How Much Does a Domesticated Fox Cost?

Written by: Staff


While some people think you can’t own a fox as a pet, they are taken aback when they find out it can be legal in some states.

Strongly resembling a domestic dog, a domesticated fox is much different than raising one.

Pet owners often avoid owning one due to their house manners, housing requirements and the strict laws when owning one.

Fox - British Wildlife Centre by Airwolfhound, on Flickr
Fox – British Wildlife Centre” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Airwolfhound

How much does a domesticated fox cost?

The cost of a truly domestic fox can cost around $5,000 to $9,000 for just the purchase from a reputable organization that truly breeds domesticated foxes.  However, you may be able to find a backyard breeder that sells their foxes for as little as $200 to $700, with the red fox often being the cheapest option.  The costs, ultimately, depend on the species, coat color, breeder and age of the fox.

Before you even consider purchasing a domesticated fox, however, keep in mind that some states don’t allow foxes to be kept as pets.  Refer to your state law to know of the legalities to avoid stiff penalties.  Foxes and Friends, for instance, says 21 states have a ban on private ownership on any exotic animal.

According to Fast Company, importing a domesticated fox from Russia can cost $9,000, but you may need to find one for as little as $400 to $600 from a backyard breeder.

SibFox, a company from San Francisco, will ship a domesticated fox to the United States for $7,000.  This will include the shipping, all immunizations and neutering.

What are the extra costs?

In the wild, foxes will feed on smaller rodents, birds, insects, reptiles and fruit, but in captivity, they will feet on a grain-free dog food, fruits and vegetables, similar to that of a dog.  Depending on the weight, a fox will eat about one pound of food per day.  Some breeders, however, may recommend a raw meat diet with a fruit and vegetable supplement.  Like a dog, be prepared to spend close to $50 to $150 per month.

As with any animal, vet visits are crucial to its health.  This includes heartworm medication, vaccinations, and the occasional nail trim.  Unexpected surgeries or visits can easily add hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to your annual bill.

A fox can live inside or outside, but if outside, they will need protection from the sun and rain.  Most owners will build a shelter, often equipped with a bed and blanket.  Inside, a fox can act similar to that of a dog or cat, often laying on the bed or lounging in a favorite spot.  Even if you plan on keeping your fox indoors, they will still need to time to roam outside because of their natural instincts.  A good outdoor enclosure that’s dig proof can cost up to $2,500.  Experts recommend an enclosure that’s at least 100 square feet with double doors.

Even if the fox is legal in your state, you may still need a permit to legally own one.  Most exotic animal permits can cost up to $200 per year.

Shipping is often included in the estimate, but in some cases, you may have to pay a separate fee to have one shipped to your doorstep.

Like a dog, training highly recommended via the popular clicker method.  Whether you want to purchase the training tools or hire a professional dog trainer, training will help your dog learn how to comfortably interact with other human beings and pets.

Tips to know

In captivity, a domesticated fox will either be an African desert fox or a species that is native to the Northern Hemisphere such as the red, bat-eared, corsac, arctic, grey or popular Fennec fox.

A domesticated fox can be trained to use a litter box, and yes, you can even walk your fox on a leash if trained.

If you want to know if a fox is legal in your state, refer to this summary of laws written by Born Free USA.

A domesticated fox is known to be much more destructive than the average household dog.  A fox loves to chew on almost anything they can get their teeth on.

Foxes kept as a pet are known to bond close to their owners, just like a cat or dog.

A big drawback, according to those who have owned one, is often the musky-like smell.  Even if they are housebroken, they may mark their territory by urinating on objects.  This smell is hard to get rid of.

The average fox lifespan is two to five years.

Since there’s a good chance a fox is illegal in your state, consider a dog breed that looks similar to that of a fox., for instance, lists 11 dogs that look like a fox.

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