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Marilyn took Willow to the barn today and the main thing on the agenda was to give the girl a bath. There are washing stalls there with hot and cold running water, floor drains and everything else you might need to bathe a West Highland Terrier. The only drawback is that there are no tables in the stalls so its necessary to crouch down while bathing the dog.

I’m leading off with a pretty good video I found on youTube about dog bathing. The dog in the video is a Yorkie, but almost all of what is in it applies equally to Westies.

There are a couple of tricks we have picked up from the horse world that make it easier to keep a West Highland White gleaming and tangle free.

We used to have a white horse and he loved to lie in his stall using a pile of manure for a pillow. He was always covered with greenish-yellow stains that were very hard to remove. Our worries were over once we discovered the joys of betadine. Betadine is an iodine solution which is used as a surgical scrub. It’s a brownish-red color and sudses very lightly. You’d expect it to stain a white animals coat, but the truth is the exact opposite. It removes almost any stain (we’ve never had a failure with it) and it rinses out clean, leaving the coat a gleaming white. You can buy it in any drugstore and its cheap, so try it out. I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results.

The other tip is a way to keep your Westie’s coat untangled, fluffy and easy to comb. Go to your nearest tack store and pick up a bottle of mane conditioner. A couple of brand names are Show Sheen and Mane and Tail. Just comb it through your dog’s coat while its still damp and it will keep the coat tangle free and soft for weeks. Go ahead and try it.

One last note: don’t bathe your Westie too often. They have problems with skin dryness and allergies. I’d say bathe them at most once a month. Leave it longer if you can. One of the great things about these dogs is that their fur is mostly self-cleaning. Even when they are muddy, once they dry out most of the dirt falls off and a simple brushing takes care of the rest. West Highland Terriers do have a mild doggy smell, but don’t contstantly bathe the dog trying to get rid of it. All you’ll do is cause skin problems. A really strong smell can be the sign of a health issue and if it persists is probably worth a trip to the vet.

I hope you enjoy the video. Talk to you soon.

Index of other westie videos on this site

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