Jack Russell Terrier Pregnancy: How to Tell?

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If you have a Jack Russell Terrier and are wondering if she is pregnant, it can be difficult to tell by just looking at her.

If you are unsure whether your pet is expecting puppies then check out this article for more information on how to tell if they are pregnant!

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How can I tell if my Jack Russell Terrier is pregnant?

The only way to know for sure if a Jack Russell Terrier is pregnant is through a veterinary examination. Most often breeders find out that their dog is pregnant through the behavior changes they see in their terrier or by finding a “milk spot” on one of her toys, sheets or blankets. The early signs of pregnancy are very similar to human pregnancy symptoms.

Do not assume your JRT is pregnant based on the size of her teats, as this is a common mistake made by novice breeders. Jack Russell Terriers with large or “long” teats are especially prone to false pregnancies, which will end in no puppies ever being born. It is not uncommon for a terrier to disappear for several days during her false pregnancy. She will often return with milk spots on her teats, which are similar to the milk spots that occur when she is actually pregnant.

How long is a Jack Russell Terrier pregnant for?

Jack Russell Terriers are considered to be pregnant for an average of 62 days, which is exactly 9 weeks. Many terriers will whelp during the eighth week after mating, but it is not unheard of to have a dog who goes into labor as early as the sixth week or as late as the ninth week.

This of course means that unlike human pregnancy, terrier pregnancies are not 40 weeks long. As dogs have shorter gestations than humans, it is not unusual for a dog to carry her puppies longer than the average gestation period. If this happens then there could be obvious signs that your terrier is struggling to carry her pups or even that the pups are having trouble surviving.

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How to care for your pregnant Jack Russell Terrier

Pregnancy in the JRT is not very difficult to deal with, but there are some things you need to be aware of.

Pre-pregnancy care

You should get your female Jack Russell Terrier spayed before she goes into heat for the first time. This will prevent any unwanted pregnancies and make her less likely to develop ovarian and mammary cancers.

If your female Jack Russell Terrier is not spayed, you should get her during the early stages of her first heat (which is usually around 6 months of age). You do not need to worry about this if she was spayed after she went through her first heat, as it will have removed any eggs from her ovaries.

Pregnancy Trimester 1 (first 14 weeks)

During the first trimester, you should ensure that your Jack Russell Terrier has an excellent diet and plenty of rest. It is not necessary for her to have extra vitamins or minerals unless she is pregnant by more than one male.

If your female Jack Russell Terrier has a history of problems with her mother’s pregnancy, you should take her to the vet so that he or she can determine if there is any reason to expect problems with this pregnancy. You should also have your Jack Russell Terrier checked by the vet if she is older than 8 years old for the first time, as older female dogs are more likely to have difficulties with giving birth.

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Pregnancy Trimester 2 (second 14 weeks)

During the second trimester, you should ensure that your Jack Russell Terrier has adequate exercise and is not allowed to get too fat or too thin. You should also make sure she has enough calcium in her diet. Extra vitamin D, phosphorus, and a calcium supplement that contains vitamin K can also be helpful. You should still take your Jack Russell Terrier to the vet if she has a history of problems with her mother’s pregnancy, and older female dogs are still more likely to have difficulties with giving birth.

Pregnancy Trimester 3 (third 14 weeks)

During the third trimester, you should ensure that your Jack Russell Terrier has adequate exercise and is not allowed to get too fat or too thin. You also need to begin grooming her for the birth of puppies, as she will be very busy taking care of them afterward and it will be easier if she doesn’t have long hair in her eyes. Again, you should still take her to the vet if she has a history of problems with her mother’s pregnancy, and older female dogs are still more likely to have difficulties with giving birth.

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After Pregnancy is confirmed

You should feed your Jack Russell Terrier extra food for about 10 days after mating. You also need to be sure that she gets all the vitamins and minerals she needs, but you should avoid extra calcium. You also need to make sure that your Jack Russell Terrier has plenty of exercise every day.

Pregnancy in the Jack Russell Terrier is most often uneventful. Problems are most likely if the mother has had problems with her mother’s pregnancies or if she is older than 8 years old for the first time.

You should take your Jack Russell Terrier to the vet if she has a history of problems with her mother’s pregnancy, and older female dogs are still more likely to have difficulties with giving birth.

See also: Jack Russell Poodle Mix (Jack-A-Poo): Complete Guide

What you should feed your Jack Russell during pregnancy?

All dogs need protein in their diet, but pregnant dogs need even more protein. However, you should avoid very high-protein diets that are high in fat, because this may cause your Jack Russell Terrier to have too much weight gain or too many puppies with bloat.

You should also make sure your Jack Russell Terrier eats enough calcium and phosphorus. There are calcium and phosphorus supplements that you may use if necessary.

If your Jack Russell Terrier has medical conditions such as chronic renal failure, you should talk to the vet about how much protein and other nutrients she should have in her diet. The same is true if your Jack Russell Terrier’s breedings were unplanned and there is a risk of your Jack Russell Terrier having too many puppies or other problems.

What are the signs that my Jack Russell is going into labour?

There are no strict signs that your Jack Russell Terrier is going to give birth, but she may become restless and less active than usual. She may also start looking for a nesting spot and digging holes in the garden. She might also eat less than she normally does because her stomach will be smaller due to the growing puppies inside of it.

See also  How Much Sleep Do Jack Russell Terriers Need? A Lot!

What to do during labour with Jack Russell Terriers?

If possible, you should go to the vet before the birth of the puppies or shortly after. The vet can examine your Jack Russell Terrier and help with the birth if necessary.

You should not interfere too much during the birth of the puppies, unless you need to pull out a puppy that is stuck. Your Jack Russell Terrier knows what she is doing, so you shouldn’t touch anything down there until she has finished giving birth or you are asked to help out by the vet.

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How Many Puppies Do Jack Russells Have In A Litter?

The average number of puppies in a litter is between six and ten. However, some Jack Russell Terriers have litters of up to fourteen puppies.

Your Jack Russell Terrier may have larger than average litters because the breed has a small uterus that may contain large litters more easily than other breeds with bigger uteruses. Larger litters are more common in older Jack Russell Terriers, probably because they have smaller litters when they are younger.

How to prepare for the birth of Jack Russell Terrier puppies

You should prepare a couple of boxes for the puppies when your Jack Russell Terrier is in labour. The boxes must be large enough so that each puppy can have some space to move around, but they also need to fit inside your Jack Russell Terrier’s whelping box. You can use cardboard boxes or you can buy special whelping boxes that are made for dogs.

If you can’t find any suitable whelping boxes, you may just line up some cardboard boxes next to each other until the puppies are born. In this case, it is important that your Jack Russell Terrier has a box where she can eat and sleep after the birth of the puppies.

You should also have everything you need for after the birth of the puppies ready. You should have some towels to dry up the puppies, some old sheets so that you can wrap them in something soft after they are born, and a heating pad or just a thick blanket to keep the puppies warm.

You should also buy several litters of puppy milk replacer. You can also prepare some bottles for the puppies if you are bottle feeding them, but this is not necessary when your Jack Russell Terrier is nursing her puppies herself.

Conclusion

Jack Russell Terriers are very good dogs and they make excellent pets. If you know what to expect when your Jack Russell Terrier is pregnant or about to give birth, it will be much easier for you as a pet owner.  Just remember that despite their small size, these dogs can have large litters and need lots of attention after they have given birth.