West Highland White Terriers (or Westies for short) were reproduced not because of their capability to hunt foxes and vermin but rather because of their beautiful white color － or at least, that is what history is telling us.
According to historians, Westies were born because of a field mishap. Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch wrongly shot his Cairn terrier, believing it was a fox.
Out of destruction, he got a reason to reproduce a terrier that can quickly stand apart in a crowd of fauna and flora. That is the reason why Westies have only one color.
Some Similarity to the Scottish White
Despite their history, Westies are the favorite for aspiring pet dog owners not just because of their pure, lamb color but also due to the fact that they are the most easily controlled amongst all terriers.
They are the best balance of sweet personality and self-reliance, and compliance and persistence. They can be trained to be kind to complete strangers (except for robbers) easier than other breeds in the terrier family.
Not to mention that they are quite budget-friendly. West Highland White Terrier price can go as low as $600 to as much as $1,400 depending upon the breeder.
This cost may or may not be affected by the extra additions to the purchase such as initial veterinary care, family pet accessories, grooming expenses, and health guarantee, to name just a few.
In buying a Westie, nevertheless, the market price is not the only expenditure you need to stress over. Here are some more of them.
Shelter – Westies can do well in both apartment or condo and family house living as long as they have sufficient exercise and play to keep them from being bored and getting destructive.
They are not attention hunters. Separation stress and anxiety is not an issue for their breed. Nevertheless, they are extremely motivated to be kept inside instead of tied on a leash on the outside.
Aside from a fur coat that is not able to hold up against natural elements, Westies are extremely susceptible to dig and catch animals underneath the ground. If you do not want them to make a mess on your well-trimmed yard, they should be left inside the house.
And to make sure that your pet has a specific area it can call “home”, buy a big dog crate. It can be utilized not just as its resting location throughout the night but also as its refuge as you let off steam due to your puppy’s bad activities.
For a Westie that normally matures to 9-11 inches in height and weighs as much as 13-22 pounds, a 30″ dog cage suffices to accommodate it.
You can purchase a medium pet cage for a price of around $27. Rates go higher depending upon the materials the product is made from.
Transport expenses – Shipping of West Highland White Terriers might or might not be included in the services your preferred breeder offers. To be on the safe side, take a look at trustworthy family pet travel services out there, and get through the documentation yourself.
Many airline companies charge depending upon the location and/or the full distance. For flights within the continental United States, you should be ready to pay a minimum of $350 to $875 per family pet.
For abroad travel, rates can go from $450 to $3,500. Some services do not yet include the extra charges (customs, clearances, travel cage, materials) required to make sure that your animal will be protected throughout the flight.
Certification – Some breeders will only apply for restricted registration for their newborn puppies. This implies that the litter can not be reproduced to make more litters.
If you are not a breeder and you do not plan to have your animal breed, you will not need to stress over this. However, if you do, there might be a long process to take into account.
To find out more about the documentation required to get complete registration, ask your breeder about it. Also, prepare to pay a minimum of $35 (the registration cost set by the American Kennel Club, the most acknowledged kennel club in the United States) for each puppy you register.
Obedience Training – West Highland White Terriers are quite easy to train, thanks to their intelligence and a desire to learn things. You can in fact train them yourself.
Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that terriers tend to be fast and unstable specifically if they do not know what’s in it for them to learn and follow all those commands.
Aside from that, they are quick to respond when they do not like what they are going through even more if reinforcement is done through punishable techniques.
If you believe that you do not have the perseverance to deal with an independent, persistent terrier (even if it’s your own), pay the cost of an expert pet dog instructor to do the obedience training for you.
Many camps charge $450 to $800 depending upon the setting of the training. For house training, they tend to charge more.
Food – West Highland White Terriers have no distinct factors to consider when talking about their food. You only have to guarantee that the formula consists of enough nutrients to keep them healthy and happy.
A bag of top quality pet food made particularly for smaller breed pets like the Westies can cost a minimum of $29 and it can only last for 10 days.
It can last for even less time depending upon the particular puppy’s calorie requirements. Obviously, the more active the dog, the more food it needs to sustain its everyday way of life.
Veterinary Care – Westies can go through a host of illnesses like Legg-Calve-Perthes illness and lung fibrosis which they can get through genes or the environment.
Some, such as patellar luxation, can be remedied utilizing surgical treatment. Some veterinarians advise on the median patellar luxation stabilization surgical treatment that can cost from $950 to $1,100 depending upon the clinic. The cost might or might not include the professional charge.
Other illnesses like craniomandibular osteopathy can be identified early on. As soon as you get your puppy, have a veterinarian examine it right away. A regular examination visit can cost about $60 per pup.
Another way to prevent illnesses is to have your pet vaccinated. A vaccination shot can cost around $19 to $33 each depending upon the kind of shot you wish to get.
Grooming Requirements – This breed is hypoallergenic. This means that it can be kept by those who struggle with allergic reactions created by the Westie’s coat when groomed frequently.
Fortunately, grooming it is pretty easy. A basic brushing of the coat will be enough to keep the coat healthy and shiny. An $8-brush can do the trick.
The beautiful white color, nevertheless, might be hard to maintain. Some owners suggest a handful of options to keep it that way. An inexpensive, easy method is to utilize child wipes to clean up the fur completely at the very first sign of dirt. They will only cost around $4.
Non-food-related Accessories – To keep them entertained and to expel their excess energy, Westies should be taken for routine walks around your neighborhood for at least thirty minutes each day.
For this, you will need a good-quality harness and leash. Without them, your puppy would zoom rapidly to any little animal it can see and you will not have the ability to keep the pace.
A harness and leash made by a trustworthy maker can cost a minimum of $35 and $11, respectively.
Before You Purchase a Westie
Another important thing you should think about before spending lavishly on these white cuties is your time. Westies might not be prone to separation stress and anxiety. Nevertheless, they still need a lot of love and attention from their owners. If you are not able to provide that, then reconsider getting one.
Lastly, you need to also think about the duty of keeping an animal in general. Just like people, they eat, sleep, pee, and poop at specific times and places.
However, unlike us, they do not have a good sense of where to do all of them. They need to be taught, trained, and reminded repeatedly where they can do these activities.