Jack Russells are wonderful companions, but are not totally independent. They need you, and learning how to care for your Jack Russell properly is essential to being a responsible pet owner.
A good general rule of thumb is anything that should be kept out of reach of children should be kept out of reach of a dog, as well. This includes cleaners that contain bleach or ammonia, automobile coolant or antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides, and medications.
Dogs, and especially puppies, can choke on small objects, just like children, so keep their accessible area clear of objects that can become lodged in their throats.
Some people food can be highly toxic to all types of dogs, so be sure that they are never used as a treat, or left in a place where your Jack Russell could get to them.
- Coffee (or anything with caffeine)
- Macadamia nuts
- Grapes and raisins
- Garlic and onions
- Foods with high salt content
- Any raw or undercooked meat or eggs
Choosing your Jack Russell’s Diet
Deciding what kind of food to feed your Jack Russell is up to you, although you should talk to your veterinarian about what types of food he or she recommends.
There are many types of dog food, mainly breaking down into dry food and moist food. While most dogs will prefer the flavor of moist food, it’s generally accepted by veterinarians that feeding a dog a diet of only moist food will lead to early tooth decay. Mixing it with dry food can prevent that.
Dry food, also known as kibble, comes in many sizes and with many different ingredients. Some are geared for puppies, some for seniors, some for skin problems, and some based on flavor alone. Some manufacturers use raw products, but there is no indication that this is any better than cooked food. A dry food with less grain and artificial preservatives can mean less chance of an allergic reaction. But because every dog is different, even within the breed of Jack Russell, you may have to try several different types of food before you find one that your [breed2[ enjoys, is easily digestible, and leads to no problems for your [breed.] Most dogs should be fed twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening, unless otherwise indicated by a vet.
Your Jack Russell should have constant access to fresh, clean water. Be sure to regularly wash both food and water bowls to reduce bacteria and chance of illness.
You will also have to find out which treats work best for your Jack Russell. Liver treats are a healthy treat that many professionals use. Milk bones, bacon-flavored treats, and several other types of treats are commonly used, as well. Try to stick to treats made specifically for dogs, and if you do use people food as a treat, be sure it is not on the list of toxic foods for dogs.
Health and Medicine for your Jack Russell
Keeping up with your Jack Russell’s regular veterinarian visits is extremely important. Depending on the age of your Jack Russell, as well as what area you live in, you should expect at least minimal vaccinations once per year. This is to ensure that your pet is properly protected against many preventable diseases and sicknesses. Regular visits will also be required in order to receive flea and tick preventative and heartworm preventative, two things that are important for your Jack Russell.
Grooming your Jack Russell
Grooming your Jack Russell is a personal choice, although keeping the nails trimmed should be done regularly to keep from overgrowth or breaking problems. Most Jack Russells should only need a bath if they have become extremely dirty, and only dog shampoo should be used. Ear cleaning should only be done if advised by a veterinarian, who will also be able to show you how to do it and what products to use.
Your Jack Russell’s fur should not need trimming unless it has become matted or is causing vision or mobility problems, unless you prefer the trimmed look for your pet. This should always be done by professional groomer, who will have the correct tools and experience. Brushing your Jack Russell’s fur at least once a week will help maintain the fur and stimulates the skin and oil production that keeps the fur healthy.
Jack Russell Exercise
Exercising your Jack Russell is important, too. Not only is it physical activity that is healthy for the body, it is mental activity that is healthy for the mind. Young dogs should have at least an hour of exercise per day, older dogs may need less. Playing with a ball or rope toy, playing chase, running, jumping, and even swimming are great exercises for dogs, and they will love doing it with you.