Baby foxes have very different nutritional needs than adult foxes.
That means they need to be fed foods that are specially designed just for them. They are born blind and rely solely on their parents for food.
A mother fox will take care of its kit’s nutritional needs from the day it’s born until it’s able to hunt for itself.
However, if one finds themselves in the unfortunate situation of needing to feed an orphaned newborn kit, those fluffy bundles of joy will be utterly dependent on you.
In the wild, for the first two weeks, they eat only the regurgitated meat that their mother feeds them. Once they can stomach whole food, their mother will bring them small live prey, like mice and insects.
When in captivity, baby foxes can feed on puppy milk replacement formula in the weaning phase. Around one month old, they can be given solid foods such as raw chicken, rabbit, and rodents.
Most experts recommend that the best way to feed a baby fox is by scheduled meal times rather than free feeding or leaving food out for them.
Age By Age Guide to Feeding Baby Foxes
During the first few days of the nursing period, newborns are protected from germs by antibodies in their mothers’ milk.
Therefore, it’s recommended to allow the kits to suckle on their mother’s milk for at least ten days.
The longer the kits stay with their mother, the better their health and physical development will be.
However, if you have found an un-weaned, orphaned fox, it should be under the care of a veterinarian.
Still, there are things you can do in the meantime to keep it alive until you can find an animal rehabilitation center.
Give the kit (or baby fox) a tissue fluid replacement for the first meal. It would help if you replenished it with glycine, electrolytes, and glucose. Lectade can be diluted with water, and the fox will gladly drink it.
Two to Four Weeks
When the kits are about two to four weeks, you can start giving them milk formula made for canines (Esbilac or goat milk). You should first warm the milk to about 100 degrees or body temperature.
Instead of heating the formula in the microwave, place the bottle in a cup of warm water.
You can check the milk’s temperature by dropping a few drops onto your wrist. Make sure that the milk is neutral (not be too hot or cold).
Using a 3-4 milliliter syringe or a small bottle explicitly designed for bottle feeding young animals.
Allow the kit to lie on its stomach (the natural feeding position).
Bottle feeding fox kits necessitates at least six feedings per day, every three hours. However, if it’s only a few weeks younger, feed it every two hours.
Gently pat the kit on the back after feeding to help them burp up any air they might have swallowed.
Ask for Help: If you’re unsure how to proceed or if it’s having difficulty swallowing. Please consult a veterinarian on how to get them to feed or to be fed through the stomach.
Four to Six Weeks
Four to six weeks after birth, the baby foxes will begin their weaning stage (when the kit’s teeth erupt) and are ready to start eating solid food. The diet should consist of only 10% solid foods. Mix 2 cups puppy food, 12.5 ounces puppy/kitten milk replacer, and 2 cups water in a blender.
Serve the mixture in a baking pan or a shallow dish and place them in front of it.
If they’re not interested, try dipping your finger in it and then touching your finger to their mouths to taste it.
They may get a little messy while experimenting with this new food. It may take a few tries, but eventually, the kit will be interested enough to begin lapping up the mixture on its own.
A kit will start eating solid foods on their schedule—a timeline that can vary from kit to kit.
Meanwhile, keep offering milk replacer in a bottle to ensure the kit fox maintains their weight and gets all the nutrition they require.
Weighing your kitten every day is also an excellent way to ensure your pet baby fox gains weight and develops correctly.
Don’t Forget: Make sure to provide a shallow bowl of fresh water once the kit reaches four weeks of age.
Six Weeks to Five Months
Thoroughly wean the kit with more solid foods from 6 to 5 months old. At this time, it’s a good idea to mix dry and canned food, so it experiences both at a young age.
As kits age, you can switch to an all-dry or all-canned diet.
Depending on their appetite, you should be feeding a kit three to four times per day.
At this age, they are growing and will not store fat because everything they eat goes into their development.
Therefore, they should be fed whenever they are hungry to keep them healthy and compensate for the energy loss from playing all day.
It’s also essential to keep a clean, shallow bowl of fresh water available at all times to keep the kit hydrated. Feed them with an all-meat diet consisting of pre-killed raw chicken, rabbits, and rodents for good protein intake.
Give them one or three boiled/ raw eggs per week for proper calcium intake.
The eggshell can also be powdered and mixed with the fox’s food. You can also feed them small amounts of kibbles to avoid rickets because too much can damage their heart.
You can also give kit foxes a few teaspoons of mixed frozen vegetables like tomatoes, and other bite-sized vegetables every day.
If you notice a lot of vegetable matter in your fox’s stool, you are probably feeding too many vegetables and should reduce the amount you are offering.
Fruit can be served as a treat.
Foxes enjoy berries in particular; however, to avoid kidney damage, avoid feeding grapes and raisins.
No-no Food List: Avoid feeding baby foxes with avocados, chocolate, caffeine, grapes, onions, garlic, peaches, cherries apple seeds, and pits.
It can be a terrifying situation if you’re faced with a tiny kit or a whole litter of them, who have been abandoned, orphaned, or rejected and cannot nurse from their momma.
It’s then up to you to give them the nutrition that will keep them alive. Basically, baby foxes can eat foods similar to pet dogs or cats.
The proper diet for a pet fox will include the right balance of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Generally speaking, a pet fox can eat high-quality, grain-free dog food. Just make sure to adjust the proportions according to your pet fox’s weight.
You can also buy specially formulated fox feeds that contain the right amount of protein and taurine.