What Does It Mean When Your Jack Russell Terrier Isn’t Eating?

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Sometimes our dogs can get a bit picky when eating, however, if they are not eating at all, we need to be concerned about it. If you own a dog, you might be asking what it mean when your Jack Russell Terrier isn’t eating and what are the best remedies.

What Does It Mean When Your Jack Russell Terrier Isn’t Eating?

When Jack Russell Terriers are sick, don’t like the food you’re serving, or aren’t hungry, they can refuse to eat. This is generally because they haven’t developed an eating routine and don’t feel hungry at mealtime.

However, there are many other reasons why this breed is not eating as often as they should. Jack Russells can be picky eaters when they know you will give them a better snack. For example, they might refuse dog food because they know you might give them a hot dog.

An image of a Jack Russell terrier that don't have an appetite

On the other hand, they can stop eating due to dental problems such as gum pain or an abscessed tooth. This problem could cause a loss of appetite and make them eat grass and plants. Therefore, this dental issue should be treated as soon as you can.

Other Causes of Your Jack Russell’s Lack of Appetite

If your dog has a good eating routine, is not sick, and doesn’t have dental problems, there are other causes why it isn’t eating. Depression is one of the most frequent. This breed can get quite attached to its owners, so if one or more of them is absent, it might get very sad.

Also, if they recently lost a sibling or another dog-friend, they may get depressed for a few days and stop eating as much as before. To help them out in this situation, you can take them out for some exercise, make them socialize with other dogs, and spend extra time with them.


Another common cause of loss of appetite is pregnancy. When Jack Russells get pregnant for the first time, they might refuse to eat big quantities of food. However, this should only happen during the first three weeks of pregnancy.

If the lack of appetite lasts more than that, you should consider taking your dog to a vet.


Dogs can get very stressed under certain circumstances, such as parties with loud noises, a night with fireworks, or a room full of unknown people. When this happens, your dog might refuse to eat and start showing signs of stress.

A close-up image of a Jack Russell terrier with white and brown fur

Here are the most common signs of stress in dogs.

  • Excessive shaking.
  • Excessive barking and panting.
  • They might lick their lips and nose.
  • Jack Russells can get stressed by another dog. If a dog sibling doesn’t allow them to sleep and is constantly messing with them, they might feel very stressed.


Since this breed is very active and loves to exercise, they need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. If they don’t drink enough water, they might feel weak and refuse to eat until they can hydrate themself again. This can happen during a jog or a visit to the park.

Because of that, you should always carry water so your dog can always stay hydrated during the day. If your dog is also refusing to drink water, you should visit a vet as soon as possible.


Sometimes your dog’s stomach is feeling unwell, causing him nausea and vomits. This can happen when they overeat or consume something they shouldn’t. They may also contract a stomach bug, which should be treated as soon as possible.

A very common sign that they are experiencing nausea is when they eat grass and plants. If your dog has just puked up a lot of grass, it may be suffering from a stomachache.

An image of a Jack Russell Terrier that doesn't want to eat

Related Questions

What Human Food Can Jack Russells Eat?

This breed can eat peanut butter, carrots, blueberries, salmon, cooked chicken, raw meats, and eggs. However, you should never give your dog cooked chicken with bones as this might be harmful to them.

On top of that, you should never feed them onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and chocolate.

Do Jack Russells Have Sensitive Stomachs?

Yes, Jack Russells can be very sensitive when it comes to food. Many of them can develop allergies which can affect their stomachs and well-being. Therefore, you should always be careful when feeding your dog.

When they have an upset stomach, you can slowly feed them plain rice with boiled chicken. This should help their stomachs return to normal and recover in less than two days.


Jack Russell Terrier dogs can be picky eaters when it comes to food. On top of that, they can be badly affected by nausea, dental difficulties, stress, and even depression. As a result, you should always keep an eye on their behavior and treat them as quickly as possible.