How Much to Feed a Rhodesian Ridgeback

Close up of a Rhodesian Ridgeback eating dog kibble

Knowing how much to feed a Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the most challenging tasks of being an owner. Age, activity level, and size are important factors to consider when feeding a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

In this article, we’ll explore the specific nutritional needs of this majestic breed, ensuring your Rhodesian Ridgeback receives the necessary nutrients for a healthy life at each stage of their growth.

What Factors Impact How Much to Feed a Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Rhodesian Ridgeback with raw diet

The feeding amount of a Rhodesian Ridgeback relies on several important factors. These aspects will ultimately dictate the daily servings of food your dog needs.

So, before you finalize your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s feeding plan, make sure to consider the following factors:

  • Age: The first thing you should look at is your dog’s age. The nutritional needs of a Rhodesian Ridgeback vary at different life stages. Puppies have different dietary requirements compared to adult or senior dogs. It’s crucial to understand the appropriate amount of food for your dog’s specific age.
  • Weight: The food quantity should also align with your dog’s current weight. Overweight dogs might need less food, while underweight dogs may require more to achieve a healthy weight.
  • Daily Activity: In general, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are high-energy dogs that thrive on daily physical activities. However, some may have lower energy levels due to age or health issues, which could reduce their daily food requirements.

Taking these factors into consideration will help you craft a well-thought-out meal plan for your Rhodesian Ridgeback. 

Consulting with your veterinarian is also a wise step to ensure your dog is getting the right amount and type of food for their daily needs.

How Much to Feed Your Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Feeding a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog food

In general, it’s crucial to follow the feeding guidelines provided by dog food brands and consult your veterinarian or a pet nutritionist for tailored advice.

If you’re still unsure, check out the recommended daily food intake and calories for Rhodesian Ridgebacks at various life stages in the upcoming sections.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)

Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies typically start weaning around two weeks old and will be ready for puppy kibble or wet food at this stage.

As your puppy grows, it’s important to ensure they’re receiving the right balance of calories, protein, and fats, essential for their immune system, skin, coat, bones, and muscle development.

Below is the feeding requirement chart for a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
2 – 4 months2 – 2 ¾904 – 1,223
5 – 9 months3 – 41,324 – 1,839
10 – 12 months3 ¾ – 4 ¾1,704 – 2,185
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

Since Ridgeback puppies go through many physical changes in their first year, the serving size increases as they get older. This feeding chart is a good reference to check if you’re feeding your pup the right amount of food.

Adult Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Chart (1 to 7 years)

Due to their massive size, Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies grow more slowly than most small- to medium-sized dog breeds and take longer to achieve full maturity.

Most Rhodesian Ridgebacks mature between the ages of 14 and 16 months. Some dogs, particularly larger males, may continue to grow out and add muscle mass until they are two years old.

The suggested food intake for your adult Rhodesian Ridgeback is shown in the feeding chart below:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
1 – 7 years3 ¾ – 4 ¼1,471 – 1,748
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

In this stage, a protein-rich diet is essential to develop lean muscle mass. Since they are active dogs, they also need a good amount of unsaturated fats for skin health and energy. 

It’s important not to free-feed as it may lead to obesity and associated health problems. 

They should be fed proper portions throughout the day, and their diet may require more carbohydrates and Omega-3 fatty acids for energy and mobility.

Additionally, for my uncle’s Rhodesian Ridgeback, Roger, which he uses as a hunting and tracking companion, we give him additional calories to ensure that he has enough energy to consume for his very active lifestyle.

However, we are still careful not to overdo the feeding to prevent him from gaining more calories than needed and slow him down.

Senior Rhodesian Ridgeback Feeding Chart (8 years and above)

Your Ridgeback’s activity level decreases as it ages. Feeding them becomes more complex than when they were younger because senior dogs are more prone to weight problems.

To prevent the degeneration of muscles brought about by weight gain and aging, your senior dog’s diet should be higher in protein and lower in fat.

Furthermore, their metabolism slows as they mature, so you should give them less food overall.

The chart below shows the suggested feeding amount for a senior Rhodesian Ridgeback:

AgeDaily Food Quantity (Cups)Caloric Intake (Per day)
8 years and above3 – 3 ½1,177 – 1,398
*Use a standard 8-oz measuring cup

The dog food for your senior dog needs to be chosen with extra care and consideration because dogs of this age can be extremely delicate.

Additionally, food with fewer carbohydrates can assist in maintaining your dog’s healthy sugar level at this point. For the best digestive health of your senior Rhodesian Ridgeback, you should also add natural fiber.

When feeding senior Rhodesian Ridgebacks, monitoring their appetite and activity level is essential. Avoid feeding them too much food and try to give them balanced meals.

How Often Should You Feed Your Rhodesian Ridgeback?

Rhodesian Ridgeback with an empty food bowl

In their early months, Ridgeback puppies typically require 3 to 4 meals a day as they wean off their mother’s milk. After the first year, transition to feeding them twice a day. Senior Ridgebacks, on the other hand, may need only one or two meals a day, depending on their appetite and activity levels.

The feeding frequency for your Rhodesian Ridgeback varies with age. Breeders of Ridgebacks usually give puppies more frequent meals compared to adults and seniors, mainly due to their growth and development needs.

Here’s a breakdown of recommended feeding frequencies based on age:

AgeFeeding Frequency
2 – 3 monthsThree to four times a day
4 – 12 monthsThree times a day
1 – 7 yearsTwice a day
8 years and aboveOnce or twice a day

By adhering to these guidelines, your Rhodesian Ridgeback can grow healthily, receiving the right nutrients at each stage of life.

How to Transition Your Rhodesian Ridgeback to a New Food

Rhodesian Ridgeback with a bowl of food

There may be occasions when you need to change your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s diet for various reasons, including transitioning from puppy to adult food and certain health issues.

No matter the purpose behind the transition, it’s necessary to ensure that you’re doing it correctly.

For most dog breeds, including the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the AKC suggests the following standard food transition plan:

DayOld FoodNew Food
1 – 275%25%
3 – 450%50%
5 – 625%75%

Monitoring your dog during the process is necessary as some dogs may need a longer transition period due to allergies or sensitive tummies. Also, keep an eye out for any alarming symptoms.

Feeding an Overweight Rhodesian Ridgeback

Overeating in Rhodesian Ridgebacks is typically caused by free feeding or providing too many table leftovers and treats.

If the amount of food provided is not controlled correctly, issues such as being overweight or obese may arise.

Being obese increases the risk of developing major conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and even breathing problems, which can shorten your dog’s lifespan.

Here are some tips on how to feed an overweight Rhodesian Ridgeback:

  • Reduce its caloric intake. If you think your dog may be overweight, you should reduce its caloric intake by giving it smaller meals. Along with this, it’s also necessary that your Rhodesian Ridgeback gets more exercise.
  • Avoid free-feeding by setting a meal schedule. Instead of free-feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback, you should follow a fixed feeding schedule every day. However, you should still consider your dog’s age when setting mealtimes.
  • Switch to healthy treat options. Instead of your usual commercial dog treats, you can switch to healthier options like fruits or vegetables. You can also find a recipe online for a tasty but healthy dog snack.

Additionally, you can ask the vet for guidance on the appropriate diet and amount of exercise for your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rhodesian Ridgeback waiting for food

How Do I Know If I’m Feeding My Rhodesian Ridgeback Enough?

Whether you’re a new or experienced dog owner, you can determine if you’re feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback enough food by regularly checking its weight.

It’s important to start doing this while they are still puppies to monitor if they are within the normal weight range for their breed and age.

If they become underweight, you might not be feeding them enough; if they are overweight, you might be giving them too much food. 

Why Is My Rhodesian Ridgeback Not Eating?

There are several common reasons why a Rhodesian Ridgeback might stop eating or lose its appetite. These include illness, environmental stress, and dental problems. It’s also possible that it simply does not want to eat.

Call your veterinarian if the unwillingness to eat lasts many days and is followed by other negative symptoms like drowsiness, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Can I Feed My Rhodesian Ridgeback With Human Food?

Feeding a Rhodesian Ridgeback with human food is a big no-no. As mentioned, there are several foods that are unsafe for dog consumption. 

Chocolate, nuts, corn, and other human foods can cause vomiting, poisoning, and even death in most dogs. That’s why it’s important to always be mindful of what you give your Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Eat a Lot?

Being large dogs, you can assume healthy adult Rhodesian Ridgebacks eat a lot daily. With more movement and exercise, this might increase. But if your dog is less active, its appetite can also diminish.

Can Rhodesian Ridgeback Eat Bones?

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can eat bones as long as you know the proper dos and don’ts when providing your dog bones to chew on. Bones can enhance your dog’s oral health and are an excellent source of minerals.

However, according to many veterinarians, giving your dog a bone is not considered worth the health risks. So, if you choose to do so, take caution and offer your dog the proper kind of bone.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with a solid foundation for feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback. However, every Ridgeback is unique, so if you have further questions or need advice tailored to your dog, our comments section is open.

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