Share animal photographs or incredible animal facts.

Facts About Fennec Foxes

Facts About Fennec Foxes - The Social Animal of the Desert

The Fennec fox is a small-sized fox that lives in the desert. This article provides some cool facts about this animal.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: May 21, 2018
You have to obtain legal permission to own a Fennec fox as a pet.

The Fennec fox is also known as the desert fox since it survives in the Saharan desert. It is the smallest of the species of foxes, and several people wish to adopt it as an exotic pet because of its appearance. This is however, very rare, as it requires special care and attention. Let's take a look at the basic information on the Fennec fox, that includes its physical characteristics, natural habitat, and diet.
Physical Characteristics
  • The Fennec fox is the smallest type of fox, with a body length of about 9.5-16 inches, and 6 inch long ears. It has a cream-colored, furry body, with a black-tipped tail.
  • The long ears radiate heat and thus help keep its body cool. Moreover, the long hair on the body keep it warm in winter and protect it from the heat in summer.
  • In order to walk on the hot sand, a Fennec fox's feet are covered with hair that help for this purpose. Not only that, the feet also help in digging, as this animal lives in underground tunnels.
Habitat and Lifestyle
  • The habitat of this animal is mainly in the Sahara desert, and also in other parts of North Africa.
  • The Fennec fox is primarily a nocturnal animal. It adapts itself to the heat of its habitat with this trait.
  • It lives in communities of ten since it is an extremely social animal, and each community has its own territory. This territory is marked out by a male fox's urine.
  • This animal is, however, aggressive too, primarily in the mating season, where they all compete for a mate.
  • The diet of a Fennec fox is omnivorous. While it can survive on plants, it also needs other items to prey on such as insects, reptiles, and rodents. Its adaptation to the desert allows it to survive for long periods without any water.
As a Pet
  • Since a Fennec fox is a social animal, it requires a good amount of attention and personal care. However, it is not a domestic animal, so you might have to keep an eye on it as much as you can. It can easily escape a closed environment by its exquisite diggings skills, and is even a good climber.
  • If you happen to take it out for a walk, keep a good hold on the leash as it is quick to run and difficult to catch once escaped.
  • It is primarily nocturnal but should be allowed to lie in the sun for a while to maintain its health. Also, it is highly-active and should be given adequate space to follow its own exercise routine.
  • The Fennec fox does not give out any foul odor, and for this purpose, makes a great pet.
  • A kennel is the best way to house a Fennec fox, especially when you are not around to supervise its activities. At other times, when you are around, you may bring it into the house and keep it in a dog crate.
  • When you decide to keep it outdoors, you should do so in an outdoor pen with a fence around it that goes several feet underground, so that it does not escape by digging.
  • As mentioned before, since this is a wild animal, training it to live in a house can be a challenge. Tasks like litter training may take a while. To do so, you will have to bring it to a litter box several times in a day from its pen to relieve itself.
  • On the other hand, if you find it doing so openly in any other part of your house, don't punish it. Just move it back outside.
  • Since its diet is omnivorous, it requires a premium quality dry dog food. This should be supplemented with other foods such as crickets, meal worms, and other fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Lastly, before you get one, find out if there is a veterinarian in your locality who will be able to treat it in case it has a health problem. It requires vaccinations similar to dogs, particularly the ones against rabies and other viruses.
  • Having the fox undergo a health check up yearly is a good idea to protect it from heartworm and fleas. Perform other deworming techniques if required.
If you keep all these facts in mind and if all these tips are followed, then you can have a cute Fennec fox for a pet, that will survive for up to 12-14 years provided it is well cared for.