13 Best Dog Foods for West Highland White Terriers 2023

By Kevin Myers | 2023 Update

This updated guide lists all of the best dog foods for West Highland White Terriers this year.

Is it a stuffed toy or a white ball of fur?

It’s a West Highland White Terrier, the most adorable creature to walk this planet.

With a brilliant white shaggy coat and an alert, wagging tail, it’s no wonder the West Highland White Terrier is one of the world’s favorite dog breeds. They are incredibly playful and adorable.

To keep your Westie in tip-top shape, you must understand how to feed them well. There are many options claiming to be the best, but choosing the right one for your dog is your responsibility as a pet parent.

We’ve curated a list of the best dog food for West Highland White Terriers based on our 40-point inspection list. Compare your top options below and go through the buyer’s guide to make an informed decision. Let’s dive in!

The Best Dog Foods for West Highland White Terriers Reviewed

Top PicksRatingTop Ingredients
#1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe
(Editor’s Choice)
4.9Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Barley, Fish Meal 
#2. Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Adult Health Dog Food4.8Anchovy and Sardine Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat
#3. Merrick Grain-Free Senior Chicken + Sweet Potato Dog Food4.8Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
#4. Nature’s Variety Instinct Small Breed Grain-Free Wet Dog Food4.8Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
#5. Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dog Food4.7Brewers Rice, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn, Chicken Fat, Brown Rice
#6. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Dog Food4.7Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils
#7. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food4.7Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Liver
#8. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Healthy Weight Dog Food4.7Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Lentils

#1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Barley, 5. Fish Meal 

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small & Toy Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,758 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 26% | Fat (min.) 15% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Puppy Chicken & Oatmeal Recipe is specially crafted dry puppy food tailored to meet the unique nutritional needs of small breed puppies. Real chicken, a high-quality protein source, is the first ingredient, helping your tiny furball grow strong and lean. Wholesome oatmeal provides a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates for sustained energy throughout their playful days.

What sets this formula apart is the inclusion of Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits – a precise blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants selected by veterinarians and pet nutritionists. These Bits support your small breed puppy’s overall well-being and immune system, setting them on the path to a vibrant and healthy life.

#2. Holistic Select Small & Mini Breed Adult Health Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Anchovy and Sardine Meal, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Chickpeas, 5. Chicken Fat

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small & Toy Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,643 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 35% | Fat (min.) 16% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

A top recommendation for Westies is this one-of-a-kind recipe that combines the taste and nutritional punch of anchovy, sardine, and chicken. While it is tasty enough for finicky dogs, it contains the nutrition needed to take good care of your baby inside and out.

Westies with sensitive stomachs will appreciate the powerful blend of probiotics, fiber, and enzymes. Moreover, it contains a healthy source of protease that allows your dog to utilize more protein from each portion.

#3. Merrick Grain-Free Senior Chicken + Sweet Potato Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Potatoes

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, Medium, Large Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,492 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 30% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry

As your Westie ages, some dog food ingredients become more important. These ingredients guard against disease and deterioration. Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free has it all – from chondroitin and glucosamine for healthy joints to L-carnitine for a healthy heart.

Probiotics and prebiotics aid digestion in the sensitive stomach of aging Westies and support an effective metabolism.

#4. Nature’s Variety Instinct Small Breed Grain-Free Wet Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small & Toy Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,033 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 8.5% | Fat (min.) 4.5% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 78%
  • Form: Wet Food

Even the pickiest WHW can’t resist this offering. High in animal proteins, this canned formula is the most tempting thing you will ever put in a Westies bowl.

Each can offer a delicious meal full of all the essential nutrients in perfect balance. This recipe includes quality poultry proteins plus fruits and vegetables with no grains to upset your Westie’s stomach. And because it’s wet food, your dog will benefit from added hydration.

#5. Royal Canin West Highland White Terrier Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Chicken By-Product Meal, 3. Corn, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Brown Rice

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small & Toy Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,723 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 19% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 3.3% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Royal Canin is a highly trusted dog food brand because of its prescription and breed-specific diets. This food is formulated specifically for West Highland White Terriers. The exclusive kibble shape and size are customized for your Westie’s small, square-shaped jaw, making it easier for them to pick up and chew their food.

It has glucosamine to ensure healthy joints throughout your dog’s life,  and the kibble design accommodates the unique shape of a WHW’s jaw and muzzle. Your Westie will chew better and absorb more nutrients out of every bite.

#6. Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Venison, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Garbanzo Beans, 4. Peas, 5. Lentils

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Extra Small & Toy, Small breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,719 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32% | Fat (min.) 18% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

I cannot have a list of the best dog foods for any breed without at least one Taste of the Wild variant. I recommended the Appalachian Valley recipe containing novel proteins from sources such as venison, lamb, and ocean fish for small dog breeds like the West Highland White with sensitive digestion.

The K9 strain probiotic blend is excellent for your sensitive dog’s stomach. You will see an improvement in your dog’s overall appetite. Plus, there is plenty of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in this recipe to make a visible difference in coat health.

#7. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Turkey, 3. Flounder, 4. Whole Mackerel, 5. Chicken Liver

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,940 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 38% | Fat (min.) 18% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Form: Dry

Getting your Westie to gain weight isn’t easy due to its highly energetic nature. That’s why we recommend the caloric-dense Orijen Original Formula. It features around 473 calories per cup of food to promote weight gain. Most of this weight will consist of muscle mass, as the food delivers 38% protein content sourced from chicken, flounder, and turkey meat. 

Sensitive Westies are also in luck, as the food is grain-free and contains lentils and chickpeas to fuel your dog’s energy. The food also delivers a range of micronutrients and a mouth-watering taste with fresh pumpkins, apples, pears, cranberries, and other fruits. The kibble is coated with freeze-dried meat, so your dog gulps down the entire meal in no time.

#8. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Small Breed Healthy Weight Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Turkey, 2. Turkey Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Lentils

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small & Toy Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,489 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 34% | Fat (min.) 13% | Fiber (max.) 8.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Weight control formulas typically contain tons of grains to trigger weight loss. But not Wellness Core. Their Healthy Weight Formula is grain-free and still promotes weight loss, making it perfect for Westies with sensitive digestion. It also contains premium-quality turkey meat to maintain muscle mass and keep your dog sufficiently active.

Apart from that, you will find a range of superfoods, including apples, broccoli, salmon oil, and blueberries, for vigorous health. It’s fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin to prevent joint problems later in life. Another significant benefit for sensitive dogs is probiotics, which improve gut health and enhance nutrient absorption.

#9. Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care Grain-Free Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Peas, 3. Potatoes, 4. Pea Starch, 5. Salmon Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,476 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 12% | Fiber (max.) 6% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

The West Highland White Terrier is a small breed that loves eating but is picky for two main reasons: a) it has a refined sense of taste, and b) it has a sensitive tummy.

Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Salmon & Potato seems to overcome both objections. Even if yours is among the most sensitive terriers out there, you can safely feed it this simple formula containing the patented LifeSource Bits. The salmon-based recipe doesn’t contain beef or chicken. It is also free of artificial flavor or color. What’s more: Your pal will get all the nutrients and antioxidants to boost immunity.

#10. Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Sensitive Support Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Salmon, 2. Salmon Meal, 3. Dried Potatoes, 4. Lentils, 5. Chickpeas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,702 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 3.5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

Being prone to food allergies, a limited-ingredient diet like Nutro LID Sensitive Support is the perfect option for West Highland Whites. This one is a seafood-based recipe featuring only salmon meat, lentils, chickpeas, sunflower oil, and micronutrient supplements. These ingredients provide your dog with a holistic diet to remain lean, active, and at optimal weight.

Foods commonly known to cause allergies in dogs, such as grains, dairy, corn, wheat, red meat, and soy, are eliminated from the recipe. This food packs 426 kcal per cup, so even the most energetic Westies have an energy reserve. 

#11. My Ollie Lamb Dish


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Lamb, 2. Butternut Squash, 3. Lamb Liver, 4. Kale, 5. Rice

  • Life Stage: All
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,804 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 10% | Fat (min.) 7% | Fiber (max.) 2% | Moisture (max.) 74%
  • Form: Frozen

Please your dog’s taste buds with a highly nutritious fresh food diet from My Ollie. The brand offers best-in-class meals for your canine made from fresh human-grade ingredients like lamb meat, cranberries, butternut squash, and more. Each meal is made according to AAFCO standards and is free from fillers and artificial flavors.

However, what makes My Ollie genuinely unique is that they create a customized diet plan for your West Highland terrier with the help of expert nutritionists. It will help your dog reach peak health, fitness, and weight in weeks. And let’s not forget that these meals are delivered to your doorstep regularly and can be frozen to serve later.

#12. FirstMate Small Bites Chicken Meal LID Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Potato, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Chicken Fat, 4. Whole Blueberries, 5. Potassium Chloride

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small & Toy Breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,465 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 25% | Fat (min.) 14% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

This small-breed recipe includes a variety of delicious ingredients such as blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries and features free-range chicken as an ideal source of protein. 

It has a variety of recipes that not only offer excellent nutritional value to your dog but also increase the palatability of the food. The grain-free diet offers the benefits of antioxidants, such as a healthier urinary tract, a stronger immune system, better memory function and eyesight, and many more.  

#13. Purina Pro Plan Adult Small Breed Chicken & Rice Dog Food


Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice, 3. Corn Gluten Meal, 4. Poultry By-Product Meal, 5. Beef Fat

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, Extra Small & Toy breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,012 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 29% | Fat (min.) 17% | Fiber (max.) 3% | Moisture (max.) 12%
  • Form: Dry

Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Formula is an outstanding match for highly active west highland terriers with tons of calories, prebiotic support, and smaller kibbles. The food is built according to the dietary needs of working breeds and contains real chicken protein to support muscle repair. It’s also full of calories at 448 per cup to keep up with your dog’s intense daily activities. 

Another significant benefit of this food is the presence of prebiotic fiber. It strengthens the sensitive stomach of Westies and prevents frequent diarrhea and vomiting. The food also increases bone density with calcium to reduce the risk of fractures and joint problems in the long run. Smaller kibbles make the food easier for Westies to eat, and the crunchy texture improves dental hygiene by scraping off plaque.

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick

The Best Dog Food for West Highland White Terrier – A Buyers’ Guide

West Highland White Terriers are a small-sized breed that is not too active but not too lazy either. That is something I can say about most terrier breeds, especially the ones seen too often in dog shows. It is safe to say that good quality small-breed dog foods on the shelves are usually good for your Westies.

Still, as I always emphasize, every dog is different. You need to understand the specific needs of your fur baby to find the right food for it.

The Important Thing

The West Highland White Terrier’s stunning white coat is not just a signature trait but also a crucial factor to bear in mind when selecting the right diet for your furry friend.

  • Feed the Coat – Compared to other furry breeds, West Highland White Terrier’s coat is coarse and thick. It needs a lot of amino acids and fatty acids to keep that coat thick and shiny. While a Westie won’t shed a lot, a lack of these ingredients can lead to excessive shedding. So look for ingredients such as flaxseed, fish oil, and seafood.
  • Food the Skin – Unlike the coat, your Westie’s skin is softer. You need to maintain healthy skin to ensure a healthy coat. Try to avoid ingredients that can cause skin sensitivities and allergies. Grain-free is a good way to go. A reasonable amount of EPA and DHA is also essential for healthy skin and coat.

A Good Balance of Protein and Fats

Two of the most important nutrients in the West Highland White Terrier diet are protein and fat. Since the breed has moderate to moderately high activity levels, it doesn’t need as much fat as highly active breeds.

However, the requirement changes during different life stages because their metabolic rate changes with age. Here is how you can maintain a good balance throughout your terrier’s life.

  • 0 to 6 months– During these golden months, your pup’s metabolic rate will be extremely high. It will need more proteins to support healthy growth and more fat because of a faster metabolism. Choose a puppy food with around 22% protein and 8% fat.
  • 6 months to 8 years– It won’t take long for your Westie to reach its adult size i.e. around 11 inches. Recipes with around 18 percent protein are ideal for adult West Highland White Terriers. If your baby is active, it will need more energy, and you must provide them with a minimum of 12 percent fat. However, for dogs that aren’t too active, 5 percent fat should suffice.
  • 8 Years+–  A well-cared West Highland White Terrier can live up to 13 years. However, it will enter its senior years after the age of seven. It is a good idea to start transitioning to a senior diet at that age. Good senior dog foods for West Highland White Terrier should have glucosamine to ensure bone and joint health. Also, look for heart-healthy ingredients such as Taurine.

Picky Eaters

I think by now, we both know that West Highland White Terriers are picky eaters. Some may only settle for premium options since day one; others might get bored with their regular diet. If your Westie refuses to eat, that is a good indication that you need to change its food.

I recommend BARF because picky eaters usually prefer raw as it is tastier as per their palate. However, if you are not ready for the transition to raw, you can top your pet’s kibble with a bit of premium wet food to make it appear and taste-tempting.

That’s all you need to know about your West Highland White Terrier’s diet and food. Whenever you choose a new dog food, don’t forget to follow the proper translation process to make it easier and safer for your baby.

Now, let’s move on to the rest of my list of best dog food for West Highland White Terriers.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does West Highland White Terrier need small-breed dog food?

Yes, according to the AKC, the West Highland White Terrier is a small breed dog that only grows up to 10 or 11 inches. Ideally, their weight should not exceed 20 pounds. High-quality small-breed dog food allows them to maintain their weight and energy levels.

How much should a West Highland terrier eat??

An average adult Westie requires around 1.5 cups of quality kibble a day, divided into two or three meals. Westies can be prone to overeating, and so you need to control their portions.

How many calories do West Highland White Terriers need in a day?

An adult Westie can need anywhere from 450 kcal to 700 kcal a day, depending on their activity level. A small breed terrier, like your Westie should get 10 percent of those calories from protein, around 5 percent from fiber, and 50 percent from carbs and other sources.

Is West Highland White Terrier a high-maintenance breed?

While Westies may seem like a high-maintenance breed, they aren’t. Except for the need to keep their white coat bright and clean, you won’t have to worry about a lot. They don’t shed a lot, they don’t get sick too often, and they are easy to train.

Is a grain-free diet good for my West Highland White Terrier?

A grain-free diet is generally recommended for all dogs because it eliminates ingredients often cited as allergens. A dog food without grains is likely to have higher quality ingredients such as greener sources of carbs and fiber.

Is the BARF diet a good choice for West Highland White Terrier?

BARF is the closest you can get to your dog’s ancestral diet. It is also a good recommendation for a West Highland White Terrier. It can help you control many common health issues such as indigestion and flatulence in your Westie.

Do West Highland White Terriers have a sensitive stomach?

Yes, West Highland White Terriers have sensitive tummies. They are prone to indigestion and diarrhea.  Colitis and pancreatitis are also common among Westies. It is why Limited ingredient and Grain-free dog foods are best for this breed.

Can a West Highland White Terrier become obese?

This study places Westies in the category of dogs most susceptible to obesity. Dogs that aren’t active are more likely to gain extra pounds.  You need to control their diet as well as lifestyle.

What is the best protein source for West Highland White Terrier?

West Highland White Terriers generally prefer poultry proteins such as chicken and turkey. However, some Westies might have extremely sensitive stomachs and it is better to choose a novel protein source such as duck or venison.

Are West Highland White Terrier picky eaters?

West Highland White Terrier loves to eat and usually clean their entire bowl, but they are fussy about what they eat. They have a refined sense of taste and will only settle for a premium option that tastes and smells delicious.

Are treats and bully sticks good for West Highland White Terriers?

Treats and chews are never a good idea for your dog because most of them can do more harm than good. According to research conducted on a number of random samples off the shelf, most bully sticks carried too many calories plus plenty of bacteria.


Choosing the best dog food for West Highland Terriers is a significant responsibility for any dog owner. These lively and charming dogs deserve a diet that supports their unique needs, including their skin and coat health, overall well-being, and energy levels. By prioritizing high-quality ingredients, balanced nutrition, and consulting with your veterinarian, you can ensure that your Westie remains happy, healthy, and full of life for years to come. Remember that each dog is an individual, so it’s essential to monitor their response to any new food and make adjustments as needed to keep them thriving.