In Portugal, where we live, it’s not common to find Westies in rescue shelters. Because we really wanted a Westie, we got Sami, our puppy, from someone that had several puppies from her own Westie. EIf you’re living near a rescue shelter and you don’t want to buy a Westie but adopt instead, check out some of the rescue shelters in the area to find out if they’ve abandoned Westies.
Should You Get Abandoned Westies from a Rescue Shelter?
You might have to wait months or even years until the rescue shelter gets abandoned Westies, as they’re hard to come by. So if you’re willing to wait, this guide is for you. Since adopting not just a Westie, but any abandoned dog is a huge responsibility — bigger than just getting a puppy from a breeder — because they’ve been rejected and hurt, ensure you’re ready to take it on.
General Information to Consider before Getting a Westie
Whether you adopt a rescued Westie or get a Westie from a breeder, use this general information to decide if a Westie is the right dog for you:
1. Westies with Small Kids
It’s not like Westies don’t get along with small kids, they do, especially if they’ve grown alongside them. However, they can also mistake the actions of a small kid for an animal, resulting in them growling at them. Even though the chances are less, they may bite.
Otherwise, Westies are an excellent family pet. I suggest if you have a small child and no experience with Westies, train your dog to get along with your child.
2. Westies with Other Pets
This dog breed has been bred to hunt small animals, such as ferrets, hamsters, birds, rabbits, and more. Oh, and cats are their biggest enemies. They see a cat and a chase ensues. Does that mean you shouldn’t get a Westie for this reason?
Absolutely not! You can still get one, just closely monitor their interactions with other animals, or better yet, keep your small animals out of their reach. More importantly, train your Westie to love your cat as much as you love her. Before you know it, they’ll be doing everything together.
3. Westies Know Magic
Westies are well versed in magic. One minute they are there and another minute, they are gone. Poof! In short, they’re escape artists. Why do you think Sami is with me all the time? Most of the time, he’s on a leash and if he’s not, I ensure he never leaves my sight. I don’t need him escaping on me anytime. When I go on a walk with him, he’s on a leash and I hold on to him tightly because if he sees a squirrel, there he goes!
4. Westies and Health Conditions
Westies are prone to food allergies, cancer, skin conditions, and diabetes. However, this isn’t true just for Westies, but all dog breeds. You’ll have to pay special attention to your dog, regardless of the breed you get.
For instance, if your Westie has rusty paws, he’ll be more likely allergic to their food. If you uncover any symptoms of an illness, take him to the vet. It’s important to pay special attention to your pet’s medical needs because you don’t want to catch something when it’s in its later stages.
5. Westies and Grooming
I take Sami to the groomers for his haircuts, and you’ve probably seen Westie owners give their dog wacky and cool haircuts. However, there are some grooming measures I take at home, such as keeping his coat clean by bathing and brushing him, cutting his nails, brushing his teeth, and cleaning his ears, as they’re likely to develop an ear infection. I recommend going to your vet to learn how to groom a Westie at home.
Is it still a yes to getting a Westie? If it is, do you still want to get a Westie from a rescue shelter instead of from a breeder? In that case, you need to know the difference between a rescued Westie and a Westie you get from a breeder.
How Are Rescued Westies Different?
When you’re getting a rescued Westie, know that their personalities have already been shaped. They know their likes and dislikes. For instance, you have cats at home, but the rescued Westie didn’t live in a household with cats; hence it may take time for him to adjust to other pets.
Therefore, you need to consider these special circumstances you may encounter with a rescued Westie before you apply for adopting one with a rescue center near you:
1. Rescued Westies May Have Medical or Behavioral Issues
Most of the Westies that rescue centers save suffer from medical or behavioral issues. If you’re getting a rescued Westie with a medical problem, you might have to get him treated for life. Other medical conditions may require you to bath them frequently for several months or years. If you’re bringing home a Westie with special needs, you’re making a financial commitment to care for them their entire life.
2. Rescued Westies May Have Been Abused or Neglected
Rescued centers rescue a lot of abused and neglected Westies. If you get an abused or neglected Westie, you’ll have to pay special attention to them, helping them cope and overcome the trauma they experienced before.
Some Westies may have never even ventured outside the home or worn a collar. Others may be afraid of people or animals. You’ll need a lot of patience to care for an abused or neglected dog and will need to commit yourself to train and reinforce behavioral standards.
3. Rescued Westies Aren’t Free
Most people who want to get a Westie cannot afford a purebred Westie, which is why, they turn to rescue shelters to get one. However, rescued Westies are neither free nor cheap. They’ll ask you to make a financial contribution if you want to adopt a rescued Westie.
Since you’re getting a rescued Westie, you’ll also be paying for his medical and dental treatment as well as grooming, especially if he suffers from a medical issue. Moreover, rescued Westies with a behavioral problem require a trainer, which also can add up to the costs. If you think you can afford to get and care for a rescued Westie, seek rescue shelter out.
Whether you get a Westie puppy or get one from a rescue shelter, one thing they’ll both need is endless love and care.