Why Is My Jack Russell Terrier Not Eating [+ What To Do]


Suppose your Jack Russell Terrier is currently acting a little picky about what they will eat or not eating at all. In that case, you may be concerned and curious about what you should do to remedy the issue.

I was in the same spot not too long ago, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Why Is My Jack Russell Terrier Not Eating?

Jack Russell Terriers may not eat their food if they are not hungry, potentially ill, or have not learned an eating schedule yet. A Jack Russell Terrier may also not eat if they do not like the food you are offering.

To get your Jack Russell back on track and to get them eating normally again, you have a few things you can do.

However, you also need to be capable of effectively understanding which of the reasons is the cause for your Jack Russell not eating.

The rest of this brief post will break that down for you.

Here is how I intend to layout the information for you:



Understanding Why Your Jack Russell Terrier Is Not Eating

So, your Jack Russell Terrier is currently not eating?

Super frustrating. I know.

I remember when I first adopted my Jack Russell Terrier puppy.

I got home, had all the initial items, and was excited to interact and play with her.

Then came the late nights of howling in her crate and the frustration of her not eating when I offered her food.

I was in your exact spot.  Looking for answers to why my Jack Russell Terrier is not eating and had to learn through trial and error to remedy the problem.

First, you need to identify what is causing your Jack Russell Terrier not to eat. I want to cover this next by looking at 4 potential reasons that may be the primary issue and presenting the solutions.


4 Reasons Why Your Jack Russell Terrier Is Not Eating and Solutions


#1- Sometimes You Get a Picky Eater

This is probably the most frustrating reason of them all.

The picky eater Jack Russell Terrier is a real thing.

Look, it is not only Jack Russell Terriers that may have this issue, and adopting a dog that decides to be a picky eater is more common than you think.

Unfortunately, you do not have a lot you can do except try to accommodate your Jack Russell.

If you think this may be the issue, be sure that you try different dog foods. Try incorporating wet dog food with your current food to make it more appealing for your Jack Russell.

Be careful when doing this.

You do not want to offer too much or make the full 100% switch in one day.

This may cause an upset stomach, loose stool, and other issues.

If you are trying to get their excitement level increased to eat their food, make gradual changes, and see what entices them to eat on demand with more ease.

You would be surprised at how often this may be the cause of your Jack Russell not eating.

Be patient and try a few foods and combinations until you hit the combo that gets your Jack Russell eating again.

For me, this took one switch to my current dog food that I have now been using for almost 3 years.


#2- Your Jack Russell Is Not Eating Because They Have Not Learned The Routine

Another thing to keep in mind is that your Jack Russell is ultimately nothing more than a dog that has not learned the world around them yet.

A Jack Russell Terrier is a smart dog.

However, the entire socialization process and the learning curve will not take place overnight.

They are likely only 8 weeks old when you arrive home and they need to figure things out at this age.

They do not understand the environment, they barely know you, and they are trying to adjust to your life and routine at this point.

One of the reasons they may not be eating may be nothing more than they simply have not learned what the schedule is for eating yet and what they are supposed to do.

Heck, they may not even know the routine for your work schedule yet and you may be struggling with leaving them home alone at this point.

The point I am attempting to make is simple. Everything is new for them right now.

Do your best to communicate this information to them, and do not change the times of the day that you feed your Jack Russell.

If they are not eating, eventually they will get hungry, but if you change the schedule all the time, they will only get more confused.

Trust me, they will not allow themselves to starve and will eat when they need to eat.

Stick to a schedule and ensure your Jack Russell continues to learn the routine. This will make them eat more effectively if they are currently not eating or struggling to understand this new world around them.


#3- Your Jack Russell May Be Feeling Under The Weather

Unfortunately, you always have an issue that may be lingering and one of the reasons your Jack Russell is currently not eating.

They may be sick or have a stomach bug.

It could also be that they are currently teething.  The pressure in your dog’s gums makes them ignore the option to eat because they believe it will be uncomfortable.

If you have already tried some of the other options and suggestions in this post, consider contacting a vet.  Schedule a check-up to ensure no underlying cause is the main factor causing your JR not to eat.


#4-Your Jack Russell Is Not Hungry

Bet you had no idea that this would be one of the reasons on the list, today did you?

Dogs are more like humans than you think.

When they are hungry, they will eat.

When they are not hungry, sometimes they will not eat.

Yes, I am aware that many dog breeds will eat no matter what time of the day it is and no matter how full they already are.

In fact, my yellow lab is like this and acts like he always starving no matter how much he has been fed or counter surfed previously during the day.

My Jack Russell is the complete opposite and acts like a princess.

Other dogs, mostly smaller dog breeds like the Jack Russell, do not act like lions in this fashion or like the big dogs do.

If they are not hungry, they will not eat.

If your Jack Russell is consistently not eating when offered, take the food away and keep with routine and schedule like we discussed previously.

Trust me, your dog is not going to starve. Eventually, when feeding time arrives, your dog will eat and then realize that when you offer them food, the opportunity is present for them to consume food.

This is when they likely will start eating each time they are offered instead of picking and choosing.

Give it a try and see if this fixes the issue.


Jack Russell Terriers Can Be Fussy Eaters, Do Not Stress It Too Much

As you probably know by now, the reasons your Jack Russell may not be eating are limited to only a handful. It is likely one of the reasons we have presented in this brief discussion.

Of course, other issues may be causing the problem as well. Often, your Jack Russell not eating only takes some slight adjusting and figuring out to fix.

Try and diagnose and figure out which one of the issues it may be with your Jack Russell. Use the solutions I presented to see if that gets your Jack Russell eating again and eating consistently.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terriers and the journey you have ahead of you.


Have You Ever Had Issues With Your Jack Russell Terrier Eating?

Have you ever dealt with this issue of your Jack Russell Terrier not eating their food?

What did you do, and what else can you recommend to the readers?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading, and we will see you again next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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