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What Do Red Foxes Eat [20+ Foods They Feed On]

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Red foxes are found all over the Northern Hemisphere and are the most common type of fox worldwide. 

They’re clever animals that can live in many different places, like freezing tundras or hot deserts. 

Their red fur helps them blend in with their surroundings, making them hard to see. Red foxes usually live in small family groups but can also be alone. 

They mark their territory with pee and poop and use their strong sense of smell to find food and mark their space.

If you’ve seen a red fox, it’s likely! They’re everywhere and live in lots of different habitats. 

In nature, you might spot them hunting or looking for food to eat. 

In this guide, we’ll talk about what red foxes eat in the wild, how they find food, what they eat in winter, and what influences their food choices.

What do Red Foxes Eat: Complete List of Food

red-fox hunting

Red foxes are famous for being able to live in many different places around the world and for being smart about finding food. 

What they eat depends on where they are, what time of year it is, and what food is available.

These clever animals really like eating small animals like mice and voles

They’re good at finding them because they have excellent eyesight, smell, and hearing. 

They’re also skilled at catching birds like pheasants and quails

They can move quietly and quickly, whether on the ground or in the air when they’re hunting.

Insects are like snacks for red foxes, especially when it’s warm and there are many bugs around. 

Sometimes they might even munch on reptiles and amphibians if they come across them.

While meat is the main part of their diet, red foxes don’t mind eating fruits like berries and apples, or veggies like roots and tubers, for a change. 

They’re not picky eaters and will even scavenge for food, like eating animals that are already dead, such as those killed by other predators or hit by cars.

In short, red foxes eat a lot of different things, which helps them survive in all sorts of places.

They’re good at finding food wherever they go, which is one reason they’ve been so successful as animals that can live in many different environments.

Below is a comprehensive list of foods that red foxes commonly consume:

1. Small Mammals: Red foxes primarily prey on small mammals, including Mice, Voles, Rats Ground, squirrels, and Moles.

2. Birds: Pheasants, Quails, Grouse, Songbirds, and Waterfowl.

3. Insects: Beetles, Grasshoppers, Crickets, Caterpillars.

4. Fruits and Berries: Apples, Berries, Grapes, Cherries

5. Vegetables: Roots, Tubers, Certain greens(occasionally)

6. Fish: Small fish, Fish eggs, Aquatic invertebrates

7. Crustaceans: crabs and crayfish.

8. Reptiles and Amphibians: Frogs, Lizards, Snakes, Turtles

It’s worth mentioning that what red foxes like to eat can change based on where they live, the kind of place they call home, and how food availability changes with the seasons. 

Their knack for adjusting what they eat according to what’s around them helps them thrive as one of the most common and flexible meat-eaters on Earth.

What do Red Foxes Eat in the Winter?

In winter, red foxes change what they eat based on what’s available.

Their usual prey, like small mammals and birds, might be harder to find because of snow. So, red foxes switch to other food sources.

During winter, red foxes rely more on small mammals like voles and mice that stay active under the snow. 

These little creatures make tunnels under the snow, making it easier for foxes to catch them.

Red foxes also scavenge more in winter. They look for dead animals, like those that died naturally or due to the harsh weather. 

This becomes more common in winter when animals struggle to find food because of the cold.

In the fall, red foxes eat more to build up fat reserves. 

These fat stores help them stay energized during winter when food is scarce.

Overall, red foxes show they can adapt during winter by changing what they eat and how they find food. 

This flexibility helps them survive when the environment changes.

What do Baby Red Foxes Eat: The Diet of Baby Red Foxes

Baby red foxes, also known as kits, have specific dietary needs when they’re young. 

At first, they rely completely on their mother’s milk, which gives them all the important nutrients they need to grow and stay healthy. 

This milk has proteins, fats, and antibodies that help their immune systems and make sure they grow quickly.

As the kits get older, their mother starts teaching them to eat solid food. She brings them small, easy-to-eat prey like insects and earthworms

This helps the kits practice their hunting skills by playing and pouncing on live prey.

When the kits reach about 5-6 weeks old, they start eating a wider variety of food that their parents bring back. 

This includes small animals like mice, voles, rabbits, and baby birds

When they’re about 8-10 weeks old, the kits are strong enough to go hunting with their parents. 

They watch and learn from their parents how to catch prey.

Switching from milk to solid food is important for the kits. It gets them ready to be on their own and survive in the wild. 

As they get bigger, the kits keep learning from their mom how to hunt.

By the time fall comes around, the kits are all grown up and can take care of themselves. 

They can hunt and find their food, just like adult foxes do.

Are Red Foxes Suitable as Pets?

Red foxes are not suitable as pets for most people. While they might seem cute and appealing, red foxes are wild animals and have specific needs that are difficult to meet in a domestic setting. 

1. Wild Nature: Red foxes are wild animals, and their natural behaviors and instincts don’t make them good pets. 

They have skills for hunting, they like to claim their territory, and they have their own way of socializing, which can be hard to handle at home.

2. Legal Restrictions: Laws in many places say you can’t keep red foxes as pets unless you have special permission. 

These rules are there to protect the foxes and the people around them.

3. Space and Enclosure Needs: Taking care of red foxes means giving them a big, safe space outside that feels like their natural home. 

This can be tough and expensive because you need to make sure they have enough room to move around and things to keep them busy.

4. Specialized Diet: Red foxes need a variety of foods to stay healthy, like meat, fruits, veggies, and special supplements. 

It’s not always easy to find and give them the right kind of food they need.

5. Health and Veterinary Care: Taking care of the health of red foxes can be tricky too. 

They can carry diseases and bugs that can spread to people and other pets. 

Finding a vet who knows how to help red foxes can be hard, and it can cost a lot.

6. Behavioral Challenges:  Red foxes can also be a handful to deal with at home. 

They might mark their territory, dig up things, or make a lot of noise, which can be annoying.

Sometimes they can even act aggressively or damage things if they’re feeling stressed or trapped in a house.

What do Pet Red Foxes Eat?

1. High-quality protein

Pet red foxes need good protein in their diet to stay healthy. Raw meat is the main thing they should eat regularly. 

You can give them things like rabbit, chicken, turkey, fish, or shrimp. 

There are also special raw meat diets made just for foxes that you can find in stores.

You can also give them eggs, which have protein and other good stuff that they need to stay strong and healthy.

2. Fruits and vegetables

Give your pet fox a mix of fruits and veggies to give them important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

But don’t give them as much as protein.

Safe options are apples (without seeds), blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, raspberries, green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and pumpkin.

Don’t give them grapes, raisins, avocados, onions, garlic, or anything else that might be bad for them.

3. Commercially Prepared Fox Food

You can find special fox food made just for pet foxes. These diets have all the important stuff foxes need to stay healthy. 

They usually have lots of protein and can be in the form of dry kibble or canned food. 

Make sure to pick a good-quality fox food that’s made to give foxes all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

4. Eggs

Eggs are a healthy choice for pet foxes. They can be cooked in different ways like scrambled or boiled, or even served raw if the fox likes it that way.

5. Insects

Some pet foxes like snacks of bugs like mealworms, crickets, and grasshoppers once in a while. 

These bugs give them extra protein and mix things up in their diet.

6. Supplements

Sometimes, depending on what the vet says and what the fox needs, they might need extra stuff like calcium, vitamin D, or omega-3 fatty acids. 

These supplements make sure they get all the good stuff they need to stay healthy.

It’s crucial never to give pet red foxes cooked bones because they can break into sharp pieces and harm their insides.

Stay away from processed foods and scraps from human meals since they aren’t usually good for foxes and might not have all the important nutrients they need.

Make sure to give your pet red fox a mix of different foods to keep them healthy and prevent any nutritional problems. 

And always have clean, fresh water around so they stay hydrated.

Talking to a vet who knows about exotic animals can make sure your pet red fox gets the right food and stays healthy for their whole life.

How to do Red Foxes Hunt For Their Food: The Hunting Method

Red foxes are skilled hunters, using their senses, speed, and ability to sneak up on prey.

They quietly watch and follow their target, waiting for the right moment to jump and catch it.

Sometimes they chase after it, running fast and using their long tails to stay balanced. 

Other times, they surprise their prey by hiding and waiting for the perfect chance to strike. 

They’re also good at digging, especially for small animals like rodents. 

Red foxes can change their hunting style depending on what’s around them, and they may even work together with other foxes to catch their meal. 

Their clever tactics help them hunt successfully in different places and catch different kinds of animals.

Factors Affecting the Natural Diet of Foxes

Many things really matter when it comes to what foxes eat in the wild, and they have a big impact on the kinds and amounts of food they eat. Let’s look at some important ones:

1. Where foxes live affects what they eat

  • Foxes eat what’s around them. If there are lots of mice and voles, that’s what they’ll eat the most. But if there aren’t many rodents, they might eat more insects, fruits, or things they find.
  • Foxes also eat plants. In places where there are lots of fruits and berries, foxes might eat more of those when they’re in season.

2. Seasons affect how foxes find food

  • In warmer months, when there are more bugs and lots of animals around, foxes might eat less meat and go for fruits, veggies, and insects instead.
  • But in winter, when food is harder to find and they need more energy, foxes usually look for high-protein, high-fat foods like small animals, scavenging for leftovers, and using their stored fat.

3. Age and Gender

  • Baby foxes, called kits, start by drinking their mother’s milk. Then they move on to eating things like bugs and worms. As they grow up, they start eating a wider variety of foods, just like adult foxes.
  • Research has found that male and female foxes might eat different things. Sometimes, male foxes go for bigger prey because they’re larger and need more energy.

4. The things people do can affect what foxes eat

  • Foxes in cities might eat stuff people throw away, like garbage or pet food. This can make their diet less natural and not so good for them compared to foxes in the wild.
  • When people change where foxes live by building things, it can make it harder for them to find food. They might have to hunt differently or eat different things because of what people do to their homes.

5. Differences Among Foxes

  • Just like people, foxes have their tastes: Some might be better at catching certain types of food, so what they eat could be a bit different from other foxes in their group.

By knowing about these things, we can better understand how red foxes eat in nature. They’re good at finding food and can change what they eat depending on what’s around, the weather, and what they feel like eating.


What red foxes eat shows how well they can adjust to different environments.

Knowing their diet helps us see how they fit into nature and why it’s crucial to protect their homes so they can keep living in the wild.


Do foxes eat fish?

Yes, foxes can eat fish, especially if they come across them in their natural habitat near bodies of water.
Fish can be a part of their diet, along with other prey like small mammals, birds, insects, and fruits.

Do foxes drink milk?

While foxes may drink milk if they encounter it, especially if it’s available as a human-provided food source, it’s not a natural or regular part of their diet.
Foxes primarily drink water to stay hydrated.

Do foxes eat rice?

Foxes are opportunistic feeders and can eat a variety of foods, including grains like rice if they come across it.
However, rice is not a significant part of their natural diet, and they typically consume other foods like small mammals, birds, fruits, and insects.

What is poisonous to foxes?

Some foods that are toxic to foxes include chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins.
These foods can be harmful and should be avoided as they can cause serious health issues or even death if ingested by foxes.
It’s essential to ensure that foxes are not exposed to such toxic substances.

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