The Cane Corso is a severely misunderstood dog breed. To the ill-informed, they're nothing more than aggressive dogs that have no place in a home. However, anyone who has had the pleasure to interact with these gentle giants knows that nothing could be further from the truth.
Sure, these dogs have an intimidating look! Their muscular build and enormous stature can tower over smaller dogs. But underneath it all, these pups are loyal members of the family that want nothing more than to protect and love.
Whether you're already a proud parent of a Cane Corso or you're in the early stages of adoption, there's one facet of care that you can't ignore: Dog food.
Cane Corsos are a special breed with some very distinct needs. These aren't your garden-variety Golden Retrievers or Chihuahuas! Thanks to their unique build, Cane Corso requires top-notch dog food with only the best ingredients.
Those cheap brands filled with filler? They'll do nothing but cause harm. Failing to provide a balanced diet that supports their body can lead to some severe health issues in the future.
Are you struggling to find a product that checks all the dietary boxes? We have you covered. Here are some of the best dog foods for Cane Corsos.
8 of the Best Dog Foods for Cane Corsos
1. American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
This recipe from American Journey is chock-full of muscle-building protein. At 34 percent, it's one of the higher concentrations available on the market.
Most of the protein comes from the deboned chicken.
It also contains chicken meal, which does double-duty as a source of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Beyond that, the recipe has a slew of great extra. It includes beneficial fats from salmon and flaxseed oil. Plus, it contains a colorful array of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your dog gets all the nutrients they need.
2. Blue Buffalo Large Breed Formula Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Built for large breeds, this Blue Buffalo kibble is perfect for Cane Corsos. It's a premium recipe that can support your dog as an adult and senior. While it doesn't have the highest protein content around, the ingredients are top-notch.
Inside every morsel is a blend of quality proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. There's also glucosamine, chondroitin, calcium, phosphorus, and more.
Like most of Blue Buffalo's products, this formula has the brand's signature LifeSource bits. The antioxidant-rich morsels support your pup's immunity, cardiovascular health, and more.
3. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large Breed Chicken & Turkey Recipe
Wellness Core is no stranger to the premium dog food market. The brand is known for creating some of the healthiest recipes available.
This particular formula caters to the dietary needs of large breeds like the Cane Corso.
It prioritizes muscle mass and tone. With a crude protein analysis of 34 percent, it's more than enough to keep your pup's muscles strong.
Other premium ingredients fortify the food and provide antioxidants, probiotics, joint support, and skin health. It's all good stuff and none of the unnecessary fillers or dangerous additives.
4. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Adult Formula Lamb & Potato
Another good choice from Blue Buffalo, this recipe keeps things a little more straightforward than the previous one. It's a limited ingredient formula that aims to tackle food sensitivities.
For Cane Corso, it does more than just keep dogs allergy-free. The digestible carbohydrates, high-quality proteins, and probiotics improve gut health. As a result, it can also boost your dog's immune system and prevent issues like mange.
Everything in this dry kibble is safe. It doesn't contain potential triggers or additives. With its use of lamb, the food can even help dogs sensitive to familiar protein sources.
Best Dog Food for Older/Senior Cane Corsos
5. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Senior Deboned Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food
Spoil your old dog and continue to support their health. The Wellness Core senior formula addresses all of your aging dog's unique needs. But, it doesn't sacrifice protein content or ingredient quality.
The recipe contains roughly 32 percent protein, which is impressively high. Even if your dog isn't as active as it used to be, the boost in protein ensures that the muscles continue to be strong.
Notable additions like glucosamine, chondroitin, probiotics, and omega fatty acids only sweeten the deal. They address common physical issues to keep your dog comfortable and pain-free.
Best for Cane Corso Puppies
6. Hill's Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Chicken Meal & Oat Recipe
Hill's Science is another brand that goes above and beyond for your dog.
The large breed puppy formula is all about balanced and manageable growth. It contains pristine macronutrient levels to promote healthy development while avoiding the risk of unwanted weight gain.
Not only that, but it has controlled levels of calcium and phosphorus. For a Cane Corso, those minerals are more critical than ever.
Thanks to the precise ratio provided by Hill's Science, you can rest easy knowing that your pup's growing bones have all the support they need.
7. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food
Diamond Naturals uses a proprietary formula with nothing but healthy ingredients. Like the previous product, this one is specifically built for growing large breed puppies.
High levels of protein come from the wholesome lamb meat and fish meal. Meanwhile, the various fruits, vegetables, and grains provide omega fatty acids and antioxidants.
For better gastrointestinal health, all of the ingredients are digestible. There's a good amount of fiber and plenty of probiotics to keep the gut flora in good shape as your pup grows.
Best Wet Canned Dog Food for Cane Corsos
8. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Large Breed Chicken Dinner with Garden Vegetables Canned Dog Food
Some flavor-rich canned food is a fantastic treat for Cane Corsos. While most canned foods lack the premium nutritional content this breed needs, that's not the case with this recipe from Blue Buffalo.
The homestyle meal contains chicken, carrots, brown rice, and more. The ingredients list is relatively short. Luckily, you won't find any unnecessary additives, fillers, or cost-cutting measures. It does, however, contain beneficial supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.
Instead, the pate-style meal contains wholesome meats and vegetables to provide unadulterated nutrition and plenty of great flavors.
Selecting the Best Cane Corso Dog Food
Like any other dog breed, Cane Corsos do best when they have access to a nutrient-rich diet filled with the essentials. However, these dogs have a much different build than most common breeds you see playing at the dog park!
A healthy adult Cane Corso can weigh anywhere between 90 and 120 pounds! On the bigger end of the size scale, these canines can grow up to 27.5 inches at the withers. Accompanying all that body mass is plenty of muscle!
Cane Corsos are thought to be descendants of livestock dogs from Ancient Rome. While the pooch you have now is very different from the canines of yesteryear, a lot of their genetic traits remain the same.
This breed was meant to be the ultimate livestock protector, and many Cane Corsos continue to work on cattle farms to this day!
Muscle mass, strength, and endurance are a must for Cane Corso. To ensure that your dog is getting all the biological support they need, keep an eye out for the following elements when shopping for dog food.
High quantities of protein are paramount. Protein contains muscle-building amino acids. Not only do they help your pup build mass as they grow, but protein also maintains it and keeps them strong.
The AAFCO recommends that adult dogs of any breed eat food that has at least 18 percent protein. That's a good baseline, but don't be afraid to go above and beyond that. Many Cane Corso owners aim for 25 percent or higher.
It's not just the crude protein analysis you have to check. Make sure that the food you choose contains identifiable proteins that come from real meat. We're talking about wholesome chicken, turkey, fish, bison, and any other animal.
Steer clear of the byproducts and mystery meats. Make sure that the food contains clearly labeled meats. Plenty of variety is welcome, too, as it ensures that your dog is getting many types of amino acids.
Contrary to popular belief, fat is not bad! Dogs need fat to survive. It provides energy and does a lot to enhance the flavor of the food. Some types of fat can also provide additional benefits like a boost in heart health.
Of course, too much fat is a big no-no. Look for a dog food that meets AAFCO guidelines, which is five percent fat for adults.
Stick to healthy fats that come from the animal protein source. If the recipe calls for fat additives, make sure it's healthy like flaxseed or salmon oil.
Flaxseed and fish oil contain omega fatty acids. Not only do they serve the same purpose as standard fat, but they also contain antioxidants and can support skin health.
Low Glycemic Index Carbohydrates
Cane Corsos are very susceptible to weight gain. We'll get into that a little later.
For now, the important thing to consider is that simple carbs are not suitable for this breed. Simple carbs have a high glycemic index, which means that they break down into glucose and absorb into the body relatively quickly.
Your dog will experience a significant boost in energy shortly after eating. But, they'll also suffer from an energy crash halfway through the day.
This process of quick-burning energy can lead to weight gain and diabetes.
Unfortunately, simple carbs like standard potatoes, corn, soy, and white rice are pretty standard in cheaper foods. They serve as fillers and don't provide much nutritional content.
Ultimately, they're only there to pad the ingredients list and make the food feel fulfilling.
Complex carbohydrates are a far better option. Look for sweet potatoes, legumes, and whole grains instead. They burn slowly and can provide a constant supply of energy that keeps your dog active.
Vitamins, Nutrients, and Minerals
You can't forget about micronutrients. Many plant-based ingredients can fulfill your dog's vitamin and mineral needs.
For the best results, try finding a dog food that uses a colorful blend of ingredients. A wide range of fruits and vegetables can provide a complex array of essential nutrients.
Adapting to Life Stages
All of the must-haves we've gone over apply to Cane Corsos of any age. However, your gentle giant's needs will change as they make their way through different life stages.
The food you provide should reflect those needs to a tee.
As a puppy, Cane Corsos go through a massive growth spurt. They enter this world as only a few pounds. But in less than two years, they'll grow to be over two feet tall!
That's a lot of strain on their bodies. Cane Corso puppies need to experience manageable growth. Otherwise, they can suffer from debilitating musculoskeletal issues in the future.
Most vets will recommend that you provide a large-breed puppy formula during the first 19 months or so of life. Puppy formulas contain slightly modified nutrient levels.
They include a minimum of 22 percent protein and at least eight percent fat. That's a decent boost from the adult formulas.
Furthermore, puppy foods contain a precise ratio of calcium and phosphorus. The two minerals support bone development.
According to the AAFCO, large-breed puppy foods should have 2.0 to 4.5 grams of calcium per 1,000 calcium. It needs to have 2.5 to 4.0 grams of phosphorus as well.
Regardless of the exact measurements, the ideal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio is between 1:1 and 1.8:1.
Senior food is a little simpler. Formulas geared towards aging dogs are nearly identical to that of standard adult recipes. The main difference is the addition of joint supplements.
You might see things like glucosamine and chondroitin to support aging joints. Some brands like to decrease protein levels a bit as well. It still meets the AAFCO requirements, but the decrease puts less strain on older kidneys.
Older Cane Corsos tend to be less active. As a result, senior-centric recipes tend to have a lower caloric density as well.
How Much Food Do Cane Corsos Need?
No matter what kind of food you provide, be prepared to offer a lot of it. Cane Corsos are massive dogs that need to eat a lot of food to stay healthy.
Generally, vets recommend 25 to 30 calories per pound of body weight. For an average 100-pound Cane Corso, that's between 2,500 and 3,000 calories every single day!
For some perspective, that's on par with what the average human eats.
Now, you can use 25 calories per pound as a general baseline. However, that number may fluctuate a bit based on your dog's lifestyle and body condition.
More active canines will need closer to 30 calories a pound to replenish the energy they burn. Meanwhile, lazier dogs and seniors will need less.
It'll take some trial and error to get things just right.
We always recommend choosing a dog food that has a high density. More calories per piece ensure that every bite counts. When your dog eats thousands of calories a day, the last thing you want is empty filler.
Common Health Problems
Unfortunately, Cane Corsos are at risk of many health issues. Larger dogs tend to have shorter lifespans. This breed typically lives 10 to 12 years, which is not as long as breeds a fraction of their size.
Not every ailment is avoidable. However, the right food choice can mitigate the effects of a health complication or relieve its symptoms.
Here are some of the most common potential health concerns that plague Cane Corsos.
Bone and Muscle Conditions
Orthopedic issues are widespread among Cane Corsos. Arthritis and joint pain can start to aggravate dogs at a relatively young age.
Many dogs also suffer from problems during puppyhood! Improper bone development as a puppy can lead to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and more. That's why it's so important to provide a puppy formula with calcium and phosphorus.
As your dog grows, you need to do your best to avoid unnecessary weight gain, too.
Overweight dogs experience more strain on the bones, which could lead to severe developmental problems. Work with your vet to manage your dog's diet if you're unsure about how things are going.
To prevent muscle and bone pain, consider looking for foods that address those issues directly. Invest in formulas that have glucosamine and chondroitin to support the joint cartilage.
You can also find foods with omega fatty acids that reduce inflammation.
Weight gain is no joke for Cane Corsos. They have a healthy appetite and can easily eat beyond their means.
Never free-feed a Cane Corso. Stick to portioned meals and strictly controlled calories. Also, stick to complex carbs and low-glycemic food ingredients.
Bloat is much more than just odorous gas. Officially known as gastric dilated volvulus, this condition can be fatal.
When your dog eats too fast or becomes active shortly after having a meal, the stomach can twist in on itself.
The resulting pressure on the diaphragm makes it difficult for the dog to breathe.
Monitor your dog's eating habits and do your part to avoid bloat. Split that massive daily calorie count into several small meals. Then, have your dog sit down for at least an hour after eating.
If they have a penchant for gobbling down their food, consider investing in a slow-feeding bowl to control the amount of air they swallow.
Demodectic mange is a common issue that affects all dogs. It's caused by tiny parasites that burrow into the skin.
Cane Corsos are said to be more susceptible to mange than most other dogs because they have underdeveloped immune systems. It's a heredity deficiency that you have to stay on top of.
The best way to do that is through improved health. The gut and the immune system are intrinsically linked. Keeping the digestive system in good shape with prebiotics and probiotics may help keep severe mange bouts at bay.
Over To You
Don't make the mistake of providing your Cane Corso with substandard food. These dogs have massive bodies that need continued support to stay healthy.
The food you provide is the first line of defense against health problems. Check out some of our top picks and see for yourself what kind of a difference high-quality food can make!