Homemade Food For West Highland White Terriers — Guide, Recipes & Tips

homemade food for west highland white terrier

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We know that you want to make sure your furry friend is eating the healthiest food possible, and we’re here to help. This guide will provide tips and recipes for making homemade food for your West Highland White Terrier.

By cooking your own dog’s food, you can be sure that every ingredient is healthy and nutritious. Not only will your dog love the taste of this food, but it will also benefit from all of the nutrients it contains.

Today, we cover everything you need to know about how to make homemade food for your West Highland White Terrier! Let’s get started!

Table of Contents 📖

Chapter 1: Nutrition, Benefits & Risks

Ch 2 

West Highland White Terrier Homemade Dog Food Benefits

Here are some of the main benefits of cooking for your Westie.

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Quality control
  • More affordable
  • Healthier
  • Portion size control
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Dietary requirements can be met

Board-certified veterinary nutritionists and diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition, Jennifer A. Larsen, DVM, MS, Ph.D., and Joe Bartges, DVM, Ph.D., also agree that switching to homemade dog food comes with great advantages such as diet management, appeasing picky eaters, bond-building, combatting food intolerance and allergies issues, and avoid concern over food recalls.1

Further benefits include preventing many conditions associated with a poor diet, such as obesity, poor skin, coat condition, pancreatitis, diabetes, and reduced immunity.

Food And West Highland White Terrier Health: Why Feed Homemade?

West Highland White Terriers generally live between 12 to 14 years. Some serious health problems Legg-Perthes Disease, Craniomandibular Osteopathy (CMO), globoid cell leukodystrophy, and skin disease.

Diseases like allergies (atopic dermatitis), pulmonary fibrosis, dry eye (KCS), pancreatic enzyme deficiency and kidney disease are also common in the breed.

Other minor health problems this breed suffers copper toxicosis, patellar luxation, inflammatory bowel disease and cataract. Deafness is also seen in the breed occasionally. 2

How Can A Homemade Diet Help West Highland White Terrier Health Issues?

  • Increased lifespan. Research shows that dogs that eat fresh food diets are linked to a 20% longer lifespan than those who don’t. A year-long study of 522 dogs by Lippert and Sapy found that dogs fed high-quality, freshly made, real food had an average life expectancy of 13.1 years versus just 10.4 years for dogs fed commercially processed pet food.3
  • Avoid allergies. Cooking for your dog allows you to pick ingredients that won’t trigger allergies in your Westie. If you are unsure what ingredients may cause sensitivities or allergies in your pet, we advise doing an At-Home Food Dog Allergy test before selecting the ingredients for your dog’s next meal.
  • Obesity & joints. Switching to homemade dog food allows you to easily calibrate the amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals your dog needs to maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity in dogs can increase their risk for bone and joint problems (i.e., hip dysplasia) and subsequent osteoarthritis. Studies show that dogs maintaining their ideal body weight live almost 2.5 years longer (with significantly fewer diseases) than their overweight siblings.4
  • Bioavailability. Home-cooked dog food is easier to digest — more digestible food means dogs can absorb nutrients more efficiently and faster. Quicker nutrient absorption means minerals, vitamins, and amino acids act quicker in their body to carry out different functions such as decreasing inflammatory responses that can help prevent allergies or help boost overall health.
  • Highly processed & oxidative stress kibble. When it comes to cancer, homemade dog food removes the highly processed food from the equation, which is often linked to cancer issues in dogs. Food processing has been shown to cause free radicals and carcinogenic chemicals to be released. With homemade, you no longer have to worry about oxidative stress due to processed food.5,6
  • Fresh ingredients with no chemicals. Homemade meals ensure your pup always eats fresh, wholesome, and chemical-free foods without additives, fillers, high-glycemic carbs, or colorants normally found in kibble.
  • Easy digestion. Homemade dog food is easier to digest than those hard-kibble mystery balls. Feeding your pet freshly made food puts less stress on their digestive system and liver, reducing the likelihood of bloating or other digestive issues.
  • Excellent taste and smell. Dogs love the taste, smell and texture of fresh dog food.

West Highland White Terrier Homemade Dog Food Risks

The list below outlines some tips to help better handle the home-cooking process for Westie.

  • Not understanding the nutritional needs of West Highland White Terrier
  • Using inadequate or dangerous recipes
  • Not preparing a balanced meal
  • Using unsafe or harmful ingredients
  • Not understanding the impact of food and dietary changes
  • Neglecting your dog’s health conditions
  • Not understanding your dog’s life stages (puppies, adults & senior) nutritional needs

Research by the University of California Davis, School of Veterinary and two studies published in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine and The Journal of Nutritional Science found that most homemade dog food recipes lack key essential nutrients, and other recipes used dangerously high levels of some nutrients.7,8,9

Here are the findings:

  • 48% of homemade dog diets had an imprecise determination of ingredients and quantities
  • 71.3 % of dog owners did know how much food to serve per meal
  • 30.4% of the pet parents admitted to purposely changing the recipe
  • 40% of owners didn’t measure the proportions of the ingredients well enough
  • 28.3% didn’t use any of the recommended vitamins, minerals, or amino acids.
  • 97% of obesity cases in dogs could be traced to how owners fed and played with their pets.

It’s vital to understand that dogs’ nutritional requirements are unique. We recommend consulting a veterinary nutritionist who can address your Westie’s dietary requirements and help you make nutritionally balanced recipes or recommend a homemade food service for convenience.

West Highland White Terrier Nutritional Guidelines to Follow

According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AFFCO), the entity that supervises the nutritional value of commercial dog food, there are six essential nutrients all dog meals must contain to ensure a balanced and healthy diet for dogs. Below is a breakdown of each nutrient and its importance.

A proper homemade diet should also consider your pup’s weight, health conditions, size, and activity level.

NutrientFoodDescription
Protein Chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, yogurt and cooked eggsBuilds and repairs muscles and other body tissues. Needed to make new skin cells, grow hair, hormones, enzymes and more.
Carbohydrates Oats, brown rice, potatoes, and whole wheat Source of energy for dogs and supplies glucose needed by the brain, nervous system and other critical organs for normal function.
Fat From meats and oils such as olive or sunflower oil, fish oil, canola oils among others Responsible for providing quality energy. Necessary for the normal development and function of body cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues
Minerals Calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, etc. Common functions include the formation of bone and cartilage, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance regulation, the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream and hormone production.
WaterWaterHydration is critical in dogs. A dog that loses too much water (10% to 15% of the water in his body) can get very sick and even die. Ensure they have water available throughout the day.
VitaminsA, B, C, D, E, and K Keeps skin and coat healthy, strengthens bones and teeth, and gives them the overall energy that they need to function.

You may also want to add a multivitamin like Zesty Paws Multivitamin Chews to ensure your West Highland White Terrier pup is getting the recommended balance of vitamins and minerals.

Recommended Supplements For West Highland White Terriers

Here are the top recommended supplements for Westies based on their main health susceptibility issues.

  • Digestive issues: Dog probiotics can help with issues like Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and kidney disease, both common in this breed. It can also improve overall gastrointestinal function and health and slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.
  • Hip, joint & bones: Westies are generally susceptible to patella luxation, craniomandibular osteopathy and Legg-Perthes Disease. These conditions are all skeletal problems. To prevent or alleviate these problems, it’s wise to supplement their diet with a supplement that can help maintain healthy cartilage, bones & connective tissues. Open Farm Hip & Joint is an excellent option.
  • Eye health: It is common in Westies to develop eye problems. These vision bites from Zesty Paws can keep dog eyes in good shape..

Always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.

If you need more advice on West Highland White Terrier nutrition, an excellent resource is Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets: the Healthful Alternative by Donald R. Strombeck, DVM, Ph.D., a long-time expert in veterinary medicine. This book it’s considered by many pet nutritionists to be the Bible of healthy homemade dog nutrition.

Health Dietary Changes In West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier experiencing any of the issues below might benefit from the dietary adjustments outlined in this table.

ConditionDietary Needs & Adjustments

Coat Color Changes


Increase amino acids which can be found in protein (>75 grams per 1000 calories)
Concurrent GI Signs

Avoid foods with tryptamine and histamine such as dairy or fermented vegetables and meats (yes, this includes bacon); try a simple ingredient food trial

Chronic Itching and Dermatitis

Fortify the diet with Vitamin E, B Vitamins, Zinc, omega-6 and the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil; add a dog probiotic; try a simple ingredient food trial
Dull Coat and Scaling

Adjust EPA and DHA levels in the diet (added fish oil being the most common way); try a food that has added zinc

Dandruff and Crustiness

Add Zinc and Vitamin A levels

If your Westie suffers skin allergies or joint pain, adding dog fish oil may help bring relief. The AKC states that fish oil promotes healthier coats by reducing itchiness and flakiness in the skin due to its omega-3 fatty acid content. Other significant effects include promoting improved immunity (especially against cancer) while strengthening heart health in dogs.

West Highland White Terrier Calorie Requirements

The caloric needs of dogs are based on their weight.

An adult Westie usually weighs between 15 and 20 pounds, which means most West Highland White Terriers need between 472 and 587 calories a day.

Make sure you follow the 10% rule when feeding treats to your dog. Food would equal 90% of the total calories and treats the remaining 10%.

For instance, if a Westie weighs 18 lbs. he would need 543 calories per day. For those eating treats, that’s 489 calories in food (90%) and 54 in treats (10%). Usually, most full-grown dogs eat two meals per day. So, you need to split 489 into two meals of 245 calories each.

You can use this calculator to find the exact caloric needs for your dog based on his weight.

Pregnant or lactating Westie may need up to 2 to 4 times the amount of food they normally need as the mother’s energy requirements increase after delivery and during lactation. Be sure to talk to your vet.

Homemade Dog Food For West Highland White Terrier Puppies

A Westie puppy diet is different from an adult Westie.

Compared to adult dogs, puppies need higher levels of protein, fat, calcium, and phosphorus. Too few (or too many) of these nutrients can cause deficiencies, stunted growth, or lifelong complications.

According to the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN), puppies need about twice as many calories per pound of body weight as an adult dog of the same breed.

Most people worry that their puppy requires more food and calorie intake every day because they are rapidly growing. This isn’t necessarily the truth. Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM, a veterinary nutritionist at Nom Nom, advises that to promote normal growth, most puppies need about the same number of calories and the same type of food, from 4 months to 12 months of age.

West Highland White Terrier puppies should eat 3 to 4 times a day. When your puppy is a bit older (6 – 12 months), you can switch to 2 to 3 meals daily at scheduled intervals.

For proper growth and development, it is not advised to skip meals while your puppy is growing and developing. As our nutritional guidelines previously outlined, a puppy’s diet needs to include a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, water, and vitamins.

Homemade Dog Food Delivery Service

If you love your Westie but can’t find the time to cook their meals or don’t know anything about dog nutrition, a homemade dog food delivery service like Open Farm is an excellent choice.

Open Farm gently cooked recipes offer the convenience of a homemade dog food delivery service. Gently Cooked is a home-cooked style meal made with 100% human-grade, humanely raised ingredients made in a human-grade facility. It’s home cooking for your pet, without the cooking!

open farms homemade dog food

All their meats are certified Humane and Global Animal Partnership certified. Their seafood is Ocean Wise certified, and fruits and veggies are non-GMO. Even better, Open Farm recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for maintenance.

Their tasty meat recipes combine superfoods like non-GMO leafy greens, pumpkin, turmeric, chia seeds, coconut oil, and more. This brand’s great because they don’t use any nasty chemicals found in kibble, antibiotics, added growth hormones, wheat, corn, potatoes, peas, or legumes. Plus, their gradual cooking process removes bacteria while retaining more flavor, nutrients, and ingredients.

You don’t even need to worry about portions. All meals come in pre-portioned pouches for easy serving and are shipped frozen to preserve freshness.

With Open Farm, your dog enjoys the benefits of freshly homemade meals without the hassles of cooking, shopping for the ingredients, and balancing nutrients. With the time you’ve saved by not cooking, you can focus more energy on neighborhood walks or training.

Our readers have access to save 20% off their first Open Farm order. Just use the coupon code “CANINE20” at check out. Click this link to get your Westie’s first homemade meal.

Chapter 2: Recipes, Cooking Tips & More

Ch 1

West Highland White Terrier Homemade Food Tips

The list below outlines some tips to help better handle the home-cooking process for Westies.

  1. Set a consistent feeding schedule.
  2. Feed your West Highland White Terrier two times a day (puppies under 12 months, 3 to 4 times a day, check with your veterinarian).
  3. Meal prep weekly or monthly.
  4. Measure and control portion sizes depending on your dog’s calorie needs.
  5. Keep meals frozen for 2 to 3 months or refrigerated for about 5 days.
  6. Make a new batch when the food supply is getting low.
  7. If you want to feed different recipes, you can make multiple batches and color code by ingredients, rotating out the different meals.
  8. Prepare the food in bulk and portion it into containers (one container per meal makes it extra-easy).
  9. Increase portions appropriately as your puppy grows.
  10. Monitor weight to make sure you are feeding the proper amount of calories.

How To Cook Homemade Food For West Highland White Terrier ( Video)

Watch this video and learn how to cook for your Westie!

Best West Highland White Terrier Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Browse our favorite recipes for a Westie that will make your pup begging for more.

We’ve also added a special treat recipe for your Westie that is tasty and packed with remarkable health benefits. This recipe has our favorite secret ingredient, dog CBD oil. CBD oil can help with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, inflammation, pain, wellness and other health problems.

Note: Please consult your pet’s veterinarian and use personal judgment when applying this information to your dog’s diet. The recipes below do not include serving size because portions will vary depending on breed, weight, activity level, age, and dog’s health. A common recommendation is to feed your dog a comparable amount of ounces/cups to what you would usually feed in kibble BUT check with your vet to be certain.


CBD-Infused Dog Treats

Treat your Westie with these nutritious, therapeutic, and delicious homemade CBD dog treats. They are made with Pumpkin, a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (like vitamin A, potassium, vitamin C, and iron). Pumpkin also aids with digestion and hydration. Coconut is added for skin and coat, digestion and helps reduce allergic reactions.

Just be sure to check with your vet before to ensure CBD is safe for your pup and you are giving the correct dosage.

You can also purchase already made CBD dog treats so your pup can experience all the benefits of CBD without the cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 apple, cored and grated
  • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • dash of sea salt
  • 120 mg CBD oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a dog cookie baking tray with coconut oil.
  2. Core and grate the apples, then peel and grate the carrots.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, oats, and coconut sugar. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the egg. Then, add coconut oil, water, and grated apples and carrots.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl; mix completely. Finally, add CBD oil and mix once more.
  5. Using a Tbsp measuring spoon, portion out the dog biscuits and press into the dog treat baking pan. Bake, 32-37 minutes or until the biscuits are firm and golden-brown on the outside.
  6. Store in an air-tight container.

Recipe from: Truth Theory


Marvelous Mutt Loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/4 Pound 85% Lean Ground Beef
  • 4 Eggs, white or brown
  • Kidney Beans
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Sprig Rosemary – 1 Teaspoon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Carrots Shredded
  • 3 Medium Size Potatoes Shredded (skins on)

Directions

  1. Using your hands, fold the mixture until well combined
  2. Using a Muffin Tin, make a ball and pack the muffin hole. Don’t overfill as they can leak out over your pan.
  3. Pop into preheated 350F (180c Oven). After 50-55 minutes, the Meatloaf will be ready.
  4. You can use larger loaf pans in lieu of muffin tin. However, the muffin tin allows you to make individual portion sizes. If you do use a larger tin, It will also take longer to cook, usually around 1 hour 10 minutes
  5. Allow the Meatloaf to cool down before feeding them to your pup.

Recipe from: The Whoot


Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of green beans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats.
  • 4 cups of low-salt chicken broth

Directions

  1. Remove excess fat from the chicken breasts and cut the breasts into small nickel-sized chunks.
  2. Cook the chicken breasts in a non-stick skillet over medium heat until no longer pink.
  3. Add the chicken, vegetables rolled oats, and chicken broth to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the carrots are tender – about 15 minutes.
  4. Allow cooling before serving.
  5. Store leftover casserole portions in the fridge for up to five days.

Recipe from: Money Crashers


Turkey, Rice And Veggie Mix

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 (16 ounces) package frozen broccoli, carrots and cauliflower combination

Directions

  1. Place the water, ground turkey, rice, and rosemary into a large Dutch oven.
  2. Stir until the ground turkey is broken up and evenly distributed throughout the mixture
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the frozen vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and cool. Refrigerate until use.

Recipe from: Allrecipes

If you are interested in more homemade dog food recipes and cooking options for your Westie, cookbooks can come in handy for a range of dog food recipes. Our top pick is Home Cooking for Your Dog: 75 Holistic Recipes for a Healthier Dog.


What Foods Should Your West Highland White Terrier Never Eat?

Below is a list of the most common toxic ingredients dogs need to avoid.

  • Chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Onions and garlic
  • Avocados
  • Coffee, tea, and other caffeine
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raw bread dough
  • Alcohol

Here is the full list of toxic ingredients your Westie should never eat. Please print it out and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

West Highland White Terrier Raw Diet (BARF)

Raw dog food is meant to mimic dogs’ diet in the wild millions of years ago. Raw dog foods, organs, muscles, whole or ground bones, fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are usually included. Several raw dog foods are available, including homemade raw dog food and store-bought (frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated).

As the risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance is higher when handling raw foods, preparing a BARF diet for your West Highland White Terrier requires a lot of extra care and planning.

Raw dog diets are gaining popularity because of their fantastic health benefits for teeth, coat, digestion, and allergies. Read our raw dog food diet article if you are interested in learning more about the benefits and risks, and get the best commercial raw food diet for your West Highland White Terrier.

Best Dog Cooking Practices

Follow these tips to ensure that your Westie’s meals are safe and nutritious. 

  • Never use unsafe or toxic ingredients for dogs
  • Use only boneless meats (no cooked bones)
  • Cook all animal products thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria
  • Cook all grains, beans, and starchy vegetables to make them easier to digest
  • Research every ingredient before using it for safety
  • Follow recipes as instructed
  • Add supplements to their diet if needed
  • Run any questions by a vet nutritionist

Monitor Weight And Health

A dog’s weight is an essential indicator of its health, and you need to track it when switching to a new diet (i.e., homemade). Maintaining a healthy weight is easier when your Westie is fed the right dog food. If your dog’s weight increases or decreases rapidly, it might be due to food-related health issues.

Skin or coat issues, excessive tiredness, allergies, weight loss, malnutrition, and obesity can be caused by unbalanced and insufficient meal plans. If you detect any of these symptoms while feeding your dog meals, stop doing it immediately and seek expert advice.

Should You Feed Homemade Food to Westies? Alternatives

If you want your west highland white terrier to live a long and healthy life, you should feed it homemade dog food.

Not only will your westie be healthier, but they’ll also have a shinier coat, brighter eyes, and more energy – thanks to all of the fresh ingredients in their food. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about them eating unhealthy additives or mystery meats again.

Creating a nutritionally balanced diet for your pet must be done with your vet’s approval.

Read up on vegan dog food if your West Highland White Terrier is prone to food allergies or food-related health issues. Plant-based diets are also becoming increasingly popular for dogs with food sensitivities and other health issues.


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[1] AKC, [2] WHWTCA, [3] Lippert & Sapy [4] AVMA [5] Lyka, [6] Hardvard [7] NCBI, [8] PubMed, [9] UC Davis


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