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.

Helpful Tips On How To Buy Pet Supplies And Products

Pets make amazing companions and they can really make a home feel even more homely. When you choose to have a pet, whether it is a dog, cat or even a fish and other types of pets, you need to find the best ways of taking good care of it. Taking care of pets calls for patience and hard work and it can be a costly affair, especially if you have more than one and you want to give them the best. But with so many pet products and supplies readily available in the market, all you need to do is know what your best options are and you will have an easy time giving your pets healthy, comfortable lives.

1. When looking for toys for your dog, make sure that you choose according to the size of the dog for safety reasons. Generally, you should ensure that the toys are not too small that the dog can swallow, but neither should they be too big making it difficult for the dog to grip it with its mouth. You should also ensure that you choose a safe material depending on the age of the dog and the chewing abilities.

2. Consider the health needs of your pet when buying food and treats. For instance, you need to select the right food products for growing puppies and they should be essentially rich in minerals and vitamins, and you would require foods that are highly energetic to sustain sporting dog breeds. For older dogs, you would need to keep watch of the calorie levels in the food and treats you get so they do not end up gaining weight. Know your pet health needs and choose the supplies accordingly.

3. Even though cats are carnivores, remember that they need much more than just meat for survival. The food that you select for your feline should be balanced in vitamins and protein. Remember that kittens need calcium to aid fast growth, including bone growth while older cats are best served with foods that are lower in calories so they remain lean and active. It helps to consider the age of the cat and the energy requirements before buying your feline supplies.

4. Always put health care as a priority for your pets whether they are dogs or cats or any other pet. You can keep suffering at bay by using the right tick and flea medications and you can also choose the best dental products for your pet. Actually the toys that you choose for your pets can help in keeping their dental health in top shape.

5. When choosing crates, litter boxes, leashes and collars, make sure that they are comfortable enough for the pet. They should match with the size of the dog so that you do not end up hurting them.

6. Try as much as possible to buy your products and supplies in bulk. It is a simple way of saving money and ensuring that your pets have what they need all the time.

Painted Turtles As Pets

The painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) is not your average aquatic turtle. This species (including its various subspecies) has the largest range of any north American turtle, and can found in suitable habitats from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast of North America. It is also colorful, outgoing, moderately-sized, and very undemanding. Let’s take a closer look at painted turtles and see whether they are the right pet turtle for you.

Tank Setup

Tank setup for painted turtles generally follows the basic design already described. Like the red-eared slider, with which it is often confused, painted turtles are the quintessential basking-type turtle that inhabits ponds, lakes and lazy rivers, around which they spend a great deal of time soaking up the sun. If you’ve ever seen them in the wild, you will understand just how important these basking sites are. Juveniles and adults will often be piled up on one another in the choicest sunning spots, and long tanning lines of individuals will form on sufficiently thick tree branches. Consequently, you will need a good heat lamp or ceramic heater, and it is also a good idea to use a UV-B emitting bulb as well.

In addition to providing a good basking spot, these turtles will enjoy a large and deep swimming area. These are not large turtles, but, depending on the subspecies, males will generally reach at least 4 inches at maturity, with females getting to around 7 inches in total carapace length. Applying the general rule of thumb of 10 gallons to each inch of carapace length is a good starting point when estimating tank size.

Like just about all basking turtles, the painted turtle likes to shred its food and will generally make a mess of just about anything it eats. This, coupled with their significant size at maturity, poses a real challenge in terms of water quality. Consequently, we again stress that you consider using a quality canister filter for their tanks, in addition to regular (preferably weekly) 50% water changes. Dechlorinated tap water is fine for painted turtles and they are relatively unaffected by things like pH and water hardness.

Typical household temperatures are fine, and generally obviate the need for heating the water so long as a basking temperature under the light of close to 100F is reached. However, in winter things can get more complicated. As discussed below, the various subspecies come from different climatic zones. For example, the eastern painted turtle (C. p. picta), as it is used to hibernating during the winter months, will have a strong instinct to prepare for a long cold winter, and if water temperatures start to dip below 70F in your tank, it could cause this species to stop feeding. This drive is so hard-wired that some turtles may stop feeding as autumn approaches, even if warm water temperatures are maintained.

Feeding

Painted turtles will happily accept most turtle food. Like other basking species, they tend to start life as carnivores, eating insects, small fish, tadpoles, etc., and then move towards a more vegetable-based, omnivorous diet. Make sure to dust prepared foods with a high quality supplement. I have always used Rep-Cal for providing crucial vitamin D and calcium, and would not recommend any other. A failure to supplement foods with these vitamins is just asking for trouble, and is particularly damaging to young, growing turtles that are likely to manifest shell deformities as they mature.

Sexing

Young turtles are very difficult to sex, but as they grow males will show several differences. Males will tend to have larger front claws, a longer, thicker tail, and a more concave plastron (underside of shell) compared to the flat plastron of the female. Of course, the female will normally get significantly larger than the male as well.

Lifespan

Like most basking turtles, the painted variety is very long lived. The eastern subspecies is reported to live between 20 to 40 years, and mature in about 10 years. This is likely a very conservative estimate of this species lifespan in the wild. In captivity, a well cared for turtle should easily live for more than 20 years.

Painted Turtle Subspecies

One neat thing about these animals is how they’ve begun to change since the last ice age. Currently, there are four recognized subspecies:

  1. Eastern Subspecies (C. p. picta): this subspecies is prevalent along most of the east coast, along a wide swath stretching from Novia Scotia to Georgia. It is typified by a dark green to black carapace, sometime with a faint midline stripe and red edging along the marginal scutes. This is a moderately-sized turtle, with an average mature carapace length of 5-7 inches for the male, and 6-7 inches for the female.
  2. Midland Subspecies (C. p. marginata): the midland painted turtle occurs in a wide inland area that starts in the north from southern Quebec and Ontario, and goes westward as far as Michigan, Indiana and southern Illinois. Its southernmost extent falls somewhere in Tennessee. This subspecies mixes with eastern form along the northeastern boundary of its range, and this “integrade” is the dominant from throughout much of Pennsylvania. A nondescript form of painted turtle. Adults are between 4 and 10 inches in total length.
  3. Western Subspecies (C. p. bellii): this subspecies is reportedly the largest, reaching 10 inches in total length, and covers the most area of the North American continent. Its easternmost extent starts in western Illinois and a small extension of its range continues as far west as the northern Oregon coast and southern border of Washington state. It occurs as far south as northern Oklahoma and as far north as Lake Manitoba. The most notable feature of this subspecies is a brightly colored, reddish plastron.
  4. Southern Subspecies (C. p. dorsalis): not only is this the smallest subspecies, with an average carapace length of 4-6 inches, but it has the most limited range as well. It is generally found in western Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, and Lousiana. The southern painted turtle can usually be recognized by its relatively vivid, red midline dorsal stripe.

Painted Turtles as Pets – The Verdict

These are generally colorful and easy to please aquatic turtles that should thrive in a basic turtle tank setup provided they are given enough room. While all of the subspecies can be maintained in captivity, some of the subspecies adapted to the northern latitudes may have a tendency to go off feed in the winter, even if adequate water temperatures are maintained year-round. For this reason, the southern painted variety may be a more ideal choice as a pet, since it hails from a much warmer clime. In addition, as the smallest of the subspecies, it can be housed in slightly smaller enclosures.