Top 10 Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgeback

Top 10 Best Dog Food for Rhodesian Ridgeback

A gentle giant, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a beloved family member in many households around the world. These medium-large-sized, sweet, and sensitive dogs are equally intelligent and energetic, making them the perfect friend, playmate, and jogging partner if that’s your thing. They’re also a healthy breed for the most part, with a lifespan averaging 10–12 years.

In terms of health issues, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are prone to joint issues1 like hip and elbow dysplasia. They also love nothing more than playing and exercising, so picking out high-quality dog food to support their joints and energy level is key.

If you’re not sure where to start, these reviews are a round-up of our top recommendations for Rhodesian Ridgebacks. If your Rhodesian Ridgeback has health issues, we recommend running any dietary changes by your vet first to make sure the new food would suit them.

It’s also a good idea to bear in mind that not every type of food will be suitable for every dog as every dog is an individual with unique needs. While we chose these products based on largely positive reviews, there’s no cast-iron guarantee that a product will sit well with your dog or that they’ll enjoy it.

The 10 Best Dog Foods for Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free – Best Value

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free
Main ingredients Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea protein
Protein content 34% min
Fat content 15% min
Calories 3599 kcal/kg, 409 kcal/cup

This grain-free chicken recipe by Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Dog Food is our best dog food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks for the money recommendation. High in protein (34% min), nutritionist-developed, and formulated to keep dogs as healthy and active as possible, we think this is an option worth considering for energetic Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

The first ingredient is real chicken followed by chicken meal—we like that the meal protein source is named, which is a good indicator of quality. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and LifeSource Bits, which are an antioxidant blend in the form of small kibble pieces. On the downside, some dogs weren’t keen on the LifeSource bit and picked them out.

  • Fussy dogs may pick out the LifeSource bits
  • Made with real chicken
  • High in protein for healthy muscle development
  • Supports an active lifestyle
  • Contains antioxidant-infused LifeSource bits

Ollie Fresh Dog Food – Best Overall

Ollie Chicken Dish with Carrots

Main ingredients Beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb (depends on the recipe), various vegetables (depends on the recipe)
Protein content Baked food 26% min, Fresh recipes – 10–12% (varies by recipe)
Fat content Baked food – 16% min, Fresh recipes – 5–10% (varies by recipe)
Calories Baked food – 3850 kcal ME/kg, Fresh recipes – varies by recipe

If you’re looking for the convenience of having your dog’s food delivered to your door on a scheduled basis, you might want to consider Ollie Fresh Dog Food. Ollie is a dog food delivery service specializing in baked and fresh recipes. By taking a quick quiz on Ollie’s website, you can get personalized meal recommendations based on your dog’s calculated optimum calories per day, their activity level, age, breed and likes and dislikes.

Ollie also takes into account any allergies or sensitivities your dog may have. The fresh recipes are made up of high-quality protein sources (beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey) depending on the flavor your dog likes best and are packed with healthy fruits and veggies like sweet potatoes, kale, butternut squash, blueberries, and cranberries.

Ollie is our best overall dog food for Rhodesian Ridgebacks pick for its high-quality ingredients and personalized approach.

  • Expensive
  • Some reviewers mention delivery and customer service issues
  • High-quality protein sources
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Rich in nutrients
  • Delivered on your schedule
  • No fillers or preservatives
  • Offers grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes

Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility Large Breed

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Large Breed Chicken Meal Recipe
Main ingredients Chicken meal, brewers rice, whole grain sorghum, brown rice
Protein content 17% min, 28% max
Fat content 12% min
Calories 367 kcal/cup

Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility is designed to support your dog’s joint and hip health. Chicken meal is the main ingredient followed by brewer’s rice, and the recipe also contains EPA from fish oil. EPA is good for keeping your dog’s joint cartilage in good shape, which in turn helps keep them mobile and active.

This recipe has received plenty of reviews from happy customers citing how well it went down even with finicky eaters and some say that there have been notable improvements mobility-wise. Of course, not every dog enjoyed it. A few users weren’t happy with the kibble size and found it too large for their dogs. As Rhodesian Ridgebacks are pretty large, though, it might be a good fit.

  • Kibble size may be too large for some dogs
  • Supports healthy mobility
  • Contains EPA from fish oil for joint health
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support cartilage
  • Lots of positive reviews

Merrick Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food  – Vet’s Choice

Merrick Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe
Main ingredients Deboned salmon, chicken meal, brown rice, barley
Protein content 25% min
Fat content 16% min
Calories 3739 kcal/kg, 396 kcal/cup ME

Our vet’s choice for Rhodesian Ridgebacks is this Merrick Healthy Grains salmon recipe which is made with brown rice and ancient grains including quinoa. This is another recipe containing glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and hip health and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help keep the skin and coat shiny and healthy.

Best of all—it’s made with real deboned salmon, which is great for immunity and fighting inflammation. It’s also a good source of protein which keeps the muscles in good shape. According to positive user reviews, the kibble size is perfect and it’s a good choice for picky eaters. Others found the kibble size too small for larger dogs.

  • Kibble size may be too small for large dogs
  • Made with real salmon
  • Supports joints, hips, and healthy coat
  • Suitable for all breeds
  • Mostly positive reviews

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Food – Best for Puppies

Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain sorghum, whole grain brown rice
Protein content 26% min
Fat content 14%
Calories 3622 kcal/kg, 379 kcal/cup

For puppies, we recommend this large breed recipe by Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy Food. Formulated for puppies up to 18 months of age, it’s made with real chicken and other ingredients include kale, and spinach—two vitamin-packed vegetables that are a source of iron, antioxidants, and beta-carotene.

This formula also contains DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids to support brain health and glucosamine and chondroitin to support the developing joints. Some users found that this recipe was helpful for their puppies with sensitive stomachs, so it may be a good choice for puppies with digestive problems. Some users praised the quality of the food but commented that their dogs just weren’t keen on the flavor.

  • Only one bag size (30 lbs)
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids
  • Supports brain and visual development
  • Made with real chicken
  • Antioxidant-rich
  • Overwhelmingly positive reviews

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Food

Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach Large Breed
Main ingredients Salmon, barley, rice, oatmeal
Protein content 26% min
Fat content 12% min
Calories 3,511 kcal/kg, 373 kcal/cup

If your Rhodesian Ridgeback has a sensitive stomach or skin, you might want to consider this Purina Pro Plan formula designed for dogs with these issues. It contains natural prebiotics, live probiotics, and oatmeal to aid digestion, as oatmeal is especially easy on the stomach. Sunflower oil is a source of omega-6 and nutrient-packed real salmon is the first ingredient.

Some happy users commented that this recipe worked well for their sensitive dogs and that they spotted a reduction in unpleasant symptoms like itchy skin and diarrhea. Others weren’t so happy about a possible recent formula change and found the kibble too powdery.

  • Expensive
  • Kibble may be powdery
  • May help dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs
  • Made with real salmon
  • Oatmeal for gentle digestion
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics to aid digestion
  • Great reviews

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Turkey Meatloaf Dinner
Main ingredients Turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, carrots
Protein content 8% min
Fat content 6% min
Calories 1,194 kcal/kg, 421 kcal/cup

If your Rhodesian Ridgeback is more of a wet food fan, you might want to give this Blue Buffalo turkey recipe the once over. Apart from turkey, it contains a variety of garden vegetables including peas and sweet potatoes. Two things we can really appreciate about this wet food are that it can be offered as a meal or treat and that it contains no by-product meals—an indicator of high quality.

According to reviews, plenty of users’ furry friends are enjoying this recipe, and some especially appreciated that it’s made with turkey instead of chicken for a change. As with almost every product, though, a few users commented that their dogs weren’t happy with the taste and texture, and some complained of cans arriving dented.

  • Cans may be dented on delivery
  • Wet food is lower in protein than dry food
  • May benefit dogs who need more hydration
  • May benefit dogs on a diet
  • Made with real turkey
  • Contains no by-products
  • Can be fed as a meal or a snack

Purina One Natural Smart Blend Dry Food

Purina ONE Natural SmartBlend Lamb & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients Lamb, rice flour, whole grain corn, whole grain wheat
Protein content 26% min
Fat content 16% min
Calories 3,972 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/cup

This Purina One formula is another recipe supporting overall health. The first ingredient is real lamb—a quality protein source to support muscle development. Vitamin A, vitamin E, zinc, and selenium support the immune system. If your dog isn’t a fan of lamb, there are other flavors available, including chicken.

It appears that most reviewers would recommend this product, with many praising the great taste and how their dogs can’t wait to wolf it down. Negative reviews mostly point to dogs not enjoying it, but this is always a risk we run with new foods. It’s also important to be aware that this product contains chicken by-product meal as well as lamb, so it’s not a good choice for dogs with poultry allergies.

  • Not suitable for dogs with poultry allergies
  • Supports overall health
  • Made with real lamb
  • Contains vitamins E and A
  • Lots of great reviews

Wellness Complete Health Adult Dry Dog Food

Wellness Complete Health Adult Lamb & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients Lamb, lamb meal, oatmeal, ground barley
Protein content 24% min
Fat content 12% min
Calories 3,655 kcal/kg, 417 kcal/cup ME

This Wellness Complete Health Adult Lamb & Barley recipe is, as its name suggests, formulated to support your dog’s whole-body health—immunity, skin, coat, eyes, teeth, gums, and the digestive tract. It contains antioxidant-rich blueberries and spinach, flaxseeds for an omega boost, and added taurine, vitamins, and minerals.

Lots of users commented on the flavor and how much it was enjoyed by their dogs and praised the kibble size. Some dogs weren’t keen on the flavor, but this can happen with new foods. If your dog has a chicken allergy, we recommend staying away from this recipe as even though lamb is the main ingredient, it still contains chicken fat.

  • Not suitable for dogs with poultry allergies
  • Supports all areas of health
  • Antioxidant-rich
  • Quality protein source
  • Enjoyed by many dogs

Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Ancient Grains Recipe

Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food
Main ingredients Water buffalo, pork, chicken meal, grain sorghum
Protein content 32% min
Fat content 18% min
Calories 3,920 kcal/kg, 445 kcal/cup

Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie is a popular dog food brand that creates high-protein recipes based on what dogs would be eating in the wild. As such, this formula is made with a range of meat sources—water buffalo, pork, chicken meal, and roasted bison—and ancient grains. So, if your dog has exotic tastes beyond the standard protein sources typically included in dog foods, this one might be worth a shot!

Judging by the user reviews, this formula went down a treat with plenty of dogs, with tastiness and the quality of the ingredients being cited as two of its winning points. Some users found that it didn’t sit well with their dogs, though, and it’s important to note that this recipe contains chicken meal, so be careful if your dog has poultry allergies.

  • Not suitable for dogs with poultry allergies
  • Variety of meat sources
  • High in protein
  • Affordable
  • Supports healthy digestion

Buyer’s Guide: Selecting Rhodesian Ridgeback Food

As you can tell, there’s no shortage of options to pick from. But how do you know which food is going to benefit your Rhodesian Ridgeback most? It’s a difficult question, but we’ve narrowed down the most important parts of the equation so that you can make more informed decisions about what’s best for your dog.

Ingredients in Rhodesian Ridgeback Food

Checking the ingredients a dog food is made from is one of the easiest ways you can tell how healthy any dog food is. Just like better ingredients make better pizza, they also make better dog food. The key is knowing what to look for on the ingredients list.

Whole Foods

Whole-food ingredients are what you want to see listed. Instead of powders, by-products, starches, and chemicals, you want to see natural ingredients similar to what you would want to be used in any food you were going to eat.

Examples of inferior ingredients include:

  • Carrot powder
  • Poultry meal by-product
  • Dehydrated alfalfa meal
  • Pea starch
  • Soybean meal
  • Corn
  • Propylene glycol
  • Artificial colors
  • Artificial flavors
  • Preservatives

Some examples of ingredients you want to see include:

  • Blueberries
  • Deboned chicken
  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Deboned salmon
  • Deboned turkey
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots

Protein Sources for Rhodesian Ridgebacks

Protein is vitally important for dogs. They need a diverse assortment of amino acids to help facilitate many bodily processes including muscle building, tissue repair, hair and skin health, and much more.

Just because a food has a high amount of protein doesn’t necessarily make it superior though. Where that protein comes from matters just as much.

First, the protein sources need to be of high quality. Some good examples of quality protein sources include:

  • Deboned chicken
  • Deboned lamb
  • Salmon
  • Beef
  • Duck
  • Wild boar

All of these are whole-food versions of the protein source. But you’ll often see them listed in a different form, such as chicken meal or lamb meal. These meals are created from a dry, powder that’s often made from leftover parts of meat not used for human food. They’re not the worst sources of protein, but they’re not as high-quality as the whole-food sources of protein we listed.

Worse than protein meals are protein by-products. You’ll see them listed as chicken by-product, poultry by-product, or something similar. You might even see a meal by-product like poultry meal by-product, for example. These are some of the worst sources of protein and a sign that the manufacturer was cutting corners to save money.

Nutritional Content

After a quick examination of the ingredients list, you next want to check out a food’s nutritional content. This will tell you a lot about the food, like how much total protein, fat, and fiber it contains. You’ll also find vitamins, minerals, and additional supplements listed here that can tell you a lot about the benefits your dog might receive from that food.


To maintain optimal health, a rhodesian ridgeback diet should consist of about 10-15% fats. If your dog is eating more fat than this, it can easily lead to weight gain and an overweight or obese dog.


  • Protein plays several key roles in your dog’s health, and it’s one of the most important nutrients for them to eat. We prefer foods that have a higher protein content, but you want to look for a minimum of at least 24% crude protein.
  • For your dog, protein is responsible for building muscle, repairing body tissues, growing hair, forming new skin cells, assisting in the creation of hormones and enzymes, providing energy, and even bolstering the immune system.

Vitamins and Minerals

Just like humans need a diverse array of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, dogs require the same. A balanced dog food can provide all of these nutrients for your dog, but it’s important to pick one that’s not missing some key nutrient.

So, what vitamins and minerals does your dog need to get from their food?

  • Phosphorous
  • B-vitamins
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E

Other Nutrients Rhodesian Ridgebacks Need

Some of our favorite foods contained more than just the necessary vitamins and minerals. These blends often had added supplements that carry additional benefits for your Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin – Because of their size, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are susceptible to joint problems like hip and elbow dysplasia. Glucosamine and chondroitin provide joint support, keeping your dog’s joints healthy as they age, which can help to prevent such conditions. These supplements can actually help to rebuild cartilage and can even be used to help treat and prevent arthritis.

Omega fatty acids – Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids pose many benefits for dogs, such as:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing shedding
  • Prevent and treat autoimmune disorders
  • Maintain healthy skin and coat

Other Factors In Rhodesian Ridgeback Food

Though you can learn a lot from examining the list of ingredients and the nutritional content of any food, they’re only part of the equation. Several other factors should impact your choice, including your dog’s opinion!

Dog Food Caloric Density

  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren’t small dogs. Males can often weigh as much as 85 pounds. A dog that size needs about 1,500 calories per day. Depending on the food you’re using, that might be three cups of food or it might be five. The difference is in caloric density.
  • Caloric density refers to how many calories are in a given amount of food. For dog foods, this is usually a cup. The caloric density of dog foods ranges from about 300 calories per cup to more than 500 calories per cup.

Dog Food Price

  • If price weren’t a factor, everyone would simply feed their dogs the best food possible. But some foods are several times more expensive than others. Even if they offer certain advantages, that doesn’t mean that a less expensive food can’t also be healthy and beneficial for your dog.
  • Often, you get what you pay for. But that isn’t a hard and fast rule. Just because a food is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better. A good idea is to first check the ingredients and nutritional content of the foods you’re comparing and let the price be the tie-breaker if they seem very close in quality.

Taste od Dod Food

  • You can pick out the fanciest food made with all the best ingredients and packed with every beneficial nutrient imaginable, but if your dog doesn’t want to eat it, then it’s not going to do you much good. At the end of the day, the taste test is one of the most important factors when picking any food.
  • This is especially true if your dog is a picky eater. Some dogs will eat just about anything and this won’t be an issue. But other dogs will turn their noses up at food they don’t like and refuse to eat it.
  • From experience, we can tell you that it’s frustrating to buy expensive, premium dog food just to have your dogs tell you in no uncertain terms that they don’t want it.
  • To avoid such a scenario, we suggest purchasing a small amount of food the first time when switching to a new food. That way, if your dog doesn’t like it, you won’t have 40 pounds of it sitting around going to waste!

Final Thoughts

To recap our top picks if you’re still a little on the fence, we chose Ollie’s dog food delivery service, which uses high-quality ingredients and offers customized meal recommendations as our best overall choice. Our best value pick was the protein-rich Blue Buffalo’s chicken recipe from its Wilderness range and we went for the Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Large Breed Chicken Meal Recipe as our third pick.

For puppies, we recommend the Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Puppy chicken recipe, and, finally, our vet’s choice is Merrick’s Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice with Ancient Grains Recipe.

We picked these products based on their suitability for large breeds, their high-quality protein sources and ingredients, mostly excellent user reviews, and, in some cases, their potential health benefits like joint care and mobility. We hope you’ve found these reviews useful and can click away with at least one perfect food for your smart, sweet Rhodesian Ridgeback in mind!

Edward Hollon is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Edward has been writing for petdii for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Edward has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Edward knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.