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How to Care for a Westie

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Care for a Westie

West Highland White Terrier dogs, also known as Westies or Westys, belong to the breed of terrier dogs known for their fun personality and for being very friendly with humans, although sometimes may seem hostile to other dogs. This type of dogs is originally from Scotland, where they were first bred to sniff rats, foxes and other animals generally repulsive to high society.

Another feature of the Westie breed is that they are excellent guardians, although they require firmness and constant training. If you want to know more about this breed, stay with us at OneHowTo and we'll show you how to care for a Westie.

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Steps to follow:


In order to care for a Westie, hygiene is the first thing to consider. West Highland White Terriers require a little grooming, so you should do it the right way and regularly.

Brush your dog's hair every day: despite not being too furry, their hair tends to have knots and tangles so you should use a brush with short bristles. A monthly bath is needed to prevent allergies and to keep their skin from drying out. You should use a special shampoo to avoid problems on the animal's skin, and remember to use a conditioner to soften the hair.

If you don't know how to bathe your dog at home, take a look at our article.

You can also take your Westie to the hairdresser for a special hairstyle, which further enhances the sweetness of this dog.


Another aspect to consider when you're caring for a Westie is cleaning the dog's nails and ears. Westies' big ears have a pointy shape, which can result in the accumulation of dirt and the proliferation of bacteria that could cause infection.

On the other hand you must cut your dog's nails every two weeks, and also trim the hair found around the legs and paws.

Note that if a Westie has parasites, you can usually find them hidden away behind the ears, under the legs or below the snout, so you should keep those areas very clean indeed.

How to Care for a Westie - Step 2

As seen above, parasites find Westies quite delicious, so they have a tendency to harbor them. It is necessary that you go to the vet once you acquire the dog to get the vaccines it need; the usual method includes tick-shots three times a year.

If your doubts about how to care for a Westie include how and what to feed it, the best thing you can do is consult with your veterinarian about what option will provide food that meets their physical needs.


West Highland White Terriers are very active breed, so long walks are necessary. Remember that they are great diggers, so walks through gardens or looking for hidden objects will ensure that they have the time of their lives.

Westies are very familiar, so such a dog will certainly be an ideal companion if you have children. Include your Westie in family activities, as this will benefit it not only physically but also emotionally.

How to Care for a Westie - Step 4

Westies are prone to some pathologies and health conditions, including:

  • Globoid cell leukodystrophy, or Krabbe disease, which results in the demineralization of central and peripheral nervous system.
  • Craniomandibular osteopathy, or Lion jaw, is a hereditary disease in which there is a symmetrical bone growth in the mandible and cranium that makes chewing difficult.
  • Cataracts.
  • Luxating patella, in which the kneecap dislodges causing weakness and pain.
  • Copper toxicosis is a very common disease in this race, but it can also be developed by the administration of excess copper crystals that may be present in food or in incorrect formulas.

If you're worried about your Westie's health, do consult your vet as soon as possible.


This is how to care for a Westie. If you have any doubts or tips, do tell us in the comments section!

If you want to read similar articles to How to Care for a Westie, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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Susan Christensen
Ideal meal for Westies and once a day or twice?
She will be three in the middle of this month.
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How to Care for a Westie