13 Best Dog Foods for West Highland White Terriers

By Kevin Myers | 2022 Update

✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

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Is it a stuffed toy or is it a white ball of fur?

It’s a West Highland White Terrier, the most adorable creature to walk this planet.

Brilliant white coat, shaggy hair, wagging tail, and that cute little muzzle – these are just a few things that make the West Highland White Terrier one of the favorite dog breeds in the world. I admire them because they are extremely playful and absolutely adorable.

If you want your Westie’s coat to stay gorgeous, and if you want to please their picky pallette, you need to get equally picky about their food.

There are a lot of options out there that claim to be the best, but can you really trust their word for it?

Keeping the Westie’s nutritional requirements in mind, here is my list of the 13 best dog foods for West Highland White Terrier.

The Best Dog Foods for West Highland White Terriers – My Top Picks

Top PicksRatingWhat We Like About This Product
1. Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meal 4.6Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free
2. Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Small Breed Recipe 4.8Sensitive Digestion, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
3. Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dry Dog Food 
(Editor’s Pick)
4.8Especially Designed for West Highlands White Terriers, EPA and DHA, Specific Amino Acids
4. Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Real Beef Recipe Natural Wet Dog Food4.7Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Natural
5. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe 4.6Grain-Free, Proprietary K9 Strain Probiotic Blend 

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick

1. Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Anchovy, Sardine & Chicken Meal 

Protein (min.) 35% | Fat (min.) 16% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Anchovy and Sardine Meal, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Chickpeas, 5. Chicken Fat

One of the highest-rated and my top recommendation for small terriers is this one of a kind recipe that combines the taste and nutritional punch of anchovy, sardine, and chicken. While it is tasty enough for the pickiest of pooches, it contains all the essentials to take good care of your baby inside and out.

Westies’ with sensitive stomachs will approve of this recipe because of a powerful blend of probiotics, fiber, and enzymes. Moreover, it contains a healthy source of protease that allows your dog to utilize more protein out of each portion.

2. Blue Buffalo Basics LID Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Small Breed Recipe 

Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 6% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Peas, 3. Potatoes, 4. Pea Starch, 5. Salmon Meal

The West Highland White Terrier is a small breed that loves to eat, but is picky for two main reasons: a) it has a refined sense of taste, b) it has a sensitive tummy. But Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Salmon & Potato seems to overcome both objections. Even if yours is among the most sensitive terriers out there, you can safely feed it this simple formula containing the patented LifeSource Bits.

The salmon-based recipe doesn’t contain beef or chicken. It is also free of artificial flavor or color. What’s more: Your pal will get all the nutrients plus antioxidants that will boost immunity.

3. Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dry Dog Food 

Protein (min.) 19% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 3.3% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Corn, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Brown Rice

Royal Canin is a highy trusted dog food brand because of their prescription diet range as well as the breed-specific range. Perfect for purebred West Highland White Terriers, this product is created to take care of your baby’s nose to tail health.

It has glucosamine to ensure healthy joints throughout your dog’s adult life and as it steps into senior years. And the kibble is exclusively designed according to the smaller muzzle. Your Westie will chew better and absorb more nutrients out of every bite.

4. Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Real Beef Recipe Natural Wet Dog Food

Protein (min.) 8.5% | Fat (min.) 4.5% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 78%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Chicken Liver, 4. Cod, 5. Peas

Even the pickiest WHW can’t resist this offering. High in animal proteins, this canned formula is the most tempting thing you will ever put in a Westies bowl. Your baby will come running towards you the moment you open a can. Taste alone, however, didn’t convince me to place this product in my best dog foods for West Highland White Terriers list.

Each can offer a delicious meal full of all the essential nutrients in the perfect balance. Ingredients include quality poultry proteins plus fruits and vegetables. There are no grains to upset your westie’s digestion. And because it’s wet food, you don’t have to worry about your baby getting dehydrated.

5. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Grain-Free Recipe 

Protein (min.) 32% | Fat (min.) 18% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Venison, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Garbanzo Beans, 4. Peas, 5. Lentils

I cannot have a list of best dog foods for any breed without at least one Taste of the Wild variant. For small breeds like West Highland White Terriers, who might also have sensitive digestion, I recommended the Appalachian Valley recipe that contains novel proteins from sources such as venison, lamb, and ocean fish.

The formula contains both probiotics and prebiotics to aid healthy digestion. The K9 strain probiotic blend is excellent for your sensitive little pooch. You will see an improvement in your dog’s overall appetite. Plus, there is plenty of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in this recipe to make a visible difference in coat health.

6. Wellness Simple Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Small Breed Dog Food

Protein (min.) 29% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Salmon Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Potatoes, 5. Canola Oil

Quality over quantity is the mantra you need to follow for West Highland White Terriers. Wellness Simple keeps it sweet and simple for you. This limited ingredient low-calorie diet is perfect for Westies who aren’t too active or don’t indulge in playing too often. Your baby doesn’t need all those calories if it isn’t burning all of them. What it does have is a healthy balance of all the essential nutrients your baby needs.

7. PetKind Tripett Green Beef Tripe & Venison Grain-Free Wet Dog Food 

Protein (min.) 10% | Fat (min.) 4% | Fiber (max.) 0.30% | Moisture (max.) 79.9%

Top 4 Ingredients: 1. Green Beef Tripe, 2. Venison, 3. Water, 4. Guar Gum

Tripett Green Beef Tripe & Venison is on my list because it is a LID (Limited Ingredient Diet) that truly lives up to its label. With just four ingredients this low-calorie premium food is perfect for small breeds like West Highland White Terrier. Fewer ingredients mean there is more meat for your baby. As a matter of fact, this can contains nearly 100 percent mean and trip. While it is a sensitive tummy LID formula, it is also great for dogs that have grown bored of their usual formula.

8. Natural Balance LID Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Small Breed Bites Recipe

Protein (min.) 23% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Brown Rice, 3. Lamb Meal, 4. Brewers Rice, 5. Rice Bran

This is another limited ingredient food that, while short on ingredients, still packs enough calories to help your West Highland White Terrier stay busy all day. The formula is created with a special focus on your dog’s skin and coats. It keeps the coat soft and shiny white. The kibble size is perfect for the smaller snout of the Westie.

9. FirstMate Small Bites Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula LID Dry Food

Protein (min.) 25% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Potato, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Whole Blueberries, 5. Potassium Chloride

This one is great small-breed recipe that includes a variety of delicious ingredients such as blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries. The recipe also includes free-range chicken as an ideal source of protein. It has a variety of recipes that does not only offer an excellent nutritional value to your dog but also increases the palatability of the food. The grain-free diet offers the benefits of antioxidants such as a healthier urinary tract, stronger immune system, better memory function and eyesight, and many more.  

10. Blue Buffalo Freedom Small Breed Puppy Grain-Free Chicken Recipe 

Protein (min.) 30% | Fat (min.) 18% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Starch, 5. Turkey Meal

Blue Buffalo’s Freedom Small Breed Puppy Chicken Recipe is another great option for Westie who prefer poultry. This gluten-free recipe is safe for sensitive tummies and has enough fiber and carbs to keep your baby full of energy. The exclusive LifeSource Bits empower the immune system and ensure healthy early years for your furball.

11. CANIDAE PURE Puppy Recipe, Limited Ingredient, Real Chicken, Lentil & Whole Egg Recipe 

Protein (min.) 30% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Menhaden Fish Meal, 3. Lentils, 4. Peas, 5. Potatoes

West Highland White Terrier pups need special attention. It is a small breed with unique needs, especially during growing years. For my Westie pups, I prefer CANIDAE PURE limited ingredient formula not just because of its nutritional value but also because it fulfills the needs and requirements of your pup during this golden age.  With the right balance, your pup will grow into a gorgeous and smart little terrier. It also contains probiotics that make it a mild recipe for sensitive tummies.

12. Simply Nourish Chicken & Brown Rice Small Breed Senior Recipe 

Protein (min.) 25% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 7% | Moisture (max.) 10%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Brown Rice, 4. Oatmeal, 5. Chicken Fat

West Highland White Terriers have a refined palate that becomes more refined as time goes on. So, give your grown pal a delicious treat in every meal. Simply Nourish Chicken & Brown Rice blends the juicy flavor of chicken with flavorful brown rice. But it goes beyond taste. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and all the other ingredients that can keep your Westie running and playing in its senior years.

13. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Senior Recipe 

Protein (min.) 32% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 11%

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Peas, 5. Potatoes

There are a few ingredients that are essential for senior dogs. These ingredient act as prevention against diseases your Westie becomes prone to with age. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free have it all – from chondroitin, glucosamine for healthy brain and joints to L-carnitine for a healthy heart. The recipe also has probiotic and prebiotic fiber to ensure healthy digestion and effective metabolism.

Now you have my list of best dog foods for West Highland White Terrier. Don’t expect to hit the jackpot in one try. You might need to try a few options before you find the one your pal likes.

Buyers’ Guide: Best Dog Food for West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers are a small-sized breed that is not too active, but not too lazy. That is something I can say about most terrier breeds, especially the ones seen too often in dog shows. It is safe to say that good quality small breed dog foods on the shelves are usually good for your Westies.

Still, as I always emphasize, every dog is different. You need to understand the specific needs of your baby to find out the right food for it.

The Important Thing

The gorgeous white coat of the Wesite is a hallmark of the breed and an important aspect that needs consideration when choosing your dog’s diet.

  • Feed the Coat– Compared to other furry breeds, West Highland White Terrier’s coat is coarse and thick. It needs a lot of amino acids and fatty acids to keep that coat thick and shiny. While a Westie won’t shed a lot, lack of these ingredients can lead to excessive shedding. So look for ingredients such as flaxseed, fish oil, and seafood.
  • Food the Skin– Unlike the coat, your Westie’s skin is softer. You need to maintain healthy skin to ensure a healthy coat. Try to avoid ingredients that can cause skin sensitivities and allergies. Grain-free is a good way to go. A reasonable amount of EPA and DHA is also essential for healthy skin and coat.

A Good Balance of Protein and Fats

Two of the most important nutrients in the West Highland White Terrier diet are protein and fat. Since the breed has moderate to moderately high activity level, it doesn’t need as much fat as highly active breeds.

However, the requirement changes during different life stages because their metabolic rate changes with age. Here is how you can maintain a good balance throughout your terrier’s life.

  • 0 to 6 months– During these golden months, your pup’s metabolic rate will be extremely high. It will need more proteins to support healthy growth and more fat because of a faster metabolism. Choose a puppy food with around 22% protein and 8% fat.
  • 6 months to 8 years– It won’t take long for your Westie to reach its adult size i.e. around 11 inches. Recipes with around 18 percent protein are ideal for an adult West Highland White Terriers. If your baby is active, it will need more energy and you should look for around 12 percent fat. However, for dogs that aren’t too active, 5 percent fat should suffice.
  • 8 Years+–  A well-cared West Highland White Terrier can live up to 13 years. However, it will enter its senior years after the age of seven. It is a good idea to start transition to a senior diet at that age. Good senior dog foods for West Highland White Terrier should have glucosamine to ensure bone and joint health. Also, look for heart-healthy ingredients such as Taurine.

Picky Eaters

I think by now we both know that West Highland White Terrier are picky eaters. Some may only settle for premium options since day one; others might get bored with their regular diet. If your Westie refuses to eat, that is a good indication that you need to change its food.

I recommend BARF because picky eaters usually prefer raw as it is tastier as per their palate. However, if you are not ready for the transition to raw, you can top your pet’s kibble with a bit of premium wet food to make it appear and taste-tempting.

That’s all you need to know about your West Highland White Terrier’s diet and food. Whenever you choose a new dog food, don’t forget to follow the proper translation process to make it easier and safer for your baby.

Now, let’s move on to the rest of my list of best dog food for West Highland White Terriers.



Do you want to know more about your West Highland White Terrier and its diet?…Here are a few questions you may have about your West Highland White.

Does West Highland White Terrier need small breed dog food?

Yes, according to the AKC, the West Highland White Terrier is a small breed dog that only grows up to 10 or 11 inches. Ideally, their weight should not exceed 20 pounds. High-quality small breed dog food allows them to maintain their weight and energy levels.

How much should a West Highland terrier eat??

An average adult Westie requires around 1.5 cups of quality kibble a day, divided into two or three meals. Westie’s can be prone to overeating and so you need to control their portions.

How many calories do West Highland White Terriers need in a day?

An adult Westie can need anywhere from 450 kcal to 700 kcal a day, depending on their activity level. A small breed terrier like your Westie should get 10 percent of those calories from protein, around 5 percent from fiber, and 50 percent from carbs and other sources.

Is West Highland White Terrier a high-maintenance breed?

While Westies may seem like a high-maintenance breed, they aren’t. Except for the need to keep their white coat bright and clean, you won’t have to worry about a lot. They don’t shed a lot, they don’t get sick too often, and they are easy to train.

Is a grain-free diet good for my West Highland White Terrier?

A grain-free diet is generally recommended for all dogs, because it eliminates ingredients often cited as allergens. A dog food without grains is likely to have higher quality ingredients such as greener sources of carbs and fiber.

Is the BARF diet a good choice for West Highland White Terrier?

BARF is the closest you can get to your dog’s ancestral diet. It is also a good recommendation for a West Highland White Terrier. It can help you control many common health issues such as indigestion and flatulence in your Westie.

Do West Highland White Terriers have a sensitive stomach?

Yes, West Highland White Terriers have sensitive tummies. They are prone to indigestion and diarrhea.  Colitis and pancreatitis are also common among Westies. It is why Limited ingredient and Grain-free dog foods are best for this breed.

Can a West Highland White Terrier become obese?

This study places Westies in the category of dogs most susceptible to obesity. Dogs that aren’t active are more likely to gain extra pounds.  You need to control their diet as well as lifestyle.

What is the best protein source for West Highland White Terrier?

West Highland White Terriers generally prefer poultry proteins such as chicken and turkey. However, some Westies might have extremely sensitive stomachs and it is better to choose a novel protein source such as duck or venison.

Are West Highland White Terrier picky eaters?

West Highland White Terrier loves to eat and usually clean their entire bowl, but they are fussy about what they eat. They have a refined sense of taste and will only settle for a premium option that tastes and smells delicious.

Are treats and bully sticks good for West Highland White Terriers?

Treats and chews are never a good idea for your dog because most of them can do more harm than good. According to research conducted on a number of random samples off the shelf, most bully sticks carried too many calories plus plenty of bacteria.


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