How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies
Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies are clumsy little balls of fun. With their deep red coats and distinctive ridge running the full length of the back, these active little pups bring a lifetime of joy to their families.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is an athletic little dog. Loyal and loving to its family, the breed is naturally standoffish with strangers.
A breed that traces its history to Southern Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, a breed originally known as the Rhodesian Lion Dog, was highly prized for its role in hunting lions. Today, these graceful dogs are equally at home in the heart of their homeland or on the couch beside those they love most.
Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies typically enjoy excellent health. However, as a large breed dog, there are some genetic conditions the breed is naturally predisposed to. An excellent quality diet can help stave off succumbing to illness and can help support optimal health and wellness in the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. However, diet alone may not be sufficient to thwart inherited disease.
Among the health problems that can plague the Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy are:
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Dermoid sinus
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
The best dog foods for Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies often contain supplements to promote excellent health, thus establishing a wonderful foundation for the longevity of the dog.
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies
It can be challenging trying to figure out precisely how much of the best dog food for a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy to feed a pup. The best course of action is to use the suggested serving sizes on the bag as a starting point. These amounts can be adjusted with the dog’s weight and appetite as helpful guides until the correct portion is determined.
As a large breed puppy, Rhodesian Ridgebacks benefit from a puppy food that has been designed specifically to meet the needs of dogs of their size. The pieces of kibble found in these foods are large, ensuring the puppy does not eat too rapidly, a problem commonly associated with the development of bloat.
Large breed puppy foods also contain the correct amounts of protein to encourage a healthy rate of growth. Also of critical importance is the ratio of calcium to phosphorus included in a diet as this can lead to a spurt in bone growth that can negatively impact the final structure of the adult dog. Owners should look for a diet that contains 1.2 parts of calcium to every part of phosphorus.
Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies enjoy a slow maturation rate, meaning they enjoy an extended puppyhood. The average Rhodesian Ridgeback reaches full maturity between 2-3 years of age. For this reason, a Ridgeback puppy should be fed a suitable large breed puppy food until the dog reaches one year of age or 75 percent of its full adult size. When this occurs, the dog should be transitioned to an appropriate adult diet.
The ideal amounts of protein and fat in a diet suited to the needs of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy are 22 percent and 8 percent at a minimum.
Dietary Requirements for Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy Foods
Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies prosper on a diet that is based on lean meat-based proteins. The ideal choice is a whole protein, but meat meals are also an excellent option and are full of the nutrition this hardy breed needs to thrive.
By-products and plant-based proteins like soy, corn, and wheat are very difficult for Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies to digest properly. The best dog foods for Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies do not contain these items in their food formulations. Other ingredients that are best avoided include artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy is not prone to food-based allergies, and thus, can enjoy a diet that is based on whole grains or fruits and vegetables with no adverse effects. The best thing to look for in the carbohydrates included in any diet is their amounts of dietary fiber and antioxidants as these items contribute to healthy digestion and a strong immune system in Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies.
Healthy fats are vitally important to the health and wellness of Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies. The best dog foods include fats that are derived from animal origins. These include such foods as chicken fat and oily fish.
Supplements help a diet to be complete and provide additional health benefits for Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies. The most beneficial supplements to look for in a high quality diet for a large breed puppy include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppies
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy:
- Whole proteins heading up the ingredients list
- Prepared without the addition of chemicals, flavorings, fillers, or mystery ingredients
- Enriched with probiotics and helpful supplements
- Meets AAFCO nutritional requirements for a complete and balanced food
- Includes the correct amount of calcium to phosphorus to promote a healthy rate of bone growth