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How Much Does a West Highland White Terrier Cost? (2021 Price Guide)

Westies are fluffy, white dogs with active personalities. They make great dogs for active families with or without children. However, before you rush out to buy one, it is important to consider the overall cost of these adorable dogs.

The price tag on a Westie puppy usually isn’t that expensive. You can find puppies available for between $800 to $1,700 when you purchase from a breeder. When compared to most purebred dogs, this is actually quite inexpensive. Much of these savings are due to their smaller size. They simply cost less to breed, and those savings get passed onto you.

However, you also need to take their overall cost into account. Your Westie puppy will need supplies the second you bring them home, like a new collar and dog bed. They will also require regular expenses throughout the year, including food costs and vet bills. All of these things usually end up costing just as much as the puppy, if not more.

We’ll help you budget for these loveable dogs below.

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Bringing Home a New West Highland White Terrier: One-Time Costs

When you bring your puppy home, there are a few one-time costs you’ll need to consider. Of course, you have the actual price tag of the puppy. This can vary widely depending on where you get the dog. If you choose a high-quality breeder as we recommend, you can expect to pay about $800 to $1,700 for a puppy.

You also have to consider all the things your dog needs upon arriving at your home. You’ll need to purchase things like a dog bed and leash. While some supplies may be able to wait a week or two, there are many things that the dog will need before they even walk through the door.

Consider all of these one-time costs before committing to adopting a dog. You should budget for supplies alongside the price of a puppy.

west highland white terrier
Image Credit: anetapics, Shutterstock

Free

It is hard to find these dogs for free. They simply aren’t common enough in the United States for accidental litters to be popping up all the time. As this is the most common source of free puppies, most Americans are going to be out of luck.

There are also some problems that come with free puppies. Usually, they don’t receive the proper health care. If they did, they absolutely wouldn’t be free. Most dogs in these cases are not tested before they are bred, which can result in genetic conditions being passed onto the breed. The Westie is prone to a number of genetic problems, so this can be a serious issue.

Adoptions

  • $50-$300

Occasionally, you may find these dogs at a shelter. However, this is going to occur very occasionally. You have to get lucky. You may have a better chance by looking at breed-specific rescues in your area if one exists.

Shelter dogs are often much cheaper than going through a breeder. But they do have an unknown past, and most puppies were not carefully bred. These animals are often more prone to health problems, so budget accordingly.

The fee to adopt the dog is often tied to the amount of health care they require while at the shelter. Puppies are usually more expensive as they require more vaccinations. Adults with no health problems may be as cheap as $50. If the dog is not spayed or neutered, the rescue may ask you to pay for this before they send the dog home.

Breeder

  • $800-$1,700

The average price of a Westie puppy from a breeder is about $1,000. Of course, this will differ depending on the breeder’s experience level and the dog’s pedigree. If the puppy has already received their first vaccinations and other vet care, the price will often be somewhat higher.

When you purchase a puppy from a breeder, you’re often getting more than the puppy. Breeders often perform health testing on dogs before they are bred, which allows them to avoid breeding carriers of genetic conditions together. This, in turn, creates healthier puppies who are less prone to genetic problems. As Westies are prone to a number of genetic issues, this is very important.

Many puppies also receive extensive socialization. This extra socialization will help them adapt easier to new situations—like your home.

Initial Setup and Supplies

  • $205-$365

When you set out to purchase your puppy, you should plan for the supplies that the puppy will need as well. You should save for the price of supplies alongside the price of the puppy. The puppy will need a variety of items the moment they walk into your home, such as a dog bed and crate.

These items usually don’t cost very much when considered separately. However, a bunch of $10 purchases can add up quickly.

west highland white terrier standing on a rock formation
Image Credit: Morten Hjerpsted, Pixabay

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List of West Highland White Terrier Care Supplies and Costs

Food and Water Bowls $15
Dog Collars $10
Leash $20
ID Tag $5 – $15
Dog Bed $35 – $65
Dog Crate $40 – $80
Urine Odor Removal Spray $10
Toys $30 – $50
Brush (x2) $15 – $45
Shampoo $10 – $20
Toothbrushing supplies $10 – $15
Toenail Clippers $5 – $20

How Much Does a West Highland White Terrier Cost Per Month?

  • $76-$608 per month

On top of purchasing your dog and any supplies they need, you also have to consider their monthly upkeep costs. This will vary depending on where you’re located, as well as what specific care your dog needs.

For instance, dogs in need of a specific diet will cost more. Some puppies simply seem to go through toys faster than others, and some may need some extra training. Either way, it is important to budget appropriately for your canine. You likely won’t get it exactly right, but you will be able to get pretty close with our guide below.

West Highland White Terrier dog on grass
Image Credit: BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

Health Care

  • $61-$178 per month

Much of your monthly costs will involve your dog’s health care. This includes vet costs, grooming needs, and your dog’s food. We highly recommend investing in pet insurance, as these dogs are prone to some expensive genetic conditions. Be sure you choose an insurance plan that covers these problems, as some may specifically have them blacklisted to avoid paying for them.

As you might imagine, this dog’s costs will often be lower due to its small size. They don’t eat much, for instance. Their grooming costs will also be decently lower, as it simply takes less time to groom them.

Food

  • $11-$14 per month

You won’t be spending very much on their dog’s food. Even if you purchase very high-quality food, you can expect to spend about $14 a month. These costs will be concentrated, though. Due to their smaller size, they will not need a new bag of food every month. You’ll likely be purchasing a more expensive bag every few months.

Puppies are less expensive than adults. Their food is usually about the same price as adult food, but they eat far less. Expect prices to rise as your pet reaches full size.

Grooming

  • $12-$37 per month

Westies do require some level of professional grooming. If you brush them regularly at home, they likely won’t require that much professional grooming. However, it is difficult to take care of all their needs at home. Therefore, you’ll likely be taking them to the groomer at least once every 3 months. Some owners may prefer to do the minimum amount of grooming at home and take them more often.

A single session is likely to cost between $35 and $55. You won’t be spending money every month on a grooming session, but you should put a little aside each month to help pay for each visit.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $23-$67 per month

As smaller dogs, the West Highland White Terrier typically requires lower vet bills. They need lower doses of medication and often don’t require an extra set of hands during surgery (as they aren’t very heavy to pick up and move when unconscious). However, these dogs can be more expensive if they become chronically ill or if you live in a high-cost area.

Puppies will usually cost more during their first year, as they will need more vet visits and vaccinations. Puppies often need about three vet visits to get all of their needed vaccinations, while adults will only require a single check-up.

Pet Insurance

  • $15-$60 per month

We highly recommend getting pet insurance for this little dog. They are prone to some expensive health problems. For instance, patellar luxation can cost anywhere from $300 –$2,000 to treat. If your dog needs surgery, you’ll be at the higher end of this range. They are also prone to allergies, which can cost absolutely nothing all the way up to $2,000 if constant medication is required.

Compared to these costs, higher-end pet insurance is usually going to cost around $50 a month. Accident-only plans are much cheaper at about $15. Be sure to read the fine print of any plan before you commit to them to ensure that it covers problems that you’re worried about.

Environment Maintenance

  • $0-$400 per month

Like most dogs, there isn’t much environmental maintenance you’ll need to do with a Westie. They don’t have a litter box, and their “habitat” doesn’t need any special cleaning. However, these little active dogs can become destructive if they aren’t exercised properly, so it is in your best interest to keep them tired—or you may end up buying a new couch.

Often, you’ll be able to take care of their exercise needs by yourself. A walk in the morning and in the evening is all that your dog needs in most cases. However, if you can’t accomplish this, then you may need to hire a professional dog walker. These can be quite expensive, though, so we typically don’t recommend going this route if you can help it.

Dog Walker $0 – $400 per month

Entertainment

  • $15-$30 per month

Because these dogs are more active than most, they will go through toys somewhat quickly. However, they don’t tend to destroy toys like some other breeds of dogs do. This will keep your overall costs decently low since you won’t have to replace toys as quickly.

You also have to remember that these dogs are smaller, so they need smaller toys. These toys will be less expensive than larger toys. In fact, these canines will often be perfectly fine with some of the cheapest toys on the shelf, which usually end up being the smallest. Their jaws aren’t very powerful, either, so they often do just fine with stuffed and similar toys.

Still, you should plan on purchasing your dog a new toy or two every month. This will help replace any that have become lost or dirty, as well as the occasional broken toy.

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Total Monthly Cost of a West Highland White Terrier

  • $76-$608 per month

Most people will pay around $100 a month for their Westie. This includes your dog’s preventative vet bills, food, grooming, and toys. However, some people may find themselves spending closer to $600 a month.

Typically, owners on the higher end of this range either live in very expensive places (which leads to higher vet bills), or they depend on more services. For instance, hiring a dog walker to walk your dog 5 days a week will add up to $400 to your bills on average. This is extremely expensive and can easily raise your costs much higher than you anticipated.

Luckily, much of the higher costs are completely under your control.

Additional Costs to Factor In

There were a few things that we didn’t include in our monthly budget. For instance, emergency vet bills are not included—only preventative ones. This is because it is much more difficult to budget for illnesses and accidents. No one knows when they’re going to happen! However, you can bet that your dog will get sick at least once in its lifetime.

Your dog may also damage your furniture or home, though these costs will generally be lower due to their smaller size.

If you go on vacation, you’ll also have to budget extra for pet boarding or sitting.

Having a West Highland White Terrier On a Budget

While our monthly budget does suggest that some people may spend about $600 a week on their pet, most will spend far lower than that. It mostly depends on what services you decide to utilize. If you take your dog to the groomer monthly and hire a dog walker every day you’re at work, you can expect to spend quite a bit on your dog.

Luckily, all of these extras are completely under your control. You can decide how often to take your dog to the groomer, as well as whether the dog walker is really worth the extra 30 minutes of sleeping in every morning.

Of course, sometimes, you just can’t avoid these extra costs. Your dog may hate being groomed, and therefore you may much rather just take them to a professional. If you commute a long distance, a walk in the morning may not be possible.

west highland white terrier
Image Credit: bici, Pixabay

Saving Money on West Highland White Terrier Care

Many of the usual savings suggestions apply to your care of a Westie. Make use of outside services as little as possible. Brush your dog’s teeth so that they are less likely to need regular dental cleanings at the vet. Buy food in bulk to save a few extra dollars.

Most of these suggestions won’t save you that much money. However, it can all add up. If you’re careful with your spending, these dogs don’t have to cost that much to take care of.

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Conclusion

Westies aren’t terribly expensive. They cost about what you would expect for a smaller dog—which is significantly cheaper than a larger dog. They eat significantly less than most dogs and require smaller supplies. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t budget for them appropriately.

You can expect a puppy to cost about $1,000 when purchased from a qualified breeder. Choosing a breeder is highly recommended, as they perform health testing that can prevent genetic conditions from being passed onto their puppies.

You’ll also need to budget for all the supplies that your new puppy will need, which will cost about $300. After that, you can expect to pay about $76 to $608 a month. Your costs will likely be on the lower end unless you need to invest in many different services.

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Featured Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock