Sami is our spunky, lovable West Highland White Terrier puppy. Sami loves to chase his squeaker toys down, get his belly rubbed and, like the majority of Westies, when it comes to grooming he’s the first to run away.
We’ve just published a really comprehensive guide for grooming your Westie! You can read it here!
Why is grooming your westie so important? Grooming, especially for a westie, is part of their general health care. Regularly brushing your pup’s coat helps to spread your dog’s natural oils throughout its fur leaving a lush, shiny coat.
It also helps to remove dead hair, dirt, and dandruff. A clean, tangle-free coat on your pup will reduce the risk of many parasites such as fleas and ticks from attaching to your Westie and be carried throughout your home.
Being groomed is definitely not one of Sami’s favorite activities, but since it’s such an important factor in his overall health, it’s our responsibility to make it fun for him. Can you make it fun, though?
Table of Contents (click to expand)
Most Westies need help to enjoy being groomed
Spending quality time with your Westie is as important to him or her as it is to you. The physical affection shown during the grooming process significantly improves your pups overall mental health and general feelings of well being. Not only that, but a thorough grooming session also leaves your pup feeling and looking his or her best.
It’s not a secret that Westies, just like most dogs, don’t like being handled. The secret though, is taking your time and being very very patient with him. He will get used to it eventually.
How to groom a Westie?
When we got Sami, we didn’t have any experience with grooming a dog, let alone a puppy, so we went to a professional groomer (one who has experience with Westie grooming, which is important since they have special requirements with their fur and skin). We were pleasantly surprised to see how gentle and patient she was with our boy! She actually played some relaxing, chillout music on her phone and took her time getting to know him and helping him feel relaxed. Whenever he would get too playful and squirmy, she would put him down for 2 minutes and allow him to walk around a little. Whenever she would use a new tool, like scissors or the trimming machine, she would let him inspect it first, so that he won’t be scared. It helped immensely and Sami was almost falling asleep by the end! Her recommendation was to groom him often when he’s a pup (every 2 weeks), so that he gets used to it and behaves by the time he grows up.
By starting regular grooming sessions when your Westie is a pup you will also help to increase their socialization skills. Routine grooming accustoms your Westie to the human touch and petting. Regularly brushing your pups fur is not only a relaxing activity for you, but it relaxes your beloved pup as well. Frequent grooming at a young age allows your pup to get acquainted with you making it much easier on you and your Westie when it comes to taking care of their overall health needs in the future.
Grooming Westies is a part of their general health care
A proper grooming session involves a number of factors including:
- Cutting nails
- Teeth care
- Brushing or combing the fur
- Clipping or trimming of coats
Regularly brushing your pup’s coat helps to spread your dog’s natural oils throughout its fur leaving a lush, shiny coat. It also helps to remove dead hair, dirt, and dandruff.
With proper and regular grooming sessions your dog’s coat will remain clean and tangle free. Westie clipping is quite specific, actually, so you should pay attention to that as well.
A clean, tangle-free coat on your pup will reduce the risk of many parasites such as fleas and ticks from attaching to your Westie and be carried throughout your home. In the event that a flea or tick does find its way onto your pups nicely groomed coat, with regular grooming sessions, the infestation will be quickly discovered before it is allowed to grow out of control.
As well as finding any parasite infestations in their early stages, routinely grooming your Westie also provides you with an opportunity to locate any peculiar lumps, bumps, or scratches on your pup that may require additional care.
Grooming is also a part of your Westies dental health care
Regularly brushing your Westies teeth is the first step in preventative measures to void off many diseases that are common among Westies. Like many breeds of dog, West Highland White Terriers are prone to a number of preventable dental diseases or other dental issues such as:
- Milk teeth that have not fallen out
- Tarter build-up which may lead to tooth decay and gum disease
- Mouth lesions
With routine dental care during your regular grooming session, you can quickly find telltale signs of dental diseases and issues, which allows you to have them addressed immediately before they can negatively impact the dental health of your beloved pup.
Routinely grooming your Westie benefits you as well
Being the proud owner of a West Highland White Terrier comes with many rewarding aspects as many of you know, or soon will know after your new lovable pup comes home. One of the often overlooked rewards of owning a Westie is the benefits you as a dog owner get when regularly grooming your dog.
Not only does routine grooming improve your Westies circulation, but it also improves their appearance and reduces their amount of shedding. What does this mean for you besides a happier, healthier family pet? It means less dog hair scattering your furniture and clothing. By properly and regularly grooming your Westie you can spend the time you would otherwise be removing dog hair from your home and clothing on much more enjoyable activities, like tossing that squeaky toy for your pup to chase down.
Guidelines to grooming your Westie
You can begin a regular grooming routine with your Westie pup as young as three weeks old. By starting your pup young you will create a bond of trust between yourself and your Westie making your future grooming sessions a time of affection and love where your pup can fully relax knowing it is in your trusted care. Begin your young pups grooming sessions on a positive note by being patient and gentle. Allow your Westie to learn through experience that routine grooming sessions are not to be feared.
Be sure to use the proper tools when grooming your Westie. The right nail clippers, brushes or combs, toothbrushes, and other essential tools go a long way in the care of your pup. The right tools not only allow your job to be accomplished with ease, but they are manufactured to the precise needs of your West Highland White Terrier.
Choose shampoo, and other care products for your Westie, that are designed for use specifically on West Highland White Terriers. Contact your vet, or a veterinarian specialist, to ensure the products you intend to use with your pup are safe and suitable for his sensitive skin.
Keeping your Westie well-groomed does not have to take a lot of time, especially if you regularly groom your pup. Set aside a specific time of the day and day of the week, that works best to devote your full attention to properly grooming your Westie. Before you know it, both you and your beloved pup will be eagerly looking forward to your special time together.