The West Highland White Terrier or Westie is a medium-sized Terrier dog from Scotland, known for its cuteness, and the sheer joy and excitement it brings to everybody.
The Westie has a harsh white coat with a distinctive soft white undercoat. The amount of shedding is considerably less than other breeds; however, it still requires daily maintenance to keep the fur soft and shiny, as the white fur is prone to fast dirt build-up and “matting.”
The Westie is somewhat easy to groom because you don’t need to do much, just some brushing, nail trimming, haircutting, and drool cleaning to keep your best friend nice and clean.
A Westie has a distinctive thick, double coat that needs regular brushing to avoid tangles and dead cell build-up, to allow your dog’s skin to breathe. One can use any pet brush available in the market for thick coats of fur, but the brushing should be done slowly and patiently.
Try to strip or clip your Westie’s coat regularly, especially around the nose/mouth area, to get rid of dead hairs and gunk around the eye.
If you don’t have the patience to groom, you can hire a professional dog groomer to take care of all the hygiene needs of your Westie. If you wish to do it yourself, here are the two grooming processes you should know about.
Clipping is using electric clippers to trim your Westie’s entire coat to bring out that soft white undercoat. Buy a good electrical clipper with different sizes of clip covers or blades. Do not use human clippers on your dog and refrain from using the “skip tooth” blades because their wider teeth can cut your Westie.
You can use scissors to touch up hard-to-reach or delicate spots. Use a comb as a guard between your Westie’s skin and the scissors.
Stripping is when you deliberately remove dead hair from Westie’s coat to produce wavier fur. One should strip the coat every day, else it will lead to a build-up of dead hair, and stripping everything at a later stage will leave him looking bare.
Stripping pulls out the outer layer of the hair, once it “blows” or gets puffed up; it is advised to strip your Westie once his fur has blown to avoid hurting him.
Bathe your Westie once every two weeks to keep its fur soft and clean. Choose a mild shampoo that is specially formulated for dogs or a medicated shampoo if your Westie has skin problems. Remember not to use human shampoos or bathe your dog too often as it can strip off the natural oils, resulting in dry skin. Always use warm water in a bathtub.
Try to go for routine veterinary check-ups of your Westie to clean his ears and cut his nails. However, you can also ask the Vet to teach you how to do it at home.
Use a cotton bud dampened in hydrogen peroxide or cleansing solution to remove dirt from the ears, but do not insert anything in the ear canal. You can tweeze out sprouting hairs, but don’t clean your dog’s ears too frequently as it may cause rashes.
Be slow and careful while trimming your Westie’s nails. Trimming them after a bath will make it easier to cut as the nails become soft; however, do not force your dog for a nail-cutting session; be patient with him.
Never use scissors to cut the nails. Always use a dog nail-clipper to trim small slivers of nails one at a time; refrain from getting too close to the skin too quickly. Brushing your Westie’s teeth every day is also a basic grooming step.
Refrain from being too harsh while grooming your Westie. He deserves all your care to continue being a happy ball of love.