what do foxes drink

What Do Foxes Drink? (Along Sources in 2023)

Foxes have long captivated the human imagination with their cunning and elusive nature. From their bushy tails to their sharp intelligence, these sly canines have earned their place in folklore and mythology. As we delve into the mysterious world of foxes, one question often arises: What do foxes drink? Join us as we explore the drinking habits of these fascinating creatures and shed light on their hydration needs.

What Do Foxes Drink

Foxes drink water, just like most other animals. They need water to stay hydrated and to help their bodies function properly. Foxes can drink from a variety of sources, including rivers, streams, lakes, puddles, and even from birdbaths or pet water bowls.

In the wild, foxes will typically drink from natural sources of water. However, if they live in an urban area, they may also drink from water bowls or other sources of water that are provided by humans.

Foxes need to drink about 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. So, a 10-pound fox would need to drink about 10 ounces of water each day.

If a fox does not have access to water, it can become dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to a number of problems, including kidney failure, seizures, and even death.

So, it is important to make sure that foxes have access to fresh water, especially if they live in an urban area. You can do this by providing them with a water bowl or by making sure that they have access to natural sources of water.

Can a Fox Drink Saltwater?

While foxes have a remarkable ability to adapt to various environments, their tolerance for saltwater is limited. Unlike certain marine animals that have specialized glands to remove excess salt from their bodies, foxes lack this adaptation. Therefore, drinking saltwater can be harmful to them.

Consuming saltwater can lead to dehydration in foxes due to its high salt content. Ingesting saltwater can upset the delicate balance of electrolytes in their bodies, causing them to lose more water than they gain. As a result, foxes actively seek out freshwater sources to quench their thirst and maintain their hydration levels.

How Do Foxes Get Water?

Foxes rely on a variety of natural sources to obtain the water they need. They are opportunistic drinkers and adapt to the available water sources in their habitats. Here are some common ways in which foxes get water:

  1. Rivers, Streams, and Ponds: Foxes often visit rivers, streams, and ponds to drink water. These bodies of freshwater serve as reliable sources, especially in areas with abundant waterways.
  2. Rainwater: Foxes take advantage of rainfall by drinking rainwater that collects in various natural depressions, such as hollows or small pools. Rainwater can provide a valuable source of hydration, especially during dry periods.
  3. Melting Snow: In regions with snowy winters, foxes may obtain water by licking or eating snow. As the snow melts in their mouths, it provides them with a source of freshwater.

Other Sources of Water for Foxes

Man-Made Water Sources

Foxes are known for their ability to adapt to human-altered environments. In urban and suburban areas, they often encounter man-made water sources like fountains, garden ponds, and even swimming pools. These artificial water features can provide a convenient and accessible supply of water for foxes, especially in areas with limited access to natural water sources.

Water from Plants and Prey

In addition to direct water sources, foxes can obtain water indirectly through their diet. Fruits, vegetables, and prey animals such as rodents, birds, and insects contain varying amounts of water. Foxes are opportunistic hunters and scavengers, and the moisture obtained from their food contributes to their overall water intake.

Captive Foxes and Water

In situations where foxes are kept in captivity, such as wildlife rehabilitation centers or zoological facilities, their water supply is typically provided by caretakers. Captive foxes are provided with clean and accessible water sources, such as bowls or automated watering systems, to ensure their hydration needs are met.

What Do Baby Foxes Drink?

Foxes go through different stages in their lives, and their drinking habits evolve accordingly. Let’s take a closer look at what baby foxes drink during their early development.

Early Stages of a Fox’s Life

After a gestation period of around 50 to 60 days, female foxes give birth to a litter of adorable fox cubs, also known as kits. These tiny creatures are born blind and helpless, relying entirely on their mother for nourishment and care.

Nursing from the Mother

During the first few weeks of their lives, baby foxes depend solely on their mother’s milk for sustenance. The mother fox produces rich and nutritious milk, which helps the kits grow and develop. Nursing provides the necessary hydration as well as essential nutrients for their overall growth and well-being.

As the kits grow older, they begin to explore their surroundings and become more independent. During this transition phase, they start venturing out of the den and gradually start consuming solid food.

Transition to Solid Food and Water

As baby foxes start weaning from their mother’s milk, they begin to consume solid food provided by their parents. This primarily consists of small prey items such as insects, small rodents, birds, and fruits. During this stage, they also start to acquire the habit of drinking water.

Can Foxes Drink Cat Milk?

Given that fox kits rely on their mother’s milk during their early stages, it’s natural to wonder if they can consume other types of milk, such as cat milk. While foxes can digest lactose, the sugar found in milk, they may have difficulty digesting cow’s milk due to its high lactose content. Feeding cow’s milk to foxes can lead to digestive issues, including diarrhea.

If a situation arises where a baby fox requires a milk substitute, specialized fox milk replacers are available that closely mimic the nutritional composition of fox mother’s milk. These replacers are specifically formulated to meet the unique dietary needs of young foxes, providing them with the necessary hydration and nutrients.


Water is an essential component of a fox’s survival and well-being. Foxes obtain water from various sources, including natural bodies of water like ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams, as well as man-made water sources. They also derive moisture from their food and have adaptations that enable them to conserve water. However, the availability of water sources, seasonal changes, and environmental conditions significantly influence their drinking habits.


Do foxes drink milk?

Foxes are lactose intolerant and should not be given milk as it can cause digestive issues. They obtain their hydration primarily from water sources.

Can foxes survive without water?

While foxes have adaptations that allow them to conserve water and survive for short periods without drinking, access to water is essential for their long-term survival and overall health.

Do foxes drink from birdbaths?

Yes, foxes may drink from birdbaths if they are accessible and provide a suitable water source. Foxes are resourceful and will utilize available water sources.

How much water do foxes need daily?

The daily water requirements of foxes vary based on factors such as their size, activity levels, and environmental conditions. However, a general guideline suggests that adult foxes may require around 8-12 ounces of water per day.

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