Why Is My Jack Russell Always Hungry? Explained With Tips

Why Is My Jack Russell Always Hungry? Explained With Tips

As active as it is, Jack Russells are hungry pretty much every time, and most JRT owners have been worried about this. As an owner of two Jacks Russell Terriers, I learned some insightful details on why a Jack Russell could be hungry all the time. And I thought this might be worth sharing with Jack Russell Terrier owners and dog enthusiasts.

So, why is my Jack Russell always hungry? A Jack Russell Terrier could always be hungry due to several reasons. The most common causes are Diabetes, Cushing’s disease (also known as Hyperthyroidism), Inflammatory bowel problems, Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and bad feeding habits followed by owners.

As you can see above, several reasons could make your Jack Russell hungry all the time, and they are most likely to be health-related concerns. But keep in your mind that there could be exceptions as well. To get a better understanding, give this article a read. 

Do Jack Russell terriers eat a lot?

So today, we will be finding answers to the question, “Why is my Jack Russell always hungry?” Before anything else, it is essential to know whether Jack Russells usually eat a lot.

Jack Russell Terriers are generally small-made dogs with an approximate weight of 13-17 lbs. Despite their small size, these dogs tend to be super active and energetic.

This might give you the notion that you should let your Jack Russell eat a lot of food as the dog is quite active. Therefore many Jack Russell owners misinterpret and overfeed their dogs.

Jack Russells do not require vast quantities of food. Dogs could be greedy eaters, nothing different with Jack Russells. So if you keep feeding them off-limits, they’ll just keep eating, and the end result could be obesity and related health issues.

So you have to equally pay attention to the quality and quantity of food you give to your Jack Russell. 

Why is my Jack Russell always hungry?

As I mentioned earlier, several reasons could make your Jack Russell always hungry. So now, let’s elaboratively look at them.

  • Diabetes

If your Jack Russell constantly gets hungry, diabetes could be one possible reason. Diabetes changes your Jack Russell’s glucose or sugar levels.

When the dog is diagnosed with diabetes, its body’s cells will not get all the glucose they need, even though the dog is eating an average amount. Therefore it will increase their will to appetite.

Eminently, pay attention to whether your dog loses its weight parallelly. If they lose weight though they eat a lot, that could be a clear sign of diabetes. 

  • Cushing’s disease/ Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, commonly known as Cushing’s disease, is caused when your dog’s body produces excessive amounts of cortisol hormone.

As professionals explain, cortisol is produced through adrenal glands, and it is a natural steroid.

However, overproducing this hormone could be dangerous as it leads to many health concerns, especially kidney-related ones. And a common indicator of Cushing’s disease is constant hunger. 

  • Inflammatory bowel problems

Inflammatory bowel problems result when your Jack Russell Terrier’s intestine or digestive tract becomes inflamed consistently.

In simple terms, the dog will find it hard to absorb the nutrients of the food properly. This will also lose your dog’s weight and subsequently make them hungry all the time. 

  • Bad eating patterns 

You must maintain a healthy and appropriate eating routine for your Jack Russell Terrier. Because when you overfeed them or keep feeding them unhealthy food, that could possibly increase their appetite and eventually make them sick.

Be mindful of giving them the required amount of food. And if you give them special treats, do it occasionally.

How much food should a Jack Russell eat a day?

As mentioned earlier, as long as you keep feeding your dog a lot of food, they will also keep eating. Therefore as the owner, it is your responsibility to be sensible of how much food you give to your Jack Russell Terrier.

When deciding the amount of food you should give to your Jack Russell, you have to pay attention to the dog’s age and weight.

The daily calorie requirement for a grownup Jack Russell would be around 800-900 calories, for a puppy 450-650 calories. Feeding an adult Jack Russell with dog food twice a day is usually recommended.

There isn’t a fixed quantity, but generally, one and a half or two cups would be enough for them to meet their daily calorie requirements. For a Jack Russell puppy, you may want to reduce this quantity a bit.

But remember, even though you reduce the quantity, you have to split that amount into three to five meals due to the faster metabolism of puppies.

Besides, as these dogs are pretty active, it would be okay to give them snacks occasionally apart from their main meals. However, it is not wise to feed them Junk food as snacks.

There are snacks specifically made for dogs, and you can treat your Jack Russell with them a couple of times a week in between their meals. 

How much water should a Jack Russell drink a day?

Many dog owners are not much concerned about the water intake of their dog, but trust me, it is essential that your dog drink enough water to stay healthy.

Like food, the amount of water that your dog should consume primarily depends on its body weight.

When it comes to a Jack Russell Terrier, drinking around 250 to 500 ml of water per day would be sufficient.

Your Jack Russell will tend to drink a bit less or more than the usual amount depending on the climate.

But if the dog completely avoids drinking water or drinks water excessively, that might be indicating something wrong. 

Final thoughts about Jack Russell’s hunger issue

In this article, we primarily discussed why a Jack Russell could always be hungry. Coming back to My Jack’s story, once we took it to the pet clinic, the vet explained that he had some bowel issues.

As spotted at the early stages, recommended medicines and proper diet patterns helped address this concern quickly. Health issues are likely to be the most common reason behind constant hunger.

Still, if you keep pampering your dog by giving so much food just because you love them, it will make the dog hungry all the time. So if you own a Jack Russell, make sure that you are conscious about what you feed and how much you feed your dog.

Even though you follow proper feeding routines, your dog might constantly get hungry due to unavoidable circumstances. So if you notice such changes, make sure you take the dog to a vet as soon as possible.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts. Greetings 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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