Foxes As Pets – 6 Ways They Differ From Dogs

A lot of people are enchanted by the idea of owning a pet fox. They’re charming, intelligent animals, and there is a lot of appeal in having a “special” animal that not many people have. While foxes can make decent pets for someone with the time and resources to care for them, a lot of people make the mistake of buying a pet fox thinking it is going to be just like a dog.

1. Foxes Are Difficult to Train

Dogs are born with a very strong pack mentality. A dog sees you as its alpha, and is hard-wired to want to obey the leader. They live to please you. A fox, however, lives to please itself. While they are very intelligent, the core motivation of a fox is different than that of a dog. The dog wants to please you and make you happy, the fox wants the treat.

2. Foxes Stink

Foxes have a very strong odor. While a dog can take a few weeks without a bath to work up a powerful stink, foxes smell skunky 24/7. This strong, musky odor can be lessened somewhat by having the fox neutered, but it cannot be eliminated entirely.

3. Foxes Are Shy

Many people picture a fox as an awesome pet that they can show off to their friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, the reality almost always falls far short of this. While foxes often become very attached and affectionate with their families, they remain impossibly shy around visitors and strangers.

4. Foxes Have Special Needs

Foxes have special dietary and exercise requirements outside that of a dog. They are extremely energetic, and require loads of exercise every day. A large, carefully-built outdoor enclosure is a must. Which brings me to my next point…

5. Foxes Are Escape Artists

Foxes are much more proficient at getting out of enclosures than even the most determined dog. They can leap six feet in the air, climb up fences, and even cling upside down to climb along a chain link ceiling for short distances. Any enclosure that is meant to keep foxes must not only be large, but impossible to dig out of and have a full roof.

6. Foxes Are Destructive

Many people buy a fox under the mistaken impression that it can be kept as an indoor pet, and left with free run of the house while they are away at work. Nothing could be farther from the truth, particularly with the larger species like red foxes. They will steal and hide anything small enough for them to carry, and shred just about everything they can get their teeth in to. It is nearly impossible to break even the best-trained fox of these behaviors. A dog can be taught not to chew things, a fox can only be taught not to chew things while you’re watching. While a fox is loose in the house, it requires constant supervision.

In conclusion, foxes can make fascinating pets for people who are prepared to care for them. If you are interested in a pet fox, go into it with your eyes wide open, do your research, and understand that caring for a fox is not like caring for a dog.

Dogs in Divorce: Multiple States Recognizing Pets in Family Law Cases

Most people who own dogs and are close with their animals view the pets more like family members than pieces of property. These are reciprocal, loving, highly connected and involved relationships between dogs and the people who care for them. Mourning the loss of your dog alongside the loss of a long-term relationship in the form of a marriage is an emotional double whammy.

Therefore, it perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise that some states are now recognizing family pets as more akin to people than property when involved in divorce proceedings. Still, these are groundbreaking developments and it’s worth taking a closer look.

In 2017, Alaska became the first state in the country to pass a formal law on the matter of pets in divorce cases. Their statutes indicated that the court is required to take the animal’s wellbeing into consideration during a divorce case. This is as opposed to merely treating a pet like a financial asset or piece of property to be divvied up. The court would then be able to rule for what essentially amounts to sole custody of the animal to one party or another, or continued joint custody.

The state of Illinois was the next to join the bandwagon the following year. In 2019, another state joined the movement, California. In California, there was a difference in how the legislation is worded though. In that state the court is able to consider the wellbeing of the animal but is not formally required to do so.

Also keep in mind that the laws regarding dogs in divorce cases apply to all family pets, not just your canine friends. They are far and away the most likely to be the source of a dispute between a divorcing couple, but whether it’s a cat, bird, lizard, or anything else, all pets can be viewed the same.

Having a state’s divorce court handle the matter of who retains ownership rights to your dog may seem like a laughing matter, or like overkill, from the outside in, but from one dog owner to another, it’s clearly an important step in the right direction. With several states now legally making the switch, don’t be surprised to see other states begin to adopt similar policies as well.

In the meantime though, keep in mind these are only three states out of fifty where dogs in divorce are treated with their rights being considered. If you live in any of the other 47 states, then you live in a locale that does not legally or officially support such considerations.

Therefore you always have to keep in mind any local legislation which may apply, and you need to be sure to work with a legal professional who has experience in your specific area or region. The matter of dogs and divorce cases certainly isn’t going to go away anytime soon, so keep your eyes open for further updates.