Exotic Pet Wonderland

Pet Gray Fox Care Guide

Gray Foxes as Pets

With their big eyes and small statures, it’s easy to fall head over heals for gray foxes. But is having a pet gray fox right for you? Like any captive bred wild animal, living with a pet gray fox can be an absolute nightmare if you don’t know what to expect. If you are looking for advice on what it is like to keep a pet gray fox, read on!

A photo of a pet gray fox curled up on a blanket at a rescue for pet grey foxes in tennessee

The very first thing you need to find out before getting one is whether or not having a grey fox is legal in your state. Not every state allows pet gray foxes, and even if the state allows them, there may be restrictions within your city, county, or even your HOA if you have one where you live.  PLEASE DO NOT TAKE WILD GRAY FOXES IN AND TRY TO MAKE THEM PETS. If you find a wild gray fox in need of assistance, please find a rehabber immediately. Rehabbers can be found by contacting your local wildlife department or by downloading Animal Help Now.

Pet Gray Fox Vet Care

If you read nothing else on this page, read this: Gray foxes are not true foxes and will DIE if vaccinated like one. While foxes like Red, Arctic, Corsac, and Fennec foxes are true foxes in the genus Vulpes, Gray foxes are in the genus Urocyon. Because of this, gray foxes have different veterinary needs than any other fox species you will see as pets. 

Before you get a pet gray fox, it is imperative that you have an exotic animal vet who sees gray foxes already lined up to see your animal. Most vets won’t treat any kind of pet, and the majority of those that do don’t know enough about gray foxes to properly care for them. This lack of knowledge surrounding gray fox veterinary care often results in gray foxes dying of vaccine induced distemper.  Because of that, it’s incredibly important to not only research ahead of time and find a knowledgeable, experienced vet; it’s also important to know the basics yourself and make sure you confirm with your vet what medications and vaccines they are giving your pet gray fox. 

Gray foxes also are experts at hiding their illnesses until it’s too late, so being on good terms with your vet and having a back up vet in case it’s needed are also recommended.  Regular check ups, including blood work, fecal, and heartworm checks are necessary in order to keep your gray fox healthy and happy. If you start young and work with both your vet and your gray fox frequently, visiting your vet will be a much easier process. 

You can vaccinate your pet gray fox for rabies with an inactive/killed rabies vaccine.

DO NOT USE A DISTEMPER VACCINE ON GRAY FOXES, THEY WILL DIE. While red and arctic foxes can be vaccinated for distemper with a vaccine containing a modified live distemper virus, gray foxes cannot. This is because gray foxes end up contracting vaccine induced distemper, which will kill them. We know of too many pet gray foxes that have been killed as a result of improper vetting, so make sure you discuss your foxes vaccinations with your vet before any are given. 

If you are keeping your gray fox outdoors or in a place where distemper is common, the Canarypox recombinant Canine Distemper Virus vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective on Urocyon foxes. However, if you choose to go this route, make sure you find a vet who has successfully vaccinated gray foxes with this vaccine before. We have seen too many mistakes, and your pet gray fox is more likely to die of vaccine induced distemper than of distemper it caught from being unvaccinated.  

Enclosures for Your Pet Gray Fox

Coming Soon

A woman in an orange shirt standing with arms raised in the middle of a pet red fox enclosure in the process of being built

Pet Gray Fox Diets

Providing your pet gray fox with a proper diet is a requirement for keeping your animal happy and healthy. Gray foxes aren’t a pet you can just go out to the store and buy a bag of kibble for, and it’s necessary to make sure their diet is correct to keep them as healthy as possible.

Since gray foxes are omnivores they do benefit from having some fruits and veggies in their diet, but their main meal should be raw meat. Gray foxes are a bit more omnivorous in the wild vs the other foxes we’ve written care guides for, but meat is still the largest part of their diet. Whole prey is an amazing way to get everything your pet gray fox needs without all the measuring, but that’s not always the easiest to find depending on where you live.  When you can’t find whole prey, balancing out your pet gray fox’s diet is very important. This task can seem daunting, but isn’t that difficult once you get the hang of it.

To be nutritionally balanced, your pet gray fox’s raw diet should have: 65-70% muscle meat, 10% raw bone that is small enough to chew through-non weight bearing bones are best to keep them from breaking a tooth, 5% offal such as kidney, spleen, brain, etc, 5% liver, and the remaining amount should be fruits and veggies that are safe for pets. 

Eggs tend to be a lot of foxes’ favorite food, and while gray foxes can have raw eggs occasionally, boiled eggs are actually better if you feed them often. Too many raw eggs can cause a biotin deficiency due to the high levels of avidin, which binds biotin. 

 Keep in mind, that while pet gray foxes do best with raw meat, some meats should be avoided.  Meats such as beef and pork are more likely to cause gout in foxes. Both are fattier and cause their organs to work harder, not to mention pork can sometimes be a host to parasites that can be harmful to foxes. Feeding leaner white meats is better for them. Other meats such as rats and mice are high in retinol, so while they can be safely fed, be wary of how often or how much they are given of these meats. 

And let’s not forget their need for taurine. Gray Foxes need at least 500mg-800mg a day of taurine, so taurine rich foods should be fed with every meal. Some of the meats highest in taurine are :

Seafood such as scallops, mussels, whole tuna, and salmon

Poultry, especially in the dark meat of turkey and chicken

While meats with less taurine that are:



On top of balancing out a raw diet, there are several supplements you can give to help keep your pet gray fox healthy, the most important one being taurine. Gray foxes are somewhat picky and won’t always like certain meats, but if you supplement with at least 500mg of pure taurine powder that will help offset their picky eater. 

At Exotic Pet Wonderland we feed our gray foxes a variety of different meats including rabbit, poultry, seafood, goat, lamb, rodents, and eggs of all kinds.  We also feed fruits and veggies including broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, pumpkin, celery, cucumber, squash, sugar snap peas and snow peas, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, raspberries, apples being careful to exclude the core and seeds,  cherries without the pit, and others that are in season at the time. 

a photo of three tubs filled with meat for a pet red fox lined up with a label reading "my pet carnivore"
a photo of food for a pet red fox. A bowl filled with a dead fish, a quail egg, some chopped liver, fruits, and vegetables