fennec foxes require attention as they are active animals and need mental and physical stimulation.

Are Fennec Foxes Aggressive?

Fennec foxes are not aggressive towards humans, but they are not domesticated. They prefer to run away from danger and may bite if scared or nervous. They are social animals and should be kept with other Fennec Foxes.

What Are The Cons Of Fennec Foxes?

Fennec foxes have some cons as pets: they are territorial, difficult to house train, and can be destructive. They also require a specialized diet, health care, and socialization with other fennec foxes for a high quality of life.


While the idea of keeping a Fennec Fox as a pet may seem appealing due to their adorable appearance, it’s important to consider the challenges and responsibilities that come with it. Fennec Foxes are not domesticated animals and require specialized care and attention.

They have specific dietary and exercise needs and can be destructive if not properly stimulated. Additionally, they are territorial and may not tolerate being handled or cuddled. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and understand the unique requirements of owning a Fennec Fox before making a decision.

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