Diet & Nutrition Guide: Jack Russells

Jack Russell Feeding Recommendations

The Jack Russell Terrier was initially bred to chase and flush foxes out of their dens; nowadays, they find themselves primarily serving as companion animals. However, their limitless energy and tendency to explore have never diminished over the years.

With such an energetic breed, it’s super important that their diet provides all the energy and nutrition they need. Today, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about feeding a Jack Russell so they can continue to be the rowdy entertainers that we all know and love!

Below, you can find a list of what we’ll be going over in this article. You can click each section to jump straight to it!

What is the Best Dog Food for Jack Russell Puppies?

A Jack Russell requires a well-balanced diet filled with high-quality ingredients. It should be crammed with energy and nutrition to keep up with their high activity.

Giving your Jack Russell a poor diet comes with a multitude of problems. The breed is at particular risk for weight gain and food allergies, both of which will severely hamper their natural need to run and play. As a small breed, they could even run into issues with Hypoglycemia.

All of this is doubly important when your Jack Russell is still a puppy. They have even higher energy requirements while they grow and develop.

Therefore, it’s imperative that a Jack Russell puppy is given a food specifically formulated to their age. It should be loaded with all the energy and nutrition they need, without any of the artificial nasties or fillers.

We’d advise that you feed your Jack Russell pup a diet filled with fresh, high-quality ingredients to ensure they are receiving the absolute best in nutrition. Below are some great ideas for quality homemade dog food recipes for the Jack Russell!

  • Chicken & Quinoa
  • Beef & Barley
  • Lamb & Brown Rice

How Much Do You Feed a Jack Russell?

Now that we know what kind of food a Jack Russell thrives on, how much should you give each day?

A common mistake many dog owners run into is accidental overfeeding. It’s especially rife among owners of Jack Russells, as this is a breed that tends to ravenously eat any food you put down in front of them!  Because of this, it’s key that we control their food portions.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the quality of food has a significant effect on how much your Jack Russell would like to eat. If you give them a poor quality diet filled with fillers and artificial ingredients, they’ll need to eat more of it each day just to fill their nutritional needs.

By giving them a nutritious diet, you may find that your Jack Russell naturally needs to eat less each day. 

If you’re worried that your Jack Russell may be a bit overweight, there’s an easy way to check. Simply take a quick look at their abdomen. If it tucks in towards their body, they are likely doing fine! However, if they are beginning to look a bit more like a sausage, then you may have a problem.

Below you can find a general guideline to feeding a Jack Russell through each stage of their life. Keep in mind, this is only meant to serve as a starting point. For a more detailed idea of how much your Jack Russell needs to eat each day, contact a veterinarian or canine nutritionist!

AgeFeeding AmountTotal Calories Per Day      Ideal Weight
0 – 1 Years (Puppy)     8oz – 12oz per day800 – 900 calories3lb – 13lb
1 – 9 Years (Adult)10oz – 14oz per day      450 – 650 calories13lb – 17lb
10+ Years (Senior)10oz – 14oz per day450 – 550 calories13lb – 17lb


How Often Should You Feed a Jack Russell?

It’s advised that you split your Jack Russell’s food into multiple meals throughout the day, to ensure their energy levels remain stable.

When your Jack Russell is still a puppy, we recommend that you feed them 3-4 meals a day, due to their smaller stomachs and faster metabolism. 

Once they’ve developed into adults, Jack Russells tend to do just fine on two meals a day; one in the morning and one in the evening. Below, you can find a detailed breakdown of how to feed your Jack Russell throughout the day!

  • Morning: It’s recommended to give your Jack Russell their first meal during the morning before any of your daily responsibilities start. This can give them the majority of the energy they need to get through the day.
  • Mid-day: During mid-day, you may find it helpful to supplement your Jack Russell’s diet with some healthy treats to help keep their energy up, especially if they’ve had an activity-filled morning!
  • Evening: A final meal before bedtime will ensure they won’t go hungry throughout the night. It can also help settle them down for bed.
  • Snacking: Periodic treats throughout the day can help keep your Jack Russell energized between meals. Just remember, the treats should be as healthy as their dinner! Our very own organic treats are both healthy and utterly delicious – be sure to check them out!

Diet-Related Health Issues in Jack Russells

Unfortunately, the Jack Russell is quite sensitive to what they eat – give them something that doesn’t agree with them and they may run into a variety of problems.

One of these potential issues is food allergies, which the Jack Russell is at an elevated risk of experiencing. These allergies often result in a condition known as Canine Atopic Dermatitis. This leads to itchy skin that the dog will lick, scratch, and bite to find relief.

In the Jack Russell, this usually presents itself on the feet, abdomen, and ears, but itching can appear in other areas. If you find your Jack Russell is dealing with a lot of irritation, there may be a food allergy at play.

Further clues that their current diet may be a problem can be found within their poop. If it’s very hard and dry, or conversely, diarrhea, then this could be a sign of dietary issues.

Finally, it can be a good idea to keep a close eye on their energy levels. The Jack Russell is an athletic, high-energy breed. It simply isn’t in their nature to lie about all day! If your Jack Russell seems to be a bit lethargic, then this could also point to issues within their diet.

If your Jack Russell is experiencing these symptoms and a dietary change does not help, we’d recommend you speak to your vet.

Below you can find some common conditions along with the recommended dietary alterations. Be sure to check them out if your dog is experiencing any of the following problems!


Unfortunately, the Jack Russell is a breed that is prone to becoming overweight. Therefore, it’s key that their diet is absolutely spot on. 

First, try to work out the cause of their weight gain. Is their food filled with low-quality ingredients? Have you been feeding them more than recommended? Have they been receiving enough exercise each day?

It can also be worth making an appointment with your vet, just in case any underlying health conditions may be contributing to the weight gain.

Once you work out the causes, you should have a good idea of what to do next. Generally, ensure that you are feeding them a high-quality food in the correct amount and provide enough exercise each day. Keep it up and they’ll be well on their way to losing weight!

Picky Eaters

Some Jack Russells tend to be picky eaters while others will chow down on just about anything. However, if you find yourself with the former, it can lead to a lot of frustration. 

Sometimes, the cause may be that their food simply isn’t appealing to them. This can be exacerbated further when you give your Jack Russell too many high-value treats throughout the day. They simply learn to wait for the treats instead, as they make for the tastier option.

This issue is commonly solved by lowering the amount of high-value treats given and ensuring their usual meals are tasty and desirable. 

Our very own mouth-watering meals have a reputation for winning over the pickiest of eaters – if you find nothing is working for your Jack Russell, why not give us a go? We have multiple droolworthy meals available and we’re certain that they will prove to be a massive hit with your pup!

Heart Conditions

If your Jack Russell has been diagnosed with a heart condition, some important nutrients can help support and maintain their cardiac health. 

These nutrients include:

  • Sodium
  • Taurine
  • L-Carnitine
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Antioxidants

By ensuring that your Jack Russell Terrier’s food has a good balance of the above nutrients, it may have a positive effect on their health. However, every dog’s health is unique. Discuss with your vet whether your Jack Russell could stand to benefit from any dietary changes.


While the Jack Russell isn’t as susceptible to Hypoglycemia as the smaller toy breeds, it can still become an issue. 

If you notice that your Jack Russell is experiencing a wobbly gait, lethargy, anxiety, shivering, or in extreme cases, a loss of consciousness or seizures, it’s possible that they are experiencing Hypoglycaemia.

If you suspect that this may be the case, the first thing you should do is try to feed them a meal if possible. If they manage to eat and symptoms improve, take them to the vet for testing.

However, if your dog won’t eat, or is unconscious, this is an emergency and they should be taken to the vet immediately. It’s also advised to try to rub a tablespoon of honey or corn syrup on their gums to help get some sugar into their bloodstream.

To help prevent Hypoglycemia from ever being a problem, ensure that your Jack Russell is being fed a high-quality diet and that no meals are being missed throughout the day.

So, What is the Best Diet for a Jack Russell?

To summarize, a Jack Russell Terrier food should complement their high-energy nature. Their food should contain organic human-grade ingredients that are fresh and filled to the brim with nutrition. It should also, of course, be incredibly tasty and desirable!

But where can you find the absolute best food for a Jack Russell? Well, lucky for you, because you’re already in the right place!

Our dog food offers the absolute best in canine nutrition. Formulated by our very own expert, each meal is tailor-made to the needs of your dog. Every single ingredient is fresh and organic with absolutely no artificial additives. And to top it all, our meals are proven to be positively delectable!

If you’re interested in giving your Jack Russell dog food that will keep them healthy and doing what they do best, you can do no better than our meals at PetPlate! Additionally, there’s no better time for you to try as we are currently offering 30% off with every first order! Give us a try now!

We hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to feed your Jack Russell the right way. We wish you both the absolute best!



What is the ideal weight for a Jack Russell? – The ideal weight for a mature Jack Russell ranges between 13lb-17lb, depending on their height. For more information on weight ranges, check out our table here.

How can I help my Jack Russell lose weight? – One of the first things you should do is ensure their diet is of high-quality; it may contain fillers and artificial ingredients which may be contributing to weight gain. Next, ensure you are feeding them the right amount each day and fulfilling their exercise needs. Click here for further recommendations!

How much exercise does my Jack Russell need? – The Jack Russell needs a large amount of exercise each day, with at least 45 minutes of strenuous activity with additional walks and play!