For those families that own or would like to own a Westie or West Highland Terrier, it is important to us that we keep our Westie healthy. And a big part of keeping a dog healthy is keeping them at a healthy weight. But to keep a Westie’s weight in a healthy range, how much should their owner feed them?
On average, an adult Westie needs between ½ cup to 1 ½ cups of food, or 4-6 ounces, per day. It is widely recommended that this food is split into two or even three meals daily. Depending on the age, this amount could increase or decrease.
This guideline for your West Highland Terrier’s meals and food quantities is a good rule of thumb to keep your Westie’s weight in a healthy range. There are a few more specifics to get into regarding food quantities for your Westie. Read on to learn more about the ideal eating habits for West Highland Terriers
How Much Food Should an Older Westie Eat?
Most dogs don’t play as hard as they get older. This decrease in activity and energy in level requires fewer calories to power your Westie. So, what kind of portions should be given to an older dog?
Generally speaking, as most dogs enter their older years, their food should be cut back by about 20%. This is because of changes to their metabolism that cause old dogs to burn fewer calories and store more fat.
Your Westie’s age does matter when it comes to their food portions. If a well matured Westie needs less food than one in its prime, then it brings up questions about feeding a dog on the other end of the age spectrum.
How Much Food Should a Westie Puppy Eat?
For those Westie owners who have a new puppy, there are some special considerations you’ll want to take when it comes to feeding your young dog. So how much should a Westie puppy eat?
Around 7 to 8 weeks old, a Westie pup should be eating approximately 3-4 ounces of food a day, split into two or three meals. This is on the lower end of what an adult dog should be eating. A young dog does not need as much food but is also growing quickly so it will still need a lot of energy.
Getting a Westie off to a good start with eating habits can have an impact on the rest of his or her lifespan and help them to live the best quality life possible.
Why Should You Limit a Westie’s Food?
Westie owners love their dogs. Because of this, it can sometimes be very hard to resist the urge to “spoil” them and feed them extra food or treats. As hard as this can be, you should remind yourself that food is not going to improve your dog’s life as much as a healthy weight will. But why exactly is this the case? Why limit your Westie’s food?
Helping your dog maintain a healthy weight is important because it can prevent obesity and other health problems. It will also be very evident that something may be wrong with them if they are turning down food.
Anyone who owns a dog that they love would want to prevent health problems in their dog. It is important that we discuss the signs that you are overfeeding your dog and what specifically that may result in for your Westie’s health.
What is the Ideal Weight for an Adult Westie?
Managing your Westie’s weight will be much easier by limiting their calorie intake. But how much should a Westie weigh?
On average a fully grown, healthy West Highland Terrier will weigh between 16-20lbs. Weight will vary between male and female dogs, with males generally being heavier.
Whether or not you are overfeeding your dog will obviously affect your Westie’s health but what exactly can you expect to see in an overweight dog?
What are the Signs You are Overfeeding Your Westie
Besides your dog getting progressively huskier and chunkier until they are obese, there are a few other indicators that little Westie is being overfed.
- Stomach and Bowel Problems. For dogs, this can include throwing up, diarrhea, and abundant flatulence.
- Skin and Hair Problems. Westies typically shed very little. But if they are overfed, there is a possibility that they will lose hair more frequently. They can also have problems with their skin that will result in excessive itching and scratching.
- Joint Issues. Because the dog is carrying more weight, it will be an extra burden on his or her joints, leading to other problems down the line.
- Lethargic Westie. Most dogs like to nap, but if overfeeding is habitual, you will notice that your West Highland Terrier doesn’t have much energy to do anything.
When these symptoms of overfeeding are left untreated for a long time, they can lead to more severe, chronic conditions.
What Health Problems Can an Overweight Westie Have?
The longer your Westie is overfed and the longer they carry around extra weight, the more likely they are to develop long-lasting health issues.
Some chronic conditions that can arise in your Westie from habitual overfeeding/eating include,
- Respiratory disease
- Heart Problems
- Chronic Knee or Joint Problems
- Anxiety, aggression, or hyperactivity. Too much food may result in excess unused energy.
Fortunately, you can help prevent most of these conditions in your pet just by maintaining their weight at a healthy level.
Taking Care of Your Westie
Just like humans, overeating can result in many health problems, but the difference is, your Westie relies on you to help him or her with this part of their health. Dogs will rarely say no to extra food. Just by being aware and responsible with the amount of food served to your dog you will greatly improve their quality of life and their length of life.