Most Westies can keep their coat clean on their own, but no matter how much they do it, you should make sure that their coat is always clean and well groomed. Not only because it makes them look beautiful, but it also prevents many health problems. Grooming is not a hard job; it only requires a bit of time, training, and patience. And if you regularly groom your Westie, it will never be out of control, and the job will be more comfortable over time.
Just like humans, grooming includes teeth care, hair and nail trimming, cleaning ears, and brushing their hair. By doing this at least twice a month, you will make sure that your Westie is in good shape. And if you include these steps in your Westie's routine from an early age, it could be considered as quality time for you and your best friend, and it will improve their overall mental health.
Brushing your Westie is simple; you will just need to keep your dog calm and get the right tools. Long-haired breeds like Westies need to be brushed weekly, if not twice a week. If the coat gets tangled more often, then you will need to brush it every day. Long-haired breeds require a pin brush. It's considered the right choice because its bent-wire bristles grip the Westie's undercoat and can remove all the loose hair without any pain. The first step in knowing how to groom a westie is to start from the skin and brush away from it. That way, you will remove the loose hair and spread the natural oil in their skin. Always brush gently and in the direction the hair grows. Brushing backward can be irritating. Getting the right brush can make a huge difference for your dog’s coat.
It's important to be gentle and untangle the hair without breaking it in order to not cause any pain. And if you find any mats, you can use a comb to remove them gently. You can use a coat conditioner to ease the process of removing mats or a wide-toothed comb to get through them and brush them away. If you're not able to remove the mats, you can cut them with scissors, but make sure that they're not too close to the skin. If all else fails, you can take your dog to a professional to carefully remove those mats.
Along with brushing, your dog will need trimming from time to time. Before trimming your Westie's hair, you will need to get curved scissors, straight grooming shears, thinning shears, and rounded safety tip scissors. Once you got the tools, start by deciding how long you want the hair to be. Make sure to trim the areas that can easily get tangled, especially in the tail and belly. You can use your fingers to measure the length so that all the hair is the same length. Start trimming the area around the neck first and work your way to the tail. You can use the straight shears for that area. Make sure that you cut only where you can hold the hair and see through it in order to avoid any injuries.
If your furry friend doesn’t walk on hard surfaces a lot, you would need to cut the nails at least once a week. Dogs usually don't like clipping nails, and it could be the hardest part of grooming. But if you included nail trimming routine from an early age and praise your Westie a lot while doing so, you will be able to trim the nails without any hassles. To cut your dog's nails, you should first hold the paw gently and steady and start snipping off a small part at the end of each nail. While clipping the nail, you should stay away from the red part. If you accidentally cut it off, you might have a bloody mess, in which case you should stop the bleeding immediately and postpone the clipping to another day.
Ears that are not taken care of can collect dirt, debris and may cause infection. Cleaning your Westie's ear is an important part of your grooming routine. You should clean and check your dog's ears regularly to prevent any infections. In order to clean the ears, use an ear cleaning solution designed for your pup. Pour some drops of the solution in the ear and massage it gently. Allow your dog to shake their heads if they want to. After rubbing the ear with the cleaning solution, clean any excess dirt with a cotton ball. If you find any redness inside or around the ear, or your dog is shaking or scratching his ears frequently, then a visit to the vet is needed.
Brushing your dog’s teeth might be a bit difficult for you if you don’t apply it to your grooming routine from an early age. If you have recently decided to brush your dog’s teeth, you should first let them get used to your fingers being inside their mouth. Most dogs don’t like it, so in order to ease the process for you, dip your fingers in peanut butter or anything they like and let them eat it while you rub your fingers along the sides of the gums and the teeth. Repeat this process a couple of times until they're comfortable with it. After that, introduce toothpaste. Have a lot of treats beside you while you're doing this and praise your Westie a lot, so they feel comfortable and accept the teeth brushing routine.
If you’re a new Westie owner, you should know that grooming is an essential thing that you should include in your dog’s routine. And you should know all the details and steps on how to properly groom your furry friend. It’s super important because it shows that you’re taking care of its health and will prevent transferring any infections to you or your family. If your dog doesn’t like grooming, you can seek professional groomers once a month to help you with this process and teach you what to do in between grooming appointments.