Jack Russell terriers are an energetic and active dog breed. However, getting old is a universal truth to all living creatures. As dog owners, we care about our loving pet’s age and health condition. Therefore, I hope to discuss about Jack Russell’s old age problems and give them proper care in their old age.
This guide will give tips about your dog’s aging, health signs, and ways to make them happy in their lives better. I have listed the topics below; feel free to jump straight to the section you are interested in.
At what age is Jack Russell becoming a senior?
As we discussed in our previous posts, Jack Russell terriers have a relatively long lifespan of around 14-16 years. If you like to read about ‘How long do Jack Russells live?’ find it here. Most Jacks remain active and energetic for most of their lifetime, even into old age. You will start seeing some gentle attitudes of them at 10 – 12 age. That is the age when they become a senior.
You will see some senior behavior in them when they get old. For instance, their aggressiveness will reduce a little bit towards strangers and other small animals. Jacks tend to become more lovely and spend more time with their owners with age. Even you can feel it from the way they look at you.
And also, their temper will fade away. Jacks become more patient and silent when they get old. Most dog owners can’t tolerate this attitude because they think that is Jack Russell’s old age problem. Don’t worry! They have just matured enough to understand things differently.
Signs of Jack Russell is getting old
It is important to identify the signs that your Jack Russell is getting old. Because age is just a number, but the other factors may affect health and aging. Therefore, understanding his behavioral changes will help you give them proper attention and care to cure Jack Russell’s old age problems.
Excessive sleeping – We know that Jacks are an energetic and active dog breed. However, they sleep around 10 – 12 hours on their average day. When they reach senior age, they may sleep more and reduce their activeness. Typically, they will sleep around 14 – 16 hours and will have shorter active periods.
Change in mood – Jacks may start to become mature and silent when they grow old. They tend to practice more patience and act gently towards other animals or strangers.
However, some Jack Russell owners have told us that their dogs became a little grumpy and impatient at their old age. And also, they started to act more aggressively and less tolerant towards animals and children. Mostly, dog owners worry about this situation and think that this is Jack Russell’s old age issue.
According to my experience, Jacks become more mature and silent when they become senior dogs, as same as other dogs. It is obvious that their thinking capacity and understanding of life are being increased with age. Therefore, you should respect their changes and give them space. That is the most suitable way if they don’t make unnecessary trouble.
Preferring isolation – Typically, Jack Russells love the company. They will do anything to take your attention. However, when they are getting old, they tend to be alone and spend their time lonely.
Most dog parents worry about this problem. My advice is, first visit your vet and have an overall checkup. If everything is fine, your jack has become a senior dog. Just give them space to live in their preferred way.
As I mentioned earlier, dogs also understand their lives when they get old. They tend to think differently and expect not to bother anymore. This is not an old-age problem of Jack Russell; this is the universal fact for all living beings.
What illnesses are Jack Russells prone to in their old age? (Jack Russell’s old age problems)
Jack Russells are also prone to several health issues and illnesses in their old age, as same as every dog breed. This list will help you to understand Jack Russell’s old age health problems. If you identify something that is not good with your Jack, please visit the Vet and do a complete check-up immediately.
- Dental issues: There is a possibility of having decayed teeth and gum diseases for Jacks as a common health issue of their breed. When they get old, the risk of a broken tooth, lousy smell, rotten teeth, and gum infections may increase. Even if you care about their dental health from a younger age, they will have dental issues after 10-12 years. Therefore, be alert about their oral health condition.
- Overweight – We know Jacks are an active and playful dog breed. However, when they are getting old, their activeness and energy fade away. If you don’t maintain their eating habits, their overeating may cause obesity. Therefore, you should switch them to an old dog formula for maintaining their weight and appetite. And regular exercise is also an important fact.
- Blindness: Jack Russells are prone to blindness or partial blindness like all the other dogs when they get old.
- Deafness: This is also a common old-age problem of Jack Russells. It can be complete deafness or partial loss of hearing.
- Epilepsy: There is a possibility of having seizures and epilepsy for older dogs. This situation can be managed by medication. It would be best if you visited the Vet as soon as possible.
- Diabetes – Most older Jack Russells get diabetes due to the lower level of insulin in their blood. You can identify this situation if your dog loses weight, less appetite, and is less active. Consult your Vet and move for a senior dog food formula for better results.
- Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) – Dogs lose their memory, awareness, and perception with age, similar to humans. They will act like puppies when they get CDS. It would be best if you gave proper attention and care when they get too old.
- Wobbler Syndrome: This is a common neurological disease for Jack Russells that results in constant shaking episodes. Read ‘Why do jack Russell shake – Reasons and Curing guide’ to have in-depth knowledge about Jack Russell’s old age problems.
- Arthritis: We know that Jack Russell is a highly active and energetic dog. Since they practice lots of running, jumping, and other tricks, they are prone to have joint issues when they get old. Read more about ‘how to help your dog with arthritis’ here.
Those are the most common Jack Russell’s old age problems that we have seen so far. As I mentioned earlier, your attention and care is the best thing for a senior dog to enjoy their final days. Therefore, keep in touch with your Vet and take the necessary steps.
How to treat Jack Russell Terrier’s old age problems
We discussed the most common Jack Russell’s old age problems earlier. It is recommended to take the support of your vet for serious issues of your Jack. However, few things can be managed efficiently by yourself.
Change the food formula
You can change your dog’s food formula from time to time. The nutritional requirements of a senior dog are different from a younger dog. Therefore, you should give them a senior dog food formula that has fewer calories. It will help to maintain body weight and obesity.
And also, senior dog food formulas have essential ingredients for balancing the protein levels, boosting the immune system, and keeping their energy.
As we know, Jack Russell loves to run and be active. However, when they get old, their energy level goes down. Therefore, you can give them enough exercise that suits their health condition. Too much exercise may cause pain and excessive tiredness. Also, not enough exercise may lose their activeness.
Therefore, it is better to identify the amount of exercise they need at their old age. You can read the ‘Senior dog exercise guide’ here.
Provide enough space
As we discussed earlier in this post, dogs love to spend their time alone when they get old. Therefore, it would be great to provide an area where they can spend their time without being bothered by other people, pets, or children.
Provide safe floor surfaces
Older dogs may have problems climbing steps or walking on slippery surfaces like tiles or vinyl. You can help with this by creating safer floor surfaces. You can use mats or carpets on the floor.
Provide steps to avoid jumping
As we know, Jack Russells are good jumpers, and they enjoy it. However, it is not suitable for them to jump in their older age due to their joint issues or arthritis. You can provide them pet steps or dog stairs to make climbing more accessible and safe.
Keep them warm
Older dogs are more prone to severe climate conditions. Therefore, keep them warm during the cold weather. If you take them out for walking, remember to put a warm jacket or a coat on your dog.
Do physical checkups
A regular physical checkup will help you to understand the current situation of your old Jack Russell. Especially, care about your Jack’s dental health, eyes, ears, and paws from time to time. If you see your dog is uncomfortable, visit the vet as soon as possible.
Caring blind dogs
If your Jack Russell has partial or complete blindness, you can make their life easier in simple ways. Dogs have a strong sense of smell, even if they are completely blind. Therefore, make the environment safe and easy for them to navigate by using their sense of smell.
You can remove the hazards and limit their access to harmful areas. Most importantly, don’t make sudden changes in the environment, such as moving furniture. It will be difficult for them to navigate using their mind map.
Helping with arthritis
One of the most common Jack Russell’s old age problems is arthritis. This cannot be completely cured. If your Jack has arthritis, consult the vet and try to take some painkillers.
However, there are many ways that you can make them comfortable. You can provide them a heating pad with an orthopedic bed; it will reduce their pain. And also, give them a gentle massage to their legs.
“As any dog, Jack Russell’s also get old age problems. We can help them to reduce their pain and make their life easier by simple actions.”
19 years old Jack Russell Terrier – Video (He is active no matter of his old age)
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