Unfortunately, we usually only get to keep our dogs for about ten years. The life expectancy of a dog depends on a number of criteria, such as its size, breed, health condition, etc. But what about the Jack Russell? Find out more below!

The Average Lifespan of a Jack Russell

As a small breed dog, the Jack Russell generally lives longer than most medium to large dog breeds; the average life expectancy of a Jack Russell is between 13 and 16 years. Bear in mind that the life expectancy of any dog breed is only an indication. It is quite possible that your dog will live for longer. On the other hand, accidents and illness must also be taken into account. No dog is immune to the vagaries of life, some of which can significantly shorten a dog’s lifespan.

How Can I Increase My Jack Russell's Life Expectancy?

There are a few precautions you can take that will help you extend the life expectancy of your Jack Russell.

Choose a High-Quality Diet

Your dog's food plays a vital role in their health. Low-quality dog food will have a direct impact on your Jack Russell's health, and vice versa. Choose dog food rich in high-quality animal protein, not vegetable protein. Try to avoid buying supermarket dog food, as this tends to be very poor in quality and thus incapable of meeting your dog's nutritional needs. You can even opt for tailor-made dog food for your Jack Russell, specially designed to meet all their needs. Remember that your Jack Russell's diet will change over time: a puppy will not eat the same amount of food as an older dog, for example. 

Make Sure Your Jack Russell Gets Enough Exercise

Despite their small size, Jack Russells are very energetic dogs that need to exercise every day to feel happy and well-balanced. If bored, these are the kind of dogs to start running in circles pretty quickly and even develop problematic behaviours such as chewing the furniture or barking. This will be a big problem if you live in an apartment with your Jack Russell. To prevent this, make sure your pup gets enough exercise each day and consider buying lots of games and toys to keep them occupied while you’re out.

Prioritise Dog Training

It may seem like dog training has very little to do with your Jack Russell’s health, but the two are surprisingly closely linked. Quite simply because, with proper dog training, you will be able to keep control of your pooch during walks, and thus avoid accidents. A dog who understands exactly what is expected of them and knows how to obey commands is much more capable of responding when they're called and stopping what they're doing when asked. This should be the first command you teach your Jack Russell pup.

Get Serious about Vet Check-Ups

Finally, don’t forget to take your dog for regular veterinary check-ups! These are essential to ensure the good health of your pooch. Adhere to your dog's vaccination schedule and keep their antiparasitic treatments up to date to protect them against fleas and ticks. It’s all the more important to see your vet at least once a year when your Jack Russell starts to get older.


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What are the Most Common Health Problems for Jack Russells?

Jack Russells generally enjoy pretty robust health but, like all dogs, they are still subject to certain health issues:

  • Dental Problems: Unfortunately, tooth infections are quite common in the Jack Russell. These present as redness and swelling, and can lead to the loosening and loss of teeth. As such, it is essential for your Jack Russell to have impeccable dental hygiene. So brush your dog’s teeth very regularly! The Jack Russell is also affected by dental abnormalities, such as misalignment, malocclusion, or oligodontia.

  • Eye Problems: The Jack Russell is particularly affected by glaucoma and cataracts, both of which can lead to blindness. This will greatly affect the day-to-day life of your dog and require adaptations on your part. However, these issues are often possible to treat with surgery.

  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease (LCPD): This is a hereditary, degenerative condition found in small breed dogs. It occurs when not enough blood is supplied to the ball portion of the hip joint (femoral head), causing it to degenerate. Unfortunately, little is known about the cause of the reduction in blood flow. Surgery is often required to correct this issue.

  • Primary Epilepsy: Also known as Idiopathic Epilepsy (IE), this type of epilepsy is defined as recurrent seizures with no identifiable cause. Seizures manifest as a loss of consciousness and convulsions that can last for several minutes. This is a common health problem for Jack Russells. There is no cure for epilepsy, but treatment can be prescribed to help limit seizures and improve the animal's quality of life.

  • Hyperactivity: The Jack Russell is also affected by behavioural problems, namely hyperactivity, which can cause this already very energetic dog breed to become unstable. To avoid this problematic situation, be sure to train and socialise your pooch correctly from an early age and make sure they get enough exercise each day.

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