Although Jack Russell terriers are active and energetic, they still grow old like any living creature. Since different dog breeds have different lifespans, you might want to know the lifespan of a Jack Russell terrier before adopting one. So, what is the oldest Jack Russell terrier?
- What Is the Oldest Jack Russell Terrier?
- Jack Russell Terrier Health Issues Associated With Old Age
- Tips to Improve the Lifespan of a Jack Russell Terrier
- Related Questions
- Final Thoughts
What Is the Oldest Jack Russell Terrier?
Charlie from Britain is the oldest Jack Russell terrier recorded in the Guinness World Records. This dog lived for 23 years and died in 2019. On the other hand, the oldest living Jack Russell Terrier is Boycie from Britain. Although Boycie is deaf, he is healthy at 21 years old.
On average, Jack Russell terriers have a lifespan of 13 to 16 years, and under normal conditions, a 17-year-old Jack Russell terrier is considered the oldest. Some of the health and lifestyle signs that show your JRT has grown old include:
- Self-isolation: Jack Russell terriers are affectionate and loyal dogs that love companionship and tend to follow you wherever you go. One of the signs that your dog is growing old is when it lacks this interest and wants to stay alone without being bothered.
- Excessive sleeping: Jack Russell terriers are active dogs and love playing more than sleeping. For instance, adult Jack Russell terriers only sleep for around 10 to 12 hours per day. If your dog starts to sleep for 14 to 16 hours a day, it could be a sign that it is growing old.
- Mood change: In most cases, the hunting instincts of Jack Russell terriers make them aggressive towards strangers and other pets. If your dog’s mood changes and it becomes gentle with animals, children and strangers, it could be a sign that it is growing old.
Jack Russell Terrier Health Issues Associated With Old Age
As Jack Russell terriers grow old, they become prone to certain health conditions, eventually leading to their death. Some of the health problems that your old Jack Russell terrier might suffer are:
- Deafness: Like the 21-year-old Boycie from Britain, Jack Russell terriers tend to suffer from deafness during their old age. Typically, deafness can be a partial or complete hearing loss.
- Blindness: In most cases, an old Jack Russell terrier will suffer eye problems and sight loss even without typical eye infections
- Diabetes: Old Jack Russell terriers are more prone to diabetes due to the lower insulin level in the blood. Some signs of diabetes include loss of appetite, weight loss, and general inactivity.
- Dental problems: In most cases, Jack Russell terriers will have bleeding gums or decayed teeth in their old age. Some signs of dental problems might include rotten teeth, bad breath, lousy smell, or broken teeth.
- Weight problems: Since Jack Russell terriers are hyperactive, they play and exercise a lot. Usually, these exercises help burn calories. When they grow old and become less active, they don’t engage in intense exercise leading to obesity.
Tips to Improve the Lifespan of a Jack Russell Terrier
Even if your Jack Russell terrier is senior and advancing in age, the following fitness and nutritional tips can help prolong the lifespan past the average 16 years mark.
Engage It in Physical Activities
Lack of enough exercise is the primary cause of obesity issues in old Jack Russell terriers. Consequently, obesity makes the dog prone to health issues such as breathing problems, heart disease, and diabetes.
Keep in mind that the old dog might not be able to engage in rigorous exercise due to the fragile bone structure and other underlying health conditions such as blindness. However, you can consider engaging it in physical activities that can help burn calories to maintain a healthy weight.
For instance, you can provide it with challenges that can allow it to use its mental energy, such as puzzle-solving games like Outward Hound or engaging it in scavenger hunts.
Feed It With Nutritious Foods
Older dogs are more prone to diet-related health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. The best way to avoid these issues is to feed your old dog the right amount of low-calorie foods.
Ensure the food contains high vitamin and mineral content as they help boost the old dog’s immune system, making it more resilient to diseases.
How Can I Know That My Jack Russell Is Nearing Death?
You can know that your Jack Russell is old enough and nearing death if it starts to suffer from lethargy and epilepsy.
The common signs of lethargy include sluggishness when walking, inability to climb stairs, increased respiratory rate or defecating, and urinating in bed.
Can an Old Jack Russell Terrier Die Peacefully While Asleep?
Yes, some old Jack Russell terriers die peacefully while asleep at night. However, this is uncommon as most dogs will reach a point of draining you financially and emotionally due to their health condition, forcing you to put them down.
Although the average lifespan of a Jack Russell terrier is 13 to 16 years, you can significantly extend it by engaging the senior Jack Russell terrier in physical exercises and feeding it with well-balanced nutritious foods. Avoid engaging it in intense exercises as the bone structure of an old dog is fragile.