Breed Tips

How Much Does a Rhodesian Ridgeback Cost in 2024?

Rhodesian Ridgeback Characteristics 

  • Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years 

  • Adult weight: 95 – 110 lbs. 

  • Adult height: 26 – 29 in. 

  • Origin – Zimbabwe

The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated from the African country of Zimbabwe, gaining fame for their tracking and baying skills. They are a very large dog breed that was given its standard drafting in 1922. A fun fact: The Ridgeback gets its name from the ridge of hair on their back that runs in the opposite direction from the rest of their coat.

They are very muscular dogs that only come in shades of wheat, light to dark, in the form of short, dense, sleek, and glossy coats. These dogs have a gentle and calm temperament along with a sensitive nature. Their muscularity makes them a very athletic dog breed. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are fast, like really fast. And powerful. Originally bred to be hounded, these dogs are now cherished family dogs.

Also called the African Lionhound or the Lion Dog, these dogs may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners. Their size alone can be overwhelming, and if there are young kids in the house, this breed can injure them unintentionally. These dogs are firmly independent and are prone to be aggressive or domineering at times. Training them is essential for pet owners raising them as puppies. They may be wary of strangers at first due to their protective instincts, but once trusted, these dogs are very affectionate.

What is the price of a Rhodesian Ridgeback? 

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a relatively rare dog breed which can affect their buying price. Their big size would also need regular maintenance, which can sometimes come with big bills. We will break down the price by categorizing it by initial buying/adoption costs, vaccinations, diets, healthcare, grooming, and miscellaneous expenses.

Buying: $1800 – $2500  

There are many ways you can get a Rhodesian Ridgeback, like buying one from a breeder, a puppy farm, or adopting one from a shelter. If you choose to buy from a breeder, the price could be around $1800-$2500. That may seem high compared to some other breeds, but this cost can be expected for a rare dog breed purchased from a reputable breeder. A Rhodesian ridgeback puppy will generally cost more than an adult dog at around $2500. It is very important to research the breeder’s reputation and choose a trusted one. Similarly, many puppy farms may offer a Ridgeback puppy at a significantly lower price, but it’s important to do your research before bringing one home. You should check the health of the pup before buying.

If you’re looking for Rhodesian Ridgebacks for under $500, a rescue shelter could be a good option for you. With an aggressive and independent nature, these hounds can end up in shelters from owner surrenders. The cost to adopt, on average, is around $100-$300, which generally covers the cost of care the shelter may provide the dog before adoption. Adoption is a great way to get a dog for less, and you get to feel good knowing you gave a pup a new home!

Monthly costs for a Rhodesian Ridgeback

Diets: $90-$110

Big dogs = Big bowl of food. Rhodesian Ridgebacks will need approximately 2-4 bowls of food every day, depending on their age and daily activity levels. You can expect to spend around $80-$100 per month on good-quality, vet-recommended dog kibble. Training this breed is essential, and many dogs can be motivated through treats. Treats could add another $10-$20 to your monthly cost.

Grooming: $40-$60

These dogs require minimal grooming. Brushing them once a week, cleaning their teeth 1-2 times a week, trimming their nails, and cleaning their ears once in a while, is a sufficient grooming routine. If you choose to groom at home, the cost of grooming supplies could cost around $40-$60. If you opt for a professional, the cost could be around $50-$80 per session.

Medical Costs: $700-$1200

During the first years, it is recommended you take your pet to the vet about 3-4 times annually. Vet fees can range from $100 to $300 and could include things like annual wellness exams and blood tests, among other recommended preventive care treatments. Other examinations and tests could cost you another $300-$400.

Like all breeds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are at risk of developing health conditions during their lifetimes. Some common conditions this breed may experience include - Dermoid Sinus, Degenerative Myelopathy, and Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV). Treatment costs for these could be -

Dermoid Sinus - $2500-$3000

Degenerative Myelopathy –$1500-$2000 (pain management medication)

GDV- $500-$1500 (depending on the urgency)

One-time costs for a Rhodesian Ridgeback

Initial Costs: $500-$550

Big dogs will need big quality toys, a big bed, a big crate, leashes and collars, food and water bowls, among other initial items. Overall, the expense for these can be around $500.

Microchipping: $50-$70

The average cost of microchipping is around $50, but may vary from state to state. Along with a dog license, it could cost an additional 10-20 bucks. Spot pet insurance highly recommends every pet parent get all their pets microchipped as it can increase the chances of finding a lost pet.

Vaccinations: $250-$300

There are certain core vaccinations that a Rhodesian Ridgeback would need. These include distemper, parvovirus, Adenovirus, type 1, Adenovirus, type 2, and rabies. All of these could cost you around $150-$200.

There are certain non-core vaccinations as well that are recommended by most vets for a Rhodesian Ridgeback. These include parainfluenza, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis. The cost of these vaccines can be around $130-$150.

Miscellaneous: $300-$350

There may be some miscellaneous costs that come up during your dog’s lifetime, like dog walking, dog sitting, park visits, and trips. You should prepare by keeping around $300-$350 aside for these expenses every year.

Lifetime Rhodesian Ridgeback Cost

If we take into account the buying or adoption cost, the monthly costs, one-time and recurring costs and the average lifespan, a Rhodesian Ridgeback could cost around $18,000-$20,000 in its lifetime. This estimation does not include the cost of medical emergencies should they happen to your pet.

How can Spot Pet Insurance help?

Spot accident & illness pet insurance plans offer a wide variety of coverages from microchip implantation to surgeries and prescription food and supplements prescribed to treat your pet’s unexpected accidents and illnesses. (Prescription food and supplements used for general health or weight maintenance are not covered). For an extra cost, Spot Dog Insurance plans offer preventive care coverage add-ons to help cover the costs of certain routine vaccinations, annual wellness exams and other preventive care treatments. You can view the add-on preventive care coverage options. Get in touch with us to know more!


The sole breed from Zimbabwe, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is a tough dog with a soft heart. This breed isn’t very suitable for families with small kids or first time owners, but they can bring loyalty, liveliness and even playfulness to the house. And you can worry less knowing that Spot plans can help you cover up to 90% of eligible vet bills for covered conditions. So ahead and get your Ridgeback home!


Follow us on Instagram

Follow us everywhere else: