Saturday, July 30, 2016

Diagnosing Pain in JRT's

When we humans experience pain it can pretty obvious to diagnose.  We tell other what is hurting us, we limp if we have a bad leg, and if we are having a massive headache we are prone to laying down and sleeping it off.

JRT’s are much like infants.  They indicate pain by vocalizing through various sounds.  Also, they will tell you in their body language when there is a problem, you just have to know how to read them and what to look for. 

Because JRT’s have such active and outgoing personalities, there are times when they will cause harm that will produce their pain or discomfort.  However, there are also times when their pain can be caused by a more underlying issue.  It is times like this that we need to stay vigilante, so that to make sure that the proper treatment is given to prevent any suffering or long term damage.

When diagnosing pain in your JRT, there are a few signs and symptoms, some very subtle that you can keep an eye out for if you suspect your JRT is just not feeling top notch.

Excessive Vocalizations

Jack Russell Terriers; I don't care what anyone says, they are awesome dogs and I love mine so much:

If your JRT is not typically a whiner or a whimperer, and this particular behavior begins, then chances are good that they are experiencing some type of pain or discomfort.  JRT’s whine for two reasons—excitement or pain/discomfort.  It would be very obvious, if your companion is whining, which of these too scenarios are in play. 

Constant Localized Grooming

#puppy #Jack #Russell:

When a JRT is experiencing discomfort, for example from joint pain, they will constantly lick the area affected, in an attempt to soothe the pain away.  This is instinctive in all canines, as they are cleaning and caring for the wound in their minds.  If your JRT’s is licking a specific area, and not wound is visible, then the problem is an internal one, and they again are trying to clean and soothe the pain away.  If you notice this constant grooming to a specific area, make sure to have your veterinarian check it out.

Differences in Eating, Drinking, and Sleeping

Jack Russells:

Most times with JRT’s when their eating and drinking habits change, we are naturally concerned.  However when their sleeping habits change, we write that off to them being lazy.  If your JRT is exhibiting signs of lethargy, basically sleepiness, and it is not part of their normal routine, then there may be cause for concern.

Altered Breathing

JUL 29, 2016 / Trooper, Jack Russell Terrier mix (7 m/o), Bloomfield, NJ • “He’s still figuring out how to run. Sometimes he’ll run and just face plant. He can’t turn very well either.”:

Panting when they have not been exercising is a signal from your JRT that something is causing either pain or distress.  As your companion’s owner, you will have to learn to distinguish between your JRT panting when it is hot, panting after exertion, and panting as a signal of another underlying cause.  Also, short shallow breaths that are not involved in panting are causes for concern as well, as your JRT may be telling you that it is hurting them to breath.

Changes in Eyes

Jack russell terrier. I'm in love with these eyes!:

When a JRT is experiencing eye pain, they will tend to squint.  Also their pupils will contract and get smaller.  The opposite is true when there is pain in another part of the body.  Your JRT’s pupils will enlarge, and they will look wide and wild eyed--almost to the point of looking like they are scared

Difficulty Resting

Parson Russell Terrier Dogs| Parson Russell Terrier Dog Breed Info & Pictures | petMD:

Many times, when a JRT’s sleeping habits change, we write that off to having too much energy at bedtime and needing to just calm down.  That may very well not be the case.  It is quite possible that your JRT is experiencing discomfort, or even pain, to the extent that sitting or lying down may be making the situation worse.  With some JRT’s, constant movement and not being able to rest is a sign of something to be concerned with.

Withdrawing or Seeking Affection

long haired jack russell | Happy Holly the short haired Jack Russell Terrier (That is not a jack russell terrier. It looks like a Cairn Terrier):

In nature, when a canine becomes ill, it is instinct for them to go off by themselves.  This may be true of JRT when they are experiencing pain.  They will go off, away from you, and in some cases even hide.  They want a quiet place to try to rest and heal.  Still others will demand all your attention wanting to be held and loved on and reassured all will be well.

Aggressive Behaviors

Choice Jack Russell Terrier Photo:

When your JRT is experiencing pain, they are simultaneously experiencing a level of fear.  When you do what you know is trying to help them, they only know the fear of the pain being worse.  So your normally sweet, docile JRT will begin to growl, pin their ears back, and even lunge in an attempt to bite you, warning you off.  This is instinct for them, not a reflection on you, and you should to take it as anything other than that. 

A handy tool to keep bookmarked is the symptom checker at PetMD.
You simply put in that you are checking for a canine, input the symptoms, and possible causes are returned.  This will give you a better idea of what your JRT may be dealing with, and how you may want to proceed. 

The one thing to remember is to not try to diagnose the underlying cause of pain in your JRT yourself.  If you notice unusual behaviors, symptoms or actions, then get your companion to the veterinarian.  Do not wait and let the condition worsen, causing your JRT any unnecessary extra duress, and compound the already stressful situation for them.  

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pet Health Insurance--Pros and Cons

Your JRT is a part of your family, and as such you want to provide for and do the best you can to keep your companion healthy and happy.  So, you wonder if maybe your JRT should be provided with a pet health insurance plan.

Jack Russell Terrier waits for a belly rub!:

The first reported pet health insurance coverage was offered to Lassie, in 1982.  Over the years, pets that were in the entertainment business were insured, but until the last decade or so, JRT owners rarely covered their own companions. That is rapidly changing, as more and more JRT owners are seeking out and purchasing pet health insurance plans each and every day.

The question is how do you know if a pet health insurance plan is right for you and your JRT?  

Lets start by looking at the pros and cons of pet health insurance so that you may decide for yourself.

Pros of Pet Health Insurance

#Jack_Russell_Terrier #pup #puppy:
  •          Should your JRT become seriously or deathly ill, having pet health insurance will help in providing your companion with affordable healthcare.
  •          Depending on what plan and provider you choose to go with, emergency procedures are most probably covered.
  •          Pet diseases, once deemed a death sentence due to cost, can now be treated due to most pet health insurance plans can make them more affordable.
  •          Having pet health insurance provides an extra added peace of mind during times of unexpected treatment expenses.
  •          Many plans on the market today offer a multi-pet discount, as well as a discount for choosing a 6 month and yearly plans.

Cons of Pet Health Insurance

Jack Russell Puppy! :):
  •             Many plans and providers have large deductibles, copays, and may even put a cap on just how much they will pay out.
  •             As with your insurance, a pre-existing condition may not be covered by your JRT’s plan.
  •             Many conditions that are breed specific may not be covered.  For instance, if you have a Labrador retriever, and it develops hip-dysplasia, your plan and provider may not cover any treatments related to the condition.
  •              Unlike a pet health savings account, any money spent on pet health insurance premiums are gone, never to be seen again, unless you choose to enact the insurance plan.

Is Pet Health Insurance Right For You?

pictures+of+jack+russell+terriers | File:Rough coat Jack Russell terrier.JPG - Wikimedia Commons:

First and foremost, make sure that you supply your JRT with all the necessities.  Things such as a good home, a safe and warm place to sleep, love and attention, nutritious food, and regular visits to your veterinarian.  

After providing all these necessary things, then set down with your household, and discuss if a pet health insurance plan is right for you and your JRT.  Discuss things like:  will it fit in our budget?  Do we start the plan when our JRT is a puppy, or wait until they are a little older?  Should we consult further with our veterinarian?  That last one is a good one to consider, as your veterinarian would be able to shed more light on what type of plan your JRT would most probably benefit from. 

Choosing the Best Plan for You

Smoke the JR:

Make sure when choosing your JRT’s pet health insurance plan, that you do your homework and due diligence.  Don’t choose the first one you find.  Shop around, compare multiple plans.  Take a piece of paper and with two columns place the pros in one column, the cons in the other.  

Compare each plan against the other in order to make sure you get just what you need.  Talk to friends, family, and co-worker that have pet health insurance themselves, and get their feedback—the good and the bad.  The one thing to remember is not to jump just so you have the coverage.  If you take your time, it will pay out in one way or another in the end. 

Pet Health Insurance VS Pet Health Savings Plan

Jack Russell Terrier -- Look to see if your favorite pup with be featured as a new spirit hood. Only at!:

One last thing to consider is which option would provide your JRT with the best healthcare option—pet health care insurance or a pet health savings account.  If you find a pet healthcare plan and provider that has been recommended by someone you trust and provides you and your JRT all that you feel you need, then go with the insurance.  

However, if you are on the fence, or find that the plans and provider options are just not for you, consider a pet health savings account.  Set a specific amount to be put back each month, and build up the savings account.  The plan is to have a substantial enough savings plan built up, before actually having to tap into it.  And, in the event your JRT does pass, the money is still there unlike the premiums spent on insurance.

Jack Russells....happy little dogs!:

The main thing to take away is that you need to look at what you need and expect in a plan, look at what is out there, and decide what is most advantageous for you.  The bottom line is to make sure that your JRT’s healthcare needs are covered, and that they live a long and healthy life.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Urinary Incontinence in JRT's

Urinary Incontinence in JRT's most commonly presents with involuntary or uncontrollable leakage of urine from the bladder.  In many cases, you will also notice your JRT licking the area of the leakage more often than usual.

Jack Russell Terrier:

Most JRT’s owners associate urinary incontinence with the natural progression of age.  Although that is one factor of its development, it is not the only one.  It is possible that the underlying cause may not be age at all, and for this reason it is highly advised if you suspect incontinence that you have your JRT examined by your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Urinary Incontinence

Let's play! Scout - Jack Russell Terrier:

For the most part, the symptoms of urinary incontinence are pretty much the same from breed to breed.  Although the underlying causes may differ, the symptoms usually do not.  These may include:
·         Urine leakage—aka involuntary peeing
·         Wet fur on the lower abdominal area, or between the rear legs
·         Wet spots appearing on your JRT’s bedding or in their sleeping area
·         Urinary tract infections—or UTI’s
·         Inflammation of the skin around the genitals
·         Increased licking in and the around the area of the leakage

Causes of Urinary Incontinence

Jack Russells looking out the window:

First and foremost, before assuming incontinence, it is best to consider other possible causes.
  • Submissive Urination—many young JRT’s suffer from this condition when they feel threatened or are fearful.  The good news is that in most cases, this condition is outgrown.
  • Territory Marking—if your JRT is an unneutered male, it may be a simple case of them marking their territory, a normal yet irritating habit.
  •  Potty Training—finally, it may just be a process of reinforcing the potty training, plain and simple. With older JRT’s, age may come into play, and they may actually forget their training. 
Once you have ruled out the above conditions being the underlying cause of the incontinence, then you may look at the main causes of urinary incontinence in JRT’s
  • UTI—Urinary Tract Infection or bladder infection
                        With the use of urinalysis, your veterinarian will be able to diagnose the presence of a 
UTI or bladder infection.  Incontinence from a UTI or bladder infection is a common occurrence in your female JRT’s.  After confirming the infection your veterinarian will most probably choose to prescribe a one to three week round of antibiotics, developed to specifically target this type of infection treatment.  Although incontinence due to bladder infection may begin to show a significant improvement just a few days after initial treatment, it is imperative that you finish out the round of medication anyways.
  •  A weak bladder sphincter—most common in older, spayed females
The most common factors that bring on this condition are age, obesity, and the reduction of sensitivity in the neurological receptors in the sphincter itself.  Low levels of hormones, mainly estrogen, in spayed females is suspected to bring on this condition.  One in five JRT’s will suffer from this condition that can effectively be treated with medication.
  •  Excessive water consumption
Simply put, your JRT drinks and drinks and then drinks some more.  All this drinking is filling the bladder too full, and then it has to go somewhere.  But, also keep in mind that there may be an underlying condition to why your JRT is drinking so much.  That condition could include:  diabetes mellitus, kidney failure, Cushing’s disease, diabetes insipidus, or again a bladder infection.  It is very important that you have your JRT examined by your veterinarian in order to rule out these possible conditions.
  • Spinal cord disease
With this one, the condition is usually in the lower lumbar region and this may include protruding discs.  If discs are the culprit, then surgery may be necessary. 

Secondary problems with Urinary Incontinence

Jack Russell Terrier -- Look to see if your favorite pup with be featured as a new spirit hood. Only at!:

JRT’s that suffer from urinary incontinence may also suffer from secondary conditions in conjunction with the primary condition as well.  These may include:

  •     Bladder infections--a JRT who suffers from urinary incontinence may also suffer from an increase in bladder infections.  With the sphincter muscle being more lax bacteria has a better chance of migrating into the bladder and causing infection to set up.  Until your JRT’s incontinence is under control, they may need to be on a maintenance program of antibiotics.

  • Urine scalding--urine is a very caustic substance, and when it comes in consistent contact with the skin, it will set up irritation and swelling.  This is usually treated with a topical solution that both heals with antibiotics and contains an anti-inflammatory for discomfort.
  • Non-responsive to medication--some JRT’s just do not respond well to the medication for incontinence.  If this is the case, then the use of doggie diapers or bloomers may be a very viable option for you.  The diapers/bloomers will provide a sanitary option, as they soak up the urine, while at the same time keeping it from irritating your JRT’s skin.
Treatments for Urinary Incontinence

16 Reasons Jack Russells Are Not The Friendly Dogs Everyone Says They Are:

If you suspect incontinence in your JRT, get with your veterinarian.  Through a series of examinations and testing’s he will be able to track down the underlying cause, and make a diagnosis that will best benefit you and your JRT. 

The good news is that, more often than not, the treatment of urinary incontinence in JRT’s is quite simple and low cost. 
  •  Phenylpropanolamine (PPA)—this is a decongestant that is used for the treatment of urinary incontinence.   Used most commonly in both male and female JRT’s, this medication helps in the strengthening and tightening of the sphincter muscle. 
  •  Diethylstilbestrol (DES)—an estrogen supplement commonly used in spayed females for control of urinary incontinence. 
  • Testosterone—monthly injections of testosterone are used for neutered males with hormonally-induced incontinence.  It is wise to note that this type of treatment may cause increased urine marking and aggressive behavior. 
  • Collagen—a new surgery involving collagen injections now available is a viable option when other options for treatment of incontinence are ineffective. 
  •  Natural Treatments—herbs, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, homeopathic remedies, along with a homemade diet have shown positive results in some cases of treating urinary incontinence. 
Urinary incontinence in your JRT, with proper diagnosis, can be treated.  No longer to only be written off as a result of age, there are alternatives to help your JRT and to make both your lives more comfortable and enjoyable

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dealing With Fever in JRT's

I am sure at some point in your life that you have heard the old wives tale “if a JRT’s nose is cool and wet, they are healthy, and if it is dry and warm they are sick”.  Well, although there is a small glimmer of truth in that statement, for the most part it is not true.  There is more involved than the condition of your JRT’s nose in determining if there is a problem.

In this post, we are going to take a look at the possible signs, symptoms, and causes of fever in your JRT.  With the summer months here, you are well served to not write off your JRT’s change in behavior to the heat.  It may be something much more serious than that, and being alert to any changes can mean the difference between a healthy JRT and the unthinkable alternative.

What classifies as a fever in JRT’s

The human body has a normal base temperature between 97.6 and 99.6 degrees, whereas the normal base temperature in your JRT is usually 99.5 to 102.5 degrees.  On many occasion I have thought that my JRT’s were running fevers, because they felt warm to me, but they were in fact well within their normal temperature range.  It is normal for your JRT to feel feverish to you at times, when in reality they are still within the normal range for their breed.

Wallpaper jack russell terrier, dog, lying, sleeping, warmer, on the head:

The very term “fever”, or pyrexia, is associated with and used to indicate a rise in body temperature brought on by either inflammation or infection.  With this in mind, be advised that a temperature of 103.5 degrees or more in a JRT is considered a dog fever and a definite cause for concern. 

When progressing through this topic, keep in mind that your JRT’s temperature could possibly be up do to the weather, but that is just as dangerous and life threatening as a fever.  For a listing of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke along with methods to counteract these ailments, check out the earlier post Helping Your JRT Beat The Heat

M .   "" The Mailman The Butcher And Me  "":

Signs of fever in JRT’s

Just like a little baby, your JRT can not speak and tell you when they are sick.  As the caretaker of your companion, you need to look for the physical signs of something not being right.  For fever in JRT’s the common symptoms may include:
  • Red Eyes
  • Lack of Energy
  • Warm Ears
  • Warm, Dry Nose
  • Shivering
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting          

Each of these alone may be an indication of another problem but when you put them all together, the underlying problem may very well be a fever.

No more sneaking Sips of Dad's drink!:

Causes of fever in JRT’s

Now that we know the signs and symptoms that present with fever in JRT’s, lets take a look at some of its causes. 
·         Infections
·         An infected bite, scratch or cut
·         An ear infection
·         An UTI (urinary tract infection)
·         An infected or abscessed tooth
·         An ongoing bacterial or virus disease
·         Infection of the organs, such as the kidneys or the lungs.
·         Various forms of toxins
·         Toxic plants
·         Antifreeze ingestion
·         Human medications
·         Human foods known to be toxic to canines, including Xylitol
·         Vaccinations
·         It is not uncommon for your JRT, like we humans, to experience a low-grade fever within 24-48 hours after being vaccinated.  This is a normal occurrence and should not be a cause of great concern.  Just monitor your companion and if by chance the low-grade fever does persist, have them checked out just to err on the side of caution.

Keep in mind that the usual suspect, the majority of the time, is the first on the list.  But, it is best to reach out to your JRT’s veterinarian and rule out all the possibilities.  The underlying cause must be found, in order to properly address the method of treated for your JRT.  This assessment is best done by a professional.

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Treating fever in JRT’s

Knowing the signs and causes of fever in JRT’s is one thing, diagnosing the underlying problem is another beast all in itself.  

The best method you can use to bring down your JRT’s fever is by applying cool, not cold, water around the areas of their ears and paws.  Some people chose to put them in a tub of cool water, but I find a cool wash cloth works best.  It is best to use the cool water, or compress, every fifteen minutes or so, until you are confident that the fever as abated.  

It is of serious and upmost importance to note here that you are to NEVER give your JRT aspirin or acetaminophen, unless under the strict supervision of a medical professional.  Both of these medications are made for humans, and are very dangerous, even life threatening, if ingested improperly by your JRT.

Jack Russell Terriers:

As your time together progresses, you will learn to read your JRT’s body language, and know when your companion is trying to alert you to something being wrong.  It just takes a sharp eye, and committed attitude, and you will be able to assure you JRT a long and healthy life.      

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Treating Your JRT for Fleas and Ticks

We are deep into summer, and the “dog days” of summer are just around the corner.  With that said, I thought maybe we should discuss those pesky critters everyone who has a JRT deals with—fleas and ticks. 

Cléo, the jack russel puppy 8 by Making Magique, via Flickr:

There are two camps on the control and prevention of fleas and ticks—those who use chemical means, and those who use natural means.  I have my own thoughts on each method, but lets take a look at the pros and cons of each and you can decide which method is most suitable to you.

Chemical Control

Chemical flea and tick control can include seven methods:  a collar, a shampoo, sprays, powers, dips, a topical applicant, or a pill.  Each method has its own merits, and a couple are easy and quick to use, but it is up to you to decide which would be most efficient for your JRT.   Lets take a quick look at each ones advantages and disadvantages.

Flea and Tick Collars

Flea and tick collars have been around ever since I can remember, and are one of the longest lasting flea control products ever offered.  Basically, a flea collar is made of plastic and is placed around your JRT’s neck, after being “snapped” to activate.  Then over a set course of time, usually months, a pesticide is slowly released that kills fleas and repels ticks.   There are two types of collars on the market currently.  The first releases a gaseous pesticide that kills fleas that get come close to the collar.  The other releases a chemical that, when absorbed into the skin, will kill any flea that bites your JRT.

When considering flea and tick collars the advantages of a collar is first and foremost the convenience and east of its use, as well as being easy on the budget.  You simply put the collar on your JRT and go.  No muss, no fuss.  And with various versions on the market claiming to last up to 12 months, they are a long-lasting, economical alternative.

OMG its the male twin of Tiny!:

But, flea and tick collars also have their disadvantages.  Keep in mind that the collar will only kill a certain amount of fleas on your JRT, it will not kill them all.  Those fleas and ticks that chose to stay furthest from the collar will not feel its affects.  There is also a chance your JRT will experience irritation around the neck where ever the collar comes in contact with skin.  Lastly, many have commented on the unpleasant odor that the collar emits.

Flea and Tick Shampoos
Another source of flea and tick prevention that has been around for decades are the various flea and tick shampoos on the market.  Containing an ingredient called pyrethrins, shampoos serve to wash away any fleas or ticks present on your JRT.  Easily available anywhere that sells pet supplies, these shampoos are known for ease of use.  When used, it is best to note that these shampoos are designed to remain on your JRT, in the bath, for a small amount of time, giving it the best opportunity to work.

There are some disadvantages to be considered with flea and tick shampoos.  Since they are placed 
on the skin, and left for a while, they are absorbed to some degree by the skin.  They are also a short term alternative, as they do not aid in the prevention of flea infestations.

Flea and Tick Sprays

Flea and tick sprays are also a widely available method for flea and tick control, simply sprayed on your JRT after their bath.  Another easy to use and economical alternative, they are easy to apply for use.

Jack Russell:

Disadvantages include that they have the tendency to not work efficiently, as well as the possibility of irritation to your JRT’s skin.  And, if during spraying the chemicals get in or near your JRT’s eyes, a serious problem could develop.

Flea and Tick Powders

Another easily obtainable method, flea and tick powders are relatively economical and easy to apply and use.

However, like flea and tick sprays, powders can cause serious harm when absorbed by your JRT’s skin, an cause serious irritation and problems if the powders get in or around their eyes.  There are side effects that may occur, as well, with the use of these powders including vomiting, diarrhea, and even shaking. 

Flea and Tick Dips

Flea and tick dips, like shampoos, are applied to your JRT in the bath.  They are not meant to be used as a preventative, and they serve as nothing more than a short-term solution.  The dip solution is very concentrated and must be diluted.  After application it must be given time to air dry on your JRT.  

So cute! Jack Russell Terriers are pretty much amazing dogs.:

After is has dried, it is safe to give bathes and such as needed.  It is the best to have a professional give your JRT a treatment of this type as the dipping solution is extremely concentrated and should be used with extreme caution.  If it is something you chose to do at home, make sure to protect your skin and eyes, and the eyes and mouth of your JRT.

Flea and Tick Topical Solution

Often referred to as a “spot on” product, the topical treatments seem to currently be the most popular.  A drop of the product is placed between the shoulder blades of your JRT, usually ones a month.  This product spreads through the sweat glands, and helps to kill and repel fleas and ticks.  The product is simple to apply, and once dry your JRT can go in water and be bathed like normal.  

Parson Russell Terrier. this is what our 'jack' at home is more classified as apparently.  so cute:

It is important to note that until the application is completely dry, do not let children or other pets around your JRT.  Possible side effects of note with this product are itching/scratching, redness or swelling of the skin, and in some case hair loss.

Flea and Tick Pill

Although the oral form does provide ease of treatment, well other than trying to get your JRT to swallow a pill, it does not repel the fleas and ticks.  The fleas and ticks must be on your JRT and bite them in order for the product to do its job and kill them.  

Keep in mind, as with most all oral medications, there is a risk of upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea occurring with this products use.  Also skin reactions such as itching, redness and hives have been noted.  In some more serious cases depression and prominent decrease in appetite have been noted.

Natural Control

If you would like to go more natural in your choice of treatment then there are products for flea and tick prevention as well. Some of the more natural choices include:  lemon or orange juice, regular baths, regular brushings/combings, maintaining a cleaning ritual, and even essential oils.  So, lets take a look at each, and see how they may work as an alternative for you and your family.

Lemon/Orange Juice

A chemical contained within the peel of lemons and oranges, limonene, is a natural flea and tick repellant.  But, on the same hand is deadly poisonous to JRT’s.  However, limonene is only present minimally, and usually not in a fatal amount, in the juice of the fruits.  So, cutting a lemon or orange in half, and rubbing the juice on your JRT’s will help as a natural repellent.  

If you JRT seems to want to lick the juice off themselves, make sure to keep an eye on them.  As with all endeavors, allergic reactions are a possibility.  So, if your JRT begins to act strangely, discontinue this application method. 

Tub Time

Jack Russell:

Since fleas do not grasp onto anything to stay on your JRT, a good ol fashioned dunk in the tub is sure to wash away most of the pesky critters.  Not only does the water aid in ridding your JRT of the fleas, it also helps to soothe any itching or irritation that they may be experiencing.  Add in the use of a flea shampoo, or a mild soap and you have the makings for a happy companion.


Regular brushing of your JRT is another natural preventative for fleas and ticks.  With regular brushings, preferable with a flea comb, you are making sure that no fleas have the chance to settle in and set up home on your JRT.  Using a specialized comb will ensure that, when raked through your JRT’s fur that the fleas will not be able to escape between the bristles.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Making sure to regularly wash and clean your JRT’s bed will go a long way for flea prevention.  And, not only their bed, but the area around the pet, and the entire house.  Frequent vacuuming and cleaning of the floors in your house, and your furniture if your JRT sleeps on it, will add in preventing fleas from taking up residence with you.  Also, do not forget to empty your sweeper bags/containers after each cleaning because fleas can continue to live in there, and even maybe escape and make all your hard work for nothing.

Jack Russell Terrier -- Look to see if your favorite pup with be featured as a new spirit hood. Only at!:

Essential Oils

Some essential oils have been noted as being very good at flea and tick prevention.  For ticks in particular, the use of rose geranium oil can be very effective.  By applying just a few drops to your JRT’s collar you will help to keep the ticks from even considering attaching themselves.  Of note here, if you choose to go this method, us the oil sparingly, as a little goes a long way.

So, there you have it, a look at the possible ways, chemical and natural, that you may prevent fleas and ticks from becoming a problem for your JRT and your family as well.  No matter your mind set, there is sure to be a method that will work for you.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Introducing A New Pet Into The Household

After much thought and debate, you and your household have decided it is time to get another pet.  

This is all good and fine, but you are concerned with how your JRT might react.  Although thinking the whole situation through, and heeding your initial concern is a good practice, do take comfort in the fact that the addition to the household is a doable thing.  As long as it is handled properly, the introduction of another pet into your family dynamic should go smoothly. 

I just love Jack Russells... my heart melts everytime I see one... :):

First off, it is essential to remember that if your JRT has been your only pet for a while, then they will suffer from the “only child” syndrome.  Most especially the part where they have always gotten the attention of the household, something they are not going to like giving up, nor give up without a fight.  This is usually the main cause of dissention between the current pet, your JRT, and any new pet you may bring into the household, as well as probably the toughest problem to overcome. 

When preparing your JRT for the new family addition, it is imperative to keep in mind that the method for introduction of the new pet will differ according to the type of pet.  For example, introducing another canine into the home will differ greatly from introducing, say, a feline.  There are different things to take into consideration for each one.  In this post will look at the methods involved, based on species, and hopefully find something that will work for you.

A Household Built for Two…Canines That Is

Opposite Genders

Jack Russel Terriers, no better dogs <3:

If you are introducing another canine into the household dynamic, then you will want to seriously consider introducing a canine of an opposing gender, especially if the JRT you currently have is of the aggressive nature.  Two aggressive natured canines in one household will assuredly set you and up for problems if not failure.  Also keep in mind that two female JRT’s in the same household can result in the same aggression problems.  This writer can speak to this from experience, as my senior female JRT’s, when they hit about seven years old, became so aggressive towards one another, that I have to keep them caged, and only allow one out at a given time.  If not, the hostility ensues, and most assuredly blood is drawn.  So, please consider the aggression factor first and foremost in your decision making.

First Impressions

As with humans, first impressions play a major role in how well one canine will get along with another.  When introducing a JRT to a possible new family member for the first time, it is best that this be done with both parties under control.  By this I mean have both the perspective family member on a loose leash, as well as your JRT.  This is so YOU can maintain control of the situation, and if things start to go south, will have a means to separate the two.  Once you are satisfied with how they initially react to one another, then you may take them off leash, and place them in a controlled, monitored area.  This will allow them more freedom to move around and get to know each other better.  Still keeps an eye on them for any signs that there may be a problem occurring. 

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From your friends at phoenix dog in home dog training"k9katelynn" see more about Scottsdale dog training at! Pinterest with over 20,200followers! Google plus with over 137,000 views! LinkedIn with over 9,000 associates! You tube with over 400 videos and 50,000 views!! Serving the valley for 11 plus years:

Keep in mind that up to this point your JRT has been the “baby” of the family.  They have been the one to get all the attention, loving, and play time.  It is naturally going to upset them to think that another “thing” will be coming into their perfect life, and totally blowing it to smithereens (I imagine that is how it feels to them anyways).  So, keeping that in mind it is imperative that when you are introducing your JRT to the new family member, that you do NOT shower the new canine with excessive attention.  Do not hold, love on, or make over the new canine, as this will just set the whole situation up for possibly a life-long resentment on your JRT’s part.  Give both canines each attention, at the same time, and they will know that they are both loved and appreciated in the household.

Table for One

It is also a good idea, the first few weeks after the new additions arrival  that both your JRT and the new family member are fed separately.  This will ensure that there are not squabbles over food that could turn into big ugly fights that could then turn into a life-long problem.  Again, been there, done that, and still dealing with it today.   After a few weeks their food bowls can be brought closer together as long as feeding time is supervised.  That way, if there appears to be a problem arising, you can nip it in the bud.  Also remember to keep your JRT and the new addition apart when playing with toys and chews.  Some of the biggest fights your JRT will have with another canine will most assuredly be over two things:  food and toys--hands down.

Good Things to Come

LOL ~ how cute are these two Jack Russell's:

Here is a little trick that I did not know of, or even think about, that can be very useful.  When your JRT and the new addition are in the same room, and the JRT is friendly and agreeable as well as behaves with the other canine, reward your JRT.  But, when the new addition leaves the room, take the reward away from your JRT.  Then again, when the new addition comes back into the room, and the JRT behaves, reward your JRT again.  This process of give and take will eventually instill in your JRT that when the new addition is around, good things happen.  And when the new addition leaves, well not so good things happen.  After a while, your JRT will begin to associate the good things with the new addition, which will in turn keep your JRT amicable towards them.

Walkies For Two

Finally, take both your JRT and the new addition on walks together.  Allow them ample leash to walk side by side, to sniff and explore together, and to just generally enjoy their time together.  Maybe take them to a dog park, and let them run and play together, or if you need to do some training lessons, let them both participate.  Allowing to do these types of activities together will allow them to bond, and in the end, will make your and that of the rest of the household much more peaceful. 


The main thing to keep in mind when considering introducing a cat, or kitten, into the household dynamic is that JRT’s were bred to be hunters.  They are hard-wired to stalk, hunt, and obtain their prey, which usually includes animals smaller than them, such as kittens.  So with that in mind, lets take a look at some the methods to properly introduce your JRT to their new house mate, shall we?
As with introducing another canine into the home, when introducing a feline you will have to be both patient and diligent.  The best case scenario is that you get your JRT when it is a puppy, and your feline when it is kitten, so that they may grow up together.  As younger versions of themselves,  they will have the opportunity to bond before the instincts of each of their species begin to take over.  If that is not an option, then the following ideas may be of help.

Hello Stranger

When you bring your cat/kitten home for the first time, the best idea is to place it in a cage, and place the cage on a table.  Cats are naturally more comfortable and secure feeling in high places, and with your new family member on a table in a cage, they will have an easier time acclimating to the new situation.  Also, this will give your JRT time to take notice of the new resident, adjust to the smell and sounds that it makes without unnecessarily cause a ruckous. 

Getting To Know You

2 Abandoned Pets Become Unlikely Best Friends:

After a few weeks of the “introductory phase”, it is now time to let them meet face to face.  This is where the patience and diligence really comes into play.  It is best to keep your JRT on a leash, the feline in a cage or even use a child gate to separate them.  The main idea here is to keep the entire situation under YOUR complete control.  Do not give your JRT so much leeway that they can lunge at the cat/kitten, because that will just put you back at square one. 

Move slowly at this stage, so that you may notice any signs of fear or defensiveness on the part of the feline.  Keep in mind, there will some initial fear that is only in their nature.  A good idea is to have some of your JRT’s treats nearby.  When your JRT moves towards the feline, but in a curious but none aggressive manner, make sure to treat them.  This is reinforcing that the cat/kitten is a good thing, with the possibility of treats to follow.  But, if your JRT barks, lunges or growls, or the cat/kitten hisses and tries to scratch, end the interaction and separate them once again.  It will take longer than just a few days, in most cases, and you will keep repeating this interaction until neither your JRT or the cat/kitten shows any signs of hostility or anger towards the other.

The Nose Knows

Once you have been successful with the previous steps, it is now time to let them meet nose to nose.  In the natural wild, canines and felines use their noses to get to know one another.  As before, keep both your JRT and the cat/kitten on a leash, and let them explore slowly.  Reward them both generously for good behavior, watch their body language closely and be prepared for the to occasionally lunge at one nother.  Be patient and diligent, and eventually they will get along.  This is not an overnight process, so take it nice and slow and all of you will benefit.  Remember that when you are not there to supervise, have your JRT and the cat/kitten put up away from each other.
If you have a little patience and due diligence, your JRT can learn to live happily with any new addition you chose to make to the household.  Everyone can learn to live in peace and harmony.

Mary Pickford and friends:

If you have a little patience and practive due diligence, your JRT can learn to live happily with any new addition you chose to make to the household.  Everyone can learn to live in peace and harmony.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dealing with Annoying Behavior in your JRT

As most JRT owners know, these little powerhouses at times can call for some major upkeep.  They are not a companion for the faint of heart, and anyone who lives with one (or in my case two), more than knows the pros and cons of the situation.  And one of the cons of the relationship is some of those downright annoying behaviors that JRT’s are known for.

Let’s take a look shall we, and see what we might be able to do to maybe train, or at least control, some of these behaviors.  You must admit, it would keep peace in the household dynamic if these types of behaviors can be limited, if not culled from the day to day life of you and your JRT.


Jack Russell Terriers; I don't care what anyone says, they are awesome dogs and I love mine so much:

One thing that is certain in life, a canine is going to bark.  It is how they express many of their basic emotions:  when they are happy, when they are excited, when they are experiencing anxiety, and even as a basic alert method.  But, JRT’s take barking to a whole new level.  They will bark for every emotion they are experiencing, they will bark for attention, they will bark out of boredom, at times they will bark for no good reason at all.  I am a firm believer that JRT’s are just one of those breeds that are hard-wired to bark. 

The two main reasons for most JRT’s continually barking is boredom or anxiety/irritation.  If the suspected cause is boredom, this is easily remedied.  Make sure that your JRT has plenty of toys to chew on and play with.  If they have a means of occupying their time, then it would only follow that there will be little time left to bark.  The other cause can be a little trickier to remedy.  If you suspect your JRT is barking out of anxiety or irritation, the first step you will need to take is finding out the source of this reaction. 

May times, the simple fact that you are leaving your companion, to go to work for instance, can trigger a spell of anxiety.  This anxiety will build in your JRT, and eventually present itself as continual barking.  Maybe they are hearing something that is either irritating them, or causing them anxiety out of fear.  Making sure that your JRT feels safe and secure can sometimes remedy the problem of barking in this case. 

Also, looking out the windows and barking most probably is because they see something that is irritating them.  The post man, a squirrel, or even one of those oh so frightful plastic bags blowing down the street.  In this case, the act of simply blocking your JRT’s view of that which is irritating them, maybe by pulling the curtains on a window, may be all it takes to calm them down.

Pulling on Lead

Hi, my name is Indy and I'm not sure what kind of breed I am. A lot of people think I'm part Jack Russell; maybe they are right. Either way, I am a super sweet, fun-loving guy. My favorite things to do are hiking and going to the dog park where I get to meet lots of people and other dogs. I may be small but I love going on adventures and I have a big personality.:

In a previous post, we touched on how to train your JRT to a leash.  As stated in that post, it is a process that will take a little time, and a lot of patience, but it can be achieved.  Although it is best to start this training when your JRT is a puppy, in some cases this is not always possible, such as in the case of a rescued companion.  Keep in mind that whatever the case, it can be done.  And the advantages to a lead trained JRT are tremendous.  They will not be constantly pulling and straining when they are walked, which can in some cases cause throat damage or pulled muscles.  Also, when a JRT is properly leash trained, they are more secure in any given situation.  You do not have to worry about them running up on someone, or someone else’s pet, which can pose a whole host of problems.   Another advantage is that, as they acclimate to the leash, you will have more control and demand of your JRT’s attention.  This can only be a good thing, when walking your companion out in public.


jack russell puppy chewing on shoe:

The biting issue is also addressed in another previous post.  In the same vein, let’s take a look at chewing.  Ah, yes, JRT’s do like to chew.  They will chew on anything and everything.  I have even heard, and seen pictures of, them actually chewing wood furniture down to nothing.  Kind of makes one wonder if maybe there is a little bit of woodchuck in the JRT bloodline. 

Chewing comes naturally to all canines, so it is not necessarily a bad thing.  JRT’s will chew to clean and strengthen their teeth, but a lot of chewing, especially the destructive kind, is like the barking mentioned above, out of boredom and anxiety.

Let’s all face it, JRT’s are one breed that is known for having a lot of anxiety and get bored really fast, really often.  The anxiety is mostly due to their hyperactive nature that although it does make them jolly and playful all the time, in turn also makes them hypersensitive to the world and stimuli around them.


That looks like my Jack Sparrow.  But my Captain jumps higher at the window.:

A canine, even as small as a JRT, can still be scary and most definitely annoying when they are jumping on you or someone that you know.   But, dogs will be dogs, and just as with most small breeds, a jumping they will be.  You may think that a jumping JRT is just a problem, as an owner, you will have to put up with.  That is not necessarily true, not at all.  As with most any annoying habit, and believe me jumping is a habit, your JRT can be trained to quit.  There are those experts who seem to think the cause of jumping is either a form of attention, or a posturing to assert dominance.  I am a more of a believer in the former, at least when it comes to my two girls.  It is their way of getting my attention, as a last resort.  And get my attention they do, most usually not quite the type of attention they want. 

So where do you even begin to head off this frustrating habit?  Well, if you subscribe to the reason behind the jumping being for attention, as I do, then the one simple hard and fast rule is…ignore it.  That’s right I said ignore the jumping.  If you continually bring attention to the habit, then your JRT will never quit.  They are getting what they are wanting, your undivided attention, so they will continue to do what they know works.  So, when they start jumping, just do your best not to respond.  After a while, they will realize it is not working, calm down, and if they are like my girls, move on to something else.  It will take a great deal of patience on your part, but in the long run you will be doing you, your guests, and yes, even your JRT, a great service.  

Door Dashing

"Gentlemen, one at a time, please."  [Photo source courtesy of: HarvestHeart]'h4d'120905:

Ah, good ol door dashing.  I have one girl who never does this, and one that is an outright pro at it.  

Door dashing is just what it sounds like.  You open the door, your JRT sees an opportunity, and seizes it by dashing out the door.  JRT’s are one breed that is notorious for this maneuver.  Training this behavior out of you JRT will be another one that will take time and patience.  For your companion, door dashing ranks right up there with squirrel chasing, hole-digging, and toilet water drinking.  Keeping in mind that the more a JRT is allowed to do something, anything, like humans the better they will become at it.  So, you must take matters into your own hands as soon as possible.  To this day, my oldest will still look at the door, and with a twinkle in her eye, I am sure plotting her escape.  But, what may work are two things, breaking  up the routine on exits, and child gates.  By switching up which entrance/exit that is used, for lack of a better term your JRT is being kept on its toes.  Without being able to anticipate which door to dash out of, your JRT will essentially be caught off guard.   Also, using child gates to gate off rooms is great for all kinds of reasons, and door dashing is one.  When having to go in and out a door multiple times, say to bring in groceries,  either crate your JRT, or use a child gate to block them off into another room.  That way they can still see what is happening, but the opportunity to dash will not present itself.

Running Away

#Gijsmans love2run:

This annoying habit can go hand-in-hand with door dashing.  If your JRT is that bound and determined to get out the door, then when they do, they are not going to answer your calls of frustration.  They are going to run long, run far, and run wide, making the most of their newly granted freedom.  Nothing brings more fear to a JRT owner, than the thought that their companion will run away.  First and foremost, you JRT needs to have some sort of obedience training .  Whether this training is provided by a professional or done by you, there needs to be some control established in the relationship.  Your companion needs to learn to respect you, listen to you, and do as told.  This will require a LOT of patience and dedication on your part, as JRT’s are hard-wired to be runners.   

And, if you can’t get your companion trained yourself, don’t feel bad.  Many have had to seek professional help in this area.  As you are training your JRT, keep in mind that if they do get away from you, and run off, do not chase after them.  They will begin to interpret this action as meaning the two of you are playing a game.  Also, do NOT punish your JRT when they do return.  They will begin to associate their return with being punished, and may one day never see your JRT again.   The most sure-fire way to make sure your JRT does not run away is to follow the suggestion above for door dashing, and to make when they are out with you, you keep them on a leash.


Jack Russells are mostly seen like this:

Finally we have the most common annoying habit among JRT’s—digging.  Lets face it, canines are diggers, no matter what breed.  But, some breeds dig more than others.  Having been bred to run foxes and other such pray out of their dens, digging is hard-wired into JRT’s.  Not only is it literally nature for them to dig, they enjoy it, probably more than any other activity out there.  But, as the owner, you are probably getting tired of the holes in your yard, and your companion dragging dirt and mud into the house, following one of their escapades.  JRT’s dig or a multitude of reasons:  because they smell bugs or possible prey; because they are trying to “dig themselves free” due to fear or anxiety; and even some will dig a hole to crawl in to keep cool in the heat.  Whatever the reason your JRT digs, keep in mind that it is natural—sometimes annoying but natural.  The only real thing you can do when they dig is to rule out that it is not caused by something medical, such as a possible vitamin or mineral deficiency.  Otherwise, try to put up with the habit, and understand that is it their nature, and nothing more. 

Although JRT’s do have their share of annoying habits, there are ways to cull these habits out, or maybe lessen their frequency so that the balance of peace may be kept in the household.  Because, after all, much like our JRT’s, even we are not perfect.  There are sure to be a few of your habits that they find annoying as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dealing with Excitement and Submissive Urination in JRT's

You get home from a stressful day at work, and just want to see your JRT and cuddle with them.  You walk in the door, and are greeted by an excited, happy companion.  But, that is not all you are greeted by…you are also greeted by a puddle of piddle.

There are two types of urination control problems, usually in younger JRT’s, those that are triggered by excitement or as a form of submission.  Both can be somewhat annoying, but there is hope.  You, and your JRT, are both best served by determining which trigger is involved, so that you may be better aided in taking the proper steps in helping your companion overcome this stressful situation.

Excitement Urination

Excitement urination usually occurs when quite simply your JRT is excited.   This may be when you come home from work, and they are so happy to see you.  It may also occur when they are playing and are so full of joy that they accidentally urinate on themselves.

Excitement urination usually affects puppies and younger JRT’s, as they age, the problem will resolve itself.  When they are young, your companion is still learning to control their bladder.  As they mature and achieve more control their urination condition should clear up on its own.


In some cases, the condition will continue and become a problem for your companion.  This continuation could possibly be caused by you, because you are unknowingly reinforcing the condition. 

When your companion accidentally urinates on themselves, due to being over excited, you automatically feel the need to comfort and cajole your JRT.  You want to make sure that they know that you are not mad, that you understand they can’t help it.  Your thoughts are that you are helping your JRT deal with the situation.  In actuality you are doing your companion a disservice.  By comforting your JRT you are reinforcing the situation, and your companion will begin to think that the urination problem is not a problem at all.

Jack Russell Terriers

The one thing to remember through this whole process is that the condition is one that your JRT has no control over.  They are not acting up, and it has nothing to do with house-breaking them.  It is a reaction to the conditions and stimuli around them.

But, how do you help your JRT overcome this problem?  If trying to comfort them through it will not help, what will? 

The first thing to do is visit your veterinarian and have him or her examine your JRT.  You will need to rule out a physical reason for the urinating, before you begin to try to deal with a psychological one.  Once a physical condition is ruled out, you may then move on to several techniques that will help with the problem. 

Until the problem is resolved, move play-time outside as much as possible.  Make sure that your JRT gets plenty of exercise, such as running, playing, and long walks.   Make sure they are able to completely empty their bladder whenever needed.  This only makes sense, that if their bladder is empty there is less of a chance of an accident happening.

A vet who has seen her fair share of problems caused by food has listed all the things we should avoid giving our animals:

Do not punish or scold your JRT when they do have an accident.  This will only hinder rather than help them in resolving this condition.  When they do accidentally urinate, just clean the area up, and do not bring any more attention to it than is necessary.  Basically, act as if nothing has happened.  If your JRT is constantly reminded of the accident, it will heighten their anxiety and the situation will continue. 

When you arrive home, do not make over your JRT.  No high-pitched greetings, no hand clapping, and no over stimulation.  It is this very stimulation that triggers the excitement in your JRT that causes them to urinate.  So, if the stimulation is kept to a minimum, then there is less chance an accident will occur.

GATOR Fully vetted Jack Russell Terrier with short coat. Make sweet and quiet, 8 years old. A real darling walks on leash, minds, cuddler. Donation $50. Elderly couple with serious illness must give him up. contact or 386.717.9991:

When strangers meet your JRT, make sure they are instructed to not make over, or encourage excitement in your companion.  Ask them to remain calm, and low toned, and do their best to keep the situation very low key.  This will help your JRT from become over excited, over stressed, and will better guarantee that urination will not be a problem.

Submissive Urination

Submissive urination can present with similarities to excitement stimulation, but with a completely different psychology behind it.  This type of urination is more common in JRT’s that have been abused, or mistreated, especially those rescued.  They have most probably accidentally urinated, someone has gotten mad, and taken the anger out on the JRT.  Quiet, shy, and withdrawn JRT’s an experience this ailment as well.

Like with excitement urination, the one thing to remember is to not take your anger or disappointment out on your JRT.  Do not yell at, or scold, your  companion, as this will, again, only serve to either prolong or  make the situation worse. 

What a great little Jack Russell! Guernsey is a mellow dog most of the time with spurts of "ya-yas"! She enjoys sleeping on her bed, laying in the sun, playing with her foster siblings and continued archeological work in the back yard! This sweet little dog entered our program with a cough that was finally diagnosed as a thickened heart wall. She has been on medications for a while now and her vet has now cleared her for adoption! She will require medications for the rest of her life:

When your JRT suffers from submissive urination, you will need to change the entire way in which you approach your JRT.  You will need to crouch down to their level, and not loom over them.  Do your best to avoid direct eye contact, as in the canine world, this is a form of body language initiating challenge or dominance.  And, do not approach your JRT from angle that they do not see you coming.  

This will only serve to startle them and increase their anxiety.  It is best to approach them from a side angle, so that you will not be directly coming at them, but they may still see you.  Even better yet, let your JRT take its time and approach you.

When you chose to pet your JRT, do not pat them roughly on the head.  A gentle stroking of the chin, while using soothing, low tones will help to ease any anxiety your companion is experiencing.  If your JRT does accidentally urinate, do not make a fuss about it.  Simply clean the accident up, and move on.  When they do urinate in the proper location, make sure to praise them and treat them, reinforcing the behavior.

5 Signs You're a Bad Pet Owner | Pets - Yahoo Shine

With both excitement and submissive urination, until the situation is under control, you may want to use doggie diapers, or a belly band for males, so as not to have any areas of your floor discolored or ruined.  You may also think about putting your JRT into a class, specifically geared towards solving these two ailments.

Once you determine that your JRT’s ailment is a psychological, not a medical one, and figuring out what stimulation may be causing your JRT’s unwanted urination, you will be better able to treat the symptoms and the cause.  With a little patience, and care, you and your JRT will be able to overcome this stress filled situation for all involved.