6 Best Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Foods with Top Puppy & Senior Brands

Our Picks for the Best Dog Food for a Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a unique breed of dog developed in Southern Africa, easily identified by his red coat and the ridge of hair running down its back.

Originally known as the Rhodesian Lion Dog, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was developed by Boer farmers as a versatile hunting dog that could withstand extreme temperatures and survive when rations were low. They were used to protect property, to hunt game, and to be a companion to the entire family. Bred from a variety of breeds including the Mastiff, Great Dane, Greyhound, and Bloodhound, the Rhodesian Ridgeback also shares its ancestry with a half-wild native dog kept by the Khoikhoi people.

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large-breed dog standing 24 to 27 inches tall and weighing between 75 and 85 pounds on average. He has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years and is generally healthy though, like all dogs, is prone to certain health problems. Providing your dog with a high-quality diet is the best way to maximize his lifespan.

Keep reading to learn more about your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s dietary requirements and to see our top 15 picks for the best dog food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

Understanding a Rhodesian Ridgeback’s Diet Requirements

Though all dogs have the same basic nutritional needs, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is unique in a few ways. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is naturally lean and muscular, so he needs plenty of protein to maintain a healthy body weight. Fat provides a concentrated source of energy. In most large breeds, it should be controlled to prevent obesity, but the Rhodesian Ridgeback is highly active, so he may need a little more fat in his diet than other large breeds.

Both protein and fat should come from animal sources to ensure digestibility. Quality proteins include things like meat, poultry, and fish while healthy fats include things like chicken fat and salmon oil. Your dog doesn’t have specific needs for carbohydrates, but they can provide energy, fiber, and beneficial nutrients. Whole grains, vegetables, beans, and legumes are some of the best carbohydrates for dogs. Look for a recipe that provides 3% to 5% fiber and contains digestible carbohydrates.

  • Puppy Rhodesian Ridgebacks  Diet– As a puppy, your Rhodesian Ridgeback needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in his diet to fuel his growth and development. A large-breed puppy recipe will contain the right ratio of nutrients to support growth without letting your dog grow too fast.
  • Adult Rhodesian Ridgebacks Diet – When your Rhodesian Ridgeback reaches his full size, switch to a large-breed adult recipe that contains at least 18% protein and 5% fat. More protein will help maintain lean muscle mass while moderate fat content will support your dog’s needs for energy.
  • Senior Rhodesian Ridgebacks Diet – As your Rhodesian Ridgeback gets older, his risk for obesity increases as his metabolism slows down. Feed him a little less or switch to a senior or healthy weight formula.

A good dog food will meet your dog’s basic requirements for protein, fat, and carbohydrates but your Rhodesian Ridgeback can also benefit from fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy supplements. Fresh fruits and veggies provide natural sources for key nutrients and they are more biologically valuable than synthetic supplements. Chelated minerals are mineral supplements that have been chemically bound to protein molecules which increases their absorption. Your dog can also benefit from prebiotics and probiotics for healthy digestion, and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support.

Rhodesian ridgeback Diet plan

Special Dietary Considerations for Rhodesian Ridgebacks

The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a lifespan averaging 10 to 12 years which is on-par for breeds of its size. In comparison to other breeds, he is very healthy but there are a few health problems to be aware of.

Here is a quick list of the health problems to which the Rhodesian Ridgeback may be prone:

  • Cataracts
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Dermoid Sinus
  • Entropion
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Gastric Dilation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Let’s take a closer look at some of these health problems.

Most of the health problems to which the Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone can be grouped into eye conditions, inherited health problems, and size-related issues.

Some of the eye problems to which the breed is prone include cataracts, entropion, and progressive retinal atrophy. A cataract is an opacity that forms in the lens of the eye and it can lead to a partial or total obstruction of vision – it is neither painful nor life-threatening. Entropion occurs when the eyelid rolls inward, irritating the eye, and progressive retinal atrophy is a condition in which the retina slowly degenerates, often leading to blindness.

Some of the other problems to which the Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone are inherited health problems like degenerative myelopathy, hip dysplasia, dermoid sinus and hypothyroidism. Degenerative myelopathy is a spinal cord disorder that, though rare, can be crippling. Dermoid sinus is a tunnel-like opening that forms between the skin and the spinal column which causes neurological symptoms. Hip dysplasia is an anatomical defect of the hip joint which allows the femoral head to slip in and out of place, causing inflammation and joint damage.

Due to its size and deep chest, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is also prone to a condition called gastric dilation or bloat. This is a condition in which the stomach fills with air and twists on its axis, cutting off blood flow and causing a life-threatening condition. It happens when your dog eats too much, eats too fast, or swallows too much air while he is eating. Make sure your dog eats smaller meals and don’t use a raised bowl when feeding him.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Food Recommendations

Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Chart

When it comes to feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback, your priorities will change slightly over the course of his lifespan. As a puppy, your dog needs a steady stream of energy to fuel his growth with plenty of protein to develop strong muscles. After 6 months or so, however, you may need to slow things down a bit because overgrowth can increase his risk for musculoskeletal issues later in life. The best way to ensure that his needs are met without going overboard is to start with a large-breed puppy recipe and stick to the feeding recommendations by age and weight.

When your Rhodesian Ridgeback reaches 12 months or about 75% of his full size, switch to a large-breed recipe. These are still high in protein to support lean muscle mass but with moderate fat content to control calories and prevent overgrowth. You should also look for joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin. When your Rhodesian Ridgeback becomes a senior, you might need to scale back his feeding or switch to a large-breed senior recipe to prevent obesity.

The Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks: Our Top 15 Picks for 2019

Now that you have a better understanding of your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for dog food! Remember, the best Rhodesian Ridgeback food will be made with wholesome natural ingredients including high levels of premium animal protein, moderate levels of healthy fat, and digestible carbohydrates with nutritional supplements for support.

Here are our top 15 picks:

Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Wild Game Recipe

Overall Best Food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks: If you want to maximize your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s nutrition, try this Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Wild Game Recipe. This recipe features high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces for a boost of nutrition and natural flavor. It contains grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and peas to ensure optimal digestion as well as plenty of supplemental proteins like lamb, turkey, wild boar, and rabbit. This recipe contains fresh fruits and vegetables as natural sources for key nutrients with plenty of essential fatty acids for energy as well as healthy skin and coat. It is also supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics for healthy digestion.

  • Pros: High-protein kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, several premium proteins, probiotics
  • Cons: Contains some plant protein (pea protein), expensive to feed as a staple diet

American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Large-Breed Adult Recipe

Most Affordable Food: A high-quality dog food doesn’t have to empty your wallet. This American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Large-Breed Adult Recipe is a great choice for your Rhodesian Ridgeback because it contains nutritious natural ingredients in a recipe formulated for large breeds. It features real, deboned chicken as the first ingredient to provide the protein your dog needs for lean muscle mass. It contains digestible whole-grain carbohydrates as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources for key nutrients. This recipe is supplemented with plenty of omega fatty acids for energy as well as healthy skin and coat, plus it contains a special blend of fiber for healthy digestion.

  • Pros: High-quality sources of animal protein, rich in essential fatty acids, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, chelated minerals, no artificial additives
  • Cons: main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil)

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Adult Dry Food

Most Popular Food: If you’re not sure what to feed your Rhodesian Ridgeback, you can’t go wrong with a popular option like this Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Adult Dry Food. This recipe features an assortment of roasted meats like buffalo, venison, and bison with grain-free carbohydrates to ensure maximum digestibility. This is a protein-rich recipe to support lean muscle mass with plenty of essential fatty acids for energy as well as skin and coat support. It contains fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, plus it is supplemented with both prebiotic fibers and probiotics to ensure optimal nutrient absorption and healthy digestion.

  • Pros: Several premium animal proteins, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, rich in omega fatty acids, chelated minerals, prebiotics and probiotics
  • Cons: Main source of fat is plant-based (canola oil), contains some plant proteins (potato and pea protein)

NomNomNow Fresh Food Delivery Service

Super Premium Food: For high-quality nutrition with maximum digestibility, try fresh food for your Rhodesian Ridgeback. This is a fresh food delivery service that prepares custom meals for your dog and delivers them fresh to your door in automatic monthly shipments. With several recipes to choose from, you can select the best option for your Sheltie and you can customize it if he has unique dietary requirements. Every package is properly portioned for your dog and arrives fresh, never frozen. Simply pour it into your dog’s bowl and save the other packages in the fridge or freezer.

  • Pros: Made with the freshest ingredients, custom meals for your dog, delivered fresh to your door, perfectly portioned pouches, automatic shipments
  • Cons: Limited number of recipe options, very expensive to feed, delivery restrictions in some areas

FirstMate Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal LID Large-Breed Recipe

Best Food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks with Allergies: For Rhodesian Ridgebacks with food allergies, this FirstMate Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal LID Large-Breed Recipe is a great option. Not only is it made with a single source of novel animal protein, but it contains a limited number of main ingredients. This recipe features wild herring for protein to sustain your dog’s lean muscle mass with plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. It features grain-free carbohydrates to ensure maximum digestibility and it comes in a larger kibble size to control how much your dog eats at once. It also contains supplemental glucosamine.

  • Pros: Single source of novel protein, digestible grain-free carbohydrates, rich in essential fatty acids, limited number of main ingredients, chelated minerals, glucosamine, large kibble size
  • Cons: May be too high in fiber for some dogs, expensive to feed as a staple diet

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb and Brown Rice Large Breed Recipe

Best Food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks with Sensitive Stomachs: If you’re concerned about your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s sensitive stomach, look for a highly digestible recipe made with wholesome natural ingredients. This Nutro Wholesome Essentials Lamb and Brown Rice Large Breed Recipe is a great option because it features deboned lamb as a high-quality source of protein with digestible brown rice for carbohydrate support. It contains a wealth of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, plus natural sources of glucosamine for joint support. This recipe is completely free from by-products, fillers, and artificial additives so it won’t upset your dog’s stomach.

  • Pros: Wholesome natural ingredients, highly digestible, farm-raised chicken as main ingredient, whole-grain carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Cons: Some dogs may be sensitive to chicken ingredients, not a grain-free recipe

3 Top Rated (5 Star) Rhodesian Ridgeback Adult Foods

Wellness Complete Health Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Large Breed Recipe

For complete and balanced nutrition for your Rhodesian Ridgeback, try this Wellness Complete Health Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Large Breed Recipe. This recipe features wholesome natural ingredients like real deboned chicken, brown rice, oats, and more for a protein-rich recipe catered to the unique nutritional needs of large-breed dogs.

Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Adult Recipe

To maximize your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s nutrition, try a premium-quality recipe like this Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Large Breed Adult Recipe. This formula features high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces for a boost of nutrition and flavor. It contains 38% protein with digestible grain-free carbohydrates as well as fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure complete nutrition.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Salmon Large-Breed Recipe

For maximum protein and digestibility, consider this Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Salmon Large-Breed Recipe. This recipe features real salmon as the main ingredient and it is grain-free which is good for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs. It contains an optimal blend of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones and joints as well as omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

3 Top Rated (5 Star) Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Foods

Holistic Select Lamb Meal Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe

Formulated specifically for large and giant breeds, this Holistic Select Lamb Meal Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe is a great option for your Rhodesian Ridgeback. It features lamb meal as a concentrated source of animal protein with digestible whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa. It also contains fresh fruits and veggies to provide natural sources of key nutrients and antioxidants.

Simply Nourish Chicken & Brown Rice Large Breed Puppy Recipe

For an affordable dog food that still offers decent quality, try this Simply Nourish Chicken & Brown Rice Large Breed Puppy Recipe. This recipe features protein-rich chicken as the main ingredient and as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. It contains plenty of omega fatty acids for skin and coat with an optimal blend of vitamins and minerals for complete and balanced nutrition.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Large Breed Puppy Recipe

If you’re worried about allergies or sensitive stomach, this Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Large Breed Puppy Recipe could be a good choice for your Rhodesian Ridgeback. It features protein-rich chicken as the main ingredient with grain-free carbohydrates for digestibility. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat with DHA and ARA for healthy brain and vision.

2 Picks for Senior Rhodesian Ridgeback Foods

Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Cod & Lentils Trim Adult Recipe

For nutrient-rich food catered to your senior dog’s needs, try this Nulo Freestyle Grain-Free Cod & Lentils Trim Adult Recipe. This recipe features several sources of animal protein with digestible grain-free carbohydrates. It is made from 74% animal ingredients and is completely free from grains, chicken, and other common allergens. Plus, it is highly digestible with probiotics for support.

Halo Holistic Turkey, Turkey Liver & Duck Healthy Weight Senior Recipe

As an excellent source of holistic nutrition, this Halo Holistic Turkey, Turkey Liver & Duck Healthy Weight Senior Recipe would be a great option for your Rhodesian Ridgeback. It features whole poultry and grain-free carbohydrates to ensure digestibility with fresh fruits and vegetables to provide fiber as well as natural sources for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Our FAQ and Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Guide

In addition to choosing a healthy and high-quality diet for your Rhodesian Ridgeback, you also need to think about the practical aspects of feeding him and keeping his food fresh. When it comes to feeding your dog, look for a fairly large dog bowl that can hold at least a cup and a half of food. Think about practical things such as durability and cleaning as well. Stainless steel and ceramic are very easy clean and they don’t scratch which means there is a low risk for harboring dangerous bacteria. Stainless steel is the most durable and it is usually cost-effective as well.

In terms of food storage, the best thing you can do is place the entire open bag of dog food in an airtight container. As soon as the bag is open and the food is exposed to air, it will start losing some of its nutritional value over time. Fortunately, the bag is treated on the inside to help preserve the food, but you will lose that benefit if you pour the food into a new container. Try to buy your dog food in bags small enough to fit in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dry place.

And now, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about feeding a Rhodesian Ridgeback:

How much food should I feed my Rhodesian Ridgeback? – The exact amount of food you give your Rhodesian Ridgeback each day will depend on his age, weight, and activity level as well as the calorie content of the dog food you choose. Generally speaking, however, you’ll be feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback between 2 ½ and 4 ½ cups of food per day divided into two meals. Start with a large-breed dog food and refer to the feeding recommendations according to your dog’s age and weight to determine his daily portion.

How many times a day should I feed my Rhodesian Ridgeback? – Generally speaking, the Rhodesian Ridgeback does well with two meals per day, one in the morning and another in the evening. As a puppy, your dog may need an additional meal to sustain his growth and development. If you’re using your dog for hunting or dog sports, he too could benefit from having his daily portion broken up into three meals instead of two – this can also reduce the risk for bloat.

What kind of food do Rhodesian Ridgebacks eat? – The best dog food for any dog is made from high-quality, natural ingredients and formulated to meet his nutritional needs. Fresh food is a great option for Rhodesian Ridgebacks because it offers the highest level of nutritional quality and digestibility. Because this is a large breed that eats a lot, however, it may be too expensive to feed your dog fresh food. If you can’t afford fresh, buy the highest quality dry food you can consistently afford. A high-protein kibble mixed with freeze-dried raw pieces is a great option.

What vegetables are good in a Rhodesian Ridgeback food? – Fresh vegetables provide your dog with dietary fiber as well as natural sources for vitamins and minerals. As such, they are a valuable addition to any high-quality dog food. Here are some of the best vegetables for Rhodesian Ridgebacks:

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Zucchini

Providing your dog with fresh vegetables as a healthy snack is a good idea even if the dog food you choose contains fresh vegetables. Just make sure that the vegetables you choose are safe for dogs to eat and that you clean them well before feeding. You should also feed small amounts to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach from an overload of fiber.

Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks need grain-free dog food? – There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the long-term safety of grain-free recipes for dogs, but the fact remains that there is no conclusive evidence as of yet.

A Final Word

Now that you know the basics about your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s nutritional needs, you’re ready to start shopping for the best Rhodesian Ridgeback food. Remember to look for a product that is made with wholesome natural ingredients including high levels of premium animal protein, moderate levels of healthy fat, and digestible carbohydrates with nutritional supplements for support.

If you’re still not sure where to start in choosing the best Rhodesian Ridgeback dog food, try one of our top 15 picks reviewed above!

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