10 Best Dog Food For Westies: 2022

West Highland Terrier

This is our 2022 review of the best dog food for Westies. 

Confident, entertaining, and intelligent, these lovable pups have been charming dog parents for over 300 years.

Westies need plenty of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates because of their high energy levels. And they need a diet with a lot of prebiotics and probiotics to support their digestive system.

If you’re trying to find the best dog food for Westies, then look no further. There are so many foods out there, it can be confusing.

The best dog food for Westies is Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Dog Food. It offers your pup 28% protein content from high-quality animal sources, dietary fibers to support digestion, and ample amounts of vitamins and minerals.

But, we understand that every canine is different. So we’ve found nine other foods that’ll help you make the best possible decision for your West Highland Terrier. 

The 10 Best Dog Food for Westies

Best Overall
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Dog Food
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Dog Food
  • Smaller kibble size
  • Contains high-quality ingredients, whole fruits and veggies
  • Made without by-products, artificial ingredients, or GMOs
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Best for Puppies
Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Red Lentils Dog Food
Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Red Lentils Dog Food
  • Added taurine and calcium for growth
  • High 31% protein content
  • Includes lamb, salmon, and turkey
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Best for Seniors
Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dry Dog Food
Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dry Dog Food
  • Added calcium, vitamins, and antioxidants
  • Uses real meats, whole fruits, and vegetables
  • Made with easily digestible ingredients
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Best Budget
Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
  • Farm-raised chicken as main protein source
  • Carefully made by vets and nutritionists
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids and antioxidants
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Best Wet
Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  • Excellent for fussy eaters
  • Made in USA for small breeds
  • Added calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin B12
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids
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  1. Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Dog Food (Best for Adults)
  2. Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Red Lentils Dog Food (Best for Puppies)
  3. Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dry Dog Food (Best for Seniors)
  4. Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food (Best Budget Dog Food)
  5. Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Canned Dog Food (Best Wet Dog Food)
  6. Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dry Dog Food (Best Breed-Specific Dog Food)
  7. Natural Balance LID Limited Ingredient Small Breed Dog Food (Best for Allergies)
  8. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small Breed Dog Food (Best for Sensitive Tummies)
  9. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Best for Extra Energy)
  10. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Light Small Bites Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Control)

Best Dog Foods for Westies Reviewed

All the dog foods we are about to go through meet an AAFCO daily nutrient profile for dogs. Before switching your dog’s food, consult your veterinarian. [1]

Best Overall
Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Brown Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Protein, 15% Fat, 4% Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Calories: 408 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Wellness Small Breed Complete dog food does exactly what it says on the tin. It gives your lil’ Westie a complete, nutritional meal packed full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. 

Carefully chosen ingredients are included to ensure there is the right balance of protein and fat. The 28% protein and 15% fat content is ideal for supporting a Westie’s muscle mass and aids their bones and joints.

Meanwhile, vitamin A is supplemented to aid your West Highland Terrier’s vision, which really helps them, considering their eyes are slightly stuck out. Plus, added sources of omega-6 fatty acids encourage natural skin oil production, giving them a lovely healthy coat.

This dog food has deboned turkey as the first ingredient on the list. And salmon and chicken meals are added alongside additional healthy fats and protein. 

If your canine suffers from food allergies caused by grains, then it’s best to avoid this food. Likewise, the recipe includes chicken. While both of these ingredients are perfectly safe for most pups, Westies are prone to allergies caused by these ingredients.

But for a final bonus, Wellness Complete dog food is made in the USA using only the best possible, globally sourced ingredients.

What We Like
  • Made without meat by-products, artificial ingredients, or GMOs.
  • Carefully sourced ingredients that give pups ample protein and healthy fats
  • Uses deboned turkey as the first ingredient
  • Added sources of omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and probiotics
  • Although it uses grains, it only includes nutritional, whole grains for added nutrients
  • High amounts of vitamin A for vision
  • Small kibble size made specifically for smaller mouths.
What We Don't Like
  • Includes chicken meal; may be unsuitable for Westies with allergies
  • Made with grains

Best for Seniors
Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 319 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Non-GMO, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Senior

This dog food by Nulo is made explicitly for puppies with high-quality foods and nutrients that support their rapid growth and active lifestyle. 

It’s made with deboned salmon for protein, red lentils for healthy fibers, and foods like apples, blueberries, tomatoes, and carrots for high levels of antioxidants.

Speaking of antioxidants, the recipe ensures that vitamin C and E are included too. These powerful antioxidants help your puppy’s immune system and help combat harmful bacteria in their body. [2]

Calcium and phosphorus are supplemented into the diet for your Westie’s bone and teeth formation and a healthy digestive system.

The extra small kibble is created with smaller jaws in mind and plays an essential role in preventing tartar buildup. All the while, high amounts of healthy fats such as DHA give nutritional support to the brain and improves vision.

What stands out most about this grain-free dog food is the sheer amount of protein sources. 

Real meats like lamb, salmon, and turkey all offer puppy’s a wide variety of tastes and textures that they’ll definitely love. And to top it all off, it’s made without gluten too.

What We Like
  • Made and sourced in the United States
  • Added taurine for heart health
  • Includes high amounts of nutrients essential for a puppy’s growth
  • Plenty of protein sources to give a variety of tastes
  • Small kibble size
  • High 31% protein content
What We Don't Like
  • Includes peas which may be unsuitable for pups with food allergies
  • Some pups struggle with the food initially
  • Can cause smelly stool

Best for Seniors
Nutro Natural Choice Senior Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Barley, Split Peas, Brewers Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 319 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Non-GMO, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Senior

Give your senior Westie the nutrition they deserve with Nutro’s Senior dog food. 

This dry dog food is made using tasty chicken, whole fruits and veggies for essential antioxidants, and dietary fibers for optimal digestion. 

While chicken is packed full of protein, it also contains nutrients like glucosamine, omega fatty acids, and chondroitin to support older pups. 

Glucosamine and chondroitin help grow cartilage tissue around your canine’s joints, which prevents conditions like osteoarthritis. Meanwhile, omega fatty acids help maintain a dog’s coat and skin health, in addition to giving support to tired joints and bones.

It includes coconut, pumpkin, and spinach for high amounts of antioxidants and vitamins A, B, and C. These nutrients help combat tissue damage, maintain a healthy heart and immune system, and improve joints.

Nutro Natural Senior dog food excludes corn, wheat, soy, GMOs, and poultry by-products. And it’s chicken-free too. Chicken can be a common cause of allergies for Westies. 

And to top it all off, calcium is added to give further support to your Westies bones. You can breathe easy with this high-quality formula. It is packed full of nutrition and easily digestible ingredients to keep your furry friend’s tail wagging.

What We Like
  • Packed with omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin
  • Ideal protein to fat ratio for seniors
  • Contains vitamins A, B, and C for added antioxidants
  • Excludes chicken, GMOs, and other various low-quality ingredients
  • Uses whole fruits and vegetables for natural dietary fibers
  • Calcium supplemented for support of bones
What We Don't Like
  • Contains peas, grains, and gluten
  • Small traces of artificial preservatives
  • Some fussy eaters struggle initially with the food
  • Would have liked to have seen added L-carnitine

Best Budget
Iams Adult Small & Toy Breed Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Protein, 17% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 393 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Budget-friendly, High-protein
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

We all know that having a dog can get rather expensive. And that’s especially true if you’re on a tight budget! This budget-friendly dog food by Iams is the perfect solution. 

There’s plenty of nutrition in this dog food, and it all starts from the first ingredient; real farm-raised chicken.

Iams has packed this dog food full of protein. Not only will your canine get their protein from chicken, but Iams have included chicken by-product meal and chicken fat too. These are excellent foods to use, especially chicken fat, because of their rich amounts of omega 6 fatty acids

Carrots and flaxseed are featured in the recipe for their rich levels of antioxidants. These powerful superfoods help your Westie’s immune system. Vitamin D, E, and biotin are used to give pups an extra boost too. 

Most budget dog foods will use low-quality artificial ingredients to help manage costs. But not this one! Iams has excluded artificial flavors, fillers, and preservatives. Each recipe is carefully made, considering your pup’s nutritional needs. 

What We Like
  • Uses real, wholesome ingredients for nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
  • Farm-raised chicken included for protein
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids and antioxidants
  • Iams carefully make their dog foods for all ages and sizes
  • Multiple protein sources and dietary fibers
What We Don't Like
  • Uses by-product meal to help contribute to protein content
  • Includes grains, and gluten
  • Some dog parents noticed runny stool

Best Wet
Instinct Original Small Breed Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Ground Dried Peas, Cod
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8.5% Protein, 4.5% Fat, 2% Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Calories: 153 kcal/can or 86 kcal/can
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten Free, Chicken-Free, Natural
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

This gluten-free diet uses beef as its primary source of protein which is fantastic for canines who suffer from food allergies. Plus, wet food is widely known to entice picky eaters too.

Beef also contains high amounts of amino acids to support your Westie’s lean muscle mass and maintains their heart health. And it’s excellent for omega fatty acids too!

Natural Instinct’s dog food is made without any potatoes, instead opting to include complex carbohydrates like ground flaxseed

Whole fruits and veggies like cranberries, pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, broccoli, and cabbage are included for natural dietary fibers. These aid the digestive system and maintain a healthy metabolism.

Added sources of calcium are used to help your Westie’s bones and maintain their joints. And vitamin A and vitamin B12 are supplemented for a healthy immune system and support their vision.

In addition to it being potato-free, Natural Instinct’s Small Breed canned dog food removes any grain, by-product meal, wheat, corn, soy, and artificial ingredients.

What We Like
  • Great for fussy eaters
  • Includes fruits and vegetables for fiber and carbohydrates
  • Beef is the primary source of protein
  • Supplements calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin B12 to improve overall well-being
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids
  • Made in the USA specifically for small breeds
What We Don't Like
  • It can be a rather expensive diet to maintain over a long period of time
  • Some dogs don’t prefer the pate texture

Best Breed Specific
Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Chicken Fat, Brown Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 19% Protein, 14% Fat, 3.3% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 339 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Breed-Specific
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Royal Canin is widely recognized for its breed-specific formulas and high-quality meals. And this dog food is a prime example of this. 

The diet contains a moderate 19% protein content. And it has a balanced ratio of healthy fats and dietary fibers. These all play a vital role in maintaining your canine’s overall well-being and essential bodily functions.

Chicken by-product meal is a highly concentrated source of protein. However, it’s also a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help maintain a luscious coat and healthy skin. 

These healthy fats also aid your Westies joints and even help control allergies.

The smaller kibble size is something West Highland Terrier parents frequently comment on because it’s ideal for their mouths. And the high palatability, intense aromas, and enhanced flavors are highly appealing for fussy eaters too.

Royal Canin has the highest quality and safety standards. And their foods are developed by dog nutritionists and veterinarians, backed by scientific data. So you can rest assured knowing your Westie is getting the nutrition they need. 

What We Like
  • Balanced ratio of protein, fats, and dietary fibers
  • High levels of omega fatty acids to improve skin, coat, and joints
  • Made by vets and nutritionists, using the latest scientific data
  • Uses chicken by-product meal for high concentrations of amino sugars and protein
  • Grains are used as high-quality energy sources for Westies
  • Improved aromas and flavors to entice fussy eaters
What We Don't Like
  • It may be unsuitable for allergies because it uses common allergens
  • Lacks the same amount of whole fruits and veggies compared to others on our list

Best for Allergies
Natural Balance LID Limited Ingredient Small Breed Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Cassava Flour, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 24% Protein, 10% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 380 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Does your Westie suffer from food allergies or intolerances? Unfortunately, several ingredients cause food allergies for West Highland Terriers, so you’re not alone.

But this is where Natural Balance offers you the perfect solution. And they’re renowned for their high-quality limited ingredient diets. These kinds of diets are perfect for managing allergies. [3]

This pea-free dog food uses a single protein source and contains digestible carbohydrates to prevent any tummy upsets too.

Natural Balance has also made this dog food explicitly for small breeds. Salmon is featured as it’s source of protein, an excellent alternative to common allergens like chicken. 

And ingredients like flaxseed offer ample amounts of antioxidants to ensure your Westie is absorbing and processing the food correctly.

Like most of the foods on our list, its kibble size is designed for smaller jaws, and its crunchy texture prevents tartar buildup, improving their overall oral hygiene. High amounts of omega fatty acids, taurine, and probiotics help soothe your canine’s tummy and reduce any gas buildup.

In combination with peas and chicken, Natural Balance removes any pea protein, lentils, legumes, corn, wheat, and soy from the recipe. 

What We Like
  • Single protein source to prevent triggers of allergies
  • Contains several easily digestible ingredients to support sensitive tummies
  • Excludes peas, chicken, corn, wheat, soy, legumes, and pea protein
  • Made in the USA
  • Ideal ratio of protein (24%) and healthy fats (10%)
  • Natural Balance is well known for limited ingredient diets
  • Unique kibble size designed for smaller mouths
  • Added taurine for heart health, ideal in grain-free diets
What We Don't Like
  • Some dog owners warn about a fishy smell
  • Slightly lower protein content compared to other foods listed

Best for Digestion & Skin
Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Small Breed Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Brewers Rice, Chicken Meal, Yellow Peas, Cracked Pearled Barley
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 21% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 392 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Most small dog breeds suffer from delicate digestive systems, including West Highland Terriers. And their shiny coats can soon disappear if they suffer from food intolerances or skin sensitivities. 

Unfortunately, most elimination diets won’t have enough healthy fats in them to improve your Westie’s skin health. So it can be hard to find a suitable dog food that solves this problem.

In comes Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin dog food.

While this dog food isn’t a limited ingredient diet made for allergies, it does contain carefully selected ingredients that aid sensitive tummies. All while giving them tons of nutrients that’ll help them thrive.

Chicken is the primary source of the 21% protein content. This protein-dense white meat is ideal for sensitive digestion formulas because it is easy to process and absorb. And it’s packed full of amino sugars that aid your canine’s joints too.

Rich amounts of prebiotic fibers come from beet pulp. This easily digestible ingredient has fantastic soothing properties that help combat symptoms. Omega fatty acids and vitamin E are included to improve your Westie’s skin and coat by encouraging the production of natural skin oils. 

This dog food is made in the USA using only the best possible ingredients from around the world. It’s designed to give toy and small breeds the optimal balance of nutrients they need to live a happy, healthy life.

What We Like
  • Carefully selected ingredients to help digestion and sensitive tummies
  • Chicken as the primary protein source
  • Added prebiotic fiber, omega fatty acids, and vitamin E
  • Uses whole fruits and vegetables for nutrients
  • Made in the USA
What We Don't Like
  • Contains foods that can trigger some allergies, like grains, corn, wheat, or soy.
  • 21% protein is slightly lower than other formulas
  • A limited ingredient diet may be better suited for allergies or intolerances

Best for Extra Energy
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Water Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 370 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, High-Protein
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Does your Westie have an active lifestyle? If so, they may need higher concentrations of protein to keep up with their excessive energy needs.

This high-protein dog food by Taste of the Wild uses a unique blend of buffalo, lamb, and chicken that all contribute to the impressive 32% protein content. This combination of high-quality meats ensures this grain-free diet offers vast amounts of long-lasting energy. 

It’s made with real fruits and superfoods for high amounts of vitamins and minerals. Plus, rich sources of omega fatty acids help maintain your West Highland’s beautiful coat and skin.

Taste of the Wild’s dog food contains an exclusive K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics. It includes powerful antioxidants and prebiotics to support your dog’s digestive system and help maintain a healthy immune system too. 

And to round it all off, added taurine aids the heart and helps prevent cardiovascular diseases like Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). [4]

This diet is made without grains, corn, wheat, or artificial ingredients like flavors or colors. Taste of the Wild creates their diets using quality ingredients from trusted local sources. So you know your lovable pup is getting the best possible meal.

What We Like
  • Impressively high 32% protein content to give active pups ample energy
  • Added taurine to aid heart function
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids to improve your canine’s coat and skin
  • Wide variety of meats included in the recipe
  • Contains superfoods, probiotics, and prebiotics for digestion
  • Excludes artificial ingredients, grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy
What We Don't Like
  • A high quantity of pea protein can be off-putting for fussy eaters
  • Includes common allergens like chicken and potatoes
  • Can cause diarrhea and gassiness

Best for Weight Control
Hill's Science Diet Adult Light Small Bites Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Pea Fiber, Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Protein, 5.5% Fat, 14% Fiber, 10.5% Moisture
  • Calories: 271 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Weight Control
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

If you’re worried about your West Highland Terrier’s weight, then Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites dry dog food is a fantastic choice. This weight control dog food has lots of high-energy ingredients that will prevent your canine from piling on extra pounds.

This diet has the lowest calories on our list. In fact, it has 18% fewer calories than other Hill’s Science Diet formulas. But it still has the same quality and flavor, with a wide variety of nutrients too.

Plus, it’s made in the USA, using only high-quality, natural foods. All while removing any harmful artificial ingredients.

Chicken meal is the primary source of the 20% crude protein content, but pea fiber contributes too. This easily digestible ingredient is low in fat and offers plenty of support to your Westie’s digestive system.

Vitamin A and E are supplemented into the diet to maintain a healthy immune system. And like other recipes in our list, Hill’s has included taurine to aid the heart.

271 calories per cup is all there is. So your West Highland Terrier will still be able to enjoy a regular-sized meal without compromising their weight loss efforts.

What We Like
  • Made using high-quality ingredients in the USA
  • Includes vitamin A and E for a healthy immune system
  • Only has 271 calories per cup
  • Chicken as the first ingredient
  • Contains 18% fewer calories than any other Hill’s Science Diet dog food
  • Ideal protein and healthy fat ratio
What We Don't Like
  • Large amounts of pea fiber may be unsuitable for allergies or intolerances
  • Can cause runny, or smell stool
  • Small bag size may make it an expensive diet to choose

Guide to Buying Dog Food for Westies

When finding the best dog food for your Westie, there are several things you need to consider. 

Things to Consider

There are so many dog foods to choose from, it can get somewhat confusing. When shopping for your canine’s diet, you’ll need to take into account their individual needs.


It goes without saying that as your Westie gets older, their nutritional needs will change. Luckily most formulas will follow AAFCO guidelines to support a particular life stage. [5

Westie puppies need high concentrations of protein to support their growth. They’ll also need healthy fats to support their growing joints and give them a luscious, shiny coat. Nutrients like calcium also play a role in making their bones strong.

Westie Adults need a diet with high amounts of protein and fat to support their fast metabolism. Carbohydrates can also aid their excessive energy needs if they have a particularly active lifestyle.

Westie Seniors don’t need as much protein as they get old. But they’ll still need moderate amounts. Plus, they need added nutrients to support their vulnerable immune systems. Glucosamine is also a great addition to their diet, which prevents joint conditions like osteoarthritis.


Some foods are widely recognized to trigger allergic reactions in dogs. Luckily, there are limited ingredient diets that take into account these common allergens and remove them.

Common food allergens for dogs are protein sources. Ingredients like beef, chicken, dairy, gluten, lamb, soy, and wheat are all guilty of causing adverse reactions. [6]

Generally, if you suspect your canine suffers from a food allergy, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to discuss next steps. They may make a recommendation of a limited ingredient diet if it’s needed. 

Calorie Needs

On average, a dog needs roughly 30 calories per pound of their body weight. For example, a medium-sized dog breed will need to consume approximately 800 calories a day. 

However, this is a rough guideline and doesn’t take into account your pup’s individual circumstances. 

Smaller breeds like West Highland Terriers have faster metabolisms than larger breeds such as Great Danes. They need a high-calorie diet to ensure they’re getting enough energy.

So, for example, a toy breed like Chihuahuas needs around ten calories more per pound of body weight than a Great Dane. Westies will also need food readily available throughout the day to prevent extreme dips in blood sugar levels. 

Dietary Fiber

Fiber plays an active role in improving your canine’s digestive system. Healthy dietary fiber sources like beet pulp are an excellent source of prebiotics, helping canines absorb the nutrients in their food.

Dogs do not need fiber in their diet for energy. However, these nutrients will grow healthy bacteria in your canine’s gut that aids the digestion process. And an optimal digestive system means they’re getting the maximum possible nutrients and support from their diet. 

Kibble Size

Some dog foods are explicitly made for small breeds and design the kibble for smaller mouths. And, this applies to Westies too.

West Highland Terriers can choke on their food easily if it is too big; they can struggle to swallow it. And even if they do manage to, it can be difficult for their body to digest it.

This can cause nutrient deficiencies because of a buildup of unchewed foods becoming lodged in your canine’s gut. So it’s always best to consider whether your Westie needs dog food with small kibble pieces.

West Highland Terrier

What to Look For When Buying Dog Food

Eating a diet that’s both balanced and nutritional is essential for your Westie’s health. They need the right amount of protein, healthy fats, and carbs to give them their energy. 


While carbohydrates aren’t a necessity, they can make an excellent source of energy, especially Westies. A West Highland Terrier’s diet should contain less than 20% carbohydrates.

And some carbohydrates are better than others. The best types of foods for carbohydrates include chickpeas, lentils, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. 

These complex carbohydrates slowly release glycogen into your pup’s body and take longer to digest, preventing any upset tummies.

Some Westies can struggle passing gas or have difficulty digesting their food. So your veterinarian may recommend a low carbohydrate or grain-free diet instead. Luckily we’ve covered some excellent choices above in our list.

Medium to High Protein

Protein should be the foundation of any canine’s diet. And their protein should be coming from real animal meats too. But because of a Westie’s high energy needs, they may need higher amounts of protein. 

Westies should eat a diet consisting of around 21% protein content to maintain their energy levels and muscle mass. 

Healthy Fats

Typically, we associate fat as a leading cause of obesity. However, fat content is a vital part of your Westie’s daily diet. In fact, nutritional fats help maintain your dog’s beautiful coat and act as energy sources too.

Some excellent sources of healthy fats include chicken fat, flaxseed, and fish oil. These high-quality fat ingredients will contain nutrients like omega fatty acids. Plus, they’re rich sources of vitamin D and E, which prevent eye and muscle deterioration. [7]

Vitamins and Minerals

Westies need a diet consisting of high-quality vitamins and minerals to live a healthy life.

However, there are so many vitamins and minerals out there, it can be challenging to establish which are beneficial for your West Highland Terrier. Focus on dog food rich in probiotics that improve digestion, vitamin A and E for vision, and omega fatty acids that maintain your dog’s coat, joints, and heart.

Most formulas will adhere to AAFCO recommendations. And all of the dog foods we’ve previously discussed are excellent sources of these valuable minerals and vitamins.

Ingredient to Avoid

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. And the same principle applies to dog food too. Some budget dog foods will include harmful ingredients to your canine. And naturally, as dog parents, we only want the best for them.

Here are a few ingredients you should watch out for.

Artificial Ingredients

These harmful ingredients are simply not needed in your canine’s diet. It’s best to avoid any food containing BHA, BHT, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, corn syrup, or nitrate.

Most of the time, if a diet contains artificial flavors, it doesn’t have enough fat. Healthy fats are what make a pup’s food taste so good. 

And artificial colors are entirely pointless in dog food. Our furry family members don’t care what their food looks like and can’t even see color the same as we do!

Instead of choosing a formula containing BHA or BHA, try to find one that uses natural preservatives like rosemary extract or vitamin E oil. Artificial preservatives like BHA are a common cause of digestive problems for dogs.

Corn syrups and nitrates can affect your dog’s ability to absorb the nutrients in their food. This can often lead to nutrient deficiencies and result in severe health conditions if left untreated. 

Unnamed by-products or Meat Meals

Putting it simply, would you eat something if you didn’t know what it is?

You may have seen that some dog foods will use meat meals or by-products. These are fine, provided they name the source. For example, “chicken meal” or “lamb meal.” In fact, meat meals offer canines highly concentrated protein sources; it’s just the meat with all the moisture removed. 

However, some foods will simply state “poultry meal” instead. It’s best to avoid these ingredients if you don’t know where they’re from.

The same applies to by-products too. By-products are an excellent, easily digestible protein source. However, if you’re unaware of the by-products’ origin, it may include unbeneficial parts of an animal carcass like its feathers. 

Final Verdict

Westies are an adorable breed that needs a high-quality diet with plenty of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. And these highly active pups need tons of vitamins and minerals to keep them happy and healthy.

Your West Highland Terrier deserves the best diet. So with that in mind, we highly recommend Wellness Small Breed Complete Health dog food.

It’s loaded with omega fatty acids and essential vitamins that help maintain your Westie’s skin and coat. And it includes turkey, chicken, and salmon to appeal to fussy eaters!

But if this doesn’t do it for you, you can’t go wrong with any of the foods we recommend on our list.

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James Fuller and Mollie

James Fuller

Founder & Chief Content Creator

I’ve owned a pet most of my life. In fact, I currently have both a cat, Milo, and a Jack Russel, Mollie! I’m the founder of Honest Whiskers. And my mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information.

Dogs and Cat
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Looking for pet food?

Save 30% on your next order

We have partnered with Chewy.com to give you the best deals on top brands of pet food. Simply click the button below and we’ll take you to their exclusive discount page!