Do Foxes Eat Dogs?

Despite the population of foxes that are now living in urban areas, they do their best to avoid dogs. In fact, grey and red foxes will even try to avoid small dogs and do not like this type of confrontation. However, there can be occasions when the two species are brought closer than either would like, so what are the chances of a fox attacking your dog?

However, there have been a few occasions in recent years where foxes have entered yards and gardens and attacked small dogs or puppies. Probably not; red foxes usually target any small animal that weighs up to 3.5 kg (7.7 lb).

The animals that foxes hunt are mostly small mammals, like mice, rabbits, squirrels, and hamsters. If you have puppies or miniature small dog breed, I would not leave them unattended on your property if foxes are in the local area. Over 60 years ago, a Russian scientist named Dmitry Belyaev became the Institute of Cytology and Genetics director in the Soviet Union.

He decided that to fully understand the process, he must attempt to replicate the early days of domestication. Belyaev chose to domesticate foxes because of their shared genetic family (Canidae) with dogs. He worked over many years to create a version of the red fox that was friendly with humans and had an agreeable personality.

Domestic foxes still have a high prey drive, though, and they would still chase any small rodent or bird. There are a handful of reports in the press in recent years relating to fox attacks on dogs. 2020 United States Cranford police are warning residents that a fox attacked dogs in two separate incidents in that town Wednesday, one on Orchard Street and one on Cornell Road. Patch News

If a fox will attack a dog, kill it and eat it, Im very concerned that a child could be attacked. Irish Examiner 2010 United Kingdom Peter Crowden, chairman of the National Pest Technicians Association, described foxes as very territorial. Though domesticated foxes are less likely to attack dogs than wild ones, they are still a living animal, making them unpredictable.

Foxes naturally build their homes in cozy nests or dens, and this is where they lay their litters. These man-made structures are ideal for a fox den in urban areas but of course, that can put them into close contact with dogs. The best guard against a fox attacking or eating a small dog or puppy is to keep your pets on leash for their first and last trips outside during the day.

Foxes dont usually hunt animals half their size, but they can aggressively respond if caught off guard. An infected fox could attack your dog and potentially give him the deadly disease. Ive written a more extensive guide about this relating to the ways foxes can make dogs sick ( read that here ).

This Coghlans Bear Bell on Amazon will let a fox know that your dog is coming so he doesnt get startled. Ultrasonic animal deterrent This small machine is simply to set-up and works by emitting flashing lights and sounds that we cant hear but are irritable to foxes and other pests. It doesnt just deter foxes but is also said to work on other pests you want to get rid of such as rats, moles, squirrels, and coyotes.

To prevent this, keep your dogs food out of your garden or yard, as it will attract hungry foxes. Install motion lights Foxes are most active during the early and late hours of the day.

Are foxes dangerous for dogs?

What about dogs? Most dogs are not at risk from an attack by a fox unless they have threatened its young, but they still should not be left outside unattended for a host of safety reasons, including harassment or dog-napping.

Do foxes and dogs get along?

Generally, foxes get along well with dogs and cats and often learn their habits. During the molting period (over the summer), the fox should have its hair brushed regularly. Of course, you might want to check if it’s even legal to own a domesticated fox, in your state.

What happens if a fox bites a dog?

If your dog is bitten by a fox, then you will need to contact your vet and get an emergency appointment where your vet will provide first aid by cleaning and disinfecting the wound with an antiseptic. Then they’ll dress the wound by bandaging it with an absorbent gauze pad and adhesive tape.

Both red and gray foxes live among us in cities and towns, where scavenging for food makes life easy. They generally avoid people, but the lure of easy food, such as pet food or unsecured garbage, can result in backyard visits. Usually, the best thing to do is leave foxes alone, but here’s what to do about the most common fox concerns:

Sometimes foxes are blamed for damage they did not cause, such as when they are spotted eating from spilled trash when neighborhood dogs or other animals were responsible for the overturned trashcan. Both red and gray foxes dig dens mostly for raising kits, but also to use as shelter from severe winter weather.

If you find a fox family in an inconvenient spot, consider allowing them to stay until the young are old enough to begin accompanying their parents on foraging outings. Fox kits are born in the spring, usually in March or April, and youll see them emerge from the den four or five weeks after birth. Thats the moment to watch for, as it is then safe to encourage them to leave the den site if there is reason to hasten their departure.

Place urine soaked kitty litter, a sweat-soaked T-shirt, a pair of smelly sweat socks or old sneakers in or near the den opening. Mount shiny party balloons or 12-18 inch lengths of Irri-tape on sticks or poles a few feet off the ground just outside the den entrance. Foxes are excellent diggers, so the best defense is to bury an L-shaped footer of hardware cloth around the perimeter of the area you are trying to exclude.

Most dogs are not at risk from an attack by a fox unless they have threatened its young, but they still should not be left outside unattended for a host of safety reasons, including harassment or dog-napping. Miniature dogs are especially vulnerable to harm from any number of predators, though, including foxes, so they should be even more closely monitored when outside. Protecting small animals: Pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs should be kept indoors for their health and safety, especially at night.

Poultry should be protected with sturdy hutches or pens built to withstand any break-in efforts by foxes, raccoons or dogs. Immediately take any pet who is bitten by any wild animal to your veterinarian for an examination and an assessment of any need for vaccination. Foxes prey on squirrels, birds, chipmunks and other animals that are only active by day, so they may simply be looking for a meal at that time.

Mange is an extremely debilitating affliction caused by microscopic parasites called Sarcoptes scabiei mites, that result in either patchy or entire hair loss. The disease causes intense irritation of the skin to the point where foxes have been known to chew their own tails off trying to relieve the itching.

Foxes are generally timid and reclusive. They are rarely a threat to cats or dogs. That said, they are predators, and they do like to eat mice and even rabbits, so it’s conceivable that one

Healthy foxes avoid people when they can. Habitat loss and lack of food are what drives foxes to raid garbage cans, chicken coops, and rabbit hutches in both urban and rural areas. These wildlife pests are not violent or aggressive, but they may carry rabies and infectious parasites. On the whole, foxes are not dangerous and do not harm people unless threatened.

Do foxes attack dogs?

There are different types of foxes around the world, and we need to look at the different types a little closer to answer the question best. For information on the chances of a fox eating a dog, that’s further down the page.

Wild foxes

There are over 30 species of foxes found all over the world. Red foxes are the most iconic and common of these species. Red foxes are also the largest type of fox and, as such, are the species that pose the highest threat to dogs.But will a red fox attack a dog?Probably not; red foxes usually target any small animal that weighs up to 3.5 kg (7.7 lb). This would rule out most typically sized dogs.However, dogs such as Chihuahuas fall into this weight bracket, so a red fox could attack a small dog given the right circumstances. There is a slim chance the fox could see the very small dog as prey and attack it.As omnivores, foxes eat a mixture of plant and animal matter, but their diet consists mostly of raw meat from hunted animals. The animals that foxes hunt are mostly small mammals, like mice, rabbits, squirrels, and hamsters.Next in line are various types of birds, fish, and even reptiles and insects.Miniature dog breeds like Poodles and Chihuahuas are at risk throughout their life because of their small size, and almost all dogs could potentially be attacked by a fox when they are puppies.If you have puppies or miniature small dog breed, I would not leave them unattended on your property if foxes are in the local area.

Do foxes and dogs get along?

Over 60 years ago, a Russian scientist named Dmitry Belyaev became the Institute of Cytology and Genetics director in the Soviet Union. He was intrigued by how early humans domesticated dogs and thought the best way to learn about the domestication was by domesticating a new species from the start.Belyaev chose to domesticate foxes because of their shared genetic family (Canidae) with dogs. He worked over many years to create a version of the red fox that was friendly with humans and had an agreeable personality.Over 60 years after the beginning of the experiment, some foxes are considered to be domesticated. These foxes are not afraid of humans and even enjoy pats and cuddles. They are, however, still quite wild and their actions are unpredictable. Domestic foxes may not be afraid of humans, but that doesn’t mean that they listen to us.

Press reports of foxes attacking dogs

There are a handful of reports in the press in recent years relating to fox attacks on dogs. Here’s a selection of quotes and sources that I found.

If the fox is starving

Foxes are most active in the early hours of the day, and after dusk. Foxes hunt daily, though they don’t always catch something. If a hungry fox were to encounter your small dog during these times, it’s possible that the fox would attack… and there have been reports of foxes eating puppies that they come across.The best guard against a fox attacking or eating a small dog or puppy is to keep your pets on leash for their first and last trips outside during the day. Never leave a small dog or puppies unattended in your yard.If your property is fenced in, provide regular perimeter checks to ensure that wild foxes aren’t digging into your property from the other side.

Rabid foxes could attack a dog

Foxes are one of the most common carriers of rabies. Rabies is a disease which attacks the nervous system in mammals and causes death. It is contagious and transferred through saliva. An infected fox could attack your dog and potentially give him the deadly disease.It’s not as much of a concern as you might think though, as rabies has virtually been eliminated from countries such as the UK and Australia, bar being present in some bats and possibly even flying foxes (a bat species).The numbers are a little different in North America though, where foxes are known to be a rabies carrier. Again though, it’s not a huge epidemic and is probably rare given that in the United States, foxes are only said to report for 5% of rabies cases (see report).

Do foxes eat dogs?

As you’ve probably guessed by now, the chances of a fox eating your dog is relatively slim, depending on the size of your dog.Yes, puppies and smaller dogs are more at risk of being eaten by a fox, but in most cases the only time a fox would eat a dog would be if came across an already dead carcass.

Bear bell

Attach a bear bell to your dog’s collar when you walk him off-leash or let him out in the backyard. This

Vaccinate your dog

Most domestic pets could benefit from rabies vaccination. Get your dog vaccinated to remove the worry of rabies from a fox bite.

Ultrasonic animal deterrent

This small machine is simply to set-up and works by emitting flashing lights and sounds that we can’t hear but are irritable to foxes and other pests. You canThere’s a solar panel on it which means you can leave it out to charge by itself. It has a range of 9 meters, and an angle sensor letting it have a wide coverage.It doesn’t just deter foxes but is also said to work on other pests you want to get rid of such as rats, moles, squirrels, and coyotes.

Remove any food sources

Another reason that foxes will frequent your property is if they have a readily available food source. To prevent this, keep your dog’s food out of your garden or yard, as it will attract hungry foxes.Some people will even leave dog food out for foxes to eat. Don’t do this if you want them to leave your garden alone.

Install motion lights

Foxes are most active during the early and late hours of the day. They do a lot of their hunting and stalking in the dark.A motion sensor light could startle them enough to keep them away from your home and your pet. These

Conclusion

Foxes and dogs are related, but that doesn’t mean that they get along. Foxes are wild animals, and the red fox is the most widespread carnivore in the world. Wild carnivores are not known for their ability to get along with domesticated animals, and foxes are no different with dogs.Ultimately, a fox is more likely to run away from your dog than attack it, especially if your dog is medium-sized or larger. There are a few main reasons why a fox might attack your dog. The fox is protecting its babies, your dog startles the fox, the fox is extremely hungry, or the fox is infected with rabies or another disease.Keep your dog by your side and on a leash if you think a fox is in the area and call animal control if you have an issue with a fox on your property. There shouldn’t be a problem as long as you remember all of the information provided.

Scare devices and repellents

If you need a fox family to move on sooner rather than later, harassment may encourage an earlier move. Here are a few humane harassment options once the kits have emerged:Critter Ridder on Amazon.comThese tactics are most effective when they are used in concert as part of a comprehensive plan to encourage the foxes to move on. The purpose of these techniques is to make the parents uncomfortable enough to move the litter to a more secure location. Once the den has been abandoned, make sure all the kits are out of the den before any permanent exclusion is put in place.If the den site is under a porch, deck or shed then it will remain an attractive denning area, and not just to foxes. Foxes are excellent diggers, so the best defense is to bury an L-shaped footer of hardware cloth around the perimeter of the area you are trying to exclude.

Mange

Mange is an extremely debilitating affliction caused by microscopic parasites calledThe disease causes intense irritation of the skin to the point where foxes have been known to chew their own tails off trying to relieve the itching. At advanced stages, infected foxes are often seen wandering around during the daytime, seemingly unafraid.

Are Foxes Dangerous to Humans?

Healthy foxes avoid people when they can. Habitat loss and lack of food are what drives foxes to raid garbage cans, chicken coops, and rabbit hutches in both urban and rural areas. These wildlife pests are not violent or aggressive, but they may carry rabies and infectious parasites. On the whole, foxes are not dangerous and do not harm people unless threatened.

Do Foxes Attack Dogs or Cats?

Fox attacks on dogs are rare because these animals try to evade conflict. However, they will defend themselves against a dog if cornered. Adult cats are usually safe, but a fox may hunt and prey on kittens. A mother protecting her kits can also be hostile toward animal or human intruders, which is a serious problem if a fox family dens beneath a shed or porch.

Dealing with Foxes

Loud noises and other scare tactics often drive these pests away from a yard, but foxes are dangerous for those with small pets or chicken coops on their property. The trained experts at Critter Control can help homeowners with problem foxes.