Pet fox diets are similar to what we feed our pet dogs and cats. Foxes are omnivores and the food they eat should reflect that as a balanced diet that includes vitamins, minerals, and a variety of other foods in addition to meat and vegetables.
In the wild foxes, generally, hunt small rodents. From a very early age, they learn their characteristic pounce in order to quickly and quietly catch their favorite food.
In captivity, we generally offer a formulated fox diet that has most of what a fox needs (make sure it has taurine) along with pre-killed mice, small rats, fuzzies, or pinkies depending on the size of your pet fox. Fennec foxes will typically stick with the mice and smaller rodents while your Red or Siberian foxes can enjoy a rat or even a small rabbit. But regardless of the source of the protein, the majority of your foxes diet should be protein.
Insects are also a large part of a foxes diet. The majority of a foxes day in the wild is spent foraging for grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, silkworms, beetles, and mealworms in addition to an occasional crustacean such as a crayfish. In captivity, it is easy to feed a few dozen mealworms, gut loaded crickets, or larger insects that are available to pet owners.
Some fox owners opt to feed raw meat. There are mixed opinions about feeding raw foods to pet foxes but if you choose to offer raw meat to your fox, make sure you are feeding whole prey items, meaning entire chicks, mice, rabbits, and squirrels, not just a chicken breast or thigh.
Foxes need the organs, skin, and to reap the benefits of the entire animal, not just the muscles.
Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables such as mixed frozen vegetables, cherry tomatoes, and other bite-sized veggies should be offered daily. A few teaspoons for smaller foxes and a few tablespoons for larger foxes should be plenty of vegetables for your pet in a day.
If you notice your foxes stool has a lot of vegetable matter in it, you are probably feeding too much.
Fruits should only be offered as treats. They especially like berries, and many owners recommend giving cherries as treats to help with the odor of the urine. Care should be taken to avoid feeding grapes and raisins due to reports of the kidney damage they can cause.
Foxes do not eat grains in the wild, therefore, we should avoid things like wheat, rice, oats, and other grain matter in the diets we feed them.
Vitamins and Supplements
Taurine is essential to pet foxes and is typically found in formulated fox diets or grain-free dog foods (as well as the animal tissues you feed) but if it is not you can supplement with taurine capsules. Smaller foxes typically need about 500mg a day while larger foxes will need more.
Most of the vitamins and minerals that your fox needs will already be in the grain-free food you feed your fox and the rest of what he needs will be in the rodents, insects, and vegetables you offer on a daily basis.
Foxes need as close to a natural diet as possible. Despite the fact that they have quite the taste for sweets and other human foods, care should be taken to avoid feeding any foods other than what was previously recommended. Just because a fox likes something doesn't mean he should eat it.
If you have questions about the long-term well-being and health of your pet fox in relation to his diet be sure to ask your exotics vet what he thinks is best for your pet.