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What Do Foxes Eat [Diet & Facts]

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Foxes, known for their adorable appearance with big ears and fluffy coats, belong to the Canidae family, comprising twelve distinct species. 

Within these species, there exist numerous subspecies; for instance, the red fox boasts 47 different variations. 

Sadly, 25 fox species have already vanished due to hunting, particularly using large packs of hounds. To prevent further extinction, people need to take action. 

Ensuring foxes have enough food is essential for their survival and vitality.  

In this exploration, we delve into what foxes eat, their habitats, hunting techniques, predators, and their crucial role in the delicate balance of ecosystems. 

So let’s get started and learn more.

What Do Foxes Eat: The Complete List of Food


Foxes are omnivorous mammals, meaning they eat both plants and animals. 

Their diet varies depending on the time of year, location, and availability of food. 

However, here is a general list of what foxes eat:

1. Small Mammals

Foxes mainly hunt small mammals like mice, voles, rats, rabbits, squirrels, and moles, which make up a large part of their diet and provide important nutrients for them. 

2. Birds

They are also skilled at catching birds such as pheasants, quails, chickens, ducks, songbirds, grouse, and turkeys, including those that nest on the ground. 

During breeding, they may even steal eggs and young birds from nests. 

3. Insects

Additionally, foxes eat insects like beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets, especially when these bugs are plentiful in the warmer months, adding to their protein intake.

4. Fish

In places where there are bodies of water, foxes might take the opportunity to hunt for fish, including salmon, trout, minnows, amphibians, and crustaceans. 

This behavior is more common among species like the Arctic fox, particularly those that live along the coast.

5. Carrion

Foxes are natural scavengers and readily eat carrion, including the remains of dead animals. 

They play a crucial role in ecosystems by breaking down carcasses and reducing the risk of disease spread.

6. Small Reptiles and Amphibians

Foxes may hunt small reptiles like lizards and snakes, as well as amphibians such as frogs and toads. 

These smaller animals provide additional protein and nutrients to their diet.

7. Eggs

When birds are nesting, foxes might raid their nests to feast on eggs, which offer a rich source of protein and fat crucial for their survival.

8. Fruit

Although foxes are mainly meat-eaters, they sometimes add fruits like berries, apples, grapes, melons, and vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, and corn to their diet for variety and additional nutrients.

9. Nuts and seeds

Foxes may also consume nuts like acorns, walnuts, and seeds like sunflower seeds as part of their diet.

10. Fungi

Foxes may eat mushrooms and truffles, which are types of fungi, as part of their food sources.

Apart from the mentioned foods, foxes may occasionally scavenge garbage, pet food, and other human-made edibles. 

Recognizing the varied diet of foxes highlights their ability to adapt and find resources in different environments. 

This adaptability enables them to flourish across diverse ecosystems, including dense forests and urban areas, where they play vital roles in upholding ecological equilibrium and biodiversity.

Learning what foxes like to eat helps us understand how they survive in different places and times of the year. 

Now, let’s explore more about what baby foxes eat and what pet foxes need in their diet.

What Baby Foxes Eat: The Diet of Baby Foxex

Baby foxes, called kits, go through an interesting diet change as they grow up. 

At first, for the initial two weeks of life, they only drink their mother’s nutritious milk. 

Around the second week, their mom might bring them pre-digested food to help them transition to solid food. 

Between 2 to 6 weeks, with their mom’s help, they start trying solid foods like insects, worms, and bits of meat. 

They learn hunting skills by playing and eventually catch insects and worms. 

By 6 weeks, they can eat small animals like mice and voles and also enjoy fruits and berries. 

Their mom teaches them how to hunt and find food until they’re about 12 weeks old. 

They become good at hunting small animals, birds, and insects and change their diet based on the season. 

Although where they live and what they find to eat can vary, the shift from milk to solid food and their hunting abilities usually follow a similar path, helping them survive in the wild.

What Do Pet Foxes Eat: Foods You Can Feed

Pet foxes need specific kinds of food because they’re meat-eaters, but they also live with people as pets. 

A good diet for a pet fox usually has a combination of special fox food you can buy, raw meat, and extra things to make sure they get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

1. Meat

The main part of a pet fox’s diet should be meat, making up about 60-70% of what they eat. 

Provide them with different kinds of lean meats like chicken, turkey, rabbit, and small rodents. 

If you’re giving them raw meat, make sure it’s from a trustworthy source and frozen first to get rid of any bad bacteria. 

Cooked meat is okay too, but stay away from processed meats or ones with added salt, spices, or unhealthy stuff.

2. Bones

It’s beneficial to give your fox raw bones because they contain calcium and other minerals that are good for them, and they help keep their teeth healthy. 

Make sure the bones you give them are large enough for chewing but not so small that they could break into pieces and become a choking hazard. 

Avoid giving them bones from large animals because these bones might be too hard and could break into sharp pieces, which could hurt your fox.

3. Offal

Offal, which includes organ meats like liver, kidney, and heart, is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins A and B, iron, and copper. 

However, it should only make up a small portion of your fox’s diet, roughly 5-10%.

4. Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are good for your fox. 

Offer them a variety of safe options such as apples, carrots, berries, and melons. 

However, avoid giving them grapes, raisins, and onions, as these foods can make foxes sick.

5. Commercial Fox Food  

You can find special fox foods in stores designed to provide pet foxes with all the necessary nutrients. 

These foods are typically rich in proteins and other essential nutrients that keep foxes healthy. 

However, it’s crucial to choose high-quality food specifically made for foxes. 

While commercial food is a good addition to their diet, it shouldn’t be their main source of food.

6. Insects:

In the wild, foxes foxes eat lots of insects. As an enjoyable treat or activity, you can give your pet fox live insects like crickets, mealworms, or dubia roaches.

Remember to always provide fresh, clean water for your pet fox, and refrain from feeding them human food, which can be harmful. 

Additionally, consult with your veterinarian to tailor a diet plan specific to your fox’s age, health, and activity level. 

By offering a balanced and nutritious diet, you can help ensure the well-being and vitality of your pet fox.

Now, let’s go beyond talking about pet foxes and look at the different kinds of foxes out there and what they like to eat.

Types of Foxes

1. Red Fox: It’s the most common fox and can be found in North America, Eurasia, and North Africa. 

Red foxes eat pretty much anything – rabbits, rodents, birds, fruits, bugs, and even dead animals.

2. Arctic Fox: Artic foxes live in the cold Arctic regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. 

They’re built for the icy tundra and eat lemmings, seabirds, fish, and sometimes dead animals.

3. Fennec Fox: This tiny fox lives in the Sahara Desert and loves munching on insects like beetles and scorpions. 

They also eat small animals and fruits.

4. Gray Fox: Found in North America, they’re known for their climbing skills and eat rabbits, bugs, fruits, birds, and sometimes dead animals.

5. Swift Fox: Lives in the grasslands of North America and hunts rodents, bugs, and rabbits. 

They’ll also eat dead animals and sometimes fruits.

6. Kit Fox: They like the deserts of North America and eat a lot of bugs like beetles and grasshoppers. 

They also eat small animals like rodents and rabbits.

7. Bengal Fox: Found in India and Southeast Asia, they eat fruits, bugs, rodents, reptiles, and dead animals they find.

8. Corsac Fox:  The Corsac Fox, native to Central Asia, forages for rodents, insects, and birds in its habitat. 

During severe winters, it relies on scavenging carcasses it encounters.  

9. Cape Fox: In contrast, the Cape Fox, indigenous to South Africa, primarily feeds on bugs and beetles. 

However, it occasionally supplements its diet with small creatures such as gerbils, reptiles, and fruits.

Foxes can adapt their diet depending on where they live and what’s available to eat during different times of the year. 

Although they mostly eat meat, they also enjoy fruits, berries, insects, and sometimes even food humans leave behind. 

This ability to adjust helps foxes live well in different places and environments.

What Impact did Urbanization Have on their Diet?

1. More Food from Humans

When people don’t properly throw away their food, foxes can find plenty to eat in overflowing trash cans and leftovers. 

This junk food, although not good for them, becomes an easy meal for foxes. 

They end up relying less on hunting for their usual food like mice and birds.

Also, when pets are left outside alone or their food bowls are left out, foxes might see them as a quick snack. 

This means they eat more processed pet food, which could cause problems, and sometimes it leads to clashes with pet owners.

2. Differences in What Foxes Hunt

In cities, there are fewer places for mice and other rodents to live, and people use strong methods to control pests. 

This means there aren’t as many rodents around for foxes to catch and eat. 

So, foxes might start searching for food in trash cans or go after smaller prey like bugs instead.

Birds can easily live in cities, and some types even do better there than in the wild. 

This makes them an easy target for foxes to catch and eat. 

Because of this, foxes might adjust how they hunt birds in city areas.

3. Foxes’ Hunting Changes

When foxes find it easy to get food from humans, they might stop relying on their usual hunting habits. 

They may search for food in trash cans more often, which could make them less skilled at hunting and affect how nature balances itself.

To stay safe around people and cars, foxes might change how they hunt. 

They might start hunting at night more often, stick to smaller areas, or look for food near where people live.

4. Food Problems for Urban Foxes

Eating a lot of human food might not give foxes all the nutrients they need, unlike their natural prey. 

This could make them sick, overweight, or not grow properly in cities.

Also, in cities, foxes might get sick from new diseases and bugs because of eating contaminated food or being near people and pets.

In cities, foxes have both good and bad things about their food. 

They can easily find human food, but this can mean they don’t hunt as much, and they might not get all the nutrients they need. 

Also, they might get sick from eating human food and being around people and pets.

Foxes are good at adapting, though, so they’re figuring out how to live in cities. 

But to stay healthy in the long run, we need to manage our trash better and make cities where foxes and people can both live well.

The Hunting Method of Foxes 

fox eating

Foxes are smart hunters, which means they use different ways to catch their food depending on what’s around them. 

They sneak up on small animals, birds, insects, and other creatures using tactics like stalking, jumping, and surprising their prey.

Foxes are most active during the times between day and night, called dawn and dusk. 

They have sharp senses like sight, smell, and hearing, which help them find their food. 

They often move quietly and patiently, getting close to their prey before they attack. 

When they’re near enough, foxes might jump or suddenly attack to catch their meal.

Besides hunting, foxes are good at finding food that’s already dead, like animals that have died or leftovers from other animals, even from humans.

Foxes hunt more when there’s lots of food around and less when it’s hard to find. 

Usually, they hunt a few times a day, especially during dawn and dusk. 

But if there’s lots of food, they might hunt at night too. They’re good at adapting and finding food in different places and situations to survive.

Habitat of Foxes

Foxes are clever animals that can live in many different places all around the world. 

They can be found in forests, grasslands, deserts, mountains, and even cities. 

But they like habitats with lots of plants, some open spaces, and places where they can find water. 

In forests, they hide in the trees and bushes, hunting small animals like mice and birds

In grasslands, they use tall grass to hide and find food. 

Some foxes, like the fennec fox, live in deserts, where it’s very hot and dry. 

They have big ears to stay cool and eat bugs and small desert animals. 

Foxes also live in the mountains, moving up in the summer and down in the winter to stay warm. 

Even in cities, they’ve learned to find food in garbage cans and backyards. 

Foxes are good at adapting to different places as long as they can find food, shelter, and places to have their babies. 

That’s why you can find them almost everywhere!

Predators of Foxes

Even though foxes are smart and can adapt well, they have to watch out for other animals that might want to harm them.

1. Apex Predators

1.1 Wolves: These strong hunters see foxes as rivals for food and will chase them down, especially in open spaces where foxes can’t hide easily. 

1.2 Coyotes: Similar to foxes, coyotes hunt in the same areas and might fight with them for food and territory. 

Because coyotes are bigger and live in groups, they’re a big danger to foxes, especially the young ones. 

1.3 Mountain Lions: When mountain lions and foxes share the same territory, foxes are at risk. 

Mountain lions are stealthy and big, making them a big threat even to grown foxes. 

1.4 Bears: Black bears and grizzly bears sometimes eat foxes, especially if there’s not much other food around. 

This happens more in winter or when other prey is hard to find. 

1.5 Eagles: Big birds like golden eagles and bald eagles can catch foxes, especially if they’re young or sick. 

They dive down super fast and grab their prey before it can get away.

2. Additional Dangers

2.1 Owls: Big owls like the great horned owl can be serious threats to foxes, especially at night. 

With their amazing eyesight and quiet flight, they can catch foxes off guard and quickly capture them. 

2.2 Bobcats: These smaller relatives of mountain lions go after young foxes and smaller fox species like the swift fox. 

They’re good at sneaking up and using their sharp claws to catch their prey. 

2.3 Snakes: Though not common, large snakes like boas and pythons might sometimes hunt young or sick foxes. 

Their coiling grip can overpower even healthy adult foxes in certain situations.

3. Human Impact

Foxes are hunted for their fur in some places, which can reduce their numbers. 

They often get hit by cars, especially where there’s lots of traffic.

When forests are cut down or cities spread out, foxes lose their homes and places to find food. 

This makes them more at risk from other animals.

Role of Foxes in Ecosystems

Foxes are important for keeping ecosystems healthy and balanced. 

They help control the numbers of small mammals like mice, voles, and rabbits by hunting them. 

This stops these animals from becoming too many and causing problems in their habitats. 

Foxes also eat pests that bother farmers, which helps protect crops. 

When foxes eat fruits and berries, they unknowingly spread seeds when they poop, helping plants grow in different places. 

As predators, foxes are part of a big network of animals that eat each other in ecosystems. 

This affects how other animals behave and how plants grow. 

Foxes also help clean up by eating dead animals, which stops things from getting too messy and helps recycle nutrients in the environment. 

If there are changes in fox populations, it can show us if something is changing in the environment too. 

Overall, foxes play a big role in keeping ecosystems healthy by controlling animals, spreading seeds, and cleaning up, showing how everything in nature is connected.

The Conservation Status

The situation of foxes in terms of conservation varies depending on their species and where they live. 

In general, many fox species are not in immediate danger worldwide and are considered to be of “Least Concern” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

However, certain fox species might face problems in specific areas due to habitat loss, being hunted by humans, and other issues. 

For instance, Arctic foxes are dealing with changes in their icy homes because of climate change, while swift foxes in North America are struggling because their habitats are being destroyed and divided. 

Conservation efforts focus on protecting where foxes live, decreasing conflicts between humans and animals, and managing land in a way that’s good for everyone. 

Keeping an eye on fox populations, making rules about hunting, and helping people understand how important foxes are in nature all play big roles in their conservation. 

Even though many foxes are okay for now, we need to keep working to make sure they stay safe and the ecosystems they live in stay healthy.


To sum up, knowing what foxes eat, how they hunt, and why they matter in nature gives us important clues about how ecosystems work. 

It’s our responsibility to take care of the environment and live peacefully with these interesting animals so they can thrive for a long time.


What is a fox’s favorite food?

Foxes like to eat small animals such as mice, rabbits, and birds.
They also eat insects, fruits, and sometimes even leftovers they find.

Do foxes drink milk?

Foxes don’t typically drink milk like humans or other mammals do.
They get most of their hydration from water.

Will foxes eat bananas?

Foxes aren’t picky eaters and might eat bananas if they come across them, but bananas aren’t a typical part of their diet.
They usually prefer meat and other natural foods.

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