Best Dog Food For Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Based on our research, what is the best dog food for one Rhodesian Ridgeback is not the same for another pooch. It all boils down to your dog’s health, age, activity levels as well as owner’s budget.

However, we have got a list of dog food suitable for your Rhodesian Ridgebacks and a guide to help you decide what you should look for when buying dog food for them.


Understanding Rhodesian Ridgeback’s Dietary Needs

It is no doubt most dogs have the same basic nutritional requirements, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is unique in some ways. Since this dog breed is lean and muscular naturally, it requires a lot of protein to maintain its healthy weight.

Quality dog food for Rhodesian Ridgeback should contain high-quality protein sources for growl and development. It should have the proper amount of protein so that its legs will not grow too quickly causing muscle and bone damage.

Fat provides energy from a concentrated source. So, it should be in moderation for most large breeds to prevent obesity. But the Rhodesian Ridgeback needs slightly more fat in its diet because of the high activity levels.

Both protein and fat should be from natural sources for healthy digestion in dogs.
So, quality proteins could be from meats like chicken, turkey, beef and so on; while fats could come from chicken fat, salmon, plant oil and fish oil. Omega 3 fatty acids are important to keep your pooch’s coat soft, improve its brain function and ensure a healthy heart.

By including carbohydrates in your dog’s diet can provide energy, fiber and useful nutrients.
For example, whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables are great sources of carbohydrates. Dog foods that provide 3-5% of fiber is ideal.

How Many Calories Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Need?

An adult Rhodesian Ridgeback stands at a height of about 2 feet 3 inches and weigh around 70-85 pounds. This breed was originally bred for hunting big game in Africa like lions, bears and tigers.

Like most dogs, the Rhodesian Ridgeback needs appropriate levels of exercise for stimulation.

A less active Rhodesian Ridgeback needs about 1300 calories per day to stay energized whereas a high active one will require 2500 calories instead.
A moderately active pooch of this breed will need 1600 calories daily to stay healthy and energetic.

Protein and Fat needs for Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Puppy Rhodesian Ridgebacks – It needs at least 22% protein and 8% fat for its healthy growth both mentally and physically. When choosing dog food for puppies, a large breed puppy one will have the right balance of nutrients for slow growth.

Adult Rhodesian Ridgebacks – A large adult dog breed recipe is suitable for it as long as it contains at least 18% protein and 5% fat. A high level of protein will maintain lean muscle mass while a moderate level of fat will provide your dog with the energy it needs.

Senior Rhodesian Ridgebacks – As an ageing dog, it will have a higher risk for obesity due to slow metabolism. Reducing its meal portions and switching to a senior dog food recipe help tackle this issue.

Fruits and Vegetables

Good quality dog foods contain the basic dietary needs like protein, fat and carbohydrates as well as an ideal blend of fresh fruits and vegetables. They act as healthy supplements and natural sources of nutrients. Some dog food contains chelated minerals that are bound to protein molecules to increase your dog’s absorption to them.


Prebiotics and probiotics are beneficial to your pooch, too. Most premium dog foods nowadays contain glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and mobility.

How To Choose The Right Dog Food For Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Most major dog food companies in the United States meet the nutritional standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). If the dog food does not comply with these standards, stay away from your Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

You may find AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement for dog foods on the food label or the company’s official website. Make sure the life stage specified is suitable for your pooch because dog food that agrees with the AAFCO Adult Maintenance nutritional standard does not mean it is right for your Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies.
According to PetMd, some dog food companies in the market manufacture foods in high animal protein as the common perception that dogs are wolve-like. In fact, it is not true because they have the means to digest plant matter and their digestive systems are also able to access the amino acids from plant-based proteins.

Petfood Industry said that the digestibility and bioavailability of amino acids is important, which is a mix of animal-based and plant-based proteins for providing dogs with the highest amount of amino acids.

Over the millennia, dogs have evolved and made them different from wolves. A study published in Nature stated that the genome of dogs has evolved to digest plant-based starches and thrive on foods that have a wide range of ingredients like fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, meats, poultry, fish and so on, making them an omnivore.

As a large breed that weighs up to 85 pounds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a highly active dog with a strong muscular build. So, you should feed it with dog food for large breeds for optimal health and nutrition.

Like most large-breed dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are prone to orthopedic conditions like elbow and hip dysplasia. Dog food for large breeds could help prevent these diseases by providing the proper amount of necessary minerals. For example, too much intake of calcium in your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s will increase its bone density, which is the main cause of hip dysplasia. With the proper balance of calcium and phosphorus, it will prevent the disorder of bone formation.

Besides, dog foods for these big guys has the proper amount of calories for their daily activity needs without contributing to excessive weight gain, too.


rhodesian ridgebacks lying on grass


Feeding Chart For Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback will be different throughout its lifespan.

For a puppy, it needs a consistent supply of energy for its growth. To develop strong muscles, it needs a lot of protein.

6 months later, you may need to slow down its growth for reducing the risk for musculoskeletal issues. To do so, you could start with a large-breed puppy dog food and follow the feeding suggestions on the label according to its age and weight.

12 months old – Your Rhodesian Ridgeback will reach about 75% of its full size. It’s time to change to a large-breed adult formula. The food contains appropriately high protein for muscle mass, whereas moderate fat content for calorie control and overgrowth prevention.
Nutrients like Glucosamine and Chondroitin are important for its joint health. Make sure they are in the food you feed.

Senior Rhodesian Ridgeback – You may cut down on feeding and switch to a large-breed senior dog food to prevent it from becoming overweight.

Nutritional Needs For Rhodesian Ridgebacks

As a female adult Rhodesian Ridgeback, it will need more Folic acid in its diet for reducing the likelihood of giving birth to puppies with Dermoid Sinus.

Zinc is essential for your dog’s teeth and bone health, too.

How Much Food To Feed A Rhodesian Ridgeback

You may adjust the portion based on its weight, age and energy levels to achieve the optimal weight.
By following the feeding guides on the dog food packaging, you could find out how much food to feed your Rhodesian Ridgeback.
It is always safe to seek advice from your veterinarian on the right amount in case there are other factors that affect the feeding portion, such as health conditions.

Rhodesian Ridgeback’s Special Dietary Recommendations

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can live around 10 to 12 years, quite common with large-breed dogs. In general, it is a healthy breed but still with some health issues.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), owners of the Rhodesian Ridgeback should regularly check its eye problems, thyroid problems as well as elbow and hip dysplasia.
Thyroid problems are very common in Rhodesian Ridgebacks that show fur loss and weight gain.

Besides, this breed is also at risk for gastric dilation or bloat. This could lead to fatality if it does not get treated immediately.

So, when buying the right dog food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks, dog owners should consider all these factors.


rhodesian ridgebacks puppy being hugged

Common Health Problems For Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Common Health problems that Rhodesian Ridgebacks may be prone to are:

  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Entropion
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Dermoid Sinus
  • Cataracts
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Gastric Dilation/ Bloat
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart Disease


The three main categories of health problems that the Rhodesian Ridgebacks may face are eye, genetically and size related.


A cataract is an opacity in the lens of an eye that causes blurry vision. A small cataract will not affect the dog’s vision that much but when it gets thicker and denser, it will cause blindness.


Entropion is a genetic condition that causes a part of the eyelid to be inverted or folded inward. Then, eyelashes or hair will scratch and irritate the eye surface, causing corneal ulceration or perforation. Dark-colored scar tissue will then build up over the wound to decrease eye vision.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy can happen to certain breeds of dogs like and even cats (rarely).
Due to the bilateral degeneration of the retina, it will cause gradual vision loss and eventually blindness. There is no treatment for this.

The various types of that affect dog breeds like: Akita, miniature longhaired Dachshund, Papillon, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, Irish Setter, Sloughi, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Norwegian Elkhounds, miniature Schnauzer, Belgian Shepherd Dog,
Alaskan Malamute,Poodle, English Cocker Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Portuguese Water Dog, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Australian Cattle Dog, American Eskimo Dog, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Bullmastiff, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, English Springer Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Briard.

Read here to find out more.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressive disease that affects the spinal cord in senior dogs. Affected dogs start to show signs between 8 to 14 years of age. It starts with ataxia, which is the loss of coordination in the hind limbs. It will cause dogs wobble when walking, drag their feet or knuckle over. To go further, their limb will weaken and the dogs will buckle and have standing difficulty. Then, the dogs feel so weak that they are not able to walk.

Dermoid Sinus

Dermoid Sinus is tunnel-like opening of the skin above the spine. These tunnels can run deep into the underneath tissues as far as the spinal cord. This exposure will cause infections that lead to serious disease and pain.

Hip dysplasia

This is an anatomical defect of hip joint. Femoral head will slip in and out of place, leading to inflammation and eventually joint damage.


Bloat is quite common in Rhodesian Ridgebacks because of their size and deep chest. Their stomach will fill with air and twists, causing blow flow to cut off. This is fatal if they don’t get treatment quick enough. To prevent them from swallowing air while eating, make sure them don’t eat too much and too fast. Also, feed them in smaller portions from a bowl at a suitable height will help.


Thyroid glands in the neck produce hormones that affect body functions. Dogs with thyroid disease have less production of thyroid hormones compared to cats. Inflammation and shrinkage of the thyroid gland causes hypothyroidism in dogs. This middle-aged health issue occurs more commonly in medium to large breed dogs.

The symptoms could include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weight gain without extra food
  • Cold intolerance
  • Slow heart rate
  • Hair loss
  • Skin condition changes

Quality protein from premium dog food could help prevent thyroid problems in your Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Heart Disease

Rhodesian Ridgeback are at risk for some heart conditions. You could prevent the onset of these issues by giving your pooch diets that are rich in Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.

Like other large breeds, their salt and fatty acid intake is important. To keep their heart in a good condition, reduce salt consumption. Always keep an eye on the ingredient lists of food that has added salt.

Omega fatty acids are good for heart health. Sources like flaxseed, fish oil and canola oil contains a lot of omega fatty acids.


Best Dog Food For Rhodesian Ridgebacks Product Review

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Adult Dry Dog Food – Lamb & Rice

This dry dog food contains pasture-fed lamb as the main ingredient to help support strong muscle growth.  The first five ingredients in this recipe are deboned lamb, chicken meal, brewers rice, whole brown rice and split peas.

The food has added vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to support your large breed dog’s health to achieve a complete and balanced nutrition. Vitamin E supports a healthy immune system.

Besides, the formula has natural fiber that helps with digestion.
All the Non-Gmo ingredients are from their trusted sources that contains non chicken by-product meal, corn, soy protein, wheat, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.


  • Pasture-fed deboned lamb as main ingredient
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Promote healthy skin and a soft shiny coat with omega fatty acids
  • No added artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • Natural fiber for healthy digestion
  • Essential antioxidants for immunity
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin to support hip and joint health


  • Not grain-free if your dog is sensitive to it


Solid Gold Wolf King Holistic Dog Food For Adult Dogs

Solid Gold Wolf King use wholesome ingredients for a complete and balanced diet for your pooch. This company has been in the business of pet nutrition for more than 40 years.
This formula has what a large breed like Ridgeback needs.

The five main ingredients are fresh and deboned bison and ocean fish meal, brown rice, peas and potatoes.

Besides, it contains no wheat, corn, soybeans, and by-product meals, making sure your dog can eat at ease.

This package comes with their patented protected probiotics. These fiber-rich probiotics will stay alive and viable until they’re in your dog’s digestive system. This will ensure your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s perfect digestive and gut health.

With the perfect blend of essential vitamins and minerals that come from pumpkin, blueberries and broccoli, this dry dog food will supplement your dog’s health.



  • High-quality proteins
  • Contains natural essential vitamins and minerals
  • Improve coat and mental health
  • Ensure optimal energy levels
  • Egg protein for muscle growth and metabolism
  • Patented probiotics that are fiber-rich



  • Protein from single source
  • Contains no glucosamine or chondroitin in their formula


Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream contains real premium meat that focuses on food safety as their main protein.
Its formula includes fruits and vegetables to provide the antioxidants your dog needs for overall health.
Some of the main ingredients in this pack of dog food are salmon, ocean fish, sweet potato, garbanzo peas, blueberries, tomatoes and raspberries.

To reduce allergies and sensitivities, this product has no wheat, corn, fillers, artificial flavors, coloring and preservatives. As a grain-free dry food, it provides digestible energy from sources like sweet potatoes and peas.

With the inclusion of omega fatty acids, your pooch’s coat will get healthy and shiny.



  • With real premium meat
  • Contains antioxidants, omega fatty acids
  • Includes species-specific probiotics
  • Contains no artificial flavors, colorings and preservatives
  • Low in calories – 360 kcal/cup



  • Higher amount of carbohydrates
  • No glucosamine or chondroitin


Best Dog Food For Rhodesian Ridgeback Adults

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Large Breed Dog Food, Chicken & Rice

This dry dog food from Wellness has what a large dog breed like the Rhodesian Ridgeback needs. This is for large adult dogs at the age of 1 year and older.

It contains premium proteins like deboned chicken, whitefish and chicken meal for healthy muscle growth. With a lean source of great quality protein and fatty acids, chicken meat is the main ingredient.

Valuable antioxidants are from blueberries (vitamin A and C), potassium, fiber and various types of carotenoids.
With the richness in fiber and omega fatty acids from sources like flaxseed to aid healthy digestion and a shiny coat.

While supporting healthy development, this dog food does not forget to control your dog’s caloric intake to prevent obesity.

To avoid some allergic issues in some dogs, this formula contains no wheat, meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

Besides, glucosamine and chondroitin are in the food to support joint health and mobility.


  • Lean chicken as main ingredient
  • Contains antioxidants, glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Has fiber and omega fatty acids for digestion and coat health
  • Free from wheat, meat by-products and other nasties
  • Support a healthy immune system
  • Calcium, phosphorous and minerals for supporting strong bones in large dogs
  • Mixed tocopherols guard against eye disease
  • Contains Yucca Schidigera extract to reduce ordor in stool
  • Rounder kibble for proper chewing time in larger mouths



  • A bit expensive


ORIJEN Original Dry Dog Food

ORIJEN dry food contains high raw animal content that suits your dog’s evolutionary and biological needs which is “Biologically Appropriate”. It is suitable for dogs at any life stage.

The recipe includes 85% meat, 15% vegetables and 0% grain.
It contains wholeprey ratios of animal ingredients from meat, organs, cartilage and bone supply. The main ingredients are free-run chicken and turkey, cage-free eggs, herring and flounder.

They ensure the freshness of food by having the ingredients delivered to their kitchen within 48 hours of harvesting.

Plus, it has no gluten, potato and tapioca in the food but with fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement your dog’s needs.


  • Biologically Appropriate foods made in the USA
  • Free from synthetic ingredients
  • Suitable for dogs at any life stage.
  • Rich in protein
  • WholePrey ratios to mirror whole prey for optimal health



  • A bit pricey



Best Rhodesian Ridgeback Food For Puppies

Holistic Select Lamb Meal Large & Giant Breed Puppy Recipe

The recipe is specially for large and giant breeds. So, this dry dog food is an ideal choice for your Rhodesian Ridgeback.

It contains lamb meal as the main source of protein in a concentrated form. Although not grain-free, this formula has digestible whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa.

With fresh fruits and vegetables, your Rhodesian Ridgeback gets to absorb the natural nutrients and antioxidants it needs.To maximize the absorption of transportation of nutrients, Holistic Select has digestive enzymes as its unique Digestive Health Support System to break down proteins, starch and cellulose.

Plus, the food contains DHA to support healthy brain and eye development.



  • Support healthy digestive system
  • Contains prebiotic and probiotics
  • No meat by-products, wheat and gluten
  • No artificial flavours, colors and fillers
  • Made in the USA



  • Not grain-free

Primal Chicken Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Primal Formulas use only the freshest human-grade ingredients that are free from antibiotics, steroids or hormones that are harmful to you Rhodesian Ridgeback.

To aid  your pooch’s healthy bone development, this formula contains fresh ground bone that is calcium-rich.

The first 5 listed ingredients of this freeze-fried raw dog diet are chicken, chicken necks, chicken gizzards, organic kale and organic carrots.

This dog food has the nutrition of raw into dry bites. This is done by having moisture removed. Raw feeding is made simple by serving dry or with water. It’s even more flexible that you can use it as a topper as well.



  • Benefits of raw feeding
  • Responsibly sourced ingredients
  • Contains organic squash as anti-inflammatory agent
  • Cranberries and blueberries for immune system and urinary tract heath
  • Organic pumpkin and sunflower seeds for vitamins and antioxidants
  • Promote healthy coat and skin with organic coconut oil



  • Carrots as cheap fillers



Frequently Asked Questions For Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Guide

How much food should I feed a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

How much food you feed your Rhodesian Ridgeback depends on its age, activity level, weight and health conditions. Generally, feeding it two meals with 2 ½ and 4 ½ cups of food daily is ideal.

Should Rhodesian Ridgebacks eat grain-free dog food?

It has been a controversy without conclusive evidence. I have given Kyra dog food with grains and without. She is fine with both of them. If you find that your pooch is sensitive to a certain type of grains, just choose grain-free dog food.

How many times a day do I feed a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback two meals each day, which is one in the morning and the other one in the evening. Make sure it is a routine. For a puppy, provide it with an extra meal for its growth. This could be in the middle of the day like afternoon.

Can Rhodesian Ridgebacks eat vegetables?

Fresh vegetables contain dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your dog. Most high-quality dog foods have a blend of fruits and vegetables to supplement health.

What type of food does my Rhodesian Ridgeback eat?

Most dogs prefer and thrive on high quality and natural food. Fresh food is the best dog food for them as it is highly nutritional and digestible. However, for a large breed dog like the Rhodesian Ridgeback, feeding could be expensive. Plus, making fresh food is rather time-consuming. Another solution is to buy high quality dry dog foods that have quality protein that resembles a raw diet.



Finding the best dog food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks can be a daunting task with so many options of dog food on the market. Hopefully, this article that contains Rhodesian Ridgeback’s nutritional needs can help you become better informed.
When buying dog food for your pooch, remember to buy products with good quality protein that suit its age, activity level and health conditions.
Why don’t you try our top picks suggested above and tell us what you think?

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