Pet Insurance for Jack Russells

Find out all about Jack Russells and their common health conditions, and then compare pet insurance options from some of Australia’s leading insurers.

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, updated on September 25th, 2023       

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Price range

$800 –$1,500

Height

25cm - 30cm

Weight

5kg - 6kg

Personality

Energetic, intelligent, spirited

Coat length

Short, either smooth or rough

Exercise needs

Very high

Kid-friendly?

No

Life expectancy

13 - 16 years

Jack Russell Terrier

Overview

The Jack Russell Terrier, often called simply the ‘Jack Russell,’ is one of Australia’s most loved family pets. It is one of the top three most popular dog breeds in the country, and is popular around the world. Originating from Britian, the history of the Jack Russell can be traced back to a country parson and fox hunter named Rev Jack Russell, after whom the breed was named in the early 1800s. They were developed to be fearless hunting dogs to flush foxes out of their dens. They are closely related to the Parson Russell Terrier, the Tenterfield Terrier and the Rat Terrier.  

Jack Russells are known for their high intelligence, energy, and tenacious nature. They excel in various dog sports and activities, and are highly trainable. Jack Russells thrive in homes with active owners who can provide lots of exercise and mental stimulation. They love to be on the go almost all the time, and do not like being confined with nothing to do. They have retained their tendency to dig, and so are notorious escape artists who can squeeze through the smallest hole in any fence, or dig their way under a fence. They make loyal family pets, but do have a reputation as yappy dogs, which is why they are also one of the most often dumped breeds at animal rescue centres. Due to their energetic nature, and tendency to jump and not respect boundaries, they are not recommended for families with babies or very young children. 

Common diseases and conditions of Jack Russells

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This is a condition where the dog’s hip joint starts to degenerate, which can cause pain when moving. 
  • Luxating Patella: Luxating patella is a condition where the kneecap (patella) dislocates from its normal position. It can cause lameness and discomfort 

Breed-specific issues:  

The strong prey drive in Jack Russells means they have a tendency to chase small animals, so they do not tend to tolerate cats and should not be trusted with rabbits or guinea pigs. They require consistent training and exercise as they are very high-spirited little dogs, who are constantly on the move.

How much does pet insurance cost for a Jack Russell?

Most Australians can expect to pay between $20 and $60 a month for pet insurance. There are many factors that can influence the cost of pet insurance for your dog, which is why it's important to compare pet insurance policies. Factors affecting the cost of your insurance include: 

  • Age: The older your dog is, the more pet insurance is likely to cost. This is because senior dogs tend to have more physical health conditions and illnesses due to age, and so present a higher insurance risk.    
  • Type of insurance you choose:  There are three basic types of pet insurance available in Australia; accident-only, accident and illness, and comprehensive insurance. An accident-only policy is the cheapest type of insurance available, with comprehensive coverage costing the most.  
  • The policy annual limit: Each pet insurance policy has an annual limit, which is the maximum amount that will be paid out on the policy in one financial year. Annual limits range from around $10,000 up to $25,000 or more.   
  • Sub-limits: In addition to an annual limit, there may also be sub-limits that apply to the policy, for example, a $300 sub-limit for consultation fees, or a $5,000 limit for cruciate ligament conditions.   
  • Benefit percentage: Pet insurance does not cover 100% of the cost of your vet bill. Instead, it may pay a percentage of the total bill. This can range from 50% for cheaper policies, up to 90% for the best policies available.   
  • Excess amount: This is the amount you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket each time you make a claim on your policy. Some pet insurance policies do not come with an excess amount, whilst others do.  
  • Any add-ons you choose: It’s possible to add on more cover options to a basic policy, such as emergency boarding fees, routine care and dental care. These add-ons extend the scope of your pet insurance, but do increase the overall cost of the policy.  
  • Discounts: some insurers offer discounts of between 5% and 15% if you have multiple pets insured together, if you pay your premium annually, or if you bundle your pet insurance with other forms of insurance with the same company.
  • Gap-only insurance options: Some insurance companies offer a gap-only insurance option, which means when you go to the vet you'll only be required to pay the gap amount, not the cost of the whole bill. This is similar to the Medicare system of health insurance for humans in Australia, where gap payments can be made at HICAPS terminals at the time of treatment. 

Types of pet insurance you can choose from

Why compare pet insurance with Savvy?

Common questions about Jack Russell Terriers

Do Jack Russells bark a lot?

Yes, Jack Russell Terriers are known for their spirited and energetic nature, and this can often translate into frequent barking. They have a strong prey drive and may bark when they spot something of interest or feel the need to alert their owners. However, with proper training and socialisation from an early age, their barking tendencies can sometimes be managed. 

Do Jack Russells make good lap dogs?

No, while Jack Russells are affectionate and enjoy spending time with their owners, they are not typically considered lap dogs. They have a high activity level and are more inclined to engage in play and exercise than to sit quietly on a lap. 

Do Jack Russells need a lot of brushing?

The grooming needs of Jack Russells are relatively low. Their short, dense coat requires only occasional brushing to remove loose hair and keep it in good condition. They are considered medium shedders.

Are Jack Russells good at escaping?

Yes. Jack Russells are renowned escape artists. They are clever and agile, with a strong desire to explore, so they may dig, tunnel, squeeze or jump to find ways out of backyards if they are bored.  

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