Fennec Fox Facts

Fennec fox with long pointed ears in sunlight

The Spruce / Elizabeth Head

Vulpes zerda is more commonly referred to as the fennec fox. Fennec foxes are 2-3 lb. canines with ears as large as 6 inches in length from Africa. Fennec foxes can make great pets since they can be easily trained to use a litter box and are fed an accessible high-quality dog or cat food, such as the Mazuri Exotic Canine Diet.

Quick Facts About Fennec Foxes

  • Fennecs can be found purring like a cat when they are happy.
  • They are very social animals and live in colonies in the wild of up to 10 other foxes.
  • They are listed as threatened in the wild by CITES.
  • Fennec foxes are the smallest wild canid.
  • During breeding season, vixens may develop “love handles,” or alopecia on their sides.
  • Vixens are similar to felines in that they are seasonally polyestrous.

8 Things to Know Before Adopting a Desert Fox

  • Fennecs must remain warm and will shiver if the air temperature goes below 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • They are nocturnal, but do like to lie out in the sun.
  • Fennec foxes can climb out of outdoor enclosures, and dig up to twenty feet underground a night, so it is important to provide a secure area for them to exercise in.
  • They have a scent gland located on the tip of their tail that can give off a musky odor when the fox is startle.
  • Fennecs can survive up to 14 years in captivity if well cared for.
  • Fennecs can also be fed supplemental fruits, raw meat, veggies, crickets, mealworms, eggs, and rodents alongside their formulated diet.