We investigated the effects of dietary restriction (DR), an experimental intervention known to suppress several strain-specific diseases, on the prevalence of osteonecrosis of the caput femoris in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). At 6 weeks of age, the food intake of DR rats was restricted to 65% of the mean intake of control rats fed ad libitum (AL). Acute osteonecrosis of the caput femoris without reparative tissue response (RTR) was observed at 10 and 15 weeks in both DR and AL groups; no such acute lesion was seen at 20 and 30 weeks. The prevalence of osteonecrosis, osteonecrosis with/without reparative tissue response was significantly reduced in DR rats at 15 and 20 weeks, but not at 10 weeks. DR reduced the body weight by 30% and the length of the femur by 10%. Ossification of the caput femoris, known to be delayed in AL rats compared with Wistar Kyoto rats, was also restored by DR. Our results showed that dietary restriction reduced the prevalence of osteonecrosis and modulated the mechanical factors involved in the lesion. They also indicate that utilization of dietary restriction is a useful research tool for investigating the underlying mechanisms of osteonecrosis of the caput femoris in SHR.