Does a Jack Russell need a coat in the winter?

does a jack russel need a coat in winter

When it turns into the cold season, we get out our thick jackets to protect us from the wind and cold. But what about our little Jack Russel Terrier?

In this article, we’ll clarify whether the Jack Russell does need a coat in winter.

It depends on where you live and how cold it gets in winter. In regions where winters are long and cold, your Jack Russell Terrier does need a coat. Depending on the coat texture, the Jack Russell will freeze a little earlier or later, but overall, fur does not reliably protect against extreme cold.

Does a Jack Russell have undercoat?

Normally, dogs need a coat in winter if they have no or little undercoat. So does the Jack Russell Terrier.

With the Jack Russel you have to distinguish between 3 different coat types. There are shorthaired, roughhaired and stockhaired varieties.

Shorthaired Jack Russel:

The shorthaired Jack Russel has no undercoat. The short coat does not protect the dog from cold.

Roughhaired and Stockhaired Jack Russel:

The Roughhaired and Stockhaired varieties are somewhat better protected from the cold by the slightly longer coat and additional undercoat.

However, it is still not sufficient. These breeds only freeze a little later.

When is it too cold for a Jack Russell?

A Jack Russell needs a lot of exercise even in winter.

It becomes too cold for a Jack Russell when the temperature drops below 7 degrees Celsius (44 degrees Fahrenheit).

Depending on the activity, your Jack Russel may need a coat or sweater at these temperatures.

When does a Jack Russell need a coat in the winter?

If it’s 7 degrees Celsius (44 degrees Fahrenheit) and warmer in the winter, you don’t need to worry too much when you’re out and about with your Jack Russell.

If it gets colder you should watch your dog more closely and pay attention to the signs and distinguish between the following scenarios if necessary:

Shortly around the corner

If you only take your Jack Russell out for a short pee and it is not a long walk, he does not need a coat.
He may be cold at that moment but 5-10 minutes without a coat will not hurt him.

In case of a sick or old dog it can be useful to put on a coat even for 10 minutes. The immune system is already weakened anyway.

Action in the open

If your Jack Russel is outdoors for about 20 minutes and you play balls together or he runs after the Frisbee, you will not need a coat as long as the temperature does not drop below 0 degrees Celsius.

If it gets colder, it is advisable to put a coat or a sweater on your Jack Russell.

does a Jack Russel needs a coat  in winter

Go for a Walk with your Jacky

For a normal walk of 30-60 minutes where your Jack Russell is not physically exhausted, I would put a coat or a sweater on him when the temperature is below 7 degrees.

The fur is as described simply too thin to protect him reliably from the cold.

The bottom line is that in winter, when it is really cold, the Jack Russell needs a coat to protect him.

In shorter and/or action loaded phases you can do without the coat. But again, pay attention to the signs if your dog is cold and if a coat can make sense in these phases as well.

In the end, it’s common sense that should decide if a dog needs a coat or not.

Just compare this to yourself. If you go for a normal winter walk or just spend time outside, you are dressed thick and warm.

However, if you do sports, go jogging or play soccer, you will wear much less because the activity will help you not to freeze or not to freeze so quickly.

Suitable coats for your Jack Russel

Slow Ton Winter Dog Coat*

  • Warm Scaf
  • Wind & Water resistant
  • Easy to use

Gooby Stretch Fleece Vest Dog Sweater*

  • Keep your Dog warm all winter long
  • Stretchy Fleece
  • Mashine Washable

*Amazon Affiliate/Ad Links

How to Know If Your Jack Russell Terrier Is Too Cold

You know that your Jack Russell is too cold and freezing by the following signs:

The most obvious sign is shivering. If your Jacky is outside in the winter and he is shivering it is a sure sign that he is cold.

If you take your Jack Russell for a walk or just send him out in the yard you will know he is freezing when he wants to go back inside on his own.

So if you go outside and he goes back to the door, he’d probably rather stay in the warm.

Your Jack Russell will lift his paws in turn. This is a sign that his paws are too cold.

Your Jack Russell is becoming noticeably more inactive. If he is no longer actively romping around outside, but becomes more passive, this can be a sign that he is cold and wants to go back inside.

When is your Jack Russell hypothermic?

Normal body temperature is between 37.5 and 39 degrees celsius (98,6 degrees fahrenheit and 102,2 degrees fahrenheit).

If your Jack Russell has been outside for too long, in weather that is far too cold, there is a risk of hypothermia.
There are 3 different stages of hypothermia.

  • Mild hypothermia: body temperature drops to 32 – 35 degrees Celsius / 89,6 – 95 degrees fahrenheit
  • Moderate hypothermia: body temperature drops to 28 -32 degrees Celsius / 82,4 – 89,6 degrees fahrenheit
  • Severe hypothermia: Body temperature drops below 28 degrees / 82,4 degrees fahrenheit

You know if your dog is hypothermic by the following symptoms. Usually you don’t have a thermometer with you when you are out and about.

  • Your Jack Russell is shivering or has chills.
  • Pale gums can indicate hypothermia. The blood circulation is then weaker
  • Your dog is lethargic
  • Loss of coordination and stumbling can indicate hypothermia

Measures in case of hypothermia

If you see signs of hypothermia in your Jack Russell Terrier, you should try to warm him up immediately.

Take him to a warm place (if you have gone somewhere for a walk, put him in the car and turn on the heater).

If you are somewhere in the nature, carry your Jack Russell back (luckily he is small and light) and offer him protection with your jacket and try to warm him up already.

Conclusion: Does a Jack Russel need a coat in winter

You should definitely have a suitable coat or sweater for your Jack Russel.
As soon as the temperatures drop below 7 degrees and you go for a walk with your Jack Russell for a longer time, it is advisable to protect him with a coat for cold, wind and also moisture. (Contributing image)


I am Marco and I have the pleasure of living with 3 large Mastiff-type dog breeds. I would like to share my dog-related experiences on this blog

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