Food for your Jack Russell

Q: I've heard conflicting information about what I should or should not feed my Jack Russell (i.e., canned food, food with corn, bones, etc). Can you help me?

A: It is extremely important to select a high-quality kibble for your terrier, one that does not list corn as the first ingredient, as corn has been known to cause allergic reactions. Chicken, beef or lamb should be the first ingredient listed. For a listing of ingredients included in many brands of kibble see For those interested in feeding raw diets please refer to the book "Dr. Pitcairn's Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats". It can be found in our bookstore which links to

Canned dog food should never be included in your terrier's diet as it is loaded with calories and sugar. It can also create 'picky eaters'.

There have been many questions asked about feeding bones. Do not - repeat DO NOT - feed cooked bones of any kind to your dog! Cooked bones can splinter, becoming lodged in the throat or rupturing the intestines. Some owners give their dogs raw marrow bones; this is a personal decision and should be discussed with your Vet.

There are no hard and fast rules about amounts to feed since there are many variables that come in to play: age of terrier, climate, exercise, etc. Feed the recommended amount listed on the bag and adjust accordingly. You should be able to feel the ribs (but not see them) on a fit Jack Russell. Structure (heavy or light boned) will also play a factor. As a general guideline, a 12" dog should weigh approximately 12-13 pounds.

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