Dog owners always remain concerned about the safety of the dogs, especially when in it out in the park or walkway. One major issue about dog safety that owners report comes from foxes. In fact, a few dog owners have reported that their dog has been attacked by foxes.
But is this really true?
Do foxes attack dogs? Do foxes live on dog meats?
We investigated deep into the matter and found that in most urban sites, foxes aren’t dangerous for dogs at all. They will not confront the dogs unless they are really forced into it. In fact, both red and grey foxes (the most prevailing ones in the USA and Europe) avoid even the small dogs and live happily away from them.
Nonetheless, if they get a chance to steal dog food, they will never hesitate. Since dog foods, especially in outdoor conditions, is easy to scavenge, foxes once in a while taking their chance. And that’s where the actual chance of these creepy creatures attacking your favorite puppy or doggo increases alarmingly.
So, we will show you whether or not will a fox attack a dog? Also, we will show you the ways to safely keep your dog’s away from the foxes, jackal, and other scavenging animals.
So, let’s get to the main point.
Do Foxes Attack Dogs?
Both in Europe and America, the fox population is growing gradually. Also, due to habitat loss and ever-expanding urban sites, humans are confronting the wildlife more. As a result, dogs living close to humans are also coming against the wildlife, especially foxes, because foxes live close to humans too. They often live by stealing food and scavenging in dustbins.
Thus, the question becomes important, “Will foxes attack dogs?”
The good news is that there’s no reported case filed of foxes attacking dogs, especially when they are in a team. During our research, we found that foxes attacking a dog is a highly unusual thing. However, you might find these scavengers entering your yards, lawns, and garden to steal whatever they get for food and living.
But there’s also a confusion-
Until now, we have mostly talked about foxes living near your homes, which are urban foxes. But what’s about the purely wild or domesticated foxes attacking the dogs?
Let’s see what our research findings say.
Wild Fox Facts
You might find up to 30 different subspecies of foxes worldwide. While men have domesticated only 2 to 3 species, the other remains largely in the wild.
Among them, the red fox is the most well-known and iconic one. It is not only the most commonly found fox species worldwide but also the largest among all. The red foxes, due to their larger size, obviously pose the biggest and most concerning threats to dogs both in the wild and at home.
But does the wild red fox really attack a dog? Does it have the strength to take on a fully-grown dog and win against it?
These questions remained unanswered up until now.
The finding is –
A red fox will probably not attack an adult dog.
It happens because likewise, most foxes, the red ones, despite their large size, will live and prey on the smaller animals. They target small animals which can be easy prey not weighing more than 7.5lbs (3.5Kgs). This preying preference of red foxes quickly rules out the most dog species with standard size of its prey and attack list.
But what happens with the smaller breeds?
For instance, breeds like Chihuahuas, with their smaller size, certainly fall in this bracket list of red fox preference. Thus, these smaller breeds run the risk of red fox attacks, especially when the attacking circumstances are right for the fox.
Also, there is a slight chance that foxes will see puppies and smaller breeds as their ideal prey and attack them to try out the luck.
We know that foxes are omnivorous. They can live on vegetables and plants, but they live mostly on raw meats. Thus, they will always look for a chance to hunt down a small animal to feast with it. Their hunting list mostly includes rabbits, mice, hamsters, and squirrels.
Also, in the wild, they won’t miss the chance of feeding on birds, fishes, and eggs of different reptile’s ad birds. Their target animal is often ½ their actual weight.
Thus, perhaps it is safe to say that even the largest wild fox like the red fox won’t attack the dogs unless it the smaller breeds or a puppy in the right circumstance.
Thus, if you have smaller dog breeds such as Chihuahuas or Poodles, they run the risk of being attacked by the foxes in unalarmed conditions. So, you shouldn’t leave them untreated outdoor. Also, never leave the puppies unattended since they are the most vulnerable to a fox attack.
Will Grey Foxes Attack the Dogs?
Grey foxes are smaller than red foxes. Thus, the chance of grey foxes attacking the dogs becomes even slimmer and unlikely to happen.
Moreover, the grey fox is infamous for its shyness and like to live a solitary life where there’s no human or pets around them. So, they will actually avoid any place where they found any dogs or other animals larger than their size.
Also, in the closed area, the fox is less likely to attack a dog unless it feels really threatened and wants to escape the situation anyway. Thus, it would attack the dog to save its own life and get out of danger which is a basic instinct of all animals.
So, it is also easy to say that likewise the red foxes, the grey foxes won’t attack dogs in the wild or inside your property.
What About Domesticated Foxes?
Dogs were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago. But this is not the case with foxes. They have been domesticated properly for only less than 100 years.
So, there’s always a lack of data on what happens if you put both dogs and foxes in the same home or enclosure as pets. Dmitry Belyaev, a former director of the Russian Institute of Cytology and genetics, experimented in domesticating foxes, and it took a long time.
However, he finally reported that foxes need more time for domestication than dogs, but once they are familiar with the surrounding, they can get well along with the human and dogs.
Will Foxes Attack Pet Dogs with Leash?
Many dog owners use leashes to take their dogs a walk in the park or walkway. So, they too ask the same question, “Will a fox attack my dog on a leash?”
This has a pretty interesting answer. Definitely, dogs with leashes and you walking beside them will remain safe from the foxes. But dogs outside often will bark at their fullest decibels. Thus, it will attract the neighbors, and the foxes are one of them.
Therefore, you might see foxes following your movement (actually the dog movement) from the hiding of the bush. That’s why you should never leave a dog with leashes unattended. Since it limits the dog movement, the fox might take a chance. Also, puppies will remain extremely vulnerable with a leash, and so you should be attentive to them to avoid any mishaps.
Remember that being proactive and careful is better than regretting the latter when a red fox attacks and hurts your dogs.
Will Fox Eat Dogs if They Get A Chance?
We know that foxes are omnivorous animals and would live on anything they get around them, from raw meats to vegetables. Their food preference actually depends on the easiness of getting the food. The easier it is to get it, the better for them.
That being said, you may be interested to know if a fox can indeed eat a dog. Well, the fox will prey on rodents, mice, squirrels, rabbits, chickens, fishes, eggs but dogs are not on their menu.
If it a baby dog born a few days ago, left unattended foxes won’t hesitate to make a feast of it. Thus, you should never allow your baby dogs to roam around the property alone, especially if you notice any fox movement close to our property.
Also, another reason for fox not showing interest in preying dogs because both come from the same family of species. Thus, they aren’t natural prey of each other, just like a lion or jaguar won’t eat a tiger and vice versa.
Can Fox and Dog Live Well Together?
This is an interesting question because only the most adventurous people will want to keep dogs and foxes at the same time.
But what if you decide to check this out?
Luckily, a few owners reported that they had petted dogs and foxes quite well together. But you have to make these two animals familiar to each other from their early age, possibly from babyhood. It would help them know each other, and they should get along well with each other.
So, you should get a proper idea on the topic ‘Do foxes attack dogs’ by now. Although many people have the misconception of foxes attacking the dogs, this is a highly unlikely thing to happen. Foxes, even in urban areas, will avoid dogs and prey on smaller animals to live. Thus, you shouldn’t worry about foxes anymore. But for the safety of the baby dogs and smaller breeds, especially those weighing less than 7.5 pounds, they should never be left unattended. These smaller breeds, due to their compactness, can be easy victims to foxes under different circumstances.