Contents of Article
- What is the best dog food for a Rhodesian Ridgeback?
- 5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Rhodesian Ridgeback Diet
- 6 Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Schedule
- Overall Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgeback:
- 8 More Top-Rated Dog Foods for Rhodesian Ridgeback
- NomNom Fresh Dog Food
- True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- American Natural Premium Triple Protein Recipe with Ancestral Grains Legume-Free Premium Dry Dog Food
- Nulo FreeStyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe Puppy Dry Food
- VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
- Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
- American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Our 2020 Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Guide
Rhodesian Ridgebacks were formally known as African Lion Dogs because they were often used in big game hunting expeditions. They excelled in this role due to their athletic build and excellent endurance capacity.
These unique dogs are strong-willed, independent, and domineering. If they are trained appropriately, they can be affectionate while also being quite protective. Because of the genetic anomalies inherent in the Rhodesian Ridgeback, they are susceptible to several health conditions. They have a high incidence of thyroid problems, hip dysplasia, and dermoid sinus.
Monitoring your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s health through appropriate amounts of exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet is essential. Being overweight can aggravate hip dysplasia. Supplementation of folic acid in the diet of a pregnant Rhodesian Ridgeback can reduce the occurrence of dermoid sinus in the pups.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is also prone to developing bloat. Diet is, therefore, of paramount importance. The hypothyroidism that this breed is susceptible to can be controlled through daily medication and diet. Your dog should consume a nutritionally balanced food brand to combat the hair loss and weight gain that results from the condition.
We’ve examined the dog food available on the market today and have come up with a list of the best dog food for your Rhodesian Ridgeback canine, no matter what the life stage. We looked at ingredients, protein sources, and vitamin content with your dog’s optimal health in mind.
What is the best dog food for a Rhodesian Ridgeback?
- 1. Our Top Pick Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Salmon & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food
- 2. Super Premium: NomNom Fresh Dog Food
- 3. Most Popular: True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- 4. Best Value: Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- 5. Pea Free: American Natural Premium Triple Protein Recipe with Ancestral Grains Legume-Free Premium Dry Dog Food
- 6. Best for Puppies: Nulo FreeStyle Grain-Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Recipe Puppy Dry Food
- 7. Best for Seniors: VICTOR Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food
- 8. Best Raw Diet: Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
- 9. Best During Pregnancy and Lactation: American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
5 Key Nutritional Needs of a Rhodesian Ridgeback Diet
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is susceptible to several conditions that can be reduced or even eliminated by the proper diet and exercise. Since this class of dog is mostly used for hunting or show, the healthier the animal, the more valuable the dog.
- Folic acid and folate
- Oils and fats
- Fatty acids
The health of the puppies is dependent on the mother’s health. Since the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed has several congenital disorders, including dermoid sinus and hip dysplasia, any female dog that may become pregnant in the future should be fed dog food that has been fortified with folate or folic acid. This diet should be maintained throughout the gestation period and while the puppies are nursing.
Since gastric dilatation volvulus has a risk of occurring, special care should be taken with the oil content of the dog food you give your Rhodesian Ridgeback. Although some oil is beneficial, especially fish oil, which has omega-3 fatty acids, the oil should not be one of the first four ingredients listed on the dog food label.
The ingredients on dog food are listed in order of percentage content. Therefore, the more there is of a particular product, the closer to the beginning of the list it will appear. The same is true of fats. Some are beneficial, but too much can put a strain on the digestive system of your dog, causing bloat.
Fatty acids are available in animal and plant products. Some types of vitamins need the presence of fatty acids for proper absorption. All animals, including the Rhodesian Ridgeback, need linoleic acid. Pork and poultry fats are excellent sources of linoleic acid while safflower and corn oil are other great sources. Fish oil, beef tallow, and butterfat are lower in linoleic acid.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an active mid-to-large dog. To remain healthy, they must ingest an appropriate amount of protein. AAFCO suggests that the food you give your dog has at least 18 percent protein content. If your dog is very active, then a protein level between 20 and 25 percent would be better. The protein should be from meat rather than plant-derived.
If Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are fed too much protein, then they may develop skeletal problems later in life. Too little protein can stymie normal physiologic processes. Therefore, finding the right balance in protein content is essential.
Due to the prevalence of the Rhodesian Ridgeback developing hip and elbow dysplasia, you should try to make sure that your dog receives adequate nutrients and vitamins as part of his diet. Vitamin D can help your canine’s body balance phosphorus and calcium for healthy bone growth. Without a balance of these two elements, a diet too high in calcium may result in skeletal malformations.
6 Special Dietary and Nutritional Considerations of Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has several health concerns, some of which are heredity but can be minimized through proper diet and exercise. This breed is known to develop elbow and hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, dermoid sinus, gastric dilation volvulus. Some special dietary considerations should also be taken into account because of this type of dog’s high activity level. Special dietary and nutritional considerations include:
- Development of hip dysplasia
- A tendency to have elbow dysplasia
- Genetic predisposition towards dermoid sinus
- Digestive issues due to gastric dilatation volvulus
- High activity level
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Canine elbow dysplasia is a condition that develops when there are abnormalities in the elbow joint. Hip dysplasia is a similar condition and occurs when the hip socket is poorly formed. These conditions cause lameness and arthritis in dogs.
In most cases, these conditions are hereditary. However, they can also be caused by rapid growth from a high-calorie diet during the puppy stage. Therefore, the caloric intake of your dog, especially in its infancy and childhood, is of the utmost importance.
If your Rhodesian Ridgeback develops hip or elbow dysplasia, some relief can be found through medication, weight control, exercise, surgery, and nutritional supplements. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two omega-3 fatty acids that work to reduce inflammation caused by osteoarthritis. These fatty acids are contained in fish oils.
Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are nutraceuticals that may help with dysplasia. They aid in maintaining joint health and are useful in the process of tissue repair. Another nutrient that can contribute to collagen development and strengthen the joints is Vitamin C.
Because of the propensity to hypothyroidism, the Rhodesian Ridgebacks tend to become overweight due to the slower metabolism caused by the condition. In addition to daily medication, the amount of food you give your dog should be carefully monitored. These dogs are opportunistic eaters and may scavenge extra food left on the counter, leading to weight gain.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally bred to participate in big game hunts in Africa. Their athletic build and high energy level remain present even though they aren’t hunting antelope these days. Because dogs have more mitochondria as part of their muscular makeup than humans, they burn fat rather than carbohydrates during activity.
About the Rhodesian Ridgeback
Dermoid sinus is a tubular skin defect that occurs when the skin and the nervous system don’t wholly separate during embryonic development. It commonly affects the upper spine and neck. If it becomes infected or causes neurological issues, it must be treated surgically. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are particularly susceptible to this congenital disability.
Studies have shown that female dogs that are fed a diet supplemented with folate or folic acid have fewer pups that are born with dermoid sinus. Because of this, if you are the proud owner of a breeding dog, you should feed her food rich in folate and folic acid before she becomes pregnant and continues supplementation through the gestation period.
Certain types of kibble and excessive water consumption can provoke bloat. Eating only once a day increases the risk of this condition, so be sure to provide several smaller meals instead of one large serving. The food pieces should not be smaller than 30 mm in size to reduce the risk.
Special Dietary Considerations
Dry dog food that contains oil or fat as one of the first four ingredients have a significantly higher risk of dogs developing gastric dilatation volvulus. Be sure that you check the ingredients list for the approximate oil and fat content before choosing a particular dog food to give to your Rhodesian Ridgeback.
The activity level of your particular dog should be taken into account when choosing its dog food. Dog food that has about 15 percent of calories from fat content is acceptable if your dog is elderly or inactive. However, more active Rhodesian Ridgebacks should be fed something that contains a higher fat percentage to maintain a healthy weight.
This inherent athleticism is the same reason your Rhodesian Ridgeback needs additional protein. The food you choose should contain at least 25 percent protein from meat sources.
Although protein is also found in plants, studies have shown that dogs that are given plant-based soy protein instead of protein that is meat sourced get more musculoskeletal injuries. Since the Rhodesian Ridgeback is already prone to dysplasia, a high meat protein diet is essential.
Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Schedule
How often and how much should I feed my Rhodesian Ridgeback?
There are the portion recommendations for adult Rhodesian Ridgeback canines that are not pregnant. Pregnant and nursing dogs should be offered free choice throughout the day due to the additional caloric requirements needed.
|Weight||Cups of dry food per day|
|Up to 15 pounds||½ to 1 ⅓ cup|
|16-25 pounds||1 ⅔ cup to 2 cups|
|26-50 pounds||2 cups to 3 cups|
|51-75 pounds||3 ¼ cups to 4 cups|
|More than 75 pounds||4 cups to 4 ¼ cups|
Because the Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone to developing gastric dilatation volvulus, you should not feed your dog once per day. Instead, divide the suggested amount into several smaller servings throughout the day to reduce the risk of bloat.
Puppies that are between eight and twelve weeks old should be fed four meals daily. Those that are from three to six months old should have three meals every twenty-four hours. Puppies that are older than six months but less than a year can begin to eat twice a day.
Overall Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgeback:
|Sneak Peek: Best Dog Foods for Rhodesian Ridgebacks|
Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe with Real Salmon & Freeze-Dried Raw Pieces Dry Dog Food is high in all-natural animal protein sources, making it perfect for an active Rhodesian Ridgeback dog.
It is made with wild-caught salmon and has bits of freeze-dried raw meat too. In addition to salmon, this fishy mixture includes white fish meal made up of Pacific whiting, Pacific sole, and Pacific rockfish, Menhaden and Herring fish meal, and freeze-dried cod. Freeze-dried beef liver, heart, kidney, and spleen add to the tastiness.
The carrots, cranberries, and blueberries are non-GMO and grown in the U.S. and Europe. It has Vitamin D3 and folic acid supplements.
It does not have any grain, corn, wheat, potato, or soy ingredients. Nor does it use by-product meal, artificial preservatives or colors. This variety of dog food has been specially formulated to meet the nutritional levels of the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all breeds at the maintenance level for all adult life stages. The bag has a resealable closure to maintain freshness.
8 More Top-Rated Dog Foods for Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Home delivery
- Customizable based on the needs of your pet
NomNomNow is a super-premium, fresh dog food, perfect for your golden retriever. This service delivers freshly prepared meals to your door on a weekly basis, and the recipes are customizable based on your dog’s needs. All meals are prepared using whole, restaurant-quality ingredients to ensure the highest quality nutrition for your dog with no freezing or preservatives. NomNomNow is sent to you fresh for storage in your own fridge or freezer. Because the food is prepared fresh with gentle cooking methods, the nutritional integrity is retained for a wholesome meal. NomNomNow boasts the use of only human-grade ingredients which means that the food is prepared in way that would be fit for human consumption, something that many pet owners hold in high regard!
- Fresh food
- Human-grade ingredients
- No preservatives or fillers
- More expensive than other foods
- Farm grown fruit and vegetables
- Fish oil source for fatty acids
- Folic acid added
True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is popular with dogs and owners alike. It contains USA-raised beef and farm-grown vegetables, including carrots, peas, and cranberries.
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are derived from fish oils. The fatty acids from fish oil can decrease inflammation from osteoarthritis, making it a good supplement for your Rhodesian Ridgeback with hip or elbow dysplasia. It also has folic acid, and Vitamin D added.
True Acre Foods Beef & Vegetable Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food has no wheat or corn, nor does it have any artificial flavors or colors. About 36% of the total protein is derived from legumes, while 38% is from animal sources.
- No artificial colors or flavors
- Contains poultry by-products
- Contains canola and soybean meal
- Glucosamine for healthy joints
- Natural preservatives used
- Blueberries have added folate
If you are looking for something that is more economical for your adult Rhodesian Ridgeback, then consider Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food. This dog food is designed for any size dog from one year to eight years of age. It contains meat, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Also, it has LifeSource Bits, which are a combination of nutrients enhanced with antioxidants.
Glucosamine is included to improve healthy joints. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food contains blueberries, which is a good source of folate for a healthy pregnancy.
The chicken in this particular flavor was not grown using antibiotics or added hormones, making it a healthier option for your dog than commercially raised chicken. The dog food is kept fresh with rosemary oil and uses no artificial preservatives. The bag is resealable to help with freshness. It does not contain soy, wheat, or corn ingredients.
- meets the appropriate levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance feed
- Resealable bag
- No chondroitin
- Some dogs don’t digest this type of food well
American Natural Premium Triple Protein Recipe with Ancestral Grains Legume-Free Premium Dry Dog Food
- Pea and legume-free
- non-GMO ancestral grains
- Omega-3 fatty acids from menhaden fish oil
If you want for a dog food that doesn’t contain peas, then American Natural Premium Triple Protein Recipe with Ancestral Grains Legume-Free Premium Dry Dog Food is the one for you. This dog food has a blend of deboned chicken, pork, and turkey for meat-based protein sources.
American Natural Premium Triple Protein Recipe with Ancestral Grains Legume-Free Premium Dry Dog Food contains no legumes, corn, wheat, soy, potatoes, or peas, nor does it use artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It has the non-GMO ancestral grains quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat, and chia seeds.
It has been formulated to meet the AAFCO Dog Food nutritional levels for all life stages, including the growth of large size dogs.
- No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
- Folic acid added
- No glucosamine and chondroitin
- Not grain-free
- Protein from real meat sources
- Calcium for proper bone development
Your growing Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy needs proper nutritional support to avoid elbow and hip dysplasia later in life. Approximately 80% of the proteins included come from animal sources. Nulo FreeStyle Grain-Free Turkey and Sweet Potato Recipe Puppy Dry Food contain low glycemic ingredients and healthy carb alternatives. These ingredients reduce the chance of your hungry pup growing too fast, which leads to the onset of hip and elbow dysplasia. It also has a patented BC30 probiotic added for better digestion.
Guaranteed calcium levels help with the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Your pup’s coat will shine with a diet rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This quality dog food company does not use poultry or meat by-products, artificial colors, artificial flavoring, or preservatives. All its ingredients are GMO-free.
- No artificial colors, flavorings, or preservatives
- meets the nutritional values established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growing dogs
- Not all puppies like turkey flavor
- Glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
- L-Carnitine to maintain a healthy weight
- No corn, wheat, or gluten for more comfortable digestion
- The protein content is 78% meat-based
Because the Rhodesian Ridgeback is susceptible to elbow and hip dysplasia, you will want to choose the diet for your senior dog carefully. Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food has chondroitin and glucosamine, which support joint health.
This dry dog food also has L-carnitine, an amino acid compound that is found in chicken, dairy, fish, and red meat. L-carnitine may help your dog’s body convert fat into energy, especially relevant to assist in improving the metabolism of dogs that have hypothyroidism.
Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food consists of 78% meat protein, rather than protein from vegetable sources. It contains no wheat, corn or gluten for a more digestible product. Also, it contains selenium yeast, mineral complexes, prebiotics, and probiotics, all designed to support the digestive health of your Rhodesian Ridgeback. Victor Senior Healthy Weight Dry Dog Food meets the standards for AAFCO nutritional profiles for healthy weight dogs.
- Contains chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health
- Has L-Carnitine to maintain a healthy weight
- Meets the standards for AAFCO nutritional profiles
- Protein percent per serving is a little high for senior dogs with lower activity levels
- Some dogs might not like the flavor
- Raw diet meal
- Freeze-dried poultry protein for more comfortable digestion
If you’d like to transition to a raw diet for your Rhodesian Ridgeback, then try Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food. These freeze-dried duck and turkey patties are made from 95% cage-free poultry with their organs and bones for added nutrition. The cranberries, spinach, broccoli, beets, carrots, squash, and blueberries are 100% certified organic.
The patties can be served as they are or rehydrated with water. There are no grains, fillers, gluten, or artificial coloring and preservatives. They are a great source of additional protein, without added hormones or antibiotics, for an active Rhodesian Ridgebacks when added as a topper to kibble. Since poultry is easier to digest than other types of meat, there is less of a risk of your dog becoming bloated with this additive to its diet.
- Sustainably sourced ingredients
- Organic fruits and vegetables
- Enhanced with probiotics for better digestion
- Should be added to the diet as a topper rather than primary food
- Some dogs are not fond of duck products
- Added folic acid
- Grain-free for easy digestion
A diet that includes folic acid is recommended for Rhodesian Ridgeback females to reduce the likelihood of their puppies having dermoid sinus. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food has added folic acid along with a host of other excellent ingredients.
This dry dog food contains carrots, peas, and blueberries, as well as deboned salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal, and salmon oil. Blueberries contain folate, which is another nutrient recommended during pregnancy, as it is shown to prevent congenital disabilities. Fish and chicken are more accessible to digest than beef or pork products, making this an excellent choice for Rhodesian Ridgebacks with sensitive stomachs.
American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food has no wheat, corn or soy, making it especially suitable for dogs with food sensitivities. Flaxseed and salmon oil provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Folic acid and folate sources
- Easily digestible meats
- Fish oil DHA source
- Not GMO-free
- Fruit and vegetables are not organic
- Not sustainably sourced fish products
Our 2020 Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if my Rhodesian Ridgeback is overweight?
To check your dog’s weight level, place your hands on its back with your thumbs on the spine, and the fingers spread downward. On a healthily proportioned dog, you can feel the ribs without pressing hard. If you can’t, then more exercise and fewer calories are in order. Reducing the weight of a chubby dog can sometimes eliminate joint pain and arthritis by diminishing the stress on the elbow and hip joints during movement.
How can I switch to a different type of dog food?
If you are changing dog food types or brands, you should do so gradually. Reduce the amount of the current food over seven to ten days while increasing the new food until the transition is complete. If your Rhodesian Ridgeback is especially sensitive to food changes, it may take up to 14 days to switch over.
How much should I feed my adult Rhodesian Ridgeback every day?
Depending on the size and activity level of your Rhodesian Ridgeback, expect to provide between 2 ¾ and 4 cups of high quality food each day. This amount should be divided into at least two meals to reduce the risk of gastric dilatation volvulus.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback will take advantage of any food source and have been known to sneak food off the counter at times. Make sure to keep an eye on potential food sources by dog-proofing your kitchen for the health and well-being of your canine pal.
Our list of top-rated dog food, both dry and wet, will do much to keep your Rhodesian Ridgeback healthy and happy. Unfortunately, this breed is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, the severity which can be reduced by having a regular exercise routine and maintaining a proper weight. Making sure that appropriate levels of fatty acids are included in your dog’s diet can reduce the inflammation that results from these conditions.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is also at risk for dermoid sinus. Therefore, any females of breeding age should be given food with folic acid or folate additives to reduce the chances of her offspring developing this genetic disorder. This diet should continue even after she becomes pregnant and through the lactating stage.
Be sure to special note of the protein content of the dog food you choose. Look for meat rather than vegetable sources. Organic, hormone, and antibiotic-free, meat choices are the best. The hypothyroid tendency in the Rhodesian Ridgeback can cause a sluggish metabolism. Having the correct protein percentage can help your dog convert fat into energy.