Old Jack Russell Terrier Caring Guide

Old Jack Russell Terrier Caring Guide

Ageing is common to all living beings. So, your lovely pet dog also becomes old with time, although it hurts you. If your pet is a Jack Russell, you may feel a great loss of joy with its ageing because they are hyperactive, energetic dogs. Still, they also become weak as all the other living beings.

So, as a good owner, it is your responsibility to take care of your pet. Therefore, how to take care of the old Jack Russell terrier is very important to study. So, this article is all about caring for an old Jack Russell.  

How to take care of an old Jack Russell terrier? Jack Russells come to their old age when they are about 10 or 12 years old. You can recognize that your pet dog is in its old age with some of the signs like; excessive sleeping, preferring to isolate, changing the behaviors and the mood, etc. Also, you have to consider the diseases that are common to old Jack Russells like; overweight, dental problems, deafness, blindness, etc. Then you should take care of them by changing their food, giving exercises, providing enough space and safe floor surfaces, etc.

Accordingly, in this article, I have covered the age that a Jack Russell becomes old, how to recognize that your Jack Russell is old, and the commonly seen diseases among old Jack Russells. Finally, I have provided some tips to take care of your old Jack Russell.

Let’s get started!

What is the age that a Jack Russell becomes old?

Jack Russell is a good choice to raise as your pet. It has its origin as a hunting dog and loves its owners a lot. There are no other examples of active and energetic terriers other than Jack Russell.

But ageing is common to all living beings, and it is so for the Jack Russells also. So, what is the age to consider it as an old Jack Russell terrier?

Generally, the lifetime of a Jack Russell is around 14-16 years. Most of the Jack Russells are still very active even in their old age. So, when Jack Russell is about 10 or 12 years old, you may recognize some gentle attitudes in your pet. It can be cited as their senior age. 

They show various senior behaviors with their ageing. As an example, they do not become more aggressive toward strangers and various other small animals.

That means their aggressiveness will reduce when they become old. So, they will be lovelier than previous days and will stay with the owner for more time. Even their sight will tell you these senior behavioral changes.

Not only has that, their temper too will fade with time by being very patient and silent. Sometimes, you may feel that they are sick with their oldness, but there is no such problem.

There, you may understand that your pet has matured by understanding the things happening around them differently than they saw them when they were puppies. So, that is their old age. 

How to recognize that your Jack Russell is old?

Ageing is a natural phenomenon within the life cycle of any living being. They show various changes in their appearance, behaviors, attitudes, physical fitness, etc., when they get old.

So, with those signs, it is easy to identify the oldness of any living being. It is the same here for your Jack Russell. Old Jack Russell terrier can be identified with those signs.

So, here let’s focus on those signs.

1. Sleeping excessively by being less active

It is not a secret that Jack Russell is an active, energetic terrier. Generally, they sleep for around 10-12 hours on their average day.

But when they get older, they become less active and tend to sleep more. You may notice that they sleep for about 14-16 hours. And likewise, they tend to be awake and active for short periods.

2. Changes in the mood

When Jack Russells reach their old age, they become more mature and very silent, practicing patience and being gentle towards strangers and other animals. But, some Jack Russells are becoming a little impatient and grumpy with ageing.

And also, they may be aggressive and impatient towards the children and animals. But there is more possibility of them being silent and patient with their old age as they mature their thinking and understanding capacity.

Anyway, here you have to spare the space and respect for their changes. 

3. Love to be isolated

Generally, Jack Russells love to be with each other’s company. So, they tend to do many things to get your attention, like; licking, biting, and hanging around you.

But, when they become old, they love to isolate themselves rather than being with each other’s company.

Here, the owners may think that there is something wrong with the health condition of their dog, but maybe that is because of the oldness of it. You can visit the vet to find whether everything is fine. 

All these changes are exhibited due to the internal changes that happen within these Terries with ageing like;

  • Weakening immunity.
  • Changes in the body temperature.
  • Weakening the kidneys, heart, and liver.
  • Weakening the digestive system.

What are the commonly seen diseases among the old Jack Russells?

Everyone exposed to various diseases when they are getting older. That is the same for the old Jack Russell terrier also. We can find many diseases among them.

If you recognize those diseases, it will be easy for you to give them treatments and keep their final period of life happily. Therefore, here let’s consider those diseases. 

1. Dental problems

There is a common dental issue with this breed where they are catching gum diseases and decaying teeth when going to old age.

With the increase of oldness, their dental issues like; lousy smell, broken teeth, gum infections also will increase.

Although you take care of their teeth even from their puppyhood, there is a possibility of catching dental problems by this terrier when they pass 10 or 12 years. So, it is better to keep alert of their dental problems.

3. Overweight

There is no argument that Jack Russell is an active, energetic terrier but, with the process of ageing, they lose their energy and activeness.

And provide them with excess nutritional food excessively as if they are in puppyhood. It may lead to their obesity.

So, you should make sure to adjust the food habits to a formula that suits the old dogs. Then you can help them to maintain their appetite and weight.

On the other hand, regular exercises are also important for this. 

4. Blindness

When dogs are getting old, they tend to lose sight. So, it is the same for the Jack Russells also. They will be blind completely or partially with their ageing. 

5. Deafness

There is a possibility that your Jack Russell also loses their hearing capacity completely or partially with the oldness because this is commonly seen among old dogs.

6. Epilepsy

Your Jack Russell may have seizures and epilepsy when they are getting old. But you don’t have to worry here because it can be controlled through medications.

So, it is better to meet the vet as soon as possible. 

7. Diabetes

Many Jack Russells are sick with diabetes with a low level of insulin in their blood. Suppose you notice that your dog loses weight, activeness, and appetite; he may be sick with diabetes.

This can be controlled by changing the food formula to a formula of a senior dog. You can have better guidance through your vet, and it will give you more good results.

8. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome

When the dogs get older, they lose their memory, perception, and awareness, just like people. Suppose you notice that your dog is acting out like a puppy.

In that case, there is a possibility that it has been sick with cognitive dysfunction syndrome. So, give your more attention and care when your pet becomes old.

9. Arthritis

Everyone knows that this terrier has its origin as a hunting dog and is very energetic and active. But, when they become old, they tend to face joint issues with running, jumping, etc.

So, there is more possibility of catching arthritis by them. Therefore, pay much attention to their health when they get older. 

Tips to take care of your old Jack Russell

No one can stop the ageing of any living being that comes to this world. It is common to all, including your jack Russell.

The best thing is to take care of them well in their old age to make their final stages of life a happy one.

So, how to take care of an old Jack Russell terrier? Here is the answer in detail. You can try out these things to treat your jack Russell well in their final stages of life.  

1. Changing the food formula

It is not a secret that the nutritional requirements of old terriers differ from that of young dogs or puppies. It is important to provide food with fewer calories for old Jack Russells.

It is good to maintain obesity and body weight. When you choose senior food formulas, you can see that there are ingredients that help boost the immune system, balance the protein levels, and keep their energy. 

2. Giving better exercises

Jack Russell is an active and energetic terrier who loves to run, dig, jump, etc. But when they get older, their energy levels decrease.

So, you should provide them with enough exercise according to the dog’s energy level and health condition. Make sure not to give excessive exercise because it may be painful to the old Jack Russell.

And on the other hand, if you give fewer exercises, the dog will lose its activeness. So, it is better to understand the age and health of your dog and provide enough exercise for them. 

3. Providing enough space

Jack Russell loves to be isolated when they become old. So, you can help it by providing a safe place to stay alone.

It should be a private place for the dog without external disturbances from the children, other animals, etc.

4. Give them a safe floor to stay

When your pet dog reaches old age, it will be difficult to climb steps or walk on tiles, vinyl, etc. Because they are slippery, and it will be difficult to balance themselves.

Therefore, you can help your pet by keeping it on a safe floor surface like; mats, carpets, or just on the floor. 

5. Providing steps to avoid jumping

Jack Russell is a hunting dog who loves jumping a lot. But, when they become old, they will face many joint issues, arthritis, etc.

So, it is not good to jump at their old age as they did when they were young. There, you can give them dog stairs or pet steps to make them climb more safely and accessible. 

6. Maintaining their warmth

When Jack Russells become old, it will be very difficult to adapt to severe climatic changes. So, it is your responsibility to keep them warm and safe during the cold climate.

Therefore, it is better to go for walks with Jack Russell by putting them in a warm coat or a jacket. 

6. Do physical checkups

When you regularly do physical checkups, it will be easy for you to understand the health condition of your Jack Russell at the moment.

There, you have to pay special attention to their dental health, ears, eyes, and paws.

And if you notice that your dog is not physically comfortable, consult the vet to provide the necessary treatments.

7. Care for your blind Jack Russell

Most of the dogs, including Jack Russells, become partially or completely blind when they are getting old.

But, remember that the sense of smell of the dogs is very strong; even at their complete blindness, they can reach food and avoid harmful threats through this sense of smell.

So, you can make their life easy by giving them easy access to food, water, etc., and make sure it does not expose them to external threats.

8. Helping to manage arthritis

Many Jack Russells catch arthritis at their old age. Although you can’t cure it completely, you can release its pain by giving necessary treatments.

So, if you notice that your pet dog suffers from arthritis, quickly consult the vet.

Also, you may give them a heating pad with an orthopedic bed that helps them to reduce the pain and massage their legs to release the pain. 

Conclusion – How to take care of your old Jack Russell Terrier? 

We have discussed; old Jack Russell terrier caring with more details. This article will be very important for the Jack Russell owners as I have covered some important areas on caring about the old Jack Russell terrier-like; what is the age that a Jack Russell becomes old, how to recognize that your Jack Russell is old, what are the commonly seen diseases among old Jack Russells and finally, I have provided some tips to take care of your old Jack Russell.

Ageing is a universal incident that is common to all living beings, including your Jack Russell. We can’t stop their ageing, but we can care for them well at their last stage of life. So, a Jack Russell becomes a senior when it is about 10 or 12 years old.

There are some signs to recognize their oldness as; excessive sleep, love to isolate, changing the mood, etc. Also, there are some common diseases for old Jack Russells like; arthritis, blindness, deafness, diabetes, etc.

But you can follow various steps like; changing the food formula, giving better exercises, providing enough space, etc., to care for your Jack Russell well. Then you can be happy even in front of its death by thinking that you treated your pet well when he was alive.

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.

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