How to Groom your Westie
As all Westie owners are aware, grooming is a big commitment that comes hand in hand with double coated breeds. Often daily maintenance is required to keep on top of painful matting and getting out any debris that is often picked up on walks. We recommend products to keep on top of those beautiful coats.
It is recommended Westies are groomed every 4-6 weeks, this involves trimming around the eyes, and ear clean (if needed), and give them a bath. They will also trim the coat and cut the nails to a comfortable length. These are all things many dog owners are not trained in or do not feel comfortable doing at home.
Grooming at home
Matted fur can be extremely uncomfortable for you dog, it can pull skin and be extremely painful in even mild cases, so a regular grooming routine with the correct brushes can keep on top of this. Grooming tip: The more you brush your dog regularly. The less chance your dog will have to have it's coat all shaved off at the dog groomers. Regular brushing gets rid of the old dead hairs. The under coat keeps Westies warm while the top coat keeps dirt out and is more waterproof to protect against rain and wind ect.
The adult Westie's coat doesn’t develop until around around six months to one year old, their grooming needs are not so demanding. Their coat will tend to be softer and finer than it will be when they get their adult coats, so a most brushes will be able to brush trough the coat with ease, it is important to start brushing as soon as possible to get your puppy used to the process, start of doing little and often and offer nice treats throughout to make a daunting new experience a positive one.
Adult Westie's coats are classed as harsh hair, thicker and sometimes more wiry. This is when brushing through them tangles becomes even more important.
Tools you will need:
- A comb
- Pin brush
- Slicker brush
- Matt splitter
Use the comb to work out any knots or tangles (particularly on the chest, armpits and belly) Start from the head to the tail.
Use the Slicker brush to gently work down to the skin itself, this type of brush removes old hair, small knots and it brilliant for working through Westie coats.
The slicker brush initially looks like a mean brush, it is however the best brush for getting out knots from Westie hair and if use correctly should be pain free. This is the type of brush most groomers will choose to use on your doodle professionally. When you use this brush you will need to use short brushing motions and I would recommend running the brush along the palm of your hand, trying different pressures so you understand how much pressure to apply when grooming your dog and understand how if will feel for them.
These steps should be done a couple of times a week, an intensive brushing routine could irritate skin so use your judgment based on the condition of the coat as to how much grooming you need to do that day, you may find a quick brush through with the pin brush will be adequate some days.
What if my dog is already matted?
If you notice you dog is starting to matt and it has become tight or close to the skin, brushing them can be even more painful and pull the hair out of the skin. So it is important you do this correctly, you can take a matt splitter and split the matt to make it easier to detangle without creating a bald patches . You can then take your slicker brush and and work lightly on the matt coming in from different angles to untangle the hair. If this is unsuccessful or the matt is covering a large area of skin it would be recommended to book an appointment with a professional groomer that will be able to remove the matting in the most comfortable way for your dog.
Find out what’s best for you and your dog. The brilliant thing about Westie's is they are all different and their coats will vary what may work for one, maybe different for another. Start with the tools above and alter you grooming routine to suit the requirement of your Westie's hairdo!