What to feed your wire fox terrier – or any dog for that matter – can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of kinds of food out there, each with beautiful pictures of healthy dogs on the front, running free in the wind, all of course due to the extremely nutritious and delicious food inside the bag. Right? Right?
I write this article reluctantly, since this is perhaps one of the most personal decisions you will make. Furthermore, I want to fully acknowledge that I am NOT a veterinarian, nor do I have any technical experience with various types of food and how they affect dogs in general. So reluctantly, I will simply share my own personal philosophies, reasonings, and choices. That is all. That being said, read on…
What is in dog food?
The first thing you should know is that there is little-to-no regulation as to what goes in dog food. Mainly, the ingredients just have to be safe enough to feed to a person. I’m sure there is a more legal definition, but that’s about it. Ground up pork bellies? Sure, why not. Crushed chicken bones? Sure, it’s “chicken”, right? The best thing you can do is read the label and know what the ingredients actually are. The best source I’ve found for this is the website DogFoodAdvisor.com – which lists almost every dog food known to man (and dog), along with a breakdown and explanation of the ingredients. It’s worth spending some time on. I used it a lot in determining what to feed my dog.
What do you feed a wire fox terrier?
Again, I can only tell you what we decided to feed our wire fox terrier, not what you should necessarily feed yours. Over the years I’ve heard and seen more about dog allergies, and that a lot of those can be attributed to grains in a dog’s diet. Plus, there’s that whole “dogs are wolves and wolves don’t eat bread” mentality, which I guess makes sense, even though our vet said grains aren’t necessarily bad for a dog. Still, I choose to get a grain free dog food. Specifically, I feed our dog Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food. It is thankfully made in the USA, something I consider a must for anything we feed our pup. There have just been too many stories about foreign dog food poisoning and killing pets here in the USA.
It’s a little more expensive than buying Kirkland dog food at Costco, which I also considered at first due to the convenience and price, but here’s the thing – a wire fox terrier doesn’t eat that much. About a cup and a third of food a day (for our dog, on his current food). So a little extra cost didn’t bother me. Some larger breeds eat more like four cups a day. So you have to consider your budget too.
IMPORTANT: make sure you feed your wire appropriately SIZED food. “Puppy” for a puppy, “adult” for an adult (but check it out first). Never feed a wire fox terrier a “large breed” dog food as the pieces of kibble are physically larger and it can be a choking hazard. Sometimes the bags look very similar, so look closely.
Now, if you are getting a puppy or dog from a breeder or someone else, you’ll want to see what they are currently feeding the dog, and make any transitions to a new food over the course of a week or two. It’s easier on their digestion system, and if you notice any negative changes you can adjust accordingly.
But Watson has done great on this food, and what I really like is that it comes in chicken, beef, and lamb flavors, so you can mix it up a bit. Call me weird, but I like him having a little variety now and again. He probably doesn’t care 🙂
What about treats?
Yes, you’ll also want some treats. Again, a very personal choice, and we use a variety of things, which I’ll mention here. For training treats we get Crazy Dog Training Treats. They are soft, small, and inexpensive. They are also made in the USA, which is not always easy to find. Also, for training treats you want something that is low-calorie, since you are going to use them a lot throughout the day. Big taste, low calorie – that’s what you want. These work for us, and they come in several flavors:
We also like Greenies Dog Dental Chew Treats, since they claim to be a healthy snack that help clean teeth. And let’s just say that if you can find any way to help clean a wire fox terrier’s teeth without getting too close to them… you’re better off! These treats only last a few minutes in the mouth of an adult, but they still last longer than a little training treat. You can also hold it in your hand and get your dog to sit still while you brush him. These are made in the USA:
So, I hope that helps at least give you a few things to think about as you pick the right food for your wire fox terrier. My last suggestion – don’t over-obsess about it. We can’t afford to feed our dogs (nor ourselves) organically raised filet mignon every night. So just do some research, talk to your vet, get what you feel best about, and see how it works for your dog. Really.
Do you currently have a wire fox terrier? What are you feeding him/her? What have you had problems with? Share your experiences in the comments below!