How Can I Keep My Jack Russell Warm? Complete Guide + Tips

How Can I Keep My Jack Russell Warm? Complete Guide + Tips

Jack Russell Terriers are a small hunting dog type first known in England. When adopting a Jack Russell, most people face several issues. Among them, climatic conditions and adaption to them take a major place.

Most people ask, How can I keep my Jack Russell warm since it is difficult to understand how the JRT handles weather changes, especially the cold weather or winter. And it is important to identify their condition outside when it is cold.

So, how can I keep my Jack Russell warm? JRTs get cold easily due to the length of their coat. Most of the time, they feel uncomfortable in winter season due to unbearable cold. You can keep your Jack Russell warm by reducing the outdoor time, using warm dog clothes and shoes, warming up the kennel, providing more blankets, feeding them warm food, and giving them a hot bath.

As their owners, you need to identify when they feel cold and should make them comfortable. I would like to share my experience + tips with my JRT, Shaggy, regarding his response to cold, as an owner of a JRT for two years.

So, through this article, I’m going to clarify your issues regarding How I can keep my Jack Russell warm by sharing my experiences with you. Let’s first identify whether JRTs get cold or not.

Then, you need to understand how your JRT deals with cold weather and how you can identify he is cold.

Finally, I’ll introduce you to some tips to keep your JRT warm, and you can try them out. If you are a JRT owner, I guess this article will be exactly important for you, and I suggest you keep reading until the end.

Do Jack Russells get cold?

Yes, Jack Russells get cold, similar to other dogs. The rate of temperature they could adapt may depend on their coat length and its type. During temperature falls and cold situations, JRTs with smooth hair gets colder than JRTs with long hair and thick coat.

Thin coats lose their body heat fast and grab the cold easily. My JRT, Shaggy, also has a soft-haired thin coat, and he gets cold when the temperature turns 45 degrees F. 

You need to identify the nature of their coats and should stay alert when they feel cold. Some JRTs feel uncomfortable outside due to the cold. However, it is better to keep them inside during cold situations.

JRTs can stay outside and endure the cold due to some extent, depending on their coat type. Still, when the temperature falls, they feel uncomfortable and need warmth. How can I keep my Jack Russell warm comes to matter here, then.

How do they deal with cold weather?

Dealing with cold weather and outdoors is necessary to clarify in consideration of How I can keep my Jack Russell warm. Even though it is said that dogs can endure cold and no matter to leave they are outside, there is a limit to which they can endure the cold.

Especially JRTs are small dogs, and therefore they face it harder to bear up the cold. If you let them sleep outside in winter or on a cold day, you may find out a freeze and shivering dog. 

The weather conditions with winter storms, ice, snow, rain, or heavy winds will make it difficult for JRTs to deal with and feel uncomfortable to endure cold. Keeping them outside is not good for their health during these weather conditions.

However, I’ll state some situations to which extent they can deal with cold and stay outside during harsh weather. 

JRTs can handle the cold for over 20 min-1hour when they are playing and burning energy in cold situations. It makes their body warm and supports them to release energy. I let my JRT, Shaggy, play outside for 30mis during the winter, and it doesn’t make him uncomfortable.

You can take them for a walk for 15min-1hour during cold days, and most probably, it won’t make them feel too cold or shiver. But if you keep walking too long than a1hour, then your JRT may feel uncomfortable with the cold wind and snow.

In addition, you need to let them outside to potty whether it is cold or hot. It takes at least 5-20mins, and your JRT may be able to handle cold during that time.

However, this possibility of handling cold depends on the nature of your dog. If your dog is young, energetic, healthy, and well-built, then he can handle cold more than an elderly, puppy, or ill JRTs.

How to identify if your JRT is cold?

Before concerning the matter How can I keep my Jack Russell warm, as JRT owners, you need to identify whether your JRT is cold or not. If he is not cold, then making him warm will turn him uncomfortable.

So, let’s consider how to identify if your JRT is cold. When you keep your JRT outside, and then if he feels cold, he may come up with some signs to show that he feels cold.

As a responsible owner that loves your JRT, you need to consider leaving him inside during too cold days. 

1. Shiver and shake

Shiver and shake is the easiest sign you can witness when your JRT is cold. When the temperature is low, and he cannot bear up, he begins to shiver.

Thin-coated and smooth-haired JRTs get shivers more easily than others.

2. Returns to the entry door

If your JRT is outdoor and when he can’t endure the cold, he returns to the entry door of the house and symbolizes that they need to come inside.

He may bark while scratching the door most of the time, and then you need to identify your JRT is in the cold.

3. Act lethargic

When they are too cold, their energetic nature disappears, and they may act lethargic with boredom.

They may not move around much, and it signals you to take them inside or make them warm.

4. Raise one paw up

Another way for JRTs to show that they are cold is to raise one paw and indicate their cold paws and the snow and ice inside the paws. Then you should know that they are cold and are outside.  

5. Hunch over or curl up

When my JRT Shaggy feels cold, he prefers to hunch over and curl up. I guess he is trying to trap his body heat and make the body warm. Carefully observe; your dog may show off these signs.

6. Being weak and anxious

Suppose your JRT seems anxious and physically weak. In that case, it can also be a sign of difficulty in adapting to changing cold weather. Observe the appearance and behavior of your JRT and if you seem weak and anxious, try to warm him up and if he was exposed to cold for many hours, contact a vet and get advice.

Tips to keep your Jack Russell warm

Here comes your pressing issue, How can I keep my Jack Russell warm. So, I will provide you with some tips to make your JRT warm during cold weather and the winter season.

You need to pay attention to your JRT and try to feel his sense and cold. As the owner, you have to make your dog comfortable.

1. Less time outdoors

Since JRTs are energetic dogs, they prefer to stay in the outside lot. But during cold days, limit their time outside and allow them to stay there only for fulfilling needs with a limited time.

They need to go outside for potty, walks, play, and exercise. But limit the amount of time spent on these tasks and take them indoors.

And when they come back from outdoors, carefully clean and wipe their paws since snow and ice can be trapped within them, and they’ll make your dog colder. 

2. Provide more blankets

To keep your JRT warm, you can add extra blankets to his bed and crate. Try to use warmer blankets to keep your dog comfortable, and it’s better to allow him to sleep more hours during cold days.

A comfortable bed with warm blankets supports you to keep your JRT at the bed.

3. Put warm clothes

Since JRTs are small dogs and it is hard for them to endure warmth, especially if they have a thin coat with smooth and short hair, try to put some clothes on them.

You can use an appropriate jacket or a sweater that will protect them from cold wind and ice. For puppies and older JRTs, this layering is essential since they are too weak than others. 

4. Don’t leave in the car

There is no problem with leaving your JRT in the car during summer days. But when it comes to cold winter days, avoid leaving your JRT in the car for too long.

The temperature inside the car can decrease gradually. Then JRTs may feel uncomfortable with the difficulty in enduring cold inside it. It may affect their comfort, health, and well-being. So, don’t let your JRT alone in the car.

5. Understand the unique signs of expressing cold

JRTs differ from each other, and then their ability to endure cold and the signs they show to indicate cold are different. They were mentioned earlier.

You need to have a clear idea about them and identify unique signs of your JRT and their meanings.

Then identify the signs of cold clearly at the very first moment and implement ways to make them warm; if not, you may face health issues.

6. Warm the Kennel

If you are willing to keep your JRT in a dog crate, make sure that his kennel is warm. Keep it windproof since the cold wind will make your JRT’s body temperature low and sick.

And prevent the dog house from direct contact with the cold ground. You can keep some bricks under it and prevent them from directly touching the ground.

You need to make sure that the walls of the dog house are thick and warm. Try to use a small door that suits your dog’s size. 


So JRT owners, did you get answers for How can I keep my Jack Russell warm? Understand your dog and his conditions while being empathetic.

Since you love your JRT, consider that he also feels cold like us and more than us as they are small creatures.

Identify signs they show to indicate cold and hurry to provide necessary warmer steps, which I mentioned. Then, you can maintain the comfort, health, and well-being of your dog.

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!


  • George Brown

    George B. is the founder of the JRO Organization. He believes in creating a better world for domestic animals. He believes domestic animals are more vulnerable than other animals, especially dogs, since they have been used to depending on their owners for generations. So, he started JRO to share his ideas and insights while helping vulnerable dogs worldwide. George runs multiple projects on street dogs in developing countries, especially Sri Lanka.

    [email protected]

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