How to Make Jack Russell Terrier Lose Weight

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Jack Russell Terrier is a small dog breed that is hyperactive and loyal to its owner. This breed originated as hunting dogs and that’s why many people think that they can’t become overweight. However, that’s not true because they can become overweight, just like any other dog breed, if you feed them excessively.

Not only will it make a Jack Russell Terrier lazy but it can also lead to health problems. That’s why it’s important to make sure your dog has a healthy weight. In this article, I’ll discuss how to make Jack Russell Terriers lose weight so that it remains healthy and happy.

How to Make Jack Russell Terrier Lose Weight

Being overweight is not good for any dog including a Jack Russell Terrier as it can lead to heart and respiratory diseases, skin allergies, orthopedic problems, and decreased life expectancy. Here’s a list of best tips that you can use to help your Jack Russell Terrier lose weight.

Graphic image of a Jack Russell biting into a bone with a text describing how to make Jack Russell Terrier lose weight

Provide a Proper Diet

Providing your Jack Russell Terrier with a proper diet is the most important part of helping it to lose weight. Use the following techniques to manage the diet of your dog efficiently.

Cut Back on Calories

Eating too many calories is one of the most common reasons why dogs become overweight. You need to reduce the calorie intake of your pup by using the feeding guidelines available on the dog food bags you have.

Make sure that you use a measuring cup to provide your dog with precise portioning. It’s also important to eliminate nibbles of people’s food like noodle bites, French fries, and pizza crusts.

Jack Russell Terrier

Reduce the number of treats that you give to your canine friend during the day. Additionally, consider replacing high-fat treats such as cheese and peanut butter with fresh green beans, apples, and chopped carrots.

Focus on Protein

Many commercial dog foods contain a lot of fillers that aren’t healthy for your Jack Russell Terrier. These fillers only increase the calorie intake but not nutrition, and your dog is left with excess waste and inefficient energy.

You’ll need to switch to high protein and low-carb food. It’ll provide your dog with the right amount of energy and nutrition for optimal fitness instead of unhealthy calories that will slow your pup down.

Important Note: Grain-free dog foods are becoming increasingly popular. But you have to keep in mind that grain-free food isn’t necessarily carb-free. Many dog food manufacturers use potatoes and other starches to bulk up the food and it won’t help a Jack Russell Terrier lose weight.

Use Homemade Dog Food (Optional)

If you have the energy and time to make homemade dog food, it can be very rewarding as well as affordable. However, you should only make your own dog food if you’re confident that it’ll provide your dog with all the essential nutrients. 

The easiest way to make sure that your home-cooked dog food contains all the nutrients your dog needs is to obtain a recipe from a professional vet.

Increase Jack Russell Terrier’s Physical Activity

Jack Russell Terrier hiding in a grass field

Every Jack Russell Terrier needs to perform exercise on a daily basis as they need to burn a lot of energy. If your pup is overweight, it’ll need to indulge in more physical activities than a normal dog.

Not only does exercise help a Jack Russell Terrier lose weight but it also allows you to spend quality time with your pup to strengthen your bond. Running, swimming, and even walking are some common ways to increase your dog’s physical activity.

However, if your dog is suffering from any health problem, you must not overexert it without consulting a professional vet. The vet will recommend the most suitable exercises depending on your dog’s unique needs.

Make Exercise Fun

Keep in mind that most Jack Russell Terriers don’t like to indulge in any physical activity if it’s not exciting. You’ll need to make exercises fun for your dog to get its consent. The following are some fun ways to exercise your dog:

  • Play hide and seek game
  • Take them to parks
  • Play nose work games to help them run
  • Make them climb stairs
  • Play the game of fetch
  • Follow them for a stroll

Not only will these exercises help your dog lose weight but they’ll also make them more active by strengthening their muscles.

Reward with Fun

Giving your Jack Russell Terrier too many treats a day increases their daily calorie intake. It’s tempting to reward your dog with a treat but you should avoid doing it if you’re trying to help your canine friend lose weight.

You’ll need to introduce non-food rewards such as touching your dog where it likes, offering warm words, and playing a game of fetch. Additionally, if you have a dog walker or pet sitter, make sure that you let them know about your non-food reward strategy.

Keep the Water Bowl Full

Some dogs start eating food if they’re thirsty and can’t find water. That’s why you need to make sure that you keep your Jack Russell Terrier’s water bowl full all the time. Not only will it keep your dog from eating unnecessarily but it’ll also provide your pup with a shinier coat and softer skin.

Consult a Professional Vet

If your Jack Russell Terrier doesn’t engage in exercises and remains inactive most of the time, you should visit your vet as soon as possible. The vet will examine your dog thoroughly to find out if it needs medical attention, and guide you in the right direction to help your canine friend lose weight.

Common Reasons Why Jack Russell Terriers Become Overweight

Jack Russell Terrier walking with a leash

It’s important to understand the common reasons why Jack Russell Terriers become overweight. It’ll allow you to choose the right treatment methods and take the necessary measures to prevent the problem from occurring again.

Excessive Food Intake

As mentioned earlier, excessive food intake is the most common reason why Jack Russell Terriers become overweight. You must provide your dog with the right amount of food depending on its age and weight.

For example, an 8 to 12 months old Jack Russell Terrier with average weight should eat 80 to 120 ounces of food a day. Giving your dog more food than that will make it become overweight.

Lack of Exercise

Lack of Exercise can also lead to obesity in Jack Russell Terriers. The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on its weight and age. A healthy dog should perform some sort of exercise for 20 to 60 minutes a day.  

Chronic Illness

Hyperthyroidism is a disease that can increase the body weight of dogs. That’s because the common symptoms of this chronic illness include excessive hunger and thirst.

Fluid Buildup

Liver and heart diseases can lead to the buildup of fluids in the abdomen of Jack Russell Terriers that can result in overweight. The common symptoms of this problem include vomiting, coughing, lethargy, and confusion in dogs. Make sure that you visit the vet as soon as possible if you notice any of these symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some most common questions that people ask about overweight Jack Russell Terriers.

What is the Healthy Weight for a Jack Russell Terrier?

The weight of a one to two-year-old Jack Russell Terrier should be between 13 and 18 pounds. If your dog weighs more than that, consider using the tips listed in this guide to help them lose weight.

How Do You Identify an Overweight Jack Russell Terrier?

The easiest way to identify an overweight Jack Russell Terrier is to use a weighing machine. The common symptoms of this problem include tiredness, excessive panting, and lagging behind. An overweight dog also won’t be able to reach the itch properly.

Final Words

An overweight Jack Russell Terrier needs attention and time to trim down. Be patient and use the tips discussed in this article to help your canine friend lose weight. Make sure that you visit your vet before making any dramatic lifestyle changes if your dog is suffering from any health problem.