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How to Keep Your Westie White

Updated April 17, 2017

West Highland white terriers, or Westies, have striking white fur that can be a challenge to keep clean. The Westie has a double-layered coat. The terrier's outer coat is coarse to protect it from teeth and claws as it hunts, while the undercoat is soft to provide insulation and warmth. By understanding the Westie's coat and taking action to stop discolouration before it starts, you can better understand how to maintain your Westie and keep it at its whitest.

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  1. Brush the dog every day. Brushing will remove dead hair and knots in the coat. It will also distribute oils throughout its fur that will keep its coat shiny.

  2. Apply cornstarch to the Westie's coat, and then brush the coat thoroughly. The Westie's coat can be cleaned with regular brushing and a dry cleaning, achieved by brushing cornstarch into the fur. The cornstarch will absorb any soil, and you can simply brush the dirt out.

  3. Keep your Westie's face dry after it drinks to prevent rust-coloured stains. The fur around the mouth and jaw becomes discoloured if it stays wet. After your Westie drinks, dry its face with a clean, dry towel.

  4. Wipe around the eyes with a warm, damp cloth to remove discolouration. Westie's experience a slight eye discharge, resulting in a red stains on the fur around the eyes and black crust in the corners.

  5. Bathe your Westie monthly with a gentle dog shampoo. You can find whitening shampoos at your pet supply retailer or veterinarian's office.

  6. Schedule regular visits with your Westie's veterinarian to ensure your pet's health. Skin infections, allergies and other medical conditions can affect your Westie's fur quality and colour. Regular veterinary checkups help prevent problems and offer an opportunity for early treatment should problems arise.

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Things You'll Need

  • Brush
  • Cornstarch
  • Dry towel
  • Damp washcloth
  • Whitening dog shampoo

About the Author

A professional writer and editor, Kristi Roddey began freelancing in 1999. She has worked on books, magazines, websites and computer-based training modules, including South Carolina Educational Television's NatureScene Interactive, "Planted Aquaria," "Xtreme RC Cars" and online courses for Education To Go, Inc. Roddey holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Carolina.

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