Skip to content

What Do I Need for a New Westie Puppy?

What do I need for a new Westie puppy

So, you decided to raise a West Highland White Terrier. 

And what could be more exciting than bringing home a new puppy!

To ensure this special time goes as smoothly as possible, there are some necessary preparations in order. 

The initial few days are bound to be stressful in their new home, so making the transition stress-free is essential.

In this article, we list those items that we think are most useful once your Westie puppy arrives home, as well as protecting your house while the puppy is growing. 

Table of Contents

Ask Your West Highland White Terrier Breeder

Often prospective dog owners overlook the most valuable resource right in front of their eyes: their breeder.

Be sure to ask your breeder all the questions you need in order to fully understand what to expect from your new Westie puppy.

Some basic questions to enquire about:

  • What kind of food have they been fed?
  • What necessities should you purchase?
  • What are their favorite toys?
  • How much shedding can you expect?

When it comes to preparing for a West Highland Terrier puppy, the list can seem endless.

We highly recommend creating a handy checklist before your new puppy goes home to help you sort it all out.

What do I need for a new Westie Puppy – Buying Equipment

There are only a few essentials for the shopping list since you don’t have to buy a lot of equipment for a Westie to make him happy.

Indoor crate

Dogs are denning animals, so creating his own little corner of the house by way of a crate will fulfill that instinct. It’s a safe place for your Westie to rest and makes it easier for you to keep an eye on him. Crates are also an excellent training tool as well as useful during recovery periods, after surgery for example. 

There are different types of crates available, try and get one that is big enough for when your Westie reaches adult size. It should be spacious enough for him to comfortably stand up and turn around in it. For Westies crates designed for small-sized dogs are recommended, with 24” (60.96 cm) being the most common size.

Amazon’s Basic Foldable Dog Crate

What to look out for?

  • You need to make sure you can open and close the latch on the crate with ease, but your dog cannot open it from inside.
  • Soft cages are not advisable either because your Westie might chew through them. 

Other tips:

  • You can use a folding crate for traveling as well and keeping the dog secure during car journeys.
  • Draping a blanket over the crate will make it even cozier and den-like for your puppy. 
  • If you opt for an adult size cage, you can always divide it to reduce its size to suit your puppy. This way you save money by not upgrading crates during your dog’s life stages.

Some argue that crates for dogs are cruel. However, if they’re used correctly and not as a place of punishment, your Westie will be very content being in his cage.


You want to place some bedding inside the crate. We advise using synthetic fleece that is durable and can be washed in a machine. Although an old blanket or towel will work just as well.

PETMAKER Waterproof Pet Blanket

Even though fleece bedding dries rapidly, you’ll need at least two so you can easily switch them out as needed. The dog is more likely to remain clean if the bedding is clean. The pup will not hesitate to make something dirty again once it has been soiled.


Along with his crate, your Westie will like to have a bed during the day. There are several options, but keep in mind that puppies love chewing on everything, so it’s best to avoid foam-type bedding. For the same reason, wicker baskets are not recommended for puppies either.

Being simple to clean, the most ideal beds are made of hard plastic. The cage can, of course, double up as a bed, but you might choose to provide the pup a separate bed that you can move about as needed.

Feeding bowls

Two bowls are required for your Westie: one for food and one for water.

The bowl’s stability is a consideration since pups can tip the bowl by stepping on it. 

Ceramic or stainless steel dishes are good options. Both are durable and simple to clean. It’s best to avoid plastic because they are generally porous and easily damaged.

An excellent dish set which not only stylish but top quality as well is the Bone Dry Lattice Collection Ceramic Pet Bowl. The flat bottom makes it stable and it won’t slide around thanks to the silicone ring.

Exercise pen

This is like a playpen for your Westie and is also referred to as an X pen. A pre-made X pen typically comprises four or more hinged wireframes.

You may also make your own pen by purchasing some wire mesh (intended for compost heaps) from a garden shop and fastening them with zip ties.

An X pen has the benefit of providing a safe environment for a puppy whilst allowing him to see you and feel like a member of the household. A puppy, like a baby, needs lots of sleep, and after having played with his toys, he may relax in his cage.

Baby gates

We encourage designating a room in your home exclusively for your Westie, ideally somewhere your family use frequently.

Puppy gates are required if you wish to divide up your home into different zones so that your Westie is safe.

This not only keeps your puppy in a safe and secure environment but also prevents them from becoming overwhelmed.

Instead of using a baby gate to prevent the pup from entering particular parts of your home, such as the upstairs, you could use a dog fence.

But we simply cannot praise these highly enough as they make the whole process of puppy-proofing so much easier.

And you won’t have to worry as much about puppy-proofing if your dog has a limited space to explore.


Finding safe toys should be your primary concern, but keep in mind that an adult has different needs than a puppy. The teeth of pups are razor-sharp, albeit not powerful like those of adults. Puppies are especially drawn to soft toys with squeakers, which are gentle on their gums and teeth while they are still developing. The ZippyPaws NomNomz Plush Squeaker Toy is super cute.

While some elderly Westies get along quite fine with plush toys, others can be rather unforgiving. The majority of Westies like playing with a ball; some play fetch, others enjoy chasing after a football while barking like crazy! Some baby toys, either soft with a rattle or strong teething rings, have proven to be excellent for small pups.

Squeaky toys should only be permitted when you can see your pup play with them, because a swallowed squeak can seriously harm their internal organs. An adult dog is more prone to shred up small objects, so it’s especially vital to be vigilant.

Food and training treats

Puppies have slightly different dietary demands than adults due to their developing bodies.

Compared to fully mature Westies, pups require more meals per day and a larger protein and fat content (22% protein, 8% fat) (source).

West Highland Terrier puppies should consume around 500-600 calories daily, split into 3-4 meals.

The puppy food that they had been consuming until then will probably be supplied by the breeder. You may either keep feeding them the same thing or switch to something else, which should be done with caution because any change might upset their sensitive digestive systems. Always read the labels and pick high-quality, nutritious dog food. Avoid any product where the ingredients aren’t specified on the container.

Sourcing puppy-specific dog foods rather than ones designed for adult dogs shouldn’t be an issue, because most suppliers now manufacture them. To aid digestion and make the meal more nutritious, pick a product like the tasty Wellness Complete Health Natural Dog food that is well-balanced.

Don’t forget to give your pup some special goodies along the way; after all, at this age, you’ll be spending a lot of time training him. You could opt for something yummy and healthful, such as the Blue Buffalo Bits Natural Puppy Training Treats.


There’s a lot of debate about whether you should give bones to your dog. And while dogs don’t need to chew on bones, they are nutritious and provide mental stimulation as well as help to keep tartar under control.

Rawhide bones are fun for puppies to chew on, but older dogs may ingest fragments that end up becoming stuck. Cooked bones can be particularly dangerous because they easily splinter and can cause internal damage.

Generally, larger, raw bones are the safest option.

Collar, lead, and harness

Initially, you’ll need a small size collar and a lead for your Westie puppy to get used to the feeling of it. 

Once your Westie is older a sturdier collar will be required that is also adjustable and the same goes for the leash. In order to prevent them from becoming undone when you are out and about in busy areas, ensure that the buckles and straps are completely fastened.

When introducing a puppy to leash walking, dog harnesses are a much-improved alternative to collars. In addition to giving pups’ bodies the necessary support, they are also comfortable to wear. Harnesses, unlike collars, keep dogs from choking. The Rabbitgoo Dog Harness is composed of soft material that won’t hurt your Westie.

As long as they are handled carefully, extending leads might be used. It’s not a good idea to walk dogs on extending leads near the sidewalk, where they could run out into the road. Many terrier breeds, including Westies, are noted for having poor road awareness. Extending leads are more suited in areas with plenty of room where otherwise, it would be unsafe for them to roam around freely.

As a precaution, try not to leave your dog unattended with a collar on. A foot becoming caught in a collar or the collar snagging on something can lead to accidents.


Even if it’s not required in your region, we’d advocate opting to have a microchip. This is the easiest and safest way to keep contact details and will be vital should they get lost.

The implanting process is very safe and practically painless, usually done by your vet. It could prevent a lot of hassle in the long term and they won’t even be aware that the microchip is present. Just be sure to keep the details updated. 

The alternative is dog tags. These should include the dog’s name, the owner’s name, and a phone number where someone may reach you if they find your lost pet. What’s good about dog ID tags is that you can personalize them by using products such as MYLUCKYTAG QR Code Pet ID Tags, which are customizable and scannable.

Grooming gear

Westies are recognized for their beautiful white double coats. Although their fur doesn’t shed too excessively, they do need brushing consistently. You have to be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to routine grooming from the start.


A rubber-bristled brush may help you take care of the dirt, dead hairs, or bugs that build over time. 

And, because their double coats aren’t exactly suited to living in hotter areas, regular brushing will also improve circulation and help the production of oil, boosting the overall condition of their coat.

Westies require periodic grooming sessions, which may be done at home or in a salon. Begin by introducing them to the experience using a gentle, soft brush, such as the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush.

A soft baby brush is an alternative, but it won’t sufficiently deal with knots in the coat.

Additionally, you may request a demonstration of the grooming supplies and tools the breeder of your dog uses, as well as recommendations on what to buy.

We cannot stress enough the importance of getting your pup used to being combed and brushed.

You need to begin brushing and handling your puppy almost immediately after bringing him into your home. Failure to do so might result in a nervous and unpredictable dog anywhere near grooming equipment. 

We wrote an article about how to start grooming your Westie puppy, which you can find here: When can I get my Westie puppy groomed? 


Always use a shampoo made especially for canines. Since some chemicals can interfere with the essential oils that their skin generates to keep the coat in top condition, human shampoo is not suitable for them. Furthermore, it could irritate their skin and make them scratch.

Because some Westies are prone to skin issues, choosing the right product is crucial. Over the years, we have tried a variety of shampoos, but the Malaseb and Earthbath light color coat brightener shampoos stood out as the best of the bunch.

Hygiene and cleaning

Puppy pads

One of the most fundamental and vital skills that your dog will learn is house training. It also requires more effort from both you and your dog than other skills, as well as being a lengthy process.

With the help of products such as the All-Absorb Training Pads, you can provide them a place to go potty even inside without having to clean up afterward since the training pads will contain everything. This relieves some of the stress when housebreaking your puppy.

Stain and odor remover

Your new Westie puppy may need a few months to become entirely housebroken and mess-free. In the meantime, mistakes and mishaps will occur.

Puppies are attracted to odors and frequently return to the same location to repeat accidents, so it’s important to deal with them adequately. 

To neutralize these odors you can get special cleaning solutions containing enzymes that destroy the proteins responsible for creating odors. We have found that the Formula H Disinfectant and Urine Off spray work well.

Bitter apple

This substance is used as a taste deterrent to stop your puppy’s unwanted chewing. There are different reasons why dogs chew, one of the most obvious is during teething periods. This can be very uncomfortable for the pup so needing to chew for them is actually physiological. Whilst chewing is normal behavior for puppies, they can easily destroy your furniture, and other valuable items and even damage cables which is also dangerous to them. This is where chemicals like bitter apple spray become a vital supply. 

Puppy proofing the garden

If you have an outside area, you want to make sure it’s watertight and there’s no chance for your little puppy to escape. After all, a Westie’s curious nature might urge him to find ways to get out, be that via digging or finding holes in the fence. A 1.5 meter high wire mesh fence should be sufficient.

Ending Thoughts

These are just a few of the essentials that you can provide to ensure your new cherished pet has a smooth start in life. The items on the list will set you back a couple of hundred dollars. Some of the products, however, can save you a fair amount of money, if it means you don’t end up with damaged furniture. Over time as you get to know your puppy better, you’ll know what to look for in a quality product made for your canine buddy.

Thanks for reading this article. Keep up to date with Westie Wisdom for more great posts about our canine friends.

Check out our Resources page where we put together a collection of products and links to organizations for Westie owners. We only recommend products that we believe will enhance your Westie’s quality of life.

Media thanks to hazelw90