What Is the Average Temperature of a Jack Russell Terrier?

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For most people, knowing their dog’s temperature comes in handy when traveling to areas with low temperatures, while some are just curious. Whatever the reason, it is crucial to know the temperature of your dog to be prepared for any situation. So, what is the average temperature of a Jack Russell terrier?

What Is the Average Temperature of a Jack Russell Terrier?

The average temperature of a JRT ranges from 101.5 degrees to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A little above or below the standard is fine if it does not get below 98 or over 104 degrees Fahrenheit. If it does, it becomes an emergency, and you should seek immediate assistance.

Graphic image of a white and brown Jack Russell and a thermometer that describes that the average temperature of Jack Russell Terriers ranges from 101.5 - 102.5 F

If your dog has a high temperature, the condition is known as heat stroke or hyperthermia, while if the temperature is low; it is called hypothermia. Both conditions can result from prolonged exposure to extreme hot or cold weather or infections. This is why medical assistance might save your JRT’s life.

Abnormal Jack Russell Terrier Temperature

When taking your Jack’s temperature, the best way to do it is rectally and not orally. This is because your dog may bite you when you attempt to insert the thermometer into its mouth. Other things to keep in mind include:

  • Thermometer: Avoid glass thermometers as they may break. Your dog may not be still during the procedure, which may lead to accidents.
  • Lubricant: Get a water-based lubricant and apply it to the thermometer to ensure you have an easy time getting it inside your dog.
  • Assistant: Having someone help you hold the dog is essential as most dogs do not stay calm when inserting the thermometer.
  • Accuracy: If you are looking for an accurate reading, the armpit and mouth may not be best. Insert the thermometer into the rectum.
An image of a JRT

Low Temperature

As mentioned earlier, extreme cold conditions can lead to hypothermia which is dangerous for your dog. This is why you must ensure the results you get are the right results. If you inserted the thermometer in the rectum inappropriately or got stuck in fecal matter, it may lead to a false reading.

Repeat the process and see whether you get the same reading. If you get a lower temperature, your dog may be getting cold, and you need to warm it up. You will also be able to tell that your dog is getting hypothermia if you observe the following signs:

  • Shaking or shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Shallow breathing
  • Stiff muscles

You can reduce the chances of your dog getting hypothermia by:

  • Adding more blankets to your dog’s crate
  • Avoiding leaving your JRT in the car when it is cold 
  • Dressing it in a warm jacket or sweater

High Temperature

Before you decide that your dog has a high temperature, you must understand its normal temperature. You may measure it at different times and get different results; for example, if your dog has come from exercising or is excited, you will notice its temperature is high.

Some conditions may cause your dog to have a high temperature. These include:

  • Vaccinations: After your dog has had a vaccine, it is common for it to have a fever for the next 48 hours.
  • Infections: These can be either fungal, bacterial, or viral. They can also be in any part of your furry friend’s body, such as ears, teeth, or even lungs.
  • Toxins: Your dog may have consumed something that does not agree with its body.
A Jack Russell terrier sitting

You can help cool its body by soaking a towel in cool water, wring out the water and wrapping your dog in it. You do not have to cover the whole body at the same time.  Ensure it stays hydrated.

Related Questions

Other related questions you may have are answered below.

What Symptoms Does a JRT With Fever Exhibit?

Some of the symptoms that a Jack with fever will exhibit include decreased energy, shivering, vomiting, warm nose and/or ears, running nose, panting, and red eyes.

Can I Give My Dog Human Medication to Treat Fever?

You should not give your dog human medication, such as paracetamol, to treat a fever. The only medicine you should give your dog should be prescribed by a vet. Human medication can also become toxic to your dog and may end up causing death.

Do Jack Russells Need Winter Coats?

Jack Russells need winter coats and jacks when the weather becomes too cold. This is because they have a thin coat that does not provide much insulation from extreme weather. Ensure that the winter jacket you get is well insulated.


While you may notice your dog displaying signs of either suffering from hypothermia or fever and decide to take its temperature. However, it is vital that you take it to the vet in case you are unable to get the temperature to rise or drop.