Are Fox Dangerous to People or Pets?
Many people consider the fox a dangerous animal. I know, because I get a lot of concerned phone calls and emails from people who are
worried that a fox is going to cause some harm to them. These are the three most common concerns that people call me regarding:
For these reasons, many people wish to have these nuisance canines trapped and removed.
- Fox posing threat to pet
- Fox posing threat to small children
- Fox looking sick or rabid
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Are Foxes Dangerous To People Or Pets?
A lot of people will be intimidated by the sight of a fox. It is true that to see a fox in a place where people live is a strange sight and no one should ever try to pet or corner a fox in order to catch it with their bare hands as they will become aggressive when cornered. But in general, foxes are not especially dangerous to humans or some pets. They will feed on livestock that is small such as poultry, rabbits or other small newborn animals. There have been cases where there have been some attacks, but generally speaking it is not a common occurrence. The cases where there has been an attack have happened when the fox is defending itself, its den or has been pushed to that extreme due to a lack of food. The reason they do not attack dogs, cats or humans is because they are not something that a fox sees as prey. Though it could happen that a fox tries to attack a dog or more likely a cat, they will be scared off when the noise begins or when a cat’s claws come out.
Diseases They May Carry
The one danger that foxes do present is the danger of disease. They are a possible carrier of rabies and a bite can cause an infection. They can also defecate close to where people live and the bacteria can spread when the feces dry or when a dog gets too close. This has the same impact as dog feces and if a fox has gone to the bathroom in your garden you should clean it, just like you would when a dog does it. The more likely scenario is that you will not be affected by the diseases that foxes carry, but your pets will be more susceptible to them. Mange, for example can affect dogs but the disease is easily treated and will not kill the dog once the treatment begins. The worst case scenario is hair loss by your pet unless it is not treated.
Danger To Humans
There have been some reported cases when a fox has attacked small children, but in reality there are not that many situations where that happens. In some cases the fox is acting territorial, and in some it may be defending itself. Attacks on humans are very rare, but unfortunately they do get a lot of press and that gives foxes a bad name. The fact is that foxes are very careful at what they do and while it can happen that they go into a house by accident, they will look for the exit as soon as they realize that there are people inside. There have been times when a fox has been credited with an attack, but in reality the culprit has been another animal. There is no reason to fear a physical attack from a fox on a human. Even in cases where a human may be close to its den, a fox will try to guide the person away by escaping.
Keep Them Away
Even though the fox does not represent an immediate danger you should not want them close to you. There is the possibility of the previously mentioned disease, not to mention the mess they can make around your home. Foxes are scavengers and if there is an easy meal to be had in your garbage then they will go for it. While there is not much to fear from foxes you should always approach with caution and if you are one of those rare cases where a fox actually goes into a house then you are better off calling wildlife control. There is a myth that foxes are dangerous to humans, but the truth is that foxes have a lot more to fear from us that we ever will from them.
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