How to protect pets from foxes in Maine | Fox

How to protect pets from foxes

Attacks on pets occur most often around dawn or dusk on those left outside to wander. To avoid attacks on pets:

  • Keep cats indoors, especially at night
  • Provide protection with a predator-proof kennel or fence (6-foot high fencing with the bottom extending two feet underground, to prevent digging)
  • Keep dogs leashed and supervised in open, well-lit areas
  • Light your yard.
  • Store pet food indoors or at least in a fox-proof container
  • When walking your dog, avoid fox den sites
  • If followed or approached by a fox, get your pet safely inside but do not run or turn your back. If you can’t go inside, act aggressively by shouting, waving arms, or throwing objects to reinforce the threat. Those seeking further protection may consider carrying an air horn or pepper spray.
  • Screen off openings under sheds and decks using sturdy galvanized wire or hardware cloth attached to the lower edge then buried underground, slanting outward one or two feet.
  • Keep poultry within predator-proof fencing (6-foot high wire with 3-inch x 3-inch mesh) and sturdy coops. Electric fencing may be used around the lower edge to reinforce fencing or separately, as in portable "Electro-net" systems.

Foxes causing severe damage to pets or poultry, or posing a threat to public health and safety, may be controlled through regulated trapping and hunting or, outside the season, through special permits issued by state wildlife agencies to professional wildlife control operators. Trapping foxes requires advanced training and trapping skills and traps need to be set and checked in accordance with state laws.

Foxes have been known to transmit mange to dogs through the environment around their dens and loafing areas or by contact. Keep dogs away from these areas and from sick animals. Dogs that have come in contact with foxes with mange should be taken to a veterinarian for treatment.

Laws and regulations to be aware of

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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