The most common question people have is whether these beautiful dogs require a lot of work. Basically, are Westies high maintenance pets?.
Westies are intelligent, easy to train, and active, so they would be good for someone who likes a dog that has some energy but is a low-maintenance pet.
This article takes around 4 minutes to read, but if you are in a hurry we have included a table of contents so you can see at a glance what the content is.
It’s true that any dog comes with some level of difficulty, but Westies are a good choice for first-time owners. Here are the main factors why Westies are considered low maintenance dogs:
Table of Contents
One of westies’ most recognizable traits is their signature white coat. The fur can appear to be soft and fluffy from afar, but close-up it has a kind of rougher feel to the coat.
Westies are descended from terriers and have been bred for a long time to hunt vermin. This can be tough work, and that’s why they often have two coats of hair. The first is smooth so they can dodge through brush while the second type is rough, which is ideal for going into ragged growth.
Westies are natural hunters and foragers, which means they need to go on walks or hikes every day to stay healthy. Lack of daily activity can lead to various physical health concerns and an inability to control weight.
Unlike some larger dogs, which are better suited for rural areas or homes with plenty of space, the westie can do fine in various homes including apartments, as long as they get regular exercise and the human attention.
Westies are one-of-a-kind dogs, and they have a personality to match. One of the most common traits of a westie is their love for people.
They are friendly, loyal and loving dogs that will do anything for their owners. They also love to be involved in everything that you’re doing! They want to be with you as much as possible, including when you’re sleeping or going to the bathroom.
No dog is completely immune to health issues, but westies have historically been considered to be one of the hardiest and most resilient breeds.
There are some common health issues that Westies can suffer from such as:
Early diagnosis and treatment of cranio-mandibular osteopathy can prevent it from becoming malignant. Although more common in West Highland Terriers, this health issue can be seen across many dog breeds.
This is a disease that affects the jaw and can cause swelling, decreased appetite, drooling, pain when opening the mouth, and sometimes a fever.
Some people call Legg-perthes the “Westie disease” because it’s most common in this dog breed. It’s a degenerative condition that happens when an animal is unwilling to use their right leg.
Diagnosis is initially made by x-rays of the hips. They may also have some loss of muscle tissue on one side of their thigh.
Atopic Dermatitis :
West Highland White Terriers are known for being allergic to certain things in their environment. The most common culprits are pollens, grass, or dust and it can lead to mild or severe itching.
However, they are known to be typically healthier than smaller dogs, living up to 13 years on average. This is compared to an average of 11 years for this type of small dog. Indeed, a westie can provide many years of companionship and stability in your your life.
Can Westies Be Left Alone:
West Highland White Terriers are known to experience separation anxiety when separated from their owner. Westies in such a state will exhibit certain signs of distress and often become restless when you’re away.
It’s understandable that they’ll become slightly anxious if they’re left alone. A few hours should be the max amount of time though.
Are Westies Hard To Keep Clean:
A bath every few months might be okay for most Westies. Frequent bathing can lead to skin dryness and also exacerbate any latent skin conditions the dog might have. However, there should be no harm in giving your Westie a bath if they really need one.
Always be aware of any current skin issues if need be and always consult your vet for any concerns.
Do Westies Shed Hair:
The frequency of his shedding will likely be low to almost nonexistent. This dog’s coat stays fairly clean and so bathing him is only necessary when absolutely necessary. To maintain a light and fluffy coat, it may need regular grooming, sometimes quite often.
Are Westies Calm dogs:
Westies are smart and quick learners and will participate in training as long as their motivations are clear! Indoors and outdoors, Westies are different. They’re kind and playful at home, but love to run around outside. This intelligent breed can learn quickly, so with a little bit of effort you should be able to teach them anything.
Do Westies Bark a Lot:
Westies are extremely intelligent dogs who can learn fast! When you tell them something like “no”, they quickly understand the meaning behind your words, which will help them to behave more properly. Saying no when they bark too much will also help to teach them new manners.
Do Westies Like To Cuddle:
Westies are a lovable, appealing dog breed that is known for their friendliness. They are always good with children and other animals. This makes them a great family dog. They love to cuddle and spend time with their humans.
Do Westies Do Well In Apartments:
West Highland White Terriers are independent creatures, loving their families dearly but not too happy with being handled roughly. They’re generally okay with living in apartments and with other pets (provided you give them enough attention). They will just want to be given strokes of love and enough exercise.
There are certain dogs that need a lot of attention and patience which is why it’s not advisable to have one in the home if you’re a novice dog owner.
If you’re considering a new pup and don’t want to go for the typical “big dog” stereotype, Westies are among the most popular small breeds and a great choice if you’re looking for one that’s low maintenance.
Don’t forget that a big responsibility comes with owning any dog, no matter where they originally came from.
Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for your information only. It may not be construed as medical advice. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information. Instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals or veterinarians on any matter relating to their pet’s health and well-being. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions.