Jack Russell canines are tenacious and lively. Even with a diminutive body, they are curious and fearless, not to mention that they have an inherent need to seek adventure.
In case your once hyperactive dog will suddenly not jump into your car the instant you open the door, or it no longer gives you a heartwarming greeting when you get home, it could be that it’s getting older.
Don’t get me wrong; your dog’s aging is nothing to get you worked up. Aging is an inevitable part of the evolution of life. It’s, however, crucial to know when a Jack Russell is considered a senior dog.
Dive in, and I’ll tell you all about the red flags that often appear late in the aging process. This post is meant to help you provide just the care your furry friend needs to lead a meaningful life, even in the final chapters of its existence.
Jack Russell Aging Process
In general, the lifespan of a dog is divided into three: puppy, adult, and senior. The last two stages are referred to as the aging phases. Because a Jack Russell is a rather small dog, it can live for 16 years with proper care. It turns into a mature canine at 8 and hits the senior stage at the age of 11-12.
Let’s dive in deeper to understand these crucial phases of life.
· Puppy Stage
A Jack Russell’s puppy stage lasts between 6 and 8 months. Typically, small dogs mature faster when compared to large canines. While a large-breed doggy may act like a puppy for 1-2 years, a Jack Russell is usually ready for serious big-dog business much earlier.
· Mature Stage
The mature stage starts halfway through the life of a canine. No visible signs of aging are portrayed, although the pet will be gradually getting older on the inside.
· Senior Stage
This stage of the aging process kicks in about two-thirds into the lifespan of a Jack Russell. You may start to notice signs of old age, including loss of hearing, stiffness, and even changes in the pet’s coat from shiny and sleek to dull.
Pro tip: Even dogs of the same breed are not created equal. While calculating your pup’s age may seem pretty straightforward, dogs, just like humans, don’t age at the time or in the same way. It’s not alien for some canines to start aging sooner than expected or for others to show no signs of aging.
How to Care for a senior Jack Russell
At some point, your furry friend may stop being energetic and perky, and it may even be more susceptible to health issues. The best you can do is take the necessary steps to ensure your pup is happy, healthy, and able to lead its best life even in old age.
Here are a few surefire ways to determine how old your dog feels and how to provide the best care.
v Grumpiness & Impatience
We’ve all had our fair share of hard times when taking care of older people, right? Older folks always find something that rubs them the wrong way. At one moment, the music is too loud, and the second the furnace is either too hot or not hot enough for their liking.
Senior dogs are not different. Old age makes them impatient, grumpy, and easily aggravated. Trust me, they can bark endlessly at the smallest provocation.
So, what should you do?
It’s simple, be patient and understand your canine’s needs. There is a good chance it will detest the company of people and other animals and will want to be left alone for longer hours than before. It may also not like its toys and could lose its cool when disturbed during nap time.
To get it right, let your loved ones know about the new needs of your four-legged buddy. Also, take the time to observe it, so you’ll know about its new likes and preferences.
Pro tip: Don’t force your dog to do things it doesn’t want to do.
v Low Energy
Old age can take a toll on the energy levels of a dog. While your senior Jack Russell may still not mind running in the park for a few minutes, it may not run at the same record-breaking speed as before. This signifies that its body is more fragile, and it cannot keep up with extreme physical strain.
Think of your 11-year-old Jack Russell as your grandpa. The small comforts in life are more than adequate. All the canine wants are shorter walks, plenty of affection, a quiet place to take naps, and more tranquility.
v Health Concerns
Like humans, your Jack Russell’s health may deteriorate as it grows old. Some of the most common age-related health issues include:
ü Weight gain
ü Loss of energy
ü Loss of vision
ü Loss of hearing
ü Joint problems and arthritis
ü Loss of muscle tone
ü Dental problems
ü Deterioration of organ integrity (liver, heart, kidneys)
ü Loss of fur
ü Low immunity
It would be best if you were more observant of any changes in your canine’s appearance or behavior. Consult with your animal doctor as soon as you suspect that something is amiss.
Is your Jack Russell a senior already?
If it is, providing the right care is not half as tricky as it sounds. Your furry buddy could be a little grumpier than before, although he is still the lovable and loyal doggy with whom you have shared thousands of priceless memories.
Be sure to provide well-balanced diets and partner with your vet to keep your senior pet healthy and happy.