Supplies and Training

There are a few supplies that will help make the transition easier on both you and your puppy:

- Ideally, find out what the puppy is currently eating. If it's a complete and balanced diet specifically designed for puppies, buying the same kind of food will help you prevent your puppy from having tummy upsets. 

If you want to change diets, do it gradually-mixing progressively smaller quantities of your puppy's current food with progressively larger quantities of the new food. If your puppy experiences nausea or diarrhea for more than 24 hours, contact your veterinarian.

Your puppy will need two bowls, one for food and one for water. Ideally, they should be made of an easy-to-clean material, such as stainless steel. Another option is automated waters and feeders. If you are taking the puppy on the go, you may consider a Pet Canteen.

It's never too early for your puppy to get accustomed to wearing a collar. Once it's comfortable with the collar, you can try attaching the leash. Most puppies tend to scratch at a new collar. It is a new feeling, but they will become familiar with it in a very short time. Harnesses are also a good choice, especially for walking. Puppies/Dogs are less likely to slip out of a harness. We're often asked about collars versus harnesses. Really you should have both. For quick potty trips outside a collar/leash works the best. For hiking, long walks, etc- a harness/leash works the best.

Your puppy should have an identification tag, and wear it at all times. The tag should include the puppy's name, your address and phone number. You may also want to consider getting your westie puppy microchipped, this can be done by your vet.

Unless you want your puppy chewing on your personal items, it's a good idea to buy some more appropriate objects for it to chew. Just make sure that the toys are the appropriate size for your dog, and that there's nothing like buttons or snaps that can become detached and swallowed. Kong toys are great for westies.

Dog Crates
If you buy a crate that's large enough to accommodate your dog when it's full grown, it should last a lifetime. A GOOD SIZE FOR A WESTIE IS 30 LONG X 21 WIDE X 24 HIGH. MAKE SURE IT COMES WITH A DIVIDER PANEL. That way you can adjust the crate size as your puppy grows.

A crate is not only a safe place to keep your puppy when you're away from home, but it can also be a refuge for your dog. Place a washable bed on the bottom of the crate, then toss in a few toys as well. You can place your puppies' bed inside the crate or use a towel inside the crate until trained. Place the bed in the kitchen or wherever the family is, so the puppy gets accustomed to his/her own bed. A plastic travel kennel will come in handy for trips to the vet, dog park, and anywhere else you are going. It is safest for for puppies/dogs to be in kennels while in a vehicle.