Jack Russell Terriers are, without a doubt, a unique breed. The small dog is full of energy, a marvelous digger, and has more love than its little body can hold. While small in size, Jack Russells need a balanced diet to give them the right amount of energy without causing weight gain.
Any dog owner knows the feeling of walking into the store and being bombarded by endless choices of dog food. Every dog food is different, but we’ve made a comprehensive list of the best dog foods for your Jack Russell companion. These reviews will help determine which brand best suits your canine’s needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||The Farmers Dog Chicken Recipe||
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|Best Value||Purina ONE SmartBlend Small Bites Beef and Rice||
|Premium Choice||Blue Buffalo Small Breed Life Protection Formula||
|Best for Puppies||Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Puppy Food||
|Vet’s Choice||Royal Canin Jack Russell Terrier Adult Dog Food||
The 10 Best Dog Foods for Jack Russells
1. The Farmers Dog Chicken Recipe – Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, brussels sprouts, chicken liver, broccoli|
|Calories:||Depends on your dog’s individual formula|
The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe is our best overall dog food for your Jack Russell due to its customization. This healthy recipe is packed full of flavor and hearty protein from the chicken and chicken liver, but it also is an excellent source of essential nutrients from fresh vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts. The Farmer’s Dog is suitable for dogs of any shape, size, or age.
The Chicken Recipe supports healthy muscle growth, healthy skin, and a healthy coat for your Jack Russell. The vegetables also make the recipe rich in necessary vitamins, like vitamin A and C. You can guarantee your beloved pup is getting the essential energy and nutrients they need when you feed them this veterinarian-approved formula.
2. Purina ONE SmartBlend Small Bites Beef and Rice – Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Beef, whole grain corn, beef fat, chicken-by-product meal|
Purina ONE SmartBlend Small Bites is our pick for the best dog food for the money due to its high-quality animal ingredients that other discount brands lack. The true standout of the recipe is its inclusion of superfoods like carrots and peas. This special blend is perfect for any dog owner if you are looking for high-quality food to help your Jack Russell maintain a healthy weight and active lifestyle while not breaking your bank.
ONE contains real beef as its first ingredient and even though it also uses chicken by-products, they are not the primary sources of protein in the food. If you’re looking for a healthy, affordable meal for Jack Russell, don’t skip out on this Purina recipe.
3. Blue Buffalo Small Breed Life Protection Formula – Premium Choice
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken fat, brown rice, oatmeal, barely|
Blue Buffalo lives up to their reputation with the Small Breed Life Protection Formula. This recipe contains a carefully crafted mixture of chicken, grains, vegetables, and fruits to create a balanced meal for your Jack Russell. Jack Russells have a higher metabolism than some other breeds, and the higher calorie content will help support your canine on their adventures and replenish their energy.
The deboned chicken is packed with pure animal protein while remaining low in saturated fats, and the inclusion of brown rice and oatmeal balances out the formula with easily digestible carbohydrates. The kibble size is specially designed for small breeds like the Jack Russell and will help remove tartar build-up. Blue Buffalo Small Breed gives your beloved dog an unbeatable, well-balanced meal.
4. Merrick Lil’ Plates Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Puppy Food – Best for Puppies
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, sweet potatoes, potatoes, chicken fat|
Feeding your dog the best possible dog food is vital from day one, and Merrick’s Lil Plates Chicken and Sweet Potato food is an excellent choice for your puppy. Since it features real chicken as the first ingredient, the recipe is rich in protein. In addition to promoting joint health and muscle growth, this formula includes fruits and veggies to prevent essential nutrients. You can guarantee you’re nourishing your puppy with a recipe that has been specially formulated just for small-breed pups. Highly digestible proteins, healthy carbs, and probiotics help make this an ideal meal for any Jack Russell puppy.
5. Royal Canin Jack Russell Terrier Adult Dog Food – Vet’s Choice
|Main ingredients:||Brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, wheat, corn, chicken fat|
Royal Canin Jack Russell Terrier Adult Dog Food was developed specifically for the Jack Russell breed. This recipe was carefully crafted with your Jack Russell in mind, leading to a well-balanced meal designed to help your canine thrive.
Since it’s rich in protein and antioxidants, Royal Canin may support your energetic dog’s activity levels and overall muscle mass. Even better, the higher levels of vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids will help ease inflammation on your Jack Russell’s joints and promote healthier mobility. Royal Canin’s JRT blend is our veterinarian’s choice food due to its well-rounded nutritional profile.
6. Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, rice, whole grain corn, beef fat|
Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food has everything your furry friend needs for a healthy and active lifestyle. Although much higher in calories than other foods on this list, it is still an excellent fit for any spirited Jack Russell. The shredded chicken and rice will provide essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals to keep your dog energized all day long. This higher calorie formula is ideal for small breeds like the Jack Russell with endless energy. However, Pro Plan is unsuitable if you are trying to maintain your pup’s weight.
7. Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed Adult Chicken and Brown Rice
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, whole grain barley, split peas, brewers rice|
Whole chicken carries this Nutro Natural Choice Small Breed formula to a hearty 24% crude protein content. This high-quality, grain-inclusive kibble uses a balanced blend of fresh meat as its primary source of animal protein, paring well with its added calcium and dietary fibers. In addition, the formula includes ingredients like pumpkin to aid digestion and kale and spinach to ensure a healthy mixture of antioxidants. You can feel confident severing your pet this non-GMO food, but be mindful of any of your pup’s dietary restrictions since the recipe contains peas and pea protein.
8. Health Extension Grain-Free Salmon Recipe
|Main ingredients:||Deboned salmon, chickpeas, deboned whitefish, whole sweet potatoes, pumpkin|
With real salmon as the first ingredient, you shouldn’t let this Health Extension Grain-Free Salmon recipe slip your radar. This recipe features a hefty mixture of fruits and vegetables to create a well-balanced meal for your active Jack Russell. It includes salmon and whitefish, fruits like pomegranates and raspberries, and vegetables like spinach and whole carrots. It also has a plentiful mix of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. Before serving your dog a grain-free food, talk to your veterinarian to ensure the diet is suitable for your pet. This is still a great food overall, especially when you consider its inclusion of pumpkin and fish oil to help dogs with skin issues and food sensitivities.
9. Canidae PURE LID Bison, Lentil, and Carrot Recipe
|Main ingredients:||Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, carrots|
With Canidae being one of the most respected dog food brands, it’s hard not to include this PURE Limited Ingredient Bison, Lentil, and Carrot formula on our list. Real bison meat is listed as the first ingredient, and the high protein count is rounded out with lamb meal and turkey meal. PURE LID is fortified with nutrients to promote healthy skin and a healthy coat for your Jack Russell, and it’s high in glucosamine to help with your dog’s joints and mobility. While it is a lot pricier than other foods on this list, this is still a good overall food for a Jack Russell.
10. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Recipe
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, cracked pearled barley, brown rice, chicken meal|
If your Jack Russell, like many others, suffers from a sensitive stomach, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin recipe may be worth a shot. It’s specifically designed to promote and maintain a healthy gut, and it’s a suitable alternative if you notice your canine having reactions to other dog food. The recipe includes a prebiotic fiber to support your dog’s healthy stomach and has vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids for your dog’s sensitive skin. While we wish this food had a higher crude protein content to fat ratio, it’s still a balanced meal catered to dogs with food sensitivities.
Buyers Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Foods for Jack Russells
Though all dogs generally have the same basic nutritional needs, your beloved Jack Russell needs more energy due to their faster metabolism. To give your Jack Russell the best possible diet, choose a brand that balances healthy proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. In general, your dog will need a minimum of 18% protein and 5% healthy fats in their diet to meet basic nutritional needs.
It’s important to determine if the protein in the food comes from high-quality animal sources. Look for ingredients such as red meats, chicken, or fish. You’ll also want to check that the brand uses healthy animal fats like chicken fat or salmon oil paired with a good balance of omega fatty acids.
Food with whole grains and vegetables can provide your dog with rich sources of fiber and other essential nutrients.
Dietary Considerations for Jack Russells
Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for your Jack Russell. The breed is more at risk for obesity because of its size, and obesity can lead to musculoskeletal problems.
You also need to keep in mind that a majority of Jack Russells are prone to skin allergies and food sensitivities. Your dog will need a carefully monitored diet to prevent triggering any food allergens that may be present. If your dog often has skin problems, they may be related to a food insensitivity. It is always wise to check with your veterinarian prior to any major dietary changes.
Standing in that massive aisle of dog food in a store shouldn’t be intimidating as long as you know what you’re looking for. If you’re after the best possible food overall, you won’t want to skip out on The Farmer’s Dog’s specialized formulas for your Jack Russell. If you’re after a non-subscription service and a more budget-friendly option, you can try a small breed recipe like Purina One Smart Blend.
Blue Buffalo’s Small Breed formula is the best premium choice with its carefully crafted mixture creating a balanced meal for your Jack Russell. If you’re the lucky parent of a puppy, Merrick’s Lil Plates recipe is a fantastic way to ensure your pup is getting the digestible proteins, carbs, and extra probiotics they need to grow. Finally, our Vet’s Choice selection is Royal Canin’s Jack Russell Terrier Adult Dog Food. It’s hard to beat a formula made especially for your canine.
Featured Image Credit:Gladskikh Tatiana, Shutterstock