Foxes are fascinating creatures! They rather tread the line between cats and dogs in terms of their looks and behaviour, though they are very much wild critters. Therefore, it is never a good idea to domesticate a fox, no matter where you may see one!
They tend to get just about everywhere, are very fleet footed, and are expert hunters. Sadly, they have been hunted for sport over the years, too, which has led to this beautiful creature being fiercely protected over the years.
As you’ll find a fox or two out in the city as well as in the countryside, what should you expect when it comes to letting your dogs or cats socialise with these red-furred beasties? They perhaps pose more of a threat to birds – particularly domestic chickens – than anything, but let’s consider what you might need to keep in mind if you’re letting your pets roam free around a fox inhabited area in the next few weeks to months.
Are Foxes Likely to Pose a Danger to Your Pets?
The good news is that, on the whole, foxes are likely to pose a low risk to domesticated pets, providing there are a number of factors in play.
For example, if you have your dog or cat under control, it’s unlikely that a fox is likely to pose much of a threat. They are very much now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t – meaning that they will only normally attack if they are hunting, or if they are threatened. In fact, if a fox feels that a cat or dog is posing a risk to their cubs, there will most likely be mayhem.
On the whole, it’s thought that cats and foxes will largely ignore each other. However, as the Humane Society states, foxes may pose a risk of passing on some diseases to pets and other animals. For example, they could pass on mange to dogs, and other skin diseases. This is as a result of them being wild animals, and therefore likely to go here, there, and everywhere. You have no way of knowing quite where a fox has been!
What If I Have a Small Pet?
The bottom line with foxes is that they are very likely to run away if you are bigger than them, or if it feels there is no reason to attack. They tend to avoid humans outright unless they have received food from people in the past.
However, it’s small pets who you need to look after the most. While your cats and dogs should be safe providing they keep away, and don’t threaten a fox’s home or their young, foxes are massive opportunists when it comes to seizing on smaller prey.
Therefore, if you keep small pets such as rabbits or guinea pigs outside, make sure to doubly protect them if you know that your area is a hotbed for foxes. They have a taste for just about anything smaller than them and are masters of stealth.
Therefore, there may even be wily enough to hurt your smaller outdoor pets when you don’t have eyes on them. It’s crucial that you protect the little guys!
The Bottom Line
Foxes are gorgeous creatures, but they can be bold, mischievous, and even destructive. Therefore, as they are something of a wildcard, you must always make sure that your pets are under your control or security around them.
They are low risk from afar – but if your moggies or pups are particularly curious or crafty, make sure to consult with your vet if you’re worried they might have been in contact with a vulpine!