Can You Have a Fox as a Pet? Here’s What You Need to Know!

Can You Have a Fox as a Pet

Last Updated on December 30, 2023 by Fumipets

Can You Have a Fox as a Pet? Here’s What You Need to Know!


Foxes have long fascinated humans with their intelligence and striking appearance. With their piercing eyes and bushy tails, they exude an air of mystery and charm that many find irresistible. This fascination has led some people to wonder: Can you have a fox as a pet? In this article, we’ll explore the complexities of keeping a fox as a pet, shedding light on the legal, ethical, and practical aspects of having these wild animals in your home.

Fox as a Pet

Many people appear to be obsessed with owning the most bizarre, strange, and singular pets available. The public’s love of exotic pets was only fueled by celebrities like Michael Jackson and Mike Tyson, who were known to maintain some fairly strange creatures.

Mike Tyson owned three tigers as pets, which is obviously a highly risky lifestyle choice. On his property, one even assaulted a trespasser. But even though a fox is almost twice as adorable as other exotic pets, it doesn’t seem to be quite as deadly. Is it possible to keep a fox as a pet? Read on to learn if it’s possible to cuddle up with your own fox cub if you’ve been thinking about doing so.

Is it Legal to Own a Fox as a Pet?

It’s not common in America, however certain states do let you keep a fox as a pet. In the states where keeping foxes as pets is legal, the regulations vary from one to the next, and they may even alter based on the type of fox you intend to keep.

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For instance, 14 states allow red foxes as pets. On the other hand, only 13 states permit the individual ownership of fennec foxes. The laws governing licenses and other matters can differ amongst fox species and often have varied effects on native and invasive fox species.

States Where it’s Legal to Own a Fox as a Pet

There are 15 states in total where it is acceptable to keep foxes in some form. However, the laws might vary depending on the state and the type of fox. So bear in mind that just because owning a fox may be permitted in your state, it doesn’t imply you can go out and capture one in the wild and domesticate it. The legislation of your particular state, county, and municipality must still be confirmed.

It is legal to own a fox in the following 15 states:

  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Tennessee
  • Wyoming

States in a Gray Area

Some states make it practically hard to maintain foxes even though they theoretically permit you to do so. For instance, keeping foxes is allowed in both Maine and Delaware, but neither state would grant the required licenses. Owning foxes is permitted in several states, but importing them is prohibited. It’s likely that no fox breeders exist in the state, making lawful possession all but impossible.

Purchasing a Pet Fox or Catching One

Let’s imagine you reside in a jurisdiction where keeping foxes as pets is legal. Can you capture a fox outside to domesticate it? perhaps not Foxes may be captured in the wild and domesticated in some areas, including Arkansas. The exception, not the rule, is Arkansas.

Even though it is legal to own a fox in many areas, you can’t just walk out and get one. Nevertheless, some nations are the exact reverse. In Kentucky, for instance, you are permitted to keep foxes, but you are not permitted to import any of the fox species that are offered for sale as pets. This implies that you essentially have no choice but to catch it yourself if you want a pet fox in Kentucky.

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Rules Change Depending on the Fox Species

You must be very careful about the sort of fox you purchase even if keeping foxes as pets is authorized in your jurisdiction. It’s possible that only a few kinds of fox are acceptable pets, and keeping others might land you in hot water and result in a large fine or worse. Depending on whether the fox species is domestic or foreign, different laws apply in numerous states.

There are three native fox species in the US:

  • Red Fox
  • Grey Fox
  • Kit Fox

There are even more exotic fox species:

  • Fennec Fox
  • Arctic Fox
  • Swift Fox
  • Bat-Eared Fox
  • Corsac Fox

Therefore, conduct some homework before going out to capture a fox to bring home. Find out which fox species, if any, are permitted for possession in your state. Make sure you are able to distinguish between several fox species and identify them. Then, make sure you try to buy only foxes that are recognized as legal in your region. Also keep in mind that there are much harsher rules governing the capture of wild animals, so if you decide to pursue that course, even more thinking will be required to ensure you stay within the legal parameters.

Special Exemptions

All of the laws and regulations we’ve examined up to this point apply to private individuals who want to keep foxes as domestic pets. For certain particular special groups, there are, nevertheless, exceptions to these norms.

For instance, organizations that host educational exhibits at venues like libraries and schools sometimes qualify for special permissions to maintain foxes even in locations where doing so is illegal on a regular basis. Annual inspections are typically necessary for these situations.


You’ll need to be really lucky if you want to maintain a fox in your household. To begin with, you must be fortunate enough to reside in one of the 15 states where keeping foxes as pets is permissible. Next, you must be fortunate enough to reside in a place where obtaining a fox is not very hard.

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If you are able to overcome these obstacles, you will have advanced passed the first stage of fox ownership. However, because of these rules and restrictions, owning a fox is probably beyond reach for the majority of Americans unless you have immediate plans to relocate.

We suggest reading National Geographic, The Fox Website, and Wide Open Pets for additional details about foxes.

Questions & Answers


Is It Legal to Keep a Fox as a Pet?

The legality of keeping a fox as a pet varies from place to place. In some regions, it may be permitted with a special permit, while in others, it is strictly prohibited. It’s crucial to research and understand your local laws and regulations regarding exotic pets before considering a fox as a pet.


What Are the Challenges of Owning a Pet Fox?

Owning a fox comes with a unique set of challenges. Foxes have complex social and dietary needs that can be difficult to meet in a domestic setting. They require ample space to roam, mental stimulation, and a diet that mimics their natural, omnivorous habits. Moreover, they can be quite destructive, which may not be suitable for all households.


Are There Different Types of Pet Foxes?

Yes, there are different species and breeds of foxes, some of which are more commonly kept as pets than others. The most popular pet fox species include the Fennec fox, Arctic fox, and Red fox. Each has its own characteristics and requirements, so it’s essential to choose a species that aligns with your lifestyle and resources.


Can Foxes Be Domesticated?

While foxes can be tamed to some extent, true domestication is a long and complex process that has only been achieved with a few animal species, such as dogs and cats. Foxes retain many wild instincts, making them challenging to fully domesticate. They may exhibit unpredictable behavior even when raised from a young age.


What Should You Consider Before Getting a Pet Fox?

Before acquiring a pet fox, it’s crucial to consider several factors. These include your local laws, the availability of veterinary care for exotic animals, the financial costs associated with their care, and your commitment to providing the time and resources necessary to meet their unique needs. It’s also essential to think about the long-term implications of owning a fox, as they can live for a decade or more in captivity.



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