If you are thinking about adding a Rhodesian Ridgeback to your family, one of your most pressing questions is probably, “what can I expect in terms of the Rhodesian Ridgeback price?”
Cost is understandably a major factor when it comes to acquiring any new pet.
This article will help you get a sense of how much money you should be prepared to spend if you acquire your Rhodesian Ridgeback through a breeder, rescue group or animal shelter.
This article will also help you calculate ongoing expenses such as food, supplies, and medical care.
Bringing home a new pet is a major responsibility, so it is important to do your research and be prepared, especially for all of the financial aspects of pet ownership.
Is a Rhodesian Ridgeback Right for You?
The first question to ask yourself is—will a Rhodesian Ridgeback be a good fit for my lifestyle?
Rhodesian Ridgebacks can make great pets in the right circumstances, but they are not for everyone.
For example, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are not the best dogs for people who live in small, city apartments.
They are working dogs that need a lot of space and exercise.
Understanding the Rhodesian Ridgeback Temperament
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large, powerful, intelligent dogs.
They are very athletic and strong. They were bred to hunt lions in the African wilderness.
As such, Rhodesian Ridgebacks require a lot of exercise, training and socialization.
These dogs are not the best choice for novice dog owners.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks thrive with experienced owners that can channel their boundless energy.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks need plenty of room to run! A large, fenced yard is a must for these dogs.
If you are on the fence about this breed, this article can help you learn even more about the Rhodesian Ridgeback temperament.
Buying from a Breeder: The Rhodesian Ridgeback Price Range
You are probably wondering, what is the current Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy price from a high-quality, reputable breeder?
The average price for a Rhodesian Ridgeback with papers will probably be in the ballpark between $1800 and $2500.
The price for certain bloodlines or “show quality” Ridgebacks may be even more. For example, some Rhodesian Ridgeback pups sell for more than $4000.
On the other hand, certain Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies might be less. For example, “ridgeless” Ridgebacks or Rhodesian Ridgebacks without papers might be less expensive.
If you plan to purchase a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy from a breeder, it is imperative that you do your research to find an ethical breeder.
Finding a Good Breeder
A good place to start your search is with your local chapter of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States.
The members of the club can refer you to well-respected breeders in your area.
However, you still should not take someone else’s word for a breeder without conducting your own research.
The best way to assess the quality of a potential breeder is to visit the breeder’s premises in person.
This will give you an opportunity to meet the breeding dogs, view medical records, and AKC lineage.
Checkout our Complete Guide to Breeders:
Avoid Puppy Mills
If a breeder does not want you to visit the breeding location, this is a red flag that you may be communicating with a puppy mill or a backyard breeder.
These lower-quality breeding operations are fixated on making money and they are not dedicated to promoting the health and temperament of the breed.
If you purchase a puppy from a puppy mill, you may have to deal with health or behavioral issues down the road.
It is worth the extra time, effort, and money to acquire a puppy from a high-quality, humane breeder.
Whatever you do, never purchase Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies through the internet or through a pet store.
The Benefits of Adoption or Rescue
There are many benefits to adopting a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Adopting a Ridgeback is significantly less expensive than purchasing one from a breeder.
Adoption fees vary depending on the organization, but they are usually between $75 and $250.
The adoption fee almost always covers some basic veterinary care such as spay/neuter, vaccinations, microchip, heartworm testing, and sometimes even more.
If you work long hours and do not have the time to dedicate to training a new puppy, adopting an older Ridgeback could be the perfect solution for you.
However, they become calmer as they mature.
If you love the idea of owning a Ridgeback but you do not have the lifestyle for such a high-energy dog, consider adopting an adult or even a senior.
Save Your Rugs and Furniture
Rhodesian Ridgebacks that are up for adoption are usually past the destructive puppy teething stage.
This is another perk of adopting an adult or older dog.
Although an adult dog might still do some chewing, your shoes and your couch will be much safer with a mature Rhodesian Ridgeback than with a puppy or teenager.
As another added perk, adopted Ridgebacks are sometimes already housebroken!
Save a Dog
Sadly, there are many Rhodesian Ridgebacks in need of loving families.
When you adopt an animal, you are saving the life of a pet.
You can search for adoptable Rhodesian Ridgebacks online through Facebook, Petfinder.com, Getyourpet.com or Adoptapet.com.
You can also visit the rescue page of the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club.
Costs Associated with Rhodesian Ridgeback Care
Once you bring home your new dog, you will need to start budgeting for the necessities of pet ownership.
Food, supplies, and medical care can add up quickly, so let’s take a closer look at what to expect.
The Cost of Feeding a Rhodesian Ridgeback
Talk with your vet about the best nutrition for your Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are athletic dogs, so they need high-calorie, high-quality dog food.
Try to avoid food with filler ingredients such as corn or animal by-products.
Depending on the brand you select, you will probably spend between $25 and $50 on dog food per month.
The Price of Training your Rhodesian Ridgeback
Training is a great investment.
Sign up for a puppy kindergarten class or a basic obedience class at your earliest opportunity.
Classes usually cost about $75 to $150 for a series of classes. Private training is a little bit more expensive.
Just make sure you find a trainer that uses positive reinforcement training methods.
Helpful Online Dog Training Resource:
The Cost of Grooming your Rhodesian Ridgeback
Lucky for you, this is a breed that requires very little (if any) professional grooming.
You can keep their coats in prime condition with periodic bathing and brushing.
You can save money by doing all of your dog’s grooming yourself at home.
If you need help with occasional nail trims, this will probably cost about $20 to $25 at a groomer or vet clinic.
The Cost of Rhodesian Ridgeback Medical Care
Veterinary care is going to be one of your biggest expenses.
This section of the article can help you prepare for the expected and unexpected vet bills.
Routine Vet Care
Like all dogs, your Rhodesian Ridgeback will need to visit a veterinarian at least once per year.
At this appointment, your Ridgeback should receive a full physical exam, yearly vaccinations, dewormer, fecal test, and heartworm test.
This basic package usually runs between $150 and $250. A comprehensive bloodwork panel would add an additional $100-$150.
Your Rhodesian Ridgeback will probably need a few dental cleanings during their lifetime. Dental cleanings generally cost between $150 and $500 depending on the vet and the extent of the cleaning. For example, if dental extractions are needed that would increase the price.
Finally, do not forget about monthly parasite prevention. All dogs need to be on flea, tick and heartworm prevention at all times. Depending on the brand you select, you should budget about $25-$50 per month.
Medications are dosed by weight. Since Rhodesian Ridgebacks can weigh up to 85 lbs., expect to pay more for medications than you would with a Yorkshire Terrier.
Emergency Vet Care
Unfortunately, emergencies can happen, so you need to be prepared.
You may want to talk with your vet about pet health insurance—which could help offset expensive vet bills in the case of an emergency.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed is prone to some health concerns that can be pricey. Talk with your vet about the following conditions to make sure you are prepared:
If you encounter one of these medical conditions, the cost can quickly exceed $1000.
Helpful Dog Health Resource:
Conclusion: Can You Afford the Rhodesian Ridgeback Price?
Adopting a new pet is very exciting! There are so many things to think about. For example, what are you going to name your new pet? Where will it sleep? What will it eat?
During all of the excitement, do not forget to slow down and do some financial calculations to make sure that you are prepared for the costs of pet ownership.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks can live up to 10 or even 12 years. Before you bring one home, make sure you can provide what it needs for its whole life.