The Jack Russell Terrier is both an acrobat and a goofball! It isn’t hard to understand why the breed was once used to perform in circus acts and talent shows. They are intelligent, learn easily and they are incredibly fast, and such an energetic dog needs high-quality dog food.
What do you feed your JRT to provide your small furry friend with all neededessential nutrients? Dog food that will keep a Jack Russell energized, healthy and strong, and that will tempt even the pickiest eater to want to finish each meal with great enthusiasm.
Read on below to find out the best dog foods for your jack russell curated from hours of research and testing from our dog food experts.
Our team has spent hours researching products to find the best Jack Russell dog food, read our in-depth reviews below. Learn more about our 10 point inspection checklist.
Best Jack Russell Dog Food
1. Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
Wellness Core offers a natural recipe for dry dog food free from grains, wheat, corn, soy, and artificial ingredients, to give your Jack Russell Terrier a dog food they can thrive on. It is a small breed dog food made with extra small kibble bits, to promote better oral health and a reduction of plaque and tartar.
The added Glucosamine and Chondroitin help strengthen bones and joints, and this natural dog food has real deboned turkey and turkey meal listed first among the ingredients. If you want a natural dog food that will give your JRT the best chances at living a long and pain-free life, this crunchy kibble is one of the best dog foods for Jack Russell Terriers available.
Why We Like It – This is a Jack Russell dog food that offers hip- and joint support, promotes good oral health, tastes delicious and comes at a reasonable price – this natural dog food has everything your JRT needs to stay energized and healthy. Your dog’s nutritional health should be a top priority, and with this type of food; you’re placing it pretty high!
+ Real deboned turkey and turkey meal
+ Small kibble size for oral health
+ No artificial flavors
+ Grain-free recipe
+ Added Glucosamine and Chondroitin
– Not all dogs are suitable for a grain-free diet; consult the vet first before switching to a grain-free diet
2. WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Salmon and Pea
WholeHearted is a newer dog food brand making its way into homes in the United States and abroad, and what sets it apart from its competitors is its high quality and low price (check prices on Amazon, above). This grain-free recipe has salmon as the first listed ingredient, followed by wholesome legumes, fruits, and vegetables. It is 100% free from grains and pointless fillers.
You get ideal protein levels for small Jack Russell dogs and carbohydrates from natural and preferable sources. Chewing is made easy thanks to the small kibble size, and it has phosphorus and calcium to help strengthen both your pup’s bones and teeth.
Why We Like It – Give your Jack Russell Terrier the best dog food available without having to spend a week’s salary on each bag. Affordable and nutritious, this grain-free recipe has enough protein to support lean muscle mass, and the high activity level of a dog like the JRT.
+ No artificial color, flavor, or preservatives
+ Probiotics for healthy digestion
+ With calcium and phosphorus
+ High in protein and healthy carbohydrates to support muscle mass
– No longer available in Amazon
3. Simply Perfection Super Premium Beef Canned
Not all Jack Russell’s are crazy about food and eating, and they might require a bit of convincing before they will voluntarily finish their meals. This mushy canned Jack Russell dog food is the perfect solution for convincing a picky eater, and you can add it to a high-quality kibble, or feed it on its own to Jack Russell dogs that struggle to chew dry food.
There are no grains, and the food is free from preservatives and GMO ingredients; it smells like meat, has a high protein content and is packed with vitamins and minerals. The can itself can be recycled, making this an environmentally friendly dog food option for your four-legged friend.
Why We Like It – With this delicious dog food, your Jack Russell won’t be able to resist! It is packed with flavor, nutrients and everything your pooch needs to thrive, and the can is recyclable so that you won’t have to worry about causing more harm to the environment. Great for your dog’s nutritional health.
+ Soft and meaty consistency
+ No artificial preservatives
+ Recyclable dog food can
+ Supports lean muscle mass
– A bit pricey
4. Royal Canin Mini Adult Dog Food
There is a Jack Russell Terrier on the packaging of this dog food, which is a strong indicator of it being a good dog food for the JRT. It is made for small dogs weighing up to 10 kilos, and it offers complete nutrition for adult small breed dogs over the age of 8 months.
The size of the kibble is small enough to be chewed by miniature jaws, and the kibble has that perfect mix of softness and crunchiness that makes it irresistible.
The recipe helps your pooch maintain a healthy weight (always in combination with exercise) thanks to the added L-Carnitine, and healthy fat such as omega fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) are there to prevent skin irritation and better the overall coat quality so that your JRT can feel great on the inside and look great on the outside.
Why We Like It – If you are looking for a dog food that has it all, this Jack Russell Terrier diet food by Royal Canin is a product you need to have a look at. It nourishes the skin and coat of your JRT, while also providing him or her with balanced and complete nutrition.
+ Made for small dog breeds
+ L-carnitine for weight control
+ Omega fatty acids for improved coat quality
+ Promotes better teeth health
– Contains corn
5. ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food
Jack Russell Terriers are known to sometimes suffer from skin conditions caused by food allergies, and Acana has come up with a potential solution to this. Their ‘Singles’ dog food for sensitive stomachs contains protein from only one animal protein source, which lowers the risk of food-related health issues, as you can easily choose a variety without the protein that causes trouble for your dog.
These are limited ingredient dry foods, meaning they have lowered the number of included ingredients, without letting that affect the nutritional content of the product. Your pooch gets an equally healthy and nutritious dog food, but apt for Jack Russell dogs with allergies and sensitive stomachs.
Why We Like It – This is biologically appropriate dog food by ACANA made to suit dogs with a sensitive GI tract, and dogs that are easily affected negatively by what they eat. It has all the nutrients you find in other Acana products, but the food for sensitive stomachs is milder and more considerate for Jack Russell dogs with digestive issues and itchy skin and coat.
+ Real meat from only one animal protein source
+ Limited number of ingredients
+ Premium protein and vegetables
+ Great for allergies and sensitive stomachs
– A bit pricey
6. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Adult Light
The natural fibers found in this Jack Russell Terrier dog food will help your greedy little gremlin feel full and satisfied for longer, something that could aid in preventing weight gain. It is a Jack Russell Terrier diet dog food made to keep a JRT or other small breed dog fit, without keeping them from the essential nutrients they need to stay strong and active.
This natural dog food has real meat, brown rice, and vegetables, combined with added vitamins and minerals, as well as omega fatty acids to give you a chance to sit back and know that you are feeding your dog the best food on the market.
Why We Like It – Hill’s Science Diet has something for everyone, and this is a tasty kibble made to boost the metabolism and to help your dog gain excess weight due to the low fat content. If you’re looking to change your Jack Russells’ food, this option is worth a try.
+ Low fat content recipe for weight loss
+ With real chicken and brown rice
+ Fiber to improve digestion
+ Long-lasting feeling of fullness
– Not recommended for dogs with digestive issues
7. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini Puppy Food
Puppies have very specific nutritional needs and especially small-breed puppies like the Jack Russell Terrier. This puppy recipe dry dog food is the perfect type of food to help give Jack Russell Terrier puppies a good start in life, and it can be used up until your pooch is approximately 10 months old, when they will need to be swapped over to a Jack Russell terrier adult kibble or wet food.
The exclusive blend of vitamins and antioxidants are there to build up a strong and resistant immune system, to keep your youngster as healthy as possible. This Jack Russell puppy recipe dry dog food aids them with growing at a recommendable place where their bones and joints have a chance to keep up. With a Jack Russell puppy food like this, Jack Russell Terrier Puppies can get off to a great start in life.
Why We Like It – The best dog food for Jack Russell Terriers has a lot to live up to, but this puppy recipe seems to have both the required nutrition and the flavor most pet owners seek.
+ For dogs up to 10 months old
+ Mix of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
+ Quality protein and prebiotics
+ Ideal dog food for sensitive stomachs
– Contains corn and wheat
Dog Food for Jack Russell Buyers Guide
Deciding what to feed your Jack Russell Terrier is something every JRT pet owner is faced with eventually, and the sooner you can find a quality Jack Russell dog food to fill up that plate with – the better.
Make it a habit to always check the ingredients before you buy dog food or treats and try to feed your Jack Russell on a set schedule, as the breed does well when provided structure. Feeding your dog on a set schedule can also help prevent stomach upset and promote healthy digestion.
The most important thing, however, is knowing how to pick out the best dog food for your Jack Russell Terrier. All dogs have different preferences and needs, so how do you choose the right one? Here are a few things to take into consideration when you start shopping for JRT dog food, to help you find what works for you and your dog.
Energy and Activity Levels
This active dog breed needs energy due to high activity levels, so you need to make sure the protein content (which is where your JRT will be getting his energy from) is high enough. Avoid commercial dog food brands with animal by-products, as these are of questionable quality and may not contain enough premium protein to support your JRT’s high activity levels.
A lack of protein will make your furry friend seem lethargic and unmotivated, so try to find a dog food brand with real meat followed by a meat meal product, as these are packed with protein to keep the Jack Russell terrier energy level optimal.
Wet vs. Dry Food
It can be tempting to serve your Jack Russell wet dog food, especially if they are normally a little picky, but there are a couple of things worth knowing before you do. There are many high-quality wet foods that are just as nutritious as dry dog food, but they don’t provide the same natural dental care as kibble do.
When a dog chews dry dog food, it naturally removes plaque and tartar from the teeth – improving both breath and oral health, and this is something you don’t get with wet dog food.
Some dogs don’t have a choice and may not be able to chew crunchy kibble, but if you have a JRT that simply seems to prefer wet food over dry kibble, the best option is to add a small amount of wet food to their regular dry diet, mix it in, and see if that will convince them to eat.
Is cheap dog food always bad? No, you can find affordable dog food options without having to compromise on quality, but it could take some time and effort. Learn to read through the ingredients and avoid basing your opinion simply on what you see on the packaging.
Many quality products are more expensive than commercial dog food brands simply because they cost more to make (as premium ingredients are more expensive), but you can find good dog food for a Jack Russell in most price classes. Always check prices across different websites before purchasing!
Fresh food options will be more expensive, for obvious reasons. However, when done right, this fresh food option can be highly beneficial for your JRT.
Best dog food for a puppy Jack Russell?
‘Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Mini Puppy Food’ is an excellent option for young Jack Russell terrier puppies – it even has a JRT puppy on the packaging. This food will give growing Jack Russell terrier puppies the nutrients needed to build up a strong immune system.
On the other side of the scale, you should seek an appropriate senior dry dog food for your Jack Russell at 8+. If you have a senior dog, you’ll know how important it is to the dogs’ nutritional needs are met. Choose wisely with the help of our buying guide!
Best dog food for a Jack Russell Terrier with allergies?
Allergies are not uncommon in the JRT, and you might want to try the ‘ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food’. It is made with a limited number of ingredients, to lessen the risk of food-related negative reaction.
Related: Dog Food Allergies
What should I feed my overweight JRT?
This might be a case for the ‘Hill’s Science Diet Dry Adult Light’, as it is made with the intention of reducing weight in overweight dogs, and to keep weight off dogs that have demonstrated prone to weight gain in the past. While not a feeding guide, we recommend you consult the packaging which usually indicates the correct amount for your dog based on size and weight. A Jack Russell terrier adult will need a completely different diet than a puppy Jack Russell or senior dog.
Small dogs generally need more energy than a large dog, due to all the energy they use to run around and be active. The Jack Russell Terrier is, on top of this, a very active dog breed, which makes quality nutrition even more important. They typically do have a high energy level on a day to day basis.
Many dog owners wish their dogs could live forever, and while this is not possible – the right Jack Russell dog food with premium nutrition could help our pups live happy and healthy for the time that they got. We owe it to our fur friends to feed them properly, and your Jack Russell will thank you by being by your side for as long as you will let him.
We hope you have found our buying guide useful, and welcome any feedback.
If your JRT scratches himself a lot, or if you notice bald spots or redness, it could be a sign of a food allergy, and an indicator of it being time to change your Jack Russell Terriers’ food to reduce skin-related health issues.
Did You Know?
The Jack Russell Terrier is a popular and successful breed in canine sports like Agility, and they can jump as high as 5 feet up in the air!