Monday, August 29, 2016

Preparing Your JRT for its First Veterinarian Visit

In the previous article, we looked at how to choose a veterinarian for your JRT.  In this article we will take a look at the different things you can do to make your JRT’s first veterinarian visit less stressful for them, and for you.  Keep in mind that next to you your JRT’s veterinarian is the next most important human in their life.  Also important to keep in mind is that the earlier in your JRT’s life that they begin going to a veterinarian, the sooner a type of bond of trust will form.  There will always be some level of anxiety for your JRT, but not as much as there could be.

            Loyalty that could chase down foxes Jack Russell Terrier Training Your Jack Russells do not reward good behavior was more like any other breed of -Jack Russell. Description from I searched for this on

A few things to think about, before your first visit are:

                Call head and see if there are any special instructions that need to be followed before your visit.  One of these may be no food or water within 12 hours of the visit.  It is important to have an open line of communication with the veterinarian from day one.  Remember, this is someone who will be handling a very important part of you JRT’s health and well-being for the remainder of their life. 

                On the day of the visit, make sure to make it just like any other day in your JRT’s life.  Do not make over or bring excess attention to the fact that they will be going.  If you get your JRT all worked up, that will only serve to ramp up their anxiety when they actually realize where they are going.  Then, when they get there, you and your JRT both will be miserable. 

            Henrik the Jack Russell Terrier ::: as seen on The Daily So sweet. Hugs and kisses. Lorr:

                Do not forget to take your collar/harness and leash when you go to the veterinarian office.  It will be crucial in helping to control your JRT, and maintain some sense of familiarity when they are there.  Also, it is worth noting that many offices require that JRT’s be on a leash, just do to their overactive temperaments which will be heightened due to their anxiety.

                If you get to your appointment and find that your veterinarian is running late, be patient.  For the first thing, any anxiety or stress that you are experiencing will be picked up on and sensed by your JRT and will only serve to heighten theirs.  Also, may times what was originally presumed to be a routine appointment may very well turn into something that needs a more in-depth approach.  So, relax and hang tight knowing that the veterinarian will get to your JRT as soon as possible.

            llbwwb:  Todays Cuteness,for the Dog Lovers:) Jack Russell Pup (by S Hutchinson):   

                When you do attend your appointment make sure to bring along something to keep both you and your JRT occupied during your wait.  This day in age most people bring their cell phones or tablets for entertainment, which is fine.  But your JRT is going to need some distractions as well.  Bring along a toy or two, or even some of their favorite treats (if permitted).  Anything that will help to avert your JRT’s attention from the current situation and keep their anxiety levels as low as possible. 

                Keep in mind that when you arrive at the veterinarian’s office that your JRT is going to exposed to an explosion of new and strange smells, sounds, and sights.  This will most assuredly kick their anxiety into high gear.  You need to be patient and supportive at this time.  You JRT’s whole impression of the veterinarians office visit is established during this first visit.  If the visit is a stressful and fearful one, then that is what your JRT will associate each and every visit after that with…fear and stress.  Make sure to arrive a few minutes before your appointment time, so that you may take the opportunity to allow your JRT to acclimate to the new surroundings on their own terms.  This will more than prove beneficial in future visits. 

            Pictures of Mario a Wirehaired Fox Terrier/Jack Russell Terrier Mix for adoption in Gahanna, OH who needs a loving home.:

                Many veterinarians do not like the owners in the exam/treatment area with their JRT’s.  This is on rule I never really understood.  After years of not going back with mine, I finally asked my veterinarian if I could.  He said that as long as it didn’t add to my JRT’s stress during their visit that it would be fine.  What we found out was that my JRT’s seemed to be more at ease and less stressed than when I wasn’t there.  It made me wish I had asked years ago to be with them in the treatment room.  This is something you may want to ask your veterinarian.  If not on every visit, then maybe just on the first few so that your JRT will know that the veterinarian is someone you approve of.  It could go a long way in easing their anxiety.

                Once your visit is over and you have returned home, allow your JRT to relax and decompress.  They will most probably be in need of a nap, since anxiety can take a lot out of them.  Allow them to rest, undisturbed, and get their emotions and feelings back in check.  They need to get back to their *safe zone* in their emotions, and a nice nap can help achieve that. 

            Jack Russell                                                                                                                                                      More:

If you take the time to properly prepare your JRT for their first veterinarian visit, then you are most assuredly both going to come out with much less stress and anxiety than if you had not prepared.  Keep in mind, you are the main human in your JRT’s life, and they are looking up to you to make sure they are provided for and taken care of.  Keeping their stress, anxiety, and fear levels at a minimum as much as possible is one of the best things you can do for them.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Choosing a Veterinarian for Your JRT

Choosing a vet for your JRT can be a very daunting task.  You want to make sure you can trust the individual you choose with your JRT’s health and welfare.  Because all the information out there can sometimes be a little overwhelming we thought we would present some of the criteria that you should consider in making your choice. 

Let's play! Scout - Jack Russell Terrier:
Family Communication

When looking at choosing a vet, it is of utmost importance to get the whole family involved.  Gather everyone together for a family conference and go over what each of you are looking or and consider important to you in a good vet.  Make sure everyone has a voice in the decision, and talk over any concerns that anyone might have.


When looking into a particular individual, it is always sound advice to look into which school they attended as well as the accreditation credentials of the school itself.  As with most things in life, not all schools are created equal.  There are those that the veterinarian major is lost in with other majors, and there are those better schools that are either geared more towards the animal medicine field, if not exclusively so.

Rough-Coat Jack Russel Terrier:

Gives Back To The Community

Does the individual you are considering entrusting your JRT’s health and well-being to give back to the local community?  By that, ask does the individual visit shelters to help with the animals housed there, while also maybe offering a small discount on their fees?  Do they attend adopt-a-pet type outings, offering discounted general check-ups or pet care advice to new pet adopters?  Is the individual there in wellness as well as when needed?

Personal Beliefs

Don’t be afraid to ask the individual about their own personal beliefs.  This is a very important step as it will give you the much needed insight you will need to know if your personalities will mesh, for the welfare of you JRT.  If you are constantly in disagreement with, or butting heads with your veterinarian, it could result in poor judgement calls that could be detrimental to your JRT. 
Ready Access To Medical Information
Whether the information comes from your veterinarian or their technician, you need to know that you are going to have ready access to any needed medical information.  For instance if you JRT is hospitalized by the veterinarian would you be able to call and check on their progress as often as you feel you needed to?  Will they answer any questions about your JRT’s health while in the veterinarians care?

Jack Russell. More at.

Up To Date and Current Equipment

A successful veterinarian office will have the necessary and up to date equipment needed to provide top notch care for your JRT.  Some of the equipment to inquire if they have is, but not limited to, x-ray machine, IV pumps, ultrasound, blood-pressure testing and lab equipment.  Also to be checked is if, for the more time involved lab testing, that the individual has a reliable and timely testing facility that they use.  The more timely the lab results, and the more accurate, the better the ability for accurate diagnosis. 

Pride In Their Facility

Any veterinarian office worth its weight will be more than happy to give you a tour of their facility.  You need to know that they are up to date and cleanly enough for your JRT.  And, if they are up to snuff they will be more than accommodating. 

JACK RUSSELL TERRIER PUPPY- ❤️ Photo Dog () - of plume - Pet photos, dogs, cats, rodents, horses - Yummypets:

Standard of Care

Take time to observe how the veterinarian and his technicians interact with the other animals in the office, and in their care.  This casual observation will tell you multitudes about how they will care for and handle your own JRT. 

Word of Mouth

Ask around about the veterinarian and see if maybe you know someone who either take their own pet to them or has in the past.  Ask family, friends, co-workers and anyone who will offer some insight to help you in your decision making process.  If you hear the information from someone you know, you are more likely to get more accurate, trusted and helpful information

Hours of Operation

The office hours, or even after hours, are crucial to know.  You need to know if you can get your JRT to the new veterinarian at a time convenient to your schedule and in the case of emergencies after hours .

jack russell . . . . such a cutie pie . . . .:

Choosing a veterinarian can be a major decision, and one that is of great importance.  But, if you include all the family in the discussion, and you get all the information listed above, you will be able to make a more informed decision that will affect your JRT well into their older years.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Vaccinating your JRT--Yes or No?

You have had your JRT puppy for a few months now, and it is now time to start thinking of vaccinating them.  Or maybe you have an older rescue that you are not sure of their vaccination history, so you are thinking maybe you should be getting their shots as well. 

                 Terra Ceia, FL - Rat Terrier/Jack Russell Terrier Mix. Meet MILO, a dog for adoption.…:

Vaccinating your JRT is a big decision, right up there with whether or not to spay or neuter them.  

There are those on both sides of this issue that feel that is it either absolutely necessary, while others feel that it is the last thing you should do. Keep in mind that you need to check the codes and requirements for where you live.  Some cities require vaccination of JRT’s as part of legal ownership.  In this case, the decision is pretty much out of your hands.

                Decatur, GA - Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua Mix. Meet Kip, a dog for adoption.

If you live where vaccinations are not a legal mandate and you are not sure whether to vaccinate, and want a little more information before making a decision, check out the information on vaccinating below.  There a many factors that must be looked at in the decision making process, and hopefully you will get a better idea of which decision is the right one for you and your JRT.

Think of the currently recommended vaccines in three categories:  Rabies, Core, and Non-core. 

                 Max - Jack Russell Terrier:

                Rabies—in most states, rabies vaccinations are required no matter what.  If you do not have your JRT vaccinating against rabies, if it were to bite someone, it could be legally required to be placed in quarantine, or worse, put down.

                Core—these types of vaccinations used to be given each year, but now in most states the recommendation is every three years.  Why the change?  Because the original protocols were set in the 40’s and 50’s and more has been learned and come to light on the time frame. 

                Non-core—these are vaccinations that are not recommended or required to be given unless the need arises.  One example of a non-core vaccination would be the Bordetella, or ‘kennel cough’, vaccination.  This is usually only given when the JRT is going to be kenneled with other canines, to prevent the possible transmission of Bordetella disease. 

Some other possible problems to keep in mind, if you are still considering vaccinating your JRT are:

                Jack Russell by eileenfrater, via Flickr.....this little guy is absolutely Beautiful.:

                Long term health problems—there are those that claim that vaccinations can in fact cause long-term health problems.  Scientists have found that there are various illnesses in JRT’s that can be linked to vaccinations including asthma, allergies, anemia, digestive problems, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, organ failure, seizures and neurological disorders.   If your JRT currently suffers from one or more of these ailments already, it is generally rule of thumb not to vaccinate them. 

                Tumors—each time your JRT gets an injection, there is scar tissue left behind.  Scientific evidence shows that the very scar tissue left behind can develop into cancerous tumors called sarcomas. 

                Auto-immune issues—over time evidence has shown that constant exposure to all those vaccinations can eventually compromise your JRT’s immune system leading to long-term health problems. 

                Unnecessary vaccinations in general—there are many opponents of vaccines that raise the issue that the very diseases that JRT’s are vaccinated against are unnecessary because of their rarity.  If you are in doubt, there is a test that your veterinarian can perform that checks the levels of antibodies in your JRT’s system, so as to know what they do and do not need to be vaccinated for. 

                Smug Jack Russell Terrier:

The best thing to do is to gather all the information you can, even discussing it with your  JRT’s veterinarian, and weighing the good against the bad.  Only you can make this decision, and the whole point is keeping your JRT happy, healthy, and with you for a long, long time. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

8 Things You Didn't Know About A JRT

One of the most common breeds of choice for a companion today is the Jack Russell Terrier.  Their recent rise in popularity may very well be attributed to their appearance more and more on television and in the movies.  Canine celebrities such as Wishbone, Eddie on “Frasier”, and Uggy have made this once looked over by most breed one of the most popular choices for most families today.  

         04/08/16--Meet PEANUT, an adoptable Jack Russell Terrier looking for a forever home. If you’re looking for a new pet to adopt or want information on how to get involved with adoptable pets, is a great resource.:

But, how much do most people really know about JRT’s?  Yes, they are cute, and yes they are feisty, but what else?  

I am glad you asked, because we are going to look at eight things you probably didn’t know about JRT’s, and answer that question right now.

Do Poorly In Enclosed Spaces—because JRT’s are such an active breed, they prefer to have room to move around.  Although having 6-8 hours a day outside, running and playing would be a dream to them, but is not always possible.  But, if they do have to be indoors a lot, they still need room to “stretch their legs”.  That is why when considering a JRT, keep in mind that they are not the best breed for those living in small dwellings—such as apartments. 

Do NOT Get Along With Cats—in a previous post "Introducing a new pet into the household" we mentioned how to introduce a cat into the household with a JRT.  Although it is widely known that JRT’s do NOT like cats, many have had success in integrating the two species.  The one thing to keep in mind is that if you do not get the cat when it is a kitten and your JRT is still a puppy, to where they can grow up together, there will be an adjustment period for them.  You need to go into the whole process knowing that time and patience in the situation are your best friends. 

'Toby, you have got a Dirty Forehead with White and Brown marks on it. Let me wash it clean for you' - Hayleigh the Cat washing Toby the Jack Russell Terrier Dog:

Thrive When Trained From An Early Age—puppies of any breed are more alert and sensitive to their surroundings.  But, with JRT’s this applies even more so.  JRT’s, at most any age, are hypersensitive to the environment around them, but never more so than when they are young.  Also, when they are young, they are not so set in their stubborn ways that they are known to possess.  So, any training you may intend to engage in with your JRT is best done when they are young.  That is not to say they can’t be trained at a later age, it just may involve more time and more repetition to get the same desired effects.  In an earlier post we offered some basic training tips that may come in helpful "Training your JRT".

            No Better Breed To Play Catch With—because JRT’s are such little powerhouses of energy, they are always up for a game of fetch.  They seem to thrive on movement—the more the better.  They can go for hours, and are very happy to do such.  But, keep in mind that most JRT’s are a little possessive as well.  So, when you throw that ball for a game of fetch that it may end up turning into a chasing game instead.

            This is a perfect depiction of how I feel right this second....maybe too much tea for breakfast?:

Come In Two Coat Types—JRT’s commonly have two types of fur coats, either smooth or wiry.  Depending on what type of coat that they have as to how you would care for and groom your JRT.  Also keep in mind that JRT’s are notorious shedders, and the smooth coat JRT seems to be the worse of the too for upkeep related to that shedding.  Be prepared to vacuum and brush your JRT often if it falls into the smooth coat category.  We have an earlier post on how what each coat type needs as far as brushing and care "Dealing with a shedding JRT". 

Great At Agility Competitions—their powerhouse of energy coupled with their eagerness to please makes JRT’s great contestants in agility competitions.  They have a keen sense of balance and movement, and these are essential when running an agility course.  They are very determined and one minded as well, and this keeps them on track for any hurdle or obstacle that may come their way. 

POING....Jack Russell in action!:

One Type of JRT Is Actually Longer Than It Is Tall—this is a variation in the breed called a “shorty jack”.  Their overall appearance brings to mind that of a dachshund in that they usually stand only 10-12 inches to their shoulders.  They are short legged, and set close to the ground.  This breed is turned in every other way like the other JRT breeds including in temperament and stamina.

They Think They Are Human—this is one of the traits that makes this breed so well loved.  They take on the traits that they think they are human, and as such can do as humans do.  You do need to remind them, at an early age, that they are in fact a canine.  Better or worse, it is what it is.  If they are not reminded of this particular fact, they will more than once express their “humanness”.

#Gijsmans en #Pim first day together:

So, there you have it, eight things that most people do not know about JRT’s.  When choosing a life-long companion for you and your family, it is wise to have all the facts.  We hope that those presented above are found both useful and beneficial in what will come to be a very important and life altering decision—for you and your JRT both.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pro and Cons of Neutering Your JRT

Pros and Cons of Neutering Your JRT

In our previous post we looked at the pros and cons of spaying your female JRT.  It is just as important to look at the other side of the coin for your male JRT.  There are ups and downs, good and bad to be seen in neutering your JRT.  Hopefully this article, as well as the other, will better help you in deciding if this is the proper route for you and your companion.

           Choice Jack Russell Terrier Photo:

Neutering of a male JRT is a process by which your companion has his testicles surgically removed.  Through this process the gland that produces testosterone is removed, preventing aggressive and reproductive tendencies in your JRT.

As with female spaying, there are those for and against this procedure.  In order to help you and your family make a more informed decision, this article will present the most common pros and cons of the situation.

            Choice Jack Russell Terrier Photo:


Aggressive behavior—many experts agree that the level of testosterone in a JRT’s system can dictate how aggressive that JRT will be.  If your JRT is neutered, then that aggression factor is reduced considerably.  This will also help to reduce any displays of dominance by your JRT.

Displays of affectioin—because a neutered male is usually more calm and less dominant, your JRT may be prone to more and more displays of affection as well as the added benefit of being much more gentle in nature.

Sexual displays—if your JRT male is neutered, he is less likely to exibit sexual tendencies towards inanimate objects, such as your child’s favorite teddy bear.  This can also cut down on the number of embarrassing situations that can crop up when he is “in the mood”.

Jack Russell by eileenfrater, via Flickr.....this little guy is absolutely Beautiful.:

Marking territory—as we all know, male JRT’s are masters at marking their territory.  Whether that territory be the great outdoors, or you family’s couch.  When neutered, this tendency to hike and mark is diminished substantially. 

Fighting—if your male JRT is frequently in contact with other dogs, being neutered will help keep down fights and thusly the resulting injuries.  Neutering lowers testosterone, thus lowering aggression.

Reproduction—finally, if your JRT male is around unsprayed females, they will not be as advancing towards the females, and thusly will not be getting into fights with other males over the said female.   Another benefit is that your JRT will not be constantly wondering off, in search of female companionship.

Now that we have looked at the most common pros of having your male JRT neutered, lets look some of the downsides that should also be considered when making a decision.

             "What? What did you say? Did you say bacon?":


Anesthesia—first and foremost, with any surgery there is the possible complications related to your JRT going under anesthesia.  It is important to remember that an estimated 1 in 5 dogs to react poorly to anesthesia, causing both short term and long term complications.  In some cases death has been reported. 

Reproduction—as mentioned above, the process of neutering removes your male JRT’s ability to procreate.  If you plan on breeding your JRT, then this is definitely not the procedure to have them undergo.

Competitions—if your JRT is a purebred, and you are planning on entering him into any competitions, then this procedure is not for him.  Contestants in almost all competitions are required to still be intact.

Health effects—having your male JRT neutered has a few health issues inherent in it.  Those may include obesity, hypothyroidism, and genetic dementia.

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):

Neutering too early—if you chose to neuter your JRT and it is performed at too early an age, before his bones have time to grow and mature, your JRT could develop weak fragile bones and the illnesses that go along with them.

            Cancer—there is no definitive proof but many experts tend to believe that neutering of a male JRT can increase the risk of contraction of various cancers.

            Just because—finally, many people are neutering male JRT’s just because.  Some do it for the wrong reasons such as for physical appearance, without any real benefit other than that.
             Jack Russells will always have a special place in my <3:

There are those experts that feel a male JRT can be raised just as well-trained, healthy, and non-aggressive as an altered one.  They even to so far that the neutering process does more harm, than good in the end. 

               Jack Russell:

The main thing to keep in mind is that you look at the situation from all angles, and become as informed on the subject as you can.   Through learning all you can you will be able to make a more informed decision on what is your JRT’s and family’s best interest.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pros and Cons of Spaying your JRT

As a pet owner, there are times when you, and you alone, have to make the really tough decisions.  The decision on whether to spay your female JRT is one of the most important ones you will make.  

There are many who are on both sides of this debate, and each can present a pretty strong argument.  However, in the end, it is up to YOU as to what is best for your JRT.  The one thing you need to keep in mine at ALL times is the health and welfare of your companion.  Nothing else matters. 

The question is—is spaying the proper option for your JRT? 

To help you decide lets take a look at the benefits and the downsides—pros and cons—of having this procedure done.


I am sure there are many who are for spaying that will say there are more benefits than just the ones listed below for spaying your JRT.  But, keep in mind that we are just looking at the commonly mentioned ones.

Heat Cycles—anyone who has a female JRT knows the nuisance that is the heat cycle.  Not only is it messy, with the possibility that your carpet or furniture can be permanent stained, lets not forget the embarrassment of your JRT constantly licking herself and shamelessly flirting with every male dog she sees.  You have to be on constant guard duty, making sure that she does not escape for a midnight rendezvous.  And what if her heat cycle coincides with a planned vacation?   More often than not, that vacation may have to be pushed to another time.  The worries of your JRT getting away from you, or of complications due to hotel or visiting arrangements may just make the vacation—well, a non-vacation.  And the issue of boarding and the required vigilance may only increase worries. 

Uterine Infections—it is estimated that 1 in 4 unspayed female JRT’s will develop a deadly infection called pyometria.  The uterus will fill up with pus, becoming toxic, and can become life threatening.  If this occurs, emergency spaying is required, and with your JRT already being sick from the infection, and most times middle-aged and elderly, the chances of survival are greatly diminished.  The thing to keep in mind is that pyometria IS preventable, by spaying your JRT when they are still young and healthy.

False Pregnancies—it is common for an unsprayed JRT, a few weeks after her heat cycle, to have what is called a “false pregnancy”.  Basically this is where her body reacts as if she were pregnant—her belly swells, her nipples may produce and leak milk, and your JRT may become very attached to her stuffed toys.  This may all seems harmless, but the hormonal changes that your JRT experiences during this time can affect her entire body.  Some JRT’s develop serious, sometimes life threatening, infections of the mammary glands known at mastitis.

Actual Pregnancies—plain and simple, spaying prevents unplanned, unwanted, and to be honest unnecessary pregnancies.  If your JRT should become pregnant—either deliberately or accidentally—there are multiple risks during the pregnancy and during giving birth.   Not counting the expenses of vetting and being properly educated on the breeding and birthing of JRT’s, there is a very good possibility that complications may arise during, or following, the birth that can cause the untimely death of your beloved companion. 

Breast Cancer—the fewer amount of heat cycles your JRT experiences, the less likely chance she will develop mammary gland tumors, the most common form of breast cancer in canines.  If you have your JRT spay before 2 ½ years of age, her chance of developing breast cancer is drastically reduced.  Basically, the less amount of heat cycles the less chance of complications.

Uterine and Ovarian Cancer—this is just a little extra added piece of mind, as these cancers are not common in JRT’s


Again, there are sure to more examples of reasons to spay your female JRT.  We are just touching on the more commonly mentioned ones here.  

                Doubled risk of obesity—when a JRT is spayed, her metabolism is altered.  The problem of obesity arises when you continue to feed her the same amount after spaying as you did before.  Since her metabolism has slowed, she will not need as much at each meal.  Monitor how much you feed her, and make sure she has plenty of exercise.

                Hemangiosarcoma Cancer risk—it has been determined that your JRT’s reproductive hormones seem to provide some protection against this particular form of cancer, which generally attacks the heart and spleen.  Spayed females are twice as likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the spleen and are five times as likely to develop hemangiosarcoma of the heart.

                Hypothyroidism—studies have shown that the reproductive hormones affect the endocrine system as well when removed.  This results in lower thyroid levels which in turn results in lethargy, obesity and hair loss.  The up side is that the lower thyroid levels can be maintained with daily thyroid medication.

                General Anesthesia—with any surgery there is a risk of complications due to the anesthesia.  However, studies have determined a 20% of spaying procedures experience bad reactions to anesthesia, as well as internal bleeding, inflammation, infection, abcesses and sutures coming undone.  The good news, most complications are minor.

                Too Young at Spaying—spaying your JRT at too early an age can affect her normal development because her reproductive hormones play an essential role in that development.  Complications can include:  
                          Hip dysplasia and ligament rupture—this occurs when the necessary hormones aren’t available and this causes the leg bones to grow unevenly.
                          Urinary incontinence—occurs naturally in middle age due to the decrease in hormones.  When your JRT is spayed to young, there is an early onset of this condition.  A life long regime of hormones will be necessary to control leakage of the bladder.
                          Osteosarcoma—the risk of this cancer is tripled.  However, it may occur in smaller breeds, but is usually limited to larger breeds of canines.

Jack Russells                                                                                                                                                      More:

The moral of all of this is to educate yourself on spaying, and decide if having this procedure performed is right for you and your companion.  And above all, do not spay until the reproductive hormones have had time to provide their most important role in your JRT’s development.