How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks
The Rhodesian Ridgeback’s rich red, athletic body is a beautiful sight to behold. A breed that can be quite aloof with strangers, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is devoted to its family.
A breed that traces its roots to Southern Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a dog that required great bravery to fulfil his intended purpose as a hunter of lions. The main distinctive mark of this handsome breed is the unique ridge of hair that runs the length of its back.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was formerly called the Rhodesian Lion Dog, a handle bestowed as a result of the dog’s original job. The breed was developed to be able to function in extreme temperatures and to require only minimum amounts of food to survive. As such, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a very low maintenance dog.
It is believed that the Rhodesian Ridgeback we know of today descended from the cross breeding of a wide number of breeds including the Mastiff, Greyhound, Bloodhound, and Great Dane.
Considered to be a large breed dog, the Rhodesian Ridgeback benefits from an exceptional quality diet that has been designed to meet the needs of active dogs of its size. However, as with most dog breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is prone to developing certain health problems that can affect its longevity. Thankfully, the best dog foods for Rhodesian Ridgebacks can provide the support dogs need to enjoy good health and wellness.
It is important to note that diet alone may not prevent the development of hereditary health conditions. However, it can form an excellent basis to provide the dog with good quality of life.
Among the health problems that can plague the Rhodesian Ridgeback are:
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Dermoid sinus
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Choosing the Correct Calorie Count for Rhodesian Ridgebacks
One of the most challenging parts of owning a dog is determining how much the correct portion size should be to achieve optimal health. The best dog foods for Rhodesian Ridgebacks include suggested serving sizes on the side of the bag. These are an excellent starting point.
The amount of food listed on the bag can be increased or decreased until the correct meal size is determined. Owners should use the dog’s weight and appetite to help them settle on the proper portion.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a fairly active breed, and thus, is not typically prone to weight gain. Still, all food should be carefully measured, and the dog’s daily intake monitored. Free feeding is not recommended.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of many breeds that is naturally predisposed to bloat. Though it is not known what elements must combine for this condition to occur, veterinary professionals generally agree that eating too much and too quickly may be contributing factors. To avoid this problem, it is a good idea to feed the Rhodesian Ridgeback a food designed specifically for large breeds since the kibble pieces are big to prevent the dog from eating too rapidly.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks do best on a diet that contains a minimum of 22 percent protein and 8 percent fat.
Dietary Requirements for Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog Foods
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are carnivores. To best meet their nutritional needs, this dog breed requires a diet whose primary ingredient is a lean meat. Whole proteins are the ideal choice, but meat meals also offer a powerhouse punch of nutritional benefits for this active breed.
By-products and plant-based proteins such as soy, corn, and wheat are not the best ingredients for the Rhodesian Ridgeback. They are difficult to digest and can lead to the development of recurring allergies in some dogs. Other ingredients that are problematic in a food for the Rhodesian Ridgeback include artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is not typically a breed that suffers from allergies, and thus, can enjoy a diet that is grain-inclusive or grain-free. Whether the carbohydrates in a diet come from whole grains, fruits, or vegetables, the main priority is that each ingredient be easy to digest and rich in antioxidants. The primary role of carbohydrates is to boost energy, to encourage digestion, and stoke a dog’s natural immunity.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback requires ample servings of healthy fats to fuel its energy reserves and provide help for coat and skin health. In general, the best sources for healthy fats are derived from animals. These include such foods as animal fat and oily fish like mackerel, salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring.
Plant-based oils such as canola and safflower are also excellent sources of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Every food can benefit from the addition of helpful supplements to improve its efficacy. The most beneficial supplements to look for in a food for the Rhodesian Ridgeback include glucosamine, chondroitin, prebiotics, and probiotics.
Things to Look for in the Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Here is a basic list of the most important things to look for in a food for a Rhodesian Ridgeback:
- 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