Rhodesian Ridgebacks are named for the ridge of hair that runs down their back. They were originally bred to track and distract lions in Southern Africa. In fact, they were once known as the African Lion Hound.
Today, they are kept as hunting, running, and hiking partners. Owning a Rhodesian Ridgeback is a challenge as they are stubborn and strong. Their care and training require a significant investment of both time and money. Read on to learn more about the costs of owning these interesting dogs.
Bringing Home a New Rhodesian Ridgeback: One-Time Costs
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are expensive dogs to purchase from a breeder. Even though there are quite a few breeders in the United States, the price is still high. You can save on the cost of a Ridgeback by adopting from a rescue or other organization.
You should always be suspicious of dogs being given away for free, especially purebred dogs like the Rhodesian Ridgeback. The pet might be stolen or ill. Some rescue organizations will change an optional fee for dogs to get them into a good home. This might be possible with a Ridgeback.
- $100 – $500
Adoption fees for Rhodesian Ridgebacks will vary depending on the age of the dog and the organization offering the dog for adoption. The Ridgeback is not an easy dog to own and, as a result, many rescue organizations around the United States help rehome these dogs when an overwhelmed owner cannot take care of their pet.
- $1,700 – $2,500
Even though there are plenty of Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders in the United States, puppies still fetch a hefty price. You can expect to pay up to $2,500 for a purebred puppy. You should research the breeder before you buy to ensure that you are working with someone who has a good reputation for breeding healthy dogs.
Initial Setup and Supplies
- $790 – $1,390
After you buy or adopt your Rhodesian Ridgeback, you will need to pay for supplies and initial care for your dog. The costs can vary depending on the age of your dog, their health, and the items you select for them.
List of Rhodesian Ridgeback Care Supplies and Costs
|ID Tag and Registration||$12 – $36 (varies by location)|
|Spay/Neuter||$100 – $200|
|Puppy Shots||$100 – $165|
|Initial Vet Visit||$45 – $50|
|Microchip||$45 – $55|
|Teeth Cleaning||$100 – $300|
|Crate||$60 – $100|
|Nail Clippers||$8 – $10|
|Brush||$8 – $12|
|Leash & Harness||$20 – $50|
|Bed||$30 – $40|
|Puppy Manners Class||$200 – $500|
|Food and Water Bowls||$15|
How Much Does a Rhodesian Ridgeback Cost Per Month?
- $150 – $370 per month
The biggest monthly cost of being a Rhodesian Ridgeback owner is food, followed by pet insurance and entertainment. Unlike other breeds, these dogs don’t require much grooming or extra veterinary care.
- $115 – $320 per month
For the most part, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are healthy dogs. They also won’t cost you much in grooming expenses as their short coats are easy to keep healthy. Although they are generally healthy, pet insurance is still a good idea for your Ridgeback as it will protect you if your dog has a health emergency.
- $75 – $100 per month
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large dogs. Their food needs will depend on their activity level. If you have a very active dog, they might need as much as 4 cups of food per day, while a more sedentary dog will only require 2 or 3 cups. You should always feed your dog high-quality, protein-rich food. Treats can also be provided on occasion.
- $10 – $20 per month
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. You should brush their short coat once a week. They don’t require frequent baths. You should brush its teeth several times per week. Finally, you need to cut their nails at least once a month. If you have trouble cutting your dog’s nails, most veterinarians will do it for between $10 to $20.
Medications and Vet Visits
- $20 – $100 per month
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are relatively healthy, but they are large dogs. They are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as bloat. If your dog doesn’t have any of these problems, the cost of their veterinary care will be lower. You can expect to spend about $20 per month on heartworm medication and should take your dog for check-ups twice per year.
- $10 – $100 per month
Even though the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a relatively healthy breed, you should still consider having pet insurance in case of an emergency. The cost of insurance will vary depending on the level of coverage you select, your location, and the age and health of your dog.
- $15 – $20 per month
Monthly maintenance for your Rhodesian Ridgeback generally will involve making sure you have an environmentally safe way to clean up after them on walks. You might also want to look into investing in a park pass for state parks in your area. Ridgebacks love the outdoors and long hikes will help meet their exercise needs.
|Biodegradable poop bags||$5/month|
|Park pass for hiking||$7/month|
|Dental treats for clean teeth||$5/month|
- $20 – $30 per month
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are stubborn and intelligent. These characteristics give you a dog that needs to be mentally stimulated. You don’t want a bored Rhodesian Ridgeback on your hands. You should plan to invest in plenty of toys that will keep your dog busy. Puzzle toys are a great option.
You can also mix up your toy options by subscribing to a monthly box. This will give your dog some new toys every month and prevent it from becoming bored.
Total Monthly Cost of a Rhodesian Ridgeback
- $150 – $370 per month
As you can see, the cost of owning a Rhodesian Ridgeback can vary from month to month. However, as long as your dog is healthy, the expenses should stay on the lower end of the spectrum.
Additional Costs to Factor In
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is stubborn and strong. They are not a good choice for a novice dog owner. You must invest in proper obedience training to ensure that your Ridgeback is well-behaved and manageable.
The cost of training varies, but you can expect to spend between $30 and $50 per hour of training. It will be money well spent, however, as a well-trained Rhodesian Ridgeback is an excellent companion and protector.
Having a Rhodesian Ridgeback On a Budget
A Rhodesian Ridgeback can be affordable for the experienced dog owner. There are many available through rescue organizations at a lower price than buying from a breeder. Many people don’t do their research and end up with a dog they cannot care for, thus leading to many Ridgebacks being surrendered.
If you have worked on obedience training with dogs before and are willing to commit the time to train your Ridgeback, you can also save on training costs. Many activities a Ridgeback enjoys, like hiking and running, won’t cost you much and will provide you with excellent bonding opportunities with your dog.
Saving Money on Rhodesian Ridgeback Care
A healthy dog is less expensive than a sick one. Feeding your Ridgeback the right food and maintaining a healthy weight will lessen the stress on the joints. Their low-maintenance grooming needs can be handled at home too. Both of these actions will provide big savings on your dog’s care.
The initial costs of acquiring a Rhodesian Ridgeback can be high, especially if you purchase a puppy from a breeder. However, once you have your dog home and have invested in the proper training, they are less expensive than many other dogs. Their healthy constitution and low grooming needs save you money on their care.
They’d love nothing more than to accompany you on your hiking and running adventures, giving you the added advantage of an enthusiastic exercise partner. This might even help you save money on your own healthcare costs in the long run!
Featured Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
- Bringing Home a New Rhodesian Ridgeback: One-Time Costs
- List of Rhodesian Ridgeback Care Supplies and Costs
- How Much Does a Rhodesian Ridgeback Cost Per Month?
- Total Monthly Cost of a Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Additional Costs to Factor In
- Having a Rhodesian Ridgeback On a Budget