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What Can Westies Not Eat? Common Foods To Avoid

What can Westies not eat? Are there any foods you should avoid giving to your Westie? The short answer is yes. There are a number of foods you should not give to a Westie. Some of the most dangerous and worst foods for your Westie are:

  • chocolate
  • grapes
  • apple pips
  • peanut butter containing xylitol
  • avocado
  • cherries
  • turkey skin
  • unripe tomato
  • macadamia nuts

But there are more foods you should avoid.

We list in this article of over 20 foods and food groups Westies cannot eat.

Westies Should Not Eat Chocolate

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.

Generally, human food is not ideal for your Westie. If your Westie is like mine, he or she will give you those big puppy-dog eyes, and it’s so tempting to give in and let them have a treat from your table.

However, Westies have sensitive stomachs, and the wrong type of food can cause digestive upsets and, in some cases, be downright dangerous.

So what foods can’t your West Highland Terrier eat?

In this post, we’ll guide you through common foods that should not be given to a Westie.

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.

  • Human food that is high in fats, sugar or salt
  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Grapes, Raisins and Currants
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Chives
  • Mushrooms
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Fruit pips, seeds, stones and rinds
  • Fruit tinned with syrup
  • Avocado
  • Cherries
  • Unripe Tomatoes
  • Foods containing Xylitol (sweetener)
  • Alcohol
  • Cooked Bones
  • Turkey skin
  • Liver (in excess)
  • Uncooked Bread Dough (or other uncooked yeast doughs)
  • Human vitamins and supplements (doggie-specific versions are available)
  • Coffee and Caffeine (coffee grinds, tea leaves)
  • Milk (if intolerant)

If you want to know why you should avoid giving your Westie these particular foods, we’ve got the lowdown on each below.

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 can 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 that 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, Cheese, Yogurt or 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.

Can a Westie eat cheese? The answer is maybe. Try giving him a little bit and see if he shows any signs of digestive distress, such as bloating or gas. If not, you could be in luck, and your Westie can eat cheese.

Can a Westie eat yogurt? It’s another maybe. Try your Westie with a small amount of yogurt and check for intolerance symptoms. If there aren’t any, your Westie should be ok with small amounts of yogurt. Stick to natural yogurts and avoid any containing the sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Are Grapes, Raisins and Currants Bad for Westies?

Can a Westie eat grapes? No, you should not give grapes to your Westie.

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 containing 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 aren’t typically poisoned by a single lick or two of coffee. However, the caffeine 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 disulphides in garlic, onions, leeks, and chives damage 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.

Fruit Platter - Which Fruits Should A Westie Not Eat?

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 okay to give your dog, provided you have cut it up and removed all pips, stems and leaves.

The following fruits are all okay to feed your Westie in small quantities, provided all traces of seeds, stems, leaves, plus thick rinds (such as on bananas, oranges and watermelons) are removed. 

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cucumber
  • Mango
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon

Don’t give your Westie fruit tinned with syrup, as the sugar content will be too high.

Can a Westie eat apples? Yes, a Westie can eat apples, but only if you’ve cut it up and removed all pips, stems and leaves.

Can a Westie eat bananas? Westies can eat bananas, provided all the banana skin (banana peel) has been removed first.

Can a Westie eat watermelon? Your Westie can safely eat watermelon if you have removed all traces of the thick rind and all seeds and pips.

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 okay 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, 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.

Some Westies can be allergic to eggs. If you notice signs of allergies after your Westie has eaten eggs, make sure you take them off the eating list for your Westie.

Can a Westie eat eggs? Cooked eggs are okay for your Westie, and raw eggs are fine in moderation.

Don’t Give Unripe Tomatoes To Your Westie

While ripe tomatoes are okay 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.

Can Westies Eat Carrots And Other Vegetables?

Carrots are great for your Westie. They provide fiber, and crunching carrots is good for your Westie’s teeth.

Other vegetables your Westie can eat include bell peppers, broccoli, celery, green beans, peas, spinach and sweet potatoes.

You can give your Westie raw veggies. Like all things, do so in moderation, as too much fiber can cause abdominal pain and bloating.

If you prefer to soften the veggies by cooking them, lightly steaming them is the best way to prepare vegetables for your Westie.

Avoid corn on the cob as it is indigestible for dogs.

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.

Can Westies eat peanut butter? Natural peanut butters are a great treat for your Westie provided you avoid any that contain Xylitol. Many peanut butters contain Xylitol as a sweetener. Check the labelling of any peanut butter carefully.

Can Westies eat peanut butter - bowl of peanut butter and peanuts in shells


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 okay, 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.

Can A Westie Eat Chicken or Turkey?

Westies can eat chicken and turkey, which is commonly found in dog foods and treats.

However, Westies, as a breed, are susceptible to allergies, and some Westies may be allergic to chicken and turkey and chicken and turkey products.

If you notice your Westie starting to show allergy signs, such as itching and sneezing, these meats might be the culprit and should be avoided until you can establish the cause of your Westie’s allergy.

Can Westies Eat Pork?

Westies can eat cooked pork in moderation. Avoid giving them raw or undercooked pork and steer away from processed pork products, like bacon and ham, which are high in salt.

Can Westies Eat Salmon and Tuna?

Fish is an excellent source of protein for Westies. Just be sure to remove any bones which could get lodged in your Westie’s throat.

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.

Final Word

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.

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