Westies have very dry skin and coat so using a harsh shampoo or chemicals will often cause skin irritation and scratching. Westies are neat and clean little dogs that require little bathing. Usually brushing and cleaning with grooming chalk or cornstarch with keep them clean. But for the Georgia "clay-diggers" who are bed-sleepers, a bath in a mild, non-detergent shampoo will do the trick. Oatmeal or mild whitening shampoo is usually very soothing, cleaning without irritation.
TO DO A COUPLE TIMES A WEEK:
** Brush and comb the coat. Be sure to get down to the base of the coat close to the skin and get out any knots.
** Clean teeth using brush and dog toothpaste. Do not use paste made for people because the Westies do not spit it out.
TO DO EVERY FEW WEEKS:
** Trim or file the nails. Do not forget the dew claw (thumbnail) on the front feet.
** Use scissors to trim the hair around the feet and between the pads on the bottom of the feet.
** Bathe with non-detergent shampoo as needed - but not too often!
TO DO EVERY MONTH:
** Remove discolored hair from the inside of the ears by pulling them out.
** Trim the tips of the ears on the sides, front and back no more than the size of your thumbnail. Use scissors.
** Trim hair for cleanliness around the anus.
** Use thinning shears to trim the tail so it looks like an upside-down carrot.
** Do not forget heartworm and flea preventatives.
TO DO EVERY 6-8 WEEKS:
** Use clippers (#5 or #6 blade) to cut hair on neck, chest and rear to 1/4" or 1/2" long. Leave hair longer at chest between legs (see grooming chart).
** Use clippers on the neck and back to shorten coat to 3/4" - 1". Be careful to blend the sides into the skirt so there is no demarkation line.
** Use scissors and thinning shears to shape head and legs.
** Use blunt-end scissors to trim the hair between the eyes.
TO DO EVERY 6-12 MONTHS: