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How to Care for an Older Jack Russell Terrier

There inevitably comes a time in life when your dog won’t be as perky, energetic, patient, and healthy as it used to be. These are all perfectly normal signs of aging and as your dog gets older you must consider making some extra effort to make sure that your beloved companion is happy and healthy.

Jack Russell Terrier’s life expectancy is about 15 years but, just like humans, not all dogs age the same way. Some won’t show signs of aging at all, while some start aging sooner than you would expect.

They are individual and unique in their own way with their own likes and dislikes, preferences and annoyances, nevertheless here are some surefire ways to spot how old your dog is feeling and how to care him/her in the best way possible.

Is your dog grumpy?

Do you know how older people often complain how the things used to be better in the old days, the music today is too loud, young people have no respect for the elders, they don’t have a lot of understanding for young people and their “partying” and most things seem to bother them on a daily basis?

The same happens to some dogs. They become grumpy and impatient, start barking at the smallest provocation (even if often you don’t know what could have possibly provoked them).

Often they’ll want to be left alone more than before and won’t have much understanding for other dogs and animals, and people trespassing in their space, even those that they got along with nicely before. They may even lose interest in toys that were previously their favorites and could even have short temper around small children. This is all perfectly normal.

Your pets, as they age, will lose patience for some things and gain interest in others (especially napping), just as humans. The most important thing is to not force them into doing things that they don’t want to. Observe and listen to your four legged buddies, they’ll always show you what they want to do.

Be patient and full of understanding for your dog’s needs and wants. Make sure that you explain the situation to other people, especially children. Set up some boundaries regarding your beloved companion and make sure that everybody knows and understands them so that you all have a good time.

Is your dog low on energy?

As we age we often aren’t up to such physical strains as we were when we were young. Most of us won’t go running marathons or attempt record braking weight-lifting in our sixties. The body becomes more fragile and we get tired more easily. The same thing applies to our pets, the only difference is that they age much faster and grow old much sooner then people.

Your exercise loving JRT might start to like shorter walks. Your adventurous Jack Russell might be more domesticated and tranquil than he was in his youth. He just wants to enjoy the small comforts of life in their old age, just like your grandparents.

Make sure that they are warm enough and that they have everything they need for their comfort – a comfortable place to sleep and call their own, their favorite toys, fresh water nearby and plenty of love and affection as always.

Is your dog healthy?

As your Jack Russel ages his health will deteriorate just like any humans. If he has some chronic condition like diabetes, or problems with their joints, sight and hearing it’s possible that they will worsen with time.

Do consider supplementing your dogs nutrition with appropriate vitamins and minerals (consult you vet beforehand).

You should be careful and observe if they are avoiding exercise because they are in pain – divert your attention especially on their hind legs because there are diseases common in smaller dogs that attack the hip joints of our beloved companions (such as hip dysplasia).

Always consult your veterinarian about any unusual changes in behavior and appearance that you observe in your loving pet. They will set your mind at ease and instruct you in proper care and possible treatment for your furry friend.

Make sure that your pet receives their medication (if needed) regularly and in appropriate doses.

Be careful with the diet!

Jack Russell’s are generally prone to overeating and that can only become worse over time. Make sure they eat regularly, preferably two meals a day, but measure their portions carefully so they don’t start gaining excess weight. Adult active JRT should daily eat approximately 1,25 to 1,75 cups of high-quality dog food.

When giving them food you must always consider their body structure (stature, weight) and their activity during the day. If they are less active during the day (as they sometimes are when older) you should give them less food to avoid them being overweight. Excess weight in Jack Russell’s could lead to many problems and diseases for your pet – diabetes, heart and breathing problems, etc.

Remember to always feed your loved one only the best high quality dog food or really good adjusted homemade food with all needed supplements. If you notice changes on the skin and hair of your dog, or he/she suddenly becomes itchy and incessantly scratches it might be a sign of a food allergy – take your dog to the vet immediately for a checkup.

Caring for an older dog isn’t even half as much trouble as it sounds. Sure, he can sometimes be grumpier than when he was younger and maybe doesn’t have as much energy to chase every single squirrel that he comes across in the day but he is still the same lovable furry, four legged hunk of love with which you decided to spend a life with.

We care for our humans when they get older and our pets deserve nothing less of us than our very best.

My sweet Kala will soon be eight years old which is considered senior age in dogs. Even though I see some changes in her fur – her eyebrows and cheeks were brown before and now they are white, but her energy level is still on it’s high. I do try to keep it that way with long walks, lot of running and playing, and most importantly with keeping her mind young.

We still learn new tricks and try to improve those she knows from young age. Also, I really try to feed her with the best quality food – Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food and some homemade balanced dog appropriate food.

Do you fear your Jack Russell’s old age? Or maybe you have one old soul curled up next to you while you’re reading this? Please share your thoughts in comments below.

178 comments

  1. Hi I have a 15 year old jrt he is blind and partially deaf he has heart failure and the usual degenerative joints which occasionally bothers him but after medicine he is fine. All he does is sleep mostly and most days he will wee or defacate in the house. Even if he has just been outside and weed. He does not go for walks he doesn’t want to due to his vision loss. He is grumpy when he does not want to go out he won’t. He has always been a typical jrt wanting to dominate the world. I have a staffy and he doesn’t have much to do with him. He doesn’t seem unhappy he just sleeps all of the time he still likes his fuss and will bark for more when u still stroking him. His tail still wags when I come down stairs in the mornings sometimes if he is awake. His last bloods were all fine, he eats when he wants to. Drinks more than anything which is good at least. I just don’t know if I’m wrong to keep prolonging his life

    • Hi Mandy, for a start, excessive drinking can be a sign of diabetes or Cussing’s disease, and some other illnesses. If he’s still happy and not in much pain, I wouldn’t hurry with any decision. I wasn’t in such situation, but I spoke to many people and many commented here that you just know when the time comes. Hope it helps, Ana

  2. my jack russell max 18 in july and not been so well eating and drinking ok so loving to

    • Hi Claire, that is really respectable years for a dog, although if you read through comments, lots of JRTs live to that age. If you suspect your dog is in pain or somehow unwell, go check him with your vet. Cheers, Ana

  3. My JRT is going to be 18 in June! She has had a great life and still enjoys going for walks riding in the car, and sometimes plays with her toys. She does have health issues (kidney failure, seizures) which we treat with medications and I make all her meals. However, because of the seizures we don’t leave her alone much. I have spent almost 24 hours a day for the past year with her, and, although it’s a bit of a sacrifice for me, I love her so much and only worry about her when I’m away. She is always so very excited to see me even if I’m run an errand for 30 minutes! What a joy.

    • Dear Mere, sacrificing for our dogs is hard sometimes and maybe we can feel we missed something, but if you sum what she gave you during her life, the sacrifice worths. They are our best friends and loving companions. Cheers, Ana

  4. My 13 year old Parsons Russell Terrier has just been diagnosed with spondylosis. I only took her to the vet (a new one as we’ve recently moved house) for her booster injections but they booked her in for x-rays and the tests confirmed she has been in pain for a long time. I feel terrible. I’ve only had her for two years but in that time she has become my whole world. We’ve had so many adventures together and she is so energetic and lively, I thought everything was fine. I think she gets by on adrenaline but is in pain as soon as she stops. Now I’ve done some reading round the subject, I realise I’ve missed some subtle signs. I really feel like I’ve let her down. I should have done that before and I should have been taking her on 10 minute walks, not hour long ones. She just seemed so happy and I thought we were having wonderful walks. She’s been put on NSAIDs now and I have to take her back to the vets in two days. There seems to be some hope but I know I might have to say goodbye. It just doesn’t make sense, we’ve just been out for a little walk, I kept her on the lead but she is still full of bounce, wanting to run, digging the ground… but I know now that she is causing herself pain and damage. I really don’t know what to do. I have not stopped crying all week and right now I’m not sure I ever will. I just know I’ve got to do the right thing by her. Not sure what anyone can say but if anyone has been through anything similar, do let me know.

    • Hi Victoria, I’m so sorry for your situation but I think you should stop beating up yourself. Understanding subtle pain signs in terriers is really hard as they are the masters of hiding them. If I were you, I wouldn’t consider putting her down unless I got few opinions that that is the only choice. I know it’s really hard keeping JRTs calm on walks, even the old ones (I’m currently dealing with cut paw pad and crazy energy that makes that pain disappear when we’re outside), but we should be smart for them and stop them from running or digging before they hurt themselves even more.
      It’s so nice of you that you adopted a senior dog, they are so loving and still full of life, but often overlooked. Hope you have a lot more time left together and lot more adventures, just maybe those adjusted for her age. Just don’t let this situation ruin your time left. Think positive, cheers, Ana

  5. I love my little JRT. His name is Frank and he is 17 almost 18 years old. He recently went to the vet and his health is in perfect shape! The only thing I worry about are his teeth. They are in bad shape. He has had quite a few removed and now he probably needs a few more. I HATE having to put him under at his age even though they say it is fine. I am just a nervous mom after having him almost two decades of my life. He eats Fromm dog food which is add just a little warm water these days because of his teeth or lack there of. Do you have any suggestions for his diet? Is it okay to continue with his current routine? How can you tell if a tooth is bothering him?

    • Hi Anya, I’m so happy to hear there are older but healthy JRTs out there. If he eats well and is healthy, I wouldn’t change his diet much. Adding water or chicken stock is a great way to rehydrate dehydrated food and I’ve heard some vets recommending that for all dogs.
      If a tooth is bothering him, he would probably stop eating as he would be in pain and his gum around that tooth would be red and swollen.
      I understand you are worried about putting him under, I was worried about the same thing even when my JRT was 7yo.
      If I were you, and if I trusted my vet who recommends cleaning dog’s teeth, I’d probably go for it. Or you can go for the second opinion. Think about everything you’d like to ask – is it necessary, is he in pain with his teeth, would he benefit from the removal, how high are the risks of putting him under…
      Hope I helped a bit. Cheers, Ana

      • Ana,
        My female Jack Russell is 13 Almost 14.she is I thought in great health but i just noticed her back top side teeth have bad tarter.
        Did blood work and her thyroid is .8.low.
        Her liver count is 1800.high.
        Vet still thinks she needs dental surgery to get tarter off and possibly remove some teeth.I’m so scared she will die.
        She doesn’t seem in any pain and eats great.
        She eats canned pedigree. Had a bladder surgery 5 yrs.ago and took out 32 stones! That’s why on canned food.
        Should I do teeth cleaning? I’m nervous.

        • Hi Maria, I’m not sure what to tell you. I’m not a vet so I can suggest what I would do. Most probably I would consult some other reputable vet and ask for a second opinion. I believe you trust your vet and I think every vet works (or should work) only in favor of animals, but there is no shame in asking for a second opinion. Hope it all goes well. Regards, Ana

        • Hello Maria, my JRT, Frank, has awful teeth. I’ve had his teeth cleaned twice and the last time was when he was 16 years old which they also extracted several bad teeth. I, too, was so scared and nervous because of his age and going under. I recommend talking to your vet about any of those questions. They put my mind at ease mostly. Make sure whoever does it does I routinely; that they have plenty of experience doing it. There are measures you can take to prolong the health of your JRTs teeth but it isn’t a solve all anecdote. I brush what I can of my pups teeth and you can ask your vet about an additive for their water that helps clean their teeth as well. My JRT used to eat Pedigree canned food when he was much younger but now I feed him Fromm dry food that I soak and Party Animal Kickin Chicken wet food on occasion.

    • We had one female jrt for 17 years and had to have her teeth cleaned every few years. Our main concern for our girl was that she wasn’t put under sedation too often. My vet always gave her a full exam before any proceedure. During one in her 15th year they found liver cancer and we went ahead with her teethcleaning but decided it would be her last cleaning because of the advancement of the cancer. I took it upon myself to clean her teeth even more than I had done regularly in the past with her favorite dog paste of course. As her heath diminished the extra time grooming I spent help me deal with the inevitable and I felt that her vet wasn’t the only one making that decision. She looked forward to the cleanings as she’d wander to the patio each morning and lay down on her mat waiting and wagging her tail . We always rewarded her for such wonderful behaviour with her favorite toys and treats. When she passed (after diagnosis 18 month ) our vet said she was shocked our girl lasted as long ss she hadwe feel she kept going on account of us loving her so much. We feel Its always up to the jrt when they decide to go over that rainbow bridge they’ll tell you it’s time.

  6. Hi I have a JRT called Dino he’s 14 years 15 in a few weeks for the last couple of years he suffered badly with colitis but luckily that is all under control now with a special diet. He hardly ever used to eat at all but now he has a great appetite! For the last few months he’s been on steroids due to allergies with his paws they’ve always been very sensitive! In the last 8 month or so he’s gone deaf, he does have some vision but not great! Around a year ago I’d mentioned to the vet that I’ve noticed sometimes his back legs give in on him, she explained he had a bit of arthritis in his hips, over the last couple of days I’ve noticed a change in him walking he seems to have a weakness in his back legs it’s strange as he moves all his legs when walking but when he goes outside and has to go over a small step he’s kinda like a rabbit hopping or one of his legs doesn’t lift high enough so it’s knocking it a bit if that’s makes sense?? I have made an appointment for Monday morning just wondering if anyone has any experience of this? He’s still a happy pooch and playful ans doesn’t appear to be in pain but something definitely isn’t right…,, I even massaged his back legs and he doesn’t Yelp or cry but his leg kinda gives way as I touch it any advise be greatly appreciated

    • Hi Gaynor, all that you described sounds like usual old dog problems. It’s really hard to give any good advice over the internet and without seeing him, but I would say that all those hind legs problems are connected to arthritis. There is no better thing than to visit your vet, do the check up and then you’ll know more. Good luck, Ana

      • Hi Ana thank you for your reply, we visited the vets yesterday and she thinks one of his bag legs has gone lane due to trauma. Maybe a slip or fall which is possible as he still try’s to jump about and with having laminate flooring it’s not great for him! She’s hoping things will improve they’ve gave him an injection which he have once a wee for 4 weeks and also joint supplements, if the injections don’t help they will try to replace the steroids he’s on with something else so he can try anti inflammatory meds along with something else so fingers crossed! He’s a bit down cause he can’t jump on the couch bless xx

        • Hi Gaynor, that sounds better than I thought. I know how JRTs are with jumping, but he has to be patient for some time and I hope it will all be better soon. Enjoy every second with him :) Cheers, Ana

  7. Hi there! At first, sorry for my english. I have a 9 years old Jack named Nelson. He had little paw tumors at 3 and 6 years old. Both of them succesfully removed. My vet recommneds me castration for Nelson to prevent possible future tummors, but I dont know what to do. Can you give me your opinions? Im full of doubts.

    • Hi Estu, if you don’t plan to breed him, there is no much use of his man parts, so I would consider your vets’ recommendation. Besides that, as he already had two tumors, maybe he’s prone to such things, so prevention could go a long way. There are so many upsides of castration, but if you deeply research you’ll get lots of pros and cons, that you’ll be equally confused. You could go for a second opinion and decide upon that, just choose vets you have trust in. Good luck, Ana

  8. Hi, Our jack is now 13 Years, Given us a lot of joy, but seems to be not in a good space . Ammo has slowed down almost to a stop now, over 6-8 Months, Rear legs are now not really working, the Front Left also not working, and if Ammo can move forward, may be a metre, he falls down, He has always been a shakey dog,but even this has reduced. He seems to be doing poo’s without concern, no matter where he is, most mornings I have to clean out his bed.
    After reading other posts, I can confirm his eyes, ears are good, breathing seems good.
    It seems to me that he is getting towards the end, I will take him to a vet for a check up, and ask the question,
    Has anyone else had similar issues?,will meds improve, or is it a case of making comfortable until relief is needed?

    • Hi Jeremy, I’d take him for a full checkup and talk with the vet about your options and if any supplements or medicine could help him.
      Will it help, you can’t know unless you try, or your vet will have more answers when he sees him.
      Regards, Ana

    • Hi we have a Jack Russel he is 14 two years ago I thought my dog was dying as he couldn’t stand his back legs just give up then I discovered metacam it’s a oral suspension for dogs he has 10ml a day I have a new dog he never stops full of energy it’s brilliant ask for it at your vets please try it . Regards Tracey

  9. Hi Ana, I have written on here before on my two female jack Russell’s, the older one is 11 1/2 and the younger one is 6 years this month, my older one has always been Alpha and was mama to my younger one but lately the younger one attacks the older one to the point of wanting to kill each other, our hearts are broken, one day my older one came down stairs to go out to the bathroom and my younger one attacked her from behind for no reason. I have taken my younger one to the vet for exams and she is fine and healthy, we feel that she is getting older and wants the roll of Alpha and the older one is not ready to let go. To this day we have kept them separated and have accepted the fact that this is how they may have to be forever although it breaks our hearts but we feel it is best this way because the younger one wounded the older one really bad. We love both of our dogs so much that there is no question on putting either one for adoption they will remain with us because all they know is us and our home since each of them were 8 weeks old. Does anyone have any advise for me that may help? They get along with other dogs and love people it is just them two that don’t get along at times but it is when they fight they fight to kill. Thank you so much and appreciate all the advise I can get.

    • Hi Jessica, I remember your story, it must be heartbreaking watching your dogs fight like that. Did you search for a reputable trainer? Good trainer, with a trained eye, could see much better what it is all about.
      I’ll write you few training tips you could use but think about some relaxing supplements for planned training sessions. I use KalmAid for events I know that will make my dog nervous and around Christmas time because of fireworks. It’s just amino acids that support the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. So she’s not sleepy just more relaxed and happy.
      You could get your younger dog get used to a muzzle (but please use just positive reinforcement and a basket muzzle), set a fence between two rooms so they can see and smell each other, but can’t get to each other. Take the yummiest treats (cheese, hot dogs…) and your younger dog on a leash. Bring the older one on one side of the fence and the younger one on the other. Try to do some tricks or try to have her attention and reward it. You should explain to your younger dog to relax beside the older one. When she’s calm, get a step closer to the fence, reward every little positive attention toward your older dog. As she calms down, approach the fence a bit more. When you get her to be calm next to your older dog with a fence and a muzzle between, try to remove a muzzle and continue rewarding. When she gets that, put the muzzle on and remove the fence, but have them both on a leash. This all will take lots of time to work up to. Also, when you get them so they can be next to each other, take them for a brisk walk holding each of them separated, so they get used to being together with their focuses on something else.
      Hope you understood how it all should look like and hot to work things up.
      Good luck with it and remember to stay calm no matter what.
      Cheers, Ana

  10. I forgot to mention that I cook for him every night, and I have him on a, what I call a “Wolf diet!” Which is simply the removal of all cereals from his diet completely. I do give him an occasional treat, but usually it is beef chicken or lamb that I cook for him every evening. He has never experienced any lethargy, and he is regular in every way, and I have been cooking for him since I got him as an eight-week-old puppy. I remove the cereal from his diet about 2 years ago, and if I will not put a spoon in it and eat it, then I will not feed it to my dog based on reading the ingredients of all the foods out there! Just because you throw in a frozen pea, a piece of barley or a carrot chunk does not make it healthy! I recommend all dog owners to take the time and read the ingredients on all the labels because I think you will be surprised at what you’re actually feeding your animal! And for whatever it’s worth, I’m absolutely positive that the reason the dog has been so healthy and active and free of illness is because of his excellent diet and extreme exercise. He has been sailing, kayaking, jet skiing, rowing, riding around in my zodiac, I could never keep him out of the water even when I was in the frigid temperatures of Boothbay Harbor Maine! I just wanted to add that information to all those who find it odd that there beloved animal becomes ill when you realize how many additives and by-products are used in dog food!
    Unless someone can tell me what the byproduct of a chicken intestine is?
    Bless you all that love these very super smart intelligent very special animals! Happy New Year to all of you Jack Russell Terrier lovers! And, you can cook some food ahead of time, and mathematically it cost the same amount as a matter of fact sometimes a little bit less to cook actual food for your dog than it is to buy canned food! Good luck to all!

    • I totally agree with you. I would just add that beside those byproducts that end in dog food, primary ingredients are most likely poor quality and altogether overly processed. I also feed my JRT with cooked food, with some high-quality dry food, but I’m thinking about switching her completely to real food. No processed food can be better than a real piece of meat and some veggies. Cheers, Ana

  11. My JRT is in his 20th year! Until it got frigidly cold here in the east this winter and now and the beginning of 2018 he was capable of walking 3 miles with no problems! He’s almost completely blind in his right eye has some impairment on his left eye, other than that he is a happy fellow! He doesn’t swim anymore, and does not want to chase the tennis ball a hundred times like you used to. My question is he can’t hold his bladder anymore, and I have to wake up every 2 hours at night to change towels and pee pee pads because he is drinking water like crazy! Which tells me that he’s having kidney problems which, at his age I feel blessed everyday that he is here! My question is is there anything homeopathic or any sort of medication that I can give him that will help him with his thirst? Or anything I can do to help him in any way? I already know what my vet is going to say, and it’s so cold out he would rather do his business inside on the papers, but I know it upsets him because he knows what’s right and wrong and he’s amazingly intuitive! So I’ve been blessed because he’s never been sick! What a wonderful beautiful experience and companion and love of my life! But now I’m inconsolable because I do not want to have to put him down! He is the only family I have! Any suggestions or help would be welcome, and I have been and will continue to get up every 2 or 3 hours to tend to this animal, I owe him that much! I owe him the love and decency so that I can be worthy of the devotion that he is giving me for these beautiful 20 years!
    I pray constantly that God and the great spirit would have the decency to take him out with the dignity he deserves, and just let him go to sleep one night and not wake up! Something peaceful! I really do not want to have to watch the light go out in his eyes! And the worst part of it is that he is not in pain as far as I can see! We have been together since I got him 24/7 365 because I own my own business. So our relationship is far closer than most people’s pets. At this point it does not look like prayer is going to be on my side, and just to repeat if anyone has any experience with elder Jack Russell terriers with kidney issues, Any, any, help, info, or guidance would be welcome beyond words! Happy New Year, be kind and loving to your pets because they love you so much…
    A pre-emptive thank you for anyone’s kindness and assistance in this matter! May God and Buddha bless!

    • Hi Greg, did you try to remove his water dish in the evening or maybe leave it with a lesser amount of water? That way he could drink but not as much. In the morning just fill his dish again. Such thirst can be connected to many things, not just kidneys. Another thing that might be helpful is keeping him warm all the time, for example, drying him completely after a walk (even with a blow drier on medium heat) or covering him while he sleeps, if he wants to stay that way. I really don’t know anything about homeopathic remedies. Why don’t you ask your vet about some food supplement that could do him good?
      If he’s in no pain and still somehow enjoying his old days, there is no other logical thing to do and to try help him live them the best possible.
      Enjoy every minute you have left with him, regards, Ana

      • Robyn Nichols-Holland

        Hi Greg, I have a 16 year old Jack Russell Terrier that is having tremors in his back legs and now is dizzy and falling down if his only problem was wetting the bed I’d be so grateful your jrt has a lot more life in him don’t give up on him he’d rather be with you than anywhere let him live it out. My Kirby is the love of my life and I don’t know what I’ll do without him I know how heartbreaking this is but your little guy has a lot more to give.

    • If you baby has reached 20 that is SO wonderful! It pleased me to read that. We just lost our baby suddenly (in a matter of 5 days). She was 15 and THE BEST doggie EVER! She just turned 15 and started having weak/passing out spells suddenly. Took her to our vet right away. Kidney/bun/Creatine and liver ALL normal!! She had a slight fever and elevated white count. Within a few days (after IV treatment, lasix, and an x-ray) they recommended an echo cardiogram. Our sweet girl had a heart attack and was gone literally laying on the table while they were doing the test. NO time to say goodbye or prepare ourselves. It has been heartbreaking…. my two children cried their eyes out. She showed no signs that any of the heart problems were happening…. I pray your little Jack continues to have more good years! JRT’s are THE BEST!!! :)

      • Hi Tracie, thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. Even 15 years old is respectable years for a dog and sometimes I think it’s even better for everyone that it all happens suddenly. I know that’s extremely hard to accept, as you didn’t have any time to prepare, but at least she wasn’t in pain for a long time and your kids didn’t have to watch their favorite dog die slowly. I’m so sorry for your loss. Ana

      • Hi Tracie, I am reading all of these comments because I just lost my 16 1/2 yr. old JRT. Wolfy was by my side 24/7, I was never out of her sight, I was her person. Her last 2 weeks, she was “off”, not sick but not herself. At 3:30 am 3/18 I heard a weird noise from her. (She slept in a bed next to me recently because I always worried with her age of her jumping off my bed and hurting herself) She had soiled herself and I figured she had a stroke, I cleaned her up, woke my daughter to say goodbye and layed with her for about 20 minutes. I knew it was the end, she was awake but not moving, I kissed her and she went quietly with the person she loved most holding her. I was so brave, but ever since I have been hysterical all day long. I miss her presence, waiting in bathroom by my shower door on my towel, our walks, she had a bed by the door cause that is where she would wait for me. She travel as a service Dog all over with me. I miss her terribly.

        I am so sorry for your loss! Jacks are the most loyal, smartest dogs! How lucky are we to have had them. Too bad they never stay long enough!!!

        • You made me cry now :( I’m so sorry for your loss, but you can be calm as you know you did everything you could, you were there in her hardest times as she was with you in your hardest times. She had a great life. Cheers to all the loving memories she left behind. Ana

      • Hi,

        I just want to tell you I am so very sorry about your Jack Russell dying in such a manner. It is hard to lose a beloved pet without having to say good bye. Many years ago when my step-daughter’s dog got loose the dog ran in to to a lake and ended up dying without any goodbyes. To help the grieving process she made a collage of pictures of the dog and hung it on the wall.

        For myself when I lost my beloved dog of 14 to cancer. His old age complicated the healing process. Anyway, when he died I spent 24 hrs (I had no small kids) making a photo of him on Snapfish which is one of my favorites. I also wrote a story about him as well.

        I share this in the hopes some part of the suggestions might be useful. I don’t know who you are or where you live but I am sending healing energy to you and your family.

        • Hi Deborah, thank you very much for sharing. In such situations, any advice can help or at least show someone there are people who understand their grief. Thank you, Ana

    • Hi , have you tried incurrin , it’s for baggy bladder , or has urinary tract infection been ruled out ?

    • I just lost my JRT yesterday….I had him 17 years but not sure his age since he was a stray dog,I am guessing he was 1or 2 when I found him making him 19 years old…..he also drank a lot of water and peed a lot….I felt he was diabetic….what I did is let him drink the water…he needed it…so I looked on youtube and found out how he can wear a diaper….I got size 6 it went around his waste leaving his back end out but making sure to cover up his pee pee…..like the letter O around him…I than cut off the foot of a tub sock and put that on over the diaper so it stayed on and didn’t look like a diaper at all more of a bandage. It would last all night…I hope this helps..I miss my little guy so much it hurts..

  12. Hello guys. As I have mentioned earlier, we had to put Buster to sleep on Dec 04, 2017. We cry everyday because we miss him so much. He was 18 years old so you can just imagine everything we did together as a family. He was with us when we moved from one apartment to another and on our house. I still remember back in 2003 like it was yesterday when we first moved in to our house, we have a huge backyard and he didn’t want to run because he was waiting for me to put his leash on. :) He was used to having a leash when he walks outside because we didn’t have a yard back then. Then when he realized that we have our own yard and it’s fenced in, he was running like crazy. He is all white and he glows when he runs and plays with our other dog. I also remember when he would jumped over a 4 feet fence (he’s long legged) several times and we would be looking for him for hours. One day, some kids unlocked the gate and he got away along with our chihuahua and our neighbor knocked on our door to tell us what happened and that they are waiting for us under my husband’s truck. :) They didn’t go after the kids but waited instead.

    I still tell my husband that I wish I can turn back the time and took him to a holistic vet when he got sick. Like I said, he hasn’t been ill until 2 years ago. It god really bad that he lose weight, lose muscles on his face and all over his body, shaking, seizures, leaning to his left, walking in small circles that will make you dizzy because we have to hold him up, but even on his last day before he was put to sleep, he didn’t want to lie down and wanted to walk so he died on my arms. My daughter watched the whole process and the whole family cried and cried in that little room.

    We decorated our tree with all his polaroid pictures taken by our daughter. We also went to all the places we have been hanging out to take pictures. He was cremated so we can take him with us if and when we decide to move. Our daughter will be setting up an altar where he can always see his pictures, paw prints, fur in the jars, and ashes in the urn everyday. She is just busy with her online business being Christmas time and all.

    His last few days with us were the best days too because we all spent our time to be around him. We would take turns keeping an eye on him at night and during the day, we would just all gather around and watch DVD’s with junk food that he loved so much. He was always on a healthy organic diet and and never had junk food so he was so amazed with french fries, fried chicken, filet mignon, and everything else.

    He was happy and content but we also know that it was time to say goodbye for now.

    • Hi Rose, you really did your best and don’t beat yourself for not doing more. A holistic vet might help more, but Buster wouldn’t live much longer maybe few more days. Thank you for sharing your story, it was probably hard for you to put it into words, but it can be really helpful to all others who are in similar situation. Kepp him in your thoughts and remember those great old memories.
      regards,
      Ana

    • I had to put my Jack Russell (Named Jack Straw) to sleep a few days ago after ~16 years (14.5 with my wife and I). It hurts so bad but he had cancer surgery twice and a major back surgery. He had re-hurt his back and already was being carried everywhere for the last year plus. He was on major meds everyday but we just couldn’t stand to see him suffer anymore, nor were we going to put him through anymore procedures. It has been hardest on my youngest daughter but both kids have learned so much from Jack. Dogs are much better than humans, they never complain to you or are not happy to see you. I just wish we could see him one more time.

      • Dear John, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know it was the hardest choice to make, but watching them in pain is terrible. I understand how you and your kids feel, but you are so lucky that you shared that many years with your loving companion. And watching your kids grow up with a dog and learning so much from him is priceless. Remember the good times and keep him in your heart. Cheers, Ana

  13. My JRT Toby is now 16.5 and has been slowing down for quite some time. Completely deaf (great eye sight though!) and severe weakness in his hind legs caused by “Dog Shaker Syndrome” — kind of like a Parkinson’s for dogs that he developed at 13 and progressed. Anyhow, he went completely incontinent about 1-2 months ago. Used to be occasional, now it’s 100% of the time. He’s also very nervous/anxious, so we have to medicate him to relax. It’s getting really bad and affecting our lives. He whines all the time and paces until he collapses. We have beds all over the house so that he doesn’t have to lay on the cold tile. He will only sometimes eat on his own, and most times I have to hand feed him – sometimes taking one morsel at a time and I have to switch up his diet every few days so that he will eat it. He sleeps with me in bed, but now his incontinence is making it difficult to have him up there anymore, and I fear the little comforts we gave him before will be soon gone, and then there will be nothing left! Poor guy has such bad arthritis too – we give him pain medication for that, but not sure how much it’s helping. This is my first dog where we are having to decide what to do — people say we will “know” when it’s time. But how do you really know? Nothing traumatic has happened (stroke, heart failure, etc.) — so I feel like I’ll be letting him down if we put him down. Can someone provide advice on how you make this type of decision? :( He is our first baby, and really my soul mate. I love him dearly!! So hard.

    • Hi Joanne, I’m so sorry you are in such situation, it’s really hard to watch our once happy and active dogs get so unhealthy and weak in a relatively short time. I never was in such situation where I had to make that (the worst) decision, but I’ve heard different stories. I have to honest, for some of them I thought they made that decision too early, but you never know until you get in that situation. Now, I think I would consider it only if my dog was so old and ill that nothing helps, if she was in pain and if the vet says there’s nothing left to help her. I know this isn’t helping, but if I were you, I’d go to the vet I really trust and talk to him about it all. They see lots of cases like yours, they are aware of your dog’s health state and they can recommend you what to do. People say you’ll know when the time comes, but don’t expect it will be easy or that you’ll get over him easier. I think most of people after making such decision wonder for long after if they did the best. Good luck, Ana

      • Thanks, Ana. Yes, it’s definitely a hard decision to make. Just when we think “it may be time” he starts prancing around my house and acting playful again. He’s a young dog in an old man’s body! I think he may have some more life in him.. though I do know the end is near. When it does come, I’m hoping we will know or at least feel it’s what’s best for him. My other dog (also JRT mix) has never been without him, so we plan to have the vet come to our home to put both dogs at ease. It’s so heartbreaking but unfortunately they cannot live as long as us. Thanks again for your support and kind words — Joanne

      • Hi joanna my heart goes out to you and your beloved pet we lost our jack russell Becks .21 weeks ago he was 17 and half years old very lively until the end he was diagnosed with arthritis I’m may 2016 lived life to the full loved playing ball long walks he just never got tired until July 31st 2017 wasent himself been sick and weak took him to the vet and was told the arthritis made a old dog very old quick he was diagnosed with kidney failure and given three day the vet said he wasn’t in any pain so we took him home put a mattress on the living room floor slept with him nursed him on the 3rd of August 2017 he went to his favourite spot in the garden where he used to lay in the sunshine for the past 17 half years he had a severe fit we knew then it was time we took our best friend to the vets had a very dignified farewell my self my husband and our other jack russell he is Buried in our garden not a day goes by without talking to him or sqeeking he favourite squeaky burgers I don’t know how you get over loosein a pet but you will know when it’s time to let go

        • Hi Eileen, fortunately, I wasn’t in that situation, but I somehow feel you all know when the time comes. YOur story made me cry as I know how you feel. I lost two dogs by now and that were one of the most painful events in my life, followed by long periods of grieve. I never forgot them, I talk about some them regularly, you just learn to live without them and fill your life with one other little furry ball. Regards, Ana

    • Joanne,

      I hope you can read this. We just put our 18 year old Jack Russell to sleep on Dec 04, 2017. We only fed him organic food the last 10 years or so. He has been healthy and never needed a vet up until 2 years ago when he was diagnosed with Lyme’s disease. 5 months after that, he got mange and the vet gave him Bravecto. He didn’t finish the full course because I found a FB page of dog owners who had terrible issues with the medicine. I truly believe his Lyme’s disease, coupled with yearly deadly vaccinations, and bravecto side effects did a number on him and attacked his kidneys. All that time we thought he was just getting old (pacing, hind legs getting weak, etc) but he got so bad that he needed a 24 hour care and it has affected our lives and businesses. Took him to a traditional vet and a holistic vet and both told us that he needs to be euthanized. All I can say is that from now on, with our other dog and future dogs, we will only be taking them to a holistic vet and limit their vaccinations. If you need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We miss our Buster everyday….

      • Hi Rose, thank you for sharing your story and I’m truly sorry you had such a bad experience. After all, losing a beloved dog is never easy. Hope your story will help Joanne in making the best decision for her dog. Regards,Ana

      • Rose, thank you for your note. I’m so sorry to hear about Buster’s passing. I know how difficult that must be for you, as I’m going through the same thing with my Toby. He’s still hanging on. I also think vaccines may be the cause of some of our dogs’ ailments. My other JRT mix developed GME (long name for encephalitis) we think from an overdose of her rabies and distemper shots in 2013. Shortly after she received the vaccines, she developed this disease. Not a lot of research has been done, but some studies do link vaccines to the cause of GME. It’s neurological and she went blind, and most dogs who have it die in a short timeframe because it affects their nervous system and they are unable to walk. We’ve been through a lot with her too — lots of $$ spent on neurologists, eye doctors, blood transfusions from side effects of the medications, etc. It’s tough. She’s 13 now and also still hanging on. We have the geriatric ward over here, we say. But we love them like children. Hang in there. And again, really appreciate the support!

        • Hi Joanne , after reading your comment I agree the vaccines are incorrectly dosed far to often. Even other steroid medications given are the same . We had a vet that accused us of overfeeding our jrt because she gained weight in one month ( it was only a kilo) but she’d been in great condition prior to him giving her steroid injection for an ailment she had. Then later in years again he blamed us for her diabetes & cushings disease combo saying we must have over fed her too often. She hadn’t gained any more than 1/2 kilo since the prior visit . It seems some medications trigger both diabetes & cushings so we were told by a new vet. Unfortunately we had already lost our girl ( aged 12) due to continued infections the prior vet treated her and eventually with out our consent put her to sleep because the infections she kept getting worsened and caused her pain. Not that we wouldnt have wanted to keep her in pain but he didnt tell call us to tell us she was in that bad of pain until we went to pick her up then following morning. We took her in because of vomiting up her dinner. I was livid that vet accused us of wring doing but with research after the fact and talking to numerous other vets I found answers to many questions on the jrt breed .

          • Hi Anne, what a story?? I can’t believe any vet could be so irresponsible to put down a dog prior to consulting the owner. That’s terrible. His license should be taken. I’m sorry for your loss and I hope your story will help others realize when it’s time to change the vet. Again, thanks for sharing, Ana

      • I have a 13.5 JRT named Rudy, who is very quickly slowing down. He is very hard of hearing and cannot see well. He has really weird sleeping habits – usually wakes up at around 2 am and shakes and doesn’t want to keep still. He seems like he has doggie Alzheimers. I would like to know your experience with holistic vets in comparison to regular vets. thank you!

        • Hi, unfortunately, I can just give you my current opinion, not experience as I live in Croatia, EU, and here we still have just regular vets. But I did some research about it some time ago when my dog had some medical issues. I concluded I’d much rather go to the good holistic vet as I think health comes from your full body and mind state, not just treating some parts of the body. I also think that real fresh food is among the most important factors of health, and most regular vets recommend the overly processed dry food. HOpe it helped a bit, cheers, Ana

    • Hi Joanne,
      I too have an old JRT. My Buster turned 15 last June. He too is incontinent. I have five different belly bands that I rotate and wash every day. I place a jumbo sanitary pad in the center before I before I Velcro it on him. He circles and paces constantly, but he’s happy. He was never a cuddler, but now I hold him on my lap every evening. I’m just trying to make him warm and comfortable at this point. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain. I keep a coat or sweater on him always. His pacing drives me crazy, but I know soon enough he’ll be gone and I will miss it… Best to you
      Karen

  14. I also noticed things like maybe a year ago he was getting to know another dog in the building and the dog playfully snipped at Max, he had a deep scratch from the other dog on his right side, after it scabbed, the fur never grew back, he has some weird little red bumps on different parts of his little body and don’t know what those are. Please let me know.

    • I think his fur didn’t grow back because he’s pretty old and his skin and fur doesn’t recuperate as it did before. Regarding those bumps, do they look like warts? if they do, they are totally normal for old dogs, most of the get those. If they look differently, it might be the best to go to the vet and check them.

  15. I have a Jack that will be 16 on March 26, 2018. Lately he sleeps a lot, doesn’t hear me come up behind him or when he is sleeping. He used to hear me way before. He was super hyper for most of his years but the last 6 months, I have seen so many changes. He gets cold easy, he is having accidents sometimes but he still has a lot of pep in him. How much longer do you think I have with him, should I take him to the Vet? I just got him up, and he went back and laid down just now. I think he wants to go be with my other Jack I lost in 2014, his wife Belle. He seems so down too.

    • Hi Geralyn, all those things you described (loss of hearing, getting cold easily, having accidents at home) are normal part of old age. Unfortunately I can’t say how much more you have left with him. If you see some sudden change in his behavior, some new health issues, definitely go to the vet. If you don’t want to wait for another issue you rise up, take him to the vet for a quick check up, maybe ask for some vitamins or other supplements you could give him to ease those old age problems. Cherish every moment you still have with him and do everything in his pace. If he’s in a mood for walking, go for a walk, if he just wants to lay down, be with him.
      I’ll be keeping you both in my thoughts.
      Regards, Ana

  16. We had the most dear sweet female Parson Jack Russell dog Queenie. She was a broken coat black face and spot on back all the rest white. She was 15 years and 7 months old when my Wife and I made the decision to put our dear one to sleep, Sept 20th 2017. I still cry almost everyday about this, she was my soul mate doggie. What you say about aging is true they slow down, can be grumpy. But remember the grumpy could be a sign of pain not impatience. Our dear one was full of energy up until about 1 year before her passing. For the 5 years before then about 10 years old. I bought her special coats for winter weather to keep her warmer, I noticed the sweaters she had were not doing the job. Older dogs need more warmth. I moved her bed upstairs by ours got her a gel bed for her arthritis so she could sleep better, Trimmed her face hair so it was not covering her eyes. Some older Jacks grow lots of hair in old age. Mine did. Brushed her out twice a day. Morning and night. Her fur was getting messed up during the day at times. The brushing her hated but it made her feel better afterward. Animals who are in distress sometimes have fur that is messed up combing makes the fur better and the animal feel better. He loved her walks, her family, her toys and her treats. She walked almost a mile with my Wife her last day then the stroke happened. The vet visit. the Grim reality. I brought our dear one home one last time and back to the vet and our final goodbyes….I still blame myself and wonder if I could have done something different and our dear one would still be with us. Loving your dog til the end is the best medicine they can ever get.

    • Hi Scott, your story is really emotional and above all true to a word. Old dogs do have special wisdom and character in them. Sometimes grumpy, but loving. It’s so nice of you you did all that combing and took special care of her needs. I know it’s hard for you and that you blame yourself but you did all you could and Queenie knew that. Probably there wasn’t anything better you could do and even if you did something different, you could extend her life maybe for few days and there is a chance she would suffer more in this days. You’ll always have her in a special place in your heart and your memories won’t fade out, but you know she wouldn’t like to see you sad. But when you get sad, remember she had a great life, lived long, active and healthy, remember her smile (we crazy dog people know dogs do smile) and I think you’ll feel better.
      regards,
      Ana

      • This one made me cry. I have an 11 year JR…. and I have no clue what I will do without her. She is in great shat. Spoiled and over pampered. She saved me as a 7 week old after losing my mom. If she goes, I’ll be lost. Someone told me to get another one maybe to ease the sin of losing her. I decided not to as I want all the love to go to her. Her name is Cookie Monster… my best little girl. Cookie Monster & Daddy… “The Dynamic Duo”

        • Hi Max, I truly know how you feel. Kala (my happy Jack Russell) is my third dog and losing those two before was both unexpected and devastating. After loosing my first dog, when I was only 10 yo, my parents decided not to get another dog and we lived like that for 3 or 4 years. I cried every day, missing him and only wanted to hug some dog. Nothing else mattered to me. After years of constant crying, they gave up and I got another dog. It was a surprise present, I was truly speechless and loved him to the moon and back. When he was 11, suddenly he started acting weird (in one day) – he didn’t get up as usual when I took keys to go out, but when we got out he still chased some girl. Few hours later he started peeing blood and in the evening he was dead. It was piroplasmosis from a tick. We took him to the vet when we saw blood but it was too late. I don’t even have to say hew I felt then.
          At that time I already lived on my own and I decided to take another (any) dog to ease my pain. And I took Kala, without much thinking and now I’d say it was the best decision ever. Even though I was still grieving, she eased my pain. She didn’t replace him, she just fulfilled the emptiness left behind him. I never stopped thinking of him. So, what’s the point of my story, you should do exactly how you feel, but don’t think any other dog will replace Cookie one day or that you’re not dedicated to Cookie any more. And you know she doesn’t want to see you sad. And after all, she’s just 11, you have many more years of great friendship to enjoy, so use it as much as you can. Cheers, Ana

  17. My 13.5 year old JRT Jack has a serious heart murmur, diagnosed by his vet. He takes meds like enelapril and something to make him per. The meds stopped the horrible coughing, but now he has decided that the house is fair game to lose his bladder. Not but leaking, but he is now lifting his leg everywhere. To our dismay, we found he has been doing this for a while without our knowledge. I can’t keep him outside because he is an inside dog and we live in a condo. I can’t keep him in his crane all day, not fair to him! What can I do? His vet says he is on “quality of life” and w/o,t put him under to clean his teeth or e en give his rabies shot. Did I mention he is 90% deaf? Would a vet say its time for him to cross the bridge, or would they tell me to put up with the destruction if our home, or would they say put him in a shelter??? I don’t k,ow what to do. My fur baby seems happy but he startled easy for lack of hearing. HELP!

    • Hi Christine, if I were you, I wouldn’t agree on putting him in a shelter or putting him down except his overall condition wasn’t really bad (not eating, not walking, being in horrible pain). I suppose he was house trained before so that can’t be a reason for his peeing. Of course, you can’t keep him in crate all day. Is he home alone for a long time each day? Is there anyone who could take him out for a quick pee every time he wakes up, drinks and eats? I assume you can guess in which situations he’d like to pee, so someone could take him out for a minute? Did you maybe change something other in his life? Do you have another dog in the house? He’s an old dog now and after his whole life being there for you, I feel like you should be there for him in his hardest times. As I’m not a vet, I really can’t help with any medical advice, but you could go for a second opinion. Good luck, Ana

  18. Hi just like to say that I thought this is a great piece of information on the JRT, found it very helpful! we’ve got a 12 year old JRT called Cassie who is unfortunately showing signs of old age, everything has been fine until about 4 months ago when her skin began to become very dry and start to flake. We’ve been to see the vets who recommended a type of small animal shampoo that still might have been a bit harsh further worsening the skin. At the moment her skin is still very dry, flaky and red! any advice on certain products or home remedies would be much appreciated as she is completely scared of local vets.

    Many thanks,

    Dylan and Cassie

    • Hi Dylan and Cassie, some time ago my JRT Kala had some flaky skin issues and we ended up at canine dermatologist. She said that all regular dog shampoos are way to harsh for all dogs and that we should skip them. She recommended shampoo called Allermyl, especially formulated for dry and allergy prone skin. For a start she said to bath her 5 times every three days and each time to put on shampoo and leave it on for 10 min and then to rinse it off. If you can’t find that exact shampoo, try to find some other shampoo for dogs with allergies (those vet formulated shampoos, not those commercial ones). Except that I used coconut oil after the baths and put it on her belly which was most affected. You can put it on in small amounts on her fur also. Also I have excellent experience with Natural Dog Company’s products which are all natural and really soothing.
      Hope any of this helps.
      Regards,
      Ana and Kala

  19. Hi I have a 5 year old jack Russell she has become more lazy and won’t play with anyone are even the other dog we have got she is being very snappy towards him as well is there anything I can do

    • Hi Donna, what do you consider by saying she’s lazy? Does she refuse to go for a walk, doesn’t want to play? Are you sure she’s healthy? Does she eat normally? Being lazy and suddenly snappy toward dog she used to play every day can be a sign of some health issues. Maybe she’s in pain.
      She’s nowhere near being old and that being a cause of laziness. If you excluded all health issues, you can start working with her, maybe once in a while spend some time alone with her, go for a walk and play with her. Also, when interacting with your other dog, praise her when she’s acting nice. Except that try to incorporate some activities with both of them which will be pleasurable for both of them. Also, I recommend a great book Feeling Outnumbered? How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household. by Karen B. London and‎ Patricia B. McConnell where you can find lots of advice. Good luck, Ana

  20. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  21. My Artemis is a rescue adoption who got me through a stroke and failed marriage and became my ultimate “go to” for keeping focus on the here and now. She’s not been the typical JRT in personality but a more cuddling and attention seeking terrier who still has her bred characteristics still in tow. A quick housebreak and a JRT who I can trust on walks in the suburbs without a leash she’s been a superior first dog foe me. She is likely around 10 or 11 and starting to show age as much as she’s shown her affinity for food in her previous presentation. I know that I will be a blabbering basket case when the inevitable comes but I hope I can be as dedicated to making her challenges as painless and tolerable as she’s made mine. The decision is likely pending on whether she’ll be the first of a string of companions but a once in a lifetime blessing. I hope that I will be strong enough to know that the benefits I’ve enjoyed are secondary to those Artie has when that decision is made. I don’t think there is anything broader or deeper than the love from a new puppy compared to the loss of one who has been so dedicated for years. I hope I can respect the companionship Artemis has given me enough to allow another blessing the same opportunity be it a rescue or a more targeted choice.

    • Hi Perry, your words for Artemis are so kind and and heartwarming. Although she didn’t read them, I know that she feels it every day as you return her love and appreciation . If she’s 10-ish, you don’t have any reason to worry about losing her (although unexpected things do happen) as Jacks are long living breed and I think you have a lot more time to enjoy each others company. When things come to the end, it will be hard but you’ll have so much great memories to remember her. Taking another dog soon after losing a dog is a personal choice. Some people take another one, even before the old one is gone, some take it immediately after and some decide never to take in another dog, because of the pain they feel for losing their beloved dog. Kala, my JRT, is my third dog. After accidentally losing my first dog (I was a kid), my parents decided not to take another dog. I cried every day, partly because of losing the old one and partly because I thought I’ll never have a new one. But after 3 years of crying and constant begging I got a dog (insert happy dance here :)) and when I moved out from my parents house, he moved with me. At that moment I was sure I’ll always have a dog and won’t wait long to take another dog after losing this one. His end came and after a month a decided it was time for another dog. I still didn’t grieve him, but new fur ball eased my pain. Now when I think of it, that was the best decision, and I’ll do the same when I’ll be in that situation. New dog doesn’t replace the old one, it brings different kind of joy, you won’t forget the old one because of the new one, the old one would prefer you being happy with another dog than seeing you broken down. So, what ever you decide after your life together comes to the end, don’t punish yourself now with things that will happen in future and enjoy every second of your friendship while it lasts. Cheers, Ana

  22. This site is really useful,could any one help me with my JRT problems,she is 14 years and 6 months.
    Recently she is struggling with her hind legs and difficult in walking.I took her to the vet and he did a blood test.it is normal.the wet fond lump in her brest and he suggested to opperation.but he didn’t even listen to the chest.
    I don’t know whether she is fit enough for operation.she has smelly mouth .he said he has to clean mouth under anestatic.he said he could do that two at the same time.I don’t know my JRT is strong enough for a operation.
    If any one know good vet (please introduce me.When I asked for the report of the blood test he refused.I paid money in full £126 for the test.
    Could kindly introduce me a good vet.

    • Hi, I’m sorry to hear that your JRT is having health problems. As you wrote bill amount in £, I suppose you live in UK, but I still don’t know where. As I live in Croatia, a can’t help you with a recommendation. I would definitely go to another vet for second opinion and after all to find out what’s happening with her hind legs. I think it’s really unprofessional from your vet not to show you blood results. I would automatically assume he didn’t even do it. Would you please write where are you from, so maybe somebody else can help you with recommendation. Also, I’d ask most of the people that I know with dogs where do they go. Hope it all works out fine with your Jack. Cheers, Ana

      • Hi sorry I’ve jumped on your answer for somebody else but I wondered if you had any suggestions what I can do for my jrt he’s 14yrs old and has started acting out of character he starts to shake if it’s noisy he follows me from room to room and he’s peed on my bed twice which is so unlike him,he also has bad breath my vet gave him antibiotics for an infection and told me it’s a risk for him to go under anthestic because of he’s age and he’s very rarely has a seizures about 4 a year ..he’s just acting strange..thankyou.

        • Hi Joanne, I would ascribe shaking to the old age, or nervousness as a result from the noise. Did he maybe caught a cold? Peeing and maybe shaking could be a result of the cold. When he peed, did he do it while he was conscious or you found a wet spot under him when he got up? If he peed while sleeping, it could be that he’s starting to have incontinence problems. As you see, I wrote you few different possible scenarios, so, it would be the best to go to the vet to check it all up. And regarding bad breath, it seems like you’ll just have to endure it :(
          Hope everything goes well. Cheers, Ana

  23. I have a 9year old Jack Russell, just all of a sudden , he is sleeping more & shivering, he was always full of beans, these past 2days ,his sleeping more, he is eating & drinking ok, if I lift him he is ok ,but when I put him down, he seems to be in pain, very concerned about him.

    • Hi Pauline, 9yo is not old age for JRT and even if his weird behavior was from the old age it wouldn’t happen so sudden. Eating and drinking is usually a good sign. Does he pees and poops normally? Does he refuse to play or run or do something that he used to love before? I would definitely take him to the vet as soon as possible. I’d say JRTs and other terriers usually hide their pain and try to act as normal, so maybe he’s in more pain than he shows. Good luck and I hope he’s just under the influence of the weather, Ana

  24. Hello. Thank you for your input. My JRT is 13. She has a luxating patella and I am so upset right now because she is walking on 3 legs and in pain. I have tried laser treatments in the past. The condition is getting worse as she is getting older. What do you know about luxating patellas in JRT’s and especially seniors? What is the best and safest method for keeping her pain free? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Vicky, that is one of genetic illnesses characteristic for JRTs. I don’t have much experience with it, but as far as I know there is no much to do except surgery. And whether to go on a surgery or not depends on seriousness of the problem. Except that, some joint support supplements are recommended, mostly GAGs. As she’s in pain, I’d recommend you to go to the vet and consult about everything – possibility of the surgery, supplements and some pain killers. Hope it helps a bit, Ana

  25. Thanks so much for your article. My JR is 14 and a few months old. His eyes have gone cloudy. His coat doesn’t look the same and he is one grumpy little fluff ball! He’s never had loads of energy like the others are described as having but he’s even more lazy now. He just likes to lay on the sofa and sleep. I know he’s getting close to dying. It’s breaking my heart. I don’t know what to do. Will I wake up one day and he’ll be gone? Or will he start having some horrible seizure/heart attack in front of me? What happens when they ‘die of old age’? What actually kills them? I never have a dog die from old age before so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Arwen, I’m not sure what to write exactly, as all those scenarios are possible. Some of them just fall asleep and never wake up again, some of them have a seizure or heart attack and to some their internal organs start to give up and stop working and you watch them go away slowly and probably you can end up in a situation where you’ll have to make the toughest decision of them all – should you euthanize him to end his suffering. Although we try to prepare ourselves for eventual loss of our dear family members (and I include dogs in it), I’m not sure that you can ever be prepared for it. My suggestion would be to try to enjoy what is left from your journey together. If he’s no more into long walks, take him just to his favorite place, indulge foods he loves but you didn’t give him before often, hug him on the sofa and watch TV together, or visit all his favorite people. Maybe you can do some kind of bucket list for him and try to use every day as your last, you certainly won’t regret it. And you’ll still be able to see his happy face and remember him by it. Just don’t fall in some kind of depression and sadness. Hope it helps, Ana

  26. hi, my Hailey JRT, is 15 years old. her eyesight is bad and she barks for no reason and its usually at nighttime. Don’t know why, she has food in her dish. Last night, i noticed she would not eat can food or the dry, but drank water, then today too , she would only eat treats. She also seems to have a hard time pottying. Is this normal or should i get her an a laxitive?? help

    • Hi, losing eyesight can cause anxiety, even more at night as she sees even less than during the day. That can be a reason for barking what seems to you without a reason. She probably hears some noises she doesn’t recognize and therefore barks. Regarding not eating, I wouldn’t give her any laxatives as those should be given in agreement with the vet and those are given when dogs can’t poop, not when they aren’t eating. Since not eating, did she poop as normal or she had a diarrhea? If she had diarrhea, main thing is for her to drink water as she could dehydrate, also I’d overcook rice (to get it as slimy as possible) and cook a bit of skinless chicken in it and give her only that until she comes back to her normal state. If she’s just not eating, and she pooped normal, I’d just offer her standard food later, maybe she just wasn’t feeling ok. We all feel like that sometimes.
      If you are really worried, you can take her to the vet and get some specific recommendation, as searching solutions on the internet can be misleading. Good luck, Ana

  27. Hi I have an 11 and a 5 year old JRTs, my 11 year old has had a heart murmur for a few years now and Pancreatics she is on daily meds which seem to help her, I cannot have water hose or toys out because my 11 year old gets crazy to the point where they fight for blood, we’ve had to break up fights several times so we mostly avoid those things and if I water out back with hose I keep them inside. I need advice I’ve been scared lately because ever since they each were 8 weeks old they have been with us and they both sleep with us we go to work and we leave them alone together and they never have fought. They can bump each other and they are fine with each other and it’s like that most of the time but lately my fear is my 11 year old does not recognize my 5 year old. Purdie is 11 and Coco is my 5 and Purdie is a Mama and Alpha but lately Coco is showing signs of Aggression and it scares me because this is not like her. Is this normal? Please Advise. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Jessica, thank you for writing. Regarding toys and hose, I think your choice of hiding things that make them fight is really good. It might be nice if you’d let them play separately with toys. To give each dog some alone time with you and a chance to play with toys or play fetch with them.
      Why do you think Purdie doesn’t recognize Coco? Does she show some other signs of forgetfulness or not recognizing some other dogs or people? If she does not have dementia, I don’t see a reason why wouldn’t she recognize Coco. Coco’s signs of aggression is another matter. To give you some opinion I need more info – when it happens (think of their interaction), who is it directed to, did it start all of a sudden… Also, aggression can be a sign of pain or illness, so it might be good to check her up.
      Your nervousness can make them nervous also, so try to relax and watch them carefully to see when it all happens. Although they don’t speak, their body language is really clear and you can read a lot from it.
      Cheers, Ana

      • Hi Ana; thank you so much for your response, I have noticed the last few times that when Purdie who is the older one 11 yrs old starts barking aggressively like she has always been Coco the younger one 5 yrs old goes to her and starts nipping at her then it begins where as before that never used to bother Coco but lately it does so it causes fights and I despite need advice. Please help. Thank you again.

        • Hi Jessica, I believe those Purdie’s barking sessions for some reason started annoying Coco. In those situations, I’d have prepared treats and as soon Purdie starts barking I’d try to catch Coco while she’s still calm (you’ll have to be really fast) and say to her “good girl” and give her a treat. If you manage to do it on time, enough number of times, she should look at you every time Purdie starts barking. After she learns to give you the attention while Purdie is barking, you can ask her to do some tricks she knows.Start with those easy ones (even sit is great in times when she’s distracted). After some time try to leave longer time before treating her.
          Also, it would be great if you could stop Purdie from barking. For example – if she barks when she’s looking out the window, don’t let her watch out. Good luck, Ana

          • Thank you for your response, I have started Coco on obedience classes and i started taking her to day camp for a few hours so she can interact with other dogs, hoping this helps.

          • Hi Jessica, obedience classes will surely help, as well as day care. It’s really important to keep jrt brain and body occupied all the time. Lots of behavior problems rise from boredom. Cheers, Ana

  28. Thank you for posting this article, Its a very useful information to me !! keep posting such articles.

  29. Hello again Ana, this is Bunky and Fancy. I posted a comment a few weeks ago introducing me and my 14 year old JRT “Fancy” and bragging about her health in her old age…. Well I have a very recent update I’d like to share and ask for any advice. Advice for her as well as myself.
    She developed a cough about 3 or 4 weeks ago and when It didn’t go away I went ahead and took her to see our favorite vet in the world (Dr. Hodges of Critter fixers). He did an xray after the heartworm test came back negative. My fancy has lung cancer…… I’ve been told already there is nothing that can be done and tht there is no way of knowing how long she has. He said she could have days, weeks, months or even. Years if she is lucky….. That was Thursday and I’ve been pretty much a wreck since. I’mCrying As I type this still.
    He gave me a prescription of Prednisone and said it would help the cough and help her feel better to some. Degree. Thankfully she does not seem to be in any pain at all just that cough. Now everytime she coughs I cry..
    She has lived a very spoiled life lol but now she has been getting an extra helping of spoiled.
    I just wish there was something I could do. Knowing I could loose her at any time is deviating to me. She is my only child and has been. With me since 3 months…. All I. Have to make me feel OK is that she has had a good and healthy 14 years and made some very happy moments for my life. But she is a fighter and has survived not one but 3 snake bites and pulled thru like a champ. One even wen in her eye and they said she would loose sight… She did not. Like I said she is a beast and I only pray she can fight her way right thru this and laugh at it when. It’s over……
    Like I said just wanted to share this…..

    Bunky & Fancy

    • Hi Bunky and Fancy, I’m so sorry to hear her health isn’t so good any more. I know how you feel, it’s devastating to get such news for someone we care so deeply about. If the vet said there is no much to do now, the only thing you can do is go for another opinion. Or, if you really trust your vet and don’t want to go for it, you can try to enjoy what was left from your time together. As you said, she is not in pain, only coughing, which is comforting. Make some kind of Fancy’s bucket list, and try to do as many things from that list. She’s not aware there is something wrong with her, she only sees you sad, so don’t waste your time together and enjoy the time together. Go explore, go eat your favorite food, go to the beach or to the forest, her favorite dog park, visit your friends, there’s so much to do and so much things to enjoy. Again, I know it’s hard, it will be painful more than you think now, but every minute spent with our dogs mean so much more. So hug the hell out of her, kiss her until you both go crazy and live like there’s no tomorrow. And kiss her and rub her belly for me. We will be thinking of you. Ana

  30. It’s 6:30 am and I’ve been an emotional wreck when it comes to my 14 year old JRT solo. I can’t stop crying over his aging process. He definitely has slowed down ever since I left my parents house a year ago. Just recently my parents asked me to take him due to them moving so I decided to do so. He has this wheezing cough that he developed and it scares the life out of me. He’s been the only dog I’ve ever had and the one and only dog my family has had together. Will it ever be easy? I’m so scared of losing him..maybe just some encouraging words might help me shake the sadness- thanks in advance

    • Hi Jessica, watching our pets getting old is really hard, the same as it is with all our family members. And honestly, losing them is really really hard. I’ve experienced it two times by now (both died unexpected), I was heartbroken for a long time. After losing my first dog, my parents didn’t want to get another dog and I was devastated, crying about losing him and begging to get me another one almost every day for 3 years. When I lost my second dog (who lived with us for 11 years) I was devastated again but as I was already living on my own and I decided to take a new dog after 3 months. Although I was still grieving, a new puppy really eased my pain. What I wanted to say with my story, it’s really hard losing a dog, but living with one gives you so many great moments and unconditional love, I’d never want to live without it, although I know that means losing them. When he won’t be with you, you’ll think of him every day, probably for ever. In the beginning, those memories will be hard and sad, but they will become easier and you’ll remember your antics with a smile on your face.
      If you worry that another dog won’t be good enough to replace Solo or that (s)he’ll remind you too much of Solo, don’t worry, every dog is different and with his own special character, he’ll just fit in perfectly. Hope my words helped a bit. Ana

    • Jessica, Ditto in our house. Our JRT solo -Guinny (its a hard G) is 14.5yrs old and the most blessed little soul. He was my bf’s first and only dog, and grew up with him. It’s been VERY HARD to try and place these feelings into the circle of life category. All I try to focus on is giving Guinny the coziest, attention filled, loving time for the remainder of his journey here on earth with us. They are so smart, they notice when our mood shifts, and how the vibe of the house is, so remember to eat up every minute with your little baby and make it fun for you both. Hugs
      KQ

  31. Hello! So I’m looking for some advice for my dad and his little Candi. She’s a miniature jack Russell and she’s about 13 years old! Lately she has been having some seizures which has my dad so freaked out! For the last few weeks she has now developed a caugh and it’s like a dry hacking like she’s trying to get something up. I know she needs to go to a vet but I can’t even get my dad to go to the dr so….. any suggestions? Could she have bronchitis? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Amber, beside telling you to take her to the vet, there is no better advice. I thing coughing can be a result of bronchitis, but I don’t think seizures are. Try to explain him that it is really important for her to go to the vet. Most people that don’t want or like to go to the doctor (who really does??), still think their dog should go as they are aware they could be left without them. Cheers, Ana

    • Hi Amber, did you ever find out why this is happenening? My 15 year old jack Russel called trev does the exact same thing as what you’ve described ! We aren’t sure either

      • Hi Rhea, did you go to the vet for some tests? Seizures can be really tricky and caused by lots of different illnesses, so I’d rather check it out. Cheers, Ana

  32. My JRT Bella is the love of my life she is 15 and always been healthy of course has slowed down just recently she started some strange behavior she will be laying down and jump up frantic run stop turn her butt under like she is going to poop but she doesn’t and appears to sit then same pattern repeats itself sometimes minutes apart then when we walk she will sit and it’s not from being tired it appears to be slightly neorologicol as she will jump up suddenly and run slightly drag her butt I am worried she will turn in circles very confusing

    • Hi AnnMarie, did you realize when it happens>? Does she have any triggers? It’s really difficult to guess anything this way. If it appeared recently and you don’t know any reason why it happens, it would be the best to go to the vet for a check up. Hoping it all calms. Cheers, Ana

  33. Hi all, I am the lucky mum to 5 jack Russell’s. Benny, Tommy, Sindy, Snoopy and Billy. Benny is 17 years old now and is going downhill a little, we are watching him everyday and would never want him to suffer. The other dogs are aged between 11 and 4 years old. Everyone of them is totally different to the others and I wonder if it is a case of “nature over nurture” as they have all been raised the same. I love my jack Russell’s and can not imagine not having them in my life xxx

    • Hi Alison, I’m a true believer that each dog has his own personality, and just like human twins, even with same genetics and surrounding where they are being raised, each of them will end up different. So, probably you’re right with “nature over nurture” as every reaction to something from nurture range is shaped by something from the nature range. I’m sending belly rubs to all your Jacks, especially Benny. Cheers, Ana

  34. Please help, my JRT is 13, he has suffered from Epilepsy since he was 10 and since then been on medication with 3 monthly checkup. The medication for his epilepsy caused liver problems where he had massive growth on his liver. He had an operation a year ago removing the growth but since then he obsessively wants to eat.
    He wraps himself around our legs and have caused my mother to fall down number of times so that he can get to food, he is now overweight and has had everything tested and nothing wrong except obsessive eating, he is not so much interested in actual food as he is in dog biscuits.
    I don’t know what to do and clearly the measurements of food recommended doesn’t touch him. I have tried to feed him little and often but he just stays in the kitchen or follows you and drive you crazy. Please help

    • Hi Mahshid, even though obsessive eating started as a result of illness, in big part now it’s learned behavior. What do you feed him, as his main food source? Which treats do you use? It all can affect him being overweight. If I were you, I’d feed him grain free food (Although my jrt wasn’t overweight when we switched to grain free, I saw real improvement in her waist size) and I’d doze it for his ideal weight, not his current weight. Maybe there is a need to intensify his activity, but if you do so, do it gradually and be careful if you live somewhere it’s hot. Regarding treats or biscuits, I’d make my own, home-made healthy treats, like dehydrated liver, dehydrated sweet potato, frozen blueberries. As I said before, begging is learned behavior, so you’ll have to ignore it and reinforce behaviors you like. Be patient for your own sake, as Jacks can be really persistent. They are masters in getting everything their way. Cheers, Ana

  35. Rudy's doggie-mom

    First, thank you for writing this blog/site. I am a proud doggie mommy of 12-year old JRT, Rudy. Rudy has always had a mild temperament for a JRT, though struggled with separation anxiety as a puppy, which we minimized with doggie day care. About 6 years ago, he was getting extremely skinny and wouldn’t eat. After vet visits and no answers, the vet told me to feed him hot dogs if that was all he could eat, which I desperately did. As I’m sure you can guess, this led to pancreatitis and an allergy to pork. I switched vets and have been very careful to minimize his pancreatitis. About 7 months ago, Rudy was scheduled to have dental work, but the vet found a heart Arrhythmia and wouldn’t proceed with the procedure. I took him to an advanced Vet program at a university somewhat nearby, who said his heart was okay, but he had a spot on his lung which they assumed was pneumonia (though he showed no symptoms). Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and he seemed clearly in pain and not eating, so we scheduled and performed the dental work/extractions. His heart rate dropped drastically and he stopped breathing. They breathed for him during the quick, 5 minute procedure. His mouth is recovering, but he will barely eat, and now he it having issues with his back legs. He won’t jump up on furniture, and when he tries to get up, he stumbles around and plops back down. I am going to try to get him into the vet tomorrow. Any thoughts, suggestions, or common stories out there?

    • Hi Rudy’s mum, thank you for sharing your story with us. Those symptoms might be connected to the procedure, although it just might be a coincidence. What kind of food are you feeding him? I agree hot dogs are good choice. I’m an advocate for home made healthy meals that are made from real meat and veggies. As he’s probably experiencing gums pain, I’d blend his food entirely. Except going to a trusted vet for a check up, I don’t have anything else to suggest. Only the vet who knows his full condition can tell what’s going on. Good luck and keep me posted, Ana

      • Thank you, Ana. I’ve been feeding him limited ingredient lamb and rice canned dog food. I tried boiling chicken for him recently, but he wasn’t a fan (even after cutting into tiny pieces and eating some of it in front of him, which usually works). Any recommendations on what veggies to try?

        • Hi Jody, when I’m preparing home made food for Kala (my JRT), except some meat (usually chicken, turkey, lamb, veal, chicken or veal liver or other organs) I always put some carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach or other leafy greens. Don’t give him raw veggies as most likely he won’t eat it and he can’t fully digest it. Steam or cook them and make a paste of it (with a fork or you can even blend it). I usually cook it all together – meat and veggies, like cooking bone broth, and then a remove bones (dogs shouldn’t eat cooked bones), make a veggie paste and mix it all together. I know cooking home made meals can seem complicated, but you can always cook bigger amount and freeze it in meal size portions. Also, when giving liver or other organs, make it about 5% of a meal. is there something he really likes to eat and would always eat when offered? Regards, Ana

      • Hi I’m at my wits end with my 11year old pardon Russell, two years ago she had lens luxation and had to have an eye removed, the lens in the other eye is floating so we have to give her drops twice a day for the rest of her life, the trouble is she is so aggressive now, to the point I have had to buy a muzzle. She won’t eat normal dog food at ALL and I’ve tried them all!! She drinks constantly and has us up twice a night every night to go out. ( we have had her checked for diabetes) the trouble is we want to go on holiday later this year and I really dont think I can leave her with anybody the way she is. I love her to bits but not sure how much longer we can carry on with her aggression etc.any advice would be appreciated, I have also had her to the vets several times and she is physically fine. Regards

        • Hi Angela, unfortunately losing sight can cause aggression. At which situations does she become aggressive? Try to observe when it happens because that way you can learn what bothers her and makes her insecure. Most probably fear and insecurity is causing aggression. Try to find a well educated dog trainer with lots of experience with aggressive dogs, but surely choose one that uses only positive reinforcement methods. She can still learn new things and it can help her calm down and enjoy life more. Excessive drinking can be caused by other condition than diabetes, for example Cushing’s disease or hypothyroidism. Try to reduce amount of water she drinks in the evening. For example, she has water all day, but you can remove her bowl at the end of the day, take her out for a last daily walk and then see how she’ll behave during the night. Regarding leaving her during your vacation, if you decide to leave her with someone, make sure you leave her with someone who if fully familiar with her case and is ok with her condition and knows how to react. I suppose it will be hard to find someone to take care of her, as most dog hotels don’t take in dogs with behavioral problems. If you find a trainer for solving her aggression, you can ask him/her for a recommendation where to give her during your vacation. Maybe even he/she gives that kind of service. Good luck, Ana

    • Prince mom ( Jersey )

      Hi my JRT also has pancreatitis vet said hill science id low fat than he started tearing his hair out and all red and itching. I am trying home made food any ideas please My Prince will be 10 in September.

      • Hi Prince’s mom, are you planning to cook home made meals or are you trying raw food? I prepare home made cooked food for my Kala, from her first day. Mostly I cook her skinless chicken (both meat and organs), turkey, sometimes veal, with veggies. Mostly I do it as you’d cook bone broth, but with more meat on the bones. After it’s all cooked I remove bones, cut meat in small pieces and puree veggies. Then I freeze it in meal size portions. I tried feeding her raw food, she liked it very much, but it wasn’t convenient enough for me. Good luck with pancreatitis. Cheers, Ana

        • Princes mom ( Jersey)

          Yes cooked meals now do you do vitamins also Do you have a recipe?

          • Hi, currently I add to her meals only Omega 3 oil, coconut oil or glucosamin (for joints), and I rotate them all. You can add anything necessary for Prince’s condition. Regarding recipe, I don’t have any exact recipe, but it goes something like this: take skinless meat (chicken, turkey, organs (5-10% of the full amount of meat you’ll cook, I mostly buy liver and hearts), veil…) with bones, cut the meat few times to expose bones partially. Take preferred veggies (carrot, sweet potato, peas…) in full amount of 5-10% of the meat weight. Put it all in a pot (or pressure cooker if you have), add water until it covers the food inside and cook. Cooking time depends on type of meat, size of bones and meat. Bone broth is usually cooked to up to 6 hours so the bones release collagen. If you cook it in a pressure cooker, you need about 20 min for chicken and turkey and about 30-40 min for veil. When it’s cooked and cooled enough for handling, remove bones (dogs shouldn’t be fed cooked bones), cut meat in small size, puree veggies with fork and mix it all. I always leave a good amount of broth as it’s full of good stuff. Freeze in portion sizes. Cheers, Ana

  36. My JRT was 16 when she was out to sleep 2 weeks ago. We are heartbroken. She was the most perfect family pet. All of the things above relate to her in her old age.

    • Hi Kim, I’m so sorry to hear about losing your JRT. Let all the good memories remind you of all those years you spent together. Ana

  37. My Jack is almost 14 … he doesn’t like his walks anymore and it’s killing me!
    He used to get so excited!
    He still has a lot of energy when he is in the house.
    Am I in denial?
    I am having a hard time seeing him get old.
    I just want him to be happy.

    • Hi Debra, unfortunately they do get old and it comes with some changes. It seems like not liking to go for a walk is his change and you should probably accept it. I’m not saying you should stop walking him, I’m saying you should encourage him to go for a walk but also consider his wishes. I know it’s hard seeing our best friends getting old, but you can still enjoy quality time together and make his senior years great. Cheers, Ana

  38. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and a couple of these tips have become some of my family’s favorites. My JRT is 11 and just lately he has been doing strange and unusual things ! he hides a lot, and seems to be terrified of loud noises in the house and is frightened of everyone that he used to love :( very upsetting to see …. So help me and tell me how I can solve the problem

    • Hi Stephanie, did it all start all of a sudden? Did you go to your vet for a check-up? Dogs tend to hide and behave as frightened when they are in pain. If you checked his health and everything is ok, did something happen that could cause this change in behavior? Did someone accidentally hit him? Was there some noise that was really loud and scary? Thai would explain sudden fear of noises, but wouldn’t explain fear of loved people. As I said, I’d go for a really extensive medical check up and if there isn’t anything found, I’d monitor his behavior to see when it happens, what caused it and so on (try to see things through his eyes) and then I’d do some positive reinforcement around scary things to change his emotions. Good luck, Ana

  39. Hi ana
    I’m in bed reading this with my jack Russell Alvin snuggled next to me. We gave him to metcam yesterday at 13:00 and then again at 8:30pm and he’s had his milvamax and front line today. He seems injured and his belly is swollen- I’m so worried :(

    • Hi Amy, as I understood, you visited your vet, so hopefully medications will help. If you didn’t go for a check up with Alvin, go as soon as possible. I know you’re worried, after all they are our babies :) but believe everything will be ok. Sending you lots of positive thoughts for speedy recovery. Ana

  40. Our almost 17 year old JRT Bobby is having a bad day, his second in 2 weeks. He’s totally deaf and partially blind and has arthritis in his rear legs. Tonight he’s pacing around and falling over on the tiled floor. No appetite today for his special renal food or his treats which he normally devours with gusto! He gets monthly injections for his arthritis but I think he’s getting close to the end 😞. My wife is finding it hard to watch him now and he there is no improvement in the morning I will take him to the vets and make a decision. He’s been such a grumpy character over the years (hospitalised two humans who wouldn’t listen and he bit them (both apologised to him lol)). It’s going to be a long night for us all but he did come good last week after a similar bad day. It started early this morning when he vomited what looked like blood laced fleum?? Kidney failure? Who knows?

    • Hi Brian, you’re really facing some tough decisions. I think it’s the best to ask your vet for an opinion but final decision should be made by you and your wife. It seems like he had a nice life and he trained all people around him like a pro, true Jack Russell. After all, you’ll have some great memories to think and talk about. It’s rough and painful part of life but we’ll all go through it eventually. Hug Bobby for me, cheers, Ana

      • Thanks Ana. We lost bobby yesterday. He moved over from the passenger seat to lay on my lap for the final 200 metres to the vets who ultimately euthanised him afrter a through examination. The vet sent a lovely card and a bunch of flowers today, a lovely jester dor our loss. Lots of great memories with a typical JRT 😄

        • I’m so sorry to hear that, although it ended his suffering. Remember him by his quirks and things he did that made you happy. He had a good life with you :)

  41. Love the article. My Jrt (fancy) will be 14 September 30 and has been with me since a couple months old. She was also an unwanted pet I was supposed tojutloo fter until a home was found for her.. Yeah right! That home was found within an hour of having her. She is not the typical Jrt and his never bee since she was very young. She does not bark unless there is. Very good reason and not hyper at all unless a tennis ball is in sight… Or smelling range.
    She is a very healthy loved and well cared for spoiled rotten dog lol. She does have paifrom the hip dysplasia and I give her meds for that as I can afford.. They are not cheap as you know. Other than that her heath is fine. I’ve noticed recently she is getting “moles” on her feet and leg that looks like a tick. Trust me they ARE Not ticks as I learned when. I. Found the first one and tried to remove it. Ms. Fancy let me know fastbut was attached lol. Any idea what this is?
    I am a single male 45 years old and she is my best friend and by far the best dog I’ve ever ran across. Extremely smart overly protective and well my baby. Seeing the post made by jordon and her 20 year old relly made me smile thanks for posting that one jordon.
    Bunky & Fancy

    • Hi Bunky and Fancy, I’m so happy to hear your story. I totally understand that she “crawled” under your skin immediately and of course she stayed with you. I think I would be the same failed foster dog parent :) Others also reported some kind of moles that appeared in senior years, so I suppose it’s just that – some kind of senior moles. As humans get some kind of skin changes in old age, so do dogs. Maybe you can check them when you visit your vet, just to be sure it’s nothing serious. Wish you lots of healthy and happy years together. Cheers, Ana and Kala (my jrt)

    • My 15 year old JRT, Sony, started showing signs of weakness in his hind legs almost a year ago (he will be 16 soon). Anywho, after TONS of research I started giving him human Ester-C, 175 mg a day crushed up in his nightly food (he’s 16 lbs) and what a DIFFERENCE it made! All for the BETTER! He started standing up straight again. No longer sliding on my wood floors. Hopping up and down on the furniture again. I also give him Vet”s Best aches and pains aspirin free medication given twice a day (purchased off of amazon) as well as Arthramine Healthy Joints and Bones given once a day (also off of amazon) to prevent any pain that may be associated with his old bones! Along with Orijen Senior dog food. I swear by all of the above. I also noticed some dementia and started giving him Ginkgo Biloba and started squeezing some fish oil on his food. Made a WORLD of difference. Lastly, every now and then, I’ll give him a half of a 3mg melatonin at night…to ensure a GREAT night’s sleep. Usually given when I notice he is a little more restless than normal! I love my sweet boy and I have been his proud mommy since he was 7 weeks old! I can’t imagine, nor do I want to, life without him! *one PROUD JRT mommy!!!!

      • Hi Shelia, thank you for sharing such useful and tried out tips. It surely will help others that deal with same problems. Cheers, Ana

      • Shelia – what great resources! Thank you. My 16 yo JRT has severe weakness in his back legs. I may try that Ester C you suggested. Do you know why Vitamin C helps with weakness in the limbs?

      • Sheila
        My 15 year old JRT is showing hind leg weakness and it came on suddenly. I feed her a holistic diet homemade with raw food. Do you think it would help with her hind legs? She is wobbly at times but still runs and walks fine.

        • Hi Teresa, although healthy food is really important for overall health, if you see some sudden changes or health problems, it would be the best to visit your vet and check your dog. Maybe some vitamins or/and supplements could help. Cheers, Ana

  42. Hi. I am struggling terribly with knowing “when”!or what to do with my sweet Pie. (Rocket’s American Pie). She will be 18 in July. Pretty physically healthy but is blind in her right eye, mostly deaf and has some cognitive problems. She never wags her tail anymore or gets excited about anything. She does still eat, although not as well as she once did. Has some anxiety & pacing off and on. Not a high quality life. She does sleep with me and luckily I work at home. Any advice? No pain really. Some occasional back leg pain in the winter.

    • Hi, I can understand your troubles, but except the vet that knows Pie’s health condition, I don’t think anyone can help you make a decision. By now, I never was in that situation so it’s hard to say what I would do, but now when I’m thinking about it, I think I would take pain as a main factor. Such old years are rarely high quality in means as they once were, but absence of pain and regular eating show some kind of high quality of life for that age. I would consult the vet I trust, think deeply about it and mostly listen to the voice in side of you. Just don’t rush with decisions and be there for Pie in her last stage, until the very end. Wishing you all the best, Ana

  43. I have a Jack Russell who is 16 years old and is blind in the right eye, she has plenty of energy as she runs around quite well. Her name is Bonnielass and she is well looked after and loved very well. Bonnie goes every were with us shopping with us in the car. My bonnie eats very well and she also has dried food and always plenty off fresh water every day and Bonnielass is all white with a tan face. The only problem Bonnielass has is she has plenty of cysts all over her body and we had one removed this year as the vet thought it was cancer but it was just a cyst.

    • Hi Lesley, glad to hear that Bonnielass is still active and going with you everywhere just as she’s used to. Blindness and cysts are normal part of senior years, and I’m happy this are only cysts, not tumors. Keep pampering her, she deserves it :) Cheers, Ana

  44. We have a Max, a 13 year old broken coated Parson JR, that we love dearly. When he was 3yrs old he was hit by a car and has had a stiff back leg and works his other back leg over time. I know he’s in pain and it’s next to impossible to get his pain med in him. He still tries his best to be his spunky self but can’t stand or walk for long. Now here’s my question, is it unfair to bring a new dog into the house? The new dog is 2yrs old and very playful. He had been having to live in a crate most of the time so my kids brought him home. Max growls at him a lot. I feel bad for Max and for what the new dog has been through. Any suggestions??

    • Hi Kay, is it unfair or not, it’s hard to say as it depends on each situation. I would suggest for you to try and solve thing between then and if it’s not working, try to find appropriate home for a new dog. Apparently Max isn’t very happy with the new comer, but try to make that experience as positive as possible. Give him more attention when the new dog is around, give him high value treats whenever he behaves around a new dog and praise him a lot. Spend some alone time with each of them, in beginning especially with Max, continue doing things he’s used to. Hiring a good dog trainer who uses only positive reinforcement techniques is the best option as he can see the situation themselves and suggest what would be the best. Bringing home a new dog can revive the sparkle in old dog or it can make the situation worse. It all depends on their characters and your effort. If it doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself, some dogs are not meant to live with other dogs. There is no shame in finding another home for younger dog if that’s the best option for all of you. Good luck, Ana

    • My family has a 15 1/2 year old broken coat JRT named Milo. Milo has arthritis in his hip joints. He used to take Metacam, but his liver enzymes started to rise, so the Vet recommended Galliprant. Galliprant is a God send in that it helps control Milo’s pain and it neither harms the liver nor the kidneys!! We have faced the struggle of how on earth to give medicine to a dog who knows how to clamp his teeth shut when he doesn’t want something. Milk Bone brand pill pockets are wonderful! Milo’s favorite is the Hickory smoked bacon flavor. Chicken is the number one ingredient. I feel like I could do a commercial for them! We tried everything (hotdogs, cream cheese, cooked chicken breast, peanut butter, etc.) and they worked for about a month, then Milo would refuse the pill. The Milk Bone pill pockets have worked for 4 months in a row! Who knows, maybe the Milk Bone brand pill pockets will help Max.

  45. Hey Ana-
    We have a 14-year old Jack, Uno and was our first baby, now have 4 other human kids, 11-6 years old. He’s led a great life! Lately he has been vomiting constantly and we’ve had to change to a soft food… all blood work and ultrasound has come back clear. Wondering if it is time to say our good byes… any advice??
    Thanks!
    Michael in NOLA

    • Hi Michael, looking our best friends (or fur children) getting old is painful and although we know our time together will come to an end, we can never prepare properly. 14 years is respectable age for a dog, but it still doesn’t mean his time has come. If blood work and ultrasound were clear, I’d try to find another reason for vomiting. Adjusting food is normal part in life, not just getting old. Did you find any pattern in vomiting? When it appears? Did he eat something he’s not used to? Did you talk to your vet about other examinations that could be done to clear up the situation? Before making toughest decision, be sure to do everything in your power to help him. Good luck, Ana

  46. My jack russell turned 11 in January and still has a very high energy level, good appetite, and she’s overall a happy dog. Lately it seems like her breathing has been more rapid and she pants at random times. Usually the panting only lasts a few seconds but the rapid breathing is an all the time thing. She doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. I think it’s really only giving ME anxiety. She’s my baby and I kinda overreact when it comes to her health. I have a vet appointment for her teeth on may 11th so I was gonna talk to the doc about it then, but just wondered if other jack owner have experienced heavier breathing with their senior dogs?

    • Hi Jessica, there can be lots of reasons for heavier breathing, so concluding anything without proper examination would be wrong. Definitely talk to your vet about it. And it would be great if you give it more thought before you go there – look if there’s a pattern in heavier panting – when it appears, was it extra hot, did she play a lot, was under stress… It’s the best to take notes so you’ll have more info to tell your vet. Good luck with teeth and solving this mystery. Cheers, Ana

    • Jack Russell terriers can be prone to a collapsing trachea. My 13 year old JRT has one and sometimes the sound of his breathing terrifies me. He even stops breathing for a couple seconds when he sleeps sometimes. The vet ,however, said that he is very healthy for his age. The X-rays reveal that his trachea , although is collapsing, isn’t severe enough to cause him any distress. I trust my vet because my dog still appear a very happy in general and full of playful energy. He still loves walks , although shorter slower ones. He also prances around the house, ears up, tail wagging, to find something new to sniff, or someone else to play with. So even if your dog does have a collapsing trachea , tans sound distressed when breathing sometimes, can be very happy and care free. One last point I should make on the subject is when my dog does get sick , or has allergies, that’s when we need to administer medication to help him breathe comfortably . He’ was just diagnosed at age 8, five years ago. Just be sure to keep up with vet visits to monitor the problem and be sure it isn’t getting worse too quickly.

    • Hi I have a Jack Russell terrier and she’s diabetic and I’ve experienced her breathing happy comes and goes but since it’s nothing too scary are supposed to have 30 to 40 breaths per minute which is 12 scares me to

    • Prince mom ( Jersey )

      How is your little one?

  47. I found this article when I googled “12 year old Jack Russell sleeping more”. My little Piper has always been more of a lap dog than her 3 far more typical, crazy, uncontrollable litter mates. She was an unwanted wedding present (who gives a puppy to newly weds?!), but has become my heart and the best big sister 3 little boys could ever ask for! I wish she could live at least 8 more years. This article is a great reminder to spoil her rotten and treat her with the extra care and respect that she deserves. I had to post a comment because I know anyone reading this will just “get” how wonderful this breed of dog truly is!!

    • Hi Liz, thank you for writing. Although dogs as presents can be weird or unwanted, especially such special breed as JRT, it seems in your situation all worked out great. As you can see, jrt’s don’t have to be crazy or typical, and although most people claim they aren’t suited for small children, as you can see, they can be very good big siblings. Just continue spoiling her, feeding her right and exercising properly, and it wouldn’t be strange if she lives 8 more years. Good luck, Ana

  48. I have a 13 year old jack. He went completely blind 3 years ago. He has had a dry hacking cough for over a month. The vet said that he did hear something off in his lungs. He lost his balance and fell over the other night and could not get back up for about 30 seconds no matter how he tried. I think it’s time to put him down. My heart is broken.

    • Hi Michele, I’m so sorry to hear about the condition of your Jack. You are facing the hardest decision, but before you make it consult your vet and go through all options and possible outcomes before you decide what’s the best. Consider even going for a second opinion – it doesn’t tell that you don’t trust your vet, just worried for your pup and everyone should understand that. Regards, Ana

  49. I’m thinking about adopting a 12yo female. I’ve never had this breed, but I just spent 2 hours with her, and she seemed sweet and laid back…kind of a lapdog. Any advice before I commit?

    • Hi Dale, adopting senior dog is very rewarding. Jacks can be very different by nature, some of them are laid back but most of them are hyperactive lunatics for their whole life and they are gorgeous for it. Only advice I could give you is to adopt her and shower her with love and affection, provide her with proper nutrition, but don’t forget about giving her enough activity. Monitor her reactions and adjust levels of activity to her needs. She’ll tell you the best. Good luck, Ana

  50. We have a 14 year old jack russell bitch and recently every time we take her out she licks urine puddles from the street. We always try to stop her doing this as we don’t want to make her sick. Why is she doing this and is it bad for her? Thank you.

    • Hi Benjamin, did she start doing it recently? All sudden changes in behavior can be a sign of an illness or lack of some nutrients. Also, dogs have the vomeronasal organ which is placed on the roof of dogs mouth and it is olfactory organ. So maybe she licks urine to smell it more properly with the vomeronasal organ. It would be the best to take her to the vet for a check up and to talk with the vet about that behavior, he/she might have better insights in it, especially after taking some tests. Good luck with it.
      Cheers, Ana

  51. My JRT is 11 and just lately he has been doing strange and unusual things ! he hides a lot, and seems to be terrified of loud noises in the house and is frightened of everyone that he used to love :( very upsetting to see ……

    • Hi Bea, sudden change in behavior can be a sign of illness or pain. Are you sure he’s ok? I suggest to go to the vet for a check up or think if he had some encounter that frightened him. It might be something that seems totally harmless to you but it somehow developed fear of noises of people. Hope it’s nothing serious. Cheers, Ana

  52. My Daisy will be 13 in October. Her high energy level still completely amazes me, she chases every critter going, attempts to run after deer, still loves playing with her toys and basically never misses a trick. I used to think to myself….when is she going to settle down… now I marvel at how young she acts compared to dogs her age. JRT s have so much stamina, they are an amazing breed. I have noticed that she does not like the cold anymore, she starts shaking frantically at the door on a cold morning when I let her out. She also has developed a few fatty lumps underneath, they don’t appear to bother her but I think they are getting bigger. She also gets grumpy when her regular routine is off. I enjoyed reading your article.

    • Hi Shirley, than you for writing. It’s amazing how long they stay young. Although they show few signs of getting old, their souls remain alway young.
      Enjoy your time with Daisy :)
      Regards,
      Ana

    • My 11 year old has lumps too. I call them her old lady lumps. Lol. She has a small one on her lower chest and a little bit bigger one higher up (where her neck ends and chest starts) ..she doesn’t seem bothered by them at all. I guess it’s normal for old dogs to get lumpy..Hehe

  53. Maisie is 14 in July.. Very grumpy ..she breathes very fast most days..her appetite is good ..has trouble sometimes getting herself on our sofa..but she can do this if she wants to sometimes she decides she can’t so we poxk her up…she has some fatty lumps on her..they dont seem to bother her..also has a wart on her too..and I’ve noticed this her barking has changed to..sounds like she is losing her voice but I don’t think she has but a different sound..otherwise she is growing old like me gracefully …

    • Hi Gail, happy to hear you two are growing old together. Although some things changed in Maisie’s life, I’m sure her senior years have some specials that still warm your heart, and still when life gets hard you are here for her (you pick her up) and she’s here to cheer you up. Thanks For sharing, cheers, Ana

  54. This is a great article! My Jack Russell , Holly is 20 years old! She’s been with me since she was only a few months old! I was 12 when she was born and I’ll be 33 this year, she’ll turn 21. She does have her days… some good some bad but she just keeps going and going! JRTs are very special! ?

    • Hi Jordan, 20 years for a dog is really impressive, you might have taken great care of her. I’m so happy to hear you grew happily together, always having a good friend by your side is priceless. Thank you for sharing and give Holly belly rubs from me :)

    • WOW!!!!! 20 years old! This makes me happy! My sweet JRT, Sony, will be turning 16 in Novemer! He seems to be doing really well for his age, with the exception of his eyesight and hearing…which have declined just a bit! He eats a clean “senior” diet with appropriate mess/vitamins! He is a solid white Jack which hides all of his gray hairs. Everybody thinks he is a puppy! It just warms my heart to hear it!

      • Hi Shelia, 16 years are also respectable years for a dog, but it really comforts us that they are long living breed. I’m so glad to hear you’re taking good care of your JRT, as nutrition and proper exercise is really important.
        Cheers, Ana (sending belly rubs for Sony :))

  55. claire yvonne mackay

    I am sitting reading this with my 14 year old JRT, Spot. A lot of the things you have said are so true and i try to implicate this into my household especially with my 12 year old daughter who still thinks that he is 2 years old. Hi to you and Kala and have an Amazing Christmas. x

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