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10 Best Dog Foods for Jack Russells – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Jessica Rossetti

By Jessica Rossetti

A Jack Russell Terrier eating dog food Jack Russell Terriers are small, high-energy dogs that need the right type of food to keep them active and healthy. These playful dogs require a diet that can keep up with their activity levels. Since there are so many foods on the market today, we know that it can be hard to choose one.

We rounded up the best dog foods for Jack Russells, so you can read the reviews of each and decide which one would work best for your dog. There’s also a buyer’s guide full of information on choosing the best food for your dog.

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A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Dog Food Subscription
  • Made with healthy ingredients
  • Conveniently delivered to your door
  • Dog’s name is on each package
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    AvoDerm Dry Dog Food AvoDerm Dry Dog Food
  • Formulated for dogs under 20 pounds
  • Oatmeal is added for easy digestion
  • Third place
    Orijen Amazing Grains Original Orijen Amazing Grains Original
  • First five ingredients are protein
  • Probiotics and prebiotics are added for digestive health
  • Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Development Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Development
  • Contains DHA
  • Made for small breeds
  • Promotes strong bones
  • Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Royal Canin Small Breed Adult
  • Flavor boost for palatability
  • Helps dogs metabolize fat
  • Formulated for small dogs
  • The 10 Best Dog Foods for Jack Russells

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe Fresh Dog Food Subscription — Best Overall

    The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe

    Main ingredients: Turkey, chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, spinach
    Protein content: 33%
    Fat content: 19%
    Calories: 562 per pound

    The Farmer’s Dog is a delivery service that brings frozen dog food right to your door. Each recipe is grain free and full of high-quality, USDA-approved ingredients that you can see in the food. The recipes meet the needs of dogs based on their age, weight, activity level, and dietary requirements. This is a convenient option for healthy food without having to make a trip to the store.

    You can choose the recipe that works best for your dog. There are different protein sources to choose from, and your dog’s name is printed on each package. This is helpful if you’re ordering food for multiple dogs.

    The turkey recipe is made with healthy ingredients to fuel an active dog’s body, making it the best overall food for Jack Russells. It includes turkey, carrots, broccoli, and a formula of vitamins and minerals to promote eye and digestive health.

    You’ll have to store this food in your freezer and make sure it’s thawed before use. Since the recipe is full of vegetables, some dogs may not like the flavor. It could take them a while to get used to it.

    Pros
    • Made with healthy ingredients
    • Conveniently delivered to your door
    • Dog’s name is on each package
    Cons
    • Dogs may not like the vegetables
    • Takes up room in the freezer
    • Requires time to thaw before use

    2. AvoDerm Small Breed Dry Dog Food — Budget Buy

    AvoDerm Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, oatmeal, chicken fat
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 16%
    Calories: 450 per cup

    Made with wholesome grains and high-quality protein, AvoDerm Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is the best food for Jack Russells for the money. It includes omega fatty acids for coat health and antioxidants for a healthy immune system. Vitamins and minerals are added for overall health in a bite-sized kibble that’s specifically made for breeds under 20 pounds.

    The rice works to give your dog carbs for energy, and oatmeal is added for easy digestion. This affordable food is a good option for a small, energetic dog that needs enough protein to stay satisfied.

    Dog owners like the ingredients and the price, but some hate the smell of this food.

    Pros
    • Formulated for dogs under 20 pounds
    • Oatmeal is added for easy digestion
    Cons
    • Unpleasant odor

    3. Orijen Amazing Grains Original Dry Dog Food

    Orijen Amazing Grains Original Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken liver, whole herring, whole mackerel
    Protein content: 38%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 490 per cup

    The first five ingredients of Orijen foods are always either fresh or raw protein. In Orijen Amazing Grains Original Dry Dog Food, there’s a mix of chicken, turkey, organ meat, and fish for a protein-packed food that’s full of amino and omega fatty acids.

    Probiotics and prebiotics are added for digestive health. The grain blend in the food provides fiber and minerals. This blend includes quinoa, oats, and chia.

    The unique blend of vitamins and minerals helps support nervous, circulatory, and digestive systems for proper body function and a long lifespan.

    Some dogs have been reported to have excessive gas and bright orange stools while eating this food. Others don’t seem to like the flavor of it.

    Pros
    • First five ingredients are protein
    • Probiotics and prebiotics are added for digestive health
    Cons
    • May cause excessive gas in some dogs
    • Picky dogs may not like the flavor

    4. Hill’s Science Diet Small Bites Dry Puppy Food

    Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Dry Puppy Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken meal, whole-grain wheat, cracked pearled barley, whole-grain sorghum, whole-grain corn
    Protein content: 25%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 374 per cup

    The Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Dry Puppy Food is made of easily digestible food for growing puppies. The kibble size is small enough that they can eat it easily.

    The food contains DHA, an essential amino acid for brain and eye development. This is provided through fish oil. Antioxidants and vitamins are added for a healthy immune system.

    This is a complete and balanced diet for all puppies under 1 year of age. It’s made with the health of small breeds in mind. Energetic Jack Russell puppies can benefit from the high protein content of the chicken meal. The food supports skeletal development so puppies can remain active while growing strong bones.

    The kibble size is small to suit small breed dogs. It may be too small for large puppies that may wind up inhaling it instead of chewing it. This works well if you are just feeding one small dog, but if you are using it for several different breeds, you’ll need different foods.

    Pros
    • Contains DHA for puppy developmental health
    • Made for small breeds like Jack Russells
    • Promotes strong bones
    Cons
    • Kibble size may be too small for large-breed puppies

    5. Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Formula Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Corn, chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, brown rice, corn gluten meal
    Protein content: 25%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 359 per cup

    Formulated for small dogs, the Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Formula Dry Dog Food provides specific nutrition for dogs between 10 months and 8 years old that weigh between 9 and 22 pounds. This range will apply to many Jack Russells.

    Small dogs require different calorie intakes than large dogs. This food is made with that in mind. Your small dog can keep up their energy levels and get the nutrition that they need while still feeling satisfied. The addition of L-carnitine helps dogs metabolize fat for a proper body weight. There’s even a flavor boost added to the food to make it tastier for a small dog’s palate.

    The kibble size is small and may not suit all dogs. Corn is also the first ingredient. While corn can offer benefits to dogs in some diets, we’d prefer if the first ingredient was the main protein.

    Pros
    • Flavor boost for palatability
    • Helps dogs metabolize fat
    • Formulated for small dogs
    Cons
    • First ingredient is not the main protein source

    6. Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Chicken & Rice Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, whole-grain corn
    Protein content: 29%
    Fat content: 17%
    Calories: 488 per cup

    The Purina Pro Plan Small Breed Chicken & Rice Dry Dog Food is formulated to meet the needs of highly active dogs with a high protein content. Chicken is the first ingredient. This combines with calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth. Live probiotics are added for digestive and immune system health. The prebiotic fiber from wheat bran makes this food easy to digest.

    The addition of poultry by-product meal is controversial among some dog owners. This ingredient adds more protein to the food, but some dog owners don’t want to purchase it because the source of the ingredient isn’t known.

    Pros
    • Formulated for small, active dogs
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • Includes prebiotic fiber and probiotics for healthy digestion
    Cons
    • Includes by-products, which some dog owners disapprove of

    7. Nutro Natural Choice Dry Dog Food

    Nutro Natural Choice Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, brewers rice, chicken meal, whole-grain brown rice, whole-grain barley
    Protein content: 22%
    Fat content: 14%
    Calories: 343 per cup

    Chicken is the first ingredient in Nutro Natural Choice Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food. It contains non-GMO ingredients and provides omega fatty acids and natural fiber to your active Jack Russell. The rice eases digestion and adds a healthy source of carbs for energy. Antioxidants offer immune support in this food through a mix of vegetables. Pumpkin, kale, and spinach boost the vitamin and mineral content and supply necessary fiber.

    The recipe changed recently. It used to include oatmeal, and some dog owners aren’t happy that it doesn’t anymore. The protein content appears to be lower now too.

    Pros
    • Uses real vegetables in the recipe
    • Includes healthy carbs and fiber
    • Promotes easy digestion
    Cons
    • New recipe
    • Low protein content

    8. Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Dry Dog Food

    Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Water buffalo, pork, chicken meal, grain sorghum, millet
    Protein content: 32%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 445 per cup

    The Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Dry Dog Food uses roasted bison and venison to pack the protein in this recipe, but there’s also added flavor that satisfies your carnivorous Jack Russell. Tomatoes, blueberries, and cranberries are included as a superfood blend of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. Buffalo, pork, and chicken meal are the first three ingredients that offer the protein necessary for lean, healthy muscles.

    Even though water buffalo is the first ingredient, the chicken in this recipe will make it unsuitable for dogs with poultry allergies or sensitivities. There is a specific strain of probiotics added to the formula for healthy digestion and immune support.

    Some dog owners don’t like the smell of this food or the smell of their dog’s breath after they eat it.

    Pros
    • Different protein sources for flavor
    • Uses real fruits for vitamins and antioxidants
    • Supports digestive health
    Cons
    • Not suitable for dogs with chicken allergies
    • Bad odor to the food
    • May cause bad breath in dogs

    9. Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food

    Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef + Brown Rice Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned beef, pork meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal
    Protein content: 26%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 386 per cup

    The Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Real Beef + Brown Rice Dry Dog Food uses deboned beef as the first ingredient. It’s made with omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin to keep your dog’s coat, skin, and joints healthy. Pork, salmon meal, and lamb meal boost the protein content. It contains no poultry, so it’s a good option for dogs that have poultry sensitivities.

    Alfalfa, carrots, and apples add fiber and vitamins. Ancient grains like quinoa promote gentle digestion. Even so, the beef formula may be too rich for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Some picky dogs don’t like the flavor.

    Pros
    • Poultry free for dogs that can’t eat chicken
    • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
    Cons
    • May be too rich for some dogs

    10. American Journey Active Life Dry Dog Food

    American Journey Active Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, rice bran, peas
    Protein content: 25%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 342 per cup

    The American Journey Active Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Dry Dog Food is a great option for energetic Jack Russells that have to maintain their energy levels. Omega fatty acids support skin and coat health. Deboned chicken is the first ingredient, along with chicken meal, for high-quality protein to support your dog’s muscles.

    Barley and rice aid in digestion. Sweet potatoes and carrots provide fiber and vitamins. This food is made without any artificial colors or preservatives. Some dogs don’t care for the texture of the kibble. Dog owners report that the food smells stale soon after opening the bag. It should be stored properly in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

    Pros
    • Supports high energy levels
    • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient
    Cons
    • Smells stale quickly
    • Grainy texture

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    Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Dog Food for Jack Russells

    Looking for food for a Jack Russell Terrier can be frustrating. Here are a few things to remember as you search for the best one.

    Ingredients

    Jack Russells need balanced diets with a proper blend of ingredients.

    Protein

    Protein should be the first ingredient on the list on the food label and come from real animal sources. Real meat or fish should be the number-one ingredient because it means most of the food is comprised of it. The protein content should be moderate to high. Anything over 22% is ideal. You also want to make sure the protein content is the highest percentage on the label. It should always be higher than the fat content.

    Protein provides your dog’s body with essential amino acids that can promote healthy cell production. Protein also helps your dog feel fuller longer and keeps them satisfied. It gives them the energy that they need to stay healthy and happy.

    Fat

    Fat is necessary for a dog’s diet. Most fat percentages are accurately measured in dog food, and they get all that they need from it. Excessive treats or table scraps can raise their fat intake, causing weight gain and potential health issues. If Jack Russells overeat, they can gain weight quickly.

    Fats contain fatty acids that keep your dog’s skin and coat looking and feeling healthy and shiny. Fat also helps break down protein and vitamins in your dog’s body. Healthy fat sources include fish oil and chicken fat.

    Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates are important for energy. Grains, vegetables, and starch are great sources of carbohydrates for dogs. However, the carb content of the food should be on the low side. Dogs can do well with highly digestible carbs, but they don’t require many of them.

    Life Stage

    It’s important to make sure the food that you’re feeding your dog corresponds with their age. Puppies need different nutrition than adult dogs. Adult dogs need different nutrition than senior dogs. When it comes to life stages, the wrong food can cause health issues. Puppies need nutrition for growth and development. Adult dogs don’t need as much fat as puppies do. The foods are measured and balanced to give each dog what they need at each stage of their lives.

    Jack Russell Terriers are considered adults when they reach 12 months of age. This is when you can consider making the switch from puppy to adult food unless directed otherwise by your vet.

    Jack Russell Parson Terrier eating
    Photo Credit: Petr Bonek, Shutterstock

    Nutrition for the Breed

    Your dog’s breed should be taken into consideration when choosing dog food. Small dogs tend to have a higher metabolism than large dogs. Small breed-formulated dog food is made for a small dog’s metabolic needs. Jack Russells don’t have to eat small-breed dog food, but they shouldn’t eat food specifically made for large breeds. Many foods are suitable for breeds of all sizes and will typically state as such on the package.

    The Expiration Date

    There is an expiration date printed on every package of dog food. If you’ve found a package that does not include a date, you should reconsider purchasing it. These dates are meant to be followed, the same as expiration dates on food meant for human consumption.

    Make sure your dog can finish the food before the expiration date. If you have a package of food that’s past the date, don’t feed it to your dog, even if it hasn’t been opened yet. If the food is open while the expiration date passes, discard it and get a new package.

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    Conclusion

    The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe is our best overall choice for Jack Russells. It’s delivered right to your door and full of healthy ingredients. AvoDerm Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is formulated for dogs under 20 pounds and is a great budget-friendly option. Jack Russell puppies can enjoy Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Development Small Bites Dry Puppy Food. It promotes gentle digestion and is made for active puppies. Royal Canin Small Breed Adult Formula Dry Dog Food is great for adult Jack Russells.

    We hope that these reviews have helped you decide which food will work best for your dog.


    Featured Photo Credit: Srdjan Fot, Shutterstock

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