When it comes to Jack Russell terrier health, pet owners are well advised to take the preventive approach in the maintenance of good health. We are talking of both physical and psychological health, of course, since any dog must possess these two aspects of health to be considered truly healthy.
The preventive approach comes highly recommended because of the adage about the simplest prevention always being better than the best treatment. However, sickness in mind and body can and will happen even under the best of circumstances. In this case, we strongly suggest always asking for the advice of a competent veterinarian for the diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of the ill Jack Russell puppy or adult.
Let’s start the discussion on Jack Russell terrier health with the psychological aspect as it is often overlooked by pet owners. The reasons for it can range from simple ignorance of the individual personality of the Jack Russell to the deliberate indifference to good mental health in favour of developing the aggressive side of the dog for whatever purpose. Naturally, we must caution pet owners against such ignorance and indifference since it is the responsibility of the human handler to ensure that the dog is fit mentally, socially and physically.
Otherwise, behavioural problems can result. These problems can include destructive and aggressive actions leading to harm upon the dog itself, on other dogs and on humans, these actions include the following:
- Excessive barking, chewing and jumping up on people and on things
- Unprovoked biting of other dogs, animals and humans
- Extreme desire to dig up the yard often with the intent to dig its way out of the fence and into the great outdoors
- Show of aggressive actions like attacks on dogs 5 times their size or demonstration of submissive behaviour like cowering in fear in the presence of unfamiliar objects
Fortunately, there are many ways to restore Jack Russell terrier health in the psychological aspect. The important thing is to determine the causes behind the actions first before applying the right treatment, so to speak.
For example, excessive barking, biting and jumping on people may be a sign of the lack of mental stimulation and physical exercise. As such, the best option is to provide for more exercise, stimulation and socialization opportunities to allow the Jack Russell to spend its high levels of physical energy, hone its intelligence and mingle with its canine kind.
And then there is the matter of physical health. Keep in mind that the average life expectancy of the Jack Russell is 13 to 16 years. Indeed, it is one of the few dog breeds with little health problems dogging its life, pun not intended, if and when the owner takes the necessary measures to ensure its good health from its puppy to old age state.
It is possible to determine the state of Jack Russell terrier health even when one does not possess the knowledge of an experienced veterinarian. A healthy Jack Russell will have a compact, balanced and athletic build characterized by its large chest; the jaws are well-boned and powerful-looking with straight teeth and a scissor bite; almond-shaped eyes with an alert expression; shiny, sleek and groomed coat that can either be rough (broken coat) or smooth in texture; skin with the ticking markings that should not carry over into the coat; and an erect stance that appear to pounce at any time on prey.
Of course, actual examination of the various parts of the body is necessary to determine that there are no parasites, fleas, sores and tumours on the Jack Russell. Thus, owners must bring their Jack Russells for regular consultations to the doctors even when the dogs appear healthy and especially when the dogs behave in an uncharacteristic manner.
For example, the dog may be whining, howling or biting for no apparent reason, it may be that a physical pain is being experienced. In fact, when a previously well-behaved Jack Russell is showing aggressive, destructive or uncharacteristic actions, underlying medical causes must be ruled out before behavioural causes are considered. Take note that Jack Russell terrier health in the physical and psychological senses are often related, just as it is in humans.
To ensure good physical health, we recommend regular vaccinations, grooming and exercise as well as a healthy diet, environment and obedience training. Soon enough, the matter of maintaining good Jack Russell terrier health is a done deal. It will just be a matter of maintaining good habits in health and hygiene.