Jack Russell Puppy Feeding Guide

Jack Russell Puppy Feeding Guide

Imagine this tiny, squirming 6-pound Jack Russell pup you’ve just brought home. He’s so small and delicate! It’s hard to believe this tiny guy will grow an adult roughly three times that size. 

What in the world will you feed him? Is puppy food really more important than adult food, and what kind is best? How many meals should he have, and will this change over time?

Jack Russell Puppy Feeding Guide

You’ve just brought your Jack Russell puppy home! While he becomes accustomed to this new environment, you’ll need to figure out how meals will go. This is probably a sinch if you’re a veteran dog owner, but first-timers might be a little confused.

Importance of Puppy Food

If you compare a puppy and adult dog food of the same brand, it might be hard to tell the difference. Why in the world would you buy puppy food anyway? Why not just go with great adult dog food?

Your puppy is growing fast. He or she will need specific nutrients to support that growth. Specifically, your little one will need more protein to support that growth.

Most puppy foods are formulated to provide a higher percentage of protein, compared to their adult counterparts. According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, you’re looking at 22% or more protein in puppy food vs. 18% in adult food.

There also needs to be a higher percentage of fat in puppy food, along with more calcium and less sodium. The percentages above are minimum requirements, and you’ll probably find higher protein percentages in good puppy food brands.

Puppy food bites will also be smaller and easier to digest.

  • Make sure you’re feeding your pup standard or small breed puppy food. You don’t want to give your Jack too much calcium at this stage.

Pro Tip: Mash your puppy’s food up with some water to make wet food so it is easier to eat and digest.

7-8 Weeks

To avoid any GI upset, you’ll want to keep your little guy on the same food his breeder was providing before. If you are absolutely convinced something else is better, slowly transition to the new food by mixing portions over time. 

You’ll want to give your pup 3-4 small meals a day! Many human children eat at least three meals a day, so this should be easy. 4 meals are ideal. Remember to set a consistent feeding schedule!

Though they may be a small breed, Jack Russell Terriers have a lot of energy and very fast metabolism.

12 weeks (3 Months)

You can begin to decrease your puppy’s meals from 4 to 3 daily soon. Keep feeding three meals until your pup is 6 months old. At that point, you can switch to two meals daily. 

Your Jack’s meals will add up to an average of 1.5 cups daily. Be sure to look at your dog food package’s feeding instructions!

You can move to one meal per day at 12 months, but it isn’t recommended for such a high-energy breed. 

Transitioning to Adult Food

Though many breeds are considered puppies until hitting the two-year mark, you can probably begin transitioning your Jack Russell to adult food around a year. Most Jack Russell Terrier puppies will reach their full growth at around 12 months.

Recommended Jack Russell Puppy Food Brands

It can be hard to settle on a good puppy food formula with all of the options available to you at your local pet store. Advertising is often deceptive. Many people don’t know what to do, so they settle for the least costly brands they can find.

There’s no need to worry because we’ve done the research for you. Take a look at three of the best Jack Russell puppy food brands available on the market today!

ORIJEN Puppy Dog Food

Orijen is by far one of the highest quality manufactured dog food brands you’ll find! About 85% of their formulas are composed of animal products, which is exactly what you should see. They don’t neglect fruits and vegetables either. You’ll also get high quallity organ meats as well as various types of fish!

  • 38% protein
  • 18% fat

Farmina Natural And Delicious Chicken/Ancestral Low-Grain Puppy Formula

Most of the animal protein here is derived from chicken, although you’ll see several high quality ingredients! About 60% of this formula is composed of animal-based ingredients. Farmina is listed as the number one puppy food with dogfoodadvisor, receiving 5 stars.

  • 38% protein
  • 22% fat

Wellness Complete Health Dry Puppy Food

Most of your protein here comes from both deboned chicken and chicken meal. Wellness complete attempts to better balance your protein, fat, and fiber ratios! Not only will you find fantastic macronutrients here, but Wellness Complete offers omega fatty acids, antioxidants, essential vitamins, and probiotics!

  • 32% protein
  • 20% fat

Human Food?

While many of us are guilty of giving in and treating our adults with the occasional scrabs and leftovers, don’t do this with your puppy. Don’t feed your Jack Russell pup anything but puppy food designed for him.

Your puppy is especially vulnerable to intestinal illnesses, which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Because the little one is so small, he or she needs every little bit of that circulatory volume.

Interesting Fact: Countless puppies succumb to Parvovirus, causing them intense fluid loss until they lapse into hypovolemic shock and ultimately pass. Without treatment, recovery rates are extremely low. Vaccinations are crucial for your puppy!

Treats and Chews

This will depend on the type of treats, as long as they were designed for dogs and healthy. You’ll want to limit the number of treat rewards you offer while ensuring proper nutrition. Many store-bought dog treats are not nutritious!

You’re in the middle of potty training, for example. You want to reward your puppy for successful outdoor eliminations. It’s ok to treat your puppy! The praise you shower your pup with will also probably be just as effective at this early age and is always recommended.

If you enjoyed this article you might also like to read about Jack Russell Feeding Guide

Jack Russell Puppies

Jack Russell Puppies

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Jack Russell Puppies are known to be a very friendly dog and a high energy dog. They like to cuddle up with their owners. They need to get out of the house once in awhile for mental stimulation. They are pretty quick learners, but they will have their moody moments. The Jack Russell is fine with other dogs and don’t care about strangers in the house but they will protect it from any trespassers or intruders that try to come into their home.

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Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
Julius-K9, 16IDC-R-MM, IDC Powerharness, dog harness, Size: XS/Mini-Mini, Red
Pedigree Tasty Minis - Dog Puppy Training Treats Chewy cubes with chicken, bag (8x 125g)
OUT! Go Here Absorbent Dog and Puppy Training Pads (Pack of 30)
Chuckit! Ultra Ball, Durable Dog Toy High Bounce Rubber Dog Ball, Launcher Compatible, 2 Pack, Medium
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
Julius-K9, 16IDC-R-MM, IDC Powerharness, dog harness, Size: XS/Mini-Mini, Red
£7.99
£6.79
£8.85
£15.00
£28.67
Pedigree Tasty Minis - Dog Puppy Training Treats Chewy cubes with chicken, bag (8x 125g)
Pedigree Tasty Minis - Dog Puppy Training Treats Chewy cubes with chicken, bag (8x 125g)
£7.99
OUT! Go Here Absorbent Dog and Puppy Training Pads (Pack of 30)
OUT! Go Here Absorbent Dog and Puppy Training Pads (Pack of 30)
£6.79
Chuckit! Ultra Ball, Durable Dog Toy High Bounce Rubber Dog Ball, Launcher Compatible, 2 Pack, Medium
Chuckit! Ultra Ball, Durable Dog Toy High Bounce Rubber Dog Ball, Launcher Compatible, 2 Pack, Medium
£8.85
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
£15.00
Julius-K9, 16IDC-R-MM, IDC Powerharness, dog harness, Size: XS/Mini-Mini, Red
Julius-K9, 16IDC-R-MM, IDC Powerharness, dog harness, Size: XS/Mini-Mini, Red
£28.67

Is a Jack Russell the Right Breed for you?

Jack Russells are known for their tenacity and they are extremely intelligent dogs. They do not like to be alone and unless they are trained to behave, they can be aggressive without warning. This breed has a very strong prey instinct and need to chase anything that moves. If left on their own, they will develop bad habits that can lead to problems when they grow up. They need a great deal of exercise and attention, and have a life spam of around 15 years, so please don’t get one unless you can give him or her what he/she needs.

Getting a Jack Russell Puppy

Be very wary of breeders who won’t show you both parents, or who have the dogs and puppies outside in a shed. Most good breeders will have the puppies in the house socialising with the family. Also make sure that they don’t have their tails docked if they are pet Jack Russells. In England, only working Jack Russells should have docked tails and it should be done by a vet before the dog reaches 5 days old. There should be a veterinarian certificate to prove this, otherwise your Jack Russell may have had his tail docked illegally.

When you choose which puppy you want from the litter, choose a pup that is sociable and inquisitive. Healthy Jack Russell puppies should be alert and have clean eyes and ears free from infection. When you have chosen your puppy, try to visit him a couple of times before taking him home with you. This will get him/her used to you first.

Obedience Training

It’s never too early to start obedience training with your Jack Russell pup – they can start as soon as they arrive home and will be eager to please. Train them, to ‘sit’, ‘stand’ and ‘down’ first. When the do the required action then reward instantly. You can use puppy treats to focus them and move them in the right direction. When your puppy has learned the basics, you can add more tricks such as spin, play dead and paw.

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  • Tasty Minis include calcium to help keep growing bones strong and vitamin E to support natural defences, so you can treat your canine with a delicious snack for good behaviour

Housebreaking Jack Russell Puppies

Jack Russells are known for their strong sense of smell and they want to sniff everything in the environment. What makes it worse is they are very stubborn dogs and will do things their own way if allowed. You need to be firm with your dog because if they learn to use the bathroom indoors, it is going to be very difficult for you to stop them.

The best way to housebreak a puppy is to get them used to going to the loo in the right place by taking them out to the loo every couple of hours and again just before they go to bed. If they soil in the house clean and disinfect it and ignore it – if you tell them off they are unlikely to understand why. What they will respond to is reward. When they do it in the right place give a treat within 5 seconds and lots of fuss. They will soon learn!

Some people use puppy pads which you can place near the door at night time. They smell like the scent dogs sniff to go to the loo and encourage them to do it on there if they need to wee in the night. They soak up the wee as well as signalling to the puppy where to go.

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  • STRONG AND ATTRACTIVE - We make these pads with stronger fibres that reduce tearing and shredding. Your pup can make as many circles as needed before getting down to business. Also, there’s a built-in attractant, so your dog will hit the right spot.

You need to let them go outside as soon as they finish drinking water or eating. Make sure you always have food and water available for your dog, because if he doesn’t have anything he is going to do his business on the carpet in protest!

Games to Play with Jack Russell Puppies

Jack Russells are very strong dogs that love running after things. The best way to exercise a Jack is to make it fetch anything with its mouth. This will help you train them and also keep them from getting bored. You can also get a Frisbee and throw it in the yard for them to retrieve.

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In the house they are also good at ‘sniffing games’ – you can hide treats under cushions or blankets and say ‘find it’! You can also buy snuffle mats to hide treats in and also interactive dog games such as the Dog Tornado by Nina Ottosson. Hide treats or chicken in the different compartments and your dog can use his brain and his paws/nose to find them!

Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy
  • INTERMEDIATE DOG PUZZLE: Exercise your dog’s mind with the interactive level 2 Dog Tornado puzzle toy. This engaging dog treat dispenser provides a fun physical & mental challenge. Your pup will need to learn how to combine multiple steps to retrieve the hidden treat
  • BOREDOM BUSTER: With 12 hidden compartments and 3 dog bone covers you can vary the difficulty level of this stimulating dog puzzle to keep your furry friend excited and satisfied
  • EASY TO CLEAN: The Dog Tornado puzzle toy is easy to wash by hand with mild soap and warm water. Make sure all compartments are dry before using

Walking your Jack Russell Puppy

Puppies, especially puppies that are around a year of age love playing outside so walkies are the best way for you to let them play with other dogs as well as enjoy the outdoors. The experience will be a very bonding experience for you and your dog. Your dog will be able to bond with other canines while enjoying the outdoors. Get a comfortable lead and harness.

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  • Professional control for urban walks: IDC Powerharness is your dog harness for bustling days, early morning walks, and getting around safely. It is a harness you can fit in one move and count on when you need it
  • Interchangeable hook and loop patches: You can choose from countless different patch options to express your dog’s personality, mood, or to display useful information on your harness

BUT there are a few things that you need to know about walking your Jack Russell puppy safely. Firstly, don’t walk the for more than 15-20 minutes at a time as young puppies (less than 4 months). A general rule is 5 minutes of walk for every month of the puppies life until fully grown. Also the other thing that is very important is that you should only walk them outside of your garden and mix them with other dogs once they have had all of their essential vaccinations. This will protect them from dog diseases such as Parvo and Canine Distemper.

Your Jack Russell puppy will grow up into a very handsome pooch and develop their own little Jack Russell personality.

I hope that you are enjoying my Jack Russell blog. If you have any tips that you think I’ve missed, please comment below or contact me.