How to Care for Your Westie: 5 Tips

Like all Westies, Sami is an active and energetic dog that requires regular exercise. Sami is a confident, independent, intelligent, and strong dog breed. His bright white coat, with a coarse top coat and thick undercoat, needs regular grooming.

Sami’s self-care routine involves regular grooming, feeding, training, workouts, and visits to the vet. If you want to care for your Westie, here’s what you need to do:

1. Provide Your Westie with a Balanced Diet and Fresh Water

Westie puppy and a big icecream

First of all, we don’t give Sami any human food, except some vegetables, like cucumbers. In case you thought the icecream from the photo above was for him 🙂

I have put Sami on a balanced diet, as recommended by my vet. I change his water bowl daily, replacing the old water with fresh water. Ask your vet if you should provide your Westie with canned or dry food. Most canned and dry dog foods have the daily nutrients that they need to be strong and healthy.

If you prefer to give your Westie homemade dog food, ensure you give him the required daily calorie and nutrients. His food needs the essential amino acids found in protein to increase his energy levels. Include fatty acids to his diet, including animal fat, oils, and plant foods to keep his skin and white coat healthy and promote cell growth.

As Sami gets older, his protein and fiber requirements will increase as well. When he’s an adult, 10% of his diet will be made up of protein, 4.5% from fiber, and 50% of carbs from plants and legumes. However, I still insist that you follow your vet’s advice, as the diet requirements differ from Westie to Westie. Because I’ll be doing the same.

2. Brush and Comb Your Westie’s Coat Each Day

Petsvv Two-Pack Grooming Comb Tool Review

You need to brush and comb your Westie’s white coat each day to ensure he remains clean and tangle-free. When I brush Sami’s coat, I always check for signs of dermatitis, as they’re prone to develop it. Symptoms of dermatitis include swelling and painful irritation and skin inflammation.

Additionally, I bathe Sami with a medicated shampoo to prevent dermatitis. Don’t bathe your Westie each day or several times during the week because they only require a bathe every two to three months. If you give him a bath too often, his skin will become dry and flaky.

Just brush his white coat to remove dirt and keep it clean. I also trim the fur below Sami’s eyes to prevent stains and matting due to tearing.

We use these for his coat:

3. Take Your Westie Out for Daily Walks

West-Highland-White-Terrier-with-Other-DogsExercise is extremely important for your Westie. Daily exercise will keep his muscular legs and hindquarters in good condition. I play games with Sami like fetch when we go to the park or beach. Be careful not to leave your Westie out of your sight if you’re allowing him to run freely without a leash. Westies require supervision when they are having fun and interacting with other dogs.

Exercise should be a part of your best friend’s routine. Here’s how Westies and all dogs breed benefit from regular exercise:

  • Longer lifespan
  • Reduced risk of serious medical conditions, such as kidney and heart disease
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Stronger muscles and bones
  • Improved social and psychological health
  • More sound and restful sleep
  • Deeper bond with the owner if they exercise along with them
  • Less likely to get into fights with other dogs and exhibit behavioral problems

The amount of exercise your Westie needs depends on his age, size, and health. For most Westies, the recommended amount of exercise is two half-hour sessions, involving brisk movement each day. However, this is too much for older Westies and younger Westie puppies.

You can choose from a wide range of physical activities for your Westie, which includes brisk walking, light jogging, to playing frisbee in the park. You can also change up the location of exercise by taking him hiking to the lake or other scenic locations in your area.

Just ensure to keep him away from fast-moving vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, and bicycles. When taking Westies out in crowded public places, keep them on a leash because of their innate instinct to chase.

Don’t take them for exercise in extreme temperatures because they’re small and can dehydrate and overheat quickly. Always have a water bottle with you. Also, ensure the ground is not too cold or hot for them to walk on and look for broken glass and sharp objects on the ground.

4. Enroll in an Obedience Training Program

Westie puppy at training schoolI enrolled Sami in an obedience training program, but you don’t have to do this if you want to train your Westie yourself at home. However, an obedience training program is recommended because Westies have leadership traits, which could lead to behavioral problems if not controlled and minimized now.

Through obedience training, Sami learned socialization skills, which increased his acceptance of people and animals without him becoming stressed or aggressive when outside.

5. Take Your Westie to the Vet for His Annual Checkups

A Westie’s Life: Sami’s InstagramTake your Westie to the vet every year for his medical checkup. Use this time to ask your vet about any health problems that your dog can develop. By knowing the medical conditions your Westie can develop, you can prepare yourself better in taking measures to prevent them.

The most common health conditions that your Westie can develop include inability to breathe properly due to pulmonary fibrosis, atopic dermatitis, bone deterioration due to Legg-Calve-Perthes, and liver disease due to copper toxicosis.

Taking care of a Westie is a big responsibility, but it isn’t that hard when you know what you need to do to provide him the best care in the world that you can possibly provide your best friend.

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