Planning to purchase a West Highland White Terrier, or Westie is a big decision and one that should not be entered into lightly. Owning a Westie is a huge responsibility. Often potential owners see a tiny puppy and forget that this small, little bundle of energy will one day be a full grown animal that needs constant exercise, attention and love; as well as training, food, and healthcare.
Owning a Westie is a wonderful, rewarding experience but people need to realize that there are right and wrong reasons for owning such a unique breed of dog. There are right and wrong decisions to make about West Highland Terriers largely based on your living situation, as well.
The Right Reasons:
There are many right reasons for purchasing a Westie, depending on your living space, lifestyle, and financial status; both now and in the future.
A Westie requires love, attention, space, and exercise, as well as veterinary care and good quality food. If you are able to provide these factors for the animal, then purchasing a Westie is probably a good decision. Remember, however, that a Westie will usually live at least 12 years. Know that this purchase is a lifetime commitment and ensure that you are financially and emotionally able to take on this commitment.
Some of the right reasons for purchasing a Westie include:
You want to participate in daily exercise with a pet that will always be ready to go for a walk, romp or run, no matter what the weather. You want to be responsible for caring for another living thing that will provide you with years of unconditional love and attention. You can make the time commitment to train and work with your Westie both now and in the future. You have the ability to provide food and healthcare as required to your Westie.
The average cost of raising a Westie is approximately $250.00 per year in vet fees plus an additional $50.00 per month in dog food. For those that have Westie that require special food types, the cost of feeding can be closer to $100.00 to $150.00 per month. Flea and tick medications and heartworm medicine usually costs $30.00 to $50.00 per month. These costs are per dog, so families with more than one Westie will pay significantly more per year.
You want to have a companion to spend time with that will just be happy to be with you.
You have spent time researching breeds and have determined the Westie will best suit your lifestyle, both now and in the future.
You have researched breeds, rescues, or private owners and have determined the best purchase to make.
You have the space, both inside and outside, and have the room to exercise and house a Westie in a quality home environment.
You have completely thought through the purchase, consulted with other family members, and are in agreement that getting a Westie is a good decision.
Ensuring that other family members agree with your decision is an important part of the right reasons to get a Westie.
The Wrong Reasons:
Sometimes people end up owning pets for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, these wrong reasons often lead to loving pets being left at rescues or shelters or simply being given away to another owner. Try to avoid purchasing or taking a Westie from someone else for one of the wrong reasons listed below:
Purchasing a Westie based on emotion rather than planning and thought.
All Westie puppies are cute and adorable, but they are not perfect. Rescues for Westie are full of dogs that involved more responsibility than their former owners were willing to take for owning a dog. A HUI, research on the breed would have avoided this problem.
Purchasing a trendy breed.
Different movies, videos, or even various celebrities posing with a Westie can influence individuals in purchasing a particular breed. Buying a Westie without knowing what the breed is like in personality or training demands is not a good idea. Avoid purchasing the breed that is currently in fashion.
Purchasing a Westie to send a message about yourself.
Many breeds have become popular simply due to their reputations. The truth is that this breed needs an experienced and mature owner who wants more than a status symbol.
Feeling guilty about a Westie and taking it home.
Sometimes people are pressured into buying or accepting a Westie even when they know they cannot properly care for it.
Taking home a Westie at the wrong time in your life.
Don’t get Westie when your financial situation or lifestyle will not accommodate for the responsibility of caring for the pet.
Purchasing a Westie for a small child or family member.
They likely will not be able to care for it on their own if you are not able to provide assistance and support for the pet’s training and care.
Research and an honest evaluation of why you want a Westie will help avoid these potential pitfalls.