Who can resist the adorable doggie grins and big brown eyes of your Westie who wants to eat a delectable treat from your table? But be prepared to resist temptation because your Westie Terrier can really suffer if he’s given the wrong type of food.
So what foods can’t your West Highland Terrier eat?
Westies can be picky eaters. Food allergies, a sensitive stomach, and diabetes affect members of this breed more commonly than members of most other canine breeds.
You should feed this little, active dog quality food in the right amounts to maintain his health and, hopefully, avoid some health disorders that commonly afflict Westies.
What Foods Should You Not Give To A Westie?
You might be surprised to discover some of the everyday foods you will, no doubt, have in your home, that are extremely harmful to West Highland Terriers. Let’s have a look at which foods you should avoid.
Do Not Give Your Westie Human Food That Is High in Fats, Sugar or Salt
Many foods that humans regularly consume have higher concentrations of salt, sugar, and fat than a dog is able to digest.
- Excess salt leads to an electrolyte imbalance
- Large amounts of fat and protein cannot be properly digested, which results in digestion issues, pancreatitis, and liver dysfunction
- Processed sugars can lead to obesity
Many foods we humans eat happily are hazardous to pets. And to be honest, many of them are bad for us too! So instead of feeding your dog something you’re eating without thinking, make sure you’ve checked if it’s safe first.
Can a Westie Eat Chocolate?
Is Chocolate Toxic to a Westie? YES. Never give chocolate to West Highland Terriers.
All chocolate includes theobromine, a stimulant, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. In large amounts, it can even cause seizures, heart issues or death.
Small dogs, like Westies, are particularly vulnerable to chocolate.
Can My Westie Drink Milk Or Eat Other Dairy Products?
Many dogs find lactose-containing products, like milk, cheese and yogurt difficult to digest as they can be lactose intolerant (particularly as puppies).
You may give your Westie a small amount of milk, but if you notice lactose intolerance symptoms, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea or vomiting, avoid giving them milk again.
Plain yogurt and cheese have a lower lactose content and may be tolerated better.
Are Grapes, Raisins and Currants Bad for Westies?
Grapes, raisins and currants contain a toxin that impairs a Westie’s kidney function, and can eventually cause kidney failure and death. Avoid all products that may contain these products – such as granola bars, trail mix, cereals and other treats. It is still unknown what chemical in grapes causes their extreme toxicity for dogs.
Is Coffee OK For A Westie?
Most pets don’t typically become poisoned by a single lick or two of coffee. However, the caffeine present in coffee, and tea, can be quite harmful to your West Highland Terrier if he consumes enough – think leftover coffee grounds, beans or tea bags.
Caffeine can cause restlessness, panting, and an increased heart rate in dogs.
Can My Westie Have Garlic, Onions, Leeks or Chives?
The sulfoxides and disulphide present in garlic, onions, leeks and chives harm red blood cells and can result in anemia. You should not feed any of these vegetables to your dog.
Can I Feed Mushrooms To My Dog?
Many mushrooms contain toxins that can be dangerous for a Westie. They are capable of causing convulsions, vomiting and even death. It is safest to avoid feeding mushrooms to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Macadamia Nuts?
Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. They can cause vomiting, pain in the muscles and joints, swelling, and fatigue. You should avoid giving them to your Westie Terrier in all forms.
Can A Westie Eat Fruit?
Westies can eat most fruits, but uncut whole fruit with pips must not be given to your West Highland Terrier. The pips in fruits like apples, plums, peaches, cherries and apricots contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs and humans alike. Even in very small quantities, it can cause diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. And much worse in larger quantities.
The fruit itself is ok to give your dog provided you have cut it up and removed all pips, stems and leaves.
The following fruits are all ok to feed your Westie in small quantities provided all traces of seeds, stems, leaves, plus thick rinds (such as on bananas, oranges and watermelon), are removed.
Don’t give your Westie fruit tinned with syrup as the sugar content will be too high.
Can I Give Avocados To My Westie?
A fungus toxin known as persin can be found inside avocados. It can result in gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, and diarrhea when ingested by your Westie.
The stone in avocados can also be a choking hazard. It’s best to steer clear of avocados altogether where your Westie is concerned.
Can My Dog Eat Cherries?
Most parts of a cherry are toxic to dogs. Cherries are best avoided.
Can I Give My Westie Raw Eggs To Eat?
While raw eggs might be ok for your Westie, there is a risk of Salmonella poisoning. Cooked eggs are fine as the cooking process kills the Salmonella bacteria.
There is a possibility that eating raw eggs will cause a biotin deficiency in your Westie. The protein avidin, which is present in raw egg whites, may prevent the water-soluble B vitamin biotin from being absorbed.
A biotin deficiency in your Westie can result in hair problems, digestive issues and skin issues. However, unless your Westie consumes a lot of raw eggs, it’s unlikely to result in a deficiency.
Don’t Give Unripe Tomatoes To Your Westie
While ripe tomatoes are ok to give your dog, you should never give them an unripe tomato – or any part of a tomato plant. They are extremely poisonous if ingested in this way and can lead to a variety of health issues, including gastrointestinal issues, irregular heartbeat, confusion, drowsiness, weakness, and behavioral disorders.
Avoid Foods Containing Xylitol
Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that’s toxic to dogs. It’s often found in sugar-free gum, candy, and baked goods.
Even in small amounts, alcohol has a significant effect on dogs. In addition to the same intoxicating effect alcohol has on humans, alcohol can result in nausea, and diarrhoea, and even cause harm to the central nervous system.
Can I Give My Westie Cooked Bones?
It’s excellent to give your Westie a raw bone to gnaw on, but you must avoid giving him cooked bones at all costs. Cooked bones can splinter easily, resulting in constipation or, in the worst-case scenario, a gut perforation.
Is Turkey Skin OK For A Westie?
Crisp Thanksgiving (or Christmas) turkey skin is not good for your Westie. The high fat content can cause inflammation of the pancreas. Cooked turkey is ok, but at times of celebration, avoid the temptation to throw your Westie any table scraps such as cooked bones, turkey skin or gravy.
Vitamin A toxicity, which affects the dog’s muscles and bones, is brought on by consuming too much liver. Your Westie could develop anorexia, excessive bone development, malformed bones, and other conditions if they ingest too much liver.
Can My Dog Eat Uncooked Bread Dough?
I’m not sure why you’d think of giving uncooked bread dough to your dog – or eating it yourself either – but any uncooked yeast dough is bad for your Westie. The dough continues to expand and ferment in his little tummy. The fermentation can result in alcohol that gets into his system and causes alcohol poisoning.
Can I Give My Westie Raw Meat To Eat?
There are those who advocate a diet for Westies that contains raw meat and those who definitely advise against it. If you do decide you want to give raw meat to your dog, speak to your vet first and beware of the risks of bacterial infections – such as Salmonella or Listeria – and parasites.
Vitamins and Supplements
Please don’t give your Westie human vitamins and supplements, especially iron supplements. These products are not formulated for dogs and can cause significant harm.
A dog’s worst adversary can be human food. Your Westie could become seriously ill from eating some of the most popular foods in the house. But with the knowledge above, and observing your Westie and his reactions to the meals he is given, you can ensure your Westie enjoys a healthy diet free from food that might make him ill.
Contact your veterinarian right away and ask for their expert opinion if you feel that your pet has consumed any of the foods listed in this article as dangerous.