Whether you’re bringing home a young wire fox terrier puppy or rescuing an older dog, here is a tried and true list of essentials that you’ll need. Yes, most of the items are things you would need for just about any dog, however here you’ll find information to help you pick the right size of equipment. Not all dogs are created equal!
If the idea of having your dog in a crate seems like puppy prison to you, think about where dogs come from. They are pack animals by nature, and hundreds of years of breeding hasn’t changed that. Just like kids build forts out of cushions and blankets to have a smaller protective space to play in, puppies and dogs like to have their own den-like area to go in. The crate gives them that feeling.
There are mostly two types of crates, wire, and plastic. Plastic crates, often called “kennels”, are typically much lighter, offer more privacy for the dog, and are less expensive. They also help contain the dog a bit better; they can’t stick their paws out of the sides and grab something nearby. The biggest disadvantage to the plastic crate is size, as they cannot be folded down to save space. They also don’t allow you to peak at your puppy from far off since they are harder to see.
We purchased a wire-style crate for our new puppy, and he uses it to this day as an adult, though not as often. A good wire crate for your dog will cost a bit more than a plastic one, but to us it was well worth it. First of all, a wire crate can be folded down to save space, like if you are taking a road trip and want to bring the crate with you.
We also liked that while the dog was in the crate we could peak and see if he was sleeping or not since the dog is more visible in a wire crate. To add a little more privacy at times, we put a blanket over the top of the crate to make it darker, which works great if you want your puppy to take a nap. The only real disadvantage we’ve found to a wire crate is that you have to be aware of its surroundings. Once in awhile we’ve found a nearby blanket half-pulled into the crate and chewed on. So be sure to keep the crate free from obstacles, especially cords if it happens to be against a wall.
BONUS – the wire style crates usually come with dividers if your dog is a puppy – super important for potty training. I didn’t believe it until I saw it, but it’s true – dogs don’t want to soil their beds. If they can hold it, they will. OR… if the crate is so big that the puppy can go to one end and potty, and return to sleep on the other end, they’ll do that instead. So the divider keeps the crate just big enough for them to sleep in as they grow, without giving them extra room to potty.
Whichever model you choose, you want to make sure that it is appropriately sized for your dog through all stages of his life. For the wire fox terrier, this means getting one with approximate dimensions of 30 L x 20 W x 20 H. Here is a picture of Watson in his during a trip we took – he was about 75% fully grown at the time:
The one I recommend is the Midwest Ultima Pro Series Dog Crate, size 31 L x 21.5 W x 24 H. It has two doors, one in the front and one on the side, which means more flexibility as to where you place it in a room. It also comes with a puppy divider:
Best of all, it folds down for transport or storage:
You’re also going to want some bedding to put into that crate. We’ve had great success with a pad that fits in the bottom of the crate. It’s 3″ thick so it gives a nice squishy cushion for your pup to sleep on, and it doesn’t leave much room for gaps, so your dog can’t pull it up and chew on it. If you get this Midwest Quiet Time Pet Bed in the 29 x 21 size, it will fit snug right in the bottom of the crate. You can see a pad similar to this in Watson’s crate in the picture above.
But you’ll also want to get some easily washable bedding to put on top of that. Not just in case of accidents, but also just dirt in general. You wash your own sheets, don’t you? Same principle! We bought a thin little thing like the Midwest Quiet Time Fashion Pet Bed, which fits much better in the wash than the 3″ thick pad above could. Just get one about the same size as the crate, or a little smaller. You can also see this in the crate picture earlier in the article.
You can also use an old blanket or some towels – just watch to make sure your puppy isn’t chewing and swallowing pieces of it.
Finally, you’ll want to get some kind of pet bed that your dog can sleep in when he’s not in his crate. We have one in the family room, and our dog really loves it. Once he got older, that is actually where he spent the night. If you’ve seen any pictures of wire fox terriers sleeping – they really seem to love something to lay their head on. See? (They sleep so weird!)
That’s why we chose (and have had great success) with a bed that has a pillow rim around it. It doesn’t really matter what kind you get – just get one sized for the wire fox terrier – or about 25-30″ in the longest direction, similar to your crate. When in doubt, bigger is better – wire fox terriers love to stretch out! The Sofantex Pet Line Medium Size Pet Bed is just one example (pictured below), and Amazon has a huge selection of pet beds, which you can check out here.
Collar & Leash
The only bad kind of wire fox terrier? The ESCAPED kind! From the day you bring your wire home, whether a puppy or an adult, you’ll want a good collar and leash. Obvious, I know, but here are the sizes you need:
For a puppy, any small collar will do. They will quickly outgrow it, but they are cheap.
For an adult, a collar that is 5/8″ in width that expands to at least 13 – 14″. Our adult wire fox terrier Watson wears his collar at about 13″. Since some dogs are simply bigger or smaller, something like the Rogz Utility Medium Reflective Snake Dog Collar is a good choice. And it comes in a variety of spiffy colors for whatever suits your dog’s personality…
And for a leash, we’ve found a 6′ leash to be the most comfortable for us. It gives room for the dog to walk a good distance ahead of us, and when we want him closer, there isn’t too much extra leash you have to hold in your hand. Rogz also makes leashes in the same colors as their collars – so you can be super snazy and match. Or mix and match. Your dog won’t mind!
Bowls, I know, another obvious choice. But what should you choose for a wire fox terrier? I would suggest heavy ceramic. Heavy, so they can’t be easily pushed around the room, and ceramic, because any bowl made of plastic is a potential chew toy for a wire fox terrier. Also, don’t get TINY ones – a wire fox terrier eats more than you might think, and you can never have too much fresh water on hand for them. Something in the 5″ – 7″ inch range like this Ethical Stoneware Crock Dog Dish is perfect. Just remember to get two!
What to feed them… what to feed them… it’s a controversial and worrisome topic amongst dog lovers. That’s why I wrote a separate article all about it, and what we chose to feed our wire fox terrier. You can read it by clicking here.
If you’ve ever looked around for dog toys – it’s mind boggling! There are so many choices. And with each breed of dog being different than the next, not all toys are created equal. Check out our article Best Toys for a Wire Fox Terrier for our suggestions on what to buy, and what NOT to buy. It will save you a lot of time and money!
Teeth. Repeat, wire fox terriers are all teeth! And they love to chew. To be fair, our dog isn’t actually very destructive. The worst thing he does is chew on a couch pillow or something, or pull threads out of the area rug. Once in awhile he chews his nails. Your mileage may vary, but it’s good to have some repellant on hand. The most popular is Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray for Dogs. Simply spray it on whatever you don’t want them to chew, and for the most part they’ll stop. It does wear off, so get a big bottle like the 16 oz. You won’t regret it!
And finally, there is one more spray you’re going to want in your arsenal. And that is, pet stain and odor eliminator. House breaking a wire fox terrier can take a long time – they are very smart but very stubborn – and you are going to want to clean up those messes properly. Properly means using an odor neutralizer, because smelling their own urine and feces can trigger the desire to go again in the same spot. The number one best selling pet spray for this on Amazon is the Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. brand. Grab a bottle – you will need it!
Yes, dogs need a lot of gear. And wire fox terriers need specific gear, which we’ve done our best to outline here. Hopefully it will save you a little time and get you all ready to welcome home your new dog. What kind of stuff did we forget? Or what have you had good experience with? Let us know in the comments!