The 5 Best Dog Shampoos and Conditioners for Westies in 2019

The West Highland Terrier, or Westie, is a compact, lively and curious dog with a brilliant white coat. We’ve put together a list of the best dog shampoos for Westies, including deodorizing, moisturizing, and whitening shampoos to get your Westie’s fluffy white coat looking bright and healthy. If you’re on the hunt for a best-smelling dog shampoo for the Westie, keep on reading. We’ll break down the best ways to bathe a Westie, how to keep his coat looking healthy and clean, and what you can do if your Westie is prone to skin allergies or fungal infections.

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What are the different types of Westie shampoos?

There are so many different dog breeds, and each one has specific grooming and bathing needs. Fortunately for Westie owners, this little dog has minimal grooming and maintenance needs, although there is no such thing as a maintenance-free dog. If your dog is very active and you live in a rural area, it can be incredibly hard to keep your Westie’s coat white.

In general, your Westie will shed very little, although he is not technically considered a hypoallergenic dog. His coat is made up of a dense, short undercoat and a longer topcoat. Purebred Westies are white only and have a cute, black button nose. Non-show dogs just need their fur trimmed around the feet, ears, and eyes. When on the hunt for a Westie shampoo, it’s a good idea to know what the different types of dog shampoos are so you can pick a formula that will work for your dog.

Sensitive Skin

The Westie terrier is a sturdy dog with a reputation for being a healthy and robust breed. However, they are prone to a few skin conditions, and Westies often suffer from allergies. For your Westie, it’s a good idea to invest in a high-quality dog shampoo that is free from harsh soaps, or synthetic ingredients. Choose a dog shampoo specially formulated for sensitive skin. Dog shampoos that include oatmeal, aloe vera, vitamin E, and oatmeal are an excellent choice for the allergy-prone Westie.

Antifungal and Antibacterial Shampoos

A Westie will have yeast naturally growing on the surface of his skin. When yeast bacteria are kept at normal levels, the dog’s skin will be soft and healthy. But yeast is an opportunistic bacteria, and can quickly grow out of control. If your Westie seems itchy and is chewing and licking his paws a lot, it could be a yeast infection. Always take him to the vet if he starts to exhibits signs of an infection. Fortunately, there are dog shampoos you can purchase that are specially formulated to treat or prevent fungal and bacterial infections.

Shedding Control

Compared to most breeds, Westies don’t shed very much. But if a dog breeder tells you the Westie is hypoallergenic, that’s not true. Westies shed more than dogs that are considered hypoallergenic. However, the Westie is an excellent choice for people who are sensitive to pet fur and dander. If you notice your Westie is shedding a lot, it could be a sign of something serious. Take your dog to vet to rule out a parasitic infection or a hormonal imbalance. If you have another dog breed that naturally sheds a lot, there are shedding control shampoos you can use on your dog to cut down on excess fur ending up on your furniture and clothes.

Dandruff Control

Unfortunately, the Westie is prone to dandruff. Dandruff can be either dry or oily dead skin cell flakes that stick to the base of the Westie’s fur and can sometimes end up on your clothes and furniture. Dandruff can also be itchy and uncomfortable for the dog. In the Westie, dandruff is usually caused by dry skin. Dandruff control dog shampoos are soothing and extra moisturizing for dogs. Look for a shampoo that has oatmeal or a coconut oil base if your Westie is prone to dandruff and dry skin.

Deodorizing Westie Shampoo

A dog will naturally secrete beneficial skin oils from their pores. These oils are a natural moisturizer that helps keep their skin and coats free from parasites like fleas or ticks. They also keep the fur shiny and soft. Unfortunately, these oils can sometimes smell. Even if you bathe your Westie, he can still produce an odor. Dog shampoos with whey protein are excellent for naturally deodorizing the dog without stripping his skin of beneficial oils or causing an allergic reaction. Our best shampoo for westies top pick later in the article will include natural whey protein that will keep your dog smelling clean and fresh.

Top 5 Tips for Keeping Your Westie’s Coat Clean and Healthy

The Westie’s grooming needs are far less intense than other white dogs. However, his white fur will be prone to staining and picking up dirt and other debris. Keeping your Westie’s coat clean and healthy involves a number of internal and external maintenance. We’ll start with his diet.

  1. Feed your Westie healthy and nutritious food.

Try to steer clear of commercial dog food brands for your Westie. In many cases, these dog foods are the human equivalent to fast food and sugary treats. Avoid brands that list meat by-products, soy, corn, sugars, and artificial ingredients. You want to choose a brand that has whole ingredients and real meats in the formulation. Westies are also prone to food allergies as well as skin allergies, so you’ll need to be careful here. The most common food allergies for Westies are beef, dairy, and wheat. Generally, foods with chicken, lamb, turkey, and fish are a safe bet for this dog.

  1. Strip and clip the dog’s fur.
Westies have a dense and coarse coat. To keep it looking healthy and shiny, you’ll need to strip the coat frequently. Stripping involves removing the dead fur so new fur can grow. It’s best to do this outside, so you don’t get fur all over the house. You can gently pull the loose, dead fur out by hand.
Once the fur is stripped, you may need to clip the dog’s face, ears, and feet. Clipping the excess fur from the face and ears will prevent ear and eye infections from happening.

  1. Clean tear stains to prevent permanent staining.

All dogs produce tears, but on dogs with a white coat, tears can quickly stain the fur and lead to permanent discoloration. You can purchase specially-formulated dog facial wipes to remove tear stains and also keep the Westie’s face clean.

  1. Dry clean your Westie.

Owners of white-coated dogs everywhere know the frustration of trying to keep their pets clean. When it comes to Westies, you can’t bathe them too often without stripping their skin of beneficial oils. What you can do instead to keep your dog’s coat looking white as snow is to dry clean him between baths. Use white-powdered chalk or cornstarch. Work the powder into the dog’s fur for about ten minutes to absorb stains, oil, dirt, and debris. Then brush the dog with a pin brush to remove the loose powder and dirt.

  1. Use high-quality, gentle shampoos on the Westie.

The Westie has sensitive skin and can’t tolerate inferior shampoo brands. When picking a shampoo for your Westie, look for one that is free of synthetic ingredients, and is made with a moisturizing base. Whitening shampoos will also help your Westie maintain his brilliant coat for longer in between bathing and professional grooming sessions.

What is the best shampoo for Westies?

Our number-one pick for best shampoos for the Westie is…

Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

Key Benefits:

  • Contains natural deodorizing whey protein.
  • A coconut-oil base is highly moisturizing and soothing for the sensitive Westie.
  • Soap-free so there are no harsh chemicals that can give your dog an allergic reaction.

The Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner is an all-natural two-in-one formula that will lather well, but rinse easy. The soap and alcohol-free formula won’t sting or irritate your Westie’s sensitive skin.

What are the pros and cons of using Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo and Conditioner?

Pros: Ideal for allergy prone dogs.

Cons: This is not safe for puppies, and it isn’t a tear-free shampoo.

The Runner-Up

Our runner-up for best shampoo for Westies in 2019 is…

Buddy Wash Relaxing Green Tea and Bergamot Dog Shampoo and Conditioner

Key Benefits:

  • Safe for puppies and adult Westies.
  • The soap-free formula is ideal for Westies with allergy-prone, dry skin.
  • This shampoo includes aloe vera and tea tree oil to soothe itchy, dry skin.

This shampoo and conditioner two-in-one comb is extra gentle and safe for the allergy-prone Westie. If you’re bathing a Westie puppy, this formula is safe to use. It smells great and won’t leave your poor puppy with itchy, dry skin.

What are the pros and cons of using this formula?

Pros: The formula is excellent for dogs with allergies and sensitive skin, and it smells refreshing and cuts down on odors.

7 Tips for Bathing a Westie

  1. Brush and strip the loose fur out of your Westie’s coat first. Getting him wet before properly brushing him can create matting.
  2. Put a non-slip surface or old towel down in the bottom of the bathtub before you put your dog in.
  3. Use lukewarm water for the bath. Hot water or cold water can make your dog incredibly uncomfortable and make bathtime stressful and unpleasant.
  4. Use a gentle, moisturizing shampoo on your Westie to get rid of the dirt and grime stuck to his coat. Westie’s require a second washing after your rinse out the initial, moisturizing formula.
  5. Give him a second wash with a whitening shampoo. Use it all over the dog’s coat, including his face and paws. The whitening shampoo should get his coat looking snow-white and clean. Below, we’ll list a high-quality whitening shampoo you can use for your Westie’s second bath.
  6. Let your Westie air-dry, and avoid rubbing his fur and skin dry after a bath. It’s best if you blot the excess water from his coat since his skin is so sensitive and prone to dryness.  Using a blow dryer can also be too abrasive for the Westie.
  7. You’ll want to avoid bathing too often, even though the white-coated Westie will show every speck of dirt. Use sensitive wipes to clean him between baths, or use the dry bathing method listed above to keep him clean, but also healthy and comfortable.

What are some other top-rated shampoos and conditioners for the Westie?

Our first example below is a vet-approved, high-quality whitening shampoo that is perfect for the Westie. Below that, are two options that are specially-formulated for dogs who are prone to dry, sensitive and itchy skin.

FAQ for Bathing Your Westie

  1. How often can I bathe my Westie?

It’s best only to bathe the Westie about three or four times per year. Bathing more frequently, even if you use a moisturizing shampoo, can quickly strip his skin of moisture and cause irritation and discomfort for the dog. Instead, use a dry bathing method to keep him clean, or use specially-formulated dog wipes to remove tear and other stains between baths. Unless your dog’s vet has said otherwise, keep baths to a minimum.

  1. Can I use human soaps on a Westie?

You should never use human soaps on a dog or a cat, let alone the sensitive Westie. Human shampoos are full of synthetic chemicals and other harsh ingredients. Plus, a human shampoo is formulated for a human’s acidic pH levels. A dog’s pH levels are much less acidic.

  1. What can I use to remove rust-colored tear stains?

It is safe to use hydrogen peroxide to remove tear stains. First, you’ll need to dilute one part hydrogen peroxide with ten parts of water. Soak a cotton pad in the mixture, and gently wipe away the tear stains. Be very careful not to get any of the solution in your dog’s eyes.

  1. What’s the safest way to wash my Westie’s face?

The Westie’s white fur will pick up bits of food and also stain from drinking and eating. You’ll need to wipe the dog’s face every day with a safe wipe for dogs. To bathe your dog’s face, soak a washcloth in lukewarm water. Use an applicator bottle to apply whitening shampoo to his face. Then, use a toothbrush to work up a lather, and rinse the soap out with a washcloth soaked in water.

The lively and energetic Westie has been a favorite family dog since the early 1900s. But his curious nature and brilliant white coat mean this puppy is prone to staining. To keep your Westie looking his best without drying his skin, make sure you choose a safe and gentle formula for bath time. Always be sure to thoroughly rinse your Westie’s fur for both the initial wash and the whitening phase of the bath. The next time you head to the store to pick up a dog shampoo, check out any of the best-smelling shampoos for Westies listed in this article.

Chelsea Kuhel

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