Petite Paws Exotics logo Fennec Fox The Fennec Fox Page
Vancouver Island, BC
paw Home

paw About

paw Guide To Buying A Pet

paw Guide To Taming A Pet

paw Pocket Pets

paw Exotics

paw Lists

paw Links

paw Mail

  Please note that the Fennec Fox is  listed on CITES,  Appendix II which restricts cross border travel of these animals plus the quarantines required we cannot ship the Fennec Foxes outside of Canada.

Click here for Fennec Fox pictures.

Click here for Fennec Fox baby pictures.

This page is for your information only.
We do not breed Fennec Foxes.

Scientific name - Fennecus zerda (was Vulpes zerda)

The Fennec fox is the smallest of the wild canid family (canines) weighing up to 3 pounds.

Fennecs have the largest ears, in relation to body size, of all the wild canid. The Fennecs ears can grow up to 6 inches long. These wonderful "dumbo" ears are very sensitive to the slightest sound, which aids them when they are hunting. The ears also act as radiators, helping cool them in the desert heat.

The Fennecs coat is reddish cream to light fawn to creamy white. The tail is tipped in black. The coat is thick, long and extremely soft. The soles of their feet are furred to protect the pads of their feet from the hot sand and rocks in their native habitat.

The Fennec fox is native to most areas of the Sahara desert (North Africa) through the Sinai Peninsula to the Saudi Peninsula (Saudi Arabia and neighbouring counties).

Fennecs are extraordinary diggers. They are able to dig long tunnels under the sand. They have been known to dig a 20 foot tunnel in one night. Many of the people from the Fennecs homeland believe that the Fennec fox can "disappear" into the sand while standing still.

The Fennec fox is classified as nocturnal, but they love to sleep and play in the sun. Some of the native people call them the "Sun fox" for their love of basking in the sun.

The Fennec is very lithe and agile, able to jump distances up to 4 times their body length. They can run at high speeds and change directions in a blink of an eye. They are also very cunning, which aids them in their survival in the wild.


When bottle-fed, these beautiful little foxes make loving pets that are full of spunk and a joy to watch at play. Even some wild caught and parent-raised foxes have been known to tame down, with a bit of love and patience.  Fennec Foxes can be a little finicky sometimes, as a bottle-raised baby can become the most loving pet but they can also become quite reclusive, no matter how much love and attention you give them.

Since these little characters are so quick and silent, it is a good idea to put a collar with a cat bell on it. This is so you don't step on it or kick it by accident (we know from experience). Fennec foxes can be harness and leash trained. See "HARNESS & LEASH" below.

Fennec foxes have been known to live 15 years in captivity.


A Fennec fox can be left with the freedom of the house. A word of caution, keep your windows and doors closed, at the very least use very good screens. If your Fennec does escape, re-capturing it may be nearly impossible. Unlike a domestic cat or dog, once a Fennec gets outside, its natural instincts may take over, making it very difficult to find let alone catch.

We recommend that your Fennec has a place to call its own, a large ferret or cat cage, with shelves and a cat bed to sleep in. It is a good idea to keep the Fennec in its "home" when you can't be there to supervise it and when it is sleeping. This way your Fennec can't get into mischief, mischief that could be harmful to the Fennec or to your "stuff". Plus, the Fennecs home is his safe place to go when it feels uncomfortable or it just wants to have a nap.

Fennecs will litter train, to a degree.  A Fennec can learn to use a litter box and will usually remember to use it to urinate in, but they will still poop wherever they are.  They will also pick a spot in the house to dig.  If possible supply a board with a scrap piece of carpet in that spot for them to dig on.


With some patience a Fennec fox can be trained to use a litter box. It is best to use a hooded litter box, because the Fennec may use the litter box for some digging fun (this is a natural instinct). Avoid using clumping litter, as it tends to stick to their feet and they may ingest it while they are washing.

You can offer toys to your Fennec. Small dog, cat and ferret toys are great, especially ones that can be pounced on and thrown around.


With some patience, you can train your Fennec to a harness & leash. Start off by introducing the harness, let the Fennec get used to the smell and feel of it. Then, try putting it on the Fennec, all the while reassuring it. Once you have the harness on the Fennec, let it run around for a while, so it gets used to wearing it. At the same time you will be able to tell if the harness is fitting properly. Only let the Fennec wear the harness under supervision, otherwise it could get caught on something and get hurt. Put the harness on the Fennec on a regular basis, this way it will become comfortable wearing it. Once your Fennec is comfortable with the harness, try putting on the leash. Gently control your Fennec to start with, as it gets used to the limitations of the leash you can increase your control.

Don't try to take your Fennec outside until it is completely comfortable with the harness and its limitations of the leash.

You can take your Fennec outside, with the following words of caution: Harness and leash are great, but only if you are in a safe quiet location. A Fennec, when startled, may panic and "flip" itself out of a harness (we've seen them do it) and it will run to the safest place it can find. Due to this natural instinct, it is recommended that you use a carrier for your Fennec whenever you go out, especially if you are going to an unfamiliar place for the Fennec. It's better to be safe than sorry.


In the wild their diet consists of small rodents, birds, eggs, lizards, insects and plants. Plants are an important part of a Fennecs diet. They are able to use the moisture from the plants to keep them going when water is scarce. They will drink water when it is available. They are able to go for long periods of time with only the moisture that they receive from the foods that they eat. The Fennecs also conserve water by producing highly concentrated urine.

In captivity, Fennecs are easy to please. They are not picky eaters. These little "thieves" will steal their owners food whenever they can. We all know that "human" food is for humans, but if they steal some "human" food once in a while, it shouldn't hurt them.

A well-balanced diet should include either a high-protein top quality dog food such as Royal Canin Small Breed Puppy or Mazuri Wild Canid diet. The rest of the diet should include some of the following: cooked or raw chicken (never feed pork as it is toxic), cooked eggs, fresh fruit, canned dog food and a small amount of fruit and/or frozen mixed vegetables (thawed). You can also treat them to figs, sliced dates and dog treats.  Do not feed grapes or raisins or chocolate as all of these are toxic to the foxes.

Even though the Fennec fox can go for long periods of time without water, fresh clean water is a must, just like any other animal.


The Province/State that you are in may not allow Fennecs so check with your Provincial/State authorities.  Also check with your local Municipality or City to find out if you are allowed to keep one in your area.  The laws surrounding exotics are changing quite frequently and you will have to do your own research to find out if you can own one in your area.

Click here for Fennec Fox pictures.

Click here for Fennec Fox baby pictures.

This page is for your information only.
We do not breed Fennec Foxes.

  Please note that the Fennec Fox is  listed on CITES,  Appendix II which restricts cross border travel of these animals plus the quarantines required we cannot ship the Fennec Foxes outside of Canada.




© Petite Paws Exotics
Last updated February 2009