What Is The Best Dog Food For West Highland Terriers?
The West Highland White Terrier, commonly known as a Westie, is an energetic and lovable little white dog that was originally bred in Scotland, (hence the name West Highland).
Like all breeds of dogs they have dietary requirements specific to their needs, and it is our job to make sure that they obtain that. So what is the best dog food for West Highland Terriers? Well we’ve delved right into this question to seek out a definitive answer for all our readers. Here’s what our research has told us.
The CDET Top 5 Choices For the best West Highland Terrier Dog Food
See our full reviews below, or simply click the links above to see the current prices and latest customer reviews on Amazon.
A close look at the calorie requirements of the West Highland Terrier
Despite the fact the West Highland Terrier can be classed as a small sized dog, they still need a lot of calories to stay healthy. As any West Highland Terrier owner will know, they certainly are an energetic little pooch.
To satisfy their calorie requirements, Westies require a well-rounded diet of essential nutrients to keep them properly fuelled and energised.
If your Westie is a little slower paced than most, they will need a minimum of 400 calories a day to stay energized and healthy.
If you consider your dog to pretty active, they will need closer to 500 calories a day.
And if your West Highland Terrier is very active then they could easily require as much as 800 calories per day.
With this range it is important to carefully consider the amount of activity your beloved Westie has in the day, and if in doubt of their calorie needs in line with the breed average, speak to your vet next time you visit.
What are the nutritional requirements of the West Highland Terrier?
To satisfy their energy needs the West Highland Terrier requires a dog food that is rich in protein while being light on the carbohydrates.
The best dog food for the Westie should also contain Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as a healthy portion of fresh fruits and vegetables for their anti-oxidant properties.
Ingredients to look out for in your chosen dog food include, salmon, chicken, or turkey (all of which are packed with protein goodness).
Fruits and vegetable such as blueberries, carrots, and pumpkin are also good for Westies – as they contain nutrients that can actually help prevent some of the more common eye problems this breed sometimes has, (see our common health problems section below).
You should also try to avoid dog foods that use grain as a filler. A grain-free dog food diet is healthier overall, (many brands use cheap grain just to bulk out the volume of the product), as it means there is more room for the ingredients of higher nutritional value.
And now that we have covered the nutritional requirements of the average West Highland Terrier, lets take a closer look at our top 3 best dog foods for this energetic little breed.
Our Number 1 Choice Best Dog Food For West Highland Terriers
The dog food that get’s our top pick as the choice for West Highland Terriers is the Wellness Grain Free Small Breed Original Formula Dog Food.
Your dog will love this one. It is packed with both tasty ingredients and has all the high energy nutritional requirements to satisfy your active Westie.
As we have already discussed above, West Highland Terriers need a well-rounded diet of both high protein ingredients with a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables to match. The Wellness Grain Free Small Breed Original provides this in abundance.
It gets the grain-free tick of approval from us, as well as being protein-rich in easily to consume smaller kibble-sized chunks. This is a dog food that hasn’t been anywhere near cheap meat fillers either.
With a dog breed that likes to run around all over the place, it is important that a Westie’s joints are healthy maintained – a job that Omega 3 fatty acids do very well. Needless to say, there is fair dose of this in the Wellness Grain Free.
Fruit and vegetables are added to the mix for their antioxidant properties, which will also help to protect your dog from cataracts.
The Wellness dog food is also packed with calcium for bone growth, and fish has been added to the mix too, (yet more of that Omega 3 fatty goodness).
For all of these reasons and more, the Wellness Grain Free Small Breed Original Formula gets our number one vote as the best dog food for West Highland Terriers.
Our 2nd Choice Best Dog Food for West Highland Terriers
Acana Ranchlands Dry Dog Food comes in a very close second after our research. The ingredients used here are second to none, and are actually all locally sourced. Acana also only make this dog food in small batches in an attempt to maintain the upmost quality of the dog food that they are supplying.
Meat protein is the first ingredient used here, and as you can see amounts to 60% of the overall food substance. Protein is essential for an active breed such as the West Highland Terrier.
The all important omega 3 fatty acids are here too to help with the joint and skin problems that are unfortunately rather prevalent in Westies. To ensure no lower quality fillers make it in the mix, this dog food is also completely grain free.
The remaining 40% of substance in Acana Ranchlands Dry Dog Food is made up of healthy fruit and vegetables, (again all fresh and locally sourced).
Overall another top quality dog food, perfect for the nutritional needs of your lovable West Highland Terrier. If you are unable to get your hands on the Wellness Grain Free, then this is one to go for.
And in at Number 3…
The Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dry Dog Food is another great option for your Westie, and as the name implies is actually especially formulated for the needs of the breed.
Royal Canine have concentrated on providing the specific amino acids, fatty acids and flax seeds to support the rough coat and delicate skin of the West Highland Terrier. The food is packed with nutrient to this end.
One of the reasons this didn’t make it higher in our list is because it does not have quite the same high protein count when compared to the other products.
However, if your Westie happens to be a bit of a fussy eater, the Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dry Dog Food is formulated with pleasant (canine enticing) aromas and natural flavors to help get even the most particular dog excited at meal time.
Much like the Wellness Grain Free, Royal Canine have opted for a smaller sized kibble that (as they state) has been adapted to the jaw of the adult West Highland White Terrier. In short, the smaller bite-sizes make it easier for the average Westie to pick up and chew.
Overall, a solid choice dry dog food for the West Highland Terrier.
Common Health Problems For West Highland Terriers
Unfortunately, because west highland terriers are purebreds, Westies face a number of health concerns that do require special care and vigilance throughout their lives.
In fact a 2007 health survey conducted by the West Highland White Terrier Club found that 1 in 2 Westies had at least one of the following common health problems.
All terriers suffer from allergies that lead to itchy skin at some point, however the frequency of this aliment in West Highland Terriers is above average, (A recent study found that 66% of Westies experienced some skin disease by age 3).
This normally begins to affect a susceptible dog between 3 and 12 months old. Symptoms include inflamed and itchy head, feet and belly.
If left unchecked, this rather painful condition will slowly spread across the dog’s whole body causing hair loss and recurrent skin yeast infections.
While epidermal dysplasia is incurable, there are medicines and shampoos that help reduce the onset and pain that the symptoms cause.
2. Orthopedic diseases
Westies as a breed face many joint problems. The most common include loose knees (luxating patella), hip dysplasia, swollen jaw (craniomandibular osteopathy) and hipbone atrophy (Legg-Calve-Perthes disease).
This is why it so important to provide them with a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids and calcium.
Another common health issue in Westies are digestive diseases such as colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) and pancreatitis.
4. White Shaker Dog Syndrome
White shaker dog syndrome is a neuromuscular disease that causes tremors in small dogs such as the West Highland White Terrier.
Afflicted dogs normally show signs of the condition once they reach 2 years of age. The condition leads to seizures and can make it difficult for your dog to walk.
The syndrome generally responds to steroids, and in some cases may disappear with time. However, if your Westie is unfortunate enough to have WSDS, he may need to take steroids for the rest of his life.
5. Pulmonary fibrosis
Pulmonary fibrosis is a form of acute pneumonia. It is so common to West Highland Terriers, it is sometimes called “Westie lung disease.”
The condition leads to damaged and scarred lung tissue making it difficult for the dog to breathe.
The onset normally occurs in dogs around 9 years old, with the early signs being a shortness of breath, wheezing and a lack of energy.
Unfortunately there is no cure for Pulmonary fibrosis. The lung scarring process is often connected to long-term low level inflammation (from irritants, pollutants, etc). However, this inflammation can sometimes be managed using corticosteroids and cough suppressants.