Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a beautiful dog breed that can make for amazing pets as well as loyal companions.
But as with every dog breed, you need to be willing to put in the time and the effort if you want them to be happy, healthy, and integrated members of your family.
It is best to do your research of the breed thoroughly before you even consider getting one as a pet.
With this in mind, we are going to be taking a look at some of the basics of care when it comes to a Rhodesian Ridgeback, such as grooming.
Let’s get started!
Rhodesian Ridgeback Grooming
Grooming is an essential part of any dog’s life. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’ll know just how much they will need to have a regular good brushing or combing.
For large breeds like the Rhodesian Ridgeback, regular brushing is especially important. This is because their coats are so thick that it can take a lot longer than usual to dry after being washed.
Because of this, you should always ensure that you take extra time to groom your dog properly.
Another significant fact about the coat of the Rhodesian Ridgeback is that they tend to shed throughout the year, even during the coldest months.
This means that they need to be properly groomed about four to eight times per year.
Their coats should also be checked regularly to make sure their skin and coat are healthy.
You should also check their ears for signs of infection and remove excess earwax, but more on their ears and eyes more specifically later.
Bathing Your Rhodesian Ridgeback
Bathing your Rhodesian Ridgeback follows the same protocol as bathing any other breed of dog, so follow the same rules. Use only safe products and never apply anything abrasive to their skin.
Be sure that you do not use harsh shampoos, as these could cause problems for the skin.
Instead, choose a mild shampoo that will keep your dog’s coat healthy and leave them smelling fresh without irritating their skin.
Make sure that you thoroughly rinse the soap from your dog after bathing them, and try to give them a thorough bath once a week.
Once you have finished washing and rinsing them, pat them down gently to dry them off.
Your Rhodesian Ridgeback’s ears are made up of an outer set called the pinnae and an inner set called the tragus.
Both of these parts of your dog’s body are very sensitive and should therefore be treated with care when cleaning and checking them.
Keep them clean by wiping them with cotton wool pads. If there is any dirt or debris stuck inside your dog’s ear, try using tweezers to remove it.
If you are unable to do so- or if you notice any swelling or discoloration- then you should consult your vet immediately.
Any dog breed can suffer from eye infections at any time, and Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs are no exception.
Eye infections can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including allergies (dust, pollen), dirt, dust, or excessive licks.
You can keep your dog’s eyes clean by using water or eye baths, but if you are ever unsure, then it is better to consult your veterinarian and see what the best course of action might be.
There are various treatments for eye infections and problems in dogs, including drops, tablets, injections, and laser surgery.
Your vet will be able to discern which method is most appropriate should your dog need it.
Like most dogs, your Rhodesian Ridgeback has two front paws and two back paws!
They’re called pasterns, and they consist of three bones. The front right paw consists of the tibia, the fibula, and the metatarsal bone.
The rear left foot consists of the femur, the tibia, and the metatarsal bone, while the front left foot consists of just the femur.
To keep your dog’s feet healthy, you should brush them daily. To do this, just run your fingers along the tops of both feet and work through the nails from the bottom up.
Keep doing this until you reach the tip of the nail. Next, use a nail file (or similar tool) to smooth out the rough edges of the dog’s claws.
Dogs that are very active and that go for walks on hard surfaces a lot, their claws will naturally be filed and be maintained a little easier, but you still need to check them thoroughly.
Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs tend to chew more often because of their large size.
It is normal behavior and shouldn’t be treated as a problem, but you might want to invest in some toys and treats aimed specifically at large dog breeds that are prone to chewing.
You can also brush your dog’s teeth every day using a soft toothbrush to keep their teeth clean, as this will help prevent tartar build-up.
Tartar build-up occurs when bacteria builds up under the gums and between the teeth, leading to bad breath and dental disease.
As mentioned earlier, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are prone to chewing. As a result, they will require a diet high in protein to help to strengthen their jaw muscles and maintain their large stature.
A good quality dog food aimed at larger breeds is essential, as it will provide your Rhodesian Ridgeback with everything they need to grow strong.
As with any dog, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can develop health issues, though some are more common than others.
Some common ones include diseases like hip dysplasia, diabetes, heart disease, epilepsy, and cancer. These conditions can be treated by ensuring that your dog has regular veterinary checks.
Grooming is extremely important to the general health and well-being of any dog, including the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
To keep your Rhodesian Ridgeback healthy, here are some grooming tips for you to follow:
- Brush your dog at least twice a week.
- If you notice any signs of skin irritation or an infection, take your dog straight to the vet.
- Trim your dog’s claws regularly to keep them short.
- Never bathe your dog in hot tubs or swimming pools!
- Make sure your dog always has someone watching them during bath time.
- Instead of using nylon brushes, use a natural bristle brush.
- Before grooming your dog, make sure that you have everything that you need, such as the right shampoos and brushes.
General Health Tips
To ensure that your dog stays healthy, happy, and strong for a good long time, it is important to follow some general health tips:
- If you notice any changes in your dog, such as weight loss, vomiting, or diarrhea, then contact your vet immediately.
- Do not overfeed your dog.
- Always give your dog a healthy and balanced diet.
- Clean your dog’s bedding regularly.
- Check your dog’s ears regularly.
- Ensure your dog gets regular dental check-ups.
- Check your dog’s eyes regularly to detect any early signs of eye diseases.
- Ensure that you give your dog adequate exercise.
- Dogs can become overheated easily, so make sure that you monitor their temperature.
- Dogs can also become dehydrated. Therefore, it is best to ensure that your dog always has water readily available.
- Make sure that your dog gets enough sleep.
- Keep your house free of fleas and ticks.
- Make sure your pet has an ID tag.
- Talk to your vet if there is anything that you are ever unsure of with your dog’s health and wellbeing.
A Rhodesian Ridgeback can become a loyal companion to any household and, as with any dog, they only deserve the best in terms of care.
By following the above information, you are sure to be able to keep your dog healthy, happy, and well cared for many years to come.