Fat Jack Russell - Signs Of An Overweight JRT + How To Lose Weight

Fat Jack Russell – Signs Of An Overweight JRT + How To Lose Weight

Jack Russell is a small terrier who is hyperactive, hyper-energetic, and very loyal to their owners. As they originated as hunting dogs, you may think that they can’t become overweight. But it is not true because there are some dogs who rarely love to eat and sleep.

If you feed them excessively, they will be overweight. Then it brings health problems for your pet. So, it is crucial to talk about fat Jack Russell. Therefore, this article is all about the overweight JRT and ways to lose weight.  

So, how do you recognize an overweight and fat Jack Russell Terrier? Simply, the overweight of Jack Russell means; increase of weight than the due amount of weight that a Jack Russell should own. So, you should clearly understand the specific amount of weight that a Jack Russell has at every stage of their life. Then, if you notice signs of being overweight like; excessive panting, tiredness, and lagging behind, you should take steps to lose weight.

You can provide enough exercises for the dog, provide the due amount of food, go for walks, etc. And make sure to identify the reasons for their overweight and prevent them from exposing themselves towards being overweight. 

Accordingly, in this article, I have covered the healthy weight that your Jack Russell should have, how to identify that your Jack Russell is overweight, and the causes for the overweight of your Jack Russell and finally, I have provided some tips to lose the weight of your Jack Russell. 

Let’s get started!

What is the healthy weight that your Jack Russell should have?

Jack Russell is a small terrier, although they have originated as hunting dogs. So, no one expects a small terrier to be overweight especially, a hyperactive terrier-like Jack Russells.

But, you may argue that you have a fat Jack Russell. Yes, it is possible because there are some rarely found Jack Russells who love napping.

Anyway, suppose you have a clear understanding of the ideal weight of a Jack Russell at every stage of its life. In that case, you can easily recognize the changes in its weight. So, here I will give you an idea about their healthy weight.

Accordingly, the weight of a 1-month-old JRT should weigh around 1-2 kg, 6 months old JRT should weigh about 5-6 kg, 10 months old JRT should weigh 6-8 kg, and 2 years old JRT should weigh around 6-8kg.

The above-mentioned weights are estimates of healthy weight Jack Russells. Your pet may have slight differences in their weight but don’t worry, make sure to keep them around these estimated weight lists. 

The growth of most of the Jack Russells may stop at about 1 year old. So, suppose you recognize that your dog is growing continuously after about 1 year old.

In that case, it may be better to consult the vet because their excess weight can lead to health problems like heart problems, obesity, etc.

So, make sure to keep the ideal weight of your Jack Russell at every stage of its life.   

How to identify that your Jack Russell is overweight?

You can easily find solutions for the overweight of your pet when you recognize its changes. So, what are the signs of overweight JRT?

Here, let’s consider the signs of it and the ways to identify the overweight in detail.

1. Check the body shape of your dog

This is the easiest way to identify the weight changes of your dog. Then, if you see that your pet is round and oval-shaped, it is a sign of its weight.

And, if you notice that the dog has a waist towards the rear and the sides that have been straightly built, then there will be no issue with its weight. 

2. Feel the ribs of your dog

This is the primary reflection of weight problems. So, if it is difficult to feel the ribs of the dog, it says that you need to be concerned about its weight because it is not difficult to feel the ribs of a dog with a healthy weight. 

3. Concern about the side view of your dog

There is a hanging waist and stomach for fat Jack Russells. So, look at your dog from the side and pay attention to its waist and stomach shape.

If its waist is slightly raised, it is a good sign, but you should consider its weight if it is hanging in an oval shape.

4. Check the pads of your dog

There are fat sacks between the legs of some fat animals, so see whether your dog has the same.

Generally, fat dogs have fat pads at the top of the hips. So, look for this when you are petting your Jack Russell because it is a major reflection of its overweight.

5. Weigh the dog

You can easily recognize the weight changes of your pet through weigh-in at the vet.

According to the size and age of the Jack Russell, your vet can easily understand whether it is overweight or not. 

6. Consider the health problems

With the overweight, your dog may catch diseases like; diabetes, heart problems, skin problems, joint issues, liver and kidney problems, etc.

So, if you recognize the sign of any of those diseases, there is the possibility that your dog is overweight. 

7. Unable to reach the itch

When your jack Russell is too fast, it can’t groom itself. Typically, it is not a big issue for them to scratch or licks themselves with their agile body.

But, with the overweight and fatness, it can’t do that well. So, you can easily identify its weight change with this. 

8. Overexerting easily

Have you noticed that your Jack Russell wants to stop and paint a lot even after a few steps walk? Then, there is the possibility that your pet is overweight.

So, pay attention to its weight control. Do not worry here because you can lose weight with proper treatments and practices. 

Causes for the overweight JRT

When talking about the fat Jack Russell, it is essential to know the causes for their overweight because we can decide the better treatments after having a clear idea about the reasons that affect their overweight.

So, here let’s focus on those commonly found causes. 

1. An excessive amount of food

It is very important to know the amount of food to be given for your Jack Russell according to its age.

As an example, if your dog is about 8-12 months, make sure to provide 80z-120z of food and feed it at least 3-4 times per day.

If you provide more than that amount, it may be too fat or become overweight. Then, it may catch health problems even at that age.

Age can cause an imbalance of calories in and out. It is a result of a lack of exercises done by your pet with its growth.

So, when you provide excess foods even with less exercise, it will directly cause the overweight. 

Here, the number of calories for a little Jack Russell who is not very active should be provided with 185-370 calories per day.

If you notice that your pet exceeds the body weight of more than 10%-15% of the ideal body weight, you should consider it. 

2. Lack of exercises

This is also a common cause for the overweight of the Jack Russells. The amount of exercise that a Jack Russell needs depends on age and size.

Generally, it is recommended to give at least 20-60 minutes of exercise used for a dog per day.

But you should not increase the amount of exercise at once as you notice the increase in your dog’s body weight. It should be done carefully and gradually. 

3. Chronic illness

This condition can be common among dogs with hyperthyroidism. They tend to increase their body weight causing many other illnesses.

This is a result of the excess production of cortisol by the adrenal glands. Excessive urination, thirst, hunger, and painting are symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

This is common to many dogs and, at the same time, results in weight gain. So, you should give better treatments for them to avoid these illnesses.

4. Genetics

This is also a reason for the overweight of your pet dog. So, be careful about your Jack Russell if you notice any changes in their weight. 

5. Building up of fluid

The building up of fluid due to heart and liver diseases can also be a reason for the overweight of your Jack Russell.

So, make sure to give necessary treatments if your pet suffers from heart or liver diseases.

Tips to lose the weight of your fat Jack Russell

Being overweight is a problem for the Jack Russells because it links with many health issues. So, any Jack Russell owner seeks tips to lose the weight of the overweight JRT.

Accordingly, through this, I will discuss the tips to lose the weight of your fat Jack Russell. 

1. Providing a proper diet

When you provide more food but less exercise, your dog will be overweight. Therefore, first of all, understand the age and size of your Jack Russell and give the due amount of food without exceeding the amount.

If your dog loves long sleeps, you should not provide them with more food. And give them healthy food only. You should reduce the calories of your fat Jack Russell by decreasing the number of treats for the dog at a time.

You can try to give them chopped apples, carrots, green beans instead of cheese, biscuits, and other treats with high fat. 

2. Give a lot of exercises for the dog

Jack Russell needs to burn a lot of energy per day. So, exercise is essential for it even for 20-60 minutes per day. If your dog is overweight, it needs lots more exercise than a regular Jack Russell.

It gives time for you two to be together and is the best way to lose your fat JRT’s weight. But, you should not overexert the dog especially, if your dog has health problems.

There, you can go for walks, swim, run, etc. You also can give exercises after visiting the vet. The vet will recommend the best exercises to lose weight.

3. Train to run

When training to run, you have to understand your dog’s age and the number of runs. And also, the surface that you provide for your fat Jack to run plays a major role here.

Providing more runs for the little Jack Russell will face joint issues, especially on hard surfaces.

So, start running with your dog after checking the age, physical health condition, etc. Then you can help your dog to lose weight by running.

4. Making exercise fun

Some jack Russells do not engage in exercises with you if it is not funny for the dog. Then it will increase the body weight.

So, you can make workouts fun and get the consent of your dog to engage in more exercises.

It does not only help to lose body weight but also helps to strengthen the relationship between you two. 

5. Consult the vet

If your jack Russell is still overweight and does not engage in more exercises, it is better to visit the vet. He will recommend good activities or weight loss food for your dog. 

However, it will take 6-8 months to lose the body weight of your dog. If you notice that the weight remains after about 8 months, that means you should change the procedure. 

Conclusion – Signs of an overweight JRT and How to lose weight of your fat Jack Russell

We have discussed; Fat Jack Russell, signs of an overweight JRT, and how to lose weight, with more details. I think this article will be helpful for all the Jack Russell owners as I have covered many important areas related to the overweight of your Jack Russell as; what is the healthy weight that your Jack Russell should have, how to identify that your Jack Russell is overweight, and the causes for the overweight of your Jack Russell and finally, I have provided some tips to lose the weight of your Jack Russell.

Jack Russell is a small, hyperactive, and very energetic terrier. So, many people doubt their weight. But, Jack Russells also can become overweight due to many reasons like; excessive food, lack of exercise, genetics, etc.

So, how to identify that your Jack Russell is fat? Here, you should know the ideal weight that your dog should have.

As an example, a Jack Russell of about 6 months should weigh around 5-6 kg. Also, pay attention to symptoms like; excessive panting, heart problems, kidney issues, changes in body shape.

But, you can take steps to lose the weight of your Jack Russell like; providing the due amount of food, giving enough exercise, and training to run. Then you can have the healthy and active pet dog that you expected.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about your favorite dog breed.

Cheers from Shaggy and Lenny!


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

    [email protected]

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