Small, hardy, and boisterous, the West Highland White Terrier, or Westie, is a unique breed. They are beloved dogs with a rich history dating back to the 1800s and are renowned for their perseverance, adaptability, and affection for their owners.
The average lifespan of a Westie is 13 to 15 years, and this post will discuss what you can do to give your beloved pet a long and healthy life.
What’s the Average Lifespan of a West Highland Terrier?
The longevity of Westies is one of their enticing qualities. Westies typically live between 13 and 15 years and have good health overall. According to a 2016 UK study, the average lifespan of Westies is 13.5 years, while the average lifespan of males is 13.8 years, and the average lifespan of females is 12.9 years.1 These figures, however, do not provide the whole picture. In fact, many Westies live longer than this with proper care and attention to their health needs.
Each Westie is a distinct individual, much like people. A dog’s lifespan can vary depending on several variables, including genetics, diet quality, exercise level, and general health care. When considering the possible lifetime of any dog, even Westies, these factors are essential to think about.
Why Do Some Westies Live Longer Than Others?
1. Feeding & Diet
Your Westie will stay healthier and make fewer trips to the vet with a complete, balanced diet. Keep in mind that they should always have access to fresh water.
You can feed your canine two measured meals per day. However, it’s best to go over the type and quantity of food with your veterinarian to be sure it’s right for your specific dog. To prevent obesity, keep an eye on treats and extra food.
The environment has a significant effect on the health and lifespan of a dog. A Westie’s lifespan can be shortened by environmental toxins, extreme heat or cold, and stressful events. So, keep this in mind to prolong the life of your Westie.
To keep their coat healthy and free of mats, Westies require regular grooming and brushing. Additionally, you should check for any signs of infection in their teeth and ears regularly.
For their health and happiness, Westies require daily exercise in considerable quantities. At least once a day, and more if you can, you should take them on walks. Additionally, they will benefit from toys that they can gnaw on or play with while you’re away from the house.
Regular veterinary care increases the likelihood that your Westie will live a longer, healthier life by enabling early identification and treatment of potential health conditions. West Highland Terriers need to get a checkup from the vet at least once a year. This will assist your vet in identifying any potential health issues as soon as possible when they are much simpler to cure.
In addition, Westies are viewed as more susceptible to diseases when they are 10 years and older. As a result, you should take them for check-ups more frequently at the veterinarian during this time.
The 3 Life Stages of a West Highland White Terrier
You will most likely meet your dog when they are still a cute puppy. Before they reach the age of 6 to 9 months, Westies are regarded as puppies. Your dog is going through a crucial phase in life right now. They’ll start interacting with people and can learn tricks, impulse control, acceptable behavior, and basic commands.
Your Westie should be almost fully grown by the time they turn 1 year old, and they’ll spend the following 2 years honing commands like “sit,” “down,” and “stay.”
Your Westie will be regarded as a senior dog after they turn 8–10 years old. At this age, they tend not to be as active as they used to be. They might experience issues including fading eyesight and joint pain, so they’ll need an appropriate diet for their life stage.
How to Tell Your West Highland Terrier’s Age
Why is it important to know your Westie’s age? Age affects so many facets of your pet’s quality of life, including diet, exercise, and medical needs, so it’s helpful to know your dog’s age. There are several observations you can make to assist you in knowing this, even if you might not be able to find an exact birthdate.
Similar to us, many dogs have age-related graying. This can differ widely from dog to dog, too. But generally, a senior dog is one with a gray muzzle. They may also have hair loss and a loss of skin suppleness or elasticity.
For an estimate of a dog’s age, veterinarians frequently look at their teeth. A Westie should have all of their adult teeth by the time they are 6 months old. Older canines may develop periodontal disease, and their teeth may become discolored or gather tartar. Also, bad breath in your senior pet may be a sign of deteriorating teeth caused by disease or tartar buildup.
In conclusion, the typical lifespan of a West Highland White Terrier is 13 to 15 years. Diet, exercise, and healthcare are just a few variables that can shorten or prolong a dog’s life expectancy. But well-cared-for Westies will generally live longer. Find out everything you need to do to keep your Westie healthy and content if you’re thinking about getting one.
Featured Image Credit: Bogdanovich Alexander, Shutterstock