Health and care

Always ask your veterinarian for advice on prevention and healthcare and be sure to seek medical advice if you think your dog is ill or hurt!


Your dog will rely on you to keep him in good healh. A proper diet, regular exercise and grooming, and routine check-ups at the veterinarian will keep a dog in a good form. It is important to get to know your dog's habits - eating, drinking, playing, sleeping and so on - since sometimes slight variations in those habits can be an indication that the dog is not feeling well.


Normal physiological indicators of a dog:

  • Body temperature 38.4-38.7°C (the temperature can be higher for puppies and small breed dogs, up to 39.3°C for small breed puppies). Body temperature in dogs is most often measured rectally, ear thermometers can also be used, but it can be difficult to get an accurate reading. Gauging body temperature by the moistness of the nose or how warm the ears feel is not reliable.
  • Heart rate for larger dogs 70-100 beats per minute, medium sized dogs 80-130, small dogs 90-130 (160) beats per minute. Larger dogs have slower rates than small dogs, and dogs that are in good physical shape will have lower heart rates than dogs of similar age and size who are not physically fit. Puppies typically have higher heart rates.
  • Respiratory rate 14-22 times per minute for larger and medium sized dogs, 18-26 times per minute for small dogs. Respiratory rate is the number of breaths per minute. Normal respiratory rates are assessed when the dog is resting. 


You will find the following sub-sections on our website about health issues:

Harmful foods

Dermoid Sinus

Hip Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia


Useful resources about health of Rhodesian ridgebacks


Information about different health conditions and diseases, collected and developed by Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States


The most common health issues that might affect Rhodesian Ridgebacks, information prepared by The South African Rhodesian Ridgeback Club