West Highland Terriers are primarily popular in Scotland and are more commonly called Westies. They are a small to medium-sized Terrier with a distinctive appearance.
Most often, a West Highland Terrier is bright white with short, pointed ears that stick straight up and a long, pointed tail. They have an intelligence that matches their knowing expression, and they are adaptable to various living scenarios.
Just like each breed, these dogs have specific dietary requirements. They do best with a smaller kibble size and need food that gives them plenty of accessible energy. If you struggle to find options for your Westie, read through the list of the top eight products this year and the buyer’s guide below.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 8 Best Dog Foods for Westies
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairies Grain-Free Dry Dog Food — Best Overall
Taste of the Wild has blended the flavors of the prairie to supply your dog with a blend of food the way that nature intended it. Most of the recipes, including this one, are inspired by wild wolves’ diets.
The High Prairies formula is made with novel proteins. These include buffalo and bison in a grain-free mixture. Instead of using any wheat or corn, they mix it up with peas and sweet potatoes. These carbohydrate sources deliver a more digestible meal.
Beyond the basics, Taste of the Wild also supplements this recipe with dried chicory root for prebiotic support, encouraging healthy digestive systems. Your furry friend gets plenty of what they need because the formula has a crude protein level at a minimum of 32% and crude fat at 18%. Overall, this is the best dog food for Westies we have reviewed.
2. American Journey Grain-Free Dry Dog Food — Best Value
One of the primary purposes of American Journey as a dog food company is to support your beloved pet during any adventure they have. This is why the formula is packed full of nutritious, easily digestible ingredients. These include deboned salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal, peas, and sweet potatoes. It is another grain-free diet because many Westies develop allergies as they age. A common one is to gluten.
The food doesn’t only use premium ingredients but also supplements the meals with things like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for healthier bones. The crude protein matches the Taste of the Wild option with a minimum of 32% and a crude fat level of 14%. What’s more, it does all of this while still being the best dog food for Westies for the money.
3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Grain-Free Dog Food — Best for Puppies
As a dog ages, they need varying kinds of digestive support. A puppy is in one of the most vulnerable stages of life, a period that sets the stage for their health throughout their entire lifetime. It is why it is essential to feed high-quality puppy food.
To this end, Blue Buffalo Puppy dog food has become one of the best out there for owners looking to prime their dogs for a healthy life. They run at a middle end of the market price and are sold in various bag sizes. This recipe is also inspired by wolves and contains chicken as its first ingredient.
Taurine, fatty acids, and other supplements are added to keep your pup in tip-top mental and visual development. Puppies need even more protein than adult dogs, and this food meets that standard with 36% crude protein and 15% crude fat. It isn’t the best for dogs with allergies because it includes quite a bit of chicken and unspecified fish in the fish meal.
4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo not only wants to support the health of a growing puppy, but it also produces a Life Protection formula to support your dog as they reach their adult years. It is not grain-free, like the other choices, however.
The first ingredients include deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and oatmeal. The grains only come from whole grains. LifeSource Bits supplement the entire recipe by adding a blend of nutrients enhanced with a “Super 7 package.” This package includes helpful antioxidants for overall health and immunity.
The protein level does sink in this adult mix from the high levels for a puppy. The crude protein is at a 24% minimum and the crude fat is at a 14% minimum.
5. Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals crafts a recipe that can be effectively consumed by all life stages. It includes grains in the formula, which is sufficient for some Westies but challenging to digest.
The first ingredients in this formula include chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, and cracked pearled barley. Together, it comes out to 26% crude protein minimum and 16% crude fat minimum.
Diamond Naturals supplements this formula with probiotics and superfoods. Some of these are kale, coconut, and blueberries. The probiotics aid healthy digestive patterns for pups, and omega fatty acids promote a gleaming white coat for your Westie.
6. VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food
VICTOR crafts an affordable choice for food for a Westie. It is a nutrient-dense formula made with a variety of protein sources to give it a unique flavor. It isn’t only for adults either. This food can be given safely to puppies and lactating females as well.
It is easier for many sensitive Westies to digest recipes made with gluten-free grains. The top ingredients include a beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat, pork meal, chicken meal, and fish meal, which provides the DHA that puppies need.
Overall, the protein level is more satisfying for active dogs at a 30% minimum. The crude fat level is a bit higher than is necessary at 20%, but it is also suitable for lactating females.
7. Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Sometimes the best thing that you can do for dogs that struggle with allergies is to give them food with as few ingredients possible. Doing so reduces the likelihood that they eat something that upsets them.
Natural Balance formulates several different recipes with limited ingredients to feed dogs with food sensitivities. They do not include peas, pea protein, legumes, lentils, corn, soy, or wheat. It is all produced within the U.S.A. as well. What it does have is 24% minimum crude protein and 10% minimum crude fat levels.
The food from Natural Balance is produced by board-certified veterinarians, animal nutritionists, research scientists, and more, with a combined experience with dog food of 125 years.
8. Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dry Dog Food
If you are looking for food made specifically to fit your West Highland White Terrier’s needs, then look no further than Royal Canin. The West Highland White Terrier Dry Dog Food caters directly to the health and digestive needs of Westies.
The food is meant for this breed when they are over 10 months old. The formula is enriched with EPA and DHA for healthy skin and cognitive development. At times, this breed can struggle with picking up kibble bits, but these have a unique design that makes them easier to grab and chew.
Royal Canin isolated specific amino acids for Westies. These help promote healthy growth of skin and coat. Unfortunately, the first ingredient is often regarded as a filler, brewers rice. It also contains a chicken by-product meal, which is quite controversial. The protein is lower than most at 19%, but the fat is at 14%.
Buyer’s Guide – Finding the Best Dog Food for Westies
All dog breeds have varying tendencies and specific areas in which they need more focus on their diets. Some dog breeds that are active need consistently high levels of protein and fat with digestible carbohydrates.
Westies are no different. They have specific health concerns and tend to struggle with issues that are unique to the breed. Feeding them food that supports certain aspects of their system makes it easier for them to stay healthy.
Small Dogs, Big Impact
Westies only weigh between 15 and 22 pounds on average. This means that it does not take much to impact their systems heavily. Feeding them high-quality food reduces the risk that even small amounts of preservatives or harmful protein sources can have on them.
Common Breed-Specific Health Issues
One of the common issues that West Highland Terriers struggle with is a propensity to gluten sensitivity. They can also develop other food sensitivities, but gluten seems to be one of the primary concerns.
Westies have a higher likelihood of developing these conditions when they are older. As they age, they can begin to struggle with more. One remedy to this issue might be feeding them a diet with limited, all-natural ingredients.
Since several of these have to do with the degeneration of a dog’s joints, feeding them food with additives to support joint health can help. CMO can be detected in dogs as early as their puppy months. For this genetic disposition, the kibble’s specific size or shape might be easier for your dog to eat.
Ingredients to Watch For
Certain ingredients help build up a dog’s interior systems over time, while others slowly chip away at it. Here’s what to keep an eye out for.
Look at food labels for real fruits and vegetables. Their inclusion means that your Westie is typically receiving the right amount of vitamins and nutrients in digestible forms.
Recipes with around 18% or more crude protein will satisfy the need for protein in Westies. If they are active, then kick their protein level up a notch.
Keep an eye out for food that has supplements of prebiotics and probiotics. Ingredients like dried chicory root provide prebiotics that help your dog digest and maintain a healthy gut environment.
Finally, when reading a food label on dog food, be aware that it works the same as with human foods. The first five ingredients are the most important because they are those present in the largest amounts. Not all ingredients are equal, and the first one will also be at the highest percentage compared to any other ingredient, then the second, and so on.
For any dog, including a Westie, at least the first two of these ingredients should be clear-cut protein sources.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate both work to support joints throughout a dog’s body. Although they can do it separately, they are much more effective when eaten together. Most dog foods that include one will have the other as well.
We have become tolerant of somewhat dangerous chemicals and additives in our food. That doesn’t mean that we should allow the same standard to be applied to our dogs. They have even less of an ability to digest these foods than we do, and it can wreak long-term havoc on their systems over time.
Avoid foods with artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. They bring no nutritional value to the table. In reality, the ingredients in your dog’s food should make it taste nice enough that they want to eat it without fake flavors.
If you suspect that your Westie could be suffering from some kind of allergy, the best thing that you can do is to immediately remove the offending ingredient in their diet. The more they eat it, the more destructive their sensitivity can become.
Watch out for symptoms like dry skin, itchiness, licking constant, increased thirst and urination, diarrhea, or vomiting to figure out if they have a food allergy.
An adult Westie typically eats between 4-6 ounces of dry dog food each day. Their size and activity level help determine how much they should be eating.
Smaller dogs like this should not be free fed. Split their meals into two during the day. It helps them digest better and keeps them full for longer. It also helps spread out their energy.
Giving your dog the best that you can is part of the agreement you make when you sign up to be a paw-rent. Westies return the favor with plenty of love and adoration. They will cuddle for hours or entertain with their antics.
Get them a dog food like our premium choice, Taste of the Wild High Prairies Grain-Free dry dog food. But finding a high-quality food to feed your Westie doesn’t have to come with a premium price tag. Brands like American Journey want to support all dogs during their adventures, so they strive to find premium ingredients and sell them at a middle-market price. The same goes for the American Journey Grain-Free formula, especially for this allergy-prone breed.
In the end, we are all working together to be the best companions for our dog friends.
Featured Image Credit: Alejandro_Rodriguez, Shutterstock