How much should you feed a Jack Russell puppy? And what food is best?

How much food should I feed a Jack Russell puppy? What is the best food for a Jack Russell puppy? Read this easy guide to learn all the best tips to look after your Jack Russell puppy.

Puppies need food that is small and easy to chew but also high in nutrients to support their early growth. 

Jack Russell Terrier puppy food needs to have a high moisture content while they are switching from their mother’s milk to solid food, much like babies, it takes their digestive system time to adjust to an adult diet.

A balanced diet of fresh dog safe food and biscuits or tinned is best.

What to avoid feeding a Jack Russell puppy

Some poorer quality or cheap food for Jack Russells can have substandard ingredients or fillers that aren’t important to a dogs diet.

These can cause issues with digestion and toilet habits, spending a little more in the short term can have much better outcomes long term and save costly vet bills. 

Lookout for these ingredients in your Jack Russells diet;

  • Generic meat – Look for specific meat like pork, beef or duck listed high on the ingredients label. Generic labelling of “meat” can mean it’s just factory leftovers, you don’t know what’s in it or where it came from.

  • E numbers – Preservatives and additives that aren’t natural aren’t any good for your dog’s health. Check the label for natural ingredients.

  • Cheap fillers – Manufacturers use cereals, corn and wheat to bulk out or hold together dog food. They are impossible for your dog to digest and, though it may seem cheaper, it’s just money down the toilet.

Jack Russell terrier puppy food

How much to feed a Jack Russell Terrier puppy

How much should I feed my 8 week old Jack Russell?

Adult dogs only need two meals per day, whereas Jack Russell puppies (up to 1-year-old) need more meals a day with a higher fat and protein content.

The recommended number of mealtimes for an 8 week old puppy is 4, spread evenly throughout the day.

This is because their stomachs are still very small and they can’t eat too much at once.

How much to feed a Jack Russell puppy really depends on age, weight and activity levels so best to check with a local vet if you are unsure.

But most dog food will have a feeding guide based age and weight in grams on the back of the pack.

How much to feed 8 week old Jack Russell in grams?

It can be hard when you first get a puppy to know that you are giving them the right amount of food.

In our opinion, its better to overfeed than under feed your pup as long as its the right food; puppies need protein not carbohydrates.

They also need other vitamins and minerals which is why fruit and veg are great treats (carrots and sweet potatoes are always popular super dog foods).

Avoid food that is sweet, salty or spicy as this can play havoc with your pups digestion.

And stick to unprocessed food to avoid hidden nasties like garlic and onion.

  • Check your pups parents for their expected adult weight.
  • Check the back of your puppy food for feeding guidelines or speak to your vet.
  • From 2 – 6 months split daily food into 3/4 meals spread evenly throughout the day, slowly increasing daily food amount as they get more active.
  • From 6 – 12 months reduce mealtimes to 2 meals per day, start decreasing meals as puppies growth slows down.

Jack Russell puppy feeding guide

Adult weight / Puppy age 2 months 3 months 4 months 5 months 6 months 7 months 8 months 9 months 10 months 11 months
  4 x meals per day 4 x meals per day 4 x meals per day 3 x meals per day 3 x meals per day 2 x meals per day 2 x meals per day 2 x meals per day 2 x meals per day 2 x meals per day
3 – 5 kg 70g 85g 100g 100g 100g 90g 80g 70g 60g 50g
6 – 8 kg 115g 130g 150g 150g 150g 140g 130g 120g 110g 100g
8 – 10 kg 160g 180g 200g 200g 200g 190g 180g 170g 160g 150g
This is a guide only and will depend on your puppies food, activity level and individual requirements.

What is the best food for a Jack Russell puppy?

You can look out for puppy food that contains a good balance of vitamins and minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus for healthy bone growth and amino acids for muscle development.

Omega Fatty Acids are also important for the health of their skin, coat, eyes, and are important for early brain development.

Your pet needs access to clean water at all times, ideally in a large bowl filled to the brim.

Blue Cross

Barking Heads – Puppy Days Starter Bundle

We love this fantastic bundle of food for puppies, containing both wet and dry so that your puppy can enjoy a diet that is both nutritionally rich as well as varied.

It even contains a little pack of treats that will help keep them go to sleep at night time.

The protein content of this dog food is fantastic at 28% and the fat content is 17.5%.

It contains natural fresh ingredients, like salmon oil, to give your pup a good dose of omega 3 for healthy skin and eyes.

Plus, it’s completely free from artificial nasties!

Click here for latest price

Look for a high nutrition rating on sites like Your Dogs Club to make sure your pup is getting the right start in life. Look for an 80/20 mix like Eden, with 80% meat and 20% fruit/vegetables.

Avoid supermarket brands that are packed with cereals and preservatives, all it means is more poop to clear up!

Eden 80/20 Original Cuisine Dog Food Small Kibble

Suitable for puppies from 14 weeks

“Well balanced kibble! It can sound too expensive but you feed less of it as it’s so nutritious so yearly it will really cost you the same or even less than supermarket cereal box called Pedigree, Wagg or Iams😄”

(Karolina Kulpa – collected via Trustpilot)

Remember when you’re changing your puppies diet, to do it gradually, mix half new food with half old food to give your pups belly time to adjust.

You may notice changes in your pup following a change to their diet, chat to a vet or nutritionist if you’re ever concerned.

What human food can puppies eat?

Not all of the food that we eat is safe for dogs. Cooked meat and vegetables can be a great (and highly appreciated) addition to your JRs diet.

But raw meat can carry bacteria if not kept sterile, so if you wouldn’t eat it probably best not to feed it to your dog unless its a specifically formulated raw diet.

Many fruits can also be a great addition to your pups diet, just make sure to avoid pips (like cherry stones).

There are however some foods you should never give to your Jack Russell Terrier.

Jack Russell puppy food

Best treats to feed a Jack Russell puppy

The same goes for treats as your puppies food, choose treats with natural ingredients that are free from fillers and preservatives.

You’ll be surprised how much you can pay for well known name brands that have sub standard ingredients.

Buy treats in bulk and divide into sealed containers to save money and keep in freshness.

Leftovers are great treats for pups as long as they are dog safe, fruit and veg have a high moisture content that is important for puppies digestion.

Raw Dog Food

Something gaining popularity in the UK is the Raw dog food diet. Nutrients which are usually lost in cooking stay intact, helping to protect your dog from conditions such as joint problems, diabetes & kidney problems.

Vets aren’t keen to endorse this diet, but it is something people have been feeding dogs for generations. 

Grain free and Hypoallergenic dog food

Excessive moulting, itching, skin allergies and even bad mood can all be down to a poor diet.  Dog food intolerances and allergies are common with puppies and are not always easy to spot or find out the route cause.

By feeding your dog hypoallergenic dog food, you can help reduce the frequency and severity of any reactions they could be having. 

Vegetarian dog food in the UK

For a great range of organic, veggie and vegan dog food check out Ethical Superstore. 

With great prices on trusted brands like Lily’s Kitchen, Beco Pets and Benevo you can be sure of making the right decision when it comes to a healthy diet for your pooch.

In conclusion – Best puppy food for a Jack Russell terrier

As your puppy continues to grow you will start to get an idea of how much to feed a Jack Russell puppy to keep them fit and healthy.

Get a high protein good quality dog food to start your puppy off on the right tracks, and complement with healthy snacks and treats.

Food is such an important part of your dogs health and affects so many aspects of your pups life, it can be tempting to give them a bit of your meal but make sure it is good for them too.

Don’t forget to change their water daily and clean food/ drink bowls often. Let your pup try lots of new foods to avoid them becoming fussy as an adult (unlikely in Jack Russells!).

For more tips and advice check out our Jack Russell puppy section here.

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Author Bio Jo Williams is a freelance writer from London, England. There is nothing she loves to talk about more than dogs, good food and travelling. Coming from a family of JR owners, Jo shares generations of tips and advice for looking after these mischievous little dogs.