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How to Keep Your West Highland White Terrier Healthy (and Feed It Right)

Keep your West Highland White Terrier healthy by providing its basic needs. These include regular grooming, training, workouts, visits to the vet, and proper diet. Learn about its nutritional needs and ensure to include them when feeding.
How to Keep Your West Highland White Terrier Healthy

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Give your Westie the correct portion of food based on its weight. Divide the meal into two or more meals throughout the day. If you are feeding commercially-available dog food, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

What Do West Highland White Terriers Eat?

Like any dog breed, the West Highland White Terriers have specific dietary requirements. Food that gives them an adequate amount of accessible energy is best. High-quality dry kibbles or commercially available canned dog food should do the job.

Look for ingredients approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. By doing so, you are sure you’re providing your dog with a nutritionally balanced meal.

High-quality dog food should contain a meat protein such as fish, chicken, beef, or lamb. Chicken and beef may cause an allergic reaction. That is why pork is a good meat ingredient to consider. Check if fish oil is in the ingredients for a healthier option.

It is also ideal if fresh vegetables such as squash and kale are on the list. While mushrooms are not a common ingredient in dog food, these can boost your dog’s immune system. However, don’t start foraging with your dog for mushrooms. Some variants are toxic to them.

Avail of products that contain fewer calories and more fiber. Avoid products with grain fillers as their primary ingredient. These are hard to digest and may cause stomach upset to your pet if your canine is seven years old or older.

You should also keep away from products that contain food coloring. Doing this prevents your Westie’s bright white fur from staining, especially around its mouth.

How Much Food for a West Highland White Terrier?

The recommended daily amount to feed your West Highland White Terrier is one-half to one-and-a-half cups of high-quality dry food. If your furball is active, it may require approximately 700 kilocalories of food per day. On the other hand, less active dogs only need about 450 kilocalories.

When giving canned wet food to your Westie, follow the manufacturer’s directions to give an adequate portion. Based on your pet’s weight, this can be about one to two cans per day.

Give your dog no more than 20 minutes to eat wet dog food. Refrigerate leftovers to prevent spoilage.

How Often Should I Feed My West Highland Terrier?

Divide your West Highland Terrier’s meals into two portions. Give the meals once in the morning and another in the evening.

Remember that your dog has a sensitive stomach. Overfeeding it may cause it to vomit the food.

How Much Should a West Highland Terrier Weigh?

Typically, purebred Westies weigh between 16 and 20 pounds (7 and 9 kg). Males are usually larger and heavier than females.

Do West Highland Terriers Have Health Problems?

Given proper care, good nutrition, exercise, and regular veterinary attention, Westies can enjoy long and healthy lives. However, a host of health problems can afflict your pet.

The West Highland White Terriers Club of America (WHWTCA) conducted a health survey in 2007. It gleaned a list of prevalent diseases affecting the breed. The list included:

  • Addison’s Disease Lymphoma
  • Aggression
  • Atopic dermatitis Luxating Patella
  • CMO (Craniomandibular Osteopathy)
  • Dry Eye (KCS)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Juvenile Cataracts
  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease
  • Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • White Shaker

Are West Highland Terriers Prone to Deafness?

Deafness refers to partial or total hearing loss in one or both ears. Certain breeds of dogs, predominantly white and merle coated, are predisposed to congenital deafness. The West Highland White Terrier is one of these breeds.

The cells responsible for hearing and the cells that determine hair color come from the same stem cell source. The lack of this stem cell means that the dog’s body won’t be able to make a specialized layer of hearing cells. They will also likely be white. Congenital deafness is often permanent and not treatable.

How Long Do West Highland White Terriers Live?

The West Highland White Terriers have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

What Is the Oldest West Highland Terrier?

In 2018, news about a 20-year-old West Highland Terrier broke out. After its owner got ill, Snowy was brought to the Dogs Trust Centre in Huyton, Merseyside, England.