Best Dog Food for Jack Russell Terriers [2024 Review]

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Are you finding it hard to get the perfect diet for your Jack Russell? Most people face this hurdle, especially because these dogs need specific nutritional content. If you don’t know where to start, I put together this guide to help you find the best dog food for Jack Russells. 

Best Dog Food for Jack Russells

After doing plenty of research and consulting with experts and dog owners, I have identified the following food to be the best fit for Jack Russells.  

Lily’s Kitchen Wild Woodland Walk Complete Dry Food  

The Lily’s Kitchen Wild Woodland Walk is an excellent grain-free diet for your Jack Russell. It has venison, duck, and salmon as the main ingredients. 

Other ingredients are healthy vegetable prebiotic, milk thistle, and botanical herbs.

The Lily’s recipe is biologically appropriate as it consists only with fresh meat, not dried meat, and meat by-products. It only has natural ingredients with no fillers and no artificial preservatives. 

This meal comes with all the nutrients that a Jack Russel needs to thrive such as proteins and fats. The vitamins packed lentils also provide high energy support.

The meal comes packed with Alfalfa, which is a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals to help your terrier build his muscles structure. The kibbles are crunchy, making the meal perfect for better dental health.

The open structures in the product allow your dog to have optimum digestion and excellent absorption of nutrients.

What I Like

  • Higher crude protein level
  • Contains essential vitamins and mineral
  • It is free of meat by-products and grains
  • Easy to digest, making it good for sensitive stomachs
  • Boosts the health of the coat, heart, brain, and joints.

 What I Don’t Like

  • Only ideal for above 4 months old Jack Russells

Pure Balance Wild & Free Grain Free Salmon & Pea Dry Dog Food

The Pure Balance Wild & Free Grain-Free Formula – Salmon & Pea Recipe is one of the best sellers in the Pure Balance brand line. It is a traditional dog food that meets Jack Russell’s nutritional levels established by AAFCO. 

This meal is ideal for dogs in all stages; puppy, adult, and senior, so you do not need to worry about diet change when your puppy grows older. The food contains DHA that ensure proper brain development. The DHA also helps in reducing symptoms of cognitive decline in older dogs.

Additionally, this diet boasts of salmon and salmon meal as its first two ingredients. This combination makes for an excellent protein-fat nutrient profile. The inclusion of peas in the formula provides it with the essential amino acids for excellent dog health.

What I Like 

  • Good for brain and eye development because it has DHA, ALA 
  • Has linoleic acid which makes it good for your dog’s heart health
  • Has essential amino acids
  • Has a significant protein percentage 
  • Good source of fats and fiber
  • Has great moisture content
  • Peas are naturally rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber 

What I Don’t Like

  • Needs to go with other meat sources  
  • Does not contain any probiotics

Nutro Natural Choice Adult Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Rice

This dry food applies the latest scientific research and studies to give your Jack Russell Terrier a healthy and delicious diet. Whether you are feeding one dog or many, ensure that your Nutro Natural Choice Adult Dry Dog Food stock does not run out.

This brand takes every dog food through a rigorous production process. It ensures that it is formulated to support healthy immunity with essential antioxidants and healthy digestion with natural fiber. 

With such a quality dog nutrients profile, you rest assured that the lamb and rice in your Jack Terrier meal is an excellent and healthy option. The best part is, this meal does not come with any corn, meat by-products, or artificial preservatives, so you do not need to worry about allergic reactions.

The meal contains omega 3 and 6 that will give your dog essential normal physiological functions. It also has high-quality protein for strong muscles and a healthy heart.

You do not need to buy other types of foods when your dog crosses a particular stage of life because this is an ideal diet for Jack Russell in all phases; puppy, adult, and senior.

Purina Beneful Originals with Real Beef Adult Dry Dog Food

Good muscle development is crucial for any Jack Rusell. If you are looking for a dog food that will ensure your companion develops sturdy muscles, the Purina Beneful Originals is a great option. The food packs real farm-raised beef as the main ingredient. This is a great source of protein which leads to healthy muscle development.

The other ingredients include real spinach, peas, and carrots. This is a nutritious combination that creates a balanced dog meal with an irresistible taste. To add on that, the mix of tender and crunchy kibbles provides variety to give your dog both digestive and dental health.

The kibbles boast of high-quality protein in every service to support healthy muscle development. More importantly, the food does not contain any artificial preservatives and is rich with antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system for your dog.

What I Like

  • Rich in fiber        
  • Good source of quality protein  
  • Contains antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system      
  • Contains all-natural ingredients with nonartificial flavoring·        
  • Healthy Caloric Content
  • It is fairly priced

What I Don’t Like

  • It is only adult food and not suitable for Jack Russell Terrier puppies        
  • Contains ingredients that may cause allergy

Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Lamb and Rice Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

The Purina ONE SmartBlend is an excellent Jack Russell meal with real lamb as the first ingredient to support your dog’s strong muscles and a healthy heart. The blend of natural lamb with grains and several other ingredients creates a reliable protein source. 

The blend of antioxidants (vitamins A and E) together with zinc and selenium minerals will ensure that your dog’s immune system is always strong. Additionally, the inclusion of Omega 6 fatty acids will your Jack Rusell has a healthy skin.  

The Purina One is easily digestible and is soft on your Jack Russell’s tummy. It features natural sources of glucosamine to support the healthy joints of your canine companion. Moreover, it contains zero fillers and artificial preservatives.

Finally, the company follows high standard protocols to ensure that its nutritional content aligns with the AAFCO procedures. 

What I Like 

  • It is an excellent source of high-quality protein sources
  • It helps support strong muscles and a healthy heart
  • Meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO
  • Natural source of glucosamine which is helpful for your dog’s joints.
  • Contains selenium to promote a healthy immune system
  • Highly digestible so more nutrition goes to work inside your dog
  • It’s soft on your dog’s tummy

What I Don’t Like

  • Include ingredients that dogs may be allergic to
  • Contains additional coloring (caramel coloring)

What to Look for in the Best Food for Jack Russells

There are several factors that you need to understand about the feeding habit of the Jack Russell dog breed. While some of these factors are unique Jack Russells others arise due to environmental and health issues.

Graphic image of a dog bowl, food package and bone with a text that states that the best dog food for Jack Russell Terriers have healthy fats and vitamin-infused ingredients

Before buying food your Jack Russell, make sure to keep the following factors in mind. 


All Jack Russel foods have three main types of macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Feeding your dog with all these macronutrients is necessary for providing them with the right nutritional balance. The macronutrients perform different functions in the body as follows, 


Proteins are essential for the production of various amino acids necessary for the body. Just like in other mammals, the dog’s body cells die now and then. That is why they need a lot of protein to help replace these dead cells.

The most critical acids are the branched-chain amino acids i.e., leucine, valine, and isoleucine. They determine the quality of the protein source. As a Jack Russell owner, always ensure the protein comes from a high-quality animal source such as meat, fish, and poultry.

Jack Russell eating his treat


Fat helps your dog’s body break down the protein and other essential nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K in the digestive system. It is also responsible for promoting the healthy cell functioning sustaining a healthy metabolism; fat is the highest concentrated energy source in dogs. 

Your Jack Russel should get their fat from healthy animal sources such as salmon oil and chicken fat. Also, ensure that your Jack Russell’s diet has a balance of the essential omega fatty acids.


Carbohydrates are essential in the body for instant energy release. They range from simple carbohydrates such as fructose, dextrose, and lactose to complex carbohydrates like fiber and starch.

Whole grains, legumes, and vegetables are excellent sources of dietary fiber for dogs. However, it is essential to note that dogs do not have a specific need for carbohydrates. Therefore, you should only provide highly digestible carbohydrates with a fiber content of not more than 5%.

You need to provide all three macronutrients in the correct proportions. Not enough or too much of it can pose health issues. You can help your dog achieve a healthy balance by giving them whole foods, meat, and vegetables.



Most of the body’s chemical reactions require a multitude of vitamins. Vitamin A, D, E, and K, being fat-soluble, need a certain level of body fats for absorption. On the other hand, Vitamins B and C are water-soluble and are still helpful in your dog’s diet.

These minerals are essential for the development of your dog’s muscle structure. Just like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, you should feed your Jack Russel with the correct proportions of vitamins.


Every Jack Russell keeper needs to be conversant with the nutritional needs at every stage of the dog’s life. The body conditions, levels of activity, and other bodily changes might require less of some nutrients as they grow older.

You may also need to increase your dog’s intake of some diet as they get to the seniority age.

Let me break this down for you:

Puppy Jack Russell Terriers

At this stage, your Jack Russel is still growing and they need a lot of food to maintain their rapid body metabolism. They are also very agile and need a diet that will help them replace the lost energy.

You need to feed your puppy Jack Russel with a minimum of 22% of protein and 8% of fat. Also, provide your puppy with three to four small meals daily when they reach six months old, taper the meal to only three per day.

Adult Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russels will reach adulthood when they are 12 months old. At this stage in their life, you need to give him food to help him maintain their lean muscles. It would help if you switched from puppy recipes to small breed adult recipes.

Their diet should contain at minimum 18% protein and 5% fat. For dogs, at this stage, more protein will help them build lean muscles.  Remember always to keep the fat content down to help your dog avoid obesity.

You can continue to feed them with three meals per day to support his metabolism. However, if your dog is more active, you could increase their fat intake or provide them extra meals every day.

Senior Jack Russell Terriers

As Jack Russel nears this stage of his life, they will begin to experience old age; their metabolism will reduce and they will be more vulnerable to obesity. You need to switch them to the old recipe and reduce his food intake. You can even reduce their intake to only two meals daily.

Special Dietary Considerations When Feeding Jack Russell Terriers

The Jack Russel breed is a healthy breed with a lifespan of between 12 to 14 years and very few health issues. Being prone to obesity places it at a high risk of a shorter lifespan and other health issues.

Dog food for Jack Russells

Inherited Health Conditions

The breed is also prone to inherited health issues like eye problems and musculoskeletal issues. These inherited health problems need early genetic testing and screening. It would help if you took your Jack Terrier to a vet for these tests before breeding.

Obesity and other dietary issues fuel musculoskeletal problems. Therefore, you give your dog healthy food to avoid such risks. The joint supporting nutrient such as glucosamine and chondroitin could be beneficial to Jack Russell, especially when they have such conditions.

Skin and Food Allergies

Allergies pose a significant problem with the Jack Russell breed. The food-related allergies range from recurrent ear irritations to skin problems. When you spot these kinds of reactions on your dog, then you might need to switch to grain-free or limited ingredients meals.

You could also prevent food allergies on your dog by ensuring that their diet consists of wholesome natural ingredients with no low-quality fillers and artificial preservatives or additives. Always check on the food packaging for such specifications or contact your vet for recommendations.

Treat for Your Jack Russell

Jack Russel Terrier, just like any other dog, will not refuse your attempt to give them treats. They will also accept your offer for food leftovers and table scraps. While it is acceptable to provide them with human food occasionally, you should not make a habit out of it.

Please give these treats the same considerations as any other dog foods because they may cause allergic reactions and other health-related issues like obesity. Always check with your veterinarian before introducing treats to your pet companion.

If they do something good, you could give them some nice dog chocolate. Avoid treating them with real chocolate as this could pose some health dangers to the dog.


Jack Russell dogs need exceptional nutritional content to maintain a high level of activity and a healthy lifestyle. You need to have outstanding knowledge of your pet’s dietary needs to get him the best food. With the above buying guide, you will give your pet a healthy meal.