How To Groom A Westie

Westies are renowned for their all-white coatings, rounded heads, pointed and erect ears, and in some cases, tails that are shaped like carrots. This group of dogs are officially known as the West Highland White Terriers, so called for their origins in the western highlands of Scotland. Westies are small dogs typically standing at ten to eleven inches at the shoulder.

They were bred in order to hunt down rats and other underground rodents. If you are looking for help with how to groom a Westie, here is the process that you can follow along.

Learn How To Groom A Westie With This Process

1. Brush Your Westie’s Hair

(Photo courtesy of David-andres Novoa via Wikimedia)

Westies have thick double coatings that serve as breeding grounds for mats which can cause skin pain for the dogs if left unaddressed. So, you will want to be brushing your Westie on a daily basis in order to keep his/her famed all-white coating clean and free of mats.

Westies don’t shed their hair much and so dead hair isn’t much of a concern compared to the mats. Even so, you may want to keep your Westie’s coating free of any dead hair so that you don’t need to worry about even a few dead hair ending up on the floor or on the furniture.

Seeing that your Westie has a thick double coating, you will want to use a brush that is effective at getting rid of mats and dead hair from this kind of coating while not scratching his/her skin. With that in mind, I recommend that you get the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush.

This brush comes equipped with a button that you can press to easily clean your brush during and after the brushing. With the brush in your hands, get started with brushing your Westie’s coating.

I recommend that you focus on brushing one section of your Westie’s body at a time. So, do one section of the body and then move on to the next one once you have finished brushing it. You will also want to brush your Westie in the direction of hair growth for best results.

2. Brush Your Westie’s Teeth

Brushing your Westie’s teeth is an important part of the grooming process. Brushing your Westie’s teeth will help to keep them free from tartar buildup which can cause tooth decay if it is left in place.

Veterinarians often recommend that dog owners get the Virbac toothpaste for use with their dogs’ teeth. So, you will want to go along with it as well. You can use a toothbrush to brush your Westie’s teeth. You will want to be doing this on a regular basis, ideally daily.

3. Bathe Your Westie

Your Westie should only be bathed about three or four times per year. That is because Westies are vulnerable to dry, itchy skin and dandruff which can result from frequently bathing them.

When it comes to shampoos, you will want a shampoo that is designed for dogs that are especially prone to dry, itchy skin like Westies. Sure, there are whitening shampoos out there, but your Westie most likely won’t need any of it.

Your priority should be to get a shampoo that is aimed at your Westie’s dry, itchy skin. The Buddy Wash Dog Shampoo and Conditioner is a great choice for your Westie.

Now, you are ready to bathe your Westie in the bathtub, you can use a handheld shower head if you have one. If not, you can use a cup filled with warm water to wet your Westie. Once wet, thoroughly apply the shampoo onto your Westie’s coating, taking care not to get it into his/her eyes.

With the shampooing over, rinse your Westie until there is no lingering shampoo left in his/her coating. Now, proceed to wrap your Westie in a bathing towel and use it to dry his/her coating off. With your Westie all dry, re-brush his/her coating.

4. Trim Your Westie’s Hair

(Photo courtesy of Hamish Irvine via Flickr)

You may want to give your Westie’s coating just a little bit of a trim in order to give it a neater look and to make it easier for you to maintain. You will want to make sure that you have one of the most powerful clippers that you can get.

So, I recommend that you get the Andis UltraEdge Super Detachable Blade Clipper AGC2. Despite the clipper being powerful, it stays remarkably cool for a long period of time which is important as you don’t to be using a hot clipper on your dog.

This clipper also stays quiet even with all of that power. That should put your dog at ease if he/she is scared of the way that a clipper sounds. The clipper comes with a #10 blade, but I would use either a #4 or #5 blade for trimming your Westie’s coating.

You can go here to purchase additional blades for your clipper. Now that you have the clipper and either one of the blades that I just mentioned, proceed to trim your Westie’s hair. To have the best results, I recommend that you clip in the direction of hair growth.

The only place you don’t want to trim your Westie is his/her face. That is so that you can preserve the unique look of your Westie’s face. You can use a pair of scissors to slightly trim any excessive hair around your Westie’s face.

5. Clean Your Westie’s Ears

It is important that your Westie’s ears be kept clean because wax can grow inside them which can lead to ear infection. So, clean your Westie’s ears periodically in order to keep his/her ears free of wax.

Veterinarians often recommend the use of Virbac ear cleaners for cleaning a dog’s ears. So, it would be best for you to go along with it. You can use it with cotton balls to clean your dog’s ears.

6. Clip Your Westie’s Nails

You don’t want your Westie’s nails to be too long because that can lead to pain for the dog’s paws. So, you will want to keep your Westie’s nails short by clipping them every time they begin to grow long.

You can use a nail clipper like Millers Forge Dog Nail Clip to clip your dog’s nails. Be careful not to clip the quick part of your Westie’s nails as bleeding can easily result from doing so.

Concluding How To Groom A Westie

There you have it for how to groom a Westie. What are your thoughts? Have you had any experiences with grooming a Westie? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “How To Groom A Westie”

  1. This is such a beautiful breed of dog. Where can I get myself one? I have always wanted a dog. I tried getting one earlier in the year but I got scammed. I will be sure to get this breed as now know how to take care of it. Thank you so much for your help. 

    • You’re so welcome. I am sorry to hear that you got scammed when trying to buy a dog earlier this year. As for where you can buy a Westie, you can do that here. West Highland White Terrier is the full name for the Westie dog breed. So, keep that in mind.

  2. What a great article! I’ve had Westies for over 20 years and they are such wonderful dogs. I am more than familiar with the products you recommended, particularly the Virbac toothpaste and ear cleaner. Both are super helpful and get the job done. Westies are for sure prone to skin issues. Both of mine have had seborhea and I have to buy a product from the vet to bathe them with. You’ve done a great job pointing out all the requirements of grooming a Westie! 

    • Thank you! I am glad to hear that the Virbac toothpaste and ear cleaner had been super helpful for grooming your Westie dogs.


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