Feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback:  We feed Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice and Victor usually.  We believe in rotating and varying their diets, so we also feed Nutro Max Chicken and Natural Balance in various flavors.  We feed our puppies Diamond Large Breed Puppy food (lamb & rice) until at least 18 months old..Be careful of the protein and calcium content as large breeds grow so fast it can actually cause problems.Image result for diamond naturals dog food

This website is great for checking the ratings of a dog food before purchasing.  

Dog Food Advisor

Treats for your Rhodesian Ridgeback: We give raw carrots and raw sweet potatoes (sliced) to our dogs as treats. Carrots are great for puppies to chew and crunch on also.  Marrow bones (half sized at least 4 inches not the small slices) are given a couple of times a month.  Our local grocery store and butcher sells these and they are usually cheaper than the manufactured raw hide and pork chews. Our dogs like the pig ears and we get them sometimes but they can be consumed in minutes so it's more like a treat. We give commercial treats like Milk Bones also but not too much.  The "Train Me" brand treats are good for training and we use those too.  

Rhodesian Ridgeback Nail Care:  We recommend trimming nails about every 7-10 days.  We use a Dremmel electric tool on our dogs and start them as early as possible.  There are several videos and articles online about nail trimming. Long nails can cause them to stand back on their feet, slip on wood and tile floors, and get sores between their toes from scraping themselves.  You will also feel the pain when your Ridgeback steps on you or excitedly scratches you.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Ear Care: We use Apple Cider Vinegar (diluted with water) for cleaning and Zymox brand ear products when we see any irritation or if there is a smell.  


How to Clean Ears with Vinegar

Image result for zymox enzymatic ear solution

Rhodesian Ridgeback Scratches and Scrapes:  We use Corona Ointment. It can be found at most feed stores. We use Betadine (diluted with water) antiseptic to clean the affected areas or for reddened areas.  Occasional itchy skin or insect bite swelling can be treated with Benadryl.  Chronic or long term itching or hot spots (raw spots or sores) should be looked at by a veterinarian.Image result for corona ointment for horses

Bedding for your Rhodesian Ridgeback : We purchase twin size Walmart brand blankets and we use them all over. The twin size is around $6 and they are used to cover furniture, cover dog beds, in crates, in vehicles, etc.  They are great for puppies and destructive dogs because they are not easy to tear up.  There are many options for dog beds out there. Since we have multiple Ridgebacks, we have tried out many bed styles including the couch style beds, orthopedic beds, and even layered beds to make them comfortable.  A good dog bed is important for large breed dogs as it can affect their joints when laying unsupported on the hard floor. Spend the money on a quality bed for a mature dog.  Puppies can destroy a bed in minutes so we start them out with cheaper beds and use blankets in their crate as they shred crate pads too.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Leashes - We do not recommend Flexi-Leads for several reasons. We regularly use slip leads for our dogs as we do not leave collars on them all the time.  You can purchase slip leads online at places like Amazon or at a dog show vendor.  Get the thicker round style and at least 6'.  We recommend a quick release dog collar if you want to keep a collar on your dog all the time.  
 
Vaccinations - A hot topic in the canine world just like with humans.  Here are some guidelines from the AAHA  - The American Animal Hospital Association - https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/aaha_guidelines/aahas_canine_vaccination_guidelines.aspx
 
Puppy Information: When you get your puppy from us, we provide a packet of information.  We will give you details about your puppy from birth including vaccinations and health examinations as well as feeding and care instructions. You will have pedigree information on the parents and AKC registration information.  As the breeder, we are committed to the welfare of every puppy we bring into this world.  There will be a contract for pet or show to sign that will detail both of our commitments to the puppy.  We are available at any time for help with your puppy for their lifetime.  We ask that you stay in touch with us and send us pictures and updates regularly.  We LOVE hearing how our puppies are doing and seeing pictures and videos.  It makes all the hard work planning and raising a litter so worthwhile.  

Feeding your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy:  For puppies up to four months old, we recommend feeding three times a day.  After that, you can start feeding twice a day.  The amount is based on what you will be feeding them.  We will provide quantities of what we fed your pup but you may have to adjust the quantity if you switch foods.  Feeding instructions will be on the food package however, I have found they can be very generous with portions. Just like humans, the amount you need to eat to maintain a healthy weight is based on your activity level, age, etc. If they walk away from the food or take more than 10 minutes to eat, then it usually means there is too much food given.  A fat puppy is not a good thing as it can put strain on their rapidly growing joints. Most hounds act like they are starving all the time so don't be fooled.  We recommend a few supplements that will be explained in your puppy pack. 

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a large breed dog, so a Large Breed Puppy food is recommended.  Protein and calcium levels should not be too high   A quality adult dog food can be acceptable too as long as the protein levels does not exceed 28%. 

Here are some links for information on raising puppies:


AKC Responsible Dog Ownership

Raising Your Puppy to be a Confident Dog

Vaccine Protocol


FAQ RRCUS website
 
Amber Trace Rhodesian Ridgebacks - Lutz, Florida - Located in the Tampa Bay Area - Rhodesian Ridgeback Breeder