Feeding Your Jack Russell Puppy

Feeding Your Jack Russell Puppy

You just got your Jack Russell from the breeder and you are over the moon to welcome your furry friend into your home.

While this is a fun and exciting time for both you and your puppy, it is also time for you to start thinking about how much your puppy needs to eat and what he needs to eat.

If you read on, I will guide you through everything you need to know to keep your Jack Russell puppy fed and healthy.

Let’s get started.

How much should a Jack Russell puppy eat per day?

Jack Russell puppies need 4 feedings of 2oz – 3oz dog food a day until the puppy is 3 months old, decreasing to 3 feedings a day from then until the puppy is 6 months old. At that point, you can switch to 2 meals per day until the puppy reaches full growth at about 1 year.

At 1 year of age, you can give your Jack Russell puppy 1 feeding of 10oz – 14oz dog food per day, or 1 meal in the morning and 1 light meal in the evening.

Jack Russell Puppy Feeding Chart

I follow the following guidelines for when and how much I should feed my pups so that they are healthy and happy.

To make things easier for you to remember, you can print out the feeding chart below and keep it in the kitchen.

Age (weeks) Meals
* Cups
* Cups
8 4 2oz – 3oz 0.25 – 0.38 8oz – 12oz 1 – 1.5
10 4 2oz – 3oz 0.25 – 0.38 8oz – 12oz 1 – 1.5
13 3 2.6oz – 4oz 0.33 – 0.50 8oz – 12oz 1 – 1.5
26 2 4oz – 6oz 0.50 – 0.75 8oz – 12oz 1 – 1.5
52 1 10oz – 14oz 1.25 – 1.75 10oz – 14oz 1.25 – 1.75

*1 Cup = 8oz

What should I feed my Jack Russell puppy?

The biggest question puppy owners ask is whether or not to feed their pups commercial dog food or homemade meals made from natural sources.

Here’s the deal.

Commercial dog food is available in a number of forms. Primarily, it’s sold as dry food in either bags or containers. It’s also generally higher in protein and fat than homemade meals.

The most common type of commercial food comes in kibble form, which can be convenient, especially for dogs that don’t have the best teeth (like your puppy). Wet and semi-moist dog food is also readily available at pet stores and supermarkets.

Natural diets are based on the principle that the right combination of nutrients can create a healthier pup. Many new dog owners make the mistake of thinking that dog food of any sort is complete and that they don’t have to pay attention to their pet’s diet.

It must be said, however, that commercial dog foods have advanced quite a bit in the past few decades and some are nearly as good as a natural diet.

The arguments on both sides of the debate are valid, and you’ll need to weigh your choices carefully before making a decision.

One thing that is non-debatable is that you should never feed your puppy any kind of junk food like McDonald’s or candy-like licorice. 

I have personally been giving my pup Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food which is loaded with minerals to promote strong bones and teeth. It also provides your pup with high-quality protein for building lean muscle.

Click here to check it out for yourself.

What is the ideal weight for a Jack Russell puppy?

The ideal weight for a Jack Russell Terrier puppy at 8 weeks old is around 4.6lbs. At 6 months of age, your furry friend should weigh between 11lbs – 13lbs, and at 1 year old, your puppy should be weighing anything between 15lbs – 18lbs.

Jack Russell Puppy Weight Chart

To make things easier for you, use the chart below as a rough guide to keep an eye on your puppy’s weight.

Age (weeks) Ideal Weight
8 4.6lbs
16 10lbs
32 13lbs
52+ 15 – 18lbs

What are the nutritional requirements for growing puppies?

Jack Russell puppies are so much fun. Between their small size and their loveable attitude, it is easy for your growing puppy to steal the show compared to other dogs.

With that said, you want to make sure your puppy is getting enough nutrients in its diet so that it can promote healthy development.

Things like weight gain and growth should happen naturally, but you also need to remember that there are four key nutrients that help promote healthy development in your growing puppy: protein, fat, calcium, and digestible carbohydrates.


Protein is essential for growing puppies. Protein is broken down to support the following functions: growth, repair of injured cells, the immune system, and strengthening of organs.

It is recommended to feed a minimum of 22-32% protein on a dry matter basis.

Protein found in animal sources is a complete protein because it contains all 20 amino acids. Food sources such as eggs and meat are complete proteins.

Protein from vegetable sources does not contain all essential amino acids; therefore are incomplete proteins.


Fat is a concentrated source of energy so it’s a good idea to limit the amount of fat in puppy food. However, there are different fats and each fat has different qualities.

A puppy’s diet should have the right kind and amount of fat to keep their coat shiny, skin supple, eyes bright, and joints fluid. Fat also transmits fat-soluble vitamins from food to your dog’s tissues.

The fat content for healthy puppies in growth can range from 10-25% on a dry matter basis with the lower end of the range providing the best results.


We know that puppies experience rapid bone growth during their first year of life as they grow from furballs to adult dogs. This is why it is important to feed puppies the nutrients they need in order to encourage optimal bone development.

Calcium requirements for growing puppies are essential for forming bones, and too little calcium in a growing puppy’s diet will result in skeletal deformities that can cause lameness, short stature, and inability to breed.

On a dry matter basis, the calcium levels in growth formulas should be at least 0.7-1.7%.

Digestible carbohydrates

Growing puppies do require some digestible carbohydrates for maximum health and growth.

The percentage of digestible carbohydrates in your dog’s diet will influence the amount of protein and fat they consume because digestible carbohydrates are an important energy source, along with fat and protein.

Meeting the general guideline of 20% on a dry matter basis will assure the health of all growing puppies.


Feeding your Jack Russell puppy is a journey, and like any journey, it takes a little planning and preparation to get you where you want to go.

As a new owner of a Jack Russell puppy, you will want to do your best to ensure that your puppy has the healthiest start in life and that he grows into a happy, healthy adult with a healthy coat.

Picking out good dog food for your puppy can be tricky when you have to keep in mind a number of variables. Not only can finding the right food pose a challenge but knowing how much to feed your Jack Russell puppy also is something that you need to consider.

You don’t want him to be overweight or underweight, and getting started on the right path can take some time.

Hopefully, this article has given you some guidance and I hope you enjoy the journey with your new puppy as he grows to be a good family dog.


  • Jan Pretorius

    Meet Jan Pretorius, the passionate dog lover and proud owner of the popular canine haven, JackRussellTerrierDog.com. Born and raised in a small town known for its love of animals, Jan’s journey into the world of dogs began at a young age, fueled by an innate connection with our four-legged companions.