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What to Feed a Westie That Is Not Eating

| Updated September 26, 2017

When your West Highland terrier will not eat its food, it can be a scary and stressful situation. There can be many reasons a dog will not eat, such as sickness, teeth problems or possibly it doesn't like the food. Nutrition is important for dogs, so even if your dog won't eat its dog food, you have to make sure it eats something. Several different foods can help your Westie stay healthy.

Wet Food

A Westie sometimes may not be eating its dry food because it is too hard and rough. Its teeth might be decayed and unable to chew the food, or the dry food might irritate its throat if it has a cold. Whatever the reason your dog is not eating its dry food, a simple solution is to try feeding it wet food. When you don't have any wet food on hand, mix a can of tomato soup or dog food gravy in with the dry kibble to soften it up.


If your dog is refusing to eat both wet and dry foods, but is still drinking, try feeding it some liquid foods. For example, give the dog a bowl of chicken broth, tomato juice or tomato soup, vegetable soup or any other type of soup that you have on hand. If the soup is thick, be sure to thin it with some water so that it becomes more palatable to the dog. Also, make sure that the soup or liquid is not high in sodium, because that can dehydrate the dog.

Home Cooked Food

When your West Highland terrier does not seem interested in dry kibble, wet dog food or liquids, try enticing it to eat by making some home-cooked food. While feeding a dog the food you eat can cause it to become spoiled, making sure it eats food is more important. Feed the dog cooked boneless, skinless chicken, turkey or beef. Add steamed vegetables to the meat so that the dog gets all of the nutrients it needs. Be sure to limit the salt in the foods. If the Westie eats the home-cooked food, continue feeding that to it and then gradually mix in its regular food until it is again eating the kibble.


A dog that refuses to eat anything at all can have a serious illness. Many dogs will refuse to eat when they have upset stomachs, but that typically will only last a day or so. If your Westie won't eat for more than two days, a trip to the veterinarian might be in order. A veterinarian can diagnose whatever illness might be causing the lack of appetite and can give the dog nutrients intravenously.