Athletic, curious, intelligent, and energetic, the Jack Russell Terrier possesses an outsized personality for its small body. Bred as fox hunting dogs in the 19th century, Jack Russells can grow to an average of 10-12 inches tall and weigh between 9 and 15 pounds. With a mostly white coat and tan, black, or a mix of both markings, these social pups need a lot of attention and even more exercise. Mostly healthy dogs, Jack Russells tend to live between 12 and 14 years.
As with any other dog, Jack Russells may experience and demonstrate signs of anxiety. Anxiety will affect dogs differently and will be displayed in different ways depending on the level and cause. The most common causes of anxiety are fear, separation, and aging. Anxiety may be exhibited through destructive behaviors, excessive barking or whining, shaking, pacing, digging or escaping, or even excessive licking and chewing. Discerning the cause can be difficult, but even more important is knowing how you can calm your Jack Russell.
What are the Best Calming Products for Jack Russell Terriers?
5 Different Types of Products to Help Calm a Jack Russell
Maybe you moved recently, or maybe your dog cowers during storms, or maybe they have developed an unhealthy attachment to someone in the home. Regardless of the reason, you need a solution to calm your Jack Russell and keep him or her healthy and happy. As you search for a product to calm your pet, there are generally 5 different types of products you will encounter that offer support to anxious pets.
- Calming Bites – Calming bites are treats made with ingredients chosen specifically for their safe and calming impact on pets. For example, many contain Chamomile, L-Tryptophan, and Magnesium which are all known to help soothe and calm anxiety. Some contain forms of hemp or other minerals and vitamins that also offer calming potential. Finding what works well for your dog may take some trial and error, but as most of these treats are flavored as dogs’ favorite foods, your pet will think this is nothing more than a tasty treat rather than distasteful medicine.
- CBD Oils – CBD (cannabidiol) oils occur naturally in both cannabis and hemp and are purported to deliver a number of health benefits, including having a calming effect. Most CBD oils for human and animal consumption are derived from hemp which contains a much lower level of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive part of cannabis. Without THC, your dog can experience the calming and health benefits of CBD without feeling buzzed. Some assert that CBD oil not only delivers calming effects but also supports healthy immune systems and relieves some types of physical pain.
- Calming Vest – Calming vests, or anxiety wraps, are garments or jackets made to comfort and calm anxious dogs. In theory, the vests work by applying pressure to a dog’s torso, creating a calming effect that is similar to what happens when you swaddle a baby or hug someone. The vests distribute pressure across their backs and on the sides of their chests, and in theory, this pressure releases endorphins that help the dog feel better and calm down.
- Calming Crates – When a dog feels anxious, it needs a place to retreat where it can feel safe. While initially that may be a dog bed or your lap, it may be necessary to use a crate, particularly if the dog is exhibiting destructive behavior. There are crates designed to help soothe anxious dogs; they are made to simulate dark, cozy, cave-like havens where they can feel protected on all sides. Oftentimes cave-like rather than cage-like crates will help your dog feel safe rather than just contained. Additionally, experts suggest that finding the right size, which may mean getting a smaller rather than larger crate, may help facilitate the necessary calming effect on your Jack Russell.
- Calming Beds – Generally speaking, most calming dog beds are designed to give your dog a “cuddling” sensation. They typically utilize very soft materials and provide enough cushion to allow your dog to sink into the bed and feel held on all sides. Calming beds may also provide a warming effect to make your dog feel soothed and cozy. The design and material of these dog beds make your dog feel secure and safe.
5 Key Considerations When Looking for a Product to Calm a Jack Russell Terrier
- What is the cause of your Jack Russell’s anxiety? As mentioned above, the most common causes of anxiety are fear, separation, and aging. Fear can be the result of loud noises or sudden, abrupt movements, or other sporadic stimuli. Separation anxiety typically occurs when the dog cannot be with or near the human to which it has developed an unhealthy attachment. Aging dogs can also exhibit signs of anxiety as a result of the natural aging process. These causes may dictate what type of solution you seek. Perhaps an internal, nutritional solution may be more suitable for separation and aging while external solutions may be more appropriate for fear-based anxiety.
- How frequently does your Jack Russell demonstrate anxious behavior? Is your dog anxious all of the time or just some of the time? Do certain things always trigger anxiety or only sometimes? If your dog is always anxious, it may be more appropriate to choose a whole-body solution to calm your Jack Russell. If it is sporadic, perhaps something more targeted or temporal would be sufficient.
- How sustainable is the calming product for your Jack Russell and for your lifestyle? Once you identify the cause and the frequency, then you have to decide how often you will need a calming solution for your Jack Russell. If it is something they will need every day, you may need to explore a longer-lasting product that will allow you to get the most out of your investment. If it is something you only need occasionally, you still want to look for a durable product but one that is suitable for infrequent use.
- Does your Jack Russell positively respond to certain calming strategies? Do you already know that your Jack Russell likes to be under the covers during a storm, or held throughout the 4th of July weekend? It may be that a calming vest or a cave-like crate may be appropriate for your dog. If you know that certain foods or multivitamins appear to positively impact your dog’s mood and anxiety level, then a calming chew may be worthwhile. Take these clues and build on them to find a lasting solution for your pet.
- Does your Jack Russell hate dog jackets or certain types of treats? Knowing what your dog does not like will reduce your stress level in trying to administer certain types of calming supports. If you know that it hates wearing dog clothes, it likely may not appreciate a calming vest. Or maybe your dog is the rare breed that is indifferent to certain types of treats, then using a chew may not be a great choice. Think through what your dog’s habits and know what type of calming support will be most appropriate.
Best Calming Products for your Jack Russell
We know that finding the right calming product for your Jack Russell is important, and we want to make the process easier for you. We have searched and reviewed several products in different categories and have chosen what we feel to be the best calming products for your dog.
- Third-party tested
- Easy to administer
Best Overall – The Anxious Pet Hemp Oil was developed under the watchful eye of a veterinarian using the whole hemp plant. Because the whole hemp plant is used, your dog receives the highest levels of CBD available as well as terpenes, flavonoids, and essential fatty acids. It is made without solvents and is added to organic fractionated coconut oil meaning that it will have a longer shelf life, better stability, and greater absorption than other products.
This manufacturer tests each batch of its hemp oil in a third-party, accredited lab to ensure that it is only the highest-quality product. The oil is administered through a dropper according to weight and age and can be regulated as necessary for your pet. The drops can be administered directly into the mouth or in food, and the chews can be administered instead of the drops or vice versa. This brand is a high-quality, excellent, natural option for some anxious pets.
- Bonus Chews
- Third-party tested
Best Calming Vest – This vest applies gentle pressure around the torso of your Jack Russell to help calm and comfort him or her when they are anxious. It simulates a secure hug that is helpful during noisy events, travel, vet visits, and any other change in the normal routine which might cause anxiety. Additionally, the vest can be easily put on and taken off and is made of strong, breathable, soft material. The vest can also be washed.
This vest comes recommended by trainers and veterinarians and has shown to be effective in over 80% of dogs. Thundershirt comes in several different sizes and can be adjusted for snugness to keep your dog comfortable and calm. It also comes in a variety of styles to suit your Jack Russell’s personality.
- May not work immediately
- Not dryer-safe
- Orthopedic support
- Deep rims
Best Calming Bed – The Original Calming Shag Vegan Fur Donut Cuddler is a snuggle-worthy pet haven for your Jack Russell. With tall rims on all sides, soft shag fur, and extra filling, your Jack Russell will sink into the bed and feel whole-body support. This bed is perfect for the dog that needs to burrow to feel secure, and it offers orthopedic support to soothe any aching joints or muscles.
Through the design and fabric choice, this dog bed uses your Jack Russell’s heat to create a warming effect for your dog. With the warmth and the cuddly design, this bed is sure to calm your anxious pet. Other attractive features include a water-resistant nylon bottom which keeps your floors clean in the case of an unfortunate accident, and the bed is also washable and dyer-safe for convenient cleaning. The Donut Cuddler bed comes in two colors and three sizes, and you are sure to find a suitable match for your Jack Russell.
- Unknown durability
- Naturally occurring ingredients
- Subscription savings
Best Calming Treats – Austin and Kat’s Classic Hemp Bites offer tasty, calming treats for your Jack Russell. Made with hemp oil extract, all organic ingredients including coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, and apples, and natural binders, these treats pack a potent calming effect in a treat your dog will love. These treats work best on an empty stomach but can also be administered with food for the picky pet.
The Classic Hemp Bites were developed by a loving pet owner looking for a solution for an aging dog as well as a young dog. These CBD bites are made in small batches to ensure the best quality, and they are completely free of preservatives. You can purchase these products once, or you can subscribe to a monthly delivery service for savings on the total cost.
- Requires daily administration for effectiveness
9 Other Top Rated Jack Russell Terrier Calming Products
While we stand by the above best picks, there are several other noteworthy products you could consider for your pet. Finding the right calming solution is a process, so do not be discouraged if your first pick does not work. Also, do not give up on one product too soon. Here are other products worth considering if the above solutions don’t meet your needs.
Made with natural chicken flavor, organic hemp powder, chamomile, ginger, and valerian root, these chews are made to temporarily calm your anxious pet during anxiety-triggering circumstances. This can include a trip to the vet, travel, thunderstorms, and separation anxiety. This product only uses Non-GMO ingredients and is corn-free, wheat-free, and soy-free. You can be sure your pet is getting a high-quality option to help it through stressful times.
These affordable treats are made with hemp, melatonin, and chamomile to help calm your anxious Jack Russell. Other ingredients include valerian root and Suntheanine which help relieve stress in your pup. The Suntheanine used in this stick is a special type of L-Theanine that assists in the stimulation of brain waves to relax your dog. This dental stick has the additional benefit of keeping your dog’s teeth clean and freshening its breath with taurine, kelp, and peppermint oil.
Utilizing BL999, a known beneficial strain of bacteria, this probiotic dog supplement works to keep your Jack Russell calm from the inside (gut) out. Made under the supervision of Purina researchers, nutritionists, and veterinarians, these supplements are designed to promote healthy emotional stability in dogs. This supplement is administered daily and may provide the additional benefit of immune support for your dog.
This calming aid is formulated with chamomile, thiamine, L-tryptophan, melatonin, ginger, and hemp oil to help calm your Jack Russell during stressful situations. These soft, tasty chews also support sensitive stomach issues which can be particularly helpful if traveling with your pet. Formulated under the supervision of a veterinarian, this option takes approximately 30 minutes to take effect.
These soft chews are formulated with melatonin, L-Tryptophan, chamomile, passion-flower, and ginger to help calm your Jack Russell’s nerves. The ginger may be especially helpful to calm an upset stomach sometimes brought about by anxiety. Made to be time-released, this supplement can help calm anxiety during any stressful activity your dog may encounter.
In a proprietary blend, this full-spectrum CBD extract has been blended with lavender essential oil and CocoTherapy MCT-3 oil to provide a calming tincture for your Jack Russell. The CBD for this tincture was extracted without the use of chemical solvents, and the hemp seed oil it contains helps support your dog’s coat and skin. This product has been tested by a third party for purity and potency, and the dosage can be adjusted to meet the anxiety needs of your dog. This tincture works most rapidly when administered directly onto the gums and takes significantly longer to work when administered in food.
These CBD dog treats are enhanced with L-Theanine and chamomile to help stimulate alpha brain waves and offer maximum calming support for your anxious pet. With hemp seed powder and CBD oil, this supplement is made with organic, vegan superfoods and is non-GMO certified. It also does not contain gluten or dairy and comes in green apple and peanut butter flavors. You can sign up for a subscription to have this item delivered every 30 days and save 10% on the purchase cost.
Using proprietary processes, this natural, non-GMO, plant-based supplement aims to deliver maximum support with cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Made exclusively from hemp, Canna-Pet comes in an open capsule to mix directly into your Jack Russell’s food. It can also be administered through a pill pocket or treat. Signing up for a delivery subscription will save you approximately 10%.
Pure Relief Pet CBD Oil is made with hemp-extracted CBD oil as well as other natural ingredients that have been selected to assist in the calming effect for your dog. For maximum effectiveness, this oil needs to be administered daily. It can be mixed in your dog’s food, or it can be applied directly under the tongue. It’s yet another great option to help calm your Jack Russell Terrier.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best way to calm my Jack Russell puppy? That depends on your dog. Jack Russells are naturally high-energy, but what works for one dog may not work for another. Find what your dog likes, observe the moments when it seems the most calm, and use those clues to help find a more sustainable and constant solution. It may be worthwhile to try one calming solution at a time to be able to identify which has the best impact on your dog. Additionally, if you notice that your Jack Russell seems to be calmer when held or burrowed, it may signal that a calming vest or bed may be an appropriate choice for your dog.
- Why is my Jack Russell so hyper? Jack Russells are high-energy animals that need a lot of exercise. It’s important not to confuse this elevated activity level with anxiety or hyperactivity, especially if you suspect that your dog is not getting adequate exercise. However, if you notice hyperactivity beyond what is normal, it may be the manifestation of your pet’s anxiety. As discussed above, pet anxiety is most commonly the result of fear, separation, or aging. Determining the cause is part of finding the solution.
- At what age do Jack Russells start to calm down? Generally speaking, as dogs get older they tend to slow down, but that doesn’t always mean they calm down or have less anxiety. In fact, anxiety in older dogs may simply manifest differently than anxiety in younger puppies. Instead of constant activity and pacing, your dog may quiver, bark, or whine incessantly. Aging does not guarantee calmness, though that is sometimes the case.
An anxiety-riddled pet can lead to a stress-inducing home life if your dog’s anxiety begins to manifest itself in destructive or annoying behaviors. More importantly, though, anxiety in dogs can cause health problems for your pet if left unaddressed. Sometimes the solution is a simple change in habit or diet, but sometimes your pet may require more support. Also, some stressful situations are unavoidable. Maybe your family needs to move, or you need to be able to travel with your pet, or maybe there are certain stormy seasons that are a regular part of where you live. It’s important to equip your dog with the tools or supplements it needs to weather those difficult situations and feel secure and safe as a result. You love your Jack Russell, so do what you can to give them the support they need to live well.